A few weeks ago I posted this image on my Instagram account….
Yes, that’s me, dripping in ridiculously expensive diamonds, hair and makeover done, wearing a designer gown, holding a BAFTA. Y’know, just a normal day for me…. ha, I wish!
I am finally allowed to spill the beans on my day at the BAFTA EE Style Suites – and what an exciting day it was!
BAFTA invited me along to experience the EE Style Suites, which are open to all of the BAFTA nominees before the awards. They can choose outfits, gifts, have their hair and make up done, and relax and indulge before the ceremony. Which girl in her right mind would say no to an offer like that?!
I arrived at the gorgeously decadent Savoy Hotel mid morning, and was taken to the Style Suite. When they say ‘Suite’, this is no exaggeration – the space they had taken over was about three times the size of my home! On the actual day they take over an even larger space to make sure there’s enough room for everyone visiting the suites. Everything about The Savoy oozes luxury, mirroring the brands the Suites have to offer, which makes it a perfect location.
On arrival I was given a glass of Tattinger, offloaded all my junk and was told to have a seat for a minute. In the room, which was the living area of the suite – Edith Bowman was being filmed. I sat sipping champers watching the action unfold, and a handful of other journalists from the likes of Glamour and OK arriving to experience the EE Style Suites too.
Once the cameras had stopped rolling, I started my tour of the Suites.
First up was the mens bit which began with 88 Rue du Rhone – a Swiss watch brand who is the first watch partner to come on board for BAFTA. They launched in the UK last summer in Selfridges and John Lewis and always feature 8 or 88 diamonds in the watches (sounds like my kind of watch!)
The nominees visiting the Style Suites will be offered a selection of watches for them to choose from. Dustin Hoffman and Anthony Hopkins have already been gifted the gorgeous rose gold watch which is big and masculine (but I still think would look great on my wrist!).
For the second year running, Hackett is the menswear partner for the 2013 BAFTA Style Suites. This year they are offering classic suits either single or double breasted. The trousers are formal and black with piping.
They had some gorgeous velvet suits in jewel colours with peaked and grosgrain lapels, finished off with a pleat front or marcella shirt.
The accessories are big – it’s all about the bow tie which they also offer in velvets, dress scarves in silk or velvet, pocket squares, tie pins, and dress studs replace the buttons to lift the shirt more.
On offer to the nominees is a selection of 12-15 dinner jackets and 3-5 options of dinner suits. Stephen Fry has already confirmed he will be dressed by Hackett, but sometimes they won’t know until hours before that a nominee wants to wear one of their suits, so it’s all hands on deck to get the alterations completed within a couple of hours!
Now the men’s stuff is all rather interesting and gorgeous, but the girlie bit of the story now begins…
I was taken into one of the bedrooms where Lancome had set up their make up stations. They are the official make up sponsor for the BAFTA Style Suites and provide a team of make up artists (and this year, skincare experts to prep the skin) on site to make the stars beautiful before they head out onto the red carpet.
Maja Rickner, one of the team that will be working on the big day, was in charge of giving me the red carpet look. The products she used were:
- Lancôme Eau Micellaire Douceur Express Cleansing Solution
- Lancôme Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser
- Lancôme Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate – this is their award winning lightweight serum which makes skin glowy – this is a red carpet must!
- Lancôme Hydra Zen Neurocalm Extrême Cream-Gel
Red Carpet Make-up
- Lancôme Eclat Miracle Complexion lluminator in 01
- Lancôme La Base Pro Perfecting Make-up Primer – this is a lovely oil free primer – it felt gorgeous, and left my skin mattified and radiant at the same time!
- Lancôme Effacernes Concealer in shade 02
- Lancôme Teint Idôle 24H foundation in shade 010 – this foundation is perfect for the red carpet as it’s long lasting and feels so light on the skin.
- Lancôme Poudre Majeur Loose Powder in shade 01
- Lancôme BAFTA Limited Edition Blush Subtil in their best-selling shade Rose Sable (exclusive to Selfridges) Full review of this here
- Lancôme Ombre Hypnôse Mono eye shadows in P102 (Sable Enchanté) and M204 (Très Chocolat)
- Lancôme Crayon Khôl in Noir 01
- Lancôme Artliner felt eyeliner in black
- Lancôme Rouge in Love lipstick in 240M (Rose en Deshabillé)
- Lancôme Contour Pro lip liner in 303 (Rose Boisé)
- Lancôme Hypnôse Drama mascara in black
The smokey eye is a red carpet favourite with nude lips, or the Hollywood classic of red lips with a more subtle eye. I loved the smokey eye that Maja gave me, it’s really intense and made me fall in love with lining my waterline again. Maja told me she always lines the upper lid too – this is to avoid seeing any skin between the lashes in red carpet close-ups. Another trick she uses is when she has lined the lips, she also fills in the corners of the lips with liner to help it last longer and to withstand canape nibbling and champagne sipping.
