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Off The Rails - Love your Look

Monday, 2 November 2009

Sonya and Brendan are on The Afternoon Show to talk about Off the Rails Total Experience, their new book 'Love Your Look' and the return of Off the Rails on RTE 1.

"Off the Rails - The Total Experience" will kick off with a premiere evening on Friday, 13th November at 7.30pm with the inaugural Off the Rails Fashion Awards. Off The Rails - The Total Experience runs from Friday, 13th to Sunday, 15th November at the RDS and is presented by Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon.

Now in its tenth year, Off The Rails, the RTÉ television series, has established itself as the leading authority on fashion and style in Ireland. The Off the Rails Fashion Awards have been created to celebrate the brightest and best of the Irish fashion industry and there are eight award categories. An international fashion name will be in attendance on the night (details to be announced at a later date).

Sonya Lennon - Stylist
"Sonya Lennon is widely regarded as one of Ireland's top fashion stylists, having established a reputation for creative excellence over almost twenty years. Her work is distinguished by a meticulous attention to detail for fashion and styling and intuitive awareness of the demands of each production.
Coupled with Sonya's reputation in the fashion industry, she is fast being recognized as a leading Costume Designer in Film and more recently Theatre.
Her styling and editorial work is clearly recognisable by the continuous use of narrative as a key creative tool in the development and creation of original fashion stories for Irish and international publications. Her reputation and experience has enabled her to not only manage the fashion and styling for many of her clients but to art direct, conceive and produce all aspects of the fashion stories - this alone marks her out as being unique amongst her peers.
While her editorial work reflects the cutting edge of her practice her portfolio of work has broadened to include costume for television, costume design for film and stage, styling for advertising and production for fashion shows. Since its beginning, Sonya has been a regular contributor to RTÉ's Off the Rails, and is delighted to be presenting the newly formatted series with co-presenter Brendan Courtney"

Brendan Courtney
"Brendan Courtney is an art director and broadcaster both in Ireland and the UK. He studied Art Direction at London's premier Fashion College, Central Saint Martins.
Brendan's TV career began in Ireland as fashion researcher and reporter on RTÉ's Open House after which he moved on to present Ireland's hit internet chat room dating show, Wanderlust, a format that went on to be sold to 11 countries. Following the International success of Wanderlust, ITV quickly offered Brendan a presenting contract and he has worked on hits such as Ant and Dec's Saturday Takeaway and Blind Date.
Over the past 5 years Brendan has co-produced and presented The Clothes Show in the UK and has hosted many of RTÉ's programmes including the channels 40th Anniversary Celebrations and reality show Treasure Island. He has since presented and produced with his UK based production company, Giant Film & TV of which he is Creative Director. His self authored documentaries Alias Ricky Gervais and Living with Boy George won critical acclaim.
In addition Brendan runs the UK's hugely successful personal styling and fashion direction service He has been nominated for Best TV Presenter Award twice he won most stylish presenter at The Belfast TV Awards in July 2007".

The award categories are:
Best Fashion Designer
Best Fashion Stylist
Best Fashion Photographer
Best Hair Stylist
Best Make Up Artist
Best Model
Best Dressed Male Personality
Best Dressed Female Personality

The Off the Rails Fashion Awards will mark the beginning of a weekend long celebration of all things style related, as part of a newly revamped event format that includes a new experience area and an international production team running live theatrical fashion shows throughout the weekend. Sonya and Brendan will also be joined by a judging panel of leading fashion experts for the awards who will be announced in the coming weeks". REF: Elevate PR

Areas at the event will include
Pre loved
Irish designers Section

Love Your Look - Off the Rails publication
Merlin Publishing has said "Based on the hugely successful RTÉ One show, with over 400,000 loyal viewers, Love Your Look is Sonya & Brendan's response to the huge number of women who have sought their advice on how to transform the way they look and feel. Love Your Look is designed to give an OFF THE RAILS makeover experience without having to bare all in public.

Identifying your body shape, choosing the right shapewear, selecting your colour palette and much more, this book is a fun and practical way for fans of OFF THE RAILS to access the invaluable information used in the on-screen makeovers. Love Your Look addresses negative body-image, how to break the cycle and become the mistress of your own style!

Using fundamental principles, as well as providing 'quick fix' tips, our real women (of all shapes and sizes) are transformed in a simple step-by-step process. This book is the ultimate and essential guide to gaining a positive body-image, creating a fully functioning wardrobe and styling yourself gorgeous".

Off The Rails, Wednesday at 8.30pm on RTE One.

This week on 'Off the Rails' our makeover candidate, Claire Reid, is in a fix. Having had three children, she feels she's lost her style mojo but has gained a baby belly. She's desperate to get out of the baggy blacks she has embraced in recent years. She's cancelled her wedding twice because she doesn't trust her dress sense but is hoping to make it up the aisle next May, if she can gain some style confidence. Brendan is on hand to help.

Having persistently sung the praises of shapewear, we bring you the A to Z guide to underwear that smooths and supports.

We put some of the latest long lasting lipsticks to the test. They've been around for the past ten years but of late, they claim to condition as well as last. The question is, do they really do what they say on the tin?

