Kept sew busy dressing stars

by Emma Nolan

MAKING sure some of Ireland’s best-known presenters look the part is all in a day’s work for Dublin stylist, Roxanne Parker.
With the live shows for The Voice of Ireland currently under way, a day in Roxanne’s life consists of a gruelling schedule styling the ladies of the show – judges Una Healey from The Saturdays, Rachel Stevens of S Club 7 fame, and presenter Kathryn Thomas.
She said: “With television, you have to pump up the volume and things that might look lovely in real life can get lost on camera. There are lots of parameters that I have to deal with when deciding on outfits.
“Number one, the judge’s chairs are red, so there loads of things that will clash with that. Number two, they have to be sitting down, so I have to be careful about hemlines, because skirts can ride up.
“Number three, a lot of prints can pixelate on screen and they can actually start ‘strobing’. So before I even start pulling clothes, there’s loads of things I have to take into consideration,” she said.
She also has to work with the girls’ figures. “They may be celebrities, but they’re like every other woman – they have parts of themselves that they dislike as well as the parts they like, so I have to dress around that.”
With Rachel Stevens, Roxanne says she’s a “real lady with a natural, ladylike elegance and sexiness about her,” so her wardrobe is a “tightrope” balance of the two.
“She doesn’t do short dresses at all; she loves maxi skirts, longer lengths and showing off her shoulders,” she says of Rachel, who is also really “dainty”, and dressing her involves having many garments altered so as not to overwhelm her frame.
Speaking of Una Healy, Roxanne says that “rock-chick is her go-to look”.
“As she’s been embarking on a solo career, we’ve really been carving out a new look for Una, which has been really exciting.
“Una is a big fan of metallics, studs and leather, but is also very feminine. On last week’s show, she wore a dress from Alex Perry in a fresh, lime green and pale pink – she looked like Ariel the Little Mermaid; it’s been really fun styling her.”
As for Kathryn Thomas, Roxanne said: “She is under pressure – she’s on that stage for two hours and she needs to look good from a 360-degree angle.”
A day on set filming the show in The Helix involves dress rehearsals, fittings and camera tests. “The day just goes so quickly.”
Roxanne stays in the wings during the show and stays on hand to ensure there are no wardrobe malfunctions.
As for balancing her work schedule with her personal life, Roxanne says it’s “out the window” at the moment, but once filming ends things will mellow out.
Dealing with criticism from the public in an inevitable part of being in the public eye and there was some criticism for a dress Kathryn wore on the show a few weeks ago, which Roxanne has taken it in her stride.
“People were saying that the dress was inappropriate and I’m thinking: ‘Guys, she’s not in the Dail giving a speech – she’s a TV presenter and she’s supposed to be glam and sexy’. It would be inappropriate if she showed up at church dressed like that, but she’s an entertainer on a TV show.
“Part of the celebrity is the fact that they wear clothes that are amazing and different. The criticisms didn’t bother me – if you’re getting a reaction, you’re doing something right.”

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