Note: If you're reading this through RSS, you might not be able to see the videos!
I'm hiding in the back of a random computer lesson typing this in my break, finally a moment! First I have to say Hi to the readers I met in a club called Zoo on Thursday night! Oh the horrors of the drunken things that I must have said but it was very sweet and I hope to see you again! If you live in Manchester, Zoo is one of my favourite clubs on a Thursday!
The trip to London was a total whirlwind and even though a tonne of stuff happened, it went by in a flash! Prepare for a looooong post. I would get a cup of tea before reading! So I went down to London on Monday on the train and met the first of many super cool people, as I sat opposite a lady about to have dinner at the House of Commons, oolala! I'm sort of OK with maps and directions, well at least I thought I was, but the days proved otherwise! I got on one tube alright but the one I changed to was rammed! I should have noted that you shouldn't get a train in at 5 as I sat for ages waiting for them to empty a bit but every one had people squished up to the doors, so in the end after about half an hour I saw a little spot and jumped on, suitcase and all! In my waiting time though I was just people-watching and London is just too cool. It's like everyone is style conscious, for example say even the business men wear trench coats and have leather briefcases. I can't remember the last time I saw a man in a trench coat! Also I've carried my Luella bag around Manchester and Birmingham a million times and it's not a big deal but in London everyone's eyes go straight to your bag and your shoes. Bag spotting on the tube is super fun!
I stayed with Melissa who's at Queen Marys so Mile End was a kind of dodgy area but her halls are so nice! I wish I'd been able to live in a flat last year rather than on a corridor. On Monday night we walked in and walked out of a very empty party and watched Road Trip (we somehow always watch that). She went to some lectures in the morning and I headed to Covent Garden. I settled on my red strapless H&M dress with the vintage sailor collar, white ribbed tights (which were £1 in Primark- it pays to shortcut through there!) and the patent bow shoes, which lasted all day without hurting! It took me ages to find the Hilton which was so not in the place GoogleMaps said it was! I got there a little early and waited in the very posh reception while some business men next to me discussed very important things. My interview with Gok was at 1.05 so I was sent up to a little hotel room and could hear him talking inside! I wasn't sure whether to wait so I pondered for a second and the door opened and a Specsavers lady said come in. How surreal, the real life Gok Wan just sitting on a sofa!!!! There was a lady interviewing him and a few more waiting so I sat on a seat opposite him and he said Hi and I was thinking 'oooooh my gosh!'. He's a REALLY lovely guy, everyone who came in he said Hi to straight away and as he was answering questions he included everyone and kept looking over when he said things and it was so strange! When it was time for me he said 'Hi where are you from?' and I was like 'Oh ummm Birmingham?' and he said 'No which publication?' Ahhh it so showed that I was an amateur! As I maintained throughout the whole time I was there, I said I was a fashion blogger but really just a normal girl! The other interviewers had dictaphones but I recorded the sound on my camera and sort of angled it up sometimes, so there are some video clips but all of the sound. I asked him just random questions as, while I was waiting, the other interviewers asked loads about glasses and geek chic and I didn't need to ask him the same, although he does have 160 pairs! I think I sound really funny as I was very nervous and a bit overwhelmed! Also, I couldn't stop smiling! The best bit was when I asked him what he was wearing on the night and he said 'Do you want to see?' and took me round the corner into his bedroom and showed me his McQueen tux and YSL boots! I wandered away feeling so crazy, just thinking goooosh Gok Wan?! He's just lovely and so kind and without doubt it was one of the highlights of my life! As I recorded the sound I was holding my camera so I've cut some bits out as they're of just my hands or really wobbly. The start has some dark bits still but the pink gaps only last around 20 seconds each. Watch for the end to see his outfit! Also the Specsavers lady and Gok mentioned my bag too, it's paid for itself in compliments!
