Monday, 17 October 2011

X Factor Styling 'Not Fabulous'

I'm not sure what is worse the constant ad breaks or the styling on this years X Factor. In some tweets over the weekend others went further and called viewing X Factor as 'soul cancer'. True, X Factor is hardly challenging the brain cells and to say it is pure low brow doesn't quite capture the 'added value' of Saturday night TV which takes us from Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1 to X Factor on ITV.

In these hard times, where spare cash is sparse and then add on babysitter fees and you can forget an evening out. Strictly and X Factor offer pure family entertainment. In our household we have an evening meal all sat down together. Our Saturday supper usually consists of something hearty like lasagne. This Saturday I pushed the boat out and we had a lovely Lamb pilaf with figs, pomegranate and feta. I went for a more lavish home cooked meal as we forgo a bottle of wine. Then we all settled down on the settee. Petit garcon and I snuggled under a throw and my iPad was at the ready for the usual tweet off. There is no doubt twitter makes X Factor more fun and interactive. The views, the tweets are a concoction of hilarity, rudeness and empathy. Those girls from 2 Shoes are still getting the public love via twitter. And of course Mr Gary Barlow has joined in the fun with his outfit tweet timed to perfection prior to the X Factor doors opening on the judges.

Gary Barlow tweet pic

Depending on who you follow your timeline tweets will vary but mine is full of pith and opinions on the styling, hair and make up. Such is the evening banter on the styling that The Telegraph have started a great feature online X Factor fashion: hits and misses

Frankie Cocozza image: The Telegraph

Last year the styling of the contestants was dreadful and this year ...the styling is dreadful. Sometimes it works mainly it doesn't. The reason it gets panned so much is the disconnect between performance and aspiration. Most of us have followed the pre live finals stage and enjoyed the individual look of the hopefuls. Of course some hopefuls are hopeless at styling so having a blank canvas should make it easy. 

What happens is the style team forgets that these people are trying to win a competition and elevate them to performance artists. This year the looks seemed to be based solely on current trends from American singers (I can't bring myself to type the word artist - I just have Kitty in my head emphasising she is 'an artist') or rather American music scene cultural references. Sometimes the make up, hair and costumes are all fighting with each other. Then when the hopeful isn't easy to pigeon hole like poor Sophie Habibis, the style referencing seems to take on a mind of its own. Read Carol Vorderman for Habibis on Saturday and Phoenix Nights for Sami Brooks. What is the brief? Is it to make the contestants a laughing stock? Frankie Cocazza had a little look of his own going on and now it has been exaggerated to Tim Burton proportions, especially his hair. Seriously I truly believe field mice are living in his barnet now!

It is hard being a stylist, too many opinions, the fact it has more or less all been done before to some extent but I am annoyed that a seemingly simple format, ordinary everyday person translates to 'mash up' styling. Surely there is way to blend aspiration and grooming with a bit of show biz glitz that prevents Widow Twanky aka Johnny making an appearence and turning the whole of X Factor into pure style panto.


  1. Two Shoes were totally out because of the pregnancy!

  2. I do think Mischa B looks brilliant! x

  3. The styling is spectucularly awful this year, but then I think it is most years. Even t'husband commented on where Habisis' legs were, how they had made Sami looked twice as big as she is (although I personally think they were going for Peter Kay's Geraldine myself - satire on satire on satire - truely mind blowing), and how weird botox face looked.

    Me, I just wondered why Cocozza's gusset was round his knees.

  4. Pearl - probably true but they could have hidden it for a bit!

    Vix - I keep thinking she looks like a poison dwarf in her outfits!

    Very bored - hahaha!

  5. I agree with you, the styling is awful this year too. And you can tell that the contestants themselves are uncomfortable in their new gear (with the exception of Kitty who'd probably be happy to sing nude). The only thumbs up is lovely Gary Barlow - I've fallen head over heels in love with him! (Not really)

    Helena xx

  6. You are totally spot on, X-factor's fall in ratings is highlighting that this year's shows are just not simply good enough. I used to look forward to the Style moments whether it was Danni or one of the acts but this year all sense and reason has gone out of the window, some of the styling has been ridiculous and what used to be great Saturday night viewing has now become tiresome, boring and don't get me started on the ad breaks!xx

  7. We too spend saturday nights infront of the TV because of the cost of getting a baby sitter. I hadn't even considered following X Factor on Twitter. I just have to laught at the little arguements between the judges, so obvious they are just trying to get people to vote more.

  8. OK you know how I tweeted and said I wasn't going to spend the weekend watching (and I didn't) but then I cheated and watched it last night on the repeat ITV2 and I was APPALLED at the silver shrug stuck onto Sammi's arms!! Its up there with last years Matt Cardel's yellow trousers. See you at the next sofalizing event Mrs xxx


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