Norwich girl hits the right style notes for music award
In the world of celebrity styling is a key to success so when MTV music finalist Nina Baker called on our help to revamp her look we jumped at the chance to give her a look worthy of her rising star status. By EMMA HARROWING.
Image is everything to those trying to break onto the music scene. Look at the X Factor contestants for example, as soon as they entered the live shows suddenly their clothes reflected a more trend-led style, their hair tousled and teased and eye liner and guy liner was used to define and contour an image that many aspire to copy. Some looks we love - bring back Ella and her vintage inspired style, some we miss - what has happened to James Arthur's NHS glasses? And some divide the nation - Rylan does Lady Gaga anyone?
This is the beauty (or the beast) of being in the public eye; everyone has an opinion on how you look and sometimes to a lesser extent on how you sing.
One singer who doesn't have to worry about the latter is Nina Baker. The singer, pianist and songwriter who grew up in North Norwich and went to school at Blyth Jex, is now in the final 20 of the MTV Brand New Unsigned Music Awards thanks, in part, to Evening News readers who voted for her when we reported that she was shortlisted for the award last month.
'I was surprised and delighted that I have made it through to the final 20 and it is all thanks to my fans and the local media who have been so supportive,' says Nina. 'Now it is up to a panel of judges at MTV to make the final decision - I have my fingers crossed!'
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Nina is currently working on her debut album at the world-famopus Rockfield Studios, which was home to Coldplay and Oasis. The album entitled Quite Frankly features guests such as Bellowhead and The Kings Gospel Choir and has been two years in the making. It is due to be released next year.
'My music is different to the mainstream and is a mix of pop, rock, acoustic, blues, folk, soul, country and ragtime,' says Nina. 'I think that it is good to offer a unique style of music as it pushes the boundaries of British music.'
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Nina is far to modest to say that her voice has been described as one of the most sweetest and powerful in British music to date. Her success in the MTV music awards that have seen the likes of Emeli Sande, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Adele nominated for the coveted crown in previous years, speaks volumes. And now like her predeccessors Nina is beginning to think about her image.
'I'm a bit of a dress fan and I love wearing 50s inspired looks and shorter skater styles,' says Nina. 'I also love bright colours, especially red even though I know style rules say redheads should steer clear of wearing red, I say rules are there to be broken!
'With my first album on the way I am thinking more about my image and what I want to portray. I guess at the moment I am seen as a bit of an English Rose - but it would be good to shake this up a bit.'
To help Nina find an edgy chic look we took her to Catfish on Exchange Street. The independent boutique oozes designer charm and looks that include rock chick chic and statement dresses that are made to be noticed.
A black Vivienne Westwood dress with a 50s inspired hourglass silhouette follows Nina's current style, but the edginess of the fabric and assymetric cut of the dress instantly revamps her look. The dress makes a statement on it's own, but celebrities and in particular music stars are renowned for taking their style to the next level. So the dress is worn with a pair of red high heels and accessorised with a red bag and a red heart statement necklace. And as many pop and rock stars are also trendsetters, Nina's new look is completed with a red hat with black feather detail (as hats are tipped to be big in 2013). The hat is made by Norwich designer Betsy Hatter; and by supporting up and coming designers, that's another tick on Nina's style sheet.
Nina's red hair has become her signature style so to revamp her look, Kerry Clark aka Missy Vintage shows Nina how she can style her hair in a different way to get a new look.
'Just by changing your parting from one side to the other can alter your look,' says Kerry. 'Nina has thin hair so hair dust sprinkled onto the roots will give it instant lift and volume - perfect for an evening look.
'As Nina will be wearing a hat on one side of her head I'm going to sweep her hair over to one side, moving her parting from the centre to the side so that her fringe falls seductively over her face.
'This will give her a sultury look for when she is on the stage playing her piano.'
Kerry completes Nina's look by giving her a 'Kate Moss-esque' make-up look which plays on heavy smoky eyes and a nude lip.
Get Nina's look
For your base
Cleansing and moisturise you skin before applying a foundation that matches your skin tone. Blend foundation with a brush from the centre of your face outwards to create a flawless finish.
For your eyes
Get the smoky eye look by using a dark brown eye shadow over your eye lids. Take the powder from your lash line up to your eye socket. Next apply a black sparkly eye shadow to the outer corner of your eye lid and blend into the brown eye shadow. Define your eyes using a plain black eye shadow along your top and bottom lash line, then go over the line with a black kohl pencil. Finish your eyes with a pair of false eye lashes and a coat of mascara to add drama to your look.
For your cheeks
Keep cheeks looking natural by applying a pink blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards and outwards towards your hair line.
For your lips
Use a nude pink lipstick over your lips to balance out your make-up look.
Nina says: 'I loved every second of doing the shoot and it was great to find out how I can revamp my look so that it looks more current. The hat is amazing I love it! I certainly want to wear this look at the awards ceremony later this month - so watch this space!'
Photographer: Denise Bradley
Clothes: Catfish, Exchange Street, Norwich
Hair and make-up: Missy Vintage - Kerry Clark.