I have met Abi on a few occasions now, and I must say, this image pretty much sums her up. Ballgown. Pink Louboutins. Not your typical office look, perhaps, but believe me, if anyone could style that out, it would be this girl.
Norwich's own answer to Carrie Bradshaw, Abi is, in her own words, a 'Fashion lover, Stylist and Blogger' who can style anything from 'bridal to boudoir and boho to Gothic'. Having seen her in action, I know this to be true! Abi manages a successful styling career alongside her youthwork job and being a full-time mum to the gorgeous Immy (who is becoming something of a style icon in her own right while still at primary school)- and she does all this in super-amazing shoes. I mean, If she wasn't so lovely, I would actually hate her. (Phillip Treacy) hats off to you, Ms Gray!
I gave Abi the challenge to dress the gorgeous Kate in an outfit sourced completely from garments and accessories found in the Age UK Norwich shop on London Street. Oh, and there was a time limit, of course. Abi had 30 minutes, and she managed to style not one, but TWO outfits in that time. This girl got skillz.
So outfit number one was ready to go. But not before Abi could try on the shoes herself. Sadly, not quite the right fit, but we were both loving the leopard print/pink and black skirt combination...
These are very high shoes, which Abi carried off with grace and poise. Kate, on the other hand, was rather more like Bambi on ice...
I did briefly fear that we might have a Naomi Campbell circa 1993 situation on our hands, but after acclimatising to the lack of oxygen at such a great height, Kate managed to successfully strut her stuff for the camera.
I know you're all dying to see, aren't you...?
You might remember that I mentioned two outfits... well that would be correct. Abi's first question to me when she arrived was: 'Can I do more than one...?' To which my response was rather enthusiastically in the affirmative.
One thing I have noted about Abi, is her attention to details. I am not very good at accessories myself, I tend to wear the same necklace and rings every day without going through the terribly involved process of actually having to take them off or put them back on again. Perish the thought! And taking stuff out of my bag to put it in a different bag that complements my outfit, I mean, who has time for that, right? Ahem.
Abi, like SJP, knows the power of accessorising well. Here she is, adjusting an appropriate necklace. You can see the stacked bangles in complementary colours on Kate's wrist. In a moment, Abi will add a hot pink bag. I think I need to up my accessory game, folks.
Here's outfit number two:
Our verdict is...? Nailed it. Thanks Abi! Kate certainly appreciated her Charity Shop Makeover, as she went ahead and bought this dress. We think it looks fab on her!
If you like what Abi has done here, you can see more of her work at her website, and read about her exploits in life and style on her blog. You're welcome!
Stylist and model, pose together. Handbag game is strong, yo.
If you think you're up to styling an outfit purely from charity shop clothing, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or even enter our 24 hour challenge at the Forum! Go on, we dare you ;-)