Weekender: Mr Scotland helps Livingston celebrate 50th anniversary

Tough job: Mr Scotland with Emily Shakarji outside The Centre. Picture: Dan Phillips

Tough job: Mr Scotland with Emily Shakarji outside The Centre. Picture: Dan Phillips

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THINGS are hotting up in Livingston this week as residents celebrate their 50th anniversary in style. Over the next two days they are getting the chance to pick out some of the best gladrags in town at a special fashion event at The Centre.

Featuring four top models, kitted out in some of the latest fashions by a host of top stylists, the event has been organised to help bring a touch of glamour to the shopping centre and give local shoppers an opportunity to get an eyeful of the best it has to offer.

The Centre Fashion Weekend event, being held today and tomorrow, includes hourly catwalk shows, while throughout the day shoppers will be able to enjoy complimentary treatments and interactive sessions in The Centre’s exclusive pamper lounge pod located.

The catwalk shows will be the main event for most of the crowd, featuring top models including Miss Scotland runner-up and Miss European Princess Layla Ferguson, Scottish Style Awards models Emily Shakarji and Christopher Kellie and Mr Scotland himself, Jordan Steele.

Jordan, 25, originally from Muirhouse in Edinburgh and once a pupil at Royal High School, admitted he was looking forward to the shows.

The former builder, who now runs a pub in Glasgow, said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time as Mr Scotland.

“It’s been amazing and these show will be great fun, as it gives you the chance to work with some really nice people,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I was in Livingston to be honest – I think the last time I was here was when I was playing youth football, and I never went to the shopping centre. It’s a pretty amazing place.

“Being Mr Scotland has been quite an experience and it has really given me so many opportunities, like doing modelling work for lots of different brands and just getting to meet a lot of people, lots of Scottish celebrities and the like.

“I did get some stick from my mates after I first got the title but I certainly wouldn’t change anything.”

It’s a good job he enjoys being Mr Scotland because it is now a title he has held for more than a year – and he admitted he had no idea if there were plans to hold another contest.

“I thought it would just be for a year but they haven’t had a contest to find another one yet,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be able to stay Mr Scotland till I’m 30! That wouldn’t be all bad.”

Of course, the model would be nowhere without the people behind the scenes working hard to get the show organised, and this weekend that job falls to one of Scotland’s leading fashion stylists, Ian Tod.

Ian, who studied in the Capital and celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday, has worked with some of the country’s top photographers, make-up artists and designers, and is in charge of styling all of the events, including a roster of catwalk fashion shows.

“We want every store to stand out and so we have to make it different for each one,” he explains. “For the ladies fashions that is a bit easier as there’s a much wider choice of styles and colours, but with the men it can be tricky as they tend to stay with one or two different styles that are in.”

Ian will also be presenting, and will have to judge a fashion event inviting the best-dressed in the area to accept a style challenge involving a small budget and an even smaller time-frame.

“They will get to go and pick out some outfits and style themselves up and then I’ll have to judge it, which should be loads of fun,” said Ian.

The event is also being produced by choreographer-to-the-stars Vicky Jackson. who has worked with Katy Perry, Blue, McFly, Taio Cruz and Tom Jones on shows such as The X Factor.

James Bailey, Centre director, said: “The fashion weekend is set to be a huge draw for style savvy shoppers across West Lothian. We’ve pulled out all of the stops to get the biggest and best names in the business and in retail on board to pull off the best fashion event the city has ever seen.”

• The Fashion Weekend event is being held at The Centre, Livingston, today and tomorrow.