Friday, December 17, 2010

30 years of FabulousNESS

30 Years of FabulousNESS!

Every once in a blue moon you will see something that puts a smile on your face for days, apart maybe from somebody that you're absolutely mad about. But just like that person it will keep you thinking about it for weeks on end. That's exactly what happened me at The Barbicans exhibit of Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion. The exhibit offers a unique insight into the avant-garde works of some of Japans most influencial designers of the last few decades. They include Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe (Rei Kawakubos' armed and dangerous protege) and Kenzo Tekada.

Trust me, it will feel like you're on a rollercoaster that won't slow down and you're getting dizzy, not because of the twists and turns but because there is just so much to take in and be inspired from. My mind was going 90, notebook in one hand, hidden camera in the other. It was worth getting caught not once but twice by the very strict, very large members of security for the sake of a few personal images. Up until then robbing just one piece of Issey Miyake's 'Pleats Please' Collection was a distinct possibility! AS IF! So I just said "Bitch Pleaaaaase"

The collection begins with some of the earliest works of the 'big guns' - Yamamoto, Miyake and Kawakubo. A puffed taffeta parka/dress adorning chunky gold chains by Watanabe and a tulle skirt with slashed leather jacket by Kawakubo look like they are part of the one Comme des Garcons (the brainchild brand of Kawakubo) collection when actually they were years apart. It then winds quickly through some jaw dropping designs and concepts to the upper decks display of the modern wonders of the 'Japanese Masters' and their successors. Split into very distinct sections and showing complete runway collections it truely is a brilliant space. The shear silver draped backdrop even makes you feel like you are being taken on a journey. Head spinning from all the info, images of models turning dresses inside out halfway down the runway and feeling weak with the thirst, I forced myself to leave the exhibition. Smiling and thinking how they did it!

Whats more the garments are described in one section as 'practicle'. Mind blowing considering that in one dress made from winding discs of sealed organdie and gold tulle, I wouldn't have fit through the set of double-doors beside me. Hmmmm.... One thing I will say however is that these designers have being doing for the last 30 years what most are struggling to do now! So maybe it is true that Japan are light years ahead, not only in terms of technology but it seems in fashion too. These clothes are like miniscule pieces of architecture, they defy any limitations and they're built from the core, the foundations upwards. Issey, Yohji, Rei and Co. We salute you!

The photographs below are some of my highlights from the collection, including Issey Miyake's 'Pleats Please', THAT gold disc wired organdie dress, the blanket dress from Kawakubo and Yohji's finest!

Enjoy xox

Picked a favourite because I haven't??

Friday, November 26, 2010

Press Day Madness

Wednesday, November 10th

I'm literally wrecked tired. However the excitement of the day got me out of my super comfortable bed in record time. I'm working with the creative team on a project for the press office, its the annual Spring/Summer press day, one of the only days were we get to go big with the budget and create high impact displays. The theme of the day - 50's, 60's and 70's vintage. By the end of the day the press office was transformed from a tranquil environment with dark wood floors and a neat desk at one end to a 1950's cream kitchen complete with vintage cake tins and all sorts of props. The floors were now covered with checkerboard lino and vintage vogue covers printed on canvas lined the walls. Customised breakfast and lunch menus on the tables and vintage print tablecloths made the room 'The Oasis Cafe'. Upstairs was a vintage 1950's room with custom made garments. Anything for the paps!

Press days and the goody bags that come with them are all about pleasing the press and making a lasting impression, in the hope that maybe, just maybe they might feature you in a minuscule section of their well read mag. However not one to moan ('smiles') this would be an opportunity for me to meet more members of the fashion glitterati from popular publications such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmo as well as other popular mags among young fashion buffs, such as Wonderland, Love, Dazed & Confused, Lula and not forgetting the gays - Attitude. Acting as stylist, it was my job to dress the mannequins in the new seasons S/S collections. A good chance for my styling to catch the eye of senior fashion editors and people in the know. I was also on hand to help the girls pick out their outfits for the following day as all eyes would be on what people were wearing. FASHION!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It never rains but it snows...

