Stylists of the Future

 The future just got brighter for young fashionistas in the UK.

A new intensive course for stylists has arrived at London College of Style with the most amazing opportunities for young creatives to learn, not only how to grasp the concept of a stylist, but actually get involved with some of the industries best and get experience of all areas  from the off.

I went along  for the meet and greet breakfast on the opening day to talk to the students about ‘customizing in styling’, as well as signing ‘DIY Fashion’ books for all the students. I was amazed at the opportunities that the college was offering.

This 12 week course had the students up and running on their first day with my  challenge for them to customize a plain white T- shirts, but first, they had an array of hardcore people in the ‘know’ to advise on how to  succeed as a stylist. These included Grace Banks from V style, Costume designer Gary Page, Television Director Matt Young, Saskia Osmond-Evans, PR Director of all online Arcadia brands and Zoe Cosby who is PR Director of Oliver Goldsmiths, but is also born into the heritage company Kent Brushes, and she really knows her stuff. But that is not all. The very savvy Wendy Elsmore, founder of London College of Style, a fantastic, personable teacher  is on hand at all times for advice, encouragement and endless knowledge of all areas of the fashion industry. Her profile is massive, working in television and with all the big fashion magazines. Jason Smith, celebrity hairdresser was fabulous with tips and tricks of the trade and made everyone feel relaxed and at ease with his gentle, inspiration, without an ounce of pretentiousness.

 After lunch the big surprise was announced. The students met with Kim Draper the GM at Denim Gods ‘Donna Ida’ to discuss creating displays for all their shop windows, with the winning team getting publicity and their first taste of notoriety. WOW, how many courses can offer this? I was jealous, I have to admit.

The course also includes shoots, day trips and loads of amazing chances to get out there and learn from the ground up. Get inspired and have a look at the fabulous t-shirts these guys produced for their first class. There really are head turners. Watch out for theses guys in the next 12 months. I am predicting big things.

Check out courses at


Mend and Make do? Not this year


I think that I made a mistake a few years back, when I started beating the drum about the old adage ‘mend and make do’. The one thing that nobody wants to do in a recession is ‘make do’. Young girls are looking more glamorous than ever and clothing has never been so chic, albeit primarily Primark!

So, about turn and start again. Mend? Yes! Make do? Never. The psychology of the society in recessive times, is to have a moan about the economic pressures, but look good never the less.. Is there a way to do this without draining your bank account and suffering the hideous charges that our banks levy on us for going overdrawn without prior permission? I think so. So, I am returning to the phrase ’Mend and make do’ and renaming it ‘Mend and make far better than it ever was’!.

Add sparkle to holes and dazzle to stains. Broken jewellery, bits of antique/old lace can be added to tops and skirts to give new life to older items. Clothing is rarely fit for the bin. You just need to find ways to hold onto it for a little while longer. I need a new top, £20, and I need a new pair of jeans, £40+. If you reinvent these items you could put that £60 away and put it towards something you might never dream of affording (those Christian Louboutin shoes or a luxury weekend away).
Make it fun, have a few friends round and re-create together. Creativity can flow best with company.
Happy Morphing.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 7 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 26 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 32mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 1st with 87 views. The most popular post that day was About Selena Francis-Bryden.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for selena francis-bryden, selena francis bryden, diy fashion book, diy fashion, and diy fashion selena francis bryden.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


About Selena Francis-Bryden January 2010


Hello fashionista world! January 2010
1 comment


Britain’s Next Top Model Live October 2010


My Fabulous ‘DIY Fashion’ Book Launch August 2010

Britain’s Next Top Model Live

 Come and find me here next week. I will be doing the Style icon Workshops. 
Britain’s Next Top Model Live 2010
The ultimate weekend shopping extravaganza comes to London for the first time Ever – Britain’s Next Top Model Live, brought to you by Motorola FLIPOUT, is here from 22nd – 24th October 2010.

