Another week, another mad rush to the TV to catch the latest X Factor update – but it’s not to see which act has been axed or whether ‘Jedward’ have been saved yet again at the expense of truly talented singers, and if it will spark another national outcry and a record number of complaints…because really, who cares?
While watching Sunday’s results show, my friend’s text message was not to comment on the shock or indignation at seeing Jamie Archer sent home in lieu of the ‘terrible twins’ or the decidedly less gifted singer, Lloyd Daniels, rather it was to urgently relay the fact that she thought Cheryl Cole was wearing a “weird dress”.
The dress in question being a £1,335 Richard Nicholl sand coloured futuristic canvas corset dress with gold velvet panels, another example of her favoured look of figure-hugging mini dress and big hair in the form of long tumbling curls.
Never mind Cheryl’s dress – what was Dannii wearing? She’d ditched her recent slew of sleek tight strapless frocks and chic bob in favour of what resembled an out of place beach cover up – a loosely draped Lisa Ho Spring 2009 maxi kaftan dress in a large floral print with billowing three-quarter length sleeves and a daring cleavage exposing plunging neckline, which she teamed with half-crimped long hair extensions.
It was a strikingly different look from her Saturday night ensemble; a long strapless chiffony taupe gown with thigh-high slashes and ruched panels on the bodice, also by Lisa Ho, accessorised with an statement necklace made up of oversized silver discs strung together.
The previous week it had been Cheryl’s turn to get tongues wagging with her choice of get up – a cutting edge £1,500 bizarre mini fan style dress by up and coming designer David Koma, which unleashed criticism from Simon Cowell and a storm of comments, including remarks that it looked like she had stuck two wheel trims over her boobs.
This Saturday she played it safe in an open-necked navy blue draped sequined mini dress at the bargain price of just £710 from Alexander Wang, worn with scraped back hair pulled into a ponytail.
It was Cheryl’s power-shouldered tight low-cut mermaid silver micro-mini dress by Julian McDonald and Dannii’s fitted nude embellished beaded knee-length gown by Aussie designers J’Aton Couture that led to Simon Cowell’s reported comments a couple of weeks ago that they are hosting a talent contest rather than a fashion show and that they should spend more time preparing their remarks for the programme instead of focusing their energies on choosing show-stopping frocks and picking out hairstyles and accessories to perfect their ‘groomed to within an inch of their lives’ “look” each week.
If upscale high voltage girl glamour and big hair is not your thing however, then there’s always ‘Jedward’ to inspire your cool retro schoolboy influenced wardrobe. According to the Daily Telegraph’s fashion pages it’s the twins’ knack for making a fashion niche their own which is the secret of their success. Their signature style is based on undersized school blazers, ‘Pirate Radio’ T-shirts, red PVC jackets teamed with super skinny jeans and shirts and narrow ties worn with drainpipe jeans and retro-style trainers.
If the singing gets a little boring after a while and you don’t care if another long haired popstrel, with more than a passing resemblance to Barbra Streisand, wins the day over yet another Will Young look-alike, then thank goodness for the girls (and the too trendy boys) and their slavish obsession to fashion that keeps it interesting!