One of the highlights of this weekend’s Style Birmingham Live was the fabulous ‘How to look good’ show hosted by Caryn Franklin in Pavilions. I went along to the preview of Thursday evening and was really impressed by a fashion show that was truly universal, appealing to all ages, shapes and sizes and to all budgets.
This was a show that showcased the best Pavilions has to offer in the way of fashion, accessories and beauty. High Street names were on offer, from Monsoon and Hobbs to old reliable M&S, whilst fabulous independents were also on view, from the treasure trove that is Wisteria Lane, to a gem that was unknown to me, ‘Silk Steps’. With Caryn presenting, and a styling team fresh from London Fashion Week, and with the additional treats of beauty tips from Ariane Poole, and a hairstyle master class from Nick Malenko from Royston Blythe, we were all set for a memorable fashion evening.
The show focused on key fashion trends for the new season, and then showcased how you could buy into the trends whatever your age or bodyshape. The first trend was forties glamour. Tweed trousers with matching shoes that seemed to elongate the legs, nipped in waistbands and hints of prints in the form of jauntily tied scarves created a very sophisticated silhouette. But we were also shown that this could work for younger girls with the addition of pop socks worn with heels – not for everyone, but definitely a striking visual look. Make up was smoky eyed and red lipped, for that screen siren touch.
The second look was ‘Power dressing’. This style is all about serious tailoring, with clean lines and a powerful silhouette. This look can be enhanced with the addition of belts that cinch in jackets and dresses. I loved that Caryn said that power dressing can be soft and feminine – it’s no longer all about pinstripes and shoulder pads!
The 1970s was described as the decade that designers love. The emphasis in the Pavilions styling was on the softer, more boho aspects of the decade, the soft, colourful and floaty styles that were beloved of Ossie Clark,Bill Gibb and Laure Ashley. Practical midi dresses from Monsoon(the orange dress is my must buy item this season), empire lines from Evans that helped to again make legs appear longer by raising the waistband, and Missoni style colourful prints were all totally covetable styles on display.
Make-up masterclass from Ariane Poole
Arriane Poole is no stranger to anyone familiar with QVC. Her fabulous make-up range and her skills as a make-up artist to the stars are immense.And we were treated to some of her make-up insider tips with a masterclass on how to achieve the perfect red lips. Ariane shared that you need to always apply lipstick with a brush to achieve the professional finish. Look for a red that has bluish undertones, as red can make your teeth appear yellow. If your lipstick isn’t straight, then use a single ply of tissue to make an imprint of your lips, you can then use this as a guide of where you need to reapply or remove excess lipstick. You can then use a cosmetic bud to clean the lines. Simple eh!
Hairstyling with Nick Malenko
I’ve long been a fan of this man’s work, having admired the styles created for the Harvey Nichols fashion shows. Nick gave tips on how to achieve this season’s hottest hairstyle, the quiff. He used simple backcombing techniques that added volume to the crown, and then showed how to fix the hair neatly in place. He also gave some clever advice about how to find out about the newest hairdo’s. He said examine the mannequins in shops like Topshop and Miss Selfridge, these will always have the newest trends in hairstyles. He said ‘new season style needs new season hair.’ Which seems to be a perfectly true statement to me.
There was just time for a few hints and tips from Caryn before we were introduced to the Evening Mail readers who had received a glamorous makeover. Caryn urged the audience never to fall in love with something on a coat hanger. She said that you need to try it on to make sure it is right for your body shape. Women need to know their bodies – what features they need to enhance them, and what do they need to avoid in clothing. She said, take armfuls of clothes into the changing room, and then dress like stylists suggest – on and off with things. Don’t bother LIKING it OFF – you need to LOVE it ON!
Stars of the readers makeover
There was just time for another glass of Prosecco, and to grab a fabulous goodie bag filled with discounts for Pavilions stores and gorgeous goodies from the likes of Laura Ashley and Wisteria Lane before it was all at an end. A fabulous night!
Shop the show – my faves!