Ana and I had the opportunity to attend Colour Me Gorgeous today at Twin River.
When I tell you we were excited for weeks, its no understatement. Having just come off Style Week Providence a few months ago I was beyond excited for this event. I had heard this was supposed to be the biggest thing in fashion that Rhode Island has ever seen.
Spoiler alert, it wasn't even close.
Had you purchased tickets ahead of time they were $25 regular admission (vs the $30 at the door) ... you could also get a VIP ticket for $45.
Ana and I? Had the VIP tickets... which listed VIP privileges as: champagne reception, hors d'oeuvres, sweet treats on arrival. Relaxing in a pamper pavilion for glamour makeover or relaxing spa treatment. VIP coat room, deluxe goodie bag, complimentary gift wrapping, VIP picture with Sexy Santa, and VIP door prize tickets.
We got all dressed up and headed down for the 11am opening. We were there a few minutes early so we got in line. No VIP line, which was OK but we noticed most people in front of us were paying to get in...only the cashiers were not taking money. We waited in that line for nearly 40 minutes as someone would come over periodically to announce that the vendors were "not ready" so they had to delay the opening.
Once they finally let us in, general admission got an orange bracelet and VIP a green. I wanted to introduce myself to the event organizer and speak to them regarding another blog I write for (Buy-Her), but was told that one organizer would not be there and they did not know where the other one was. I overheard someone else getting quite upset because they were there to meet an organizer who had supposedly put tickets aside for them and no one knew anything about it. She had waited over an hour.
It didn't seem to matter which ticket you had purchased, everyone got the same gift bag (which was fine) ... but there was nothing marked VIP... we had no idea where to go and the people working the event seemed difficult to get ahold of. Quite surprising to me after coming off a fantastically run Style Week Providence not too long ago. Ana and I looked around a bit, still couldn't figure things out. We stood at the Salon Bianco tent where there seemed to be several people inside and someone getting their hair done, but no one working the tent looked at or spoke to us, despite seeing us stand there looking at them. Then Ana noticed an employee outside the hall doors and flagged her down.
Ana asked where the VIP's were supposed to go and the woman actually laughed at us. So embarrassing. Then she stopped and said she was so sorry, she shouldn't have laughed but we had "wasted" our money... she went yesterday (because she was working it today) at the general admission and it was "all the same" as the VIP. She then pointed to a roped off section - with no one in it - and told us to go see the employee standing there for our champagne and food, then we would be shown to where we could get a massage or our nails done.
We went over and the guy poured us each a small cup (I'm talking smaller than the size of my palm) of champagne and you could help yourselves to an olive and cheese tray or get some salad. Uh huh. We had a drink and went over to the 'pamper pavillion' where we then waited over a half hour (with only 3 people in front of us) so Ana could get a manicure and I could get a massage. The manicure? Turned into just a polish change for free because Ana hadn't brought cash and it was actually $5 for the manicure for VIP's. The massage was free... and felt awesome. Curiously enough, people with orange general admission bracelets could also get the VIP services.
After asking about the glamour makeovers we were directed back to the Salon Bianco tent where we had started out. The girls in line in front of us were told it would be "hours" before they could get their nails done and they were put on a list to be paged. This was less than an hour after the event began. I asked how long for hair and she said it wouldn't be too long, that there were only a few people on the list and added my name. I took a look myself and saw just 6 in front of me. With 4 chairs going at once I thought I would be paged in no time.
Ana and I spent nearly 2 hours milling around chatting with people, taking a look at different vendors, even got a drink at the bar. Still no name. We headed back to the tent for an update and there were STILL 6 people ahead of me on the list. But how could that be. I then took a look at who was in the chairs and while I don't know for sure, judging by the type of makeup they had on and the hairstyles they were getting, they appeared to be runway models being prepped for the fashion show.
At that point, Ana and I decided we would just leave. Quite honestly I'm not sure what the prices of the tickets covered. Any makeup application stations or other places all came with an additional price to pay, even if it was at a discount. The '$500 gift bag'? Had a bottle of water, antibacterial wipes, one Redken shampoo and conditioner sample, some coupons and a small gold colored heart in a bag that looks like it could be put on a necklace... but no mention of where it came from if you liked it and wanted to see more of the line.
Don't get me wrong, I know how bad this all sounds. The truth is Ana and I had fun just hanging out together. We met some really nice vendors and I got some additional ideas for things to look into and write about at Buy-Her. But what Colour Me Gorgeous advertised and what they actually delivered were two totally different things.
And I don't know what time the fashion shows started but by 2pm there still had not been anything but a few dance numbers from some adorable kids... who were now running all over the event. Very poorly organized overall and not very well attended. It seemed there were just as many parents of the kids who performed the dance numbers as there were people who paid admission to attend. There also seemed to be several people complaining about the price they paid to get in.
I have since spoken with someone else who said it was a terrible event for vendors and most that he spoke with will not be coming back the next year. Seems like bridges burned all around. Such a shame considering the 2 day event was to benefit the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. Due to what I saw myself, as well as heard from others at the event, I think it will be quite difficult to put Colour Me Gorgeous on again next year.
They need to make a lot of changes next time around for a successful event.