Saturday, 23rd October

It's snowing but not in the common sense of the word. When I say it's snowing I mean in the Christmas window installation that the creative team worked so hard to perfect. The theme is similar to that of a winter wonderland, complete with rows of snowflake curtains. The main feature of each window is a wind infused snow globe (oh how I love a good wind machine), mannequin inside dressed in one of the new season exclusives, vintage jewels and hand made head pieces (my millinery skills continue to surprise me, maybe, just maybe I missed my calling or should I just give Philip Treacy a call, afterall I have him on speed dial).! Honestly though given the budget and taking everything into account, the windows look amazing and come Christmas week I'm sure they will feature in the strongest windows catalogue on London windows. Some of the high street competition is really high and the creative boundaries are being pushed further every year with external fashion influences like Lady Gaga clearly inspiring some teams. I have been asked to work on another window and have the theme planned out - it's in production right now and the photos will follow when it's done, however I can promise you this - it will be faboosh! Think big hair and plenty of tape. Lovehhh!

Saturday, 30th October - Sunday, 31st October

The day got off to a really bad start. I had been to the bank yesterday to make an appointment for this morning, only to show up (after being out the night before, eyes in the back of my head, dyyying) and be told that my appointment which had been scheduled for 11am was not on the chart, therefore I would be dealt with after the customers who were on the list. To say I flipped is an understatement, the poor fella - it wasn't even his fault "it was the one with head scarf from yesterday". Very bad! Anyway three hours later I finally got seen to by a personal banker, who apologised for not being full of conversation due to a headache (at this stage I was thinking, "bitch please, tell somebody who cares, I've been outside with ten screaming babies and a horrible hangover for the last three hours - capiche") Account sorted.
I then met my friend Caroline for a coffee and a stroll around now Christmas lit London, it was a welcome break to my day. She put me in good humour. When she was leaving, I gave her a hug, I thought she was laughing into my shoulder but when I pulled away I saw that she was crying. Please note we were in the middle of Oxford Circus and this was the type of out loud crying that grabbed peoples attention. All I could do was laugh and the more I laughed, the more she cried, mascara now rolling down her face. With Caroline gone and my night shift about to begin I thought to myself "I really missed my friends'.

The dreaded night shift:

Work began on the Christmas window installation at 7pm - the creative team were hard at it positioning the new scheme into the windows on Regent St and Oxford Circus. It was no easy task though - with a team of eight people and endless jobs to be done it was going to be a long night (and I was missing X-Factor). The snow domes proved to be a pain in the hoop and it was now 3am, the music playing in the background was the only thing getting me through. 4am, 5am, 6am - the clock was ticking. It was 7am before the windows started to take shape with snow domes being put in place. It was ten before we left and the hour had gone back. It was a 16hour shift. But the Oasis windows looked amazing and the team, as groggy as we were, were delighted with the result. We have already received rave reviews from the press.

"Avvv a loooook"

Over and Out!

D x

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The other side of the PRESS!

Wednesday, 13th October

It was time to hit the road with the Oasis press team. The aim of the day was to visit as many fashion magazine and newspaper publications as possible. Why?, to promote the new season Christmas product and earn some brownie points by enticing the editors and journalists with hand massages, manicures, cupcakes and sticks of pink rock! (how fabulous)

First stop was Cosmopolitan and Harpers Baazar, a place I thought was sure to give me a 'behind the scenes' look into the high power position held by fashion publications rated highly in the Industry. I looked forward to the clicking of the heels on the marble foyer on the way to the lift. Do the girls really compete against each other in the daily fashion stakes? Are there any characters that resemble Cruella da Ville and abuse the high power position they're in even if they're in bits? The answer was NO. The women were lovely, they were on time and the conversation flowed easily. They were dressed immaculately yet differently and they did not seem to be in competition with each other. Raging! Very few of them actually needed the hand massage and manicure on offer by the lovely Kate from Champneys ( so I took her up on the offer and had mine done - amazeballs).

Next stop - The Daily Mail, You Magazine, Metro, The Independent, Evening Standard, ES Magazine - a sterile office space that resembled an American mall. Then we moved on to Grazia and from there on to the high quality newspaper publications of The Guardian and The Observer. The office space was vast and covered in one off Warhol and Bansky prints. Celebrity faces graced the walls in a block coloured photographic exhibiton. It was an impressive space and the people were lovely. Polly Vernon from The Observer, won my best dressed award of the day. She wore a grey and black Chanel tweed, frayed edge jacket, a silver felt top, leather panelled trousers with silver side zips and the latest off the runway aviator shearling boots! Put simply - she looked Faboosh!

