So if you live in the North West and love fashion and beauty then you must have known that the British Style Collective totally took over Liverpool at the start of July. The British Style Collective is the new name for The Clothes Show Live, it has re branded to a whole new festival of style, it’s relocated from Birmingham to Liverpool, it’s changed seasons from December to July, and has moved from under 1 roof to be under 3, technically 4 even though the Albert Dock is outside! The BSC was a citywide takeover and boy did it take over! Every inch of the city was buzzing and everywhere I turned I could see people walking round with their British Style Collective tote bags, lanyards on, and plenty of shopping bags in hand.
I was so fortunate to attend the festival as a blogger, and had my very own press pass, safe to say I was buzzing from having one of these, it gave us access to everything at the festival on each day, so I was able to cover it all on my blog to give you guys the heads up for next year, as you really don’t want to miss out.
So this year’s venues were St George’s Hall, the Exhibition Centre, Echo Arena and the Albert Dock. All of these places showed off something very different as part of the new Style Takeover.
St Georges Hall was home to the Insider Talks & hot-topic panels hosted by Antonia O’Brien, Celebrity & Designer Interviews hosted by Caryn Franklin MBE and Designer Fashion Shows hosted by Hilary Alexander OBE. This venue was probably my favourite, the talks were absolutely amazing, they had interviews with designers Henry Holland and Gary McQueen, motivating and industry based talks with Alex Steinherr and Jo Elvin, celebrity talks from Molly King, Kimberly Walsh and Jamie Laing, and fantastic blogger panels featuring amazing Liverpool bloggers & other Northern bloggers; you really need to check these guys out & give them a follow!
Pingkan, Jordan, Steph, Emma and Megan discussing Breaking in to Blogging.
Check out Pages By Megan & The Emasphere.
If you remember my MCxAlessandra post, then you’ll know I’ve already met Alex. I couldn’t wait to meet her again, and she remembered me & mum. Extra special.
Alex (Beauty Editor of Glamour Magazine) spoke about feeling confidence through beauty.
The designer fashion shows were held in the Great Hall and were stunning, Edeline Lee showcased her unique & fun designs and had me completely drooling over the flatform gingham sandals & this entire outfit, the emoji top with relaxed suit pants, gimme gimme! Phillip Armstrong also debuted their Autumn/Winter collection at the BSC, this was beautiful and full of plush velvet materials, lace trimmed dresses and the fiercest jumpsuit, my favourite piece.
The other fantastic aspect of St Georges Hall was the designer showrooms; we could go and browse Gary McQueen’s debut collection of hand painted, printed, silk scarves. These were stunning and it was such a pleasure to actually meet Gary, chat about his collection and hear of his time working for his uncle, Alexander (Lee) McQueen.
Travel on to the Exhibition Centre (by a free Arriva Shuttle Bus) to find the epic shopping halls and the expert stage. The exhibition hall was filled with fashion and beauty brands selling their latest must have’s. Big brands like Elemis, Victoria’s Secret, Spectrum Brushes and Accessorize were there, as well as smaller boutiques & make up brands like Prima, Nanshy, Native Youth, Moon Child Boutique, Sugarhill Boutique and Alive In Us Clothing. This is the perfect location to pick up a bargain & even get a makeover, Pixi Beauty and Wish Upon a Sparkle where glamming up BSC ticket holders and Liverpool hairdressers Andrew Collinge & Voodou Liverpool were offering styling treatments & fantastic products at discounted prices.
The expert stage held talks from styles experts from River Island Personal Shopping Team, Andrew Collinge himself, Paul Herrington Make Up Artist showing off techniques using Nanshy brushes, Pixi Beauty demonstrations, as well as interviews with current reality TV stars from Love Island and Made in Chelsea.
