It is impossible to know what will happen during a visit to the Clothes Show Live exhibition. This year at least 4,000 of the 250,000 visitors will leave Birmingham's NEC with a new look; more than 300 girls and boys will be spotted by model scouts, and every day Fashion Police will randomly choose stylish visitors to appear on the People's Catwalk. This is on top of the chance to see supermodels, celebrities, sports stars, and pop bands and the opportunity to buy thousands of fashion freebies at knockdown prices.

The Clothes Show Live was initially the BBC's favourite fashion programme come to life. Nine years later, it has grown into the biggest interactive exhibition of its kind in the world; about pounds 205,263 is spent an hour, by at least 50,000 people a day. Each ticket issued for the exhibition displays a seat number and time allocation for the cavernous catwalk theatre which seats 6,500, and stages spectacular fashion shows three times a day. It's a bit like being at London Fashion Week, the only difference being the crowd. They scream, they whoop and they clap as each model, especially the men, strut along the catwalk.

Over 400 fashion companies exhibit at Clothes Show Live, ranging from French Connection whose stand was notable for its long queue's last year, to designer names such as Betty Jackson, Patrick Cox, Pearce Fionda and Ben de Lisi who sell current and old stock. Designer names, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. No Such Soul, Pepe, Cobra Sports, Giant, Ted Baker, Jeffrey Rogers, Country Casuals and Miss Moneypenny are just a selection of what will be available. Add to that top session hairdressers such as Trevor Sorbie, Daniel Field and Andrew Collinge, make-up galore, and it becomes a day-out where anything could happen, be it a turn on the catwalk, an appearance on TV or maybe even a totally new look.

The Clothes Show Live Event 1997, sponsored by Lloyds bank, takes place at Birmingham's NEC from 5-10 December. Tickets with a reserved seat in the fashion theatre cost pounds 18.50 from 5-7 December. From 8-10 December the same package costs pounds 13. Fashion Circus tickets cost pounds 5.

For tickets call the hotline number: 0121-767 4444.

Win Win Win

We have 10 pairs of tickets worth pounds 18.50 each to give away for the event on Friday 5 December. To win a pair simply send your name, address and daytime contact number on a postcard to: The Independent/ Clothes Show Offer, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Winners must make their own travel arrangements to and from Birmingham International.


The Independent, Fuji Film and the Clothes Show Live would like to congratulate Paul Gadd, Laura Woolnough, David Vinter, James Moriarty and Christine Coombes. These young fashion photographers were chosen from sack loads of entrants to our Young Catwalk Photographer Competition.

Each entrant sent in three pictures that represented their vision of "fashion in action", and and on 5 December the lucky five will attend the Clothes Show Live exhibition for the final test - the real thing - a catwalk show, lots of gorgeous clothes and, of course, supermodels.