Dress: Coast* | Heels: Primark | Headband: Primark | Clutch: New Look
***VOTE FOR MY LOOK HERE***
If you've been following me on Twitter and Instagram, you'll have noticed that I'd been invited to After Dark, an event organised by Manchester Arndale. 25 bloggers were matched up to 25 different retailers and tasked to find an outfit for the party season. I was really excited with this idea, especially since the Top 10 looks would be displayed in Arndale itself!
I met up with a couple of bloggers outside of Arndale House, where the event was being held, and together we made our way to the 10th floor where we were immediately greeted with champagne, chocolates (courtesy of Hotel Chocolat) and savoury canapés. After a couple of minutes of chatting and browsing each other's dresses (and guessing which ones were whose!), the charming twin hosts opened up the event. The panel of judges deciding on the Top 10 outfits were also introduced, which included mega-blogger Victoria from IntheFrow - exciting!
We were then sent off to hair and make-up in groups and changed into our respective outfits, which were also sketched by fashion illustrator Dom (sadly, as I was one of the last few to get dressed and made-up, I didn't get one!). I had a lovely chat with Suzy, who did my hair in no time at all and made me feel like an absolute princess. Then, we each did a mini-photoshoot and a video on why we chose our dresses, and what we liked about Arndale. I felt a bit silly in front of the camera, and then got absolutely starstruck when Victoria started a conversation and began videoing me. She was an absolute joy to meet and so lovely in person!
My dress was definitely different from the others - not only was it the only strapless dress out of the lot, but it had a lovely, 'princess'-y vibe with the flared midi skirt and galactic wintery print. I had a hard time deciding which dress to pick while I was in Coast, but eventually decided on this one as it was versatile enough to last me through spring and even summer. For the party vibe of After Dark, though, I accessorised with loads of sparkly bits, including my bargain heels from Primark and glittery clutch from New Look. I also settled for a jewelled headband since a tiara wasn't readily available!
I had loads of fun meeting blogger friends again, including Gail, Hayleigh, Holly and Amy. Everyone looked gorgeous and very party ready, and I ran around trying to get photos with everyone.
My dress was also voted as one of the Top 10 by the judges, yay! It'll be displayed in Arndale with the other 9 looks, so do keep an eye out for it if you're in the area. Don't forget to vote for it here, it's 'Party Look Two' - I'll send you a whole truckload of virtual hugs and cookies, and you could win £100 to spend in Arndale as well!
At the end of the night (and a few more photo-ops), we each received a Hotel Chocolat goodybag with Mulled Wine Truffles. Some were served at the event, and I can't wait to eat more of them! I also forgot to take my dress home with me, but collected it without any problems the following day - big thanks to Deb and Helen for keeping it safe for me!
I had such a fabulous time that I can't wait for the next event Manchester Arndale throws xx