With every ticket you purchase for the British Style Collective you had access to the Echo Arena Fashion show. This was shown twice daily, at 2pm and 6pm, and depending on your ticket (Experience A or B) you had access to one of the shows. This show is not to be missed, it was incredible. It was a feast for the eyes and ears; it’s an hour long and full of incredible dancing, interesting fashion, stunning models, aerial artists, live music performances and celebrity hosts. It is such a fun part of the day and injects so much energy in to the event.
The Albert Dock was host to Fine Tuned, a free vintage festival hosted by HemingwayDesign. It included so many amazing vintage stalls, classic cars, pop up bars and restaurants, as well as street performers. The Albert Dock was buzzing, I spent some time on the Saturday strolling around here and soaking up the atmosphere. If the weather is on your side, which it hopefully will be every year, then this is the perfect spot to stop for lunch in the middle of your jam packed day. Grab a Prosecco or midday G&T and tuck in to a grilled cheese from the American School Bus diner, or a burger from one of the Pop Up restaurants, then grab a vintage bargain whilst strolling back to the Arena or Exhibition Centre.
Not too far from the Albert Dock is also the Baltic Triangle, this is a hub of super cool independent bars and event spaces and this was home to the Creative Hub. Mainly taking place on the Friday but still with things to see on the Saturday and Sunday, this is where to head to if you’re on a school trip or interested in heading in to a career of fashion. There was workshops with fashion illustrators, local graduate designer fashion shows and talks from fashion professors. I must head to hear next year to see the up-coming talent in the fashion world.
The greatest thing about this weekend for me, aside from getting to hang out all weekend with the best group of Liverpool Bloggers, was seeing the city buzzing and finally having a Fashion Festival setting up home in a city that is synonymous with style. I spoke to a lot of people over the weekend who had traveled from all over the country to be there and they said how fantastic it was to come to a city for an event and actually see the city.
The dates have been announced for the British Style Collective 2018, so get your diaries out and pencil in the 13th – 15th July 2018, I certainly have as I can’t wait to make this an annual event in summer calendar.
If you are thinking of coming next year then here are my top tips for you.
- Select your day based on what celebrity/designer talk you would like to see, these are the one thing that changes daily. (details are updated on the website & social media accounts)
- Depending on your ticket (Experience A or B), you register online once you’ve purchased your ticket to watch the talks, I’m pretty sure it only allowed you to register for 1 online, but on the day you can listen to more, you can stay for 3 or 4 back to back if you fancy!
- Bring a few snacks and soft drinks along, you’ll be glad of them as you’re wandering round or sat waiting for a talk to start.
- Use the shuttle bus, it’s brilliant. It’s a free service and has 3 stops, St George’s Hall, Liverpool One & the Exhibition Centre (Kings Dock).
- Bring some cash along for the shopping halls, there are 2 cash machines on site, but for hundreds of shoppers that’s not a lot. Some stalls do accept card.
- If you’re not from Liverpool and you’re getting the train in to the city, make your destination Lime Street as St George’s Hall is directly opposite, you can’t miss it, this is where the Shuttle Bus will also be.
- Everywhere is within walking distance, from St Georges Hall to the Exhibition Centre is about 15-20minutes walk, but you will get to see the bustling city areas of Bold Street, Church Street and Liverpool One.
- Lads, you’re welcome to come along obviously, but there aren’t an awful lot of stalls that sell guys clothing. Plus, a lot of the talks were focused around female fashion and beauty, although the wonderful Caryn Franklin did always include talking topics of men’s fashion in her interviews. This is hopefully something that can be expanded on over the years.
Definitely check out the British Style Collective website for more insight to what was involved in this year’s event, and who appeared at the festival. Be sure to follow their Instagram (britishstylecollective) and Twitter (BritStyleCol) accounts for up to date news and style inspiration for throughout the year.
If you have any further questions on the event then please do ask me, comment below or chat to me on my socials. I really hope you enjoyed my review of the British Style Collective, I could of gone on and on, as I have so many images to share, but I guess if you want to see more you’ll have to make sure you come next year.
*I was invited to the British Style Collective as a Blogger. Tickets for each day were complimentary. All images and opinions are honest and my own.