Clothes Show 2010 Review

With it snowing outside, -3 degrees and a three hour coach journey, I was not in the best of moods to begin with.

However, when you first walk in, the entire eye can see are hoards of people and hundreds of stalls selling everything a girl could ever want at discounted prices. There are shoes, bags, vintage, boys, girls, make up, hair, chocolate and a stall dedicated to Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Walking around things catch your eye, a cute cream dress in that direction, nice pair of boots in the other. At first it’s a little daunting and you don't know where to start or which direction to walk in. But, even when you know where you want to go, it’s hard to get there as people jump out at you trying to sell you different things. I was offered teeth whitening, a fake tan session and hair extensions in the first 20 minutes; I didn't know whether to be pleased at the effort or offended they were offering me these products. However, after a while I relaxed and soon enough Ii started purchasing. There are stalls which sell everything, and that's not an exaggeration; I felt like a kid in a candy store

The room is divided by the colour of the carpet and each colour represents what is being sold in that section. Pink, for example, is make-up and beauty, while a blue floor represents many high street and vintage stores offering their goodies. It’s a good idea in theory making each section a different colour, but it doesn't really help you know where you've have or haven't been. There's no real organisation to the flow of the stalls, and this gets very confusing.

The most surprising thing to me is that each make-up counter is selling you a "goodie bag" which contains a number a products at a price. At first this seems like a good idea, and I'm sure it would be if you are 15 years old. The products in the bag are the products that probably aren't going to be sold, for example silver glitter lip gloss from Barry M, and a gold eye liner pen from Bourjois. They are putting these products into a fancy bag and selling them at much more than they are worth. All the while telling you it’s at its a good deal. At what’s even more surprising, you see everyone walking around with these bags.

After a few hours shopping it’s time to see the main event. The Fashion Theatre is the other side of the hall, and when you get there it’s a 15-minute wait before you're allowed in and when you finally are, everyone rushes to their seat, pushing you out of the way.

The catwalk show begins with Gok Wan chatting to the excited and lively audience and a couple a z-list celebrities take to the stage to entertain the audience before the fashion and dance show begins. The theme of today's shows is Hollywood movies; with sci-fi, James bond, western, high school, fairy tale, gangsters, horror and of course a nod to dirt dancing all influencing the catwalk fashion.

Overall the show is entertaining and the dancers are excellent and it's extremely clever how they have incorporated dance with fashion and the story that the show tells is clever. The originality of the clothes is lacking however and this lets the whole show down. It’s either been seen or done before; and this is disappointing.

I am talking about none other than the Clothes Show Live 2010. Taking place at The NEC in Birmingham, the Clothes Show showcases latest fashion, beauty and dance trends on a large scale. The first show was launched in London in 1989, and since then has enjoyed varying success.

I have attended The Clothes Show several times before, in 2008, 2006 and 2005, and this year was sadly a little disappointing. Although the event attracts some of the huge brand names, such as Superdry, Rimmel and Benefit, you can’t reach them because there's a huge queue in front of you, and when you finally do make it to the front all the good products are gone. Where have the real celebrities such as; Fearne Cotton and Alisha Dixon? Is this the first bit of evidence that The Clothes Show is losing its touch?

And this year, the smaller tackier counters seem to dominate most of the fashion stalls. Brands you have never heard of are over-taking the popular ones; everyone would love to see there. It’s not all bad, some of the items are genuinely nice. The vintage stalls, for example, are genuinely good and you can almost imagine yourself down Brick Lane in London. However, for the majority you have to hunt for the good pieces and fight another 150 people for the colour or size you want.

It soon becomes hot, tiring and over-bearing and all you want to do is sit down. I find a seat in front of the smaller catwalk show taking place at the back of all the stalls and counters. Jeff Brazier is presenting, and announces that Mark and Lauren from ITV2 show The Only Way is Essex, are not going to be making an appearance. Half of the audience leave then. But i stay and catch a glimpse of New Look's catwalk show. The models are being rushed, some are half dressed and others walk so quickly you barely have time to look at the outfit.

In the theatre hall, watching the main event it gets worse. The group of over-excited girls who cheer and scream every time a half-naked man walks on stage ruins the atmosphere for the majority of the audience. But that's what the majority of the show is; half naked men parading up the catwalk. The theme of this show seemed promising, but the majority of the clothes are just as tacky as the stalls outside.

Overall the day was okay, just okay. Go, if you love a bit of fun shopping, don't go if you're into serious fashion. Just like when you open up a goodie bag, the day was a bit disappointing. Gok Wan's cheeky chappy behaviour made up for the lack of real entertainment and if you love dance the show is a must see. But maybe my dampened opinion of the day is because I'm just getting too old for The Clothes Show, or maybe The Clothes Show is getting to old for me.