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4th Jul, 2022

Fashionistas bid farewell in style as curtain falls on NEC

Aisling Kiely 13th Dec, 2016

After outgrowing London’s Olympia in the late 1980s, organisers of the long-standing Clothes Show decided to pack up and move into a much bigger home, Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).

Since then, the fashion show has grown from strength to strength – spreading itself over the arena’s biggest halls – and has continued to welcome some of the biggest names in the fashion industry.

But the show has been much more than just the clothes and rented stalls. It has been the place where the likes of Vernon Kay, Holly Willoughby and Cat Deeley started their careers after being scouted by modelling agency, Select Model Management.

Desperate to tread in the footsteps of the rich and famous, hundreds of girls have flocked to the show over the years hoping to picked up.

Speaking to the Observer, Solihull-born model Beth Donaghy spoke about how her life has changed after being spotted in 2011.

“Since I was scouted at The Clothes Show, I’ve worked with brands like Asos, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Jack Wills,” she said.

“I’m really glad I was scouted as although some of it has been really tough it has helped me grow up, given me so many opportunities and I’ve made friends for life.”

Technically creative staging, performances from X Factor stars and insider tips from This Morning’s fashion guru, Mark Heyes, were among this year’s highlights.

Laura Whitmore, dressed in this season’s must-have floral print two-piece, presented the live fashion show with help from a long-list of celebrities including reality TV star, Joey Essex.

Remarkable catwalks, imaginative staging and faultless choreography, the final four-day fashion show at the NEC was definitely one not be missed.

Despite the year’s doom and gloom, autumn-winter 2016 has been a season of vibrant colours and texture with puffer jackets, iridescent two-piece suits and lace bodices stealing this year’s runway.

Moving just a hundred miles up the motorway, next year’s show will be dispersed across a number of venues in Liverpool – including The Baltic Triangle, Liverpool Cathedral and St George’s Hall.

Expected to be bigger and better than ever before, the show will be rebranded ‘The British Style Collective’ and promises to provide the ultimate shopping experience.

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