The day had arrived – Saturday 7th April and I was super excited to be attending my first ever fashion show at Bristol Fashion Week. I was rather excited not only to be attending my first fashion show, but it was also Bristol’s new & improved fashion week. The website for Cribbs Causeway where Bristol Fashion Week was held stated ‘We believe that fashion should be accessible for everyone, inspiring confidence and wellbeing, not comparison and worry. So we’ve rebooted fashion week as a celebration of our customers’ diverse range of body shapes and sizes, skin tones, ages, genders, ethnicities, disfigurements, abilities and disabilities. We aim to promote positive body image and increase acceptance of diversity in appearance.’ I thought that this was wonderful and one of the reasons why I wanted to attend. What a great example/image to project to everybody, and appeal to a wide range of different people, some of which might not usually wish to attend. They also took the Be Real Body Image Pledge which is part of The Be Real Campaign from the All-Party Parliamentary Group Image (APPG). According to the website ‘the pledge calls for responsible portrayal of body image by the advertising, fashion, media and music industries.’ Which means that from now on Bristol Fashion Week’s messaging, campaigns and catwalk shows will reflect reality, diversity and promote well-being. Which is pretty amazing. I have had an interest in fashion for a while though. Going back to when I was at school I used to do stuff like ask my mum to make stuff like skirts over trousers and a few bits and bobs sometimes if she was feeling creative as she was good with a sewing machine, and I used to enjoy mixing things up sometimes with the way I dressed. And I started looking at clothes more I’d say in my early 20’s and loved to go round the shops bargain hunting & mixing high street with 2nd hand clothes finds and seeing what things I could put together.
So I headed to the show for the 4:30pm showing and made my way through The Mall to get to the temporary marquee around the back where the show would be held. Upon entering the marque there I was greeted by some lovely bright clothes to the left and right of the area which were casually draped on some mannequins which got me really excited for the show and thinking of just what sort of clothes and things they had in store for us. Upon entering the large room where the fashion show would be held I was offered a complimentary drink & snack which you could take in with you which I thought was a rather lovely touch. And on the seats was a programme, run down of the sections in the fashion show & a black Dior wristband which entitled you to a free sample of Dior make up after the show.
The show started with what I would best describe as some vibrant pattern effects on the screens at the front of the stage, flashing lights, powerful, pumping, anthem type music and a variety of different models confidently strutting their stuff down the catwalk in a range of bright colourful clothes. On the sheet rundown it said that this section was called Colour Pop which featured fashion from John Lewis and accessories from Lovisa. The lights and the screens then faded to black to which some spotlights lit up one model who was left confidently standing at the front of the stage dressed in bright, orange clothing along with a long, stunning orange hijab. With a matching orange handbag & shoes she confidently walked down the catwalk to some loud, strut worthy dance music. I loved the beginning, and it got me excited with anticipation as to what was to come for the rest of the show.
It was then introduced by TV presenter, inspirational speaker, author and charity campaigner Katie Piper and fashion stylist & presenter Mark Hayes who I thought were a great choice to present the show with their knowledge, experience & likeable personalities. Especially as this was the first fashion show for Bristol fashion week that dealt with diversity.
It then went in to a section called Florals for Spring which featured fashion from Oasis, Menswear from Next & footwear from Clarks. Again, it came across as quite powerful visually with a range of different models at the front of the stage consisting of a young girl who had part of her arm missing, some more mature ladies who were flying the flag for the older generation & a young gentlemen called Jack Eyers who was the first amputee to win Mr England in 2016. It was really lovely to see them strutting down the catwalk confidently together with some nicely suited music and the screen showing some pretty visuals of flowers. The scenes/themes then went as followed: Scene One -Colour Pop, Scene 2 – Florals For Spring, Scene 3 – Trench Dressing, Scene 4 – Print Mix, Scene 5 – Hi Lo Dressing, Scene 6 – Mono Mash, Scene 7 – Pastel Pallette, Scene 8 – Festival, Scene 9 – Retro Reboot, Scene 10 – Denim Daze and then there was the finale which featured fashions from Coast, Next, Karen Millen, Marks & Spencer, Warehouse, John Lewis, Quiz & River Island.
I wouldn’t say I had a particular favourite section, although I did really like the bright clothes that featured not just at the beginning but also at some point during the show. I also loved seeing the dancers make quite a few appearances throughout the show in several sections. It just added a bit of pizazz and something a bit different & entertaining I thought. Even though I do like dance and am a dancer myself, I really thought it was nice addition to the show.
I also really liked the visuals in the show which appeared on the screens throughout and changed accordingly to whatever the theme was. There was a mix of colourful graphic type patterns, flowers, a tree & leaf type effect, and I’d say almost like a digital paint type effect to name a few.
I was very surprised with how quick the fashion show went. The 45 minutes seemed to fly by which I guess is a good thing as it means that you’re enjoying yourself. But I felt disappointed when it ended! Which meant that I really enjoyed it and I also look forward to seeing what the next one has in store.
After the show I went to collect my goodie bag which was a complimentary addition once you’d seen the show. You just had to go in to The Mall to the stall that was giving them out then you were free to look around the Be You zone which I was looking forward to as I had read that it had various different things going on such as gel manicures, eyebrow threading, mini makeovers and treats from Beauty houses. You could also pay a visit to the team for the centre for appearance research and were able to visit the team from the image consulting company for styling tips & tricks. When I went on the Saturday around 5:15pm to the Be You zone they didn’t seem to have free treatments like I had heard but they did have makeup artists doing makeovers for a fee & also had manicures and pedicures available for a certain price also. Although I was told that these were discounted far more than the usual prices that you would usually pay. I didn’t go for anything because of lack of money at the moment, but maybe next time.
Tickets were priced at £8.95 for a standard ticket, £9.95 for silver & £13.95 for Platinum. I went for silver which got me 2nd row seats which was really nice as I got a really good view and at just a little bit more money than a standard ticket it was more then worth it. It also meant I got some pretty good photo’s & footage for my blog and vlog.
I really enjoyed the fashion show. Much more then I thought I would. I would recommend anyone to give it a go if you do have a slight interest even if you’ve not done this sort of thing previously. I’d never been to a fashion show previously, and although I do like fashion it was never something that was on my hit list sort of thing. But I’m glad I went. And to this fashion week this year where they had changed & switched things up a bit for the better. I can’t wait until the next one!
Fancy watching a video of my time at the fashion show? Click on the link below and head over to YouTube to see a Vlog of the event