The night of the 27th November consisted mainly of queuing, queuing and um… more queuing for the chance of getting my hands on a coveted gold bag. The annual Vogue Gold Night Out (VGNO) is on again. This one-night shopping extravaganza hit Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush (not my normal Stratford) with a free to register for invite that promised that we would “celebrate style in all its forms as your favourite brands in The Village open their doors and treat guests to an array of elite services and events. Learn how to make cocktails at L’orchidee, enjoy complimentary Neal’s Yard hand massages at Ghost, have your fashion fortune told at Kurt Geiger, watch Tiffany’s master engraver at work and enjoy as the advent bubbles flow.”
There was also an opportunity to ”mingle with Vogue’s Beauty and Fashion Editors, and Vogue’s street-chic snapper will also be on hand to capture the evenings best dressed.” All we had to do was register for a Gold VIP Card now to put my name on the guest list. Free? A free event? This was new after having to pay for the Cosmopolitan Fash Fest. There was, however, something that concerned me. It was the warning that only ‘‘the first 400 to arrive on the evening will be handed a gold Vogue goodie bag.”
This, of course, posed me a problem. I now needed to get to Shepherds Bush, during the peak of rush hour, on the Central Line. For those readers who do not know the nature of the lines on the London underground, the Central Line (red one), goes straight through the middle of the city, it is therefore the busiest. Rush hour looks like this.
It also meant that when I got to Shepherds Bush, that I would need to find the registration desk and start queuing from the off. And this is what I had to do. From what I could tell there were several VGNO desks, none of which was manned as I walked by the first desk, and ended up joining a queue at the second that was already about 70 people. All of this for the off chance of getting a good gift bag from a free event.
After queuing for twenty minutes and being joined by the rest of my party it was obvious that the queue we were in had expanded. It trailed behind us and others had joined their friends and family ahead of us (who had been saving them a place) so in actuality we had moved back a little to about place 100. There was more of a chance of not getting one of the gold bags so, in a flash of brilliance, I asked one of our group to go check the first empty desk I passed by on the way in and, lo and behold, it was only up to about 20 people so we rushed over and joined that queue, keeping our fingers crossed that the 400 bags would be distributed evenly between the desks.
Writing this, it is now quite funny to me. The queues got bigger and bigger and bigger and more and more fashionistas turned up, some pushing in, others joining those who held their place for them (much to the chagrin of those behind them) all for a limited number of gift bags for a free event. A free shopping event in one of the best shopping malls in London, and no one was shopping because they were all in the queue for one of these…
By the time the bags finally came out, and were distributed to the desks, the queue I was in, that started by one entrance, then looped all around the mezzanine overlooking the escalators, then back around by me, then around and onto itself again, so from above it must have looked for all intents and purposes like a giant @ symbol of people. People were joining friends at the last minute, tempers were raising, the security guards were “calmly” explaining that a lot of people had been queuing for an hour and that, yes, the end of queue was actually looping around the outside of the inner queue and there was chatter about not getting a bag but…. <allows for dramatic tension to fill the room> I was one of the fortunate few to get one of the gift bags. And WHAT A BAG IT WAS! But more of that later… First some bubbles at Searcy’s champagne bar. #sorrynotsorry
What is the Vogue VIP Shopping Event?
”For one night only, you are invited to join the Vogue team for exclusive events, services and offers in The Village at Westfield London. To receive the exclusive events, services and offers you must register for a Vogue VIP Card and present this card on the evening. Vogue’s Beauty and Fashion editors will be on hand to offer their expertise and answer any beauty or fashion questions.”
Here is the skinny. This is not a closed room event. In a guide given with a Vogue gold card, visitors can walk into any of the stores that are participating. Some have just canapés to entice shoppers in, others have performing artists like ballerinas, some offered discounts, others (very limited) freebies. I am particularly disappointed not to make the most of the free Buckley pair of earrings.
For this event I had decided on the following outfit:
@ted_baker @Topshop @WareStyle @voguemagazine @westfieldlondon @thechampagnebar
@NealsYard_ @Rituals @Caudalie @kellyhoppenhome @Thomas_Pink_ @NewLookFashion @BritishVogue