Also, the camel coat is back this season but it's also brought an entire look with it, camel luxe. It's classic, it's chic, it's elegant and very New York 5th Avenue. It's also everywhere but we show you how to do it right.

Sonya and Brendan will be presenting Off the Rails Total Experience in the RDS on 13th of November 2009. They have also published a new book 'Love Your Look' and the new series of Off The Rails is back on RTE One.

Off the Rails Total Experience - what can we expect?
Our aim was to provide people with a sensory experience. The fashion show side has been completely revamped by The Doll who are a London production who are responsible for putting shows together London Fashion Week - they are really renowned and they are working with our own Graham Cruz. We are trying to use our team in Ireland too. It is going to be very dynamic, quite spectacular instead of doing a straight fashion show.

Our main aim with the programme, the book and the show is to impart information in a fun way. That is the kind of sense we want to put forward in 'The Experience'. We will also be much more available. We will be hosting the expert stage - we will be doing makeovers with Debenhams, Peter Mark and Rimmel. So there will be instant make overs on the day. We will also be filming the show as well.

Friday is a big deal. It will be the first annual industry awards. Given the last couple of years the industry has had - everyone has taken cuts but the fashion industry has also suffered and giving our professionals a chance to be congratulated is really important. Jerry Hall is coming over to help with the awards.(She will be presenter the award for Best Designer) We will also have special guests on the night too. We wanted it to be a really highly sensory experience and we have developed zones on the senses - touch, taste, smell etc. We have worked our exhibitors into the appropriate zones. We have been so careful to develop something that is much more about the visitors.

What Irish designers should we look out for this year?
Irish design is a huge part of what we do and I think that in the face of adversity Irish design has really grown on the international stage and it's exciting now. The breed of designers that are coming through happen to be Irish and are playing on an international stage. We need to celebrate that and give them huge congratulations for that.

We should look out for - Tim Ryan, John Rocha, Joanne Hynes, Elis Boyle, Eileen Shields and Peter O'Brien. We have to shorten that list before the event but they are definitely ones to look out for.

How has this season of Off The Rails compared to other years?
Last year there was some subtle changes and this year there are more subtle changes. The high street has had to respond in terms of their prices and they have. People love pre-loved clothes, customizing, embellishing - really being more lateral about it. That is the way it has to be. I am great now at rehoming clothes - having a glass of wine - auctioning clothes off and giving the money to charity. We all went a bit bonkers when we had money.

We have been very budget conscious - we have had to take a pay cut like everyone else and it was like a natural instinct was to look good without having to spend a fortune. We have been very price sensitive. We have a section on the show called Chic is Chips - where we show the catwalk trends and we challenge them to buy a similar look for under €100. Then we showcase similar looks for under €150, €250 and €500. This gives everyone a piece of the pie. We have done loads of features on selling your clothes or using pre-loved clothes. Because we are part of the population it has become quite natural for us to do this.

What is the common mistake that women make?
We rely on camouflage - when confidence drops you hide away. They can be baggy clothes, jeans and fleeces. The fun is taken away and it becomes a chore. You can get stuck in a rut. People also tend to buy the same thing again and again and again and have a wardrobe of the same stuff but in different permutations. We rely on a uniform for ourselves so we don't have to challenge ourselves.

Love Your Look - The new book
It is based on the format of the show and is based on the principle of self diagnoses. We use basic guidelines to get you into the shops. It's a myth that most women love to shop. Some people are scared to come on the show and this is a great book for them.

You might not find a perfect fit for your body shape but that you should read all the bit and take bits from other shapes to suit you. I think it's a rough guide. What it is about is having a visual sense of your body and knowing what helps your body look its best. It is a guideline.

Rules are for school. It's not about saying you have to do this - it's about saying you might consider this. If you have the confidence then other things will arise. I'm sure I wear plenty of stuff that is technically not right for my body shape but if I fancy it and I have the confidence then I'll wear it. If you grow your confidence then the possibilities become even more.

How important is the right underwear?
Last year we did the annual bra fitting day. Every woman that we encountered has worn the wrong size bra. When you get it right your boobs will be lifted, they will be supported - it is like cheap surgery.

What mistakes do men make in fashion?
Men's fashion is so different. It is cyclical but is tribal really - it's uniform - they get stuck in a rut much more than women and they choose not to experiment. 5% of men like shopping but when they do they are fully committed. That's how they are with regards dieting and working out. It may not last but when they commit they really do. Men's mistake is that they don't take care of themselves for fear of being ribbed by other men.

Top Tips
From a man's point of view moisturize and wear factor. Every man should have a really good tailored suit. For me I go for navy not black. Make more of an effort. A friend said to me one "Women take what they can get so men don't have to make much of an effort". I don't think like that. If you are a single man polish your shoes - women look at your feet!

Off the rails Total Experience Tickets:
Friday Night Premiere and Awards €36.50
All Other Shows €26.50
Exhibition Only €18.00
Gold Circle (Excl Fri) €46.50

Off the Rails: Love Your Look: €16.99