Friday, 31 December 2010

The Most Stylish Woman of 2010...

Victoria Beckham deservedly tops my chart as the most stylish woman of 2010. I mean when have you seen the Spice Girl turned fashion designer look anything other than immaculate? She even manages to look fantastic when she's been papped after an 11 hour flight from London to Los Angeles!

Victoria has long had a love of fashion, but this year she has achieved the seemingly impossible transition from pop star/WAG to fully fledged fashion designer, as the fashion world has truly embraced her as one of their own.

Plenty of celebrities foray into fashion (too many in my opinion), some achieving success to a greater of lesser degree, others not - anyone who saw Lindsay Lohan's frocky horror show for Ungaro has tried to block it from their mind! Very few have gained the critical acclaim which Victoria has been enjoying. She received the ultimate compliment by being nominated for designer brand of the year alongside giants Burberry, Mulberry and Pringle at the British Fashion Awards - an honour she openly admitted to thinking was a joke when she first heard.

Then there is the fact that any celebrity worth their salt has been queueing up to be seen in a VB original. Eva Longoria, Elle MacPherson, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Dannii Minogue (indeed, the larger part of my best dressed list) are all fans - and it's not hard to see why. The dresses Victoria designs are not only elegant, but are exceptionally flattering. I stress Victoria's designs because where skepticism surrounds other celebrities who merely put their name to a label, Victoria seems utterly consumed by the venture. An interview with Grazia in the time leading up to New York Fashion Week proved just how involved in the processes she actually is and the technical knowledge she has gained - speaking about how they: 'achieved the shape through cutting panels on the bias and putting exactly the right curved seam in place.'

If I had one criticism it would be that I would like to see her style more relaxed from time to time. I really don't know how she runs after three boys in skyscaper heels! But there's no denying she is fabulous.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Shopaholic Style Awards 2010

The most stylish women of 2010...

2. Alexa Chung

The winner of the most stylish Brit at the British Fashion Awards only narrowly misses out on the top spot this year. Her not too perfect look is, well, perfection.

3. Daisy Lowe

The British model is hot property at the moment, and it's not hard to see why. She's beautiful, stylish and not a super skinny size zero. Plus she's bagged herself Doctor Who star Matt Smith. If I sound jealous, that's 'cos I am.

4. Carey Mulligan

2010 has definitely been Carey Mulligan's year, as the Brit actress has taken both Hollywood and the fashion world by storm. We have seen a parade of Prada and Mui Mui dresses on the red carpet which have perfectly defined her quirky sense of style. Who doesn't love a dress with pockets?!

5. Dannii Minogue

Dannii won the X-Factor fashion face-off hands down - a number of the stunning dresses showcased even came from her own fashion line, Project D, which was launched earlier this year in collaboration with her friend Tabitha.

6. Emma Watson

2010 has been a momentous year for Emma Watson. She has finished filming the Harry Potter series of films which have made her a star, then went for a drastic image change by going for a cropped hair do. She has been gaining fashion plaudits for a while, but this year Emma really came into her own and has topped a number of style charts - and proved why at the penultimate Harry Potter premiere.

7. Blake Lively

The very leggy Blake Lively just pips her Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester to 7th place. She certainly knows how to make an impact on the red carpet and looks fab in this VB number.

8. Leighton Meester

My favourite gossip girl is actually a lot more daring in her real life fashion choices than as preppy Blair in the hit show - which means that hits as well as some misses are inevitable. One thing is for sure, this Elie Saab dress is beautiful, and I'm sure Miss Waldorf would heartily agree.

9. Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne is hardly recognisable as the hell raising teen who hit our screens on her family's MTV reality show. A stint on Dancing with the Stars has left Kelly with a toned figure, combined with a new ladylike image she looks every inch the sophisticated starlet.

10. Samantha Cameron

Not since the days of Jackie O have we been so engrossed by the attire of our leaders' wives. Now Samantha Cameron joins the ever increasing ranks of stylish first ladies, including Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni. Whether wearing M&S or Paul Smith, the former creative director of Smythson always looks the picture of dignified elegance - yet with a fashion forward twist.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Top Picks From the Next Sale!

If you were amongst the crowds of 'brave' individuals queuing outside Next in eager anticipation of the Boxing Day sale at an hour too early for me to even contemplate, I hope your determination was at least rewarded with some great bargains. If, on the other hand, you couldn't resist a lie in here's what to look out for - that's if the early risers have left us anything on the rails of course! These items not only have huge reductions, but are sure to see you through spring/summer...

