Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The 'Deen Scene: Aberdeenshire Fashion Week

A note from Joelle...

♫ ♪ 'hotel amour' - hotel flamingo ♫ ♪

(Apologies for this post being so late! The show happened in late April!) *Sorry for the iPhone pics, my camera was a bit shy for some reason!
Myself and two friends made our way down to the beautiful Copthorne Hotel for the first ever Aberdeenshire Fashion Week. I didn't really know what to expect but I knew that local fashion talent was at the heart of it, so I was very excited. I was quite late (not fashionable at all!) but the hotel staff were friendly and directed us the where we had to be. Little did I know, the event was running an hour late so I had not missed anything.
We were treated to gift bags at the door, friendly people walking us in and a promise of a glass of bubbly (which as included in my ticket package), which was a great start. 
Ami Gibson's collection was absolutely stunning with water-colour print and flowing garments - I was so impressed. Here are some of her designs inspired by the Scottish landscape:
This Ami Gibson jumpsuit was beautiful!!!!
Ami about to take her bow
I liked the fact that they used models of different ages, sizes, genders and ethnicities - that was great to see and I liked how charismatic (and a bit crazy) some of the models were, but this sometimes drew away from the actual clothes.
However, it kind of went down hill from here...I don't want this post to be a negative rant, but I honestly will never sugar-coat things on my blog to make people happy!
The place was practically empty - about twenty people were seated in a room that had a hundred-person capacity. I was a bit confused, but as soon as the models went down the catwalk I was so impressed with most of the collections. Not all were well presented by the models however.
Timing was a bit of an issue as there were often long pauses with no one on the catwalk. Some outfits were also repeated about four times, which is not meant to ever happen on a catwalk show.
I also grew tired of clapping for every single model after their turn on the catwalk. I have never been to a fashion show where this is done and I didn't know the purpose of it, if I am honest.

I only got the name of one designer as Miss Africa Scotland (who wore a beautiful red sequinned dress) was a bit nervous and quietly mumbled the names of the designers when introducing them. Because of that and a lack of designer information, I just had to guess their names from the bits I heard.
Myself, Elshaday and Linette after the show
After coming back from lunch during the hour-long interval, we came back to find our front row seats were taken. Normally I wouldn't make a big deal of that but we all paid extra (£15 to be exact) for those seats in the first place, so I felt a bit annoyed that I now had to sit in the fourth row and didn't get any good pictures for the blog or see much as the seating was all on one level.
To add to the randomness, we were not told that there would be musical interludes in the breaks between collections. These acts involved some guy miming to an r 'n' b track and throwing interesting popping and locking shapes awkwardly on the catwalk. Then towards the end, one girl with a guitarist who seemed a wee bit nervous performed, she was great though.

Overall, the show did feel a bit amateur which was a shame, but then again, it is the first ever regional fashion event like this in Aberdeen so I was happy to have attended as a blogger.
I also feel that if the organisers had reached out to the local Aberdeenshire fashion bloggers/fashionistas (the are LOADS of us) and used better social media to draw attention to the event, it would have been better attended. In fact, after the event, I spoke to about ten local bloggers and only one had seen an ad for the event, which was a bit of a shock. Bloggers are very good at creating buzz around upcoming local events like these and can really help with the numbers and publicity!
The next Aberdeenshire Fashion Week will be in October and I will be attending, regardless of what happened this time round. I know that the issues that happened this season will be resolved and the event will run a lot more smoothly next time.
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