Jingle Belles – The Spice Girls, X Factor and a bit of Girls Aloud.

Even as the year draws to a close, we still have time to feast our eyes on a host of wonderful looks, as those Christmas events come rolling in thick and fast. Last weekend alone saw the Capital Radio Jingle Bells Ball featuring the newly reformed Girls Aloud and girl of the year Rita Ora amongst others, whilst the X Factor final saw Nicole and James Arthur reigning supreme.

There have been other fashionable moments that also deserve to be celebrated, last night saw all five of the Spice Girls together for the premiere of Viva Forever, all looking suitably stunning and totally individual. And then there are just some fashion moments to cherish, like the rise and rise of Markus Lupfer and his stylish knits.

Here are some of my favourite looks from the winter so far, and a few ideas of how to get them.

Jingle Bells Ball

Cheryl was suitably fierce in a military style catsuit from Balmain. but then bought it down a notch when performing with the newly reformed Girls Aloud. Worth watching for ‘The Promise’  alone, Kimberley showed off that enviable midriff, whilst Cheryl and Nadine opted for little black dresses. My style pick was Nicola – I just loved her tuxedo style jacket.

Get the Look – Cheryl Cole , Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts

Nikki Sleeveless Peplum Dress £15 click to visit Boohoo

Tilly Cut Out Shoulder Bodycon Dress £12 click to visit Boohoo

Suri Box Shoulder Feature Button Blazer £18 click to visit Boohoo

Another gorgeous Jingle Belle was Lisa Snowdon, who was sparkly and resplendent in a one sleeved dress. Now, I’m not sure whether this dress is yet another example of a star wearing the Project D Itala dress, but it certainly looks very similar.

Get the lookProject D

PROJECTD LONDON Itala Ocean Asymmetric Sequin Maxi Gown £595.00 click to visit My Wardrobe

Dorrie Round Neck Sequin Maxi Dress In Antique Gold £49.99 click to visit Missguided

Now, there have been mixed feelings about Rita Ora’s new look. I personally hate the shoes, and the slicked back hair. But the dress is gorgeous, I love that mustard shade, and with a pop of red lips, Rita just about pulls this look off, but I hope the Marilyn curls return soon…

X factor Final

There was just so much great fashion to savour on this weeks X Factor final. Nicole took the style title for the series, and certainly saved some of her best looks until last. The Zuhair Murad red dress was sublime, a lesson in showing nothing and appearing super sexy. The dress just poured over her curves, and with her hair sleek and glossy, she looked simply sch-mazing.

Get the Look

Designer red sequinned maxi dress £122.50 click to visit Debenhams

Rihanna was the guest of honour on Sunday nights show, and this was an exquisite looking Rihanna that we were treated too. Head to toe in Alexander Wang, I get the distinct impression that Kirsten Stewart could be on the way out at Balenciaga…with Rihanna making a stunning new face for the label.

 

Tulisa also looked at her absolute best on final’s night. With her mermaid style hair and a shimmering dress that again poured over those curves, you wished that she had channelled this style for the whole of the series.

Get the Look

Jane Norman Sequin bandeau maxi £75 click to visit House of Fraser

But of course, Sunday night belonged to one lady. With two of her boys in the final, Nicole seemed to take her inspiration from a certain Cheryl Cole, as this dress really bought David Koma to mind. It was actually designed by Stephane Rolland haute couture, and succeeded in being Old Style Hollywood, and slightly space age – at the same time.

More Christmas Crackers

I’m a huge fan of Markus Lupfer, so I’m loving that so many celebrities are picking up on his unique sense of styling, and turning his knitted dresses into a wardrobe must have for 12/13. Beyoncé looked totally incredible, the hottest mama ever, in this gorgeous design, and I love how she picked up the red theme in her brightest of lipsticks.

Mel C was also seen on tv’s This Morning wearing a Markus Lupfer design, showing that these dresses are perfect for any occasion.

Get the look Markus Lupfer

Markus Lupfer Contrast Stripe Collar Body Con Dress £195.00 click to visit My Wardrobe

Markus Lupfer Peplum Frill Bodice Dress £245.00 click to visit My Wardrobe

Spice Girls Viva Forever Premiere

All the girls turned out for the premiere, even though Victoria was fashionably late. I loved the individuality of the looks, from Melanie C looking fierce in slate grey, to Victoria showing off her androgynous chic in pared down tailoring. Geri looked beautiful, but this was more bridesmaid dress than premiere if we are truly honest.

 

An Interview with Philip Armstrong and Tony Burke Armstrong

Last Friday night was a huge night for Birmingham fashion. Harvey Nichols, in the fabulous Mailbox, hosted a very special fashion show that showcased the amazing talent of the label Philip Armstrong. I was lucky enough to be able to grab a bit of time after the show with Philip and Tony Burke Armstrong, the creative force behind the label, and to ask them a few questions. They proved to be friendly, approachable and funny – as gorgeous as their designs.

Fashion-Mommy with the designers and Emily Jayne, from Emily Jayne Image

Q. You are famous for dressing celebrities, which celebrity have you most enjoyed working with?

A. Alesha Dixon, she’s a real style icon. A lot of designers aspire to dress her and we just love working with her. She’s very easy to relate to and work with and we seem to aspire to the same aesthetic. But saying that, all our good clients are a joy to dress. We treat everyone the same regardless of whether they are a celeb or non celeb and have incredibly loyal clients.

