This December, thousands of style-hungry youngters ventured to the NEC in Birmingham to get a taste of the style stakes at the Clothes Show Live. Dressed up to the nines and rocking the pouty I'm-too-cool-for-school look, young girls lapped up the bargains and strutted their stuff round the numerous clothing stalls on the hunt for the latest fashion must-haves. http://www.clothesshowlive.com/
I was lucky enough to go to the Show for work purposes and witness the event all expenses paid, so with the promise of Z-list celebs and more shopping than you can shake a stick at, I jumped at the chance to go. So after sharing my train with excitable teens chatting loudly about their shopping ideas and gossiping about what 'that boy text me last night', I made my way to the NEC ready to brave the crowds.
After a wild goose chase and walking what seemed like miles, I eventually found the press office and got my pass for the day. Rubbing shoulders with George Lamb was an early highlight and after tearing myself away from his luscious streaky-grey mane, I headed straight for the Sknitch area – a section dedicated to handmade clothes and sewing demonstrations – and got my crafty hat on ready to indulge. As expected the area wasn't overflowing with budding fashionistas, but there was a big enough crowd to realise that this is a worthwhile market to dip into. Various stalls had sewing machines with young people showing off their skills, and there was even a section devoted to knitting called Knitting Rocks, which certainly gave the pastime a quirky, modernised image. Oxfam had their own stand, which also promoted the idea of make-do-and-mend, as well as other University stalls that were encouraging passers-by to get involved and tap into their creative side.
After a quick stop-over at the Diet Coke catwalk in association with Company magazine, which urged me not to opt for that extra chocolate treat, I heard a flutter of female screams and saw that Lucien guy from BB wondering around trying desperately to catch people's attention with his low cut top that provocatively showed off his well-toned man pecks. My brief celeb encounter made me secretly want more, so I kept my eyes peeled for the rest of the day. It paid off as well, as I came across Kieron Richardson who plays Ste in Hollyoaks and Zoe Birkett of Pop Idol fame, not exactly Barack Obama and Britney Spears (now that would've been good) but still a little slice of celebrity.
Overall the catwalk show was brilliant; beautiful outfits, lively music, quirky backdrops and funky lighting, not to mention the hot dancers who liked to flash a bit of flesh, and obviously was met with no objection from me. The clothes were the perfect balance between high-street and high-end and showcased a fantastic combination of all the latest trends. So stick me in a room with a few hundred fanatical trendy teens, half naked eye candy and clothing to make even an anti-shopper make a purchase, and I’m a very happy bunny.