Based on the hugely successful international reality TV show – presented by international supermodel Elle McPherson – Britain’s Next Top Model Live, brought to you by Motorola FLIPOUT, is set to be London’s biggest fashion and Beauty fix, and every girl’s essential event for this season’s trends.

Taking place across three days from 22nd – 24th October 2010 at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands, dedicated followers of fashion and beauty will be able to experience the ultimate in retail therapy – an event designed to bring to life the lifestyle and glamour of Britain’s Next Top Model, with a range of fashion shows, exhibitions, shopping, beauty, health and fitness, and interactive features for this Autumn and Winter trends.

Visitors will be able to strut their stuff down the red carpet entrance to the Tia Maria Cocktail Bar, and into the largest selection of the UK’s leading high street brands and premium designer fashions, offering some of the latest sensationally stylish collections from the high-street and beyond.

This year’s event will also host a series of stunning hour-long Catwalk Shows. Featuring an inspiring range of fashion, designer gowns and unique creations from up and coming talent, and with special appearances from all of the girls from Britain’s Next Top Model series 6, alongside top music acts and spectacular live entertainment, within the 3000 seat auditorium, the catwalk shows are guaranteed to leave you with an inspiring WOW factor.

If that wets the appetite, and you want to feel like you’ve been in an episode of BNTM yourself, visitors can come and learn how to walk the walk like the professionals on the purpose built Kiss Open Catwalk, while the BNTM Live photographers capture your debut on camera. Alternatively, if you prefer to stand still, why not come and pout, pose and feel the fame of being a model as you work the camera in the Paparazzi Zone with Company Magazine – an area dedicated to re-creating backdrops and photo shoots from series 6 as well as special locations from around London.

If you’re still not feeling like the ultimate glamour puss then make your way to the Powder Room and indulge in free hair and beauty makeovers, pamper treatments courtesy of the London College of Beauty Therapy, and advice from our experts Sam and Nic from online beauty expert sensation Pixiwoo, exclusively tailored to each individual. Or come and learn the tricks of the trade from top industry experts at the Style Icon Workshops, brought to you by Motorola FLIPOUT, that will guide you along the lifestyle path to becoming the ultimate fashionista.

This year’s event is also offering visitors the unique opportunity to win a place in Living TV’s Britain’s Next Top Model Series 7 in 2011 with the BNTM Application Studio. Living TV will be recording Live auditions for applicants for the next series of BNTM. Alternatively, if you prefer to be behind the lens than on a catwalk, you can head for the Live Casting Couch where Models 1 will be seeking out the new faces for their future fashion and beauty campaigns.

From fashion, to beauty tips and pampering, personal styling and catwalk glamour, Britain’s Next Top Model Live, brought to you by Motorola FLIPOUT, is the must-see fashion and beauty event of the year, with something for every taste all under one roof.

The first Britain’s Next Top Model Live, brought to you by Motorola FLIPOUT, will be taking place from 22nd – 24th October at London’s Excel Centre. Book your tickets now to Save ££ log on to Standard Ticket £18, includes Entry to the event and a seat within the Main Catwalk, Premium Ticket £25 which includes entry into the event, Premium seat within the Main Catwalk Show & Show Guide, or VIP Ticket – VIP £39 ticket gives you entry, VIP seats in BNTML Catwalk, showguide, VIP goody bag and entry into VIP lounge.

The show’s Opening times are 11am – 8pm Friday, 10am – 7pm Saturday- Sunday.


Notes to Editors:

Britain’s Next Top Model Live
• Britain’s Next Top Model Live is organised by award winning Publishing and Event Company Media 10 under a license from CBS Consumer Products.
• When & Where: 22nd – 24th October 2010 at London’s Docklands
• Ticket Information:

Britain’s Next Top Model, presented by international supermodel Elle McPherson, is a format of America’s Next Top Model, which is produced by 10×10 Entertainment and Bankable Productions and executive producers are Tyra Banks, Ken Mok and Laura Fuest. The reality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. ANTM is licensed in over 140 markets and there are currently 20 local versions in production. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and the AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL format are sold internationally by CBS Studios International.

