30 October 2015

all the ladies


E V E N T || Stylist Live 2015

The weekend before last, all the ladies [and a sprinkling of brave/supportive/open-minded gentlemen] descended onto Islington's Business Design Centre for Stylist magazine's first ever #StylistLive event. Stylist is a free weekly mag which Londoners can pick up on their morning commute to catch up on all things lady-like ranging from fashion picks to challenging topics to inspirational quotes. [Don't worry gents I'm not being weirdly genderist, there's an equivalent for men called Shortlist]. This year, the Stylist team decided to open their pages physically to their readers and provide four days of inspiring talks, food, shopping, pampering, fashun and all round good clean fun in an exhibition format. Read on to find out what we discovered at the festival and what we thought!

where || Stylist Live, 15-18th October 2015, Business Design Centre, London

details. //

Using trusty +YPlan, I bagged myself and a couple of the girls tickets for Sunday's event. Then all of a sudden, I found myself also going on Saturday as Ellie had won a couple of tickets! At first, I wondered whether I would be OTT-ing the event but actually on Sunday I was grateful I had browsed the day before. There was so much going on and an incredible amount of people in attendance that it was verging on overwhelming on day one. By day two, I could happily navigate my way around the venue [hopefully not detracting from Corinne and Lara's experience] and felt like I could actually enjoy what was on offer rather than feeling like I was trying to cram the world and its sink into my little brain-box.



first impressions. //

I've lived in London for many years and embarrassingly this was my first time at the Business Design Centre [#guilty but what a super space!]. On approaching the venue, it was pink-ed out with the Stylist logo and buzzing with general excitement. There were a lot of very stylishly dressed ladies roaming around too which made for great people watching / style stealing.


On entering the venue, we were handed a ticket for a free glass of bubbly and a black #StylistLive tote [naturally, for all the shoppingz and leaflet-picking-up we were about to do]. On both days, we thought maybe not bee-line for the bubbly straight away as it was still "morning" but this was a lovely touch [post a civilized queue] which we enjoyed as we got into the day.



the talks. //

There were a lot of talks on offer at Stylist Live. On Saturday, Ellie had complimentary tickets to Lucy Mangan & Bridget Christie: "What Feminism Means To Us" so this was the first talk we headed to. Although I'm a fan of both these ladies, I was left a little disappointed by this particular talk. The topic had the potential to be really insightful but it ended up being more of a chat-show type presentation between Lucy and Bridget, followed by a few non-questions from some frustrated parts of the audience. Unfortunately, for such an emotive topic it almost felt a little too light-hearted and focused too much on women and a woman's specific perspective. For me, this is an increasingly important topic which needs to be faced head on by both women and men - a joint effort to strengthen the equality of both genders at home, in the workplace and in general life. Let's just say, I felt for the one man who'd decided to turn up to this particular talk!

Luckily, towards the end of the day, Ellie and I also managed to get into the Exclusive Comedy Performance: Luisa Omielan [near last in the queue, woop!]. We'd actually seen a very short set by Luisa at a recent Raise A Laugh For Refuge event and loved her. We weren't disappointed. From starting her set by getting us to shoulder raise/dance to Queen Bey to stripping off midway and then flailing on Ellie and I's laps, Luisa was on top form and hilarious as. I have not laughed that much in a while and it was refreshing to watch a comedian openly discuss real but relatively un-talked about topics like depression, the consequences of break-ups, social stigmas and general life pressures. Luisa is one talented lady who gets my golden badge of #RealTalk for empowering those around her in a fun way.


On day two, after grabbing a coffee Lara and I headed into How To Manage Anxiety with Jody Shield [I'm feeling anxious just writing this… awkward] while Corinne headed into a lab with The Meringue Girls. Lara and I got to learn 7 tips for managing anxiety, mindfully tapped our faces into calm and had 10 minutes of guided meditation with about one hundred other ladies. Corinne on the other hand learnt about making delicious sweet goods, tried tasters and bagged herself bags of meringue kisses and a beautiful lollipop. I think we all won.

