Pavilions turn up the Style using real women in its latest shoot.

One of my favourite fashion events this year was Style Birmingham Live, and an Integral part of that fabulous weekend was the Caryn Franklin ‘How to look good show’ which was hostedby Pavilions shopping centre. Part of that show featured three gorgeous ladies who had been given a makeover after winning a special competition that guaranteed them a style transformation.

Well the three lovely ladies are back, starring in Pavilions Autumn/Winter campaign. And Wow! What a difference!  Kimberley Caswell from Shard End, Bal Mohamud from Walsall and  Mandy Woodhouse from Quinton were reunited for a fashion shoot featuring the latest winter collections and seasonal party wear from Pavilions’ retailers including Hobbs, Marks & Spencer, Monsoon, H&M, Evans and Azendi.


Shot on location at the chic Staying Cool Apartments in Birmingham’s iconic Rotunda and the city’s historic Moor Street station, the models were once again pampered and styled by top London Fashion Week stylist Claire Ginzler and the wonderful celebrity hairstylist Royston Blythe. In the shoot the ladies strut their stuff on the platforms of the beautiful Moor Street Station(just like something out of Harry Potter apparently), relax for coffee at the station’s very own art deco Centenary Lounge and get glammed up in the penthouse at Staying Cool. The results illustrate Kim, Mandy and Bal’s increase in confidence since the makeover.

Kimberley Caswell, a real fashion-mommy to 12 month old Noah said: “Since my makeover at Pavilions with Caryn Franklin I wear more heels, dresses and I absolutely love wearing accessories too. I definitely feel like a yummy mummy now and love strutting in to work each day. I feel fabulous!”

Mandy Woodhouse, another fashion-mommy to three said: “My makeover with Caryn Franklin has really inspired me to start loving clothes again, I have bought a dress from Hobbs for my son’s wedding and I can’t wait to wear it! Caryn’s books have really helped me too, if I’m not sure whether something is right for me I go online and download her free e-books for extra advice”

Bal Mohamud, Mum to two young boys said: “I always loved shopping but since my makeover I have gained so much confidence in actually buying clothes that I now know are right for me, plus I actually wear them instead of just looking at them hanging in my wardrobe. I wear more colours now too and I’m even starting to get used to wearing makeup!”

The ladies look wonderful and are a true style inspiration. I love that these three real life fashion-mommies are proving that real women can look just as amazing as models, and they are the perfect showcase to Pavilions wonderful brands.


Caryn Franklin show wows at Pavilions.


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 Trends

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!

Evans floral dress £39.50 

Dawn zig zag cardigan Monsoon 

Meisal dress Hobbs £126.75 



Why don’t you have a stylish September!

It’s here – the biggest month on the Fashion Calender has officially started, and to help you make sure that month goes with a bang, Fashion-Mommy has put together a list of the most happening events occurring in Fashion this month. So clear your diary to make space for a most enjoyable month.

      • The best fashion event in Birmingham‘s very busy calendar is almost here. Style Birmingham Live is  taking place from the 25th- 27th September, with a whole host of fashion shows, make-overs and events occurring at destinations all over the city. With George Lamb has presenter and with Caryn Franklin, Arianne Poole and Royston Blythe as attractions in Pavillions, this is sure to be a fantastic event.  If you  haven’t already got your tickets, snap some up quickly! (Style Birmingham LIVE 2011 tickets are £10, Gold VIP tickets are £30 – Book yours NOW at The Ticket Factory or at the THSH Box Office (Booking fees and postage charges apply). Tickets can be booked in person from the ICC Box Office, Centenary Square, Birmingham without a booking fee.)
      • September 8th sees the return  of Vogue’s Fashion Night Out. There will be events all over London, but if you are in Birmingham the hot ticket is the amazing new season’s launch fashion show at Harvey Nichols in the Mailbox. Get set for some amazing fashion from key designers including Gucci and Alexander McQueen. There will be a second show on Friday 9th.  Both evenings kick off at 6.30pm and tickets for Thursday September 8 and Friday September 9 cost £15, which is redeemable against purchases made on the night. Tickets are available from the store’s Personal Shopping department on 0121 616 6008.
      • Check out a couple of amazing exhibitions this month. The V&A is hosting Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970-1990 (art. music,fashion) from September 24th. The work of the late Corinne Day is celebrated at the Gimpel Fils Gallery. This is a must see exhibition of the controversial photographers early work for The Face, featuring arresting images of a young Kate Moss. (From September 1st).
      • There are a couple of fantastic fashion books out  this month. Patrick Lichfield – Perceptions features some amazing pictures of royalty and celebs from the Queen’s cousin. (Quadrille £30), whilst there is a new book about the immortal Coco in the new book ‘Intimate Chanel by Isabelle Fiemeyer(Out September 5th).
      • If you fancy yourself as a bit of a designer on the quiet, you could have a go at designing and making your own underwear. Vintage Amours Lingerie workshop takes place on `7th September in London. I think this sounds amazing fun!(Acava, London W1).
      • September 13th sees the grand opening of the latest Westfield shopping centre with the launch of Westfield Stratford..right on the doorstep of the Olympic Village!
      • Get set for London Fashion Week and Weekend 16th – 20th September. Always a totally exciting and vibrant week in the fashion calendar, and more important than ever now London has been proclaimed the most important city in Fashion! Enjoy!
      • Treat yourself to a bottle of Prada ‘Candy’. I frankly have no idea what it smells like, but the Art Deco style bottle is so gorgeous, who really cares!
    • Have a fabulous month fashionista’s everywhere!