August 23, 2013

In Which I Hobnob With Fancy Fashion Folk

Mercedes Benz Sydney Fashion Festival kicks off
So onto more desirable subjects . . .

On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to win two tickets to the Mercedes Benz Sydney Fashion Festival as a guest of fashion/style/beauty guru Nikki Parkinson from Styling You and MaybellineNY.

That's a whole lotta name dropping isn't it? Well here's another one. Ruby Rose. She's the MaybellineNY ambassador we got to chat with before the show. A sweeter, more drop-dead gorgeous, down to earth girl you could not find. She even pretended to buy my friend Clare's line that she wanted a picture taken with her just so she could show her teenaged daughters. But in reality, we were both just so excited to be hangin' with Ruby Rose, pretending that we weren't old, wrinkly, forty-something mums.*

Me, Ruby and a non-working flash!
Nikki, Ruby Rose and a working flash! (Pic courtesy Styling You)
 For just one night, we were transported into the glittery, shiny, wrinkle-free world of fashion where the espresso martinis were plentiful and the 'oh wow' moments kept on coming.

I was a little nervous about what to wear, but as I rifled through the hangers in my wardrobe I realised that the only person with a care factor of more than zero about what I looked like was me. So I opted for comfort over speed with skinny jeans, a floaty top to hide any muffin action, and boots with a solid mid-heel to navigate me along ferries, trains and city streets.

I was excited to meet Nikki, as I not only love the content of her website (my weekly Nina Proudman style fix) but admire her as a professional blogger who seems to effortlessly blend great content with the brands she works with, all in a voice that feels like a message from your best mate. She is also phenomenally productive, (unlike a certain blogger whose blog you may or may not be currently reading). Run don't walk over to her blog when you've finished here for Nikki's fabulous fashion, beauty and style ideas.

Unfortunately, my entrance to the private Maybelline lounge to meet Nikki was far from elegant. I had decided to take my trench off just before entering the room and couldn't get the sleeve over the ten-strong bangle party happening on my wrist. I'm trying to say "Hello, it's so lovely to meet you" to Nikki and the other guests, whilst trying to shake off an unwieldy garment hanging from my arm (picture much wild arm shaking, orangutan style). It was like an embarrassing moment from some sad comedy. In the end, I shook Nikki's hand with the trench coat still hanging from my right arm (how professional! how dignified!), then tore the whole thing off so that the sleeve ended up being inside out and flung it on a nearby chair. Classy much?

Nikki, on the other hand, looked so polished and fabulous in white jeans and a sparkly Sass & Bide top. She instantly put me at ease, as did the glass of champagne that appeared at my side by Andrew the waiter, who smiled and kept them coming.

After everyone arrived, we set off on a tour backstage where we got to watch all the models having their makeup done and received a few tips from Nigel Stanislaus who is Maybelline New York's Australian makeup director. You can see his little talk about how to contour your face with bronzer (and how NOT to) here.

I know, I know, you're thinking "potential model material" but we're just too busy unfortunately

I was a little bit worried that they might mistake Clare and I for models and we'd get pounced upon by hair and make-up people (a mistake easily made of course) but I relaxed when I realised the gap between our thighs was, well, non-existent and we would be left alone. PHEW!!

Then it was time for the show. I must say I was surprised and delighted by the whole thing. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. The clothes were from labels that I know I can find easily locally and, more importantly, would actually wear. Well most of them. Whilst there wasn't a see-through poncho or deconstructed tuxedo in sight, I would be hard-pressed to find an occasion on which to wear an evening gown made of wetsuit material!

I am no expert but I am fairly sure these frocks were made of neoprene. Pretty convenient if you fell in a pool at a party!

After the show it was down to The Hub for more fabulous cocktails and food. Did I mention the espresso martinis?

In the Hub you could get a touch up at the Maybelline make-up stand, get all styled up for a faux fashion shoot, stock up on Redken samples and ooh-aah over a fancy lookin' silver Mercedes Benz. No idea how they got THAT down in the bowels of Town Hall, but I had other things to focus on, like finding my perfect lipstick colour.

Clare showing me that she loves me. Awww . . .

Me finally discovering a pink lippie that suits me - thank you Maybelline makeup artist!
The other highlight for me was meeting another of Australia's most successful bloggers, Christina Butcher from Hair Romance.  Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, there is nothing she doesn't know about hair. On her website you can learn how to do a chic braid without looking like Heidi or download her 30 Hairstyles in 30 Days e-book. She also has clear, simple-to-follow tutorials on every hair style imaginable.

Nikki, Christina & starstruck moi
The next morning, I sat with Francesca as we unpacked the very generous Maybelline showbag. Oh my goodness, that glitter nailpolish was like a magnet and required instant application onto toddler fingernails. I can't wait to try the Dream BB Cream and the Colour Tattoo metallic eyeshadows, as well as all the never-would-have-chosen-for-myself lipstick colours in their new Whisper range.

"I want that one mummy"
So there you have it. A gushy post, yes. But a much nicer gushy than my last post I think you'll agree.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone. A big fashion show MWAH to you all (double mwahs to Nikki - thank you so much) xx

*Actually, I'm speaking for myself. Clare may be forty-ish, but she is also drop-dead gorgeous and funny as f@#% and I love hangin' with her too.

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