Thursday, 8 September 2011

I Am In Vogue

I live to breathe - Beauty and Fashion. In fact, if I could indulge both passions at the same time, then I would officially be in a Sex and The City heaven all of my own.

I arrived at John Lewis for my first Vogue Fashion's Night Out event. The ultimate beauty and fashion shopping party, involving retailers in shopping capitals across the world holding a late night shopping event so their customers can grab an extra shot of retail therapy.

I had a cracking time, but that was because I followed my event survival rules. I made friends with the event bouncer aka the unfortunate crew member who is assigned the unenviable task of keeping the crowd in check.

I also arrived early enough to stake my claim on a decent fashion show vantage point. I let go of the my natural disappointment about attending a goodie bag free fashion moment, even though they were advertised in the pre-event flyer(annoying!), and I very sensibly wore flat shoes.

What I was not prepared for was the late invasion of more fashion devotees - The ladies that lunch team - elegant hair, heels and designer clad from top to toe. The fashionista crowd - usually fashion students, bloggers, journalists and friends of the models - dressed completely on trend and seemingly unable to function without a iphone, blackberry, or glass of wine in their hands !

But is was the blue rinse posse - long term store devotees who would attend the opening of an a new coffeemaker; who arrived a few minutes before the show and stirred things up by standing in front of everyone.

They were urged to take several steps back by our annoyed bouncer. One lady in particular who really reminded me David Williams in a dress, complained loudly about not being able to step back because of my 'silly big bag'. She glared at me as she said it.

When we were asked to move again I did, but accidentially on purpose, caught her ankle with my umbrella....whoops ! I didn't hear a peep from her after that !

And then the show began. It rocked. Not only were the new season clothes, wearable, witty and in a great colour palette, alongside the usual salad chasing model types, some 'real' women of normal size, struttered their stuff up down the catwalk and most delightfully; some older ladies who looked gorgeous, elegant and actually had fun with the show and the audience. It was fab !

My event number two was the Biba fashion show at House of Fraser. This label's been unsuccessfully revived several times since its 70s heyday, but the current design team have brought back that retro vibe with a contemporary twist brilliantly.

Leopard print (which I usually despise as a coat, a top, a cardigan...its just wrong let's be honest), has never looked so must have. Hollywood style evening dresses, tie-draped silks, beautifully tailored trousers and knitwear you don't want to take off, all got a massive tick from me.

I have to give a special mention also to their host/models who welcomed customers into the store and a lovely lady who was handing out the event flyers and looked amazing in a signature Biba gown.

Event three my beauty fix, was a real let down. Bare Escentuals, who promised much online and actually delivered very little. The makeover booth was fully staffed , but crucially they forget to allocate one floor assistant to answer product questions. This seems to be the story of my life - remember B & Q?

The 'free' gift you were supposed to receive if you brought something was nowhere to be seen. Customers like to see their 'freebie' before buying something.

Instead they devoted a table to some dodgy looking strawberry cocktails and decorative (they were soooo tiny!) cup cakes, which weren't offered to customers. Stuff like that drives me nuts. You are selling an should be a good one for all your customers.

Going over to MAC was like being on the sunny side of the street. A military trained makeover squad were turning out some fabulous looks on their customers. Floor assistants were on hand to give advice, ipromptu specific mini makeovers. Everyone was profession, engaged and made you feel great, and valued.

Next up - London Fashion Weekend 22nd - 25th September

No comments: