This weekend brought with it the glorious excitement that is the X Factor battle. No, we’re not talking about the contestants’ sing-off, silly! We mean the head-to-head clash, nay, the frock-on-frock TOURNAMENT that is Cheryl Cole vs Dannii Minogue. Dannii won our vote last week but who was the most stylistically victorious this time? Drum roll, please...
Oh, wow. There’s no contest, right? Let’s take Cheryl for starters. When, this time last week, Grazia Daily beseeched the dimpled popstrel to ‘bring it’, we were not expecting this. And by ‘this’, we mean a reserved jumpsuit from Azzaro’s A/W ’10 collection, accented with little more than Miu Miu Mary Jane’s. With the large bow on the pleated bust, that draped effect and those harem trousers, the all-in-one was always going to be tricky to pull off, and the jury’s still out on whether Chez nailed it... Although, on the plus side, it is nice to see her in something other than a thigh-skimming dress, so every cloud.
Meanwhile, Dannii oozed full-blown elegance thanks to the powers of Victoria Beckham. Doesn’t she look simply divine, gliding onto the stage swathed in the fluid sheath? Once again, she’s stolen Cheryl’s thunder and, quite frankly, we reckon the Aussie’s just propelled herself into fashion hero territory. Bravo!
Of course, VB sported the very same asymmetric confection from her A/W ’10 line for the Oscars back in March and was clearly delighted to see the judge trotting it out again, taking to Twitter to declare, 'Dannii Minogue looked so beautiful in Victoria Beckham last night'. What a coup! And after Nicole Scherzinger’s sartorial success in Vic’s svelte silhouettes at the auditions, we wonder whether Cheryl is regretting saying she ‘would never wear any of her dresses’ because they’re ‘for older women’. Woopsie.
Moving swiftly onto part 2 when the girls battled it out in black velvet and Chezza fared much better (phewf!). Dannii was back in British, working this super-sophisticated Antonio Berardi frock with a sheer blouse (a tad musty fusty? we’re undecided), and Cheryl returned to her fun, flirty side with a satin Versus mini dress. Grazia Daily adores the look – from that peephole neckline to the sexy bustier leading to a bouncy pleated skirt – until we reach the ankles where we find the same Valentino sandals she was wearing last week. Because when compared with Dannii’s flattering nude Brian Atwood stilettos, all those bows make her legs look, well, stumpy. Oh darn it, Chez.
Oh, and if you’re getting dress déjà vu, that’s because the Geordie darling wore a vibrant red version earlier in the X Factor process, which is from the same A/W ’10 collection designed by Christopher Kane, remember? Well, if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? Which brings us onto our final point: er, why all the black, love? As Henry Holland perceptively noted, Cheryl has worn a LOT of noir for the live shows thus far. Tut tut. Yes, her new mahogany tresses add a touch of spice to all that monochrome, especially now that the orange glow has been scrubbed off, but the nation needs colour! Please!
So Grazia Daily has had our say (ok, rant) and now we wait to see who you, dear readers, deem to be the fash-off frontrunner for Week 2. Consider us on the edges of our seats…
by Jessica Vince