Clothes Show Live happens each year in December at the NEC in Birmingham. It's a huge fashion festival that runs for 5 days with pop up stalls and shops in beauty, clothes and food where owners sell their items at discounted prices. But the main event is a spectacular fashion show that repeats throughout the day where dancers and models combined put on an amazing demonstration of the latest trends.
The last time I went to CSL was around 4 years ago when I went with the arts department at my college. It's been so good to go back, this time as press which has allowed me to get up close and personal with everything the show has to offer. In the 4 year gap I think the show has become even bigger and better and I'm still overwhelmed at how hard the models, dancers and directors must work to put it all together.
I thought I'd share some photos with you that I took during the show. You may spot a few familiar faces - Dirty Sexy Things model BB was all over the runway as was Britain's Next Top Model winner Jade Thompson. Here's my quick run down of the hot trends spotted and some of my favourite looks...
This whole section was about gold and glamour. Crop tops for men? I'm not sure - but I was a fan of the glitzy blazers and sequined bomber jackets. Especially loving the huge goddess style headdress and thigh high sparkly boots!
We were treated to a little synchronized-swimming style performance before the models came out with monochrome oversized sportswear and see through backpacks and bowling bags. What I like about Clothes Show Live is the catwalk show is not just an introduction to a designer's latest collection it's a well constructed and entertaining performance. Which makes the ticket price all the worth while. Even if you're not that into fashion you would get a lot out of the show.
The screens changed again and we were taken to a festival site with a performance from a 'top act' and festival appropriate outfits. CSL tend to showcase the most popular trends throughout the year rather than aiming to predict next years rules but I think a lot of the styling could be applied to the upcoming 2014 Spring and Summer. My favourite bit - the pompom and floral head wear!
You can't have a fashion show without the underwear. Lots of black, burgundy and silk. And six packs.
The show ends with a huge New Years Eve party - countdown and everything! We were a little alarmed when the models wanted to join us in the press pit but the show ended on such a high and left everyone feeling very excited for the Christmas festivities.
After the show we continued with our shopping - I managed to seek out the Ciate stand and get myself the famous Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar for less than half price at £20. At the time we were 6 days into the countdown so I'm going to start from day 6 and let my calendar run through to New Year too!
I'll be going along next year without a doubt, I'm not leaving it so long this time! I'd love to know if anyone went and what you thought of the experience.
*All images are copyright of Gwen McMullin and permission must be granted to use any.