On Tuesday afternoon a giant grin took over my face. As most of you know I’m normally a laid back, rather modest character but on this day (in between random chuckles) I texted, tweeted and generally shouted about my wonderful news.
In a suitably perfect ending to 2013 I’d been shortlisted as a finalist for UK Fashion Blogger of the Year. What’s more my all time favourite fashion writer, journalist and blogger extraordinaire Liberty London Girl aka Sasha Wilkins had handpicked Frock Trade as one of the final five finalists – JOY!
So I trotted off to Birmingham on Friday to attend The Clothes Show Live for a suitably stylish blogger awards ceremony. The weather in Scotland was misbehaving (shock!) and storm-gate threatened to derail my trip so I was relieved to get an early morning train from Edinburgh and watched the sun rise gently over the East Coast as I raced down to join my fellow bloggers.
Having arrived safely at Birmingham’s NEC Arena I took some time to explore the exhibition itself. It’s safe to say The Clothes Show is mammoth. Celebrating its 25th year as the UK’s largest fashion and beauty event, from clothes stalls and beauty counters to industry experts giving master classes and exclusive fashion shows featuring the finalists from Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model.
After a few hours of skipping around a brilliant variety of stalls including both established brands and emerging designers, I just had time to sneak in a light lunch of my favourite baked Camembert with crusty bread at the VIP cafe before the show began. It was time for Sasha to grace the stage and share her career successes with an audience of keen bloggers and fashion enthusiasts.
My fellow finalists and I smiled nervously as we awaited the imminent announcement of the competition winner. We’d had the opportunity to chat beforehand and I was so pleased to be sat alongside such genuine ladies (Miriam and Eshe I’m talking to you!). Before long Sasha had the trophy in hand and presented it to London-based blogger Miriam Bouteba (pictured below) of Remotely Fashion. Unfortunately Miriam’s partner in crime and co blogger Siobhan Sullivan couldn’t make the ceremony but Miriam beamed brightly enough for both of them and was a worthy winner.
The founder of The Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin once said ‘taking part counts’ and I’m happy to confirm he was right. My fellow finalists would probably agree that in the saturated world of fashion blogging being chosen as a finalist is a victory in itself. In light of this I’m sending many thanks to Sasha and The Clothes Show Live team for choosing Frock Trade – their vote of confidence will help both the blog and I grow from strength to strength in the year ahead.