Maxi dress, was £65 now £25
Tribal print dress, was £50 now £25

Leather shorts, was £65 now £30
Leopard print dress, was £45 now £20

Sheer midi skirt, was £28 now £12
Lace top, was £50 now £20

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Party Time

The festive season is upon us at last! A time to eat, drink and be merry. Not wanting to break from tradition, me and the girls treated ourselves to a meal at a posh country house hotel - which we were happily still able to reach in spite of the mounds of snow around at the moment.

After weeks of looking at Christmas party dresses I actually opted to wear a metallic Henry Holland knotted top with a black skirt. The ice around is so treacherous that I even ditched the heels in favour of ballet pumps - well, it's a look good enough for Alexa Chung...

A good night was had by all, topped off with a nice glass of bubbly - so that's the eating, drinking and merriness pretty much covered. Happy Christmas!

Yes, Another Handbag

A while back I posted about receiving a 10% discount voucher for Urban Outfitters - well I couldn't possibly let that go to waste! It gave me the perfect excuse to add to my already sizable (to put it mildly) handbag collection. I can hear my Nan now; 'not another handbag!'

I chose this classic black bucket bag as an early christmas present to myself - if you can't treat yourself at christmas when can you, ay?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: The Final Showdown

So this is it - after thousands upon thousands of auditions, 12 finalists (not forgetting four wildcards) and a whole lot of pretty dresses, the X-Factor 2010 has come to an end. Our weekends just won't be the same without a Cheryl v Dannii fashion face-off.

This week one had to wonder whether it was handbags at dawn as to who got to wear their scarlet stunner for the grand finale. A bit of wardrobe co-ordination later and Dannii was the first to step out in a beautiful red tiered gown by J'Aton Couture, whilst Cheryl wore a crystal encrusted Roberto Cavalli dress. However, the over-sized sleeve overpowered her small frame in my opinion, and don't get me started on the slick-backed hair do - not a good look.

But what a difference a day makes. On Sunday night Cheryl emerged in what has to be my favourite look of hers we have seen all season. I absolutely loved her red fish-tailed gown by J.Mendel. Yet we can never underestimate Ms Minogue, and Dannii had one final sparkler up her sleeve. She exuded old Hollywood glamour in a heavily beaded Jenny Packham gown.

Not only was Dannii crowned the winning judge when Matt was voted the winner (my favourite to win I might add), but she runs away with my style award.

Despite the beautiful dresses on show, it was a scantily clad Rihanna who captured the column inches when she sang What's My Name in a tribal print bikini - a performance which was deemed too suggestive for young viewers. Well we had to have one last morsel of controversy after the the series of scandals and spats which have dogged the show this time around.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The British Fashion Awards

Last night the big hitters of the fashion industry were out in force as the newly refurbished Savoy hotel played host to the British Fashion Awards. There was stiff competition for the coveted awards, not to mention competitive dressing on what turned out to be one of the most stylish occasions this year! Here's your guide to who won (and wore) what...

Designer of the year: Phoebe Philo

Outstanding achievement in fashion design: Lee McQueen

Emerging designer of the year: Meadham Kirchhoff

Designer brand of the year: Mulberry

Award for digital innovation: Burberry

Model of the year: Lara Stone

Special recognition award: Naomi Campbell

British style award: Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung in Chanel.

Lara Stone in Calvin Klein.

Naomi Campbell in McQueen.

Phoebe Philo fought off stiff competition from Christopher Kane and Erdem to be named designer of the year.

Victoria Beckham was nominated for designer brand of the year. She told Elle: 'I thought it was a joke at first because I've only been creating for five seasons now, so being up against a brand like Burberry that's been around for so many years was such a big deal.'

And the Winner is ...

The Christmas giveaway has now closed.

The lucky winner is... drum roll please... Lucy Wicks.

Congratulations Lucy - you've got £25 to spend at CSN Stores. I'll be in touch with your voucher code.

Happy shopping xxx

Monday, 6 December 2010

Chanel No 5 - What Every Girl Wants for Christmas

You know Christmas is coming when all your favourite adverts start to reappear. Say Christmas ad and straight away most people think of the Coca Cola trucks festooned with fairy lights, but I think perfume. Chanel No 5 in particular. I'm not talking about Nicole 'I love to dance' Kidman, but the enigmatically beautiful Audrey Tautou and her chance encounter with a very handsome stranger on board a train to Istanbul - all set to Billie Holiday's I'm a Fool to Want You.

The 2 1/2 minute mini-film reunited Tautou with Amelie director Jean Pierre Jeunet who wanted to create a story based around the mesmerizing effect of the scent:

'I've always loved night trains and their magic: it's the perfect opportunity to create an encounter in suspended time. I really liked the idea of a woman meeting a man. They both think about each other, but continue with their own lives, left with the regret that they didn't make contact with the other person. I love to play with destiny and coincidences.'

