I am the hugest ever fan of Stylist. It's free, but very hard to get hold of as I never seem to be around when they distribute it. I usually end up with a 2nd or 3rd hand manky copy someone drops on the floor. That's how hardcore I am, I actually pick it up from the pavement in order to rifle through a copy. I used to have the app which downloaded the new issue straight to my phone but it ended up using so much memory I had to delete it. Anyhow, I like the paper version so much more; I can linger over the pages without squinting.
I was one of the first to secure tickets for this much-anticipated event back in the summer when they were first released. Could. Not. Wait.
On Friday morning I met G outside the Business Design Centre in Islington. We were there before doors opened along with other die-hard Stylist fans. We were given fabric 'goody' bags on entering and a voucher for free bubbly.
On entering we walked through a giant version of the Stylist front cover, presumably the effect is of one literally walking into the magazine itself. Clever.
The hugest sponsors of the show were right there at the front; Nars, Ford, Swarovski and Aveda (Aveda had a big stand in the middle of the hall). They undoubtedly had the biggest stands. Being such omnipresent brands this didn't interest us as much as finding more niche exhibitors.
I guess if I'm honest I was a little underwhelmed in what was on offer on the exhibition floor. There were some niche brands of clothing, jewellery and stationary, but I was expecting to see far more variation in products on offer. There was very little on offer in terms of homeware and food, and the price brackets for a lot of stands were pretty high. Fine jewellery, custom-made shoes, stunning stationary (gorgeous, but let's face it, a bit useless) and some expensive accessories boutiques. If there were show discounts or perks available then these were not advertised that clearly overall.
I bought one thing, a very pretty little necklace by Finchittida, a jewellery brand I'd never encountered before. The basis of their designs is perspex, except it doesn't look like perspex. The designs were imaginative, creative and extremely beautiful and I really wanted to try on everything. There was a gold perspex crown which I just HAD to try on. Crowns really need to become a 'thing'.... everyone needs a crown. I learnt that it was a huge injustice that I do not currently own a crown. I will definitely consider the possibility of commissioning Finchittida to make me one of their custom-made £150 crowns. Yes I will, Mr P.
|Custom-made crown by Finchittida. I would have uploaded the photo of me wearing it but I look like such a goofball because I was so freaking happy that it didn't really do justice to the regality of the thing!|
For me the main event was attending the talk by Pixiwoo. I love Pixiwoo. They (their videos, I mean) kept me company in the lonely Brussels days and formed the basis of my make-up
I found the talk interesting and the sisters themselves are very engaging individuals, easy to like and actually a little bit shy. The problem was the layout of the staging. We were all seated on one level at the front, the stage was not that high and when they sat down they couldn't be seen. They needed to be on taller seats, like bar stools so they were raised up. I wanted to take photos of them together during the interview but my view was totally blocked by the sea of audience in front of me.
|Sam Chapman explaining shadow sticks|
The main draws for the whole 4 day event were all the talks and demonstrations which were timetabled throughout the days. Appearances by various authors, chefs, TV personalities and the Stylist team themselves. Quite a few of the 'learning labs' were filled up quickly as they were free events with limited space, proving just how much interest there was, especially on the journalism related topics. Next year perhaps Sylist should consider offering a multi-day ticket for those who want to attend talks which are scheduled on other days. I would have dearly loved to have seen Nigella and Lisa Eldridge but my ticket was only for the day they were not there.
The catwalk show was great fun and was definitely one of the highlights. It was a catwalk of affordability, ie, high street fashion, creatively put together and pretty inspiring. They showcased five trends, my favourite being the Period Drama trend because obviously that's what would go best with the crown
|The Sweet & Sour trend, pastels and neons|
Anyway, the inner tart in me wants these shoes....
|Topshop silver dress|
One of the more fun, slightly gimmicky experiences on offer was the Swarovski photo 'booth' experience. We got to wear lots of gorgeous Swarovski jewellery and pose for a 7 second film which was turned into a tiny flickbook. G and I mucked about for 7 seconds and came away with an adorable memory for a lifetime. It was a pretty cute way to close our day, which despite the small niggles, was really a fabulous day out.
One day though, one day...... and when I am I will be wearing that crown!