(l-r) Hannah, Me and Hayley (Best Team Ever)

Thursday, 14th October

Day two of the press rodashow saw me and the fabulous team above go to more publications, this time the Daily Telegraph, Telegraph Magazine, Stella, Look, Times Magazine, The Times, Sunday Times Style, Fabulous and the Daily Express. Over the two days we had visited over twenty publications and seen over 70 journalists. All the time me and the team were chauffered around town in a blacked out mercedes. Too much fun was had carrying the clothes rail and too much fun was had falling over it. It was great day out and I was already looking forward to working with the team again. I suppose it helps that the press office is Karen Millens' old apartment, located on Regent and Oxford and spread over three floors with a brilliant view of the city. Hmmmm - one day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All aboard the Fashion Bus!

Wednesday, 6th October

Time to hit Dundrum Town Centre to shoot the Xpose piece for the Oasis Fashion Bus with Lisa Cannon. A unique experience awaited the public on board the bus, with free style tips talks and tips on the new seasons collections by yours truely. However it didn't stop at style, there was also free hair and make-up consultations with industry professionals. So with the clothes rails ready to go and a brilliant selection of outfits for the coming days I had time to get an insight into the hair and make regime for the fashion bus journey. Hairdressing expert and funnyman Michael Doyle (who has tended the locks of Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington) from Peter Mark was on hand to give hair and colour advice and the occasional up-do. That's upstyle for those outside of the sticks! The make up was carried out by a young team from Loreal.

With Models Laura and Iseult ready to rock the new season collection, it was time for the shoot! Take a look at the snippet from the first day on board the fashion bus! 

 Thursday, October 7th

It was an extra start for all on board the Oasis Fashion Bus. 1st Stop - St Stephens Green and the early morning press breakfast, an introduction to the the new Oasis range, then time to hop on board for some style advice and makeovers from the Peter Mark and Loreal teams. With a huge press interest on the day it wasn't long before the people were forming a queue to hop on board for their individual style experience and whats more, a fabulous goody bag. Everyone loves a good goody bag!

Friday, October 8th

The bus moved on to Dundrum Town Centre and the public came out in their droves to sample the fashion and makeovers on board. My on the hour style talks, turned out to be taking place every twenty minutes and unbeknownst to myself (haha - friends will laugh), I discovered I had the gift of the gab. My jaws were sore! In between the fashion bus and all the mentalness, I was trying desperatly to secure my apartment over in London. It was proving to be more hassle than it was worth. Hollie, the agent was becoming a pain in the snatch and I was no more in the humour, so when she rang to say we couldn't have the apartment until Monday, |I roared down the phone and told her she was dead when I got to London. Only half of Dundrum heard me though, so it was grand!

Saturday. October 9th 

Time to go the sticks, Cork again; via the most horrible train journey ever. I swear sometimes it's more like a small town than a city. I would be bet around if I said that to them down there but hey.... I SAID IT! The looks were hilarious. Who is that man in the skinny rust colour jeans and silk cream and black striped shirt? He's weird... (",). People actually gasped. Too funny! But on board the bus it was all fun and frolics. Really busy with people hopping on board to get a piece of the action and the odd snap with myself and Lisa 'Oasis' Cannon!

Me and Iseult on board the Oasis Fashion Bus..

Myself, Lisa Cannon, Ian Galvin and Michael Doyle - the Superteam!

Monday, 11th October

After a great night out with friends in the Sycamore on Sunday night, listening to some of my favourite tracks and thinking about what I'd miss when I got back to London it was time to go back home. It still sounds weird. London is home now. Really? Hmmmm.... Anyway if it wasn't bad enough that I was leaving Dublin and my family and friends behind, things got even worse when I got to the airport. The little bitch at the boarding gate thought she had nothin better to do than make me fit my bag into the skinny blue thing (i'd swear that gets thinner by the week, it must be on the poxy Atkins). Anyway long story short - I was charged for my bag and in the height of it I shot her a look at which point i'm sure she thought "I should have just let him on". If looks could kill, the horror would be dead. Although on reflection she's probably just trying to up her rating so she makes next years tarty calender! God loves a tryer. ;-) Never AGAIN!

Back in London and first night in the new pad - at last. My own place. Empty as it may be and not a duvet in sight, I loved it. Thank God for that turkey jumper!

