Behind The Scenes: A Stylist’s Guide To Travelling In Style With Antler Cabin Luggage

Generally speaking when I’m styling I like to be super organised about what I’m packing and where items are before I’ve even thought about leaving the house, as the worst thing that could ever happen on location, at a shoot or during a live TV show is to be unprepared and caught without that essential item.

Elstree Studios

However thankfully this year, during my run as a stylist on Strictly Come Dancing I have been meticulous with my preparation thanks to forward planning and the use of a very smart suitcase from Antler. Their sleek Cabin Luggage range is ideal for travelling to and from venues with a stylist kit, as not only is it chic but it’s four-wheel manoeuvrability allows me to merge swiftly with everyday commuters whilst packing everything I need into the spacious 35-45 litre capacity. 

In mine you’ll always find a wide range of items from a miniature hand held steamer (a priority) to a kit bag containing an crucial sewing kit, plasters, scissors, inner soles, pens, paper, different types of tapes ranging from brown to gaffer (great for soles of shoes on studio floors) alongside an extra bag full of different sized underwear (you never know what size or extras you will need on set), belts, spare flat shoes (for me!), a phone charger and lots, lots more.

And that’s why a lightweight travel suitcase is paramount – it should be small enough to carry around but also be sizeable enough to bring onto an aeroplane cabin should you be lucky enough to fly to a short haul destination.

For more information on Antler Cabin Luggage or to view the range log onto www.antler.co.uk.

Pixie Lott Rocks Charity Alphabet Scarf And Single For Matalan

Pixie Lott has been stirring up a storm on the dance floor this year with partner Trent Whiddon as part of Strictly Come Dancing, but it’s the fabulous charity inspired fashion and single that has shifted all the attention as the singer teams up with Matalan to promote a string of Alphabet scarves for AW14.

Pixie Lott in Matalan's Alphabet Scarf

Pictured above in her classic grey monogrammed accessory, the All About Tonight starlet was snapped wearing one of Matalan’s new charity scarves to help raise money and awareness for Alder Hey Children’s Charity. However, Pixie’s not the only famous personality who has been seen rocking their very own personalised accessory. Global stars such as  Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Wayne RooneyJessie J, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abbey Clancy, Nicola Roberts and Tinie Tempah have all been spotted modelling their very own personalised Alphabet scarves in aid of the children’s hospital alongside a string of well known patrons, ambassadors and patients. 

The  scarves – which can be purchased in seven different colour ways ranging from A-Z – are now available to purchase both in store and online for just £10 (£5 for children’s versions) and showcase a collegiate style appliqué letter on each one; perfect for gifting loved ones this Christmas. All profits are set to go towards a brand new stateoftheart children’s hospital, education and research centre ‘Alder Hey in the Park’ which is planned to open in 2015. 

To coincide with the launch Pixie has also recorded her own version of the iconic 1986 number one, ‘Caravan of Love’, which has been released as her Christmas single and features on her new album ‘Platinum Pixie’ – with a percentage of proceeds from each single going straight to Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Speaking about the venture Pixie commented that “I am really honoured to be involved with, and supporting, Alder Hey’s Alphabet Scarves campaign. It’s a fantastic initiative and will raise much needed funds for the children’s hospital.”

So, what better way to give this Xmas than by following suit, looking stylish and supporting a good cause.

For more information or to shop online visit www.Matalan.co.uk

Stylist-at-large: The Latest Update In Fashion…

I have been meaning to update my blog (as you can see below) for quite some time now and will have a range of updates coming in the next few weeks on everything from jewellery to accessories and even a touch of Spring/Summer 2015 (for those who can’t wait!). However just in case you were wondering what I have been doing for the past few months here’s a quick summery below which includes celebrity styling, freelancing with the amazing team at LOOK magazine and much, much more…

OH and most importantly should I not forget waiting to become a mummy-to-be! (Due in Jan… Baby brain… Check out the maternity blog below for Seraphine.com)

Tess Daly Strictly Come Dancing 2014  Kara Tointon - Pride Of Britain Awards 2014

LOOK Magazine 2014 LOOK Magazine 2014 LOOK Magazine 2014  LOOK Magazine 2014 LOOK Magazine 2014  Seraphine Maternity Blog

Olivier Awards 2012: Kara Tointon – get the look

Firstly huge apologies I have not blogged in so long. I have had a manic past two weeks prepping, styling and sorting returns for celebrity clients whom include the gorgeous Kara Tointon and fabulous Olympic Ambassador Dame Kelly Holmes. Alongside this I’ve been working a lot with www.whatbesttowear.com whom I write all their social season fashion and beauty tips for.

