‘Do one thing everyday that scares you – Eleanor Roosevelt
We see this quote branded about Insta and Pinterest quiet a lot and I have never given it much scope, I am more a creature of habit than a try anything once kinda gal. But I recently attended the house of Christmas event at Next and it was totally out of my comfort zone, for one I’m more used to the rolling countryside and been stuck behind a tractor than the big smoke. And me trying to navigate my way around London and the underground system felt like a ’80s Sega mega drive game. Secondly I’m not a fashionista and certainly not a style icon, would I even fit in?
This been the first event I had accepted an invite too I was unsure of the etiquette I had visions of me channelling my inner Bridget Jones and making a total prat of myself, saying something totally ridiculous in the middle of this room full of totally cool celebs and industry experts. And how do you mingle? Do you linger at the side lines like a stray dog hoping somebody takes pity on you and includes you in their conversation or do you go in all ballsy and start chatting to random people who have no idea why the crazy women is talking to them?
But I put all these reservations behind me donned my biggest ‘I’m a totally cool blogger don’t you know’ smile and made my merry way into London. The event itself was a showcase of the Christmas collection, the fashion, the home décor, the gifts and decorations all previewed for us to see. Even the biggest Christmas Scrooge would struggle to not feel a festive flutter at this event, a whole townhouse in London’s Mayfair had been taken over and transformed into a winter wonderland of festive wonder that Clark Griswold himself would doff his cap to.
The outside of the building had been wrapped like a giant Christmas present in this huge Christmas bow, there were Christmas wreaths, garlands, trees and bows adorning the steps, leading you into the festive feast. Had I of seen Kirstie Allsopp gliding down the stairs in a festive dress it would certainly not have looked out of place. Inside your transported to December 25th, Christmas songs are playing, scents of mulled wine candles whiffed past and everyone was in summer dresses and sandals! Not gonna lie it was bloody roasting outside and everyone was in their loveliest summer dresses, listening to Christmas songs in sandals felt totally weird, but I spose that’s how the Aussies do it.
We had brunch nibbles, fruit infused waters and did the ‘mingling’ before been taken up the cascading stairs filled with a giant Rockefella sized cardboard Christmas tree all filled with the new Christmas ranges, the ceilings were draped with the biggest paper chains known to man and thee coolest festoon light up giant letters spelled out Next on the landing. I was in Christmas heaven.
A expert panel had been put together to host a fashion trends talk which included Lynne McKenna the fashion editor of Fabulous magazine, Katherine Ormerod editor of workworkwork, and Julie-Ann Sloane Next menswear buyer all hosted by the wonderful Angela Scanlon. The ladies talked through the trends coming through for A/W 19 and in particular the Christmas fashion trends. Want to get ahead and be ‘in trend’ this coming Autumn/winter then envision Bet Lynch and Liberace’ love child wrapped up with a bit of Alexis Carrington. A lot of fur, sequins, sequins and more sequins, and a lot of animal print; you can thank me later when your ahead of the fashion crowd.
The event continued after the trends talk and we were able to view all the ranges for ourselves, yet again Next have knocked in out of the park with the Christmas fashion range, I spied a few pieces that I know my account card will be itching to purchase.
The range has two distinct feels a Christmas glitz and glam range and a more muted and refined country esque range that wouldn’t look out of place on Downton Abbey; country tweeds and checks. We all know Next has good homeware ranges and their upcoming A/W range is out of this world they have really gone up a notch and the range really is of a premium.
The whole styling of the event was like walking into a Kelly Hoppen dream, fur rugs perfectly placed on beds, wardrobe doors draped with silky pyjamas, the entrance to one room was a Narnia style Christmas arch; if I could have stole it, fitted it in my bag and transported it on the tube believe me I would have. The whole event really was beautifully Christmassy and stylish.
I mingled to the best of my ability, sat in a taxi photo booth and pulled some questionable poses and felt like I held my own in a room full of blogging experts but seriously I needn’t have worried. I met some wonderfully inspiring people who were the friendliest bunch. We were all packed off on our way with goodie bags brimming with candles, lipsticks and various other gorgeous goodies, that was it my first event was a wrap, a Christmas wrap!
I am so glad I finally had the balls to accept an invite to an event and push myself out of my comfort zone. A fellow Instagrammer recently told me “great things happen out of our comfort zone” and she couldn’t be more true. Now I’m not going to say I’m going to be doing bungy jumps before breakfast or take up a public speaking role with the UN but I will try daily to push myself to go out of my comfort zone, really what is the worst that can happen?