The make up artists will speak to the nominee before starting their make up, to see how they will be dressed and how they are styling their hair, to work together to create a complete look that compliments each different part, and make each nominees’ look as individual as possible.
To ensure there isn’t a mad rush just before the ceremony, the nominees book in a slot to have their make up done – or some of the nominees have the service in the luxury of their own home! Each make over normally takes around 35-45 minutes depending on the schedule. Each person they make over gets given the lipstick they are wearing and a powder for quick touchups, but Lancome provide a special service where they will provide touchups on the night too!
Next stop was Asprey, the official jewellery partner, who hosted the nominees party for the 5th year running. They dress the nominees and presenters of the awards, by sending them a selection for them to choose from, or they come to the Style Suite and pick something out (oh, how the other half live!)
Some of the pieces on display at the Style Suites, and on offer on to the nominees and presenters were the Daisy Collection – this is an iconic and classic collection, boasting coloured diamonds and big earrings.
The Lattice Collection is typical red carpet jewellery – the lattice necklace costs a whopping £120,000, with the matching bracelet ringing in at £78,000 (no wonder there was also a guard in the Asprey room!). These kind of pieces will go with anything, which makes the style a big favourite for the nominees. My personal favourites were the feather earrings, which when they are worn, are super duper sparkly as they have so much movement and are constantly catching the light.
The Whimsical Woodland Collection is a fun, quirky collection designed by Brit, Shaune Leane, which has a main icon of the oak leaf. The pieces are less traditional and perfect for anyone wanting something a bit different. The oak leaf necklace is simply stunning, as was the intricate detail on the charm bracelet.
When I was asked if I’d like to try any of it on, of course, I said yes!
It seemed such a shame to take them off…. but that wasn’t the end of my foray into Asprey’s world of diamonds for the day…
Onto the dressing room of the suite, where I got to meet the legend himself, Mr Charles Worthington who personally styled my hair.
He gave me a gorgeous halo braid, which took him all of five minutes. He told me it was very easy to do yourself, the trick being not to look in the mirror, although I have since tried, unsuccessfully, at home!
Like the Lancome Team, Charles’ team also discusses with the nominee what they will be wearing to try to achieve a complete overall look. There will always be the classics like Hollywood curls and dolly buns on the tops of the head, but this year there is more of a 60s vibe going on, and a lot of the styles will be looking not too “done”.
Once one look has been done on one person, the team ensures that nothing remotely similar is done on another of them – that is a complete no-no. Even things like a simple plait would have to be totally different to ensure each person looks completely individual.
The unpredictable February weather can cause havoc with freshly styled hair, but the team of experts is on hand, and standing backstage with brushes, pins and products ready to make sure the nominees’ hair is perfect the minute before they step onto the stage.
My last stop before the final surprise was the bedroom that had turned itself into a giant Escada-dress-filled walk in wardrobe. There were short dresses, long dresses, bright dresses, dark dresses…. oh so many dresses!
Manequins were dressed in some of their iconic pieces, with photos of stars wearing their dresses at previous awards.
I was invited to try on anything that took my fancy (squee!) and I went for this gorgeous Grecian number – I thought it tied in with my hair rather well. It was amazing – the top part was made of chain mail which draped over the shoulder… I felt a million dollars wearing it, apart from the fact it was tiny and I couldn’t do the zip fully up, it was perfect.
Feeling on a high at my wonderful day, but also a little deflated that it had come to an end, I got undressed and started putting my clothes back on, when one of the BAFTA team came to get me for my photo shoot. Photo shoot? What photo shoot!? I felt like Cinderella with all these luxury dresses at my disposal… as much as I loved the Grecian dress, I didn’t fancy exposing myself in the shoot, so when I tried the grey dress on and it fitted like Cinders’ glass slipper, I knew this had to be the one.
I popped back to Asprey who picked out the feather earrings, latice bracelet and daisy ring to compliment my outfit – then off we went (accompanied by the Asprey guard) to the room which had had a photo studio set up in it!
It was then that I was presented with an actual real-life BAFTA. It was surprisingly heavier and smellier (it has a distinct metallic smell) than I imagined, then it was photo shoot time! For some reason I could only pull comedy faces, but they are still lovely mementos of my day.
So then my time at the Style Suites really had come to and end. I enjoyed myself so much, and found it really interesting to experience the lives of the nominees before the awards ceremony. I will be thinking of them in the run up to BAFTA, in their cosy little haven in The Savoy, getting beautified, with fond memories.
The Film Awards take place on Sunday 10th February. Keep up to date with BAFTA by following @BAFTA
on Twitter and follow #BAFTAstyle
for all the latest BAFTA style updates.
Oh, and one more thing – I’m going to be there on the night!!!! Make sure you are following me on Twitter @Super_Gorgeous
for live updates from the BAFTA red carpet.