Closing doors on The Clothes Show Live

After 27 years of glitz and glamour, Birmingham has finally drawn the curtains on the ever-successful Clothes Show Live and passed the baton over to Liverpool to host ‘The British Style Collective’ in 2017. Determined to finish in style, all who had a part to play pulled out all the stops to ensure this year’s show went down in fashion history – and it certainly did. I went along to the show to see what all the fuss is about and even managed to grab a quick snap with Made in Chelsea’s star and heir to McVities, Jamie Laing.

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After outgrowing London’s Olympia in the late 80s, organisers of the long-standing fashion show decided to pack up and move into a much bigger home, Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Since then, the show has grown from strength to strength – spreading itself over the arena’s biggest halls – and continued to welcome some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. But, the fashion show has been much more than just the clothes and rented stalls, it has been the place where the likes of Vernon Kay, Holly Willoughby and Cat Deeley started their careers after being scouted out by modelling agency, Select Model Management. Desperate to tread in the footsteps of the rich and famous, hundreds of girls have flocked to the show over the years hoping to picked up.

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Technically creative staging, X factor star performances and insider tips from This Morning’s fashion guru, Mark Heyes were among this year’s highlights. Laura Whitmore, who was dressed in this season’s floral print two-piece, presented the live fashion show with help from a long-list of celebrities including reality TV star, Joey Essex. Remarkable catwalks, imaginative staging and faultless choreography, the final fashion show was definitely one not be missed. Despite 2016’s doom and gloom, AW/16 has been a season of vibrant colours and texture with puffer jackets, iridescent two piece suits and lace bodices stealing this year’s runway.

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But it’s not all over for the four day fashion event yet. In fact, it’s only the beginning. Moving just a hundreds miles up the motorway, next year’s show will dispersing itself  across a number of venues in Liverpool – including The Baltic Triangle, Liverpool Cathedral and St George’s Hall. Expected to be bigger and better than ever before, the show will be re-branded ‘The British Style Collective’ and promises to provide the ultimate shopping experience.

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March fashion

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The struggle is real. It’s the end of the month, pay day is still two days away and the shops are rife with gorgeous clothes. It’s torture. Haunted by a hefty credit card bill that needs to be paid off next week; all I can do it wander aimlessly, touch every luring piece of clothing and create outfits in my head. Spring has arrived and the all the shops have undergone a complete revamp. It’s out with the old, dark and dismal colours and in with the new, bright and vibrant. Hang on a minute, let me just wipe my mouth.

Call me a drama queen, but shopping is an addiction. It’s an expensive habit and I get withdrawal symptoms – as you’ve just found out – yet it gives a buzz like no other.  Screw Alcoholics Anonymous, I think I need some kind of retail therapy (… just not in the way I know it.)

March has been mayhem. My feet haven’t touched the ground after tearing up and down the country for various reasons. Unfortunately, these required new outfits. Ok, I guess required isn’t quite the right word to use here.

Here’s a couple of this month’s outfits:

Pinny Prinny.

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Top; H&M (£14.99), Dungaree Dress; Primark (£12.99), Earrings; New Look (£2.99)

The 90’s is making an almighty comeback; the era of oversized dungarees, high ponytails and garish tartan co-ords. Alexa Chung – the queen of fashion – has brought dungarees back in a way we’ve never seen before. She’s gone chic. Comfy, versatile and down-right trendy, the dungaree dress is definitely an investment. Like an irreversible coat – except nowhere near as ugly – you’ll get more than one look from it. Easily jazzed up with a patterned blouse or dressed down with a casual top, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be in a fashion dilemma again. A sucker for turtle-necks, the bright number from H&M adds a pop of colour to what could have been a very dark and dull outfit.

Spring Chicken

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Top; Topshop (£36), Trousers; Topshop (£40), Watch; Olivia Burton (£70)

Patterns, patterns, patterns. Never underestimate them – they speak volumes. I’d rather stand out than fit in – that’s boring – hence why I chose this outfit for an interview. Creative, colourful and classy; I let my outfits do the talking. Dressed to impress, I put on a pair of nude court heels to compliment the dusty pink in the blouse and finished the outfit off with a classy, suede mac coat. Of course, that’s not a practical look for everyday. Alternatively, the outfit can be made more casual by swapping the mac and heels for a denim jacket and pumps.

Photography – @emilyalicephotography

The Mad Grad.

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