We all know the power of style: heels can make us taller in seconds, a dress can make us instantly lose (or gain) weight, and make-up can give us cheekbones, make our eyes bigger – the list goes on. However, many of us are so busy rushing from meeting to meeting or running around after the kids that matching our shoes to our bag can easily fall off our list of priorities.
Yet look around any mall in Dubai and you’re guaranteed to see hordes of perfectly groomed men and women going about their daily business. Ever wondered how anyone outside of Hollywood, with no team of experts to rely on, manages to find the time to look so perfectly coordinated? The truth is many of us need a little extra help – and that’s where a personal shopper comes in.
We met Kelly Lundberg, the brains behind local award-winning styling business Divine, to find out exactly what it all entails. Kelly starts with a home consultation, following it up with a shopping date and then the option of personal packages – with everything from wardrobe editing to shopping weekends on offer.
But what leads someone to choose a personal shopper? ‘A lot of women – and men – just get stuck in a style rut,’ explains Kelly, whose clients range from expat housewives looking for an image overhaul to high society types who can’t be seen in the same outfit twice. And nudging them out of that rut is her speciality. ‘Most of my clients come with an open mind,’ she says. ‘They expect to be pushed out of their comfort zone. The convincing happens when they look at themselves in the mirror and see someone they don’t recognise.’
That’s something we can all relate to. How many of us have found an outfit or specific style we were complimented on five years ago, and have stuck to it ever since? And it doesn’t stop at clothing – hair, make-up and jewellery can be equally daunting to alter. Kelly explains that when new clients try on an outfit and see themselves in the mirror for the first time, it can take some adjusting. ‘The brain needs time to register that the look, although different, is suited to them. There is no better feeling than seeing your client smile because they love what they see.’
But she tends to steer clear of any specific ‘style rules’, of the kind enforced with militant ruthlessness by the likes of British TV style duo Trinny and Susannah. ‘You can only advise,’ says Kelly. ‘If someone wants to buy an item that doesn’t suit them, they will do it anyway. Generally speaking, though, my clients trust my opinion and if I say it doesn’t work, they believe me.
‘When working with clients I focus primarily on their “style personality”, followed by their lifestyle and body shape,’ she adds. ‘Imagine two people with the same body shape, but while one carries the look off, it just doesn’t work on the other. This is because of their style personality.’
Her top tip? ‘Just try it on. You don’t know until you try it – and you might be surprised. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, it affects everyone around you.’
Prices start at Dhs500 for a consultation, followed by Dhs350 per hour for shopping sessions. For information, visit www.divine.ae