Luckily for this couple fate is kind and they do finally meet after a number of missed opportunities.

OK, it's not very 'Christmassy' but it's enough to persuade most girls to add a bottle of Chanel's finest to their xmas wish list.

Cheryl v Dannii: Bows and Belles

This week the X-Factor reached the semi-final stage; yes the final really is less than a week away! I don't know where the time has gone, but I'll miss the shocks, scandals and stylish frocks once it's all over. This week Cheryl ditched the glitz in favour of a monochrome dress by Stephane Rolland. What with all the folds and a big bow to hold it all together the look reminded me of all the wrapping-up I've still got left to do before Christmas. Meanwhile Dannii was back on winning form in a beautiful nude coloured gown with lace inserts and an over-sized corsage by Australian designer Aurelio Costarella. So, only one more Cheryl v Dannii post to go... something tells me they will have saved the best 'til last!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Calling All Fashionistas...

Are you a designer clothes hoarder who would put Becky Bloomwood to shame in the wardrobe department? Thought so - well you are reading a blog called Confessions of a Shopaholic! ByMyWardrobe are currently looking for style savvy shopaholics like you to be wardrobe mistresses at their next event...

If you have not been to a Buy My Wardrobe event before the premise is simple; it is fashion recycling at its best. Pre-loved designer items are sold with up to 80% off the retail price straight from the wardrobes of 20 handpicked 'wardrobe mistresses':

'A Wardrobe Mistress is a fashion loving, often shopaholic stylista. She is the type of girl who is rarely seen in the same outfit twice, she'll always spot the best dress in the shop within five seconds of entering. She makes high street look high end designer. She has innate sense of style and makes every trend you thought you'd never EVER wear look appealing. She always looks hot and is forever being asked "where did you get that?" Does this sound like you?'

Previous wardrobe mistresses have included the likes of Gucci group exec Mimma Viglezio, former publishing director of Elle Elaine Foran, and TV personality Giselle Morley. So, if your wardrobe is on the verge of collapse and you can no longer see your bedroom floor, why not sell the clothes you no longer wear and make some cash (and room) in the process. Each seller is provided with everything from rails, tables and hangers to changing rooms, credit card facilities and carrier bags. It couldn't be easier. Check out the website for more information on taking part.

The next event is set to take place on Saturday 29th January 2011 at Adam St. Members' Club, London. If you can't bear the prospect of parting from any of your own items, it's definitely a great place to find a bargain or two to add to your collection. Tickets are available from for £5 - or you can get VIP entrance an hour early for £20, where not only are you treated to goodies like champagne and cupcakes, but you get first dibs on the delectable designer delights on offer!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

It's a veritable winter wonderland out there at the moment - I can't quite remember ever seeing so much snow before! As picturesque as the snowy vista from my window may be, the truth is that the cold snap has brought havoc to most of the UK - even though we knew it was coming.

Schools are closed, pipes have burst and any form of public transport is practically out of the question. I've done the sensible thing and dusted off the old Ugg boots when I've been forced to leave the warmth of home and brave the sub-zero temperatures outside. Love them or hate them, I couldn't have done with out them this week. After all, it is the kind of arctic conditions they are meant for - not Malibu Beach. Pammy and Tori take note!

CSN Stores Christmas Giveaway!

Can you believe there are only 24 days left until Christmas?! That means only 23 shopping days left to get organized - but don't panic just yet. CSN Stores is your one-stop home wear store for the Holiday Season, whether you want to revamp your home for the New Year or you need new cooking utensils to cater for a festive family feast. Plus, be sure not to miss the beautiful range of bedroom furniture!

As an early xmas pressie for my followers I am doing another giveaway! Yes, the CSN Stores giveaway is back, and as promised it's bigger and better than before ... CSN Stores are spreading the festive cheer and providing my lucky winner with a £25 voucher to spend online at

As before, all you have to do to enter is become a follower of Confessions of a Shopaholic via Google Friend Connect. If you are already a follower you are automatically entered - let's face it, this time of year is busy enough without giving you more to do! Let's just call it a little gift from me to you to say how grateful I am for your support.

A winner will be picked at random - to be announced on Wednesday 8th December. In the meantime, why not take a look at some of the great products on offer at CSN Stores. Kids will love KitchenCraft's festive cookie cutters, whilst I'm more than a little bit tempted by the V&A Chinoiserie design tea set.

