I've been to The Clothes Show pretty much every year for the past few years. Grabbing my girls every December and heading for Birmingham for a day involving clothes, makeup, hunky models [did I just say hunky?!] and celebrities, it's my kinda heaven! I've always had a great day and with Birmingham only about an hour away on the train, it's always been an ideal day out!
This year I was invited along as press.
Whereas I usually head over with friends, I was oddly excited to be going alone. It's not often I get any time to myself, so the thought of a relaxing train journey to Birmingham, a walk around the stalls that I wanted to look at, hang around and stare at the celebrities I wanted to hang around and stare at and just generally do my thing, was exciting!
Held annually at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre since the early 90's, the event is based around a fashion catwalk show showcasing the latest trends and usually include appearances from celebrities and live performances from popular bands/singers. The exhibition centre is filled with pop-up fashion and beauty stalls, and glamorous boutiques for you to shop 'til your hearts content at discounted prices, with food stalls, pamper lounges, paparazzi pens [I'm not the only one that loves a celebrity right?] and smaller runway shows with interviews with a few famous peeps running constantly throughout the day.
There is SO much to do.
I snapchatted throughout the day, but if you didn't see my story [you mean you're not following me on Snapchat?!] let me fill you in on my day.
When I first arrived, I headed for the bloggers and press bar where I was treated to a bra fitting from the lovely ladies at Freya Lingerie who presented me with a fab little goody big with a gorgeous little purple babydoll before I was whisked off to the Alcatel Fashion Theatre for the first catwalk showing of the day.
The 2016 show, named 'Rock The Runway' featured over 40 international models and dancers presenting high street favourites and AW16 trends, as well as newly discovered talent in the form of Daecolm and Charlotte OC. It was a great show and all presented by Made in Chelsea's very own Jamie Laing.
I hadn't eaten all day so after popping to one of the snack bars for a quick drink and a yummy pastry, I was ready to hit the stalls and there were some great brands this year. Over 350 stalls altogether, with brands such as Nanshy, Barry M, Flamingo Candles, Mark Hill, Paul's Boutique, David & Goliath, Bomb Cosmetics, Models Own, Punky Fish, Waist Shaper UK, Lee Stafford and In The Style to name just a few. And high end designers had their own little boutique lane for the likes of Religion and Bolongaro Trevor.
I'm a big fan of In The Style so it wasn't long before I'd made my first purchase and picked up two jumpers at an amazing discounted price. I also picked up some underwear and aftershave as Christmas presents and was enjoying wandering around checking out all the fab beauty and hair bits, fashion stalls and having a nosey at everything going on.
Whilst mooching around I managed to do a little celeb spotting in the form of TOWIE ledge Pete Wicks and Judge Geordie & CBB fitty Alex Cannon. And I managed to bump into the super lovely Jamie Laing in his Candy Kittens store. I refrained from spending a small fortune on lounge wear this year and stuck to a bag of their amazing gourmet sweets instead.
After all, you can't visit The Clothes Show without coming home with a bag of Candy Kittens or two!
I knew I needed to stock up on Popbands while I was there, as they're my favourite hair bands! I came across them a few years ago at The Clothes Show, cute hair ties that don't snag your hair, leave any bumps plus look super cute on your wrist when not in use. I've been using them ever since.
I also knew I wanted to check out the Spectrum stand. I had heard from friends that they had brush sets at amazing prices. Apparently everyone else heard the same, as the stand was constantly busy throughout the day. I spent a good half hour pushing through the crowds looking, feeling and generally fan girling over the brushes, attempting to make a decision over which set I wanted.
The struggle is real when deciding between pretty colours and the brush use!
As always, I loved my day out at The Clothes Show and I was actually really pleased with the amount of fantastic brands they had this time, better than previous years I'd say!
But The Clothes Show is moving!
Rebranding as the British Style Collective, this year sees it moving to Liverpool. Set across five of the city's most iconic locations, the British Style Collective is set to take over Liverpool from 7-9 July 2017 and they are labelling it the fashion and beauty event of the year!
I'll be honest, on a personal level I'm slightly gutted about the move, as Birmingham has always been such an great location for me but I'm hoping I get to visit if I can!
And I don't blame them, Liverpool is an AMAZING city!
Plus moving the date to the middle of the year is a great idea. No more money guilt when I spend a small fortune a few weeks before Christmas!!