Kara Tointon at the 2012 Olivier Awards

Kara Tointon at the 2012 Olivier Awards

You may have noticed in the papers and online yesterday that Kara was in fact was regarded very highly on most of the best dressed lists which – for a stylist – can be no bigger accolade. Therefore when trying to achieve the same style why not splurge the cash (if you have it) on a duplicate Minka dress by Alice+Olivia at Oxygen Boutique (38 Eastcastle Street, w1). Team with nude Christian Louboutin heels and a black clutch bag (also from Louboutin) and finish with black diamonds courtesy of Garrard jewellers.

However, if you are more save than splurge head straight to the high street or online where stores such as Lovely’s Vintage will be stacked with 1920s flapper style gowns: Www.goddiva.co.uk also offer great inspiration. When trying to source nude peep toe heels look no further than stores such as Dune, Aldo, Dorothy Perkins, River Island et al; they all have similar options which can also be used for smart work wear situations. To emulate the black diamond effect head straight to Topshop where their in-house brands alongside concessions such as Mikey will take all the hard work out of looking for you…..

Happy shopping!

National Television Awards 2012 best and worst dressed

As a stylist it was great to see so many fashionable ladies (and gents) rocking their outfits at the National Television Awards, which was held at the 02 Arena last night. Aside from best dressed there were of course, as always, a few fashion faux pas so here is my round-up of my favourite and should-have-left-it-at-home from the red carpet collection….

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First up stepping into the limelight was the incredible supermodel Elle ‘the body’ Macpherson. She was invited of course to present an award and turned up with fashion designer Julien Macdonald in tow. Looking stunning in a floor-length charcoal jeweled gown Macpherson opted for a on-trend ponytail with matching jewel accessories.

Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly also caught the papperazzi’s eye looking like an Amazonian queen in her black gown, split to the thigh, with metallic gold lining and matching neck cuff.

I think also a special mention has to go to Corrie’s Catherine Tyldesley. Aside from the above, she really did exude elegance in her long velvet purple gown by Azagury (a brand that the late Princess Diana favoured); showing that there is real Hollywood glamour outside of Weatherfield. Her stylist Martine Alexander also dressed an assortment of the cast including Paula Lane in Roc and Doll and Ali King in Suzanne Neville: one very busy lady on the night.

Another stylist who should also be noted for her amazing skills is Sinead McKeefry; dressing BFF’s Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby. Cotton shimmered in a 1920s style silver flapper gown complete with fringing and beading from Temeperley, whilst Willoughby sizzled in a figure hugging gown by Roland Mouret.

The crew from TOWIE also pleasantly surprised me looking sharp in their chosen tones of pale pink and stark black. Lydia Bright led the way looking like a Hollywood starlet with 1950s inspired curls and red lips whilst Jessica Wright opted for a suitably modest Honor Gold lace dress. Sam Faiers and Lucy Mecklenburgh (dressed in Forever Unique from PasticheCouture.com) sparkled in their chosen gown which were encrusted with Swarovski crystals and metallic sequins – Michelle Keegan and Michelle Collins also adopted the evenings dusky pink hues too.

X-Factor judge and mentor Tulisa of course shrieked with delight when her team won the category of best Talent Show. However, as much as I admire her, the flamingo pink ruffled strapless cocktail dress was a concoction that should have stayed in the nearest wildlife park and gave me flashbacks to Bjork’s ‘swan’ gown at the 2001 Academy Awards.

Alongside her co-host Matt Smith who also won an award for Drama Performance (Male) in Dr Who, Karen Gillan (who picked up the matching award for Drama Performance – Female – in Dr Who) seemed to have unfortunately dressed down for the occasion in a simple LBD, whilst presenter of the NTA after party for ITV2 Caroline Flack also tried to keep it cool in her quirky print chain dress; the length could have perhaps been adjusted to something less revealing when she sat down.

I’m A Celebrity contestant Fatima Whitbread also showed off quite an assortment of flesh on the red carpet with a coffee coloured gown which seemed to swamp the muscular athlete whilst morning TV presenter Kate Garraway also seemed slightly swamped in her bubble gum pink satin gown. Aside from the TOWIE girls that were a hit there were also some that made a total miss; Lauren Gooder exposed herself in an unflattering silver gown whilst Chloe Sims (whom I adore) just needed to add a belt to the centre piece of her outfit. Lastly Lauren Pope’s silver gown, which  looked so demure from the top, literally fell apart at the seams with slashes of lace created throughout the encrusted satin a-line skirt, completely ruining it for me.

But I think that worst dressed celeb for the evening by far was new Dragon Hilary Devey; her space-man costume was far from entertaining for a woman of her age.

