Heidi.jpgThis is my second post in a row about Victoria Beckham, which I suppose is a testament to how impressive I'm finding her recently. Not so long ago Mrs Beckham just seemed to be another of the breed of celebrities that are famous for being out and about and not doing much. But as I flipped through the pages of my trusty HELLO! mag in the past month, I couldn't help but notice just how many high profile ladies are getting about town in her latest collection of designer dresses.

 

I'm sure you've seen at least a few by now, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Katherine Jenkins and Dannii Minogue just to name a few. It seems that Mrs Beckham's fledgling design ambitions, which I've so often read her talk about, have really come to life.

 

What I like about the dresses is that they are figure-flattering whilst looking surprisingly comfortable to wear. It must be noted that I've not actually tried one on, but you can see from the structured look of the dresses in pictures that they seem comfortable and stylish at the same time.

 

 

I've now seen her latest collection adorn a wide variety of celebrity physiques and look unanimously fabulous. Although celebrity figures tend to vary little from the itsy-bitsy variety, the dresses have been worn by a sufficient variety of figures to show off their versatility.

 

Take Dannii Minogue, for instance. Neither of the Minogues are known for their stature, but this black bandeau dress elongates the body beautifully, is elegantly simple in design, with the sequined waist adding a touch of glamour.

 

Dannii.jpgThe 'Deep V' sheath, worn by Heidi Klum, is another example. Granted, anything worn by Heidi Klum would look good, but you can see by the cut of the dress it would flatter many figures by sucking in any wobbly bits and boosting the bust. Add a pair of high heels and you're away.

 

Katherine Jenkins, who would have a larger bust than your average reed-thin model like Heidi, also looked a knock-out in a Posh number which defined her curves to perfection.

 

It appears that Mrs Beckham has studied the female form closely, which has made her stylish and slightly retro dresses such a hit with a host of other beautiful women in the spotlight. I will certainly be keeping my eyes peels for further celebs spotted in her designs.

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VB2.jpgVictoria Beckham 's star could finally be on the rise in the US, with the recent announcement she has been included on the judging panel for the latest American Idol series.

 

It appears that Vic will start off as a cameo judge, however with the recent announcement of Paula Abdul's departure could not have come at a better time. Who knows, perhaps her long-standing friendship with Simon Cowell will see her become a permanent judge.

 

Victoria's career has been up and down over the years, but I must say I've always admired her ability to reinvent herself and remain in the spotlight. Looking back all those years ago to the Spice Girls era, I think most of us would have had her pegged as the Spice least likely to succeed.

 

Not as outspoken as Geri, not as cute as Emma and without the voice of Mel C, she seemed destined to be a wallflower. It goes to show how far sheer determination can get you. Determined not to be outshone, she is now more famous than the other four Spices put together, and not even her superstar husband can eclipse her.

 

It's always amazed me that Victoria manages the press coverage she gets in America, despite the fact that people there aren't really sure what she does. It's her completely idiosyncratic style that makes sure she never goes unnoticed.

 

Not that she has ever been idle, indeed Victoria has had so many careers I find it difficult to remember them all: solo performer, fashion muse for Dolce & Gabbana and Cavalli, fashion designer, perfume creator... you get the idea.

 

She has been successful in each and has established herself as a savvy marketer of her own brand. What's more, Victoria seems to be one of the few celebrities that genuinely enjoys staying in the public eye.

 

Given her undoubted talent for marketing and celebrity, I think Victoria is a perfect choice for an Idol judge. Her chameleon-like ability to reinvent herself and keep herself fresh after more than ten years in the public eye is something all fame aspirants can learn from.

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HP3.jpgIt's going to be a big week in film as the excitement over the latest Harry Potter installment hits fever pitch. I'm a big fan of the books, and have even gone so far as to re-read The Half Blood Prince, incidentally my favourite book of the series, in anticipation of the film. JK Rowling is a real imaginative genius in my book, and her engrossing narrative style draws me in every time.

