If there ever was a shopping mecca that makes you want to dash around with a trolley, grabbing every glitter-coated deal around, it's Clothes Show Live! The show is right here in Birmingham so it was only a matter of using my train pass to visit the NEC, and I was excited to be invited by Echo Falls wine. Definitely a brand I know well! Pass me the Zinfandel.
As I took the trains to the venue, it was very obvious the influx of chatty, bright eyed girls along the journey were all hitting the same place. Soon I was part of the mass of crowds walking towards the registration area where I flashed my print out and soon picked up a press badge in a small room crammed with journalists and photographers crowding around plug sockets.
My task was to hit the Echo Falls Wine Bar, which was a perfect pit stop after a day of browsing/fighting through the stands. As it was situated at the far end of the exhibition space, which was the size of a few football pitches, it was the freshest, most chic space in the venue. The bar had a unique offering of live fashion panels throughout the day featuring WIWT founder Poppy Disney, fashion icon Caryn Franklin, stylist Karl Willet and MTV's Becca Dudley. I had a lovely chat with Poppy D. as I started using her WIWT app a year ago and we spoke about the rise of the site and where I work now in the chocolate industry! I was racking my brain as to how I recognised Becca and then it clicked that she presents the hourly MTV news, which I usually catch every day between my favourite, trashy background TV and happen to think the fellow male presenter Bluey is a serious hottie. Yes I did like potentially all of his Instagram photos one day, and yes I'm not afraid to admit it!
We listened to a panel about breaking into the fashion industry which I was keen to hear as I broke into it myself through internships and blogging, and soon it was time to hit the stalls. The best thing about Clothes Show Live is that brands offer one-off multi-discounts that you wouldn't get anywhere else, usually in goody bag form. I snapped up the Models Own set below at an amazing discount - I couldn't resist! I browsed with lovely blogger Maria of Frills and Spills who funnily enough I met with this exact time last year in Bristol where our team won a fashion quiz! We started our journey through the crowds with fellow bloggers Caroline of Burkatron, a beautiful blog I will definitely subscribe to and a gorgeous gal, and fashion blog queen Lucy of Lulu Trixabelle, a vision of colour and major fabulousness. We were soon separated by the deals and gaggles of girls so Maria and I embarked on a browse of all the stands hunting for unmissable deals.
Maria and I were definitely more impressed by the beauty than the clothes, and also spotted many a celebrity. From Lauren Goodger manning her own Lauren's Way stand to a huge queue of screaming girls waiting to meet Peter Andre and a few poor covers strummed on a guitar by Andy Jordan of MIC fame.
We soaked up the atmosphere and gathered our goody bags for a quick snack stop and then headed back to the Echo Falls bar to link up with the girls again. Lucy and I then headed off to the catwalk fashion show, which was an unexpected highlight of the day. The show is on throughout the day so you can visit on an assigned time during your shopping, and as we had our handy press passes, we got to jog into the arena with the photographers and find a seat on the very front row! I have been to Clothes Show Live once in the past and the show was a set of dancers in high street clobber, but this event had a performance fromcheeky Kingsland Road, appearances from Mark and Jessica Wright, and a range of catwalk stomping, flamboyant dance troupes and some very muscly dancers, all interacting with video shows and pumping music. Each time the models came down the steps and ran off into the crowd, Lucy and I were looking out for our favourite male models, most often topless!
It's definitely satisfying to go home with huge, colourful bags holding your purchases and apart from some magazines with a few freebies such as coffee and loo roll (?!), my purchase was this Models Own set, all for £10! You could pick out three polishes of your choice, which included glitters, neon and velvet polishes, and also you received a set of liners, two makeup items, a mirror, lip balm, shadow applicators, a nail file & buffer, and the Clothes Show Live official polish; a blue gloss with circular silver sequins. A very good deal I feel! Thank you to Echo Falls for having me!