Review: The Clothes Show

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This post has actually been written for  my friend Amy’s fashion blog (vintagereflection.wordpress.com) and will be appearing on there as well. It’s a great blog with a focus on street style and vintage stuff which Amy knows all about so be sure to have a look! I’ll be doing editorial stuff over on the Vintage Reflection blog from time to time so will keep you updated.

The Clothes Show Live, which was at Birmingham NEC from December 5th to 9th this year, is the perfect opportunity for anyone who loves fashion to soak up the latest trends. Filled to the brim with every item of clothing, bags, make up and accesories you could ever hope to have, it’s the ideal place to treat yourself or to buy Christmas presents for your friends, mom, sister, in fact anyone who loves fashion. However, seen as I’m not being paid to advertise the place, I’d have to throw in the criticism that, despite there being a whole host of male models in the fashion show, very few of the stalls in the main area were directed at male clothing (I think I saw two in all).

Plenty of the big names such as Motel, Barry M, Paul’s Boutique etc. had stalls people were literally queuing to get into, but those prepared to search could pick up some real vintage gems from smaller, specialist stalls. The main attraction of the day was, of course, the fashion show which was on throughout the event and was – quite literally – out of this world. With eight different scenes, guiding the packed theatre through a winter wonderland to the office party, to those festive undies and nightwear, all interspersed with brilliant dancing, it really was a feast for the eyes.

It’s hard to pick out a favourite section, as all of the dancers and models really performed meaning it was not only a fashion show, it was a really enjoyable hour where visitors completely lost themselves in the Christmas magic – helped along by the brilliant choices in music ranging from traditional Christmas carols to Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’, with a lovely Bat for Lashes cover of Kings of Leon ‘Use Somebody’ which two dancers did a ballet sequence to (sounds bizarre but was actually enthralling).

The section featuring pyjamas really made you want to go home and throw on your cosy winter warmers, with fleecy bottoms being teamed with huge coats, snoods and cosy Ugg-type boots. The ‘office party’ section featured sparkles, sparkles and more sparkles, hopefully tempting people to throw off their inhibitions and dare to dazzle at their Christmas party. It proved that going that one shade bolder or throwing on something glittery really can work, especially as the shops are absolutely packed full of these types of clothes. Those with a shyer nature could perhaps try a bolder eyeshadow whereas disco divas can really work those sequinned dresses this season. When else do you have an excuse to go absolutely over the top glam?

One of the last scenes featured dramatic red and black outfits, you can never be too dramatic and the bold colours usually saved for Hallowe’en really worked against the backdrop of dancers. A strong colour palette is definitely something to think about when considering your winter wardrobe and there is definitely no excuse to stick to just black. Bold colours such as red can be used to contast against the black but another prominent colour throughout the show was cream – especially reflected in coats and accessories. Cream isn’t as stark as white but is a beautiful colour for winter and can also be carried through into spring for those concerned about having to buy a whole new wardrobe once the weather heats up.

The overall theme of the fashion theatre was: go bold, go glam but stay warm! Jackets and coats, along with those all-important layers, were prominent through the show proving that covering up isn’t an excuse to go dowdy. Once again, the shops are packed full of beautiful coats, there’s definitely no excuse to stick to that boring black coat and it’s worth splashing a bit more cash on that perfect coat as it really will last until you get bored of it.

Disappointly, there was no sign of the face of the show Roxanne McKee (who played Louise in Hollyoaks), but I did get a chance to get close to one of the style icons of this decade, Fearne Cotton. Proving to me that she looks just as good in the flesh and needs little airbrushing for photo shoots, Fearne looked fabulous in a black and white stripy long top with brown boots and sparkly leggings. The leggings really brightened up what would otherwise have been a fairly ordinary outfit but they gave it the edge. Using fake lashes and a bright red lipstick to compliment her wavy hair, she looked perfect for a day like that but the leggings could be used with a more dressy top and shoes plus some accessories for a party or night out.

So overall, the day was well worth it and something not to be missed when it’s right on the doorstep, as well as giving hints and tips for the winter season, you could really get lost in the Christmas magic and I certainly came away feeling refreshed and ready to hit those Christmas parties!

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