Words: Joanne Wilkinson
It wasn’t so long ago that Chezza was the nation’s sweetheart with the fashion X Factor, and I was one of many who tuned in on a Saturday night to see her win the latest frock-off with Dannii Minogue. While the outfits usually split opinion and the Aussie judge may have won the battle of the brunettes in the end up, for a long time it was Cheryl who stole the show.
Not bad for the one-time wonky toothed girl band member who lived in crops tops, velour pants and trucker hats. And long before L’Oreal came along to tell her she was worth it, Cheryl Tweedy, as she was then known, opted for dreadlocks rather than extensions.
A friendship with queen of the WAGs, Victoria Beckham, and a glamorous Girls Aloud makeover saw Cheryl adopt a polished, pop princess look and it was this girl-next-door transformation that landed her numerous best-dressed accolades. After all, if a lank-haired Geordie with bad teeth and even worse eyebrows can sort out her wardrobe, there’s hope for us all, right?
And just when we thought our Cheryl had turned a fashion corner, championing edgy designers like David Koma, Phillip Lim and Richard Nicoll, she had to go and spoil it all with a series of sack-the-stylist outfits that have left long-time admirers perplexed. Yes, she may have become a brunette Barbie in recent years, but that’s better than the sartorial schizophrenia look she’s got going on these days.
I’m all for a bit of colour clash; no-one looks good in a matchy-matchy oufit, but who can forget Cheryl’s disastrous US X Factor moment when she turned up in a tangerine top and ill-fitting purple trousers, belted together by a hideous aqua belt. It was like someone had told her colour blocking was in and she raided a tin of Quality Street for inspiration. Topped with the bouffant hairdo, it was a look that screamed desperation – she was determined to show those unfriendly Americans that they should be taking her more seriously. Who cares if they can’t understand the accent, style is universal, right? In anyone’s language, this was a fashion fail and Simon Cowell knew it.
The handful of bad outfit choices she made at the start of her eventually doomed US X Factor stint may have been the real reason for Cheryl being dumped for Nicole Scherzinger, who managed to pull off the colour blocking thing just fine. But it’s been all downhill from there and we’ve watched Cheryl go from bombshell to bombscare within the space of a year.
Crop tops may be having a style moment again but Cheryl’s insisting on wearing hers with harem pants. In neon colours. With high tops. When we said the ‘90s were making a comeback, pretty sure no-one envisaged MC Hammer would emerge as a style icon for nostalgia. Then, undeterred by her previous sweet-inspired style slip-up, Cheryl inexplicably decided to step out in a matching black and white striped top and jeans combo, a la Bertie Bassett. Though her face should’ve matched the colour of the fictional confectionary character’s, she chose instead to wear a jacket in that fetching shade of sugary pink. There are no words for that outfit – honestly Cheryl, we know you’re a Geordie, we know that Newcastle United play in these stripes, but there’s no need to metamorphose into an actual magpie. We get the point love.
Cheryl’s descent into the depths of the fashion doldrums has come at a time when her former X Factor mini-me, Cher Lloyd, has become an almost overnight success in America. From appearing at New York fashion week to attending super-cool Teen Vogue parties, Cher’s making an impression where Cheryl failed. The little wannabe still isn’t too far removed from the style of her original mentor, but she’s doing it better, it would seem.
That’s the problem with Cheryl’s wardrobe at the moment – she either has to clean up her closet entirely to appeal to fans of her own age group again or she has to hire a ten years younger stylist that can help her pull off the urban street style she’s trying way too hard to achieve.
With her anti-fashion icons’ style shot down in flames, we bid farewell to our first guest blogger Joanne. You can keep up with her blog at Myblondeambition.com, or if you fancy your chances as our next guest blogger email [email protected] for more information.
Read the rest of Joanne’s guest posts here