Over n Out.

D (",)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I felt Xposed!

Wednesday, 29th September

It was time to go back to Dublin, this time for an extended stay. I was scheduled to work with the Oasis and Warehouse teams on promoting their new collections. First stop - bed, for a quick snooze then back to the action. Myself and Grace Mangan from the show were involved in an Xpose event in Warehouse in Dublin with the very talented Lisa Cannon. The talking point were the picks of the new season collection.

Here's a little snippet of the action from the day.  - Job done!

Friday, 1st October

Train will depart from platform 2 in ten minutes, the droning voice reverberated in my ears. It was way too early in the morning for loud noises and the like. I was meeting Holly Shortall from the show. We were offering style advice and a friendly face for the public opening of the new Warehouse store in Cork. Laughed for the majority of the train journey, my Cher Lloyd impression which I had down to a T, had Holly waking the entire carriage. Good times!
After a quick pick up in Cork by my London flat mate Laura we arrived at Warehouse. The new store concept, a refit not unbecoming of a Manhattan style loft conversion with exposed brickwork interior and metal cladding and rails at different levels. Clean lines and very minimal, me all over! ;-) 
It turned out to be a major laugh and a great evening for the store. The red carpet and free west coast cooler (gulp) made the customers feel right at home. A great team!

Me in Zara and McQueen and Holly with two models in new season Warehouse!

Saturday, 2nd October

After a Happy Birthday wish to one of my good friends Warren Duffy, it was into town for some meetings to do with Oasis brand merchandising and marketing. The Oasis fashion bus in conjunction with Xpose was arriving next week and the place was buzzing!

Tuesday, 5th October

It was time to set up the Oasis press room for a presentation to Irish press on the Oasis new season collection. The objective was simple - a minimal look with perspex rails hanging from the ceiling, five maticulously positioned mannequins sporting the new collection overlooking St Stephens Green. Sounds simple but it was really hard work. I then had to choose the clothes and style the fashion bus for the folowing mornings photoshoot and filming day in Dundrum. Job done. Time to rush back to town for the Peter O' Brien fashion show in Arnotts. Peter, one of the judges from the show was showcasing his first collection in collaboration with Arnotts. The looks, a simple silouette, tailored to perfection, luxurious and sophisticated chic, like a 1950's Parisian woman walking along on the banks of the Seine. This seasons popular colour palette of camel and black once again prevailed. A brilliant show! Huge congratulations to Peter who was a brilliant judge and friend on StyleWARS. He offered invaluable advice for which I will be forever grateful. 

Peter with his wonderful collection in the background.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'I got my tubes tied' - London Fashion Week

After spending a few days in Dublin styling the new Oasis store on Stephens Green and working alongside the creative team with concepts for Christmas projects, it was back to the hustle and bustle of London only this time I knew it was going to be different. Different how you might ask. Different in that it was my frist taste of London Fashion Week (LFW), one of the biggest weeks on the calender year for any fashionista (do I count - I asked myself - of course I do). Fashion week was well and truely under way when I arrived, with some of the major designers having already showcased their new collections early in the week. The word around town was that it was gonna be hard for anyone to top Giles. A versatile collection of prints that flowed with effortless ease down the runway on well known faces such as Kelly Brook and Abbey Clancy along with the usual faces whose legs would be ready to fall off at the end of the week. Marios Schwab, a favourite of mine had featured in a magazine the previous day and so there was a lot of hype created about his show. It would have been easy for him to dissappoint but he doesn't have it in him. Going back to his Austrian routes, where he had studied hand-sewing techniques, he produced a show that would make other designers envious of his knowledge for body shape and texture, he thinks in sillouettes and lines (just like me lol). Classical, yet contemporary and most of all, wearable! It was FABOOSH.. Anyway i'm getting away. Back down on earth it was time for my Fashion Week.

Monday, 20th September

With fashion week in full flow (not heavy flow), it was time for my first task. The Oasis creative team had been working in collaboration with Westfield Shopping Centre (WoW) on a scheme called Westfield Car Boot Fair. An idea orchestrated by non other than Mary Portas - a mind of knowlegde and ideas like no other, Mary understands the importance of retail in a hign fashion capital, she just GETS it. I arrived to set up the Oasis car space to see twenty cars all lined up, decorated in completly different ways, ready to be filled to the brim. We spent a few hours dressing the space and didn't stop until the boot was bursting at the seems with boots, bags and scarves. Two mannquins sat on the roof as if looking out over the shopping centre.It was fab. I got another taste of what it would be like to be an events organiser with a massive budget. So much fun. Other retailers participating included Reiss, Topshop, Wolford, Swarovski and Whistles. Right next to our space was that of Storm Model Management, what exactly they were selling I guess I'll never know. "Get your stick thin models, three for a pound". Hardly!

