Our Tals (deputy editor of the Mancunion Fashion and Beauty section I’ll have you know) asked me the other day whether I was keen to attend ‘some fashion event’ with her on Monday night, since the other editors weren’t available to go. Obviously, considering my horrifically full evening schedule I moved aside hundreds of things to free my time and accepted the invitation.
Dressed in some fab all black outfits (can you go wrong?) and matching pointed black leather boots we made our way (very slowly) to the Manchester Arndale Centre to see what the evening had in store for us. To be honest, we were a little surprised when we found the event location. We had been expecting a conference room/marquee set up with stalls to browse and perhaps a seating area since we had heard there would be a speech. Quite on the contrary, we were met with a sectioned off area of the shopping centre floor space, and a big black box fitted with screens. A little confused we popped to the loos to touch up our hair and makeup (v essential we didn’t embarrass ourselves) and hesitantly made our way back to the event.
We wondered to the railings and honestly from this point on I was in my element. We gave our names to a woman with a clipboard (we are hugely important after all) and accepted complimentary processco and OJ before wandering through to wait for whatever was coming. To be on any sort of guest list was a high, let alone to be there with people the event organisers were aiming to impress.
Before we knew it we had a chic looking lady ask if we were bloggers (highlight of our lives “do you reckon we look like bloggers?”) and the next thing I knew I was in a makeup chair having my lips painted by a Kiko makeup artist. You know when you’re wandering through Boots past all the makeup stands and you’re just praying someone will say “you look like someone bloody desperate for a free makeover” and whisk you into their chair and sort your face and life out??? That. That came true. I walked away with a bright purple lip and a compliment or two that it was ‘my colour’. Thanks gals.
Then came the freebie haul. The organisers had set up a game of ‘match’ on the screen, which basically consisted of pushing a great big red button and hoping the 3 images that popped up were from the same brand. If your angels were with you and you won, you bagged yourself a £10 voucher for any shop in the centre (of which there are 240 can I get a hell yeah) and if not, a Kiko nail polish. (“Eh Tal, do you reckon Kiko knew about this event?”)
We each won a voucher and stuffed about 3 more nail polishes into our fake Celine Bags and carried on mooching. My belt was complimented on the microphone (“thank you I try really effing hard to be kendall jenner) and I tottered off hugely smug. Shortly after, Fashion Director of In style Arabella Greenhill gave an inspired speech. She talked about her journey from model to assistant to editor to Fashion Director, working at Vogue, Marie Claire and now In Style. She highlighted the peaks and pits of the job, gave us an insider scoop on the runways from this seasons fashion weeks, and taught us what we need to be wearing this autumn. Velvet is your fabric, polo necks and cross body bags are your staples and cats is your print of choice. Must get on that.
After a quick chat with her we called it a day and made our way to the exit. Who knew leaving an event could be the highlight. At the exit barriers two event organisers asked if we would be willing to give some feedback. Bizarre feeling like we had something important or necessary to say but we resisted the urge to just shout “GREAT FUCKING FREEBIES” and settled on “great event and speaker” (no more comments please respect our privacy at this time) and wandered off with our goodie bags. We literally opened and unpackaged them before we were out of ear shot and to our complete delight and (shock horror didn’t see that one coming) had a shit tonne of Kiko products. We had mascara, eye liner, shadows, primers, palettes and brushes. Buzzing.
The whole event was inspiring and such a cruel taste of our dream futures that just aren’t a reality yet. Thank you so much to the event organisers for indirectly inviting me even though I am no use to you your kindness has been much appreciated. And to you Tal, me next time again, please.