Stylist launched in October 2009, and since then it’s become famous for innovation and an ability to stand out and surprise. I remember my first time collecting a Stylist, picking up a copy of the freemium magazine outside Angel tube station on my way home from a class at City University for my Masters programme. Since then I’ve watched the team at Stylist produce an issue in 24 hours, run interviews with the likes of Hillary Clinton, get Nigella Lawson and Lena Dunham to guest edit editions, write about fashion and beauty in ways that I enjoyed so much more than most glossies and, most importantly, I loved how they actually wrote about feminism and women’s issues that so many other women’s publications just weren’t covering.
Stylist Live was the team’s attempt to bring every element of the magazine to life in one four-day festival. I was lucky enough to be gifted a ticket, and chose to attend yesterday for the final day.
Everyone was treated to a glass of fizz on arrival, which was a lovely touch. Stylist, I’m happy to raise my glass to you!
I attended with my friend Carmen, and pretty quickly into the day we began to find the photo opportunities. Photobooth? You don’t have to ask me twice!
One of my favourite parts of Stylist might surprise you: the Letter from the Editor right at the beginning. It gives context and insight into the team’s frame of mind about an issue or why they chose to cover a particular topic, and I love how Lisa Smosarski, Editor in Chief, writes, and makes it feel like a message from an old friend each week.
True to their mission, Stylist Live featured a letter from Lisa right at by the entrance.
Speaking of photo opportunities, Stylist provided the chance for each of us to be on the front cover. I loved this balloon wall and ombre effect, though it didn’t really match my socks. 😉
The other front cover was much more autumnal with a floral wall in warm colours. Here I am trying to strike an interesting cover-worthy pose.
Over in the food section Carmen and I found the Green & Black’s stand, offering samples of chocolate and demos (with samples!) of recipes featuring their chocolate.
My favourite had to be these Salt Water Truffles, which were the right balance of bitter / sweet / salty for me. Sadly I was only able to try the one truffle, but they did encourage us to take a photo of the recipe to try at home. (Pictures above, in case you’re interested in trying it, too!)
From food we headed over to fashion, where we spent a good hour browsing and checking out new-to-us brands and what was on offer.
One of the retailers I was most excited to meet was Whistle & Bango. If you follow my blog or Instagram you know I’ve featured their bangles in several of my posts before, so it was great to meet the faces behind the brand. Funnily enough, Rosie and Ania recognised my name from social media, and remember me as the girl who travels a lot.
Outside of the original London post code bangles, the girls have introduced alphabet bangles (shown above) and earrings, international bangles, screwball bracelets and bespoke bangles. I just love how each piece can be made personal to the owner.
As well as the fashion retailers, Stylist Live also brought the fashion section to live in a more editorial way with a series of fashion shows over the course of the four days.
Kitty McGee, Executive Fashion Director, introduced our show which featured high street labels we could realistically purchase (and many of the retailers were out on the Stylist Live floor with special offers on those items just for us!), and five trends to keep an eye out for this season before the models took to the runway.
The first trend to hit the runway was Sweet & Sour, which is all about jarring colours.
Bright and vibrant, the colour spread here reminded me of a candy shop. I really love my basics and classics, so I’m not sure if this is a trend I’ll be trying on, but this colour pallet is like a breath of fresh air for autumn / winter.
Next up was Supercharged Tweed. This trend wasn’t about wearing traditional tweed prints, but rather tweeds updated to feel new and fresh.
The tweeds in this show incorporated pops of colour and metalics that traditional tweed prints wouldn’t have.
Then there was Period Drama, which really was all about the drama. This type of gothic-inspired trend has been in for a few seasons now, and feels really at-home in the autumn / winter season to me.
This was the final look of the Period Drama trend, and that beaded and fringed top is totally something I would wear. Perhaps it’s time to go shopping…
The final trend was 80s Glam, and thankfully there wasn’t a shoulder pad in sight!
Instead we were treated to a catwalk of glitz and sparkle. If you’re after party season style inspiration, this is definitely a trend you’ll want to take note of.
Over the past few months Stylist has been working with Ford to host the Fiesta Stylista competition, looking to name the UK’s next top stylist. To enter the competition, entrants needed to share their take on the red trend; enough reader votes would see them through to the semi-finals, where they were assigned another trend to style. From here the independent judging began, and the contestants were narrowed down again for the final, where they had to style three cover wraps for Stylist.
Fiesta Stylista came to an end at Stylist Live, where the winner was announced – fashion blogger Sarah Mikaela, founder of blog Framboise Fashion.
By now we were pretty tuckered out, and the weekly grocery shop beckoned. Sadly Carmen and I weren’t able to make any of the talks or workshops (they just booked up so quickly!) so I’ll be keeping a close eye on Stylist’s upcoming events and I’ve got my fingers crossed they host another festival next year.
Were you at Stylist Life? What were your highlights? x
Please note: while my ticket to enter was a gift, the views expressed are my own.