Disney on Ice – Let’s Party!

Wednesday saw the premiere night for the latest Disney on Ice Show ‘Let’s Party’, at the Birmingham LG Arena.With my Mickey Mouse crazy son and gorgeous niece in tow, we headed out to the LG Arena to catch the show, and enjoy a very special VIP meeting with the great man and his lovely lady. (I’m talking of Mickey and Minnie of course!)

Disney on Ice shows are always something special, and this one proved to be no exception. The show was a lively mixture of songs and ice dance illustrating all the special celebrations that take place throughout the year, from birthdays, Valentine’s day, holidays and Halloween, right up to a very special celebration of Christmas. There were more Disney Characters than you could dare to name. from the aforementioned Mickey, Minnie and the gang, to all the beautiful Disney Princesses and their respective handsome princes. Also in attendance, more unusually, were a motley group of villainous characters, from the cartoonish Captain Hook, to the downright sinister Jack Skellington.

The show careered through at a frenetic pace, ensuring the young audience never became bored. The hilarious ‘Unbirthday’ sketch involved crashing birthday cakes and the cast of Alice in Wonderland racing around in celebration of Pinocchio’s ‘unbirthday’. The sweet Valentine’s scene proved to be the favourite of my little boy, who just adored Minnie looking for her lost love Mickey, whilst admiring the romance of various Disney heroines, whilst my nine-year old niece was truly impressed with the Halloween sketch, complete with huge cobwebs dropping from the ceiling and Cruella De Ville totally stealing the show.

My own personal favourite sequence was the Christmas scene, if only for the wickedly funny site of a huge pig on skates. With the whole stadium festooned in silver tic-a-tape, twinkling lights and all the characters in exquisite costumes, this was a gorgeous fantasy scene that will stop in the mind for a long time, and proved a wonderful end to what had been a memorable night.

The Cheryl cole style backlash!

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Image by rustyallie via Flickr

There seems to be an amazingly vicious style backlash against Cheryl Cole at present. This week tacky designer Julian MacDonald waded into the row by criticising her clothing choices on the X Factor this series, Cheryl reportedly ran off in tears after the tirade. OnLine fashion sites have also been vitriolic in their abuse, reporting on the return of the hair extensions, the red colour, the orange looking tan and the ice skater style short skirts in detrimental terms.

It is all so different from when Cheryl first emerged as an X factor judge. Cheryl was praised for her warmth and beauty and her style, wearing outfits from Preen and Atelier Versace and shoes from Brian Atwood. Her every outfit was copied in a multitude of ‘steal her style’ articles in almost every fashion magazine. A L’oreal contract and a Vogue cover soon followed, along with a number one single and album. But then the backlash began.

Danni Minogue, her fellow female judge on X Factor, quietly began to steal her fashion thunder by wearing outfits from labels like  J’Aton Couture and a never-ending stream of changing hairstyles. She looked edgy and fashion forward. Cheryl, in comparison, struggled when she wore a dress from up-coming designer David Koma, with the dress being referred to as the hubcap dress, and ridiculed by the press. Her long locks began to seem tame in comparison to Danni’s quiffs, bobs and pony tails, but it was rumoured that her L’oreal contract forbade hair style changes.

This season of the X Factor has seen Cheryl’s style influence seem to reach an all time low. Danni Minogue has worn a steady stream of amazing looking outfits, from Gucci, her own range Project D dresses, and most spectacularly, dresses designed by Cheryl’s former friend, Victoria Beckham. Victoria has tweeted about how wonderful Danni looks in her designs, and this has been a major coup for Danni.Cheryl, on the other hand, faced insults from Simon Cowell himself for looking orange in the first live show. Her endless stream of short, skater style skirts have seen her face the accusation of looking like a Chav, whilst a recent hairstyle was likened to Minnie Mouse ears. When she unveiled her Madame Tussaud’s dummy in yet another short skirt, she showed off more tattoo art on the top of her thigh, which also led to sneers about Cheryl’s chaviness. Louis Walsh waded into the row by saying that Danni Minogue was definitely winning the style battle on this years X Factor.

So why such a backlash now? Maybe part of it is down to the ‘tall poppies’ syndrome. The British do have a peculiar habit of raising people up just to cut them down. Cheryl was feted when she first joined X Factor, whilst Danni Minogue faced the critics insults for being older and less pretty. Now fashionistas and designers have decided champion Danni the underdog, so Cheryl must now face the more hostile press.

But is this unfair?  Cheryl, in the cause of fashion experimentation, is bound to make mistakes. Some of the designs she has worn recently haven’t been the most flattering, however, it is equally true to say that someone has beautiful as Cheryl would look good dressed in a sack! Which then makes me wonder if other issues, such as Gamu-gate, the non-voting fiasco with TreyC and Katie Waissel, and now the Wagner issue are the actual reason for such vicious taunting. If you want to really upset a women, the best way is to criticise her appearance, and this is what the press, fashion critics and almost everyone else is doing at the moment. It is also worth noting that Cheryl was recently judged to the best dressed women by Now magazine, and was voted Glamour best dressed women for the 2nd year running earlier in 2010. When she wore Wolford’s bondage style tights in performing ‘Promise this’ on the X Factor, the tights quickly sold out.

It remains to be seen if Cheryl will turn the tide and again be the nation’s sweetheart. With Rebecca Ferguson. she again has an act capable of winning the X Factor, her most recent single ‘Promise this’ entered the charts at number one, as did her album ‘Messy little raindrops’, so the nation hasn’t completely fallen out of love with the Geordie sweetheart just yet!