I'll be honest with ya. I have spent a good chunk of this day trying to decide how to write this post. Is it just me or is scribbling about events a tricky one for bloggers? On the one hand, you want to give an honest but polite account of the event to your readers, and on the other hand, you don't want to say anything too negative for fear of hurting feelings, burning bridges within the industry and never being invited back!
If I were asked to review something for a mag or newspaper, I could happily do it no problem. But Glossary is a personal space. And while I may not be a 'fashion crowd insider,' I do work in advertising and I have to be mindful of how I discuss brands (and anything for that matter!) on this blog.
I was given a complimentary ticket to cover the event for Gloss. Cheers for that 031 team! Nadia accompanied me to the Friday night show and this is my review in a nutshell for those who would prefer to skip my long-winded ramble below: I think the 031 Collection is a fantastic initiative and the production was amazing. Sadly, Aggy Deyn, the guest judge and British supermodel, did not attend the Friday night show. Rumours swirled that she was tired although an official announcement was never made as to why she wasn't there. Throughout the evening, I felt a mixture of pride, disappointment and confusion.
And that my friends, is the honest truth. I was tempted to blog that it was only amazing and leave it at that but that didn't sit right with me.
Yes, the focus was on the fashion but Aggy's name was used as a massive draw card for the event. I'm not sure if she was at the Thursday night show and perhaps she was only ever meant to be at the Saturday night show but nothing I had read in the press or online had led me to believe that she wouldn't be there on Friday night.
Friends of mine that attended the show on Saturday, told me that Aggy was lovely and gracious and a pleasure to meet. I'm sure she's a babe – I was just hoping to see her with my own eyes. I think human beings are generally an understanding bunch. Perhaps she was severely jet-lagged. Perhaps she was under the weather. Life happens. Sometimes you just can't make things. But no announcement was made at the start of the show which created a buzz of confusion among the crowd who were understandably eager to catch a glimpse of Miss Deyn. Speaking of Aggy being a judge, I didn't see any of the other judges either. Were they never set to be there on Friday? Those of you that are in the know, please fill us in!
The show itself was fantastic though. Having played in bands and studied sound engineering, I'm always extra critical of production values and I must say, the technical team did an excellent job with the sound, screens, lighting and staging. I don't remember any technical hitches at all for that matter. Unlike at SA Fashion Week last year, when a light crashed onto the runway – EEK!
The show was comprised of collections from eight emerging designers and eight established designers. I can only imagine how thrilled the emerging designers were to be given this opportunity to showcase their work.
I thought each piece of music complimented the collections beautifully. I was especially excited to hear an excerpt from the Amelie soundtrack!
The models' runway 'perfomances' also featured interesting choreography which made a nice change from the usual 'strut, pose and repeat' down the catwalk.
My favourite collection of the night was by the Holmes Brothers. Miss Molly said it best when she tweeted their show as being 'playful and original.' I loved their bold mix of stripey knee high socks, peter pan collars, African-inspired fabrics and colourful ensembles! They also had their male models 'chat up' the female models on the runway which the crowd loved!
Another highlight for me was the cleverly raised seating. Being a shorty, it always grates me when seating isn't raised! My blogger buds and I were seated behind the camera crew and we could see everything perfectly although I had to tell the 031 crew in front of us to stop hopping on and off their seats throughout the show. Tut tut! You know me – Glossary Granny!
The best part about the night for me though, was catching up with great company. A lot of us local bloggers have become genuine friends in the last year which is great. I also got to meet some blog readers who were just lovely. I know that probably sounds trite but it's true! And it was great to see the handiwork of our friends who were involved in the show.
As with any event, there were a few awkward moments like when a member of the bar staff tried to charge us for Valpre in our Voddies, Lime and Waters (tsk!). The norm is to use the jug water in Durbs! Then there was the sweet lady carrying cupcakes which everyone assumed were complimentary but were actually R15 each! Almost every girl in earshot declared, 'I could make an entire batch for 15 bucks!' Ha.
Aside from those silly small things, the 031 Collection created a great sense of pride and excitement among Durbanites who have been longing for more creative platforms to showcase local art, design and music. Despite my grumbles about Aggy's non-appearance, I am grateful to the event organisers for creating this awesome initiative and giving us a fun night out. The entire experience reminded me that it's up to us Durbanites to make things happen in this town. We tend to moan that nothing exciting ever happens but this show proves that with a bit of hard work (and the right sponsor!) we can create world-class events.
And what about those of you who attended? I know some of you had a glam moment rubbing shoulders with Aggy! Go on, tell us all about it. I may be a bit jealous but I wanna hear the goss!
Pre-show sustenance at Nadia's!
Pippa and Bevan from The Thrift Collection. These two are a hoot I tells ya.
Snaps from the Holmes Brothers' collection.
A glimpse backstage.
JP and his camera!
Nadia looking lovely as always.
For official pictures, check out the 031 Collecion blog here.