Last weekend I was lucky enough to get tickets to attend the 3rd annual Vogue Festival in London. And what an amazing weekend it was, I left on Sunday night just buzzing with energy, excitement, and motivation from everything I had seen, heard, and experienced!
British Vogue puts on this event, now annually, as a way for people to get a brief insight into the fashion industry, and to be able to see the pages of Vogue come to life. So many of us globally pour over the pages of the magazine monthly, so Vogue knew this would be an event highly valued by people of all ages, genders, careers, backgrounds and geographical locations. In fact during one of the talks there was a small group of attendees from the Philippines who were interested in learning as much as they could so that they could go back to their country and help to build the fashion industry over there. Many people may wonder why the fashion industry is so important for countries, yet considering it’s an industry worth £26 billion in the UK alone you can see why it’s so important and why developing countries may want to nurture this sector. But more on this is the second part of this series of posts on the Vogue Festival.
This year’s event was sponsored by the world famous Harrods. This collaboration between Harrods and British Vogue just makes sense and was a smart decision on their part. Together they did a wonderful job of organizing a great two-day event, which left people feeling like they had been part of something very unique and special.
The program of events was mainly centred around one hour talks discussing different themes and topics related to the fashion industry. (Fully discussed in part 2). Besides these talks though there were numerous other activities in the foyer of the Southbank Centre to keep you occupied for hours.
There was the Vogue Shop where you could buy Vogue memorabilia and books written by a number of the speakers from the weekend. I admit I did by a sweatshirt with Vogue printed on it (see it in Part 3 of this series).
Also in the foyer on the upper level there was one area run by Kérastase hair products, in which people could choose from 5 styles and get their hair done. There was an OPI nail bar where you could have the Vogue monogram put on your nails. Burberry had a station where they would do your makeup, instruct you how to do it yourself and what products they recommend for you. There was the Vogue Cinema were you could go watch a 20 min film about the behind the scenes of the Vogue photo-shoots and the making of the magazine. This was actually really cool to see! Finally there was an area cornered off where people could bring their own sketches, designs, clothes, etc. and get advice and criticism from experts. I thought this was an absolutely brilliant idea as it gives people a chance to get advice on their work that they may otherwise never have had the chance to. I am definitely taking my sister to that next year as she is starting to become quite a good designer.
On the lower level, some more activities and experiences awaited festivalgoers. Vogue set up a cover shoot station where you could go get your makeup done by Chanel and then pose with Chanel accessories while a professional photographer guides you in posing and taking the picture of you for a fake Vogue cover. They then print it out on glossy paper with captions underneath. What girl doesn’t want the chance to experience being a cover model? Anyway, I did it and it was a lot of fun, and made for a great memento from the weekend. Also in this area there was a station where you could bring your makeup bag and experts would go through the contents, tell you what to keep, what works well, and what to throw away. Brilliant idea considering most people have way too many products, many of which we probably shouldn’t have in the first place, so another great opportunity to get advice from the experts.
Finally there was the Harrods Live Catwalk. Here you could sign up to take part in the fashion shows occurring throughout the day and have your photo taken when you reach the end. Backstage before walking, the participants would have their makeup done by Bobbi Brown specialists. As part of it, Harrods was holding a competition to win £1000 for the best look and walk, which the public has been voting on this last week. Once again, it was a chance for people to experience the thrill of walking the catwalk, something most people will never actually get to do in their life.
Thus as I said before, this festival and all the activities brought the world of fashion to life and gave the average person the chance to experience a taster of this crazy industry!
In addition, people of course needed to eat and drink, and of course there were a couple choices. There was the Vogue Cafe (upstairs) and the Harrods Cafe (downstairs), which sold baked goods as well as salads and sandwiches and other savory items, along with teas, coffees, waters, etc. Additionally there was also the Harrods Juice bar created by Calgary Avansino where you could buy fresh pressed juice, either the green Clean Green or the red Feel the Beet juice. These juices were very refreshing and delicious! Also bags of ProperCorn Popcorn were being handed out at the Vogue Cinema. And last but not least there was the Champagne Bar were you could grab a glass of cold bubbly, Möet & Chandon to be specific. This was a perfect way to end your day at the festival, and it’s exactly what I did!
Overall I can say that it was a well-organized and well-executed event and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I cannot wait to go again next year! But most importantly for me it showed that this industry and fashion in general is something I really am interested in. It has given me the excitement and energy that is associated with doing something in your life and career that you love, and the weekend and event has given me the direction that I had been looking for. Funny isn’t it, how fate comes through eventually and shows you the right thing for you when you are in the right state of mind to accept them. With an open and searching mentality I have been able to fully absorb this better than I would have at any other time in my life. All I can say is I am excited!!