Never Underestimate the Power of an Outfit

Today’s post has been written by one of the NHM Writers, Lindsey.

Thank you very much to the team at Festival Place who invited us along to the event which took place on Saturday 7th May in the centre of Festival Place.


Never Underestimate the Power of an Outfit

I don’t know about you, but I always get a little fashion-perplexed when summer finally hits in the UK. After months of damp, cold, windy conditions I become pretty fanatical about my skinny jeans and big boots combo. So when the sun comes out and the temperature begins to rise like it did on the weekend, I find myself in a bit of a fashion vortex. Especially when hot trends seem to be on permanent rotation: dungarees – in or out? Jelly shoes – cool or ridiculous? Boho chic – didn’t Sienna Miller do that about 15 years ago??

I needn’t have worried. This weekend not only hailed the beautiful summer weather, but it also brought with it the delightful stylist JP and the ‘Big Brand Fashion Fix Event’. For two days, Basingstoke played fashion hostess to dozens of gorgeous models. Yep, you read that right. Beautiful, chiselled, perfect specimens of human perfection – and I made sure I got myself a front row seat!

Over the course of two days, numerous runway shows took place, crammed to the rafters with looks, trends and products. Each one focused on a different element of fashion fabulousness, ranging from mono sports luxe to floral bomber jackets. Apparently dungarees are in. And who knew that the ankle was the body part de jure for summer 2016?

One of the best things about this event is that everything displayed on the runway is available within Festival Place. Basically meaning you can step away from a show, walk straight into a shop, and leave home with an outfit you know is going to rock. For someone whose last shopping trip involved coming home with five pairs of ‘going-out’ shorts, this guiding hand was very welcome. I saw looks from Superdry, River Island, French Connection and M&S that I would actually consider wearing. In public. JP, the springy, enthusiastic stylist who compered the show says on his website that his job is ‘translating the clothes from hanger to life’. Handy indeed.

My tips for the event? Be brave and take a pew! There were pretty decent crowds for the catwalk shows I saw, but lots of empty seats astride the catwalk – I pushed my way through, plonked myself down and soon enough people followed suit. It could almost have been Milan, darling!

It’s also definitely worth booking yourself in for a pampering at the Health and Beauty Lounge. I saw plenty of people emerging butterfly-like with fabulous updos, nails and beauty treatments from the likes of Benefit, Clarins, Dior, Hair Lab, Shear Beauty and Lush. Rumour has it there was a fashion photographer snapping away at people sporting the appropriate level of cool, so I’d say it’s worth making sure you look awesome. I didn’t get papped. Weird.

The runway is smack bang in the middle of Festival place, so you’re only ever a few steps away from a toilet, restaurant, or a spot of shopping. On the child-friendly front, there are lots of baby-changing facilities across the centre, and many of the eateries warmly welcome breastfeeding mums and babies. Judging by the mini models strutting down the catwalk and the little fashion monsters in the front row, I’d say that The Big Brand Fashion Fix was pretty child-friendly too!

Festival Place has several large car parks (both long and short stay) so it’s easy to get to, and pretty much all of it is undercover, so even if the rains do return (which I’m putting money on), you’ll keep dry on your quest for fashion nirvana.

The whole event was completely free, and if you tweeted a selfie with #fashionplace, you were in the running to win £1000 Festival Place vouchers. I gave the best blue steel pose I could muster in my snap. I’m sure that £1000 will be winging its way to me any day now…

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