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

Pick of the Party Dresses: Take it to the Max

The maxi dress won us over during the Summer months, and it looks like the floor-skimming style is here to stay. The maxi is still very much on the fashion radar, although not in the guise of a heavily patterned cotton dress, neither an overly formal floor length gown. The Winter maxi is a plain and simple column dress in a jersey fabric. Just add statement jewellery ...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Pick of the Party Dresses: M&S

Pick of the Party Dresses: Black and Gold

The festive season is upon us once again - and that means it's time to start planning your party wear. In a series of posts dedicated to bringing you the best of what the Great British High Street has to offer, I'll take you through all the hottest trends - all coming in at under £100.

The party looks around this Christmas are very decadent - so expect to see lots of lace, brocade, metallics, not to mention a whole lot of feathers and fringing.

A Little Black Dress is the fail safe option for this time of year - and this time around black is very much on the menu - even more so than usual, if that's possible. You only have to have seen Cheryl Cole's parade of LBD's on the X-Factor over the past few weeks to notice the dominance of the colour.

A veritable feast of delights can be found on the High Street, from maxis to minis - but I think that a '50s style prom dress makes for the perfect party dress. The cinched in waist and full skirt flatter womanly curves, or the right one can even create the illusion of an enviable hour-glass figure. Look out for black lace or gold brocade.

Fair trade off-the-shoulder prom dress with lace overlay, £96 Nomad, available from Fashion Conscience

Spotted lace prom dress, £20 George @ Asda

Elizabeth Rose dress, £95 French Connection

Gold brocade dress, £19.99 H&M

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I Got Mail

I love those days when the postman brings something other than bills to my front door. Getting a parcel can make even the most mudane Monday feel like Christmas. This morning, not only did my Blair bag arrive, but I received the Urban Outfitters winter catalogue with a 10% off voucher inside. The postman's next visit is sure to bring a pretty hefty credit card bill!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: Golden Girls

It's taken a few weeks, but Cheryl is finally back in the game! She hit all the right notes in this Roberto Cavalli gold dress - which definitely deserves a gold medal in the style stakes. Dannii looked elegant as always in a Grecian style gown by Carla Zanpatti, but I hereby declare Cheryl this week's winner.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Red Carpet Magic

My my, how the child stars of Harry Potter have grown up! It's 10 years since Emma Watson first graced our screens as bushy-haired brainiac Hermione Granger in the wizarding phenomenon, now she's all grown up and the film series is coming to an end - but one suspects that Emma's star will only continue to rise. Only recently Emma was voted Britain's most stylish woman in a poll conducted by Glamour magazine, and she's certainly been living up to her title this week. First she braved the cold at a cast photo call in black velvet Vionnet (Bonnie Wright wrapped-up in a less than glamorous scarf and jumper combo for the occasion) and then wowed in a lace Rafael Lopez mini-dress with feathered skirt at the world premiere for the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This really is red carpet magic. Speaking of her sense of style Emma said: 'My Dad was very good when I was younger. He always encouraged me to choose things for myself. I was never just given clothes. From around six or seven, he would let me choose what I wanted to wear, so I always had my own identity. I have held on to that very strongly and refuse to be told what I should wear. If stylists work with me, they never just give me a dress and I'll put it on. I have always had a strong sense of self and my convictions.'

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

David Beckham Underwear

After a highly successful four year stint as the face (and body) of Emporio Armarni it has been revealed that David Beckham plans to go it alone and launch his own brand of underwear. It seems like the logical next step for 'brand Beckham' - as Victoria's fashion credentials continue to rise it was only a matter of time before style-conscious hubby David got in on the act. Let's hope he's going to model the range himself so we get to see a whole lot more billboards like this in the future!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: All American Girls

It was American anthems week on the X-Factor, so I was half expecting to see red, white and blue or at least something star spangled. Instead, Cheryl rocked another LBD - this time an Emilio Pucci satin creation with lace inserts, meanwhile Dannii kicked-off the festive season in a gold Philip Armstrong dress topped off with a massive bow. Dannii has been dominating in the style department in recent weeks, but this week my winner is another Minogue ...

... big sister Kylie's definitely still got it. She looked stunning in a signature Mark Fast cobweb knit dress with fringing. She even managed to stay on her feet whilst strutting her stuff in those Louboutins - and it did look dicey at one point!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Kate's Final Collection for Topshop

It really doesn't seem that long since we were all queueing around the block, eagerly waiting to get our hands on Kate Moss' much hyped first collection for Topshop when it launched back in April 2007. It seemed like a dream collaboration - who wouldn't want to dress like Kate Moss, everyone's favourite supermodel / style icon, and on a High Street budget?! But alas, all good things must come to an end, and today sees the launch of Kate's last collection for the High Street giant. Promotions on the website promise pieces to 'set your heart aflutter' - and I'll tell you now, she certainly doesn't disappoint. Expect no less than Kate at her boho best.

There is a strong 70s influence behind the collection, which is full of maxi skirts, smock dresses and capes - not to mention some gorgeous vintage inspired jewellery. Many items are limited edition - so you'll have to get in quick!

Alongside the new A/W '10 line sits Kate Iconic - a collection of 10 reproductions which were all sell-out pieces selected from her 14 past collections for the store. The range includes my favourite red pansy print dress. If you missed out first time around, now is your chance. These items are destined to become collectors' items.