OPINION: The Clothes Show Live ’15 @ NEC 04-8.12.15

The Clothes Show Live '15

Words by Sasha Holt / Pics courtesy of NEC Group

Birmingham PreviewWell hello fashionistas, its Sasha – your style guide through the fashion wilderness. Today we take another step closer to the style obsessed leviathan that is The Clothes Show Live.

Whilst daydreaming about the diaphanous dresses on my wish list for The Clothes Show Live ’15, I started to muse about the human clothes hangers that will be showing off the key pieces to a fashion hungry public on the Image Catwalk at this year’s event, and the influential effect they may have on many visitors to the event.

The Clothes Show / The Brit Pack – Erika Pattison, Sarah-Ann Macklin, Hannah Dodd, Rhiannon LaslettOne example of this is the hope that many girls may have of being spotted by Select Model Management, The Clothes Show Live’s official scouting team, because they are 5 foot 10 inches and a size 6?

After all, if spotted they could in the footsteps of The Brit Pack – with the current faces of this year’s campaign, Erika Pattison, Sarah-Ann Macklin, Hannah Dodd and Rhiannon Laslett, all plucked from the NEC crowds over the last 10 years.  Then I wonder how many girls that are 5ft 4 inches and size 14 will have the same hopes to make it into the fashion world? The answer to this question may reflect an inequality that still exists in the fashion world, but I’ll let you be the judge.

With the average Clothes Show Live customer being a girl between 15 and 18, their immediate demographic is one greatly influenced by fashion and still forming their sense of self. Many could Hilary-Alexanderbe looking for aspirational role models, and at The Clothes Show Live this year they may be confronted by images which to the young insecure mind could be dangerous.

Now I’m not suggesting that The Clothes Show Live should become some holistic moral fashion beacon, but I’d be curious to know which exhibitors featured this year foster a sense of self away from just the presumed external fashion ideal.

But one person on the 2015 programme I trust to guide this year’s wide eyed fashion Bambi’s through the ready to wear wilderness is Hilary Alexander OBE, in the Olympus Style Studio. She was once quoted as saying on a Russian fashion website:

“Every morning we all, regardless of wealth, will be faced with a choice – what to wear, and this idea should not lead anyone to horror.”

I think this year’s Clothes Show Live attendees are in safer hands with her – learning that whoever you are, everyone is entitled to love fashion.

ashley-graham---backI’m also waiting with baited breath to discover which designers will be at The Clothes Show Live ‘15 catering for sizes and shapes that might not fit in with the ‘traditional’ societal idea of beauty.

Recently there was the applauded launch into the big time of plus sized supermodel Ashley Graham. At the time I was a little erred by the hypocrisy that ultra skinny models are criticised but this overweight girl was widely celebrated; after all, neither end of the weight spectrum is a healthy place to be. But when I think of events such as The Clothes Show Live it makes me realise that every opportunity to push forward someone who is not the fashion ‘norm’, should be taken.

I hope that events such as this will one day feature models of both sexes, which accurately reflect the sizes and shapes that exist in the world outside the catwalk. Will it be this year, will it be next ttf LOGO WEBCOLOURSyear; we’ll have to just wait and see. And when the fashion revolution does happen, I hope it’s a silent one – arriving without any press or fanfare, simply introducing a cross section of models as equals in the lineup.

Perhaps the old adage that ‘clothes maketh the man’ should be replaced with something like ‘clothes keep you warm, but it’s your skin that makes you unique’.

The Clothes Show Live ’15 comes to the NEC Birmingham from 4th – 8th December. For full programme details visit http://www.clothesshow.com/

Tickets for The Clothes Show Live ’15 are on sale now, available through Ticket Factory. For online tickets sales & info, visit https://www.theticketfactory.com/cslb/online/

For more from the Ticket Factory, visit https://www.theticketfactory.com/

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