Young Designers Deserve Better - An Event Review

As a blogger I'm lucky enough to get invited to attend some really great events where I get to try new things, network with other bloggers, see new launches from brands and do some really fun things, but sometimes events don't always work out to be the fun and well organised one's that I've become accustom to. I'm not one to complain because I feel lucky of my experiences, but oh boy - this one was just too much to keep shut.

I recently attended a fashion event which I had been invited to along with other bloggers at The Cube - on arrival I walked in and there was no sign of a welcome, this should have been the first sign to me of a badly organised event.  So while waiting around I met another blogger (who I follow on social media coincidentally, yay! Hi Nati)  and we headed inside, still no welcome and we found some seats around what seemed to be a makeshift catwalk with some other bloggers (who I'll link to later)Eventually we found out who the organiser was and tried to let her know we were there as we were to 'ask for her' when we arrived - she looked at us and walked off, expecting an assistant to take our names and had nothing to do with us the rest of the event except to tell people to move to the front so the photos look better, but that's a whole other issue.

My resting/bored of waiting face
The invites we had received, we were expected for 2pm - I naively assumed that the event should start not long later. Well, I was wrong, after over an hour of waiting around on very uncomfortable seats (no access requirements were asked of and about a shot's worth of wine in some very large glasses was given to us when we had been waiting an hour) we were given what we were told were our 'VIP' goody bags, these contained a t-shirt with the name of their award on and some business cards, the problem with this was that they didn't ask anyone what their size in t-shirts was, they assumed or didn't care. Unfortunately the size L they gave me, a plus size blogger - is obviously not going to fit . 

Eventually we got off to a start where Donna Edmunds from Kitted Clothing was introduced and she talked to us about Angelman Syndrome, named after the doctor who discovered it. Angelman syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system - it affects speech, mobility, balance, developmental disability, seizures amongst other things. Kitted Clothing was started by Donna because she saw a gap in the market for children with disabilities after her daughter Kitty was diagnosed. 
Clothing isn't usually designed with those who are less able in mind, but with Kitted Clothing the main focus is accessibility. It's a wonderful idea and a great start up that needs donations to bring it all fully to life for those who really need it. What I really enjoyed about seeing the preliminary designs was that they were colourful and child friendly - often when people think disability they don't think about children because it's not the first thing that comes to mind but with this brand it's all about the needs of children with disabilities with a little fun thrown in. I know I often wish that things for disability were better for myself as an adult, so to make things a little easier for children and their families is a really honourable cause.

After hearing Donna speak to us and show us some designs we were shown the first three designs of the event, the models came onto the catwalk with all the attitude of a runway at fashion week and we were informed these were the designs up for the award (that we hadn't really been told anything about). The designers we saw were: Cassandra Townsend, Bethany Hilton, and Nazira Muslem.

We were then informed of a 10 minute break - after a 2 minute show. At this point the expectations were getting pretty ridiculous if I'm honest because we had waited so long for things to even begin - we were asked to come to this event promptly but there was no agenda given, no real time frames, and a break after such a short time just didn't seem in any way professional. We were told we 'could' go and get drinks, or food in the break (none of which were being provided by the event and we wouldn't have made it back in that break from elsewhere).

After their break then began the show, a flurry of colour and the hard work put into the designs was clear - each designer having their own music picked out for their part. The problem was, the organisers didn't know how to use the sound system so there was glitches there too.

After watching all the beautiful and well thought out designs come down the catwalk we then watched the first three designs before us again twice, as these were those up for the award.
The winner was announced and she looked really pleased, though the trophy didn't have her name on it yet apparently so it wasn't the best organisation on that front either. The winners (Bethany Hilton) designs were innovative, creative and very unique. I loved one of the jackets and hope to see this collection somewhere in the wider world soon. You can see the hard work and time that went into Bethany's designs and her counterparts who were also up for the award.
Sadly, the beautiful work was let down by how the event was run, the lack of professionalism from those organising it, the lack of hostess skills, the fact that when we got to the event the models were wondering around the area in the clothes we were to see - so we saw the designs time and time again, the makeup being done in the room we were sitting waiting in for such a long time for anything to even begin (we should have been invited for 3pm at least), and the venues set up - nothing was ready when we arrived at the time we were informed to; no drinks, no welcome, nothing set up apart from some very uncomfortable chairs, we didn't even get introduced to the designers we were supposed to 'interview'.
Beautiful canal side at The Cube
At the end of the event we were asked go outside and photograph the models in the clothing - which we had already done when they were going down the (quite badly lit) runway. After being kept waiting and not receiving a decent level of hospitality we headed off for drinks at the nearby Zizzi's in The Mailbox, I was completely parched after being sat there so long and sitting in seats that just weren't accessible to anyone never mind a disabled blogger. Having met such lovely bloggers at this experience it was a great chance for us to network afterwards, and who doesn't love a bit of garlic bread? Meeting someone you already kind of know from social media is always nice, Nati is a gem, and making new blogging/vlogging friends is always a bonus and both Chloe and Chrissie are a delight. I also saw some familiar faces at the event too from the Brum Bloggers community and it's always good to have a chat with them, I highly recommend Photography by LxA for a professional shoot with a talented photographer - meeting her again reminded me how much I need to shoot with her in the near future. 

It is a shame that this is the way the event was run, and that the designers (I feel) were let down by the organiser. But Bethany's family certainly didn't let her down and were full of wonderful unyielding support. It was heart-warming to see their smiles and the happiness for their daughter and sister. Well done Bethany, a well deserved award. I really loved the colour palette she used and I could see her clothes on the runway in New York some day soon.

The designs by Nazira Muslem were also very beautiful, I loved the use of peacock feathers on Nazira's designs; they were so delicate and this dress shows a truly simple beauty and embodies the 'tail' of a peacock. As someone who has been in the industry a long time, her experience and expertise shows. She is a true artist and should be incredibly proud of her work, it was a joy to view and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.
All in all, the event itself I'm sorry to say was a dud and left me and other bloggers disappointed. The designs were fabulous and deserved a better platform to show them off and I hope to see the designers elsewhere in the future. As for the PR, there wasn't any semblance of what a PR does and I won't be returning for another event with the FDC young designer awards. I've still a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, but that may be the lack of wine - or not including plus size clothing in a goodybag when you invite a plus size blogger and it's the only thing in the bag...

Here's looking forward to a return to normal service events wise. Onwards and upwards.

I was super happy with this makeup look. I often go for a nude lip recently and I'm loving Sleek's liquid lipsticks.

See recent fashion posts:

A Star Studded Missguided Dress

Striped Trousers: To Be or Not To Be


Learning To Love My Smile

A Kiko Lipstick Haul

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