6 July 2010
The Alt collective II
There aren't actually that many events that you can go to and submerge yourself in the world of alternative fashion for an entire day, and that's what makes The Alt Collective such an essential date on the goth calendar. Open to the general public as well as offering great networking opportunities for businesses and models, The Alt Collective brings alternative fashion shows, trade stalls and live entertainment together under one roof. (I would say under one umbrella, but the umbrella was broken during one of the catwalk shows. Smug grins from all the superstitious people.)
The various trade stalls enabled you to literally dress yourself from head to toe with millinery and footwear stalls, and everything else in between.
The Alt Collective is hosted by Devolution Magazine, and this event, held on 3rd July 2010 at the Face Bar in Reading, was the second Alt Collective, and the team hope to make it bigger and better every year. Nickie from Devolution Magazine told us that they run the event "to support amateur and professional models, makeup artists, designers, photographers, visual artists, independent publications and most of all those that truly live the lifestyle."
Over 200 people attended the event, and collectively raised almost £600 to be donated to charity. The Alt Collective has a lot of scope for expansion, and is unique in the opportunity it gives small and independent businesses to promote themselves. "The Alt Collective was a way to get everyone together in one room for a celebration of talent and passion, and an opportunity to put names to faces and be proud of who you are and what you do as well as raise cash for charity on the day."
The event was centered around the catwalk shows which featured wholesale brands alongside individual designers from around the world, and featured an entire mob of alternative models (what is the collective term for models?) They all modelled with seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm, looking flawless long after many others had flaked from the heat! The models ensured that the catwalk shows were entertaining and interesting, holding the audience's attention with a flambouyant show of twirls, dance moves and a strong sense of characterisation dependent on the outfit they were wearing.
Sandwiched between the catwalk shows were performances from bellydancer Amber Maya McSass and burlesque performer Roxy Twirls. In addition, throughout the day, the Graffiti Kings from London were creating a mural, and the very flexible Anna-Marie Fullbrook of Berkshire Alternative Dance Studio was giving pole dancing demonstrations and lessons.
Something that you couldn't fail to notice about this event was the atmosphere. Everyone was relaxed and happy; old friends were meeting up, and new friends were being made. Amy from Black Sunshine told us that "The event on the whole was a great day and showed what a huge effort Nickie & Rob put in to what they love! It was a great chance for us to put our name out there and meet some really nice like-minded people. Will definitely be coming back next year!" And that was what the event was about; a chance to network and mingle with an extremely friendly and welcoming group of people who are all passionate about the alternative scene.
I have no doubts that The Alt Collective is an event which will continue to grow each year, and it truly deserves to. One visitor that we spoke to said "I think that for the next one a lot more people need to get involved. The acts were great, everyone involved should be happy." And judging by the number of people already looking forward to the third Alt Collective, it is sure to become more popular year on year.
Devolution Magazine's Nickie added "It was a crazy fun and busy day, and it was amazing looking out at everyone networking, getting photographed, hanging out with friends from all over the county, wearing some wonderful outfits and being there to support us and the scene - the raised money result for the charity was fantastic and everyone should feel so very proud of their donations. We will be thinking up a whole new programme for next year's event and will be assembling a small team to start prep work on it asap!"
Everyone seemed to feel that the event was a huge success, and with it still somewhat in its infancy, I think we can look forward to some very exciting additions and expansions in the years to come.