This event was hugely anticipated in Manchester as it was the first one to be held in the UK outside London.
Events kicked off at 6pm with many celebs and fashion people in attendance. Big names were Matthew Williamson, Sarah Jayne Dunn, Henry Holland, Erdem, Nadine Merabi, Daisy Lowe and Pixi Geldoff to name but a few.
I was invited by Leanne Forshaw Jones at LFJpr Ltd (thanks lovely lady) to the Manchester Arndale press and bloggers briefing held in Yo Sushi (just happens to be one of my fave places to eat in Manchester) where we were given the low down on what to expect and what was going on where, as we munched away on delicious sushi. We were each given a fabulous goody bag containing some Boots cosmetics, a full size bottle of Calvin Klein perfume and a Benefit mascara, amongst other things.
Lots of the city centre department stores were having promotions, fashion shows, DJs, complimentary drinks and canapes. It was difficult to think were to start. It was all very exciting. I knew I couldn’t get around everywhere so I sat down for a bit to form a plan of action.
I started off my evening in Manchester Arndale, which was transformed into a fashion wonderland. There were amazing fashion shows every 20 minutes using a unique moving catwalk. The models looked fantastic as they strutted their stuff to top tunes, rocking the latest high street trends. There were also beauty pop-up pods everywhere offering mini makeovers, nail art and hair styling.
My first stop had to be the Red Killer Heels – a gigantic pair of sparkly red heels OMG fabulous darling. This was one of the big draws of the event right in the centre of Manchester Arndale. Shoppers could have their photo taken next to the shoes and be in with a chance of winning a pair of shoes every month for a year! Wowsers! I had my picture taken with the Red Killer Heels in my Red Killer Heels! (Not that I NEED any more shoes of course) And no, this isn’t me it is the very glamourous Hollyoaks star Sarah Jane Dunne
Next, I paid a visit to the Benefit pop up counter for a quick top up of make-up, where my lovely consultant gave me a dramatic flicky eye and topped up my lipstick using glam Cha Cha tint. This mango-tinted stain beautifully blushes lips and cheeks with a tropical sunset hue – it really suited my colouring and looked fab over my favourite Colour Me Beautiful Tangerine lipstick. She popped a little sample in my bag to see me through the evening. Nice!
Feeling suitably pampered, I popped into Next to have quick look at their fab new collection and my first glass of fizz of the night. Celebrity stylist Martine Alexander was on hand with free advice for shoppers.
Over the road to Selfridges next. Wow, this place was buzzing! Henry Holland was there and they had a DJ Booth outside. Handsome waiters in skimpy outfits were on hand offering mini bottles of prosecco and popcorn. This was the scene in Selfridges!
I cut back through Manchester Arndale en route to Spring Gardens and was drawn into Superdry just because it looked so inviting and effortlessly cool. And I was handed another glass of bubbly here. Bonus!
I had a VIP invitation to Hervia Bazaar next. The lovely people from the Yang Sing were greeting visitors outside with yummy dim sum and inside they had a proper bar in the middle of the shop serving cocktails (I had a cheeky shot of Tequila Rose!). The staff were so smiley and friendly and I received a fab goody bag. I have never been in this shop before – they have some lovely stuff – it is quite high end so a tad pricey, but it looks it too. I will be returning there for a proper mooch soon. I loved their live window display of a beautifully elegant Chinese lady drinking tea. I took some pictures with my Iphone but they were rubbish. By the way, I have just invested in an SLR so expect some better quality pics on my blog when I have got the hang of it. These are not my images here, some are courtesy of Jason Lock
Across the road next to my all time favourite designer Vivienne Westwood. This was the launch of her exciting collaboration with the Cambridge Satchel Company to create an exclusive Squiggle Pirate Satchel. The classic satchel has been given a twist using Westwood’s iconic squiggle print. The leather straps and buckles are the same as the ones featured on her classic Pirate boots. They are made in the UK and come in three colour ways. I am not really a satchel girl but they are so cute and bound to be a great collectors item! The shop was packed to the rafters and overflowing with cocktails and canapes!
A quick dash back to Manchester Arndale (God I must have walked miles and by now my killer red heels are KILLING me!) to spend some time promoting Dress for Success and accepting clothing donations at the Simply Be shop. Key 103 were there spinning some lively tunes and the staff were all dressed up in their bestest. We chatted to passers by and handed out flyers to make people aware of this amazing charity.
Finally, I walked very slowly (my poor tootsies were extremely tender at this point) to the Manchester Art Gallery to the pop up vintage shop there. I grabbed a final drink (hic!) and settled myself down to watch the fantastic vintage makeovers. I was transported to a time gone by as I watched lovely young girls having the pictures taken, all glammed up in fabulous gowns and furs, with perfect vintage style make-up and hair. A splendid way to end the evening.
And then I happily limped home ….