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'Simon likes to add his imput!': X Factor stylist chats to HELLO!

November 21, 2014
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Gemma Sheppard, the official X Factor stylist, has been busy these past few months, tasked with dressing the contestants for their turn on the live shows. But the stylist extraordinaire took time out to chat to HELLO! Fashion about the exciting role... The competition has stepped up a notch now that there are only acts left, how does that extra competition affect the styling? I've started to notice that the contestants just need that extra reassurance from me - or I might say they listen to me a bit more! When we first started on this journey, they, quite naturally, had opinions on how they wanted to look.

Now they've seen themselves on TV they can see that they're part of a big production and that these outfits we are putting together for them takes the full picture into consideration - the staging, the lighting, the choreography. This is partly what I love about my job - that moment an artist realises these pieces aren't just dresses and trousers and shoes -it's armour for their battle on stage! How much input do the mentors have with the styling? From Tuesday when the creative is set, everyone is working to the same ideas so that by Friday when we are in rehearsals the judges have already seen a lot of the styling on paper. Naturally, when it is being worn on stage for the first time here might be some changes - I have to say though, very few. Simon does like to add his input from upstairs!

What has been your biggest challenge so far? The challenge is the sheer scale of the job - I've worked out that my average has been 65 looks a weekend, live on national TV and then some red carpets and PA looks during the week. I really got myself organised before the show started - I have a fashionhub set up in a Regus office which has runner rails for each contestant so that when the theme is set those rails are my first port of call. I've then got a couple of days to do additional call-ins if I need before we head to the studio for rehearsals. I have to say, I have an amazing team working with me and we are all putting in every ounce of our energy into this job - that's the biggest challenge, just keeping up with the sheer force of this show - it is huge but exhilarating!

Day in the life of Gemma Sheppard
Are you stepping up the styling as we are getting closer to the finals?

Right from the start I have said that I have wanted to give each act the clothes they need to make them look like a star. So whether they were in for a week or are still here, they've had my very best work and attention.

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