What's it really like to be a designer on the X Factor?
I was a commissioned designer on the X Factor for the 2011 finals and 2012 tour. I worked with the style team, which was headed by the style genius Laury Smith, on clothes for Amelia Lily, Little Mix and performers. It was such an amazing experience, and very surreal being on set of the show especially having only recently graduated from London College of Fashion.
What's the first thing you start with when it comes to choosing a look? Is it the song? The theme of the week or the trends on the runway?
The looks are chosen by the wardrobe department. Laury Smith is a creative genius with styling, she makes every contestant look their best, building on their personal style, personality and matching it with the theme of the week and song choice. I then collaborated with her to bring her visions to life.
How do you develop the artists sense of style?
The artists were very involved, for example we made Amelia’s final and tour dress in pink as it was her favourite colour. It also was feminine but edgy with buckles so it suited her personality of being a pop princess but also having a grunge rock influence in her personality and natural fashion style.
What can we expect from the fashion team on this year's X Factor live shows?
More glitter, glamour and fireworks! Laury Smith is also stylist to Nicole Scherzinger who is the most stylish lady in showbiz so there will be a lot of fashion drama to look forward to on the show.
What's your fave? Designing for the girls, the boys, the overs or the bands?
Since the X Factor I have worked with Misha B, JLS, Little Mix, Alexandra Burke and Amelia Lily. I do love working with the girls but I really loved collaborating with Little Mix and their stylist Alexis Knox as well as the JLS tour! Little Mix were creatively a lot of fun because we created themed looks including Jailbreakers, Kawaii and superheroes so as a designer it was creatively inspiring and exciting to work on these projects for a girlband.
What is your favourite thing about working on the X Factor?
Watching my clothes come to life on stage and in a performance. I loved seeing the clothes in movement, in a carefully choreographed routine, with performers, special effects and a live audience. I was very grateful to the X Factor for supporting me as a young designer, the show really does revolve around showcasing young talent.
What is the best outfit you're most proud of from the X Factor?
The Nikita Karizma buckled tutu dress worn by Amelia Lily on the live finals and on tour. She looked beautiful in the dress which was chosen from my graduate range, it was my first break into the industry and a moment I can never forget. Also the clear spiked shoulder pieces worn by Little Mix! All the pieces that I have made for X Factor contestants are available to buy on my website.
Whose style transformation are you looking forward to most on this year's X Factor?
The contestants for the live finals haven’t been broadcast yet on television however in the early rounds I like Melanie McCabe a lot. I think she will go far. She has an insane vocal ability and the wardrobe department will undoubtedly work their magic on her and turn her into a star.
What's the quickest outfit change you've had to make?
Fitting Amelia Lily into her live final dress moments before she went on stage for the live finals. It was so last minute that I watched her on the television from her dressing room with Laury Smith and Marcus Collins!
Do you have a favourite show to design for? (The X Factor make-up team have told so feminine they LOVE the Halloween show most!)
The finals are always fabulous with the most glamour and power to the clothing so I was lucky to work on such a high profile production.
Who's style transformation are you most excited to see? Do you have a fave contestant yet? Tweet us @sofeminineuk!
Nikita Karizma also worked with TV favourite, Tess Daly back in March when she designed a dress made entirely out of DYLON® Colour Catcher® sheets. You can ask Nikita anything you would like to know about her unique designs and what it’s like to work with the X Factor and Tess Daly by logging onto the DYLON® Colour Catcher® Facebook page, www.facebook.com/colourcatcher, at 1pm on Friday 13 September.