London Edge takes place over a Sunday and Monday twice a year, in February and September. It’s the UKs biggest alternative trade show, and is a hub for alt brands, bloggers, models and influencers to network and shop. Being on a budget with my new house in the mix, I decided to book the cheapest journey to the capital possible. This meant I was on the Megabus at 05:00 am on a Saturday morning, armed with my tablet and all 10 episodes of GLOW downloaded from Netflix. The journey wasn’t half as bad as my last Megabus experience, and I actually got a table seat to sit and enjoy the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in relative comfort. I arrived in London around 11:30 and made a beeline for Battersea where I was meeting the wonderful Hayley from Curves and Curls. She graciously offered to host me over the weekend and we were looking forward to some quality time together. We had originally planned a picnic in the park followed by shooting some blog outfits for each other – this plan failed! We were both knackered and decided to picnic at home before heading to Clapham for a mooch. Hayley wanted some makeup advice and lord knows I love me a cosmetics hall.
Hayley lives in a lovely area of London and the weather was kind to us, providing a refreshing afternoon and evening to sit outside and put the world to rights. The more time I spend with that girl, the more I love her. She gave me a proverbial slap around the face for treating myself appallingly recently, and then we enjoyed some home-made mac and cheese while watching Superbad. Dream girly sleepover! We both refreshed our vibrant hair colours and settled down for bed (and chatted until 3am, of course).
The intention was to arrive at the Business Design Centre in Islington just before midday, where the convention is held. Instead, we enjoyed our sleep and took our time getting ready, arriving at the venue after 2pm. Oh well! After packing 3 outfit options, I ended up borrowing Hayley’s coveted (sold out!) City Chic maxi and teamed it with my witchy Lovisa Celestial earrings and a subtly sexy harness. Knowing I was gonna be out of the house until late that evening, I opted to wear my Converse and I’m so glad I did. It’s also probably worth mentioning that I’m back to having mint green hair! After a much needed rest, my hair was strong enough for the bleaching process to bring back Patti’s signature colour. I feel like my old self again!
We hastily made our way into the trade show, stopping to greet familiar faces and brands. Sadly I did miss a few people I had planned on seeing, but I decided pretty early on that I was gonna head back the next day which I hadn’t intended on doing originally. There was just so much to see and do, and many new brands to meet! Before even beginning to shop, I met the beautiful Chloê Kerley, one of my biggest instagram crushes and total sweetheart. You may recognize her from being in the latest Ann Summers campaign alongside the stunning Felicity Hayward! Chloê was great company throughout the event and I can’t wait to see her again soon.
One of the first stands I came across was the talented and eccentric Katie Abey Design. I fell in love with her punny card designs and offensively cute swearing animals. She was an absolute sweetheart and gifted me with her Taco Cat pin – I’m now smitten and I’ve just ordered this little guy on the right! I’d thoroughly recommend checking out her store for your unique Christmas cards in the next few months.
While spending time with Collectif, we bumped into the gorgeous Diablo Rose. She made quite an impression on me when we met in February and it was wonderful to spend a little more time with her. She’s truly as beautiful in real life as she is in the pictures, and a witty little firecracker too. Don’t we make a gorgeous ice cream sundae?! Always a treasure, she chilled with us for a while and lusted after Collectif’s latest wares. They have really leaned towards more of a Rockabilly theme this season with this little jacket being a firm favourite:
Diablo then ushered me over to the Le Keux Cosmetics stand, the business she is part of with her beautiful sister Lynsey Le Keux. I met Lynsey earlier this year and we really clicked, so I was thrilled to find out that she is now expecting a baby! I wish her luck in the final months of her pregnancy and I know that Diablo is super excited to be an auntie. Chloê joined us on the stand and we got some even more colourful photos!:
A special mention goes to Frilly Pops. This stand of hand crafted pom pom accessories and illustrations really caught my eye, and the owner Stephanie was an absolute cherub! She was joined by her twin sister, and they were incredibly sweet and modest while Hayley and I gushed over the adorable designs. Look at those little mint-choc-chip ice cream earrings! Frilly Pops also won a London Edge award that evening which is well deserved, I can’t wait to see this business grow.
