So I wonder what you did with your Mothers Day this year?
Well I had a pretty special one; I spent it with Gok Wan at his Fashion Brunch Club in Lincoln.
As some of you might have read in my previous blog "Oh no I hope he doesn't want to see me naked" I had a call from Goks team a few weeks ago asking me if Sassy Spirit would like to retail at his Fashion Brunch Club.
After much anticipation the day finally arrived and at 7.30am Sunday my good friend Becky and I headed out to Lincoln. When we arrived at the Double Tree Hotel there was already a flurry of activity despite it being early on a Sunday morning. Very professional and busy looking people were buzzing around reception wearing headsets and herding boutique owners pushing rails of clothes towards the elevators at the back of the room.
We were duly met and urged towards the elevators armed with our sack barrows brimming with stock. The doors opened on the 5th floor of the hotel and we were directed into a room on the right. Now we were in the thick of things. Inside the room that had been set up as a make shift prep and styling area were several scantily clad ladies trying on clothes. Around them hovered a small army of dressers, hair stylists and make up people all deeply engrossed in the beautification of the models.
Passing out the other side of the room we encountered the double doors of the banqueting suite. I guided the sack barrow towards the doors and tried to push both doors and the sack barrow forward simultaneously. It didn't work and very quickly I was wedged between the doors. I looked up into the room and stood not 10ft away was Gok. He immediately came to my aid and then embraced both Becky and myself, showering us in kisses and a delicious cloud of his aftershave. "Hello" he said, "How lovely to meet you." His assistant came forward and introduced us as Sassy Spirit. "Ooo Sassy Spirit" he said "are you your name sake?"
It was lovely, he was so friendly. In fact he was exactly like you see on the TV. After a few more pleasantries we continued on our way to the "Dreamspace" area whilst Gok went off to prep for the Fashion Show rehearsal. From our vantage point we were able to set up our stand and watch the rehearsal. So for the next 90 minutes of so that's exactly what we did. We saw Gok put everyone through their paces, every scene of the show was choreographed, every model drilled on their role, each piece of music carefully chosen and Goks script reviewed. It was great to see how hands on he was, this was his Fashion Brunch Club, not his teams and that was evident from the effort we saw go in to making sure everyone understood their role for the day.
Once the rehearsal wrapped up Gok came over to meet every boutique owner and retailer that was supporting the day. We all waited patiently for our turn to chat and have our pictures taken. A quick whirl around the Dreamspace ensured Gok was happy with how we had all set up and then before we knew it guests started arriving. We started meeting and talking to customers as they browsed ourselves and our neighbouring stall holders, including fellow Louth Business Pin Gin.
As guests sat down for lunch there was palpable anticipation in the air, everyone was excited to see Gok take to the stage and to view the Fashion Show. With the lunch plates cleared the music started and Gok appeared. Everyone was on their feet dancing. During his introduction to the day Gok explained how the Fashion Industry didn't fairly represent the real size, shapes and ages of women and one of the things he was most looking forward to was showing Lincoln a georgeous variety of models wearing real clothes. This news was so well received.
As it was Mothers Day he then asked the room if anyone would like to nominate their mum for a Make Over? This caused pandemonium, with so many nominees. Like a seasoned Master of Ceremonies, Gok soon had things under control and once we had heard the tales of 4 daughters we were cheering for the lucky Mum we wanted to be made over. As she was whisked away everyone retook their seats ready for the Fashion Show to begin. The show itself ran in 2 parts and showcased a rainbow of outfits, all from Lincolnshire business owners. What an amazing platform for these boutique owners. They all did such a great job of bringing to our attention a wide range of summer outfits, including beautiful and opulent formal wear. Through out the fashion show Gok introduced each boutique to ensure guests knew where the outfit was from and how they could find the retailer.
His showmanship skills were evident throughout the day but none more so during the Q&A section. He patiently listened and answered questions from half a dozen different guests, giving full answers and really practical advice. As the Fashion Show drew to a close it was time to bring back the Made over Mum for a big reveal. She hadn't seen herself made over and was absolutely delighted when a mirror was produced and she saw her new look live on stage. She looked stunning, the hair, make up and style team had done an exceptional job, it was the perfect end to a great day.
As guests left everyone was given a free goody bag, packed with offers and information from the retailers and boutiques that had supported the day. It had been a most uplifting way to spend Mothers Day. Even though I had been there to work, we hadn't missed out on any of the energy.
I took hundreds of pictures to try and capture the highlights of the day. Fortunately my good friend Vicki Head was there as Photographer and had done a much better job than I had. So using her pictures I have pulled together for you just a few snaps that capture the day, you can see them in the video below, I hope you enjoy.
Thanks for reading.