The other weekend I was invited along to Manchester celebrity hotel hotspot, the Malmaison, to join Stagecoach at their #SquadOnBoard event with Jessica Wright. Former TOWIE star and reality TV icon, Jessica, has collaborated with the bus brand to give three lucky passengers a once in a lifetime opportunity. A shortlist of contestants who showed off their style using the hashtag #SquadOnBoard on social media were invited to the day to meet Jessica, indulge in some educational and uplifting fashion based workshops – and even have a talk from little old me!
The Malmaison Hotel Manchester was the perfect location to hold a fashion based event. Right in the city centre of Manchester, contestants travelled far and wide to get there on the day and certainly dressed up for the part! With the hotel’s luxurious yet quirky style, the venue fitted the theme perfectly. The only problem is, it’s now on my wishlist to stay there!
Arriving at The Malmasion Hotel at lunch time, the shortlist of lucky entrants were greeted with drinks – prosecco of course! – refreshments and snacks. Let me tell you, those mini burgers were to die for! Greeted into a private reception area, everyone had the opportunity to mingle and mooch before being welcomed into the main event room for the afternoon’s worth of fashion-focused fun.
After a good opportunity for a chat and for the invitees to meet each other, we all took a seat in the main event room to have an official welcome from the wonderful Lindsay at Stagecoach. We were all made to feel so welcome and relaxed and were told that the day aimed to be empowering, uplifting and promote body-confidence and uniqueness in fashion; that’s what I’m all about!
Before long, it was time to meet the star of the show – Jessica Wright! The stunning Jess took to the stage as we were treated to an intimate audience with the reality TV and social media starlet. She looked just as flawless in real life and was so lovely; confiding in us about her own body confidence issues, how she’s overcome them, and the story behind her own clothing line with Sistaglam. We were even given the opportunity to ask questions and Jess was so approachable and polite, a real natural and the perfect spokeswoman for the day!
Throughout the day there was a jam-packed schedule of fashion workshops aimed to be both educational and entertaining. Stagecoach were really keen to highlight and applaud the diverse range of fashion tastes that exist among the country’s bus passengers, and give the attendees something to take away with them on the day. One of my favourite workshops was a mood board activity with the Head of PR at Sistaglam; everyone was asked to pair-up and create a mood board in exactly the same way that Sistaglam do when creating their clothing line with Jess. It was so insightful and Jessica gave her feedback on each of the entries.
There was also a moving and uplifting talk from feminist and comedian, Juliette Burton, who shared her own struggles with body image to let us know that these problems can be overcome – something which I am sure most people in the room could relate to. Oh, and there was also a talk from little old me, where I shared my Top 10 Fashion Blogging Tips for both beginners and established bloggers. Something which I hope everyone found useful!
At the end of the day, it was time to announce the #SquadOnBoard winners. The decision was to be based on the contestants input on the day, including appealing to Jessica as to why they should be part of the campaign. Each of the winners will take part in a ‘squad’ photoshoot with Jessica for her Sistaglam clothing line, followed by a meal with the star. The winners will also feature in an advert to be displayed on buses in different parts of the UK.
The only problem was… Jessica couldn’t just choose three winners, she had to pick four! That truly reflected the mood of the day for me; inclusive, diverse and uplifting. It was truly a day to share personal stories with fashion and encourage empowerment within the contestants, most of whom were young women, and that’s something I truly find important. Thank you to Stagecoach for putting on a wonderful event and inviting me to be part of something extra special.