Tuesday, 22nd September

Jealousy kicks in. Why? Because I was sat beside a guy on the tube to work that morning with a Burberry show tag hanging around his neck alongside one of the biggest Canon camera lenses I'd ever seen. I on the other hand was on my way to photograph some the LFW windows, which now seemed like a poxy shift. It was something I had originally thought might be cool. All of a sudden I was depressed for the day.. Ragin Spice.

At selfridges one thing was for sure - it was all about the show, a fabulously creative display to launch their new shoe galleries. The feature of the windows for me was "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe" - a massive installation of a super stylish elderly woman looking out of her ten foot house, made entirely of new shoe collections, including the Chanel "yeti" boots. It was classy but in a fun colourful way.

Next stop - Bond Street. Designer Heaven for those who have the moolah!! Rows of the biggest designers in the business, ridiculously expensive but fabulous none the less. I found myself looking at the architecture for the first time. The street just knows how to draw you in. Its incredible, but I was in a hurry and had already seen the window displays of Gucci, Armani, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes and many others. I was floating past until a statuesque mannequin sporting a gold feathered bandage style headpiece stopped me in my tracks. She was wearing what looked like a medievel masterpiece. A deep rouge full sleeve bodice delicately hand embroided in ornate gold sequins and treading with a pleated silk skirt attachment - she actually stopped me in my tracks. I had seen the dress before. It was one of my favourite dresses from the Alexander McQueen final collection. I stood still for a good half hour and looked at it from every angle possible. Massive! Would have loved to camp outside but it wasn't an option.

Then on to Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, which I eventually found after walking for about 40 minutes to Sloan St and back. I was still a novice at finding my way around, something I was having major difficulty with accepting.  When I got there however, it made it all worthwhile. It was the most creative display I had seen in years. A black and orange 3D abstract structures theme (bikes, cars and hammers) - a really high impact row of windows - the feature of which was a ten foot sculpture made entirely from wooden clothes pegs. The window was a focus on some of the hottest talent to come out of London Colleges including Schwab, Ilincic, McCartney and McQueen.

The best of the high street for me was Oasis (obviously) and Zara. This year at Oasis the creative team worked hard on trying to perfect the LFW windows. We were delighted when Drapers Magazine placed us second in a wide review of LFW windows. We beat off a range of high street competitors and designers including Aquascutum, Burberry, Banana Republic, Gucci, Jaeger, Joseph, Reiss, Topshop and Warehouse.!

Wednesday, 22nd September

After an hour and a half of travel getting to the other side (west) of London, I arrived at the gallery for a Hussein Chamalyan exhibition. It had recieved rave reviews from the fashion press and myself and Emma from the creative team couldn't resist a trip to see it for ourselves. OMG were we let down. The exhibition was one of musical influence from Hussein's middle eastern routes, a true reflection of his past. But to me, it lacked originality and was more like a projected concert with a woman made from plaster standing in the middle of the room, a moving mouth projected onto her face. Not my cup of tea. No wonder it was free!

Thursday, 23rd September

Mana! I was working in Manchester and Chester over the next few days so it was VM time. This meant gettin up at the ungodly time of  4:45 (never again). Thank god the Virgin Trains are better than the Iarnrod Eireann ones, that sound like they're changing tracks for the entire journey. I was there in no time. Styling tips and advice in Trafford centre was the aim of the day.

Friday, 24th September

After a somewhat slow day in Chester, I was delighted to be going back to London. I was in the train station in plenty of time. Platform 4 - London, but the train said Crewe, so I asked a rail worker if that was my train on the platform, to which he replied, no, London train is next one on platform. I said ok. Long story short, my train was due to depart any minute so I asked the woman on the train, she said "yeah this is the london train, but ya can't get on, the doors are closing". I said "are you for real" to which she pointed at the clock. I was so frustrated, I could have pulled her off the train by her ugly red locks and booted her up and down the platform! She annoyed me that much. What was worse I had to get the slow train to Crewe and then get a connecting train to London. Then I discovered I had a First Class ticket so I just piged out! Back in London town all was good again. LFW was over.

