Dannii in Jenny Packham, Cheryl in J. Mendel: It's the FINAL X Factor Fash-Off!

13 December 2010

It’s been a battle like no other - the clash that has captivated a nation, no less - and this weekend, it came to a tremendous climax. Of course, we’re talking about the almighty fash-off between Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue that's caused a frenzy at Grazia HQ every Monday morning. Okay, yeah, Matt Cardle took home the X Factor crown making Ms Minogue the triumphant mentor, but has her fashion marathon earned her the all-important style stripes?

As per tradition, today’s style surveillance begins with Saturday’s offerings. Dannii said earlier in the week, ‘Our job is to do the best for our contestants, but why not make a show of it?’ - and what a show it was! Her burgundy J’Aton Couture gown pretty much sums up the judge’s oeuvre this series – it’s elegant, it has oomph, and it’s straight from Australia (patriotic points again!). There’s a certain flamenco flair to this one too that Grazia Daily, naturally, loves, especially when teamed with that brilliant bouffant and drop earrings from Dannii’s go-to jeweler, Annoushka.

Meanwhile, like a Christmas angel, Cheryl glided into view wearing a floor-sweeping gown and Cartier jewels. This is another delight from Roberto Cavalli, the man who can always be trusted to turn the Geordie lass into a full-on glamour puss (how long before we see Cheryl in a Cavalli campaign, hmm?). The sequinned bodice adds a ton of trademark glitz to the otherwise toga-esque design while that slicked back hair keeps it very of-the-moment.

Speaking of which, you'll be surprised to hear this is not a hot-off-the-runway number for our Chez. In fact, it’s from the designer’s Resort 2009 collection and was previously worn by, er, Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars almost TWO YEARS ago. Bizarre, right? Even more bizarre – remember that similar white gown Cheryl sported last series? Well, Penélope Cruz had already donned that one too, and, get this, it was at THE.VERY.SAME Oscar Awards! Curiouser and curiouser…

We hop onto Sunday’s show when the girls looked like a couple of Christmas crackers, even glossier than the night before. Well, it is The Final after all. So isn’t it fitting that Cheryl wore another ‘X’-inspired design – lest we forget that silver stunner she wore when Alexandra won, or even the criss-cross BodyAmr gown she sported just a few weeks ago? But this one is a true show-stopper. It's by J. Mendel and consists of a striking haltered neckline, unusually waxy fabric, and a dramatic fish-tail hem. Superb! And from the neck up? The rusty palette is complemented by those ruby De Grisogono earrings and her sophisticated up ‘do is the perfect finishing touch. It really was full throttle glamour for the final showdown, wasn't it? What a terrific end piece, Chezzle.

So while Cheryl sported a French design, Dannii championed us Brits with a shimmering frock from the master of flouncey eveningwear, Jenny Packham. How festive is this A/W’10 design, covered from head-to-toe in sequins and sparkling beads, which the Aussie topped off with glistening Annoushka earrings, making her even glowier than ever. So yes, a fine choice for the winning judge who’s managed to wow us in the style stakes each and every week. Bravo - again!

And with that, weekends are our own once more, so just one question remains to wrap up this year’s X Factor fun: WHO should be crowned the Style Queen of the series? That, dear readers, is for you to decide…

- Jessica Vince


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