For London-based style expert Brix Smith-Start, fashion is all about expressing one’s personality and creativity. The fashionista is one of the judges on the series — Ultimate Shopper — which is about four shopaholics who compete in a series of style-based challenges. The other judges on the show include actress Holly Valance and photographer Paul Hartnett, along with a special guest judge.
Talking about the show, Brix says, “I think it’s the first kind of fashion show that lets people really style themselves, and use fashion as a tool, because they have a challenge that they need to meet. I find it a bit of an internal struggle judging people, so what I looked for was real creativity within the parameters, the positive aspects of how the contestants made themselves look to the best of their abilities under the circumstances.”
As a stylist and fashion buyer, Brix finds that there are some common mistakes people make when it comes to dressing. “For me, the main thing is about dressing in the right colour palette for your skin tone. I always look at people’s skin, hair, and eye colour, and then make sure that they’re in the right colours for themselves. The next is shape, and finally the other place people go wrong is dressing inappropriately for the occasion,” she explains, adding that for a wedding one needs to respect the bride and not wear something too short or risqué.
The stylist is also pleased that today there are options for plus-sized and older women. “What I love about Ultimate Shopper is that we had on it contestants of every age and different sizes. The older women did a lot better than the younger contestants, because they’d been dressing their shape for a lot longer, and knew what worked for them. It just goes to show that you can look great at any age,” she adds.
While Brix is not acquainted with many Indian designers, she does take inspiration from the colours of India. “I think it is one of the most colourful countries in the way that you’ll use fabrics and colours. I’ve also worn a sari, and think it’s beautiful, even the simplest ones. I am so obsessed with Indian fabrics that I buy sari fabric and wrap it around like a skirt, and wear it with a good T-shirt,” she says. Commenting on following trends, Brix feels that while they are important as guidelines, they shouldn’t be blindly followed.
“On the whole it’s about wearing what feels right to you. If you don’t feel positive and confident in your clothes, you’re not going to project that,” she says.
The show that started on Saturday airs Saturdays, 8 pm on TLC.