With bootcamp and live shows coming up on X Factor it won’t be long before we see the X Factor style team work their magic and transform contestants from boys and girls next door into singing superstars.
Nikita, 25, is a young fashion designer from London, and who has worked extensively with ITV’s X Factor style team, shaping costumes for finalists Amelia Lily, Little Mix and many other performers.
Her designs have gone onto influence stars as they progress from the show as well – Nikita also commissioned for the JLS 4th Dimension tour in 2012, where she customised her hard-edged armoured fashion pieces for their stage performances. She has also gone on to create a custom outfit for X Factor winner Alexandra Burke for her ‘Heartbreak on Hold’ album launch, and has recently collaborated with Little Mix on editorials for national press shoots and the XXL Live Schwarzkopf campaign as well as Misha B’s latest music video ‘Here’s To Everything’.
Here she reveals about transforming the contestants and what to look out for in the autumn/winter collections.
You have had a meteoric rise to fame after graduating just two years ago, what is it about your style and designs that are so relevant right now?
Thank you! Art and fashion is always going to be subjective, being at the right time at the right place has been key for me since graduating to work with the X Factor, Little Mix, Amelia Lily, JLS, Alexandra Burke, Misha B, DYLON® and Tess Daly! I feel really grateful and believe my pop/punk, glam/grunge design aesthetic has worked well on stage for the entertainment industry at this moment in time as well as my use of hard-edged fabrics.
Image is very important on X Factor, how do you set about getting the best look for a contestant?
Laury Smith the creative director of The X Factor’s style team is a creative GENIUS. Creating the right look for each performance is a collaborative process between Laury Smith, the contestant and the designer as well as dancers, graphics, choreographer and the show’s producers and judges. It has been my role to create garments that are stage appealing, reflect the artist’s personality and is comfortable for them to shine in the competition.
Who in the competition are you most proud of your transformation?
I loved working with Amelia Lily for her X Factor final and tour outfit. I am so happy for her to now have a recording contract and knew she was a star from her first audition on the show. We created a pink buckled tutu dress for her and it really suited her style of being a princess popstar but also showing her punk side with the buckles, all in her favourite colour of pink! We recently collaborated again she wore my spiked leotard for a performance so it is lovely to see her transformation as she makes waves in the industry.
Which past contestant did you most enjoy working with and why?
I’ve really enjoyed working on projects with Little Mix on the show with The X Factor and after the show with their ‘stylist to the stars’, Alexis Knox! She and the girls are absolute gems to work with and I have had a lot of fun creatively working on themed shoots including Jailbreakers & Japanese Kawaii superheroes for Notion magazine and their superhero themed photoshoot for the Schwarzkopf campaign.
If you could work with anyone, who would that be and why?
I would love to work with Rita Ora, Nicole Scherzinger and Gwen Stefani! They are very confident women, stand for Girl Power and have great individual styles.
What tips can you give our Belle’s for A/W13?
Experiment with your wardrobes, mix and match clothing prints and style up your clothes with different variations of accessories. Young designers are creating really interesting clothes in the UK at the moment so explore the fashion world with creatives that are thinking outside the box.
If a person is stuck in a style rut, what is the best thing that they can do?
Tweet me @Nikita_Karizma for some style tips! A change of haircut and a wardrobe revamp will always do the trick! The beauty about dressing up is that you can explore different sides of your personality with clothing, bright colours will even excite and inspire your mood. Play with hair extensions, coloured wigs, try socialising in a new environments and look at fashion blogs, magazines, fashion week and music videos of popstars for style inspiration.
Are you ever too old to experiment?
Absolutely not! I had the pleasure this year of collaborating with DYLON®, I made a dress made out of 500 DYLON® Colour catcher sheets which was worn on Tess Daly for a national press campaign. It was creatively a lot of fun for me as a designer to experiment and turn these sheets that are used in the washing machine to catch dyes and transform them into a glamorous gown. I managed through experimentation to turn the Colour Catcher sheets into buckles, a structured corset and ruffles on a mermaid style dress that Tess Daly looked gorgeous in!
Who are you favourite designers?
At the moment it is Kokon To Zai, Jeremy Scott, Marc Jacobs and The Blonds. I love these designers for having their own design aesthetics as well as successfully working in the industry and building a career for themselves. They are great examples of turning your passion into a lifelong career.
You have already had amazing career success, what is next for you?
Thank you, you are making me blush! I am about to launch my first range this october, it is a mix of stage pieces and ready to wear! It is the first time I am launching clothes to the public so am very excited to launch pieces that can be worn as streetwear and for partying including t-shirts, skinny trousers, dresses and harnesses so watch this space! I will be selling ready to wear on my website www.nikitakarizma.com as well as one-off commissions that I have created for celebrities.
What three universal truths do you live by?
1: It is important to offer service to humanity in any way that you can. Try put it into your work ethos, either with positive messages, charity donations or in your spare time with volunteer work.
2: The three wise monkeys ‘Speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil.’ I am a firm believer in karma and understand the importance of living a moral life as well as offering forgiveness to dissolve our faults that have caused harm to others.
3: Have fun in life. Explore your passions, hobbies and interests and be as creative and colourful as you can be in every aspect of your life.
Contact Nikita via her website: www.nikitakarizma.com; or follow her on twitter: @Nikita_Karizma
Also, Nikita will be running a Q&A on the DYLON Colour Catcher Facebook page at 1pm, on Friday 13th September