MILTON Keynes Mayor Catriona Morris has attended more engagements than any other city mayor.
Image consultant at MK based Altered Image, Nancy Stevens, decided the hard working councillor deserved a festive makeover.
Here Nancy talks Citizen readers through the process...
I HAVE long thought that our hardworking mayor deserved some ‘me’ time as every day or evening or both sometimes is filled with engagements.
This incredible lady has attended a record number of events since her investiture six months ago, a whopping 310.
Catriona Morris is no ordinary Mayor; she has two young children, a large house to run with no help and as a result has no time for herself.
She is a sport in every sense of the word, in a previous life at school she was sporty, while these days she is passionate about sport with a particular interest in MK Dons. She is certainly game for everything. Even a very public makeover.
My style is neither that of the Trinny and Susannah School of Humiliation nor that of Gok Wans’ predilection for squeezing women in giant magic knickers and making them look ‘bang on trend’.
I adopted a more gentle but direct approach and felt that particularly with Catriona, who by her own admission, is not really a girly girl, that less was very definitely more.
The first stage of the process was to get to know Catriona, which was a pretty easy job as she is incredibly open and frank which makes my job a whole lot easier. I knew I needed to do something low maintenance and sustainable.
Part 1: Colour Me Beautiful
I demonstrated in natural light in front of a mirror which colours suited her best and she came out a ‘summer,’ which means light and cool colours with a bluey undertone.
I presented Catriona with a swatch of 26 of her colours and she concurred that they were all colours she loved. Mother Nature is pretty clever and we are drawn to the colours which suit us best, except that we don’t always trust our judgement and as Brits we tend to go for the safe option which is black.
Catriona and the Waves
We then looked at her hair which was pretty unruly but in good condition, a great colour and very thick.
We then adjourned to the bedroom to analyse body shape, Catriona’s shape is quite top heavy, she has nice strong swimmers shoulders which makes jackets hang well on her frame, not a huge bust but just the right size, a new bra was recommended, a bit of a tummy but lovely slim hips and legs which made me eager to get her into a dress.
Now for the hard part, Catriona’s wardrobe was absolutely jam packed but this is quite normal as most of us only wear 20 per cent of our clothes 80 per cent of the time.
So there was an excess of clothes and she admitted most of them hadn’t been worn in a while, so a small weeding session ensued and Catriona was more than happy to bid farewell to some of the horrors which had been lurking in the Narnia-like wardrobe. Catriona’s main ‘issue’ such as it is, is wearing or finding clothes that accommodate her mayoral chain which although impressive, is pretty chunky, does tend to ruin the line of her garments and has to be safety-pinned on.
There were some hidden gems and in the main, Catriona has some great clothes but a large proportion of her duties are fairly physical or held outdoors in inclement weather, so she understandably prefers trouser suits for ease and practicality. But she does like to don a dress especially for evening functions which are less business-like.
Girls on Film
Throughout the process everything we did was being captured on camera by the photographic whiz that is Dino Vescera.
Catriona did not bat an eyelid while he clicked away. Both consummate professionals, they chatted about their mutual love of football, particularly the Dons.
Part 2: Making your Mind Up
Kyren Tyrell, makeup artist extraordinaire, had paid a visit to Catriona in the interim and performed some rather painful, but necessary waxing and had also tinted her eyebrows and lashes so that she could minimise her makeup even more.
Top local hairstylist, Kerrie Gordon, then came to cut Catriona’s hair. Kerrie expertly thinned out Catriona’s waves, blow-dried her hair in a sleek contemporary but easy-to-manage style and it took 10 years off her.
She has a very youthful face and now had the hair to match.
Kyren then deftly applied a very light glowing day makeup to Catriona’s face and it was pure artistry watching her at work. Clever shading is the way forward and when showed the end result, her face lit up with pleasure.
Dress for Success
Now that Kerrie and Kyren had both worked their magic, all that remained was for me to dress Catriona in her best bib and tucker. We chose an outfit which she loves and is very comfortable in. A nice nautical ensemble. A blue and white striped dress, navy tights and shoes and a pillar box-red blazer.
This look never dates yet always looks stylish. I guess it’s why Frenchwomen are such fans.
The Camera Never lies
Dino took the ‘after’ pictures and I have to say the results say it all. One very happy Mayor. One very happy Image consultant and I’d like to firstly thank the Mayor for being so ‘up for it’.
To my fantastic ‘team’ without whom I couldn’t have done this, Dino Vescera on 07789 516239, Kerrie Gordon 07541 883448 and Kyren Tyrell on 97886 656618 and me on www.alteredimagemk.co.uk
In her Own Words
When Nancy first suggested she would like to ‘do my colours and arrange a makeover’ I wasn’t sure if I should be offended. Mind you the first time I met Nancy, thick with chest infection and feeling dreadful I’m sure I looked my worst.
We all lead busy lives, working hard and juggling the needs of our children and families and work responsibilities often means we don’t give ourselves much time.
So it was lovely to meet the experts and get advice on the colours that suit me and the style of clothes that I should wear. It is interesting how simple changes can make a big difference and certainly caused a lot of comments – mainly positive.
It was a fun experience and certainly something I will keep in mind, when next I actually have time to shop.
> Photographer Dino Vescera’s pictures, from top to bottom, show the transformation of Mayor Catriona Morris