 

So needless to say I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl to see the new film this week. Harry Potter films always look great, with their slick sets and a cast made up of British acting icons, however I must admit one of my pleasures is seeing how much the younger cast have changed since the last film. I recently caught a re-run of the first film on TV the other night (a sure sign of impending Potter-mania) and felt like I was meeting again with long lost nephews and niece. Daniel, Rupert and Emma looked so adorable three feet shorter, with untidy hair and little fat cheeks. Sure the stilted acting left a little to be desired, but the kids were just so darn cute it didn't really matter.

 

Burberry.jpg The later films have since become slicker and darker, and now the leading trio has well and truly grown up. Daniel and Rupert have flexed their acting muscle in other projects (who can forget Daniel's full monty performance in the play Equus? Talk about setting hearts a flutter). As for Emma, who would have believed the bushy haired, know it all Hermione Granger could ever turn into such a stylish nymph? Her manicured appearances at the London and New York premieres have shown just what a style maven she has become. Despite hints she might give up acting for a university career, her stylish shots for Burberry and Karl Lagerfeld will probably mean she will stay in public view.

 

Thumbnail image for Lagerfeld.jpgBut before we delve further into the trio's future prospects, we have three more Potter films left to enjoy (the final book is being filmed in two parts), starting with this week's offering. I hope you enjoy the three hours of pure magical escapism as much as I know I will. Until next time...

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What a sad week it's been in Hollywood with the premature deaths of both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

 

I'm not of the right generation to appreciate the contemporary impact of Farrah's rise to fame in Charlie's Angel's, but her sun-kissed looks and inimitable seventies style have certainly lived on in the decades since. I will probably remember Farrah most for her enduring love affair with Ryan O'Neal. Their relationship very nearly culminated in a wedding at her deathbed, which is truly one of the most romantic gestures I have heard of in recent memory.

 

As for Michael Jackson, what more can be said. The world is still in mourning for the complicated performer, who was without doubt one of the most iconic talents of my generation. No matter whether you viewed him as a wonder or weirdo, few can doubt Michael's amazing contribution to popular music and culture throughout his whole life. I've been a massive Michael Jackson fan since childhood, and like so many people around the world find his passing unbearably sad.

 

Unfortunately it appears the speculation that surrounded Michael in life will continue after death, as the legal wrangling over custody of his children and his estate looks set to begin. My only hope is that, despite all the ordeals he went through, that Michael was able to enjoy some peace in his life for the few quiet years he had before he died.

 



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Gisele.jpgIt's happy news for Gisele and her new hubby Tom Brady with reports they have a baby on the way. There's no doubt that the genetically blessed tot will want for nothing in the looks department, what with a supermodel mum and a handsome sports hero for a dad. I mean, are these two just the real life embodiment of Barbie and Ken or what!?

 

 

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Little is known of Tom Brady outside of the US (and American football supporter circles), however I think virtually everyone the world over is aware of the international modeling powerhouse that is Gisele. She's probably the world's highest profile model, and has amassed a fortune of several millions during her reign on the catwalks.

 

But I think where Gisele has really proven her metal (and her maternal credentials) is with Tom's young son John, from his previous relationship with Bridget Moynahan (the perfect Natasha from Sex and the City).  Imagine starting out a new relationship with a potential 'Mr Right', only to have his ex-girlfriend announcing in the press that she's pregnant with your boyfriend's child? Hardly the ideal footing to start a relationship, and many a person would not have stuck around to deal with the potentially ugly aftermath of a break up with a pregnancy involved.

 

However, to her credit, Gisele trooped through the crisis, and has accepted little John and treats him if he were her own. Naturally, accepting your husband's child in these circumstances would be difficult for anybody. Delta Goodrem recently spoke about her initial difficulty in accepting Brian McFadden's daughters from his marriage to Kerry Katona and becoming and instant mum, for example. So Gisele's ability to rise above any acrimony and become a loving stepmum is a real testament to her, and has enabled her to demonstrate what a great mother she will be to her own bub.

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Geri.jpg Isn't Geri Halliwell looking fit and fabulous?! After a stylish appearance at the Monaco Grand Prix where she hobnobbed with fellow glitterati, she's now enjoying the Mediterranean sun in Sardinia. With her throughout was her handsome new beau, Henry Beckwith (cousin of Tamara). He's young (seven years Geri's junior at 29), good looking, and well connected... basically, a catch!

