Step into a stylish spring with GMTV's fashion expert Mark Heyes

When charity worker Suzanne Patrick won a �1,000 style makeover with GMTV's fashion expert Mark Heyes, courtesy of the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher and The Bentall Centre in Kingston, Surrey Life was on hand to pick up a few tips

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2010

When charity worker Suzanne Patrick won a �1,000 style makeover with GMTV’s fashion expert Mark Heyes, courtesy of the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher and The Bentall Centre in Kingston, Surrey Life was on hand to pick up a few tips

Shoppers strolling through The Bentall Centre in Kingston may have found themselves doing a double-take last month…

For as they browsed through the likes of Karen Millen, New Look, Zara et al, they could well have spotted GMTV celebrity fashion guru Mark Heyes rifling through the rails.

The daytime TV star was at the centre to help oversee a very special fashion makeover – that of lucky competition winner Suzanne Patrick who scooped a �1,000 spending spree in a recent raffle in aid of Esher’s Princess Alice Hospice.

“When the hospice asked if I would come along and help out on the shopping trip, I said yes straightaway,” says Mark, who can be seen on GMTV most weekdays. “This is the first time that l’ve worked with the Princess Alice Hospice, but I work with several other hospices elsewhere, and I was delighted to get involved.”  

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After spending a bit of time getting to know one another, and chatting about Suzanne’s taste in clothes, the pair spent the rest of the morning wandering round the shops, searching out some shrewd buys for spring.

Right in vogue“The great thing about Suzanne was that she was up for trying all the things I suggested,” says Mark, who recently featured at No 25 in The Guardian’s Top 100 most influential people in the fashion industry – even coming in above Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

“Sometimes when you do a style makeover, the person can be quite set in their ways, and they’ll be saying things like, ‘oooh, I would never go for something like that’, but Suzanne was happy to try everything I suggested.

“She also looked amazing in all the outfits! She has lovely dark hair and the most incredible figure – like a model actually – so it made my job very easy! She was a joy to style!”

A charity worker herself, Suzanne is an events executive at The Sick Children’s Trust in London, and so the huge shopping spree, donated by The Bentall Centre, was a million miles away from a normal day at work.

“The whole thing was a once in a lifetime experience!” says Suzanne. “There’s no way I could have spent all that money without Mark’s help. Normally, I walk into a store and don’t know what to buy!

“Actually, the love of my life is Karen Millen, because their clothes seem to fit me perfectly, so I was really pleased when he whisked me over to their counter!”

Seasonal trendsOne of Mark’s main aims was to incorporate a few of this season’s hot trends into Suzanne’s wardrobe, but in a practical, wearable way. Among the key items he selected for her were a military style jacket, an electro print dress and a pair of ‘jeggings’ (a cross between jeans and leggings).

“Suzanne’s only problem was that at the age of 34, she was starting to dress a bit too old for herself,” says Mark, who has a new fashion book coming out next month called Get the Look. “She just needed a bit of a helping hand.

“Everything we chose for her was very this season – and she looked absolutely amazing!”

And best of all, not only did Suzanne go away with a whole new wardrobe, the raffle itself raised over �2,000 for Princess Alice Hospice, which will help towards their running costs of over �7 million a year.

Princess Alice Hospice is a charity providing outstanding end of life care and support free of charge to adult patients and their families and friends across a large part of Surrey, south west London and Middlesex. Fundraising and community support are crucially important to the continued work of the charity supplementing a modest NHS grant. For more information on how to help, visit www.pah.org.uk GMTV fashion expert Mark Heyes' top Surrey style secret… Shhhh...

“It would have to be Bernard in Esher High Street, which is run by some good friends of mine. They have a fantastic range of different labels and really high-end pieces by designers such as Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson and Vivienne Westwood, among others. In fact, they are so well thought of in the fashion industry that all the top designers allow them to stock their stuff. So, in summary, it’s a brilliant place to find pieces by leading designers right here in Surrey, without the hassle of having to travel into London.”

Mark Heyes' best fashion buys for spring 

1 Military jacketThere are so many beautiful military style jackets on the high street at the moment, and they are going to be huge throughout the spring and right into summer. They look great when teamed with a vest top and a pair of jeans.

2 Summer bootsNow is the time to ditch the winter boots and invest in one of the open-toe versions on the high street. There are some fantastic ones in River Island, New Look and Miss Selfridge, so you don’t need to spend a fortune, either.

3 Florals, and more florals!Yep, florals are here to stay! Update your look by going for darker colour backgrounds with a bright floral print over the top. Also, look out for floral accessories – for instance, there are some fabulous bags in Primark for just �6. Just a little touch like that can really help to revive your wardrobe.

4 NudesThink shades such as pale peach layered over another pastel like turquoise. Topshop has some great ones actually this season. To get the look right, go for shades that are slightly dirty looking and almost washed-out in their appearance.

5 DrapingDraping was hugely popular on the catwalks, for instance in the Burberry show, and now the high street has really picked up on it, too. Plus, that Grecian style of draping is great for minimising lumps and bumps as well!

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