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Fashion & Beauty Homepage Slider — 17 January 2013

It’s hard to believe as I sit here at the dining table in my scruffy jumper, jumbo mug of tea by my side that yesterday I was somewhere very different. I was one of 8 bloggers taking part in a fashion shoot for Next (#nextonestowatch if you must know) trying out and lusting over the new Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Here’s my behind-the-scenes diary…

nextonestowatch fashion shoot by mummy rates it

9.20am

I arrive early at Blue Sky, one of London’s most prestigious studios. As I enter there are girls from another well-known High Street store cramming shed-loads of clothes into a lift. I enter Studio 2 and meet Vicki, Rebecca, Chantelle and Ellie from Next. I’ve met these lovely girls before and as always they make me welcome before showing me around. We nip upstairs to the kitchen area and I can’t help noticing the table top full of croissants, juices and importantly, coffee! We have a quick chat and I settle down until they’re ready to call me to make-up.

9.45am

I meet Kim and Siobhan who are going to look after our hair and make-up for the shoot. There are 7 other bloggers today and although it’s nice to be ‘covered-up’ so we don’t look blotchy and pimply (talking for myself here) we’re going to be looking pretty natural and like ourselves.

Kim, who works with Laura Mercier products, uses the cover-up on my hormonal chin and under my eyes. She also shows me how to apply an eye-lining paste right into the base of my lashes. I’m not great with eye-liner and find it makes my eyes look too heavy but this creates a subtle effect and defines my eyes.

Siobhan, who is concentrating on our hair, compliments my cut. I’ve just had a trim and highlights done so I’m pretty pleased she’s noticed. I’ve got major hat hair so she decides to give me a bit of a ‘bouff’. I can see she has Batiste dry shampoo on the counter which she tells me she loves, however, she opts for a can of Oribe (not a great name for something so a-mazing). A few sprays and my hair is brighter and has loads of volume. It seems it’s a make-up artists secret tool but now it’s mine (and yours) too. You can buy it at SpaceNK for gulp, £18.

10am

I meet the photographer Ryan who it turns out I recognise from years ago when I worked on magazines. It was a very long time ago but he hasn’t changed a bit. I now feel very relaxed as he’s a nice guy and I won’t be feeling intimidated or too self-conscious to pose for him.

Next yellow, collarless jacket

The yellow, collarless jacket I wore. Can I just add that in case you don’t have your specs on this is NOT me! I wish it was but in fact it’s the model from the Next directory!


10.15am

I meet Tara the stylist, who by this time is getting swamped by other bloggers all asking for her help. There are rows and rows of clothes, some of which we’ve already picked out and others that the Next girls have brought along for us to try. For my first look I decide to try the neon yellow jacket. I also want to try some slouchy, boyfriend style jeans – a big move from my usual skinnies. That’s all fine but then Tara steps in to help me sort out a top and shoes. I’m really happy with my look and go off to find Ryan so he can take some snaps.

11.00am

It’s getting really busy in the wardrobe section. Clothes are being strewn about and there’s much ‘Oooh I like that’ and ‘Oh no, that’s not right’. Tara is the epitome of calm, style and grace (she continues to be throughout the day) and cocks her head from time to time to take in the various looks. Assistants and even a store manager are roped in to start steaming clothes and are frantically picking up discarded ones.

Next floral block sandal

Floral block sandal by Next, ankle model’s own (and not mine)…

12.00pm

I’ve spotted a floor-length lace dress. It’s very demure and dressy and it keeps winking at me. I go over and introduce myself and before I know it I’m wearing it and showing it to Tara. We both agree it looks fab and pick out some shoes. Tara goes straight for some very cool, Erdem-inspired flower-power mega heels. They look amazing and really add something to an otherwise classical look. I hear myself saying: ‘I can’t believe they’re from Next’ – apologies to Next but they are quite ‘out there’. Despite being extremely high they are comfy and have loads of support thanks to a wedge toe and ankle straps. If you ever want people to notice your feet these are the shoes for you!

1.30pm

Break for lunch and oh boy, what a lunch! Blue Sky do the catering and conjure up a delicious beef with pak choi, falafel, roasted butternut squash and salads. For dessert there’s an apple compote with crumble and cream served in dinky pots and just as I’m about to get up and squeeze myself back into the lace dress for a group shot I’m stopped in my tracks by some home-made chocolate brownies. The rest, as they say, is history.

Next black lace dress

Don’t I look amazing? That’s because, again, this isn’t actually me. Pics of me wearing this dress will be in my next post. OK?

2.30pm

We all get together for a group shot. It involves having to stand still for a very long time and a few numb bits. We are pulled, poked and positioned. It seems that every time a photo is about to be taken someone’s hair has misbehaved, a collar isn’t flat or a shoulder needs to turn an extra 5 degrees. We start trying to lip read what all the team are saying. ‘Is it me?’ I ask, tugging at the hem of the very flattering black lace dress I had to swap into last minute. Despite feeling a bit ‘photo frozen’ I’m enjoying watching the behind-the-scenes team at work and am really impressed by their eye for seemingly minute detail.

4.00pm

Still more trying on clothes and I’m desperate to nail ’3 ways with one outfit’. Tara picks out a blue trouser suit. They’re big news for S/S and have been on the catwalk of Cavalli, JW Anderson, Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney but I’m not sure. However, this is where a stylist really comes into their own. Although I can manage to team it with a pretty, floral peplum underneath, Tara encourages me to try the jacket with a both a dress and a pair of jeans. It works and I’m delighted with all 3 looks.

Next trouser suit

I know, a trouser suit! Worked 3 ways no less!


5.30pm

It’s time to say goodbye. Whilst us bloggers can go off home the Next team are frantically packing up all the clothes and accessories – somehow they manage to get up enough energy to work speedily. Ryan and the rest of the photography and film crew are already discussing editing, touching-up and deadlines. I feel a bit guilty leaving them to it (but not so guilty that I stay to help – I’ve got the kids to see!)

8.00pm

I’m at home and I’ve just put the kids to bed. As I plonk myself on the sofa I turn on my camera and look through some of my pictures from the day. What a fantastic experience. I loved loads of the clothes and tried some new looks too – including trouser suits and neon yellow! I’m surprised at how catwalk-inspired the Next collection is and how it’s a far more daring label than I had given it credit for (sorry!) Lastly, it was great to spend the day with so many super busy, creative folk, all of whom were passionate about their work yet still had the time for an ‘are you ok?’ and ‘anyone fancy a cuppa?’

* I’ll be posting more about the Next Spring/Summer clothes that I wore over the next week… Watch This Space!

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(6) Readers Comments

  1. Oh, that sounds like SO MUCH FUN!! What a cool experience. I\’ll be looking forward to seeing the final photos!

    • Hi Ariana
      Yes, it was lots of fun. I really enjoyed working with a stylist because although I like to think I’ve got a good idea on how to style things it’s always nice to have other input. Also, the other bloggers were quite a bit younger so it’s nice for me to see how the ‘youngsters’ do things!!
      Thanks for commenting
      Michelle x

  2. What a great witty post. Sounds like you had an amazing day :-) ) Cant wait to see all final pics

    Debs x

    • Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. I’m really looking forward to seeing all the final pics too. There were some great outfits with real individuality. Thanks Michelle x

  3. *Sigh* Jealous. Looking forward to your next posts. What a great time – right up your street X

    • Ahh thanks Anya but I don’t want to make you (or anyone) feel jealous. Instead I hope the Pro pictures will offer some style inspiration and ideas… not that you need them of course. xx

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