Monday, 13 December 2010

Clothes Show Live

It was an early morning for Fashionstrand as we took the train to Birmingham International Station for Clothes Show Live 2010, the girls day out held at the NEC, with stalls upon stalls of clothing and a fashion theatre where fashion and dance are fused with celebrity guests and musicians. The presenters on the day we went along were George Lamb and Caryn Franklin. We had a cheeky catch-up with George back stage, where we found out he was of course wearing A.Sauvage, but hadn't been blessed with dough balls as on his last visit to Birmingham. Below is our review of Clothes Show Live...   

So this year Clothes Show decided to offer something a little different, the 'Sknitch Zone'. Promising hands-on experiences in everything sewing and knitting, we thought it sounded like a refreshing change to the usual stalls. We had a wander round and thought the concept was great, however, if we're completely honest, we were a little disappointed when we found it sparse in visitors and severely lacking in energy. That's not to say we lost heart in the woolen department, as we stumbled across Susan Crawford, the recently-published vintage-knitter.

 We had a good rifle through the delicate hand knits displayed on Susan's stand, which were all inspired by the classic femininity that Susan loves, such as the women you see in old films. Susan's love affair with vintage knitting stems from her past; she told us she started wearing vintage as a teenager, even though this wasn't as popular a way of dressing as it is nowadays, also it's a past time which she first shared with both of her nans (maybe it's genetic).Susan has co-written a book of kitting patterns, 'A Stitch In Time', so that anyone can recreate the look. If you've got the time and patience, it's well worth a look, whilst if you need more persuading to pick up the needles, it will instantly be done when you visit her blog.

The second gorgeous stand we stopped by in the Sknitch Zone was The London Bead Company. The shoes pictured above were customised with the glittering swarovski crystals by owner, Alex Kidd, whilst we spoke about the gadget she was using. Anyone can by one and recreate this effect for themselves in a flash, as all you do it pick up the bead with the little iron, and press it onto any surface apart from vinyl or leather, genius. The London Bead Company is based in London, ofcourse, but you can order online at their website. We think one of the crystal-stickers and a pouch of the little gems would make you a very popular present giver this Christmas, so take a look!
The Red Carpet catwalk, in association with OK! Magazine showcased dresses fit for each of the red carpet events we all dream of attending. We found there was a diverse range of styles, many gorgeous, although a few seemed quite dated... we'll let you make your own mind up from our shots below.

The Clothes Show holds a variety of competitions, which is really great as it attracts so many young people hoping to pursue careers in the fashion industry, and gives them a platform upon which to be noticed. One of the competitions is Young Designer of the Year, this year's brief was to 'design a dress, drawing inspiration from the country across the world that most inspires you.'

We spoke to Shivani Chavda, who was announced as the winner at the show. The country in which her inspiration lay was China. From here, she looked at flowers and beliefs, painting peach blossoms in ink, then blowing them up and working with them on the body for a 'modern edge'. We thought the dress was really interesting, composed of a neoprene body-con mini and a floating ink-flowered under-structured layer on top, it's movement with the body reminiscent of a Chinese dragon. As a fashion student in her third year as De Monfort University, Shivani told us her £1000 prize will be going straight into her major project! 

This year, the Clothes Show Live Catwalk took on the theme of a night at the movies, taking us on a tour of style inspired by all genres on the big screen. New boy band Inju5tice performed 'All the Money' and 'celebrity' guests to the stage were reality stars from The Only Way is Essex.
Audience members who screamed the loudest were awarded a goody bag for their efforts by male models. We can't explain how much the one on the right loved himself, he may be pretty but at the end of the day, George makes him look of measly height...
A Hollywood themed walk kicked off the show, set to 'Diamonds are Forever', Bond Girls prowled the runway. Russian hats, capes, maxis, leather, Fur, blazers and satchels were all hits.

High School Musical was the inspiration for the second installment - preppy, big bows (ahem, Louis Vuitton) red and white, varsity jackets, 1950's influences, jocks, one pieces (apparently set to be big, we're not backing them however), American flags, tartan, knee high socks, and geek chic with books as the main accessory!

Next, we were transported to the Wild West - high-waisted denim paired with checked shirts, folksy dresses, boho, feathers, head dresses, floral prints, a-line skirts, camel coats, faux fur gilets, pale green, and ofcourse, shearling.

The Fairytale Romance walk was opened with a beautiful ballet dance! Once the audience had stopped swooning, we saw embellished dresses, exaggerated shapes, more feathers, maxi, everything floaty and girly, puff ball hems, silk satin, and capes on the runway, all bound to bring out the Snow White in each of us.

The Science Fiction theme was very imaginative, as you can see! Kylie was the soundtrack to the models' futuristic performance. Key elements were silver and white, bodysuits, cut-outs, exaggerated upper halves, and armour, all giving the impression of cosmic warrior.
Horror mystery channeled the vampire craze, with bow ties, a dark red riding hood look, leather jackets, body-con, black gloves, leotards, red and black, high waisted skirts with bralets, leopard prints, faux fur, and black shiny circle skirt- similar to those seen at Henry Holland SS11.
The show had an energetic finale, with sequins and six packs.
So now we're going to be completely honest. We didn't like everything. The thing with Clothes Show Live is that there's hundreds of stalls, and a disappointing amount of them are either nothing to do with fashion, stocking badly made clothing, or manned by women making you feel bad because you won't buy the £10 goodie bag they're thrusting upon you. It's such a huge space to fill, but we just think if the selection process of exhibitors was down to more than just profit, it would make for a far better experience. 
But of course it wasn't all bad, we really enjoyed the 45 minute performance in the Fashion Theatre, as spectators saw reams of well-styled outfits on the catwalk. If more of the stalls were as inspiring as this, we'd without question, have called this a perfect girls' day out.

1 comment:

  1. When I was a teenager the Clothes Show was the best thing to happen to us all year (I'm from Staffordshire), bigger than christmas! And everyone I knew went and we'd compare buys back at school for days after. I still think the show they put on looks like a great effort, but the shopping opportunities don't really seem to have been updated since I last went. Having said that I got a tweed coat there years ago, possibly Firetrap (don't judge) which I loved more than anything else Ive ever bought. I always regret getting rid of it, then the other week I saw a girl wearing it round Brick Lane. Sob. Bring back the magic of the Clothes Show!