Sunday, 14 December 2014

Clothes Show Live, The Exhibition | lifestyle

Last week I was lucky enough to attend CSL 2014 and report back on what I found. I have been a huge fan of the Clothes Show for years and can't believe it was probably over 10 years ago I first set foot into the exhibition hall, so I was pretty excited to see how it has evolved since I was last there. 

After collecting out passes we headed straight to the Health and Beauty section of the arena, I think is the best place to pick up some amazing deals you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. We were immediately met with a Clothes Show classic, the goody bag, this is the kind of deal I was referring to, a one off payment for a selection of some of your favourite beauty picks with some surprises thrown in there too and there are many brands to choose from and at that price you see almost everyone has decided CSL isn't about choosing and as a result are weighed down with swag before lunch time.

It was really great to see the arena filled with so many people so early on, especially on the opening day of the show. The Clothes Show is definitely unique in it's audience and has been for as long as I can remember and this remained to be true this year, mothers and daughters, groups of college friends, couples in their twenties and even the odd three generation trio, but my favourite thing is that groups as young at 12/13 can explore the show of their own without any worries as there is so much to see under one roof including places to relax and eat. I think because that was my first experience of CSL it will always hold a little nostalgia for me, but as you start to explore Fashion and Beauty around that age, it's great to feel like you have freedom.

Trying to resist the urge to spend all of the money I am saving for Christmas we headed away from the Health and Beauty to a section I had never explored before, the university and college exhibitions. After my initial excitement of seeing the Condé Naste stand and trying to remain calm when talking to a real life human who works there, I loved seeing the creativity and talent of so many young people and that something like Clothes Show Live gives them the opportunity to showcase that.

After seeing the process behind the awesome designs from so many young people, we stopped for a break at the Image Catwalk, selected students had been given the chance to put together a catwalk show displaying their collections. Select Model Management had offered some of their models up to walk in the show and the whole package looked so professional, I was so impressed with the quality of the garments and the production of the show, it was a great appetiser to the main show later in the day.

It was hard to not want to head to where the Clothes Show all began, the Fashion hall after watching the Image Catwalk so that's exactly what we did. Another feature you can always rely on at CSL is the independent shops, as much as the bigger brands come with bells and whistles, this year a huge trend was using a bus for the shop, if you take the time to search through the little stands you may find a great bargain or truly unique item. I'll be honest the swarms of people in such a small area and the displays some stalls choose to put out can be a little off putting, but the crowds are part of the experience and the displays aren't always a true representation of what you can find so dig right in, you may be surprised.

The hustle and bustle felt in the main hall all day with a constant hum of talking and music mixed with a few inconspicuous cheers lend to an amazing atmosphere, one that you need to keep your energy up throughout the day. It's a great experience and make the most of the freebies from refreshment stands such as Starbucks and Lambrini as you explore because they're the little things that make the whole experience better. Also make the most of the catwalks around the hall, not only was there the Image Catwalk, there was also a Designer Catwalk, you will get a great up close view and you never know who you'll see. We caught a show by Sibling, an chic and edgy knit brand who have designer for Beyoncé recently and just the day before the show sold to Harry Styles.

I am going to leave Day 1 as the main show deserves a whole post to itself. There is also another major element to CSL that I have left out of this post so look out for those coming up if you are thinking of heading to the Clothes Show next year.

Until next time, 



*Thanks to Bec for coming with me and taking photos of me awkwardly posing in front of thousands of people.

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