Stylist Magazine, a free London based weekly magazine, hosted their first #StylistLive last week – an exhibition of food, fashion, books, and beauty. I bought myself a ticket for this on the first day they went on sale, back when 2015 was still a very young year. As with most things I am really excited about going to I just couldn’t sleep the night before (I can’t wait to be ‘adult’ enough for this to stop happening to me). Also, and this is a massive confession, I got to London’s Business Design Centre an hour before they whole shindig opened. AN HOUR.
Amazingly there was one woman who reached even earlier.
When I bought myself a ticket I chose a standard entry one for the Friday. However after entering a competition I managed to get my ticket upgraded to a VIP one! A VIP ticket gets you everything a standard one does along with a VIP goody bag, entrance to one of the paid for talks, front row seats to the fashion show, and of course access to the lounge. The first thing I did was check myself into the lounge and drop my bag and coat off. Then, because I could I decided to get my nails painted.
Apart from various beauty treatments there was also food on offer. So much food. Salads, strawberries dipped in chocolates, and so many snacks. Coconut water was on tap as was alcohol and actual tap water. It was brilliant and as the day progressed an amazing refuge and place to put my feet up and drop off my shopping.
The day was full of talks and I attended two. One was with Nic and Sam Chapman, the founders of Pixiwoo all about their brand and how the digital age allowed them to have a successful and profitable career, and the second was with Lorriane Pascal who spoke about having the confidence to quit something in order to do something you really like. Both were informative and entertaining.
The rest of the day was spent with Emma, she of FitFoodEmma who also won VIP tickets for the Friday (go the pair of us) and we wondered about the exhibition all shopping and looking at everything we passed. I didn’t spend as much as I thought but I did buy a stunning necklace from Toolally and a bracelet from Swarovski (shhhh…no one knows about the latter yet).
I can’t tell you all how much I wanted this bottle of oil. After having tried it I fell head over heels in love. The smokiness and depth of flavour really came through plus the bottle is possibly the best colour in the world. Sadly it was £17.50 so I took another sample and out the bottle back down.
What I sadly didn’t take a picture of was Pukka’s stand. Massive, beautiful and full of tea. I left with so much tea and they were so generous with samples that I not only bought enough to last a year or so but I also left with enough samples to last another year.
Fashion also played a major part in the day no more so than in the fashion show. Curated by the Stylist Fashion Team the show focussed on 5 themes they think are going to be massive for AW15. In descending order they are:
- Sweet & Sour (my absolute favourite) – a clash of colours;
- Supercharged Tweed – tweed but not as we know it;
- Period Drama – think lace and velvet and ruffles;
- Décor Dressing – inspiration from wallpaper prints and carpets;
- 80s glam – sparkles, shoulder pads, and lots of silver.
Everything on the catwalk was from high street stores and I have already compiled a mental shopping list of everything I want (come on Christmas sales, hurry up).
In conjunction with Ford Stylist were also running a competition to find the best stylist. At one point Emma and I ended up at the Ford stage were one of the contestants was showcasing her looks for the above theme.
The stylist’s name was Sarah Mickaela and on Sunday when the winner was announced she was it! I am not surprised – the clothes she chose were stunning and I want them all. Especially the velvet body and vintage skirt.
Waterstones were also in residence and hosting a whole load of signings. I had to really restrain myself and only allowed myself to leave with two signed books, Mary McCartney’s At My Table and Nina Stibbe’s Man at the Helm (which is possibly the funniest book ever). Because VIP-ers get a goody bag I had a lot of fun when I got home unpacking everything and seeing exactly what I ended up with.
Brands were so generous – there were discounts everywhere and vouchers all of the place. Free samples were also flying about all over the place. I loved that because the brands Stylist curated were all fabulous and all expensive. Next year (and I really hope there is a next year) I would love to see a wider variety of price points and more affordable items. The only other thing I would love to see are petite models on the catwalk. Stylist used WOCs (woohoo) so no complaints there at all – I would just love to know how that midi skirt would look on someone my height without having to imagine it or buy the item, try it on, and then return it when I drown in it.
I thought about this and I don’t know if I would have spent the better part of £100 on a VIP ticket if I hadn’t won it. I was very glad to have won an upgrade because it is a lot of money. This doesn’t change the fact that it was a brilliant day or that I had a lot of fun or that I will be going next year.