Happy New Year for Body Diversity
Well that’s it... Good bye to 2016 and 28 years of Clothes Show Live at Birmingham NEC but hello to 2017 British Style Collective in Liverpool- this summer (more about that to come another time)!
Clothes Show Live has been a ‘pre-Christmas must,’ in my life for nearly three decades not least because it’s a lovely working week with great people and so I am feeling a little nostalgic.
This year the final event felt like the best goodbye possible to our friends in Birmingham NEC.
Our Style Expert Studio sponsored by Olympus Penn this year was a great place to interview guests like Grace Victory a mental health and body-image blogger who spoke with huge passion and empathy to the young women in the audience. The audience hung on her every word as they did for Jack Ayres the first amputee Fashion Week model who was clearly building a following as he celebrated his physical capabilities and revelled in the title of Body Image Warrior. My thanks to Models of Diversity for introducing us.
The massive catwalk show in the Alcatel Theatre played to audiences of 6 thousand per show throughout the week. These are always a huge draw. I was particularly thrilled with this year's inclusion of a variety of model shapes as part of our new stance to reflect more realistic body shapes. Standard and curvy models this year herald a new understanding of what our audience needs to see on the part of management. YAY.
I have been gently agitating for change for many years (as if you didn’t know). This year all my ducks were in a row and new management at top level allowed for a more adventurous approach. Also I have just finished my psychology masters. The studies I found support my assertion that body diversity is the way to go. I'm better at explaining why models should reflect more realistic body ideals now.
I'm sure we will get positive feedback about this initiative...we have to... it's the way to go. But huge congratulations to our stylist Karl Willett and show director Andy Turner, for making this show the best event yet.
Part of the fun is stopping to chat and find out who is doing what (or more to the point who is writing what fashion blog). Everyone it seems, is putting digital pen to paper and I'm always happy to strike a pose!
I also got he chance to meet new designers and look over their work. The Clothes Show Live has always been the perfect place to get customer feedback.
And let’s not forget the convenient shopping – Christmas and birthday gifts and err... clothing bargains for me (my Pringle hand knitted dress for £80 is still a favourite).
This year the designs of Joey D caught my eye in particular. A Scottish designer working with upcycled fabrics and military designs to give them a sharp urban cool, I should have moved quicker to spend, spend, spend. I fully intended to re-visit the store during the week but it got busier and busier. Good to hear all the models back stage talking about this designer though - lots of them treated themselves to his customised jackets.
Amazing sustainable clothes and funky one off designs...I didn't buy. I must be losing my touch.