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 



Fashion and football make a perfect combination for Charity.

What do you get if you cross beautiful designer clothing from Harvey Nichols with a host of handsome footballers and their gorgeous Wags? A fantastic night of fashion and entertainment, that’s what!

Premiere league club Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday joined forces with Harvey Nichols, Birmingham to host a designer fashion show in aid of the  Alzheimer’s Trust. This is one of the chosen charities of goalkeeper Matt Murray as part of his testimonial season. Matt persuaded fellow players including Richard Stearman, Karl Henry, George Elokobi and Matt Jarvis to join him on the catwalk, as well as former Wolves players Lee Naylor and Rob Edwards. The glamour was provided by wives and girlfriends of the players.

The evening started with a champagne reception where fashionista’s could mingle with the footballers. Amazing cocktails of Skye Vodka, Petron Tequilla and coffee were a judged to be a hit (they certainly got my vote!) as all the first team turned up to support the would-be models. I chatted to Kevin Breese, the General Manager of Harvey Nichols, Birmingham(and possibly the most acerbic wit on Twitter!) who told me that it was fantastic that all the team turned out to support the event, and that Wolves was the only Premiere League Club who would do that.

The show itself was cool and oh so stylish. The guests presenters Suzi Perry and Danielle Lloyd set the tone for the event. Danielle looked so beautiful in a full length Project D black strapless dress and Louboutin heels, whilst Suzi looked sleek in a Diane Von Furstenberg grey shift dress. They introduced the star of the night, Matt Murray,who spoke movingly of former Wolves goalkeeper Bert Williams, who lost his wife to Alzheimer’s disease, and is the main reason for Murray supporting the charity. And then it was onto the show.

The first theme was ‘gym-spiration’ putting the footballers at ease with a range of Dolce, Gucci and Dior gym apparel. The girls followed with ‘Jungles Belles’ with a range of animal print and jungle inspired outfits that included the Markus Lupfer top recently worn on TV by Cat Deeley.

Next came ‘Beach Boys’ which raised female temperatures in the room with the revealing of those hot premiership bods. The boys were set for the beach wearing a range of shorts from D&G and Polo Ralph Lauren. The girls introduced us to a range of pretty floral prints that ranged from chintzy small flowers to larger bouquet prints. I loved the American Retro skirt worn by Beth, and the brightly coloured Roberto Cavalli dress worn by India.

By the time of ‘Bling it on’ the boys were really getting into their stride, walking with all the assurance of catwalk veterans.  I loved the metro man bling of this collection, particularly the Markus Lupfer jumper sported by George Elokobi. The girls matched the bling in ‘Sequin sensation’ which featured show stopping designs by Malene Birger, Project D and Alexander Wang.

‘Weekend Offender’ showcased a cool, off duty looks complete with shades and man bags.  The boys looked relaxed in shirt and jeans combos from the likes of D Squared and Paul Smith. The girls shone in jewelled shades in Bright vibes – this was my personal favourite collection on the night.

Scene 9 was ‘suits you sir’ where the boys showed that they scrub up well in a range of smart suits and Tuxedos from Dolce and Gabbana, accessorised with Paul Smith shirts.  The girls also looked wonderful in a range of neutral shades under the heading ‘Pale and interesting’ , with Sarah slightly tugging at her very short and sexy Sass and Bide dress. I loved the Grecian inspired full length dress from Tibi that was worn by Sarah, whilst the Project D strapless number modelled by Llewella was a fairytale of a dress.

And leaving the best until last…When the lights go down featured Wolves finest…in their underpants. I haven’t quite recovered from the sight of the gorgeous footballers striped down to their smalls…and speaking to Harvey Nichols Pr this morning, I’m not the only one who came over all of a quiver!

And then it was all over. But special mention  must also be made for the fabulous hair and make-up. The look was high-octane glamour, and this was certainly achieved. MAC make up artists from Harvey Nichols, Birmingham created the flawless make up, whilst the hair, which picked up on the trend for  sculptured volume was created by  Wolverhampton’s celebrity hairdresser Royston Blythe. This was completely glamorous Charlie’s Angels style 1970s hair, think the glorious Farrah Fawcett in her prime.

It was off to the aftershow party for more cocktails,a few tasty nibbles (behave!) and the fantastic goodie bag that contained Elemis products, Wolves Merchandise and wine. It was truly a fantastic night and Wolves and Harvey Nichols deserve a vast amount of praise for organising such a brilliant and worthwhile event.