Competition Time: Win A Date With A Wardrobe Consultant

With London Fashion Week beginning, the summer coming to an end and autumn approaching, there really is no better time to think about giving your wardrobe an overhaul. But the big question is: Where to start? To give you a helping hand in the style stakes, we have got together with Eliisa Makin, the wardrobe consultant at St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden, to give you the chance to win an afternoon makeover session. Eliisa, a graduate with a Masters degree in the History of Fashion from the Courtauld Institute of Art, was the stylist and shopping editor for The Independent newspaper for four years. Since then she has worked as a personal stylist and freelance fashion editor regularly contributing to The Observer, The Independent and numerous magazines. To find out more about winning this amazing opportunity for a fashion masterclass, read our exclusive interview with Eliisa, and scroll down to the bottom to find out how you can take part.

So an easy one to start with! What are the main benefits for hiring an independent wardrobe consultant?

"The main benefit of hiring a wardrobe consultant is that it removes the stress of what to wear and when. By consulting an independent professional, you will get honest, un-biased advice on what suits you and your personality, help buying, editing and arranging clothes into easy to wear outfits, and a capsule wardrobe to suit you and your budget. Once getting dressed is made pain-free and pleasurable, you will have more time to focus on the day ahead, feel confident and look your best".

You ask people to fill in a questionnaire before they have a consultation, why is it so important to have all that information up front?

"People love rules when it comes to clothes, however the only real rule to looking good is feeling confident.  By answering the questionnaire, I am able to understand more about the clients’ personality, lifestyle, tastes and dislikes, in addition to their colouring and body shape. What may not look great on one woman, could look amazing on another of the exact same size and shape if it also suits her personality and reflects her inner sense of style".

Do you have any particular “seasons” when you are busier, for instance Christmas, weddings?

"The New Year tends to be busy for the obvious reason that people are looking for a fresh start. I get quite a few mother-of-the-bride appointments too!"

What has been your favourite makeover and why? Is it a celebrity or someone, who I hate to use that X-Factor cliché about, who has been on a “journey”!

"I love every make over to be honest; there is always a bit of an x-factor 'journey'. Even in the space of a couple of hours!  I think we all put ourselves in boxes and restrict the choices we make when it comes to clothes. We sometimes worry about certain body parts or try and avoid styles out of habit.  Having someone you trust to help you try something different can make you see yourself from a whole new, far more positive and realistic perspective. Women are far harder on themselves than necessary".
St Martin's Courtyard - The Wardrobe Consultant
St Martin's Courtyard - The Wardrobe Consultant

What is the difference between styling celebrities and the man or woman on the street?

"Not much! Celebrities are just people at the end of the day and often have just as many, if not more anxieties over their appearance. The only thing I would say, is that they are more used to being styled and have a heightened awareness of their appearance so tend to be clearer about their tastes and how they want to look".

What do you get the most out of in a job? For instance is it transforming someone who thinks they are an ugly ducking into a swan, or is it helping someone find that perfect outfit for a special occasion?

"Regardless of the job the most enjoyable thing is always when someone’s confidence seems to really soar by the end of the session. Whether that was due to finding the perfect wedding dress or a whole new work wardrobe that makes them feel really in control".

At we specialise in spontaneous breaks – what five key items would you have ready to throw in a suitcase if you were whisked away on a surprise break… and why?

"I would take a pair of heeled ankle boots (sexy yet relaxed and great with trousers or a skirt), a shift dress (easy and always in style), skinny jeans, a fine knit and simple blazer (perfect go-anywhere outfit)".

Can you tell us who your style icons are and how they have influenced your approach to fashion?

"I love risk-taking chameleons like David Bowie and Tilda Swinton, however when it comes to personal everyday style, people who stick to well defined individual style inspire me most.  So Patty Smith, Jane Birkin, Alexa Chung, people who keep to a palette that suits them".

And finally – with summer nearing an end and London Fashion week fast approaching, how hard is it to stay on top of current trends and predict what the next big thing will be? And most importantly what do you think the key styles and pieces will be for autumn and winter?

"It is easier than ever to access new trends thanks to the internet; however they do change very quickly too for the same reason. When it comes to your personal style, it tends to be better to not worry too much about staying seriously on-trend. Rather make sure you feel good and confident in your clothes and look to fashion to provide ideas and then experiment with the trends you like and suit. A splash of pastel or neon is a good way to update your look and have been popular for the last year or two. This winter the pastel pink coat is going to be a key piece and I would also consider buying a pair of white stilettos!"

To find out more about the competition, head to Twitter now and tell us what your favourite outfit is with the #lmnThreads, to be in a chance of winning this fabulous prize. #HappyMonday! Terms and conditions:

  • The prize is an Afternoon styling session with The Wardrobe Consultant at St Martin's Courytard, a VIP personal stylist for women in need of a little sartorial guidance:
  • The prize must be claimed by 31 December 2013
  • Styling appointment times are subject to availability
  • To enter the competition to entrant must follow @lastminute_com and submit their response with #lmnThreads
  • The competition closes on Monday 16th September at 5pm. No entries submitted after this time will be accepted
  • The winner will be chosen at random by The judge’s decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into
  • The winner will be chosen at random by The judge’s decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into
  • Entrants must be over 18 years old
  • The competition is open to residents of the UK and ROI only
  • Offer is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer
  • No cash equivalent will be offered and the prize is not transferable