I knew I'd have some time after my interview because I'd booked hair and makeup appointments quite late in the day so I had a brainwave of what to do...Some googling found that Catwalk Queen and Kiss and Makeupand all the Shiny blogs come from the Shiny Towers, which is right near Covent Garden so I arranged to pop in for a bit! I'm so glad I did because it was so great!! The offices are in this super sleek glass building with lots of different companies and sites in different corners and rooms, all typing away. It was like blogging heaven! Gemma and Isabelle are SO lovely! Isabelle and I had a chat over a cup of tea as Gemma had to meet someone for a little while and then we all chatted about blogging and fashion and London. It was amazing to talk to people who know all about blogging! We definitely geeked out with our blogging chats. Also I saw the patterned wall where they take all the pictures and film videos! I videoed a few questions with them so I might do a post with their answers for people interested in getting to the fashion industry, but they might hopefully be for the student newspaper!
I had to quickly leave at 4 to head to MAC. If you book a makeover there for £25, you get £25 worth of products and, as I didn't buy any new clothes or shoes for the event (shockingly!), I thought it was a good idea! I think my makeup was done by a girl called Christine and she was totally amazing. I told her I was going to the event and said 'just go crazy!'. There's no point in going to a makeup artist and having something normal! She asked me what colour I was wearing and what sort of thing I would like and I was just told her to do whatever she wanted! She used about a million different coloured eye shadows and liners and blushers and did these amazing pink and purple eyes which made mine look really blue and then a crazy hot pink blusher that sort of came from the eye shadow, it was wild! Loads of people in the little store were looking and the other makeup artists ere coming over and commenting, it was great! I would definitely go to the one on Neal Street and ask for Christine (or maybe it was Christina?), she has dyed bright red/pink hair! I wish I had a better photo of the finished look but the day was so full that it was hard enough just navigating to each place!
My eyes can be a bit sensitive so while they were being lined they kept watering! I had to hurry to my Toni and Guy appointment as I was already half an hour late (woops!) and again it was totally not in the right place on the map! So I was rushing around London, eyes watering, with this crazy bright makeup! I booked appointments before I went down to London and knew what a Toni and Guy salon would be like so booked the nearest one; it turned out to be the best idea! When I left MAC people on the street were looking at me and saying 'look at her makeup' but over the afternoon it sort of settled, or maybe my eyes just got used to it, and looked even better! Again I just said to the hair stylist that I was going to an event and sort of vaguely described that I wanted something straight but curly with lots of volume? She went to work and even washed my hair twice because the first time just wasn't right, and I was just went with the flow. She blow-dried sections and then curled them up, then undid them and back-combed some bits and pined some, and it was great! It turned out a bit Cheryl Cole-ish, sort of 60's with curled ends, the best hair style I've ever had done! It's lasted from Tuesday until now, which is Sunday, and is still the same! Again the stylists were coming over and watching as I had this big hair and crazy makeup and on the way back to Melissa's people on the tube were looking a lot.
I had a quick change into my vintage dress actually from Rumi of Fashion Toast's shop, Treasure Chest Vintage about a year ago! It was just an impulse ebay buy before I even knew she had a blog and I've worn it only few times as, even though it's a bit dressy for a club, it fits perfectly! It has a lace boned bodice and minty satin skirt with a big bow at the back. My thinking before choosing outfits for the day was that just because something is new, it doesn't mean it's better than anything you already have. When I was thinking about my wardrobe I remembered the and it just seemed perfect. Also I was about to buy some new shoes and if the SA hadn't disappeared into thin air in Office and I had 10 minutes left of my lunch break, I would have bought some. I thought I had absolutely no shoes suitable and then remembered this vintage lilac pair, about 4 inches high with perspex bows on the front. Outfit sorted!
