LOTA mention in The Telegraph!


APRIL 28TH, 2013 17:34

High Street Fashion Week: the best of British

By suzidixon

’m passionate about buying British. One of the things I love most about this country is the way creativity in business is encouraged and applauded. Through my work with Telegraph Expat, I know that there are British businesses thriving all over the world, be they restaurants, bars, fashion labels or beauty brands. We are a nation of hard work and innovation.

High Street Fashion Week this weekend in London celebrated the best of British with an uber-glam series of runway shows and press events. Brands on show included big household names but also designers and labels run by an army of one, or two.

The event took place at Boxpark in Shoreditch, with VIP catwalk shows by night at Aura Mayfair. The brands on show were both diverse and awesome – my two favourite adjectives. Look out for many a guest post from me on multiple fashion websites with my pick of the crop. Lillies of The Alley, Filthy Sexy London, Frills by AD, jewellery by Elisha Francis, frocks by Lipstick Boutique, they all stood out for me. My pick of the weekend fashion-wise was Roxie Sweetheart. It’s run by the award-winning and inspiring Michelle Lauren Hirst and has a Japanese/cartoon look. A palette of pinks, purples and lilacs make this range ideal to freshen up your spring wardrobe.

I was lucky enough to be invited along with the Vanity Van team to find out what happens backstage on the catwalk.

Vanity Van are a mobile beauty company who specialise in events. They were doing the hair and make up for the 150 catwalk models this weekend and running the VIP area offering complimentary hair styling, make up, massages and gel manicure treatments. They also ran a pop-up salon in Shoreditch so the public could get the VIP treatment too.

And now, their brands and partners. First and foremost, they use Batiste for dry styling and on-the-go touch-ups to model hair. I’m a huge fan of Batiste and this summer, they will be launching a host of new products, tested out on lucky festival goers at Glastonbury, as well as other live events. New products include the Batiste XXL Plumping Powder, Smoothing Conditioning Mist, and Strength And Shine dry shampoo. We live in the age of the camera phone and Facebook – bad hair is no longer acceptable at a festival. So it stands to reason that a brand like Vanity Van is thriving. For the price of a pie and a pint, you can get a style refresh that will leave you looking gorgeous in photos… all the better for making your mates jealous…

At Radio 1 live, Latitude and Bestival they will also be pampering the artists backstage.

The next tool in the Vanity Van beauty arsenal is Miners Cosmetics. Miners is affordable quality and perfect for nights out. At High Street Fashion Week, their versatile range covered all looks, from geek chic to glitter babe.

My hero product? Miners Maxi Mascara, volumnising, waterproof, and only £3.49. You wouldn’t even get half a pie for that at a festival. Every girl should have one in their handbag.

New to the Vanity Van stable this year is Red Carpet Manicure and that’s something I’m very excited about. It allows you to get a salon-perfect, long-lasting manicure at home. I want nice nails but I really struggle to sit in a salon chair for a whopping 45 minutes to get a gel polish. Now I can do my nails while watching New Girl, as before, but with a longer-lasting finish. This is the first of its kind in the UK and the perfect example of British innovation.

And Vanity Van offers more than just a makeover. To entice catwalk guests into their VIP booth they have MyChocolate for chocolate treats. It really is the complete pamper experience.

The High Street Fashion Week shows were uber-glam and full of energy. In my goody bag, I also swagged Make Believe tan – I will give this a thorough test next week, not just for a golden glow but also to cover up my bruises from bootcamp – and a stunning bracelet from Kerrys Jewellery. Delicate, handmade with a stunning star for a touch of glamour.

Supporting British business and buying any of the above brands or labels makes you feel good. The internet has made retail and beauty more of a level playing field – anyone with a passion for what they do can set up and sell without too much expense or red tape. But it is the British brands who value quality and innovation above all else that survive and thrive. Think about that next time you are at the shops.


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