Q. You use lots of unusual fabric combinations, like teaming ultra feminine lace with sporty neoprene – can you talk a little about that?

A. We do a lot of research into fabrics, we just love the idea of contrast. The neoprene style has been so flattering, helps to cinch and stretch the body in. All our fabrics are chosen for a reason and it is something we really work hard on. We tweak the combinations and mixtures of fabrics each year if we think they work, we don’t just abandon concepts and ideas just to move onto the new season – we work with them.

Q You also mix colour combinations like the sleek black dresses with the neon zips that just pop…

A. The neon is funny because you can’t really see the full effect of the colour in the studio, the fluorescence, but then under the lights you get the amazing pop. That said – we love zips – Just zip mad!

Q Who Haven’t you yet dressed who you would love to dress?

A. Blake Lively from Gossip Girl – would love to dress her…and maybe Charlize Theron…

Q I was thinking Kate Middleton would look great in some of your more demure pencil skirt designs?

A Yes, would love to dress Kate Middleton. The designs would need to be demure, longer or 3/4 sleeves, but one of our designs, the Cella does make me think of Kate.

The Cella dress

Q One of your points of difference is your couture service, tell me a little bit about that.

A The couture service is really how we got started, we done this since day 1. If you can build up a customer base, then customers will keep coming back for maybe 2/3 dresses each season. We are hoping to develop this sort of atelier service through Harvey Nichols through the personal shopping option. You will be able to come into the store, have your measurements taken for the dress you choose and then the dresses should be with the customer in a 7-8 day turnaround.

Q The new (resort) collection is amazing, what was the influence behind it?

A Roman Holiday, the Audrey Hepburn film from the 1950s. We imagined the heroine, this Italian Princess travelling around incognito, unidentified. That is why all the dresses have Italian style names. There are lots of references to 1950s style – we were imagining this princess rushing around the city.

Q And finally…You’ve dressed Dannii Minogue, Kelly Rowland, and just last week Tulisa, a lot of the X Factor ladies. Are you a fan of the series?

A Love it! We do a lot of socialising on Thursdays and Fridays, so Saturday night is the night in. We chill out and watch X Factor!

Q…and a winner?

A James Arthur, we really like James Arthur.

With huge thanks to Philip Armstrong and Tony Burke Armstrong, and Harvey Nichols, Birmingham.

 

X Factor Fash Off Week 6

The latest edition of X Factor proved to be the battle of the boybands, with Union J proving the victor. On the fashion front, the honours were pretty much even again, with Tulisa the clear winner on Saturday night, and Nicole looking wonderful during the live results show.

Saturday saw Tulisa go all Downton Abbey on us with a stunning Art Deco style beaded dress from Alice Temperley. This was a column dress that had previously been worn by Shirley Bassey, but it was a classically beautiful look that gave Tulisa an elegance that she rarely exhibits. She chose an interesting hairstyle with this dress that also had a Lady Mary feel, pinned underneath it gave the impression of a triangular bob. I prefer her long locks, but full marks for experimentation, and overall I thought that the younger lady looked simply divine.

Nicole went all androgynous in a white trouser suit by Jean Pierre Braganza. Now this look is iconic and has been worn with immense style by the likes of Angelina Jolie, but on Nicole it just didn’t appeal. I think it was all the layers – the shirt, what looked like a waistcoat and then the Tux. Maybe if she had just worn the tuxedo Bianca Jagger style, this would’ve worked, but the trousers also seemed a little on the large size for the svelte Miss Scherzinger, so maybe not.

Vero Moda LULIX - Blazer - white £45 click to visit Zalando

 

White Lux Twill Slouch Blazer £24.99 click to visit New Look

Somerset by Alice Temperley Mesh Beaded Long Dress, Black £299 click to visit John Lewis

Untold Beaded maxi dress £144 click to visit House of Fraser

Petra Lace Beaded Maxi Dress £300.00 click to visit Phase Eight

 

Sunday results show

You really can’t beat a bit of McQueen, and the vintage McQueen gown worn by Nicole on the Sunday results show was super stunning, if not a little beachy. I seem to recall a pregnant Angelina Jolie (yes, again!) wearing a green version of this dress when she was pregnant, but the soft grey was a really great colour for Nicole, and with loose hair this was a very romantic look that I just adored.

Tulisa so nearly got it right on Sunday night. The black dress by Forever Unique is beautiful, with stunning embellished detail across the top and back. But this dress is better suited to a nightclub or party than to the X Factor, being a little too short. Also, this dress has already been worn by TOWIE’s Lucy Mecklenburgh and widely photographed, so it was a bit of a faux pas to wear this on prime time television.

KENNETH COLE Safari bandeau maxi dress £52.50 click to visit House of Fraser

Jane Norman Beaded maxi dress £25 click to visit House of Fraser

FOREVER UNIQUE Lisa embellished dress £410.00 click to visit Selfridges

LACE PANEL LEATHER DRESS Price: £120.00 click to visit Warehouse

Layla Long Sleeved Lace Midi Dress £20 click to visit Boohoo

Did you have a preference for a particular outfit this week? Let me know who you think is winning the fashion battle.