I trekked all the way back to Covent Garden on the tube and got there just as people were going into the awards at around 8pm. The Hilton is gorgeous, all marble floor and glass doors, I think the awards were in a ball room. I had a green wristband and sat in the rows of chairs alongside the catwalk while the celebs sat at tables on raised balconies around the sides. It was extremely surreal to be there. The awards were for a competition held all over Europe to find a spectacle model and give them a modeling contract, among other prizes. The finalists were introduced and there were loads! My favourite was a girl with fabulous rich, red hair, how biased! Celeb spectacle wearers were given awards and then the finalists all walked down the catwalk modeling glasses in New Look clothes no less. As the judges at the end of the catwalk went off to decide the winners, there was an auction for the charity of the night, Kidscape. Gok Wan is their ambassador and he did his best to pump the bids out of the guests, even I was tempted to call out a four figure sum just for fun! There must have been many rich people there as bids for a session with Gok, a Jasper Conran suit and dinner with Rod Steward and Penny Lancaster all raised bids of thousands! I videoed most of it as it was a crazy sight, mounting in Penny Lancaster coming on stage to bargain with two women, one who I think was Gok's agent, out of £10,000 each! They played a heartbreaking video of children who the charity have helped who have been severely bullied and the money raised will go to sessions with more children. Lastly, the judges came back and Gok announced the winner, he loved that power! Sofie Jama from Denmark won 1st place; very much deserved as she was STUNNING, with the most perfect smile and figure! By now the audience were very merry from champagne, these awards were not a strict formal affair, everyone was cheering and chatting and having a good time! I was sitting there thinking 'gosh where am I!' It was crazy to be there!
As the awards finished, people started getting up and going in the room through the glass doors where the after-party was held. It was another grand room with a square bar in the centre, a huge picture of Gok on the wall and lots of celebs. There's a clip of it at the end of the video just as people were coming back in when the awards had just finished. I sort of assessed the situation (as you do) and thought 'right, I know no one, the world is my oyster!'. I know people who won't go to a bus stop by themselves but I quite like being on your own as then you have to mingle and end up chatting to people you wouldn't have if you'd stuck with someone. I went to the bar and found now green wristband people didn't have the free bar and a glass of champagne was £6. That's seriously cheap for champagne at the Hilton so I quickly popped to the loo, checked hair and makeup, went and got a glass and worked the room! Haha well I tried! It was fabulous really, everyone there was something to do with the media which, for an unknown person like me, is a marvy! I stood for a minute as the room got packaged and the DJ started playing tunes and then just went over to nearby people and said hi! Everyone was very friendly and after a while I met Owen and Niall from the show Loose Women who were very funny and my friends for the night! They had gold wristbands too so could get free drinks! I had a LOT of champagne.
A little bit into the night, a man came through the crowd and asked if he could take my photo. He had a big, fancy camera so I said yes, quite a few people were taking photos of me as I think they thought I was in the show or at least someone important as I had my fancy hair and makeup! A shout out to the people from Real People magazine if they're reading this far! A lady with the man took my name and I asked what it was for and lets just say they were from a preeetty popular magazine! I won't jinx it as they don't tend to put too many non-celeb people in there but I'm so hoping it will be in there!
My friends asked why I didn't get photos with the celebs around and the answer is that I was having too much of a good time! I'm not really a show-off-y person so didn't spend lots of time hunting for facebook photo opportunities! I met loads of lovely people though, Hi to the ladies in the toilets who were avoiding an old Scottish man too! There were lots of nice guys there though and certain editors are seeeriously forward...! I met a hot ex footballer too who kept looking over during the awards and in the end just went up to myself. Like I was saying to some random boys on the bus on the way back from a club a few days ago, guys are very shy nowadays! But hey, that's another rant! Back to the awards, I mingled lots and danced and met so many marvy people, here's a photo of Owen and Niall to finish! They are very cool. In the end I left at midnight! Now I must let my fingers rest as I started this post on Friday and it's now Sunday! All in all, I had a SUPER marvy time, met a hell of a lot of fabulous people and it was a totally surreal experience! I would love to live in London, I'm super jealous that Melissa goes to uni there! A huge thanks to the Specsavers people for inviting me!! There's also video on their site to give a better idea of what the event was like compared to my shaky videos!