Later on in the day, we all managed to get a spot in the Hemsley + Hemsley talk where were watched cutie sisters Jasmine and Melissa cook up a storm with their shiny spiralizer. If you don't know what a spiralizer is [don't worry, neither did I] then check out the H+H spiralizer gem which will make all your vegetable dreams come true [no joke]. The sisters talked us through their philosophy of eating well and showed us how to make cauliflower tabbouleh and their popular avocado cheesecake. I see your face squirming, but rest assured we tried both after the demo and they were more delicious than you'd initially think - though obviously not as delicious as stuffing your face with a whipped cream covered triple chocolate cake with a side of raclette cheese, chunky chips and a bag of jelly babies. The key difference is, one will keep you fit, healthy and glowing and the other… well, is just naughty isn't it.


Of everything at the event, I really enjoyed the talks. It offered an option to feed the brain as well as the stomach - two activities I love. My only criticism is how difficult it was to get into the talks. There were so many topics covered and clearly significantly high demand that the system in place meant queuing for between 45 mins to 2 hours for a particular talk due to capacity. Hopefully, next time this is something than can either be first-come-first-served booking at the start of the day or to order when booking the main ticket. On the day it seemed highly disorganised and completely chaotic - especially frustrating when people wanted to enjoy other parts of the event rather than spend their day queuing!


the #fashun. //

Being a stylish magazine, I couldn't have gone the weekend without seeing the catwalk. Team Stylist have had the pleasure of attending the various Fashion Weeks around the globe, and as part of Stylist Live wanted to share the top five trends for this coming season. I really liked that the team had taken catwalk and literally transformed to the everyday - offering their take on some of the big trends that can be found easily on our high streets. I feel like rocking Sweet & Sour and Period Drama this year...

1. 80s Glam / think futuristic as interpreted back in the 80s with a lot of glitter thrown on, minus the perms & mullets.


2. Décor Dressing / think fancy heavy curtains you'd find at your poshest relative's home made to look super stylish and a lot lighter to carry around.


3. Period Drama / think dark tones, flow-tastic and super dramatic, a style just like its namesake - basically power dressing turned slightly whimsical.


4. Super Charged Tweed / think of that feeling when tweed met the 21st century, with distinct patterns, bold colours and structured pieces all up in that tweed.


5. Sweet & Sour / think a lemons and limes paradise, just imagine a can of Rio coming up to you and just pouring itself all over your clothes [minus the dampness] and voilà.



the stalls. //

There was quite a good variety of stalls at Stylist Live. The biggest, and probably most well known, were Swarovski [where you could try on jewellery and make a photo flip book], Clarins [where you could get a facial or shoulder massage], Rituals [where you could wash your hands and smell amazing doing it], Aveda [for hand massages], Nars [for a make over] and This Works [where you could take a quick nap because life is pretty taxing]. Amongst the other stalls, there were a range of brands I recognised [Caudalie, Benefit, French Sole & Tangle Teezer] as well as a few new gems to discover.


New discoveries, in order of love, included: Beara Beara [who make the most beautiful suede & leather handbags, satchels and rucksacks from Bolivia], Katie Leamon [gorgeous handcrafted cards and prints - wanted to buy the whole stall!], Flamingo Candles [where your candle cocktail dreams may come true, plus Thunderstorm smelt goood], Little Ondine [a revolutionary nail varnish which is made from natural ingredients, odour free & is easy peel off], Lead the Walk [dope and stylish doggie clothes and accessories, stall manned by the handsome big Dave] & ByGraceAmbrose [who makes colourful, statement origami inspired accessories].



the food. //

Surprisingly, I found the food at Stylist Live a little limited. There was a café serving a small selection of warm food alongside sandwiches and salads and then a few stalls selling street-style food. The standout winners for me across the two days were Anna Mae's mac n cheese [absolutely delicious and filling - we had The Spicy Juan with jalapeños], Crosstown Doughnuts [innovative flavours and very tasty - the vanilla bean, chocolate and matcha were YUM], The Botanist [who made us some delicious cocktails - we had a couple of Aperols] and Shoreditch Grind [who helped to kick off my Sunday with a smooth, perfectly rounded latte].



thank you Stylist! //

If Stylist mag hadn't organised this event, we wouldn't have met inspiring speakers, enjoyed great food and drink and shopped all in one magical place. Plus, we got to shoot two magazine covers over one weekend, major win. The only thing glaringly missing was a unicorn. Looking forward to next year [cross fingers there's a next year]!


have a great weekend!

C: