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All dressed up

Aug 11, 2013 : 21:21 IST
TLC’s style gurus Trinny & Sussannah hit the Indian shores to transform women into confident, stylish individuals. Juanita Kakoty talks to the duo about their experience in India.

Lifestyle channel TLC is all set to bring renowned makeover artists Trinny Woodall and Sussannah Constantine on Indian television for the first time ever with the new series Trinny and Sussannah’s Makeover Mission India. The series will start from August 12 and will showcase how the celebrity duo changes the way participants look and feel about themselves.

British fashion advisors, presenters and authors Trinny and Sussannah are best known for presenting the television series What Not to Wear that was launched by BBC in 2001. Their fashion advice books have become bestsellers in Britain and America and they have also launched their own clothing and underwear ranges.

On Indian women

On being asked how difficult or easy was it working with Indians, Trinny admits, “Indian women want to be polite. And whenever we put something together for them and they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t tell us out of politeness. So we changed the way we worked with them. Sussannah and I took a different approach and started asking them, ‘What is it that you don’t like in this?’ We tried to find out what was going on in the woman’s mind when we were giving her a makeover. We wanted to know about her life experiences, her choices, her tastes, her personality etc.”

Trinny and Sussannah have come to India after giving over 11 countries a makeover. The audience will see them giving a new set of women a complete makeover in their own inimitable and incredibly entertaining style in each episode. Their mission is to give style challenged-women a dramatic and glamorous makeover, women they have picked randomly while walking on the streets and these women come in all shapes, sizes, fashion preferences and personal backgrounds. The duo hunted for anyone in need of their help and expertise.

“The women on our show are from many different situations. There was someone whose husband was dead and found herself all alone. Then there was this girl who was embarking on a career and was in need of confidence. Our show has many such women from different walks of life, who were in need of fashion makeover and, most importantly, in need of confidence.”

Trinny refers in particular to this woman who was working in a man’s world and thus dressed like a man. “Just to prove herself probably,” says Trinny, “She dressed like a tomboy — baggy pants, loose shirts, sport shoes. She never felt attractive as a woman. What Sussannah and I tried to do with her and all of the other women was to make them appreciate what they really have. And when these women walked the ramp for family and friends, the experience boosted their confidence to great levels.”

The rewards of their efforts have been immense. “Sussannah and I saw that most women went back home happy with their makeover. But there were some who had all their emotions written on their faces. It was like they have entered another stage in their life. That something has shifted within them.”

Fashion scene

Trinny says that she has been to India at least 10 times before and that she loves the country. Particularly of the fashion she gets to see on Indian streets, Trinny says, “It’s a mixture. In traditional dresses, I love the colour, the fabric, the texture. In western wear, I see them wearing neat but dull colours — black and white. Then some do use colours like orange and yellow, or neon with white — and then again, if you have the skin tone, why not!”

After having spent considerable time with Indian women for the series Trinny and Sussannah’s Makeover Mission India, Trinny has a pertinent fashion tip to share with all Indian women. “A good bra is really important. Probably about 90 per cent of the women Sussannah and I worked with for the series were not in a good bra. In India, women tend to go for the cheapest bras or bras on sale where three bras come at the price of two, etc., etc. What they don’t realise is that a good bra is very essential to look good. It is important to lift and separate your boobs because that will make your clothes hang well on you.”

Then she speaks of the trend to wear skinny jeans. “We noticed tons of women wear skinny jeans here in India. But it is not for all body types. Depending on the body type, one can experiment with different styles of jeans. For instance, you need to know that a certain body type will never look good in skinny jeans, but would look amazing in jeans with flares.”

Trinny also has a thing or two to say about footwear. “One should wear great footwear. Sussanah and I saw, while doing the series in India, endless pairs of sandals on kitty heels. It’s cute and pretty, but slightly old-fashioned. We would say go for heels, go for flats, but go for great footwear! Your footwear can do interesting things to the dress you wear.”

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