If you have been watching TV this summer, you can’t fail to be aware of the work of Hayley Sparkes. From performing make-over miracles on This Morning, to choosing the most perfect dresses for the beautiful contestants on Chanel five’s The Bachelor, Hayley is a fashion whirlwind who also combines serious talents in the PR department through her role as Director of Gorgeous Star PR.
I met Hayley last year at a fab launch she had organised and I can honestly say she is as lovely, as she appears on the TV – warm, down to earth and friendly. And when I asked Hayley if she would be happy to answer a few questions for Fashion-Mommy readers, she was happy to oblige. So, here’s the interview in full, with Hayley chatting about fashion, style and a certain Bachelor…
Fashion-Mommy : Congratulations on your role as stylist for The Bachelor. Were you a fan of the show before this series?
Hayley: Thank you, yes I really was a fan! I was addicted to watching the show last year so it was amazing to suddenly be part of it, very surreal.
FM: You have picked some amazing gowns for the girls, do you have a particular dress that stands out for you?
HS: I have been really lucky to work with some amazing dress companies, I had a fantastic selection to choose from and there really was something to suit all the girls different styles and to reflect their personalities. It would be hard to pick an overall favourite but one of the dresses worn in the final rose ceremony is particularly stunning, it seemed to get the biggest reaction from everyone else working on the show too. It has that wow factor!
FM: What sort of factors come into the equation when you are choosing a look for the girls?
HS: So many factors come into the dress choice, as we are filming around the world you only have a certain number of dresses with you and you do not know in advance which girls will stay in the show longer than others so you must have enough options to make sure that there are dresses to suit whoever stays in and dresses that will fit. I can see what styles and colours will suit people and always have a vision of what I would like to see each individual wearing, but you have to take on board the personal taste of who you are styling, they must feel comfortable in what they are wearing, so sometimes you have to compromise until you are both feeling happy!
HS: Over the course of the show every girl wore a dress at some point that was a real ‘dream dress ‘and that made them feel amazing. They were often surprised that the dresses they ended up loving were not necessarily the ones they would have ever thought to try on beforehand. It was a great chance for the girls to wear dresses that you wouldn’t normally have the chance to wear, unless you get invited to a lot of balls, or really posh events most of us don’t have the occasion to wear these sorts of dresses very often! I think Spencer thought it was Christmas with all the girls looking stunning! He gave the girls many compliments about what they were wearing, he is the type of guy that notices attention to detail.
FM: Where do you find such a range of stunning dresses, and do you have any tips for Fashion-Mommy readers for sourcing beautiful dresses for special occasions.
HS: Dresses from the show came from some of the UK’s top dress companies, Bernshaw, Pia Michi, Anoushka G, Forever Unique, Hybrid, Enzoani and Kate Fearnley. I would recommend them all to the Fashion Mommy readers!
FM: How long do you get to source the outfits – is it just a week?
HS: For this particular job I had about 7 working days, but luckily my amazing assistant Michele Bailey was there to help me, so I could not have done it in such a short space of time without her.
HS: Ha ha, yes I am a fairly busy lady, sometimes I do find it hard to fit it all in. However I really love what I do and feel incredibly lucky to now be living out my dreams after years of striving towards them, so I don’t mind working all the hours god sends. I think for the majority of women whether you are a mum at home, a working mum, a wife, sister, daughter or whatever, we all have to multi-task and be super organised, women are good at getting things done! I also have two amazing assistants who help me when I need them!
FM: You are now a beauty presenter on This Morning and are a complete natural – how much experience did you have in presenting before this?
HS: Thank you, you are very kind! This Morning has been my biggest presenting job to date but luckily I have done a few things before online or on lesser known channels which all helped to build up my experience.
FM: You always look so stylish, do you have a favourite designer? What High Street stores do you like?
HS: Thank you very much. As I have been working my way up in my career I have never had the budget to afford designer clothes but when I can splash out I will be treating myself to a chanel hand bag. I would never buy designer clothes for the sake of it but classic pieces will stand the test of time and this will be something I can pass down to my children (when I have them) in the future.
I am such a high street girl and I think we are really lucky in the UK to have such a great selection of UK stores that offer affordable fashion. Over the years when I was studying fashion at uni but had no money, I could not have got by without Primark. ‘Primani’ (as I like to call it!) just keeps getting better and better at the latest trends and even when money if tight you can still get a fashion fix! I also really love Warehouse, Top Shop, Zara, New Look and H&M!
FM: Who are your style inspirations?
HS: My mum and my nan inspire me, I can see that I have inherited my love of fashion from them.
My nan is nearly 70 years old but still looks amazing, she really knows how to dress to suit her figure and still enjoys wearing colour and pattern, she is so trendy but always appropriate for her age. People stop her in the street all the time to tell her she looks great, she makes me feel so proud!
Celebrity wise I admire Blake Lively, Olivia Palermo, Daisy Lowe and Katy Perry ( I love her craziness and how she has so much fun with fashion!)
FM: I often open Hello and OK magazine and see you smiling out from the pages. Do you ever get used to seeing yourself in the glossies?
HS: I have been in OK magazine a couple of times and it is strange to see a photo of yourself, but it is lovely as I am such a magazine queen I buy so many of them, reading fashion magazines is one of my favourite things to do.
FM: With so many successful roles, do you ever see yourself concentrating on just one area?
HS: My ultimate dream has always been to present my own successful fashion and beauty TV show, I would love to have a career like Nicky Hambleton Jones as she juggles presenting with running her own style agency and also writes for magazines and works as an ambassador for some great beauty and fashion brands.
FM: And finally – what has been your proudest achievement so far?
HS: I was so happy when I won a business award for Gorgeous Star PR in the Anglian Business awards, as I had only been running for a year and it was amazing to be recognised, but nothing yet has beaten the feeling of having the chance to work on This Morning and travel around the world with the Bachelor, 2012 has been a great year so far!
Thank you Emma!