 

 

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The loved-up pair have been snapped in a variety of clinches recently, and seem to be having a ball on the party circuit. This may signal an end to the period of patchy relationships Geri has endured, including a broken engagement earlier this year. Although it's clear she's adored being a single mum to her cutie daughter Bluebell, the look on Geri's face in these shots shows just how much she's enjoying the first flush of new love again.

 

I've always had a soft spot for Geri for all her outspokenness and humour, and can only hope this relationship will end in a celebrity wedding with all the trimmings.

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It was one of his mother's favourite cities, so it's little wonder that Prince Harry's first official visit to the city was met with enthusiasm by New Yorkers. What perhaps is surprising, though, is the aplomb with which Harry pulled off his two day solo visit.

 

Fairly or unfairly Harry has been cast in various roles over the past few years. There's 'party Harry' and 'soldier Harry'. 'Party Harry' we're all familiar with: spilling out of nightclubs at 3am, the extra long 'gap' year and the polo parties. Don't get me wrong, many of us have been there in our early 20s, but Harry's life is one lived in the spotlight. Together with Chelsy Davy, who's also fond of a good night out by all accounts, he formed half of a formidable team on the London social circuit. No crime, but they lacked William and Kate's poise and self restraint. (Can you recall Kate Middleton falling out of a club looking worse for wear? No, me neither).

 

Then, just as some had written Harry off as a party boy with no serious career prospects, he won back respect for surviving the grueling military training course at Sandhurst and completing a military stint in Afghanistan. 'Soldier Harry' was born. There have been flashes of 'party Harry' since, but it seems the tour of duty and the breakdown of his first major relationship with Chelsy Davy has made Harry grow up.

 

 

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Which brings us back to the New York trip. Looking every inch a royal on tour, Harry showed the sense of fun and personality that made his late mother the Princess of Wales so adored and a successful ambassador for the UK. During his two-day visit, Harry squeezed in an impressive number of engagements (including trips to Ground Zero, a disadvantaged children's home, a school and a celebrity polo match - for good measure).

 

All of this activity was aimed at raising money for his children's charity in Lesotho, and is bound to improve Harry's profile. The success of solo trips such as these should also provide him with the training and experience he needs to take his place as a senior royal in the future 'slimmed down' monarchy anticipated by Prince Charles.

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Thumbnail image for Angelina.jpg  I love a good awards ceremony, and there's none better than Cannes film festival. Don't get me wrong, the Oscars and the Golden Globes are still front runners on the awards season watch list, but Cannes has that something that even the Oscars can't match.

Maybe it's the sun and sea, the European glamour mixed with Hollywood royalty, or simply because even the most serious actors and directors appear to have fun at Cannes. How often do you see stars dancing up the red carpet a la Quentin Tarantino and Melanie Laurent? 

It's also one occasion where we get to see Angelina Jolie in colour - rather than the basic blacks and muted tones she favours for most of the US award shows. Like the glorious canary yellow number she wore two years ago to promote Ocean's Thirteen with Brad, or the beautiful jade coloured gown she wore last year whilst heavily pregnant. This year, Angelina channeled Veronica Lake with sleek hair and a leg-revealing Versace dress in dusky pink that draped in all the right places. To my mind these choices beat the lovely but safe black strapless gown she wore to this year's Oscars hands down.

 

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Angelina wasn't the only actress looking gorgeous at Cannes this year, Indian superstar Aishwarya Rai and Spanish actress Elsa Pataky were elegant in long-trained white and black gowns. Their presence certainly injected some international glamour to the event.

However, for me at least, this year's Queen of the Croisette has to be Sharon Stone. Ms Stone looked a million dollars in a long-and-short Balmain gown that showed off her killer legs to perfection. I must admit I wasn't immediately won over by the gown when I first saw it, but it certainly grows on you. Besides, there is no denying how stunning Sharon looked in it, positively defying her 51 years. 