Media 10
Formed 7 years ago, Media 10 is a privately owned publishing and events company based in Loughton, Essex. It currently employs over 100 staff and has quickly become one of the leading players in the events industry as a result of the hugely successful Grand Designs Live exhibition, held twice per year in London and Birmingham.

In October 2009 Media 10 acquired the Ideal Home Show from dmg worldwide and organized the exhibition for the first time in March/April 2010.

Other events in the portfolio include the Duke of Essex Polo Trophy – now one of the largest attended polo matches in Europe, The London Design Trail, The Milan Design Trail, Clerkenwell Design Week and the Grand Designs Awards. Media 10’s award-winning magazine portfolio includes icon magazine – the leading international architecture and design magazine, Grand Designs – the magazine of the leading property programme on Channel 4 and The Selfbuilder, a monthly resource for anyone looking to refurbish.

About CBS Consumer Products
CBS Consumer Products manages worldwide licensing and merchandising for a diverse slate of television brands and series from CBS, CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution, as well as from the company’s extensive library of titles, and CBS Films. Additionally, the group oversees the CBS Retail Store and online sales of programming merchandise. For more information, visit

• Alex Davison – PR Manager Stuart Higgins Communications
• Lee Newton -Managing Director
• Richard Morey – Group Event Director
• Rob Nathan – Group Marketing Director
For further information, please contact Alex Davison on 0207 096 5816 or email
Register for Press Accreditation at-

Yule love being crafty this Christmas

It is that time of the year, again! Christmas is looming and although we are only slowly creeping towards the end of September, already the shops and advertisements are all aiming our attentions to the fact that Christmas is on its’ way.
I must admit, I have already purchased a few small items to stash away, but only because I saw a bargain and knew it would not still be there in December. So, over the next few weeks I will be suggesting ideas on money saving tips to make sure that you are not ringing in the New Year with just a shilling in your pocket.
Christmas Cards
Every year, whilst taking down the Christmas decorations, we always chuck all the cards into the tinsel box. So, this year why not recycle your old ones. Make them quirky, funny and individual. People will appreciate the effort and you can get the kids involved too. Shiny chocolate wrappers are good to use too.
Boxes of cards can be expensive. The larger charity shops have a great selection of good cause cards, which can help raise money for the charities, raise awareness for them and save some cash, KERCHING!. Packaging is usually lesser also, so environmentally better too.
You can design your own cards on your computer. So many companies are doing personalized cards, which are not cheap, but it is just as easy to scan in a picture and personalize it yourself. Last year we made cards from spare old school portrait photos, glued cotton wool and red card on (bought from the local pound shop) and made everyone look like Santa, it probably cost about 15p per card!
Saving money gives us a sense of euphoria and the same applies when you achieve and make something that is cool, clever or crafty. It is self satisfaction, Guaranteed.

