Sunday, 23 October 2011

Style Course

So yesterday was the day of my styling course with Style Aware. I got up in the morning and chose the outfit I was going to wear for my fashionable day ahead. I decided to wear a cream mesh full midi skirt with a burned orange silk tee, a camel boyfriend jacket with an attachable fur collar, some tan ankle boots. 

I headed off to the station and made my way on the tube to Knightsbridge wear I entered through the doors of Harvey Nichols department store, I must admit, a complete first for me. As I ventured up the escalators from the cosmetic floor up to the cafe on the top level, where we were all meeting, I found myself captivated by the clothes surrounding me. One floor up from the cosmetics floor, was the designer level and surrounding me was fascinating creations by Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Lanvin, to name just a few. 

    Stella McCartney             


Jimmy Choo Handbag  

As I crept around the floor like a child in a candy store I found myself next to a sign for Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choos, so couldn't resist a little look. There were some amazing studded boots for £1500 but there were also some stunning patent black stilettos, with the classic red sole, for just £375. Although this is still a lot of money, it is much more affordable than I had anticipated, so am now saving for my very own pair.

Anyway I finally tore myself away from the beautiful designer clothes and took myself up to the cafe on the top floor. I couldn't identify anyone who looked like Faye so I got a table for 5 people and took a seat. Within minutes Faye walked in with another girl on the course called Simona and they pulled up a pew next to me. Next walked in was a very bouncy, smiley girl called Kelly and then lastly Sam.

Faye asked us all to introduce ourselves and talk a bit about our backgrounds and why we were on the course before she started talking a bit about herself. We then went on to discuss who our target audience would be for personal shopping, how we would target them and make the website look in order to attract those people. Faye then went on to talk about a process of a day as a personal shopper, from booking the course, and the details you would need on the form, the price for the service, the ways and means in which you communicate with clients, how you approach the scenario, what you wear, how you take charge, what you ask them and then how you actually go about choosing the clothes for them. It was really useful and really interesting and we were all scribbling notes madly, trying to jot down everything she said. 

We were then split into pairs and given the role of client and shopper. For our first scenario I was the client and I was going to a wedding so, Simona, who was my partner, had to ask me everything she needed to find out in order to help me shop, including my budget, size, colours I liked, areas of my body I didn't like or want to show, length of dress, fit of the dress, design (patterns or plain), style of shoe, accessories etc and then we set off to wander the floor. My budget was £1000, which when on the designer floor of Harvey Nichols, doesn't actually stretch that far. We found a few good dresses which annoyingly weren't in my size, I found it really hard not to give her pointers as to how I would wear a dress, how I would accessorise etc and found I did slip up a few times and I was like oh that would be great with a different  to edge it up or that would go well with the black bag I have already. So I went to the changing room and started trying dresses, non of which ended up fitting or looking good, but for the sake of the scenario we settled on a £500 teal maxi dress from McQueen, with a plunging neckline with zip detail on the edge, a gathered waist and a slit, which was actually quite cool (unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it).  We then had to go about accessorizing and settled on some burgundy shoes (not my choice, I would have gone for silver strappy shoes from Choo) and a pewter pendant with a large diamond style charm.  Then it was my turn.....

For my scenario I had to get a a whole winter wardrobe for Simona for £900, but we had the luxury of a high street shop, Zara. Realistically you wouldn't just stick to one shop to buy everything but for the sake of the scenario, we had to try. As someone who doesn't really shop in Zara I don't know the style of the shop, but I took a strategic approach to attacking the store and spent time rummaging through the rails searching for items that matched what Simona had said she liked. I got her to try on a black fitted military coat, which she loved and then a black skater dress, that would be versatile, as she could wear in a number of ways, I paired with a leopard print jumper for one outfit, and a belt and fur edged cardigan for another outfit. We also found a black and white print mini skirt and a mustard top to go with it. Which actually all looked fab! We were a bit rushed but I managed to stick to the budget and we found some nice knee high boots after in Russell & Bromley. In a real life scenario I would have taken her to H&M to finish off her wardrobe and get some other items but we didnt have the time.

It was a fun but exhausting day but great to be in both the client & personal shoppers place for each scenario and experience how both parties would feel, which really helped.
Now i am ready for my first client, to have a go myself!!! Whose willing : ) xxx

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