Pictures to follow............... DG x

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 1 - Just Touched Down In London Town

Day One.   

 This place is poxy mental, just as I was coming out of the underground for the first time I got a taste of what life in London was gonna be like. Four Harajuku girls in full ensemble, nobody batting an eyelid. Raging! I soon realised nobody cares, the place is too big for people to care. I could have been wearing an oasis pink tutu (flashbacks) and nobody would blink. These "people" were also in a major bleeding hurry, I was only trying to top up my oyster card and they were tutting, how dare I take so long like. Hmmmm - "unless ya want a bang of these two rather large suitcases I suggest ya back off, scumbags!" (In my head of course). I was feeling emaciated, hadn't eaten all day with the nerves in my stomach. It was late on the Sunday now and my first day of work was the following morning. Sick much!

Day Two

I thought I'd be brave and walk to work, try and find my way around a little bit, got there in no time. I was early - talk about eager beaver. I was brought up to the Oasis office, given my induction plan and introduced to all the different departments. I was in for a busy week. Thrown in at the deep end. I was delighted, it would help keep my mind off the fact that I was already missing home and I was only gone a wet day. Literally!
I was sent straight out to assist in setting up a brand conference, again experiencing something different; event organising. Twenty naked mannequins needed my attention and needless to say they were styled to within an inch of their plastic poxy lives by myself and the Oasis Visual Team (An Amazing bunch of girlos). They were FABOOSH! The room was FABOOSH. Day one over - second task just beginning - trying to get home when there's a tube strike was no easy task. Two hours later I made it in the door. Shower, eat, red wine, chat, music, bed (well actually sofa, i'm staying with friends for the first few days/weeks/adoption).

Day Three:

Took the tube and followed the directions on my ticket for the Oasis Brand Conference - It was held at the Louise Blouin Foundation - an amazing open gallery space - very edgy with that raw industrial kinda feel. Massive! The uplit mannequins shined when we walked into the room, showcasing the new packages and looks for the Oasis customer. My highlight, the knee length camel coat that wouldn't look out of place in the Aquascutum window on Bond St. It looked amazing and i'm sure it will be a sell out when it hits the stores. It was a day of meet and greets, too many new faces to remember even one name and i'm normally good at stuff like that. The presentaion was over, time to hit the Argyll St store for set up of Vogue Fashion Night Out. More mannequins, store layout and styling tips, tick, tick and tick. Job done!

Day Four:

After a nice little sleep in ( I had the morning off) it was time for Vogue Fashion Night Out - I was acting as resident stylist (homemade badge on shoulder of my friends borrowed jacket to prove it - scarlet!) Obviously everyone left looking amazing, goody bags in tow. Happy Days... In the window sat a layered burgundy and purple tone dress that drew customers to the store. The project design team had worked in collaboration with Lindsey Braddock, a young graduate designer to create a one off window display as we were soon entering London Fashion Week. It proved to be a big success and Lindsey was delighted with the display.

I was NOT delighted when I saw this photograph! The night was to get better. I met with Anthony (the guy who took me in) for the Vogue Rick Owens party (he gets these amazing invites to glitzy events lol). Champagne and canapes all round. I was starving after my twenty minute walk through the plush Mayfair, passing Matthew Williamson on my way, nearly asking him for directions until I realised who he was. Imagine. He did however remind me of Jafar from Aladdin! The party was "very fashion" Anthony had told me. He wasn't wrong. Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, designers from Victoria Beckhams label, website owners and socialites to name but a few. Out of place. Never! Gidde up on that (",) A few drinks and some noodles (from "Wok in a miniature box") later it was time to head back East. Bedtime.

Day Five:

It was time for my first Style File! - a monthy guideline publication for the company, issued to all stores from the Head Office Visual and Creative Team. The day was hectic, one of the flag stores (this month Poultry) was transformed in 9 hours by many hands. It was here that I realised it's the small things you do that make a difference. Loooooooong day, paid off, the store looked Faboosh and it was home time. The end of my first week. Delighted..

This weeks lesson "Time flies even when you're not having fun"

Over n Out!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hey Guys.

