London Edge, Alt Trade Show

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This is my third visit to the London Edge, first time in this venue.

 

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Manic Panic is usually my first stop when I enter Edge. This time wasn’t any different. The staff were friendly and engaging. We talked mostly about hair die(duh). Their makeup is worth mentioning; being as pale as I am I use Dreamtone Foundation, which is pure white to lighten and brighten my drug store foundation come winter.

Both Cat and I were given little grab bags. As always Manic Panic delivered! Stickers, Dye Away wipes, brush/comb tool, a pen, and an eyeshadow! Cat got a foundation stick in hers that matched her really well. I’ve still got two Manic Panic pens from previous shows. I’m still holding out on a ‘Tish&Snooky Forever’ sticker though.

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Betty Page Clothing I’m only going to mention because Bettie Page herself is an icon. However products baring her name are most often cheap tat that are not at all related to her nor does she(her estate) profit from them. Skip this clothing label entirely and just go look up the woman herself.

I would recommend this book or the ‘Stuff Mom Never Told You‘ podcast about Bettie. I will warn you that the hosts are a bit awful; slut shaming and being offended older Bettie didn’t want to be seen… it’s peak white feminism. I had a better one but I’ve lost it, sorry.

Later in life she had a nervous breakdown and had an altercation with her landlady (snuck into her room while she slept and stabbed her repeatedly*). The doctors who examined her diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia, and she spent 20 months in Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, California. After a fight with another landlord, she was arrested for assault, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed under state supervision for eight years. She was released in 1992.

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Little Ondine peel-able toxin free nail polish was great. The rep was friendly, and both they and the stall were immaculate in white. Each of us got a single nail paint job to test it out, I got red and Cat got turquoise. They were so fun to peel off, satisfying and didn’t damage my natural nail at all.

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Katie Abey Design provides illustrative doses of happiness, motivation, sarcasm and general randomness. Her work usually features puns and crazy animals. She lives in Derbyshire.* This was probably my fav stalls. Really fun illustrations and the stall looked great! It was bright and colourful and so inviting. Got to talk to her mom which was super nice. I have regrets about not getting a few of their adorable pins.

 

 

As cute as these stalls were there were some awful offerings:

Vendors called ‘The Gypsy Shrine’ and ‘Gipsy Tights’, white girls selling bindis, kimonos, and headdresses, and I lost count of how many white people with dreads I saw. On both days I spotted one vendor pouring shots, drinking and handing out alcohol.

All this behaviour did make me feel particularly unsafe and uneasy.

So things have changed… for the worse. On top of all the issues I’ve mentioned the show itself felt much quieter. I visited in the afternoon on both days and both days attendance seemed low.

I have been to this venue before, for a Good Housekeeping/Home and Garden Christmas Fair. For the ^ show it was totally full of stalls. London Edge by comparison didn’t seem to fill the venue nor was it ideally aid out.

I didn’t like the claustrophobic layout. With most of the third floor empty. I would have preferred they’d moved more stalls into the upper levels clearing space on the ground floor and making room for the runway area which was crowded.

The runway shows BLASTED on without warning through the afternoon disruption conversations and making it impossible to communicate. I heard a countdown to one of the happening but it was still jarring having a large sound system scream to life at top volume. Sound engineer was asleep on the job?

The runway show itself was walked by the most boring models. Why weren’t they ALTERNATIVE MODELS MODELLING ALTERNATIVE CLOTHING?! Like am I crazy but is that the obvious choice here?

On the whole there was less on offer than at previous shows, motsly because of what was on offer was repetative. When I attended in the past there were far more independent makers, shop names I recognised from etsy(where I also have a shop) and little booths and stalls of crafts, this year was lacking in originality, personality, and integrity.

 

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