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