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Alice Czyz shows why she’s the queen of style
Dress, £110, French Connection; Cardigan, £64.95, In Wear; Bag, £52, Dents; Hat, £20, Tom Tailor; Shoes, £120, Ted Baker; Jewellery: bracelets by Nora £19; Truth silver and red, £50; and Buckingham at £5 each
Miss York has a flair for fashion, as MAXINE GORDON discovers. FRANK DWYER takes the pictures.
ALICE Czyz was thrust into the world of beauty pageants unexpectedly. “My mum and sister entered me into Miss Scarborough in 2010,” begins Alice. “My opinion then was what a lot of people probably think: these competitions are just about having a pretty face; that you don’t have to have much talent or anything very interesting to say.”
Having spent the next two years competing in a string of beauty pageants, Alice has quite different views now.
“Most of the girls are really talented, intelligent and hard working,” says Alice, 23, who is a graduate of Hull University and set up her own on-line clothing business, Covet Clothing.
During her studies she won the Miss Scarborough crown and competed in Miss England.
This summer, she was crowned Miss York and took part once again in the rigorous four-day Miss England competition.
It was tough, admits Alice, who is from Birmingham, but lived as a student in Scarborough then, following graduation, in York.
Miss England entrants have to compete across a variety of categories including a physical boot camp, an eco fashion show (for this Alice had a dress made from babygros from family and friends), as well as a talent round.
First place went to Miss Devon Charlotte Holmes, while the runner-up was former Miss York Anastasia Smith, from Norton, representing Miss North Yorkshire.
Alice is gracious about her competitors.
She said: “I am not disappointed. I’m so pleased for Charlotte who is a really nice girl, very friendly and bubbly and a worthy winner. I’ve made some really great friends.
“The experience will stay with me forever; it’s a great achievement. I didn’t win Miss England but I am still Miss York and I am looking forward to the year ahead.”
A large focus for the girls, says Alice, is raising money for charity. Having just landed a dream job in London as a recruitment consultant for fashion buyers, Alice is preparing to juggle the challenges of her new career with her Miss York role.
She said: “I will be coming back to York quite a lot for weekend events.”
She believes her online business helped her secure her new job. “In my first year out of uni I set up my own online fashion business and I think that helped me massively. I am very interested in the fashion industry.”
However, she also believes her beauty pageant experiences gave her an edge over other candidates.
“It gives you great people skills as well as public speaking experience. Some employers might look at it negatively, but others might see that you have gone to university and taken part in all these competitions. I think all these things together strengthened my CV. I think it shows I have determination and drive.”
And to prove Alice’s fashion flair further, we took her to Browns in York for a summer makeover.
With in-store hair and beauty on hand – at Regis salon and the ground-floor beauty hall – as well as an enviable range of fashion and accessories from top brands such as French Connection, Tommy Hilfiger and Ted Baker, Browns is a one-stop shop for fashionistas.
Personal shopper Carol Allen chose one simple dress – a cream and grey sleeveless shift from French Connection – and showed its versatility in creating three different looks for Alice; one for a special occasion or night out; one for the weekend and one for work.
By teaming the dress with a scarf, cardi and mac, and mixing and matching accessories such as bags, hats and jewellery, Carol showed how one dress could be the staple of your summer wardrobe.
Carol said: “The key here is to make the pieces work for you to give you different looks. It’s not just the clothes though, but also about accessories and using makeup to take you to different places.”
Katrina Campey, at YSL in Browns, added the finishing touches to Alice’s makeover. She created a daytime look using Perfect Touch Foundation and Golden Gloss on Alice’s lips as well as Touche Eclat, the best-selling highlighter pen, to help keep her complexion looking fresh all day.
For a second, more dramatic, look, Katrina added gel eyeliner in ash black from YSL; while Chromatic eye palette number eight and number five (£39) were used wet to give a smoky-eye effect.
Alice’s lips were made more dramatic with an YSL rich coral-red glossy lip stain, which has long durability to make sure the colour holds. The final touch was a flourish of YSL False lash effect mascara in black.
Then it was over to Alice to add some Miss York sparkle – and strike a pose and crack a smile for our camera.
• Venue: Browns, Davygate, York.
• Model: Alice Czyz, Miss York 2012.
• Hair: Regis at Browns. The salon is on the first floor of the department store. To book an appointment, telephone 01904 623003.
• Make-up: Katrina Campey at YSL at Browns York. Katrina is happy to help anyone who wants to learn how to achieve these looks. Just phone 01904 561285 to book a complimentary consultation.
• Styling: Carol Allen, Browns Personal Shopper. For assistance in choosing outfits or to revamp your wardrobe to suit your budget call the store on 01904 611166 to arrange an appointment with Carol.