Good luck!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: Perfect Asymmetry

I have to say I've spotted a pattern emerging over the course of the live shows - Cheryl and Dannii seem to have developed a knack for complimentary dressing. Far from being matchy-matchy, each week they pick a trend and wear it in there own way. To what extent this is planned I couldn't say, but we've seen lace, knot detailing and now asymmetric cuts displayed side by side.

Dannii wore a ruffled red chiffon number by Carla Zampatti whilst Cheryl stuck with the metallics she has favoured in recent weeks. I loved her Emilio Pucci bronze dress - but if it looked at all familiar, that's because she was beaten to it by another Minogue. Cheryl is on a roll at he moment and is my winner again this week if only because she has ditched the extensions - emerging with mid-length waves in her natural brunette shade.

In the first of a double elimination Katie exited the competition with the lowest number of public votes. I have to confess that I will miss her quirky sense of style - but I doubt we've seen the last of her somehow! Katie's lace beaded dress is £85 from Miss Selfridge - but it's limited edition so you'll have to get in quick!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Another Giveaway! How I Spoil You

So you missed out on the £15 CSN Stores voucher last month? Never fear - another giveaway is coming soon to Confessions of a Shopaholic, and it's bigger and better than before! Just make sure that you are a follower to take part.

Cheryl v Dannii: Maxi or Mini?

It has been a week of shocks on the X-Factor. First, Aiden made a surprise (and somewhat premature) exit last Sunday, then this week Katie (love her or hate her) ditched the wild blonde curles in favour of an elfin crop in a rather drastic attempt to reinvent herself*. No sooner had we got over that, Cher found herself in the bottom two. Thankfully, there were no shocks where frocks are concerned. One thing is for certain, well two things; Cheryl always looks great in a sparkly mini dress, and Dannii has the Grecian goddess look down to a t. This week the ladies played to their strengths, Cheryl in a gold spangled mini dress by Falguni and Shane Peacock, Dannii in a chocoloate coloured Gucci gown. Cheryl just pips Dannii to the post - with just over four weeks to go until Christmas, we need a bit of festive sparkle on a Saturday night.

*I'm not sure about the haircut, but I love the Peter Pan collar lace dress which is only £35 from very!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

A Royal Engagement

After months, if not years of speculation, Prince William has finally popped the question to Kate Middleton. The happy couple actually got engaged a few weeks ago whilst enjoying a romantic break in Kenya, but waited until Remembrance Day commemorations were over to make the big announcement. Kate, always the picture of elegance befitting a Princess-to-be, relied on one of her favourite labels, Issa, for the photo call - the navy silk wrap-dress prefectly complemented the enormous sapphire sparkler proudly displayed on her ring finger. It obviously made a big impression, as the dress sold out within 24 hours. Now various High Street brands are in a frenzy trying to copy the look - Lipsy already have a waiting list for their version. I just can't wait to see what her wedding dress will be like...

Here are a few similar dresses - so we can get the look if not the prince...

Thursday, 18 November 2010

You Don't Need a Dress to Impress

If you are not a dress person there is still a lot of choice out there. The jumpsuit is becoming increasingly popular and fits in with the whole '70s revival that is gathering pace. The most flattering are tailored with either a wide leg or peg leg, as opposed to the harem style with elsasticated cuff.

Don't rule out trousers as party wear!

Drew Barrymore paired Camilla and Marc high waisted trousers with a sequinned top by Richard Chai for an appearance on the Letterman show to promote Going the Distance - a chic look which would easily translate to the office party.

Pick of the Party Dresses: Make a Statement

There are a lot of showstoppers out there for the festive season; feathers, fringing, cut-outs and asymmetric necklines are just some of the styles to look out for. Distinctive, yes, but these dresses certainly won't be one hit wonders.

Fringing may have made the cut to be named as one of the top 10 trends men hate, but this is one trend which is only set to gather pace in the coming months. Fringed pieces were to be seen in the S/S '11 collections everywhere from Betty Jackson to House of Holland and Mark Fast during London Fashion Week, so why not get in early? Plus, a fringed flapper dress looks great on the dance floor!

Fashion's preoccupation with the 70s is another trend which is set to prosper well in to the New Year, and an asymmetric dress with one over-sized chiffon sleeve is a great way to reference the era during the party season.

In terms of colour, there is always a lot of black in the shops at this time of year, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd, I say go for red.

Here are my picks. Happy shopping!

Asymmetric tulip dress with feather trim, £59.99 River Island

Feather fringed strapless dress with sweetheart neckline, £99 Very

Red cut-out detail dress, £50 Topshop

Asymmetric chiffon sleeve dress, £35 Rare