With the new season of The X Factor once again gracing our screens, I had the privilege of catching up with one of their newest designers and collaborators, Nikita Karizma, to find out what it’s like working behind the scenes at TV’s biggest enterprise.
A relative newcomer to the industry, Karizma recently graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2011 when she was handpicked from the college’s profile pages to design and collaborate with the team at the X Factor. Her graduate collection comprised of buckles, PVC, contouring and studs over tiered layers of lace for a distinctly ‘punk’ look and adorned the likes of Amelia Lily and Little Mix at the 2011 finals. When speaking of her influencers, Karizma names Vivienne Westwood as a fashion idol and admits her strong affinity with the notion of ‘rebellion.'
The idea of constraint and breaking free
Notably, her collections encompass the idea of constraint and breaking free, another of which is called ‘Fashion vs. Abuse’ and focused on the abuse of women expressed through inspired contouring. Karizma says that the way a woman walks and composes herself can say a lot about their confidence and so she designed this collection to force the wearer to walk taller and straighter.
Following her work with The X Factor, she was commissioned to design outfits for other X Factor contestants including the likes of Misha B, JLS and Alexandra Burke for their subsequent music videos. When asked what she predicts for the new season of X Factor in terms of styling, she shared my view that the show will continue to get bigger and better and with that, the clothes will too.
Driven by the personalities of the contestants
She added that the show is driven by the personalities of the contestants and so maybe we’ll see an incredible array of styles as the show starts to warm up! Ironically, the head of The X Factor wardrobe (who consequently picked Nikita to style the shows finalists) is also Nicole Sherzinger’s stylist, so we definitely have a treat in store this season!
Constantly adding strings to her bow, Karizma has recently collaborated with DYLON® COLOUR CATCHER® to produce a dress made solely out of their colour catcher sheets. As worn by Tess Daly in the advertising campaign, the Strictly presenter said that “You can see from Nikita’s beautiful dress just how much colour these sheets can catch - these were once completely colourless!” And I can’t help but agree with her!
Karizma also documented the whole process of making the dress so you can see just how hard she works.
Karizma accentuated the hips on the dress to create a ‘mermaid’-esque shape which is really highlighted by the layered colour catcher sheets. Adding feminine ruffles to the bottom of the skirt and contouring the bodice, all in a rich red colour, Karizma shone in designing this dress for a thoroughly confident woman.
Plans to expand the brand
Speaking about her plans for the future, Karizma told me of her plans to expand her brand and create a ready-to-wear collection for release in October. Ready-to-wear garments for women will include trousers, t shirts, vest dresses, baseball jackets, dresses, harnesses and digital printed garments. Karizma has also promised that pieces worn by celebrities will be available for purchase on her website in the near future.
Although an incredibly lucky individual to be handpicked for the industry, Karizma shared her concerns about the fashion world with me. She acknowledged that creatives are whittled down at every stage in the hiring process and that they can be the worst hit in this industry.
But she agreed with me that if you do have talent, a hard drive, lots of experience, your own style, are professional and business minded there is always a place in the market for you. It just goes to show that with hard graft, you really can make the big time!
Nikita is holding a Q&A session this Friday (13th September) at 1pm, on the Dylon Catcher Catcher Facebook page. Please join in if you are a budding fashion designer, or have any questions about the industry. All her pieces from her ready-to-wear collection will be available in October from nikitakarizma.com.