Life: The Clothes Show 2015

10 December 2015

The Clothes Show 2015

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to head to The Clothes Show. Held at the NEC in Birmingham, the annual exhibition combines bargain-savvy shopping, celebrity spotting and catwalk chaos, and this year was sponsored by Alcatel One Touch. It has been said that 2015 was the year that The Clothes Show reinvented itself. The presence of some modern celebrities, from a myriad of reality shows certainly gave the event a bit of buzz. The opportunity to meet their idols was bound to be a selling point for a lot of teens and potential ticket holders. Amongst those fronting their clothing lines were Jamie Laing and Joey Essex, whom we managed to get a glimpse of, as well as Binky Felsted, Charlotte Crosby and Billie Faiers.

The Clothes Show 2015
Top: New Look | Cardigan: Primark | Leggings: Next | Boots: ASOS | Necklace: H&M | Satchel: Vintage

Although there were a lot of bloggers attending the event, most of them seemed to be going with friends and family, so I planned to have a girlie day with Mum. We arrived at the NEC fairly early as we had planned to check out the Clothes Show, then head into Birmingham for some dinner and shopping afterwards. After collecting my press ticket, we then headed to the press office to find out our time for the eagerly anticipated Alcatel One Touch Show. Unfortunately the only seats they seemed to have left were for the 4pm show, which rocked our plans slightly. After having spent the previous 3 hours travelling there, we were already shattered and we knew it'd be a miracle if we lasted until 4pm.

Nevertheless, we headed into the show, and took on the beauty section first as that was what I was most excited to see. Even though it was still really early, we found that most of the stands were already really busy. There was an actual queue system in place to even look at the NYX products, which was annoying, but now being available in Boots and Selfridges, I wasn't too worried. You had the usual drugstore brands, Rimmel, Barry M and Models Own, all swamped with youngsters eager to buy the £10 Goody Bags. These promotions seemed to have the desired effect, as the stands were buzzing with eager pre-teens, ready to hand over their money for a mystery selection of products. Discount or not, I'm fussy when it comes to my products, and I have already tried a lot of products from these brands so this wasn't something that appealed to me. Models Own did have some good offers on however, with 4 polishes for £10, but again the stand was so busy I didn't get the chance to pick any up. I'm not really a 'grab and go' girl when it comes to makeup shopping, it is a ritual that I like to take my time with, pondering, swatching and comparing my potential purchases.

The Clothes Show 2015 Spectrum Brushes
The Clothes Show 2015 Rimmel
The Clothes Show 2015 Natural Spa Factory

I was happy that I go the chance to chat to some lovely brands. The first stand we went to was The Natural Spa Factory, and it was the most memorable of the day. The ladies were so lovely, and the brand has some incredible looking salt scrubs and face masks. Rookie mistake not buying the bits I wanted at the start of the day, as when we tried to find the stand later we couldn't remember where it was! I think by that time, Mum and I were feeling a bit delirious, we were so so tired!

I was all kinds of eagle-eyed when it came to browsing brushes. Nanshy is a brand that had been on my radar for a while, so it was great to be able to see and feel the brushes in person. I decided I didn't need any more face brushes, but I did pick up an Angled Detailer Brush for my brows for £5. At the time I thought this was a massive bargain, but on later inspection, I found out I saved all of 95p. Good one Kirst... I also checked out super-cool brush brand Spectrum Collections, I really regretted not picking up any of their gorgeous brushes as they remind me of unicorns, mermaids and all things fabulous!

I also made a point of stopping by the Boozi Bodycare stand, a brand that I'd seen floating around social media for a while. I love fruity scents so their range really appealed to me, and after much debate, I picked up a Goody Bag with three Mango & Ginger Margarita products in there for £10, which was an absolute bargain. So far I've only tried out the body lotion but I can confirm that it is really lovely, I'm sure you'll be seeing it in a future favourites. I also have a hand cream and shower gel in the same scent, which I'm really excited to use. Finally, we picked up some amazing almond chocolates from MAXTRIS, proof that free food samples always get the sales.

Seeing as my photos are lovingly taken with the Olympus PEN EPL-7, I was excited about seeing the Olympus stage. We caught the end of a Style Studio presentation with Mark Heyes, which was really interesting, and then when we wandered over after lunch, we got the chance to see Andy Jordan perform. As well as being addicted to my Monday night Made in Chelsea fix, I have a few of Andy's tracks on my iPod and really like his laidback style. We were treated to a preview of a few new tracks, one with more of a jazzy vibe, as well as a cover of Avicii's Wake Me Up. Andy seemed like a genuinely lovely guy, and also spoke about his surfing culture-influenced clothing range, Jam Industries which he set up with his brother Mark. I've been lusting over this super soft white Apres tee, which I'm kicking myself for not picking up. But it's not like it's t-shirt weather anyway...

The Clothes Show 2015 Style
The Clothes Show 2015 Designer

Unfortunately me and Mum were both so exhausted and had to leave at around 2pm. I was a bit gutted that I wasn't able to go and see the Alcatel One Touch show, as it was the highlight of the day when I went to the Clothes Show a few years ago. It was annoying that Mum (who paid for her ticket) wasn't able to see the show she'd paid for, unless she were to go to her earlier show alone, so that was a bit of a waste of money, spending £30+ to enter a glorified shop. I felt like it would have been so much better if you were able to 'pre-book' your day and time for the show as a press ticket holder. If we'd had known known our time beforehand, we could have planned our day accordingly and only come for the afternoon. I don't necessarily think it is worth the full ticket price, especially when you are having to pay £10 for the goody bags on top of that. Maybe if we'd been able to see the show, I might be otherwise convinced.

In hindsight, The Clothes Show probably isn't the best way for a blogger to interact with a brand. It was lovely to chat to a few brand representatives, however there were so many that I wanted to check out but they were simply way too busy. Personally I wasn't prepared to wait 10 minutes to look at something only to find there was nothing worth buying. When I went over to some of the quieter brands hoping they'd have the time to chat through their products, there seemed to be this unsaid expectation that my interest would translate into a purchase, which made me feel uncomfortable. As a blogger I felt like a lot of the brands were there for the sales, and who could blame them? The Clothes Show is always going to be tailored to the consumer.

Have you been to The Clothes Show? 


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