Yesterday, my sister and I attended the girl-fest that was Stylist live. I can only describe it as a celebration of womanhood in all her diverse forms. Starting on the 15th of October and ending yesterday, it was four days of fashion, learnng, inspirational talks, food, beauty, exhibitors, books …….. amidst a sea of women.
If you live or work in London, Stylist magazine should be familiar to you. If not, where have you been?????? I remember taking detours just to get a copy from the station when I lived in London. Stylist knows their readership well – women who work but also want to nurture a passion and possibly grow that passion into a business. And I guess this was the motive for launching Stylist Live – everything you would get in their magazine , but in real life.
So naturally, you know before you get there you are going to get fab products, a foodie area, fashion and how-to sessions. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know the how-to-sessions were my motivation for signing up – aptly called the Learning Labs. And lastly, for a little fee, you could attend a session on the Stylist Inspires Stage, to hear speakers such as Lorraine Pascale, Davina McCall, Caitlin Moran, Nigella Lawson and Katie Piper. And did I mention I won the tickets in a competition? Whoop whoop! 🙂
My first stop was the catwalk. I’d never been to one before so it was great to have front row seats to view the autumn winter tends. I’m a bit sceptical about the return of the 80s trend is but you’ll be glad to hear that there are no shoulder pads, although sequins are going to be very much alive.
The Learning Lab I attended was by The Cambridge Satchel Company founder, Julie Deane OBE on How to Start a Fashion Business. An amazing and quietly inspirational bold woman who started a million pound company from her kitchen table. Her talk was probably the best business seminar I’ve ever attended purely for her refreshingly simple and honest approach. It wasn’t filled with platitudes and business cliches. It was from a view point of how to start small, create a brand and keep it simple. Utterly inspirational.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to get into the Learning Lab on How to Write your First Novel as it was over subscribed. A bit gutting but the plus side is that I got to spend more time with my sister.
I’m on the left in case you are wondering. 😉
Our final session of the day was at the Stylist Inspires Stage with Katie Piper, who survived rape and a viscous acid attack in 2008. I sort of approached her session from an I-already-know-your-story point of view and was hoping it would be inspiring. However, nothing could have prepared me for the depth of suffering this woman endured, overcame and lived through. She epitomised the strength of the human spirit. Her session was challenging , very challenging just because it confronted you with the insatiable search for the superficial or ephemeral vs what is truly lasting. My take home quote from her session was,
Humans can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, three minutes without oxygen but we cannot survive without hope.
It’s rare to attend an inspirational talk where people aren’t clamouring over the mic to ask questions. There were only two questions from an audience of over 200 women. I think it was because -perhaps – when you meet a genuine article, words are few. It was simply prudent to listen.
As an inaugural event, it accomplished it’s goal – to inspire women. If I’m honest, because I’d seen a few moans on social media I was better prepared for what to expect. There were definitely a few teething problems which I’m sure the organisers will take on board. However, I would go again next year and take my daughter with me.
A huge well done to the team at Stylist magazine and thank you again for the tickets!