My Fabulous ‘DIY Fashion’ Book Launch

I am still on cloud nine. I think I will be smiling like the cat that got the cream for many weeks to come.
I really don’t know where to start. We went down to the space Under the Westway in Portobello Green on Tuesday to decide how to organise the space. To everyone else, it does seem like a very strange venue to have a book launch, but for me, it was the ideal place. I have worked on Portobello Market since I was a child and to have come full circle and to have my launch there was the ultimate stanza. Portobello Market and Acklam Rd has taught me everything about buying, selling, negotiating and being thrifty. So, when Maurice Nixon offered me the space I was over the moon. I remember being there last year for the opening of Mutate Britain and saying to my friends how wonderful it would be to have my book launch there.
What made it even more incredible is that my wonderful friend Graffiti artist ‘Solo One’ came down to the Westway with ‘Liliwenn’ and ‘Traffik’ to give the space a feel that reflected my book. I was totally blown away by all of their art. They worked through the night to get the space just so, and continued to paint throughout the party so everyone was able to see them in action.
These guys are virtuosos of the graffiti world, so, to say I was humbled by their visions is restrained to say the least. On the opposite wall, where the stage lies, graffiti artist ‘Part2ism’ crafted the most beautiful African models, courtesy of Atom Rooms and arranged by my very good friend Nathalie Barrazetti-Harris.
Don’t get me started about Nathalie. I don’t think that she slept in the week leading up to the book launch, she coordinated, negotiated, orchestrated and pulled rabbits out of hats to make sure that everything ran smoothly.
Cut now to Thursday evening, after the trials and tribulations of the week. It all came together so beautifully. West London’s finest- DJ Billy Idle and My old school Buddy Matt Cantor of ‘Freestylers’ spun records all night whilst I (surreally) signed copies of my book and chatted to well wishers. The whole night felt like a crazy dream come true. All my close friends and family were there to support me and lots of other beautiful people, who created an atmosphere that was reminiscent of an evening at a very expensive art gallery opening. Tanya Sarne, founder of Ghost, came down and gave me the most beautiful orchid and congratulated me on the launch.
Thanks to Molson Coors’ Bittersweet Partnership, we had two fantastic new lagers, from the Alsace region of France called Kasteel Cru and Kasteel Cru Rosѐ. They were the most elegant beers that I have ever tasted, served in champagne flutes to give a very impressive drink an even more stylish feel. The Kasteel Cru is a crisp and zesty lager, elegantly crafted for a drier, sparkling finish. The Kasteel Cru Rose includes a hint of elderflower & elderberry. Kasteel Cru Rose is a fine, crisp lager with a distinct rose-like colour and a clean, sparkling taste. They were perfect the compliment to the evening.
The ‘Pussy’ natural energy drinks made having a soft drink exciting and naughty, as well as very tasty. Thank you Ali!
Simon, Helen, Peter and Laurence King of Laurence King Publishers were all there. Selling, promoting, chatting to my family and friends, but most of all supporting me. I cannot even beginning to explain how I felt, but tears (of joy) were being held back throughout the night. As they were packing up to leave Simon said to me that they had sold out of MY book, which has never happened at a Laurence King Book launch before. OMG, I was in seventh heaven.
After my very mediocre speech we finished off the night with pictures of myself and the celebrities and partied the night away at the beautiful and exclusive Supper Club, washed down with two bottles of Champagne. It still feels like a dream.

Special thanks to these wonderful people who made the night go so smoothly.
Emma and Amy @ Believe Eve PR
Maurice Nixon
Tony Lovitt and Sean @ Westway Sounds
Karl and Jeff at Portobello Green for all their support
Nathalie Barrazetti-Harris for absolutely everything, without her, I would have fallen apart.
And a massive, massive thank you to my Husband Jason and my children Jack and Daisy who have grafted and put up with all the tantrums and tribulations over the last 12 months.

a quick fix T-shirt to Tee dress

I stole this old Adidas t-shirt from my husband.
It was massive size XL. He never wore it as he said was a bit chavvy. So I decided to free it from the misery of the darkness at the bottom of the draw and re-design it in to a tee dress!
No T-shirt should be made to feel neglected and unloved.
This is a five to ten minute fix to rescue all unwanted tees from a life of redundancy.

Step One
Cut off the sleeve, just above the seam, to make it in to a vest shape. If you do not want the arm hole to be too low you can leave a section of the bottom of the sleeve on (split it down the seem edge and knot it) Do not throw the sleeves away, they will be needed.
Step two
Cut off the ribbed neck and then cut straight along the shoulder seem, so that the top of the tee is open.
Step Three
Take the discarded sleeves and cut them into two inch long strips. Make two holes in either side of the shoulders and thread two of the strips through and knot. This makes the shoulder straps.
If you want your new tee dress to be slightly fitted, you can make two holes just beneath the arm holes and thread some left over strips through, knotting on the inside and tieing at the back.

Happy fun!

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