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An honourable mention goes to Rob Pattinson. Yes I know, he didn't wear a gown so technically doesn't qualify, but he's just gorgeous and definitely one to watch. You might like to check out  hellomagazine.com's new Twilight blog for your Rob fix until the latest Twilight installment is released later this year.  

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katie-pete-b.jpgI was surprised when I read about Katie Price and Peter Andre's breakup. Their courtship seemed to be one made in tabloid heaven - especially given that it was carried out in plain view of the I'm a Celebrity cameras. The union seemed a happy one, though.

 

Peter appeared to be bowled over by Katie, and endearingly took to her disabled son Harvey as if he were his own. For her part, Katie seemed to soften in the relationship and began to show a side of herself very different to the out-there "Jordan" persona. After the larger-than-life fairytale wedding, two more kids, a joint album and a reality TV show, the family image the pair created - not to mention their bank balance - seemed rock solid. What could go wrong?

 

No one is really sure yet, although recent reports point to Katie getting close to a man on a night out. Perhaps Peter is acting of out jealousy and the couple will kiss and make up soon. Some friends and family certainly think so.

 

Or is it all an elaborate publicity stunt? A tad cynical perhaps, but the thought is inevitably going to come up given the way the couple have commercialised their life in recent years.

 

Call me an old romantic, but I do think Katie and Peter were (and perhaps still are?) genuinely in love. The devotion they've shown to each other, and Peter towards little Harvey, seems too sincere to be a hoax. No doubt the couple have profited out of their domestic happiness, and have shared - and bared - so much of themselves with the public over the past few years that it's easy to feel like you know them. Indeed some may argue the stress of all this publicity has contributed to the breakdown.

 

As far as I can see Katie and Peter have always been refreshingly honest about their relationship. Their reality TV programme shows them regularly bickering on camera in a way they might if there was no camera around. It makes it difficult not to find them endearing for their honesty, no matter what your opinions are about their lifestyle. Only time will tell if this row will blow over, or if it really spells the end for one of Britain's best known celebrity pairings.

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danish-royal-baby-1b.jpgIt's been a big week for the Danish royal family with the birth of a fifth grandchild (and fourth grandson) for Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik. The yet-to-be named prince was born to the Queen's second son Prince Joachim and his beautiful French-born wife Princess Marie. Following Danish royal tradition, the little boy's name won't be revealed until the christening. However we've now seen gorgeous pictures of the baby nestled peacefully in a grey blanket in the arms of his radiant looking mum.

It has been a whirlwind fairytale for Princess Marie, who less than a year ago was Marie Cavallier, a former executive secretary from Switzerland. Her courtship with Joachim began in 2005 following the prince's split from his ex-wife, the also lovely Princess Alexandra, now Countess of Frederiksborg.

It must have been a difficult time for Joachim, separating from his wife and mother of his two small sons at the same time as his brother Frederick and new wife Mary were enjoying the first flush of married life after their sumptuous wedding.

However Joachim did not take long to bounce back after becoming reacquainted with Marie, whom he'd previously met through mutual friends in Denmark. Pictures began to emerge of the couple enjoying holidays together and looking very much in love. The relationship also appeared to have the blessing of Alexandra from early on, as she was often photographed with the new couple at social events. Most importantly, Marie has been a hit with Joachim's sons Nikolai and Felix. Photos of the princes and Marie on ski holidays together confirmed to onlookers that the relationship was serious.

It wasn't long afterwards that the couple confirmed Denmark would have another royal wedding to look forward to. Joachim and Marie's engagement was announced in October 2007, and seven months later the marriage took place in a beautiful ceremony near Joachim's home, Schackenborg Manor in southern Denmark. The bride looked stunning in a full gown with a tight-fitting lace bodice and sleeves. Although unmistakeably a royal occasion, the wedding differed from that of Frederick and Mary in that it had more of an intimate, family feel.
The Danish princes seem to be attracted to successful career women, who then are transformed seemingly effortlessly into elegant princesses, and Marie is no exception. Since her wedding she has cut a stylish figure at Joachim's side on royal engagements, and has no trouble keeping up with the style standards set by her chic sister-in-law Mary. And now Marie's life has completely changed again, enriched with the joy of a new baby.
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