Never before have Dorien and Ruth been restyled while standing in front of the lens of a professional photographer. But then they applied for our pampering afternoon on the occasion of the Flemish Day Against Cancer. Our goal? To take their minds off cancer for an entire day. How that turned out exactly? Just look at how radiant and confident they look on their pictures. Get inspired by their three new 'total looks', courtesy of fashion partner Xandres, and read on for tips and tricks by both our stylist and make-up artist.
So who are Dorien and Ruth?
Dorien (left in the picture) is 47, lives in the Netherlands and has a management position in the healthcare sector. She’s not fond of shopping, even less enthusiastic about being in front of a camera, and by no means a daily user of social media. And yet she signed up for this very day of restyling. Dorien figured that since her breast cancer treatment demands her to be brave, she might as well use some of that courage to take on a make-over!
Ruth (on the right) from Belgium is 43 and works as a production planner in a large chemical company. She didn't sign up for herself but for her two boys. Although they do understand that mom is ill—Ruth is being treated with chemo for lymphoma—they tend to get a bit impatient for her to recover. Ruth was eager to show them that, despite her illness, she can still have fun and look beautiful in cool clothes.
Look 1: A feminine power look for the office
Dorien very much wanted to try on a suit for work. But we didn't find a classic two-piece ensemble that was right for her. What we did was emphasise her strength with a tough leather jacket, while underlining her tender side with a beautiful pink blouse in flowing fabric and on-trend checkered pants. Cool ankle boots top off the look. Same goes for the matching Liz scarf from our collection. Pure woman power!
Ruth, on the other hand, was very excited to try on a maxi dress. A first-class idea, for she certainly has the length it takes to rock one of those. We opted for warm tones to match her brown eyes, and added pizzazz to the checkered dress with a pair of knee-high boots and a fine, glossy turtleneck pullover. Add the colourful Marlene hat in brick orange, a pair of large statement earrings, and bam: Ruth has got it going on!
Look 2: casual for quality time with the kids or friends
Dorien is a long-standing devotee of a pair of jeans topped with a V-necked blouse. Perfectly fine for casual occasions, but we preferred to jazz things up a bit with a beautiful statement coat (again, checkers are this season's trend) and edgy white ankle boots. Dorien is over the moon about these perfectly fitting jeans. Though she wouldn't immediately have picked the colour of the pullover herself, it only took a dozen of compliments for her to suggest: "Maybe I should indeed give up on all the black". And just look at her burgundy Liz scarf: so much gentler against her light blue eyes than gloomy black.
Meanwhile, Ruth is looking like the coolest mom at the school gate. That was the image we had in mind when we put together this Xandres outfit for her. A comfortable pair of jeans, an easy turtleneck sweater, and kick-ass sneakers. As for the icing on the cake: a long faux fur vest. A bold move but oh so soft and warm. Perhaps a little bit out of Ruth's comfort zone, but wouldn't you agree that she is totally rocking this outfit? "It is as though this scarf was tailor-made to match the outfit", Ruth points out with surprise.
Look 3: very chic for date night with their love(r)
A party dress! Dorien, courageous as ever, brings up the idea herself. Only last year she arrived at a party in a black dress and immediately warned the other guests: "Yes alright, no comment, it’s a dress, I know!" Although dresses are not really her cup of tea, she still wanted to get out of her comfort zone during this make-over. Black clothes slim down, you say? Well, maybe, but just look at how this petroleum snake print matches her eyes and complexion.
Combining print with print is a real fun experiment you should give a try yourself. Just look at the matching Marlene hat if you need proof! And while we’re at it, here are some more tricks. We emphasised Dorien’s waist with a belt, while the suede ankle boots with heels and matching deep shade panty hose extend her legs. Is this lady glowing or what?
Ruth has lost quite a bit of weight due to her treatment. As she thinks she is still too skinny, she warmly welcomes every extra kilo she can put on. This outfit nicely wraps her slim legs and bottom. No traditional dress for Ruth, but a shirt dress she can wear as a kimono with matching wide-legged trousers. The print and the sumptuous smooth fabric work like a charm.
And then there’s the finishing touch: a burgundy Liz scarf that we wrap around her pretty head like a turban, plus statement earrings to accentuate Ruth’s neckline. Not to forget the high-heeled crocodile boots she is rocks as if they were slippers…
Anja for the wonderful pictures, Sarah for the perfect styling, and Claudia for the subtle touch of makeup. Xandres for the garments and matching shoes, and Fleurfatale for the earrings: two fully-fledged Belgian labels that we hold dear (yes sir, the Day against Cancer happened to coincide with the Belgian Fashion Week). And of course, thanks to Dorien and Ruth. For their courage, their enthusiasm, their energy and their great vibes! Wish you all the best, ladies!