Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nice to Be You, Nice!

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nice to Be You, Nice!

Article excerpt

Byline: By Liz Hands

Style gurus Trinny and Susannah could take a few tips for their TV show from Emma Howey, who has transformed the images of six women - by being nice.

The BBC2 What Not To Wear duo are famed for their caustic comments as they pick apart the style of celebrities and members of the public, but Emma, who calls herself a "wardrobe mistress," says she would achieve nothing by being nasty.

She has been responsible for turning around the wardrobes and self-images of six north Northumberland women after heading up Altered Images, the first fashion course of its kind in the region, which finished yesterday.

The course, at the community education department of Morpeth's King Edward VI college, was designed to give women help and advice and to get more self-confidence, by turning their image around.

"It has been like What Not To Wear. In America, they would call me a fashion therapist, but I see myself more as a wardrobe mistress," said 36-year-old Emma, a Northumbria University fashion marketing graduate.

"But it was my job to make the women on the course feel comfortable. People like Jeremy Clarkson - one of the people given a make-over on What Not To Wear - can take harsh criticism, but if I had been like Trinny and Susannah on my course, I don't think any of the women would have stuck around."

The six women who took part (course numbers are kept small to make sure everyone receives individual attention) were all asked to bring in their wardrobe, just like the BBC2 programme, so Emma and their counterparts could tell them what they should keep and what they should consign to the dustbin.

They were advised on what shapes and colours suited them before heading for the shops together to begin their image change.

The 15-week course - extended by five weeks because the women were enjoying themselves so much - ended yesterday with a special make-over day in Newcastle when they arrived in the morning dressed as they were at the very beginning of the process and had their make-up, clothes and hair transformed by 4. …

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