Yesterday I hopped onto the train and headed to London for the first press day of the Britain's Next Top Model Live event at the Excel centre. Something my friend Amy from Confessions Of A Fashion Editor said to me the moment we walked in was that it was just like Clothes Show London, and then I added that it was, but much much pinker. This observation turned out to be 100% true, but in a good day; a fabulous day out of fashion, beauty and shopping but with the added perks of the chance to not just get scouted by agencies but also for Britain's Next Top Model cycle 7 thrown in for good measure. Oh, and something I got very, very excited about; the chance to see my favorite X-Factor contestant of all time, Diana Vickers perform live!
Something we also both noted throughout the day, comparing it to our last trip to the Excel centre together was that we were treated much better as bloggers than we were at any other event we'd been to as journalists for a magazine.
This was the powder room, where you could go and get your nails done or have a makeover; lots of people did this before they headed over to the booth where you could star in your own mini photo shoot, or before they went off to the open catwalk to try out of the show. In the background you can see the Elemis spa bus, which gave, according to Amy the best foot massages ever.
I got very, very excited about the media hub in the Bloggers lounge; it was a silver caravan complete with a cute little bedroom! It was kited out with laptops so bloggers were in there all day live blogging from the event.
I don't know who the other two were (girls, if you're reading this please give me a shout either by Twitter or email), but on the left we have Harriet and Evie fromFashion Strand.
Also, something I said several times when I was inside the van and gazing at those beautiful Dell (Red) laptops that if I wasn't a Mac girl through and through one of these pretty, pretty laptops would be right on top of my wish list!
I had no idea what to wear to the event, so I let my friend Kathryn when she came to visit me on Wednesday to pick what I was to wear out of my wardrobe...
Dress: N.W.3 at Hobbs
Red Jumper: Marks & Spencer
Scarf: Marks & Spencer
Boots: Kurt Geiger
I then added to my outfit this beautiful watch pendant that Sarah from Always Dangerous, Fully Fabulous had brought me for the British Style Bloggers meetup in the summer which I didn't manage to make it to in the end - thanks so much Sarah - I've wanted a watch pendant for ages!
The runway show was brilliant and we had amazing seats as members of the press in the VIP area, and though the dancers were talented and the show was very well thought out I don't think it was better the the dance and fashion show I saw at Clothes Show London on the same runway.
As well as all the dancers, the show featured, of course, the girls from the 6th cycle of Britain's Next Top Model. I'd only seen a few episodes of this season, to be honest I much prefer watching Australia's Next Top Model but I recognized a lot of the faces, and marveled at their incredible outfits including gothic black and numbers made out of very, very shiny sheets of metal.
The show also featured a performance by up and coming talent Jessie J wich was absolutely brilliant.
This was the fabulous little Urban Outfitters area, full of some of the best picks from their store, a chance to chat to the UO girls, and free goodie bags for everyone that signed up to their mailing list.
As well as a voucher code for free delivery from their online store, my goodie bag included this pink/ purple Urban Outfitters matte nail polish (perfect! I've been wanting to try a matte nail polish for ever!) and this adorable pendant necklace. Actually, the necklace was in Sarah's goodie bag and I had little black swallow earrings, but we traded as I don't have my ears pierced.
I made sure to take a photo if the cutest halloween cupcakes they had on display; perfect decoration when I start to decorate mine for my party on Thursday!
One of the stalls I spent a lot of time at was that of Redfoot Shoes; a fold up pump company where I got a free pair of gold pumps and an incredible foot massage.
I think fold up pumps are a good product, but I don't think these are as well made as the pair I received from Coco Rose London a while back (you can see my review HERE), and the packaging and carry pouch certainly were not as stylish. Also, rather than coming in individual sizes they come only in small, medium or large. I know that I have problems keeping pumps on my feet anyway, but I think that if they came in exact sizes I'd find them easier to wear.
Also, though the massages were incredible and Sarah and I both thought the beautician giving them had magic hands, and she was lovely and sweet to chat to, I didn't like the way we were treated by the representatives of Redfoot at the stand. They would only give one free sample of shoes to each website or publication represented (fair), and I was ok because I had business cards on me but the British Style Bloggers girls did not have any to hand so they were refused their samples. It can't have been an issue of identification as we all had press passes with our names and the names of our publications issued by the press office pinned to the front of our dresses. Also, the woman who presented me with my pair was very demanding of when the write up of their product would appear on my website.
One of the highlights of the show for me was watching Diana Vickers perform a three song set on the Kiss Open Catwalk. Both her dress and shoe were fabulous and her performance was very emotive; I forgot how much I loved her up until this performance, and it was, well, flawless. And she's so sweet up on stage!
Another one of my favorite stands was that of the Bath Soap Deli - their sopas were both pretty, and they smelt incredible, my favorites being the rose soap and the lemon grass. I also loved the cleopatra powdered bath milk.
They'd make the perfect gift; I may just order a couple of bits and pieces from their online store as Christmas gifts!
Something else that was pretty amazing I came across was the nail pattern stamping system from Art Deco Nails - now this is something I want to find in my Christmas stocking! The little white bow you can see over my already polished nails was the demo the nail artist at the stand showed me. She painted over the metal engraving plate of hundreds of designs with white polish, used a scraper to get rid of the excess and picked up the nail polish bow pattern with a rummer stamp which she rolled once over my nail. She then showed me how everything could then be cleaned with your usual nail polish remover - one of the collect things I've ever seen!
Though, small as it may seem one of the highlights of my day was the incredible concept (and taste!) of the 'Cupcake in a Jar' by G Desserts that were served with Tia Maria and cranberry cocktails in the bloggers bar. They are what they say on the jar; a cupcake in a jar with lovely and moist sponge with the most amazing frosting (and edible glitter!) ever on top, to be eaten with a spoon.
Did anyone else go to Britian's Next Top Model Live? Would you want to go if they held a similar event next year?