StyleWARS may be over but my new career is just beginning.

Judges (l-r) Peter O Brien, Caprice Bourret and Ian Galvin with mentor Angela Woods


After six difficult tasks that tested myself and the other contestants on everything from visual merchandising, styling, marketing, art direction, design and runway production it was down to the final three. Myself, Grace Mangan and Holly Shortall - one of us would walk away with the prize of a twelve-month contract on the senior creative team at the head office of Aurora Fashion (Coast, Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse) in London. The job was described by mentor Angela Woods (Head of Design, NCAD) as 'a truely magnificent opportunity to make it internationally'. One aspect of the job is to travel with the respective teams on design and buying trips to major cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, Dusseldorf and New York.

It was time to meet with the judges. We knew that when we stepped onto the plush red carpet, the kind that sinks under your feet its so thick (a true taste of the red carpet lifestyle that would await the winner, how ironic) two people would leave extremely disappointed and one person would be ecstatic. The judges plagued us with questions and studied our answers with subdued expressions, ensuring not to give anything away. It was clear from the 'discussion' that the judges favoured Holly's ultra light fashion show which left me pondering what I'd do if I didn't win. Until then my sights were set firmly on the creative role I had relished for far too long. After my critique it became apparent that the winner would be decided based on the creative flair and ability throughout the programme. All three were back in the race. Caprice cut to the news like she meant business and said that the person finishing in third place would be, and then a pause, the eternal poxy pause that seemed to last an hour and had all three hearts beating so profusely they could be seen by everyone in the room. My mind was wrought with fear that it could be me and just as I was breathing out for the first time in five minutes, the name came. It was Grace. Deep breaths (and some funny hand action, that my friends will never let me live down - and rightly so, I was mortified)! Described as too emotional by the judges, they feared she might not be able for the role, her concepts were magnificent but the judges saw her as just that - a conceptual person. If you ask me, I think she's amazing, maybe too creative and expected so much of herself that she got too frustrated in a very confined environment. I gave her the biggest squeeze when her name was called and she whispered in my ear "come on". I knew I had the support of most of my fellow contestants. It was back to business - the final two!

At this stage Holly looked as if she was about to collapse and I wasn't feeling as though my legs could take too much longer so I thought it might be a good idea to grasp her hand, show a united front as we stood before the judges. Holly and I had got on really well in the latter half of the competition, especially when you consider that we nearly killed each other over a styling decision in week two. We were friends! However the judges appeared to be taking their time over the decision, it was afterall going to change somebodies life for good, a new start, a new career and whats more a move to London. As the judges di-sected each task and our performance to date, I was thinking I was in with a chance, the only task that Holly had beaten me outright on was the final task. The judges spoke of consistency and the ability to work alongside people and not on your own. It seemed as though they had made a decision, one they described as 'unanimous'. Holly had given a fabulous interview and was quite obviously a very confident person, she was well able to discuss what she could 'bring to the table' so to speak. In comparison my interview was quite subdued. But the decision was made.

Caprice spoke; "I can now reveal that the winner of StyleWARS 2010 is" and again the pause, this time even longer than the last. Thoughts of other reality TV programmes flashed through my head, the kind where the judges take an eternity to deliver the news and the tension mounts and mounts. It must have been about three minutes (believe me, it's longer than it seems), and then it came........... David! I nearly poxy collapsed, I had no feeling in my legs and I just put my head in my hands, I can't even explain the emotion I felt at that moment. Sounds really cheesy but it's true! From there on out the prizes were revealed and it was all congratulations. It was off to the champagne and canopy after-party were we could mingle with the judges. The atmosphere was different, it was real and I was going to London! Peter and Angela offered their phones for me to go and ring home. I had to put them out of their misery. I knew they had been sitting on the edge of their seats all day, panicking every time the phone rang and going mental at the person on the other end for ringing. How dare they ring at such a time, they were waiting on an important phone call, from me!

My sister Mandy answered; straight away I told her. "I won Mand". On the other end it was just constant screaming for about 5 minutes until they realised I was still on the other end of the phone. Back to the champagne afters, I needed more than what a champagne glass could hold though. We sat on the grass with the production team (who were amazing) and spoke about the show and the fact that we couldn't believe it was over. But it was! The show was over but my new career was just beginning.

I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life and long may it continue.

David Greene (London) x