Strictly Come Dancing Live Wows the Crowds in Birmingham

I can honestly not think of a better way to spend a rather cold afternoon, than enjoying the endless delights of Strictly Come Dancing, performed live on it’s arena tour. For sheer glamour, fun and family entertainment, it is hard to beat, as a packed house at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena discovered yesterday.

Presented by the lovely Zoe Ball, and with a new judging panel that now included 2008 champions Camilla Dallerup and Tom Chambers (swoon and double swoon – read my previous post to find out why), the live show combines the best of the television series – the most accomplished dancers (in this case reigning champion Caroline Flack, the returning Rachel Stevens and Simon Webbe), the surprise packages (Mark Wright, Thom Evans and local favourite Alison Hammond), and those who never quite got it (poor old Scott Mills). All these elements go to make superb family fun, with memorable moments that never stop coming.

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The standout dance of the afternoon was the Argentine Tango, a sensuous, mysterious dance performed by Simon Webbe and his partner Kristina Rihanoff that totally raised the roof of the Barclaycard Arena, and had the audience jumping to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation. Also popular was Caroline’s American Smooth, performed with new partner Tristan MacManus, and Mark Wright’s two dances, which had the female members of the audience swooning.

Caroline

Alison Hammond gave the show a sassy, disco edge and finally passed the fabled ‘7’ score when she was awarded a nine by the always charming Tom, whilst Rachel Stevens mesmorised with two dances that totally belied the fact she had only 6 days to learn them after stepping in for Frankie Bridge. Thom Evans showed why it was disappointing that he left the show so early – his ‘On the Town’ routine was another highpoint, and his partnership with Iveta showed real chemistry.

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And then there was Scott Mills, not a dancer by any measure, but totally entertaining, particular when he made his entrance dressed as a crab. His banter with Craig Revel Horward was another entertaining strand to an afternoon full of them. (I loved it when he asked Craig if he was ever happy, and then told him to try telling his face.)

Strictly is the epitome of clean, wholesome family fun, and the live show is totally entertaining from start to finish. The finale, which included the whole ensemble and judges performing, is like a 1930s musical coming to wonderful life.  I couldn’t recommend it enough.

For information on venues and tickets, click here.

 

celeb style special featuring Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie and Tulisa

A damp and rather dull friday is about to be livened up with a blast of cool celebrity style. From skinny jeans and combat jackets, to full blown evening glamour, these ladies know how to work their signature looks to perfection.

This is an edition of ‘get the look’ that gives you the opportunity to steal some actual celebrity style, as well as showcasing some pieces that will give you a celebrity sheen without the celebrity price tag.

Look 1 – Mollie King

 

I must admit, when The Saturday’s first emerged I thought Mollie was a Sienna Miller lookalike who was also keen on stealing that boho chic look – a style I was so fed up with. Fast forward a few years and it seems Mollie has really discovered her own niche, lots of classic pieces, often in neutral colours, with a little High fashion thrown into the mix.

Boohoo.com have come up with this stunning look based on one of Mollie’s recent looks. I have to say – How beautiful is that blouse? I think it is an unbelievably pretty and such a complete bargain for just £15! You could see the Duchess of Cambridge wearing something very similar with her love of pastels and and delicate lace.

Mia Wallpaper Print Skinny Jeans £18 click to visit Boohoo

Anna Crochet Detail Ruffle Neck Shirt £15 click to visit Boohoo

 

Foxy Tan Platform Heels £35 click to visit Boohoo

Look 2 – Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is showbiz marmite – you either love her or hate her. Whilst I tend towards the later, I must admit she has a superb sense of style, particularly in how to showcase those curves to their best advantage. Just look at how incredible she looks in this red peplum effect strapless dress. I love the demure length and that vibrant colour, a colour which I think looks fab on all skintones and hair colours. And with the festive season upon us sooner than we think, this version of the dress from Boohoo should be top of the shopping list.

Susannah Sweetheart Peplum Dress £20 click to visit Boohoo

Ayana Suedette Studded Toe Heel £35 click to visit Boohoo

Ella Collar £10 click to visit Boohoo

Look 3 – Tulisa

Tulisa is a well known fan of designer labels like Olivia Rubin and Vivienne Westwood, but it’s great to see that she still supports the High Street and online budget fashion too. This is a great party dress from Missguided that I think has that celestial feel of Christopher Kane and Peter Pilotto, but with a bargain price point. Tulisa looked great in this dress, and I think it would make a great look for a Saturday night out.

Leather & Galaxy Skater Dress Black £28.99 click to visit Missguided

Look 4 – Caroline Flack

Missguided is also a must visit destination for off duty looks too. Caroline Flack gives a lesson in festival dressing in this Noemie combat style jacket. I love this as a cool cover-up for the summer, but think this would be great for college or even the school run, teamed with jeans and a chunky knit. Definitely a useful addition to your wardrobe.

Noemie Khaki Army Jacket Khaki £29.99 click to visit Missguided

Look 5 – Angelina Jolie

Last, but not least, a real showstopper of a red carpet look that stunned at The Golden Globe awards and is now available in a very special dress from Coast. Angelina Jolie just wowed in this gorgeous cream and red dress that screamed old school , Hollywood glamour, and now Coast have created their own version, which is equally amazing.

angelica maxi dress £220 click to visit Coast

 

Friday celebrity style special

A new month has started, a new season has begun, and the celebs are still pulling out all the stops to make sure they look fabulous at all times.  From reality TV stars to television presenters, there are some seriously stylish looks on display, from well known High Street names and online treasure troves. In addition, there are also some new season designer looks that can you get for a fraction of the cost by shopping thriftily for High street versions.

Here are a few looks that have impressed lately.

Caroline Flack wears Dahlia on the Xtra Factor

The superb Maisy pinafore from Dahlia looks great on Caroline, a real departure from her ever present shorts. She teams it with a short sleeved shirt for her look, but this will be great with longer sleeves and thick, brightly coloured tights come the colder days.

Navy Pinafore Dress with Bow Detail Style name: Maisy Price: £65.00 click to visit Dahlia

Una Healy wears AX Paris

Una is swiftly turning into the Queen of High Street dresses, and her is another one to add to her collection. This bright floral print with peplum is a really pretty number that you can now get in the sale for just £19.99 – half the original price.

Tropical Printesd Sleeveless Peplum Dress

Kate Bosworth style

Kate rocked this Burberry Prorsum Owl sweater to great effect earlier this year. Owls are a huge fashion story for Autumn, and you can get this look for a bargainous £35 from Wallis. Wear this with your skinnies and biker style boots for a fabulous cosy outfit this winter.

 

Stone Owl Sweater

Lydia Bright in Miss Selfridge

Lydia continues her love affair with Miss Selfridge in this fabulous two piece that has the feel of Miu Miu print. If you are not brave enough to wear the knicker style shorts, add a pencil skirt for a smart work wear look.

Lace Detail Jacket

 

All Over Lace Knicker Short

Another Towie star who has paid a visit to Miss Selfridge is Lucy Mecklenburgh. She chose a beautiful embellished shirt in  a nude/pink shade and teamed it with skinny jeans. I think this blouse is a real investment piece – part country and western, part Downton Abbey, and it looks super stylish when wore simply with jeans.

Cream Embellished Shirt

Pippa Middleton

Pippa made an appearance at the US open in a fabulous yellow lace dress from Phase Eight. You can also get a similar design from House of Fraser for just £26!

Vivi Boutique Lace dress