I was recently approached by a PR agency working on several events around the country to promote various shopping malls and the brands within them. The event they contacted me regarding is called Fall For Me and is part of a 2 week fashion extravaganza being held at my local shopping centre, The Mall in Camberley. My brief was to present the shows as the Fashion Expert / Blogger, style all of the models and help choreograph the events on the day. With a background in marketing and a huge interest in fashion, I felt confident I could deliver so jumped at the chance to get involved!
After several conference calls between myself, the agency and the marketing manager of the mall, we met the heads of the retail partners involved to select which clothes to use that best highlight the trends of AW16. The main retailers I used were House of Fraser, Monsoon, Accessorize and Primark.
After checking the schedule for these events, I soon realised I needed extra help if I was going to pull this off! So I called in the help of my good friend and fashionista Yasmin Bond, who helped with the finishing touches and selecting the accessories for the models.
Yasmin and I backstage at the Fashion Workshop event
The first event which was held on 19th September was the Fashion Workshop. Here I was asked to discuss the current trends and how to wear them, offer some lifestyle and wardrobe tips, and showcase these trends and tips on 8 models in front of an audience at The Mall in Camberley.
Arriving early before The Mall was open!
So after arriving at the marketing suite of the mall, we met with the rest of the team and models for a quick debrief on how the day would run and then it was time to get make up sorted and outfits ready.
The endless rails of clothes I had handpicked from the retail partners ahead of the event.
Matching the clothes to the models!
Shoes, shoes, and more shoes. And boots.
Dressing the models ready for the stage!
I also called in the aid of an old school friend and Make Up artist Nicola Waters who made up each of the models keeping the looks relevant to the trends featured on the AW16 runways. She kept the complexions fresh with a dewy finish, eyes were mostly natural shades of brown and the lips were coloured in the seasons warm berries. Each of the models looked and felt absolutely beautiful.
Even the boys got to enjoy a quick session with our beauty expert!
I gave a quick talk to the models offering tips on how to pose and how best to show off the clothes and accessories, before making our way down stairs to the stage…
Probably one of my favourite parts of the event. If there is one thing I know, it is how to pose…
I was incredibly nervous about the presenting part of this work… Styling? no problem. Project management? no problem. Script writing? no problem. Public speaking? slight issue with this one… The nerves got the better of me for the first show at 12 and the slight technical hitch with the microphones didn’t help! but by 2pm when the second show started I was feeling loads more confident and was happy to walk on stage when the MC Lucy introduced me.
Lucy calling me up on stage at the 12pm show
And I’m up! Legs are shaking, voice is low…
Sharing a mic after my ear piece fell out! Not ideal…
And this was the 2pm show, quick outfit change into this little French Connection dress and I was far more confident!
After a quick breakdown of the current trends of Autumn Winter 2016 and a few lifestyle tips (you can read my full script here including all of the trends I mentioned), we introduced the models and I talked through their clothes and accessories.
Here they all are on stage at the end of the first show.
The models were actually competition winners with no experience in modelling and I only had dress sizes and heights to work with when selecting their outfits. This was perhaps the most challenging part of the brief! I was so lucky that each of the models were confident and wore all the clothes I selected for them absolutely perfectly. There was a huge risk of nothing fitting or suiting the models having not seen any of them before the event, but luckily – everything worked and they all looked fab!
Here are a few of the outfits we showcased on the day.
Mel looked fab in the biker chic trend wearing a French Connection shirt and jacket, Monsoon jeans and Primark heels.
Roselyn is following the Victorian trend in a lace top and jacquard print trousers, both from Monsoon. The shoes are Primark, £16!
Vanessa demonstrating how to wear the seasons tribal prints! Jacket from Monsoon, polo neck from House of Fraser and seventies inspired jeans from Monsoon.
This was the perfect warm up to the real event taking place next saturday at The Mall in Camberley, the full Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Show. The stage is bigger, there is a 6m runway, there will be 20 models (including 6 of my gorgeous nieces and nephews) and even a style war between myself and another fashion blogger Hayley, at Frock Me I’m Famous (who incidentally is absolutely lovely and you should go check out her blog!). If you are anywhere near the Mall in Camberley on 26th Sept, please do come along, it’s set to be a really good show and of course there will be free goody bags!