For the full list of winners visit http://www.nationaltvawards.com/

Alesha Dixon quits Strictly Come Dancing

Radio (Alesha Dixon song)

Image via Wikipedia

We’ve barely hit 2012 and already there has been another casualty on the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom dance floor. This time it comes in the face of singer turned judge Alesha Dixon. After she replaced Arlene Phillips back in 2009 Alesha held her own and won the nations heart through her quick learning and technical notations as celebrities and pro dancers battled it out on the floor below her week after week. We loved her charismatic charms, dress sense (thanks to stylist Katie Greengrass), and fun friendship between herself and fellow judge Bruno Tonioli, but it seems that Alesha has chosen to move channels and become a fourth judge for the next series of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV1 for it’s sixth series alongside Simon Cowell, David Walliams and Amanda Holden – which has yet to be set in stone and confirmed by ITV execs.

The ex Mis-Teeq singer, 33, clearly was an asset in the ratings war as Strictly smashed the X-Factor week after week last year, therefore this makes perfect sense that Simon Cowell should jump in and bring her on-board.

In a statement made earlier Dixon noted that:

“After three incredible years on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel I have decided that it is time to move on. Strictly Come Dancing will always hold a special place in my heart as it has been such an amazing experience, both as a winning competitor and as a judge.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in the show, the production team, my fellow judges, and a very special thank you to the fans for their support.

Music is my great passion and the reason for the other incredible opportunities that have come my way and I am looking forward to getting back into the studio and focusing on making a new record in 2012.”

The only question is who will be set to replace the Dixon? We would like to think that Cheryl Cole could be just the ticket, however ex-Principle ballerina Darcey Bussell and actress Jennifer Grey, whom both appeared as guest judges may be in the running; although by their performances the nation may not have warmed to them quite as much as Dixon. My best bet would be someone along the same age group and maybe an ex-professional such as Karen Hardy, Zoe Ball (who took over from Claudia Winkleman on spin-off show It Takes Two last series), or another well-loved singer in the industry with mass popularity…. Is Adele free at all I wonder.

Kate Middleton shines at The Sun Military Awards 2011

This morning the papers are awash with news of The Sun Military Awards. Our nation which had been dragged into a war that initially was not ours to fight are still reeling in the aftermath, so it is poignant that we reflect back and salute those brave heroes who protected the country they were sent to fight for peace in and others around them.

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge attends A Night of Heroes

The Duchess of Cambridge was on hand with her RAF fighter husband, Prince William, to hand out awards and speak personally to those who had been involved and deserved to be recognised at last night’s ceremony which was held at the Imperial War Museum in London. The awards which were originally set up by Prince Charles to mark the achievements of the Armed Forces and those who support them on operations at home and abroad was led by Kate’s brother in-law Prince Harry with his emotional speech (as another serving officer in the family) paying tribute to military colleagues and those in the forces. This was a mature and heartfelt note to which catapulted him in the eyes of the press; a far cry from his fancy dress days.

Kate shone in a stunning customised Alexander McQueen dress with sweetheart neckline and fishtail train costing approximately £3,995 just off the rail, however this piece is now sold-out nationwide. Teamed with a diamond and ruby necklace which was gifted to her on her wedding day earlier this year, and matching earrings and bracelet, Kate also adorned flat satin Prada pumps for comfort and her trademark dark eyeliner; looking every inch the Princess in her classic gown, but cleverly trying not to steal the limelight from this worthy cause.

The Duchess and Prince William presented the award for Most Outstanding Soldier to Sergent Ryan McCready, 26, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment with the Prince commenting that, “You exemplify the unique qualities that make the British soldier second to none courage, steadfastness, sense of humour, professionalism and a deep sense of humanity. Congratulations.”

Royalty and celebrities such as Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden (who presented the awards) David Walliams, Myleene Klass and Jimmy Carr (who all presented individual awards to soldiers) alongside stars from Coronation Street, Helen Worth, Catherine Tyldesley, Sacha Parkinson and Brooke Vincent, TOWIE’s Amy Childs and Mark Wright, DJ Sara Cox, model Jerry Hall, TV’s Ross Kemp, Ben Fogle, singer Peter Andre and rugby’s Lawrence Dallaglio were all in attendance and fought back tears to honour these truly inspirational soldiers.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd was also on site to present an award with judge Alesha Dixon (who looked fabulous in a Philip Armstrong creation) to Para Scott Meenagh for Overcoming Adversity.

As reported in The Sun Meenagh, 22, lost both legs in January after he was blown up by a Taliban mine in Afghanistan — then watched on as his colleague and friend Private Martin Bell, 24, was killed as he tried to rescue him.

Ever since Meenagh has devoted his life to “living for two” in honour of his brave friend. He has not only learned to walk on his new legs, but has also taken up ice hockey, archery and sailing and won medals at the Endurance Games in America for waterskiing. He now intends to cycle 3,000 miles across the US.

When accepting the award Meenagh explained “There are a lot of young lads who are faced with the injuries I have and a lot of guys that have worse injuries. They all just get up and crack on with it. It’s just what we do — what we are trained to do.” With Judd adding: “It’s truly inspirational to meet you. I’m humbled.”

You can watch The Sun Military Awards/ A Night of Heroes on ITV Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 8.30pm.