I also got the chance to see the full range available from Punky Pins. My more stylish friends (read: Kellie) have some of their classic designs and I have to say there’s nothing like them around. I treated myself to this Bob Ross dream, this perfect motto, and this statement pin. I also nabbed this patch to add to my denim jacket. Successful haul I think you’ll agree! And they do enough cat themed designs to cover an entire bag. Yay!
Hayley advised we check out the lounge area, sponsored by Mermaid Salon, who had come all the way over from Australia for the event. Keep your eyes peeled on my youtube channel where I’ll be reviewing their lipsticks real soon!
Obviously we took advantage of the Festival photo wall:
By that point we were flagging a bit, and I was perfectly happy with the idea of sitting down in Five Guys for an hour to refuel. There was also one special little lady I couldn’t wait to see, and that was Kerry (Ruby Thunder) who was one of the highlights of my experience at London Edge in February. As Hayley was in work the next day, she decided to skip the afterparty in favour of a decent nights sleep. I headed over to the Islington Metalworks where I was reunited with Kerry and we took advantage of the free drinks, setting the dancefloor alight with our mad dancing skills (read: awful). It really was a great chance to mingle at the afterparty, and the perfect social setting to chat and laugh with some amazing people.
I honestly can’t fault the DJ, she was phenomenal! I danced and laughed until I couldn’t breathe, and had a twerk off with Mermaid Salon, as well as treating Kerry to several impromptu lapdances… I still have the bruises to prove how good a night it was! The London Edge awards were hosted by none other than the incredible Lili La Scala (whom I have many friends in common with) and she is an absolute star. We were treated to some burlesque from the divine Marie Devilreux who literally painted the town red with her gothic and bloody routine.
After the last song played and the bar closed, it was time to head back to Hayley’s. My Uber home happened to take me on a super tourist route past parliament square and along the river, and London looked beautifully twinkly in the dead of night. Looking back on the drunken evening, I’m aware that there are a few strangers who definitely have hilarious video footage of me writhing on the floor like I’m in a Whitesnake video, but I’m pleased with my performance!
Heading back the next day meant I was able to have brunch with Kerry, and she advised we go and visit Mildred’s which was a short trip away from Islington. This is a vegetarian and vegan chain, famous for it’s colourful menu and modern take on the veggie diet. We both had the southern deep-fried buttermilk and polenta mock chicken with red cabbage, maple coleslaw, sweet potato fries and smoked chipotle dip. I’m not gonna lie, I was apprehensive about how tasty a vegetarian ‘mock chicken’ could be, but I was obsessed with this meal! The dip was delicious, the portion was a good size and I was heartily stuffed. Genuinely good food, I would go back in a heartbeat. I think I’ll take Kellie when we go to London in November as she is also passionate about vegetarian food. Back at the business design centre, we literally rolled into the lounge area to meet the girls from Mermaid Salon, all reminiscing about alcohol and twerking. No regrets! Perked up after a smoothie, I applied my ’99 Problems’ Mermaid Salon liquid lipstick (which DOESN’T MOVE!) and got ready to head back out into the exhibition centre.
Straight away I bumped into the divine Scarlett Luxe, pinup model and all around babe. She’s a continual sweetheart, and happily posed for some pictures. You’ll recognize her gorgeous face from modeling for Deadly is the Female, Lindy Bop and more. If you’re ever lucky enough to meet her, you’ll know what a cutie pie she is!
After completing my journey of the exhibition and introducing Patti Cakes to several new brands, I once again spent some time with Diablo and Lynsey. Remember, there are Le Keux Vintage Salons in Leeds and Birmingham, Le Keux Parties and the cruelty free range Le Keux Cosmetics. These boss babes deserve a feature in my Badass Women series, keep your eyes peeled for a possible interview soon! In the meantime, silly selfies will litter my social media.
Kerry and I left London edge and headed over to Soho where we had the opportunity to meet Aimee Tink for a drink (hey, that rhymes…) after she had been to a gig the night before. This filled just enough time before my bus home that evening, and we sat in Crobar and drank some evil cocktails accompanied by heavy metal. Bliss!
Once again London, you’ve treated me well. Thank you Hayley for being an amazing friend and a wonderful hostess, thank you Kerry for always having time for me, thank you to the incredible team at London Edge for knocking it out of the park once more! I look forward to February and what you have in store for us next!