On a crisp Saturday morning in London, most of the fashionable women in the city chose to spend the day inside, in the grand ballroom of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge. Apart from the delicious breakfast, lunch and drinks offered, and the goodie bag filled with useful Mary Kay beauty products, there was another reason to attend the inaugural London Glamhive LIVE Style Summit. That reason? The company's energetic and insightful founder Stephanie Sprangers. If anyone finds themselves with a grain of self doubt, a minute in Sprangers' company will erase it, only to replace all negativity with a can-do attitude and positive outlook about life, work and success.
So when MIME was offered the chance to be a part of this summit, the first one of its kind held in London after their inaugural Glamhive LIVE event in Los Angeles in August 2019, we said yes. And we were so glad we did.
In the early morning, for a Saturday, we were greeted with great hospitality upon entering the Bulgari Hotel, which overlooks the side of Knightsbridge that houses legendary department store Harvey Nichols and the glam shoppes of Sloane Street. The luxury Bulgari Hotel and Residences was built in 2012 and it is part of elegant fashion conglomerate LVMH. Their spacious ballroom housed on the lower ground floor of the property felt intimate enough to host a fashion and beauty gathering, yet roomy enough to show off what each fashionista was wearing. Their coffee cups and saucers alone are the stuff dreams are made of.
The flower arrangements around the room were phenomenal, as was the boutique-sized red carpet where everyone could show off their fashions. But what we were all there for were the panels and celebrity stylists and make up artists, as well as companies' founders. Among them, Nicole Chavez, whose clients include Kristen Bell, Jessica Simpson and Scarlett Johansson; Brian Underwood, beauty director of Oprah Magazine; editorial stylist and fashion journalist Zadrian Smith, also half of styling duo Zadrian & Sarah; style influencer Maninder Sachdeva; celebrity hair stylist Christian Wood, who has styled Jessica Chastain's hair, among many others; Ruby Hammer Beauty founder, Hammer herself; Tik Tok fashion influencer Ambika Dhir and celebrity make up artist Tania Grier.
The morning sessions started with 'The London Perspective', a panel on styling with Nicole Chavez, Tanya Grier, Christian Wood and Holly White, moderated by Zadrian Smith. Attempting to decode the easygoing style of London "It" girls and boys, the talk quickly defined the London look. "London is the capital of cool and everyone references Kate Moss," as an example of unkempt elegance, said Christian Wood. Nicole Chavez chimed in that, "as a stylist in casual, hippy, bohemian LA, I must admit that as an outsider London fashion seems more traditional." London-based stylist Holly White said that for her, the best way to look at it is to compare the editions of British and US Vogue, "British Vogue styling is seen as effortless and relaxed, whereas American Vogue feels more cool and polished."
Then it was time for the 'Ladies Who Launch' panel moderated by model and actress Kelsey Norris, showroom director of the Albright Fashion Library. With Ruby Hammer, Colette Laxton, the CEO & Co-Founder of beauty company The Inkey List and Glamhive's founder Stephanie Sprangers this was a spellbinding session filled with insight and inspiration for those wanting to create a movement in fashion, beauty or lifestyle in general.
Sprangers called the idea of starting Glamhive a "collection of ah-ha moments and then following the bread crumbs," when asked if there was one moment in particular when the idea of coming up with an online styling app and then a platform was born.
"Entrepreneurship is about other people saying yes," she admitted, which means that if you're getting a lot of "no"s in the process, you're just around the corner from the "yes!" you need. There was mention of "angel investors, those who put their hands in their pocket" and allow you to follow your dreams, and also stories of overcoming adversity. One such story was from Colette Laxton, who confessed that having launched her company inside Sephora, just before the pandemic hit, she was then stuck with tons of inventory once all the stores closed in 2020. But The Inkey List is a beauty favourite these days and we even got a freebie eye cream and de-puffer from them in our gift bag -- and the stuff works!
The early afternoon session belonged to a panel called 'Brand Yourself -- Growing Your Personal Brand' with "fashion boy" Benji Park, and influencers Maninder Sachdeva and Ambika Dhir. It was fascinating to realize how Tik Tok and Instagram have grown to be the go-to platforms for Gen Z's to figure out their style and cool. And after exploring it a bit further ourselves, we completely get why long-standing institutions such as the Festival de Cannes and London's Victoria & Albert Museum have jumped on the Tik Tok bandwagon. Apart from it offering a one-stop shop of styles and trends, it's also fun and entertaining to scroll through curated videos and vlogs.
'The Future of Fashion' with Nora Zukauskaite and fashion futurist Geraldine Wharry was also a fascinating look at how fashion is evolving, in the age of the Metaverse. Best selling brands such as Gucci are now making NFT's for our avatars to wear in this alternate world and it turns out, that's just as important for a fashion house's presence as making our human version's bags, shoes and clothes -- you know, the kind we get to wear ourselves. This is where personally, we have to draw the line as currently NFT purchases can only be made with cryptocurrencies which require ton of energy to be "harvested". This means that Bitcoin alone uses more energy than 185 countries and is comparable to the annual energy consumption of Norway. That's not sustainable fashion, nor a longterm feasible solution so, no thank you! We at MIME believe in pretty much sustainable everything, starting from our online only presence which doesn't require any paper, or ink, or plastic which are wasteful and pollute the environment. With this impractical aspect to NFT's, we have a feeling they may be a passing phase... And hopefully so is the Metaverse, as we all know it's much more fun to meet up in the real world, not somewhere manufactured only online.
Closing up the day, was a panel on the stylists behind our favourite red carpet looks, titled 'Behind the Seams', "a conversation with some of the most creative and forward thinking designers in London" with Nicole Chavez and Zadrian Smith.
For more information and to hire a personal stylist visit the Glamhive site here.