Not surprisingly, one of our favourite parts of the X Factor journey is the big makeover moment – the finalists have chorused, cried and clawed their way to the live shows and are unveiled in all their glory in a mash-up resembling a shampoo advert and the opening titles to a James Bond movie. The transformations take the contestants from boy-next-door to boy-we-want-to-score and define who they are going to be for the remainder of their time on the show. So who are the dream team tasked with this awesome responsibility?
Meet the official 2011 STYLE TEAM – stylist Laury Smith, hairdresser Jamie Stevens and makeup artist Natalya Nair who this week began work preparing the final 16 contestants for the X Factor live shows. Set to become stars in their own right, the cameras will follow their progress as they set about directing and styling the images of the finalists. It’s a daunting task, with potentially a lot of criticism along the way. Who can forget the backlash against Matt Cardle’s yellow trousers (which could have been a not-so-subtle message sent from a certain stylist/alleged lover scorned…)?
This is not something that Stylist Laury Smith will lose any sleep over. Laury has been working in the States as a Fashion Director/ Costume Designer and with experience styling celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Britney Spears, Usher and the Pussycat Dolls, she’s well-equipped to deal with any diva strop. She says: “The contestants this year will be looking more fabulous and exciting than ever; their outfits will be as much of a talking point as their voices!”
Hairstylist Jamie Stevens is no stranger to our screens as hairdresser-in-residence for TV shows This Morning, Gok’s Fashion Fix and How To Look Good Naked, with celeb clients including Kylie, Stella McCartney and Elle Macpherson. He won’t just be bestowing a new look on the contestants – he’ll be teaching us all a thing or two: “My goal is to educate people on hair; why I'm colouring it red, why I'm cutting it in such a way, 90% of a makeover is hair. Transformations are already under way now, with BIG things to come for the live shows. Exciting times ahead.” We’re anticipating a few ‘Storm Lee’ moments…
Finally, make-up artist Natalya Nair is fairly new to the industry but already credits artists such as Florence Welch, MIA, The XX and a rather brilliant magazine called Grazia on her books. She’s looking to make a bit of a dramatic impact this year, “creating key makeup looks for each artist with a real dash of Miss Natalya Nair flair." Wowzers.
We’re not going to lie, we’re pretty darn excited to see all their hard work. So far, our hearts belong firmly to Gary but who knows, with the magic of the Style Team, there could be a new contender in a few weeks’ time…
Follow the teams progress on Twitter (@Xfactorstyle) and check out their blog for exclusive behind the scenes videos at the live shows.
- Jo Oliver