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Monday, October 31, 2011

Look sharp in a pencil skirt this autumn

nullAll hail the revival of the pencil skirt – an elegant, figure-friendly trend that is banishing micro-minis to the back of wardrobes.

The slim-fitting garment – a time-honoured silhouette created by Christian Dior in the late Forties – dominated on the fashion week runways.

In a celebration of the feminine form, Chloe, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton took a trip down memory lane with various versions of the vintage classic.


And the pencil skirt is a draw with A-listers like Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez too.

The trendy garment provides a solid foundation for Autumn/Winter wardrobes.

It allows women to exude sexiness in a subtle way, and flatters all figures.

The secret's in the shape, which adds curves to boyish frames but also makes the most of an hourglass silhouette by following and contouring the natural form.

But here are some pointers.

This season’s pencil skirt is sexy. To avoid looking too prim, leave the flats at home.

Instead, pair with heels, which will elongate the legs and create a slimmer silhouette.

For a more daring look, slip on a sheer blouse in a neutral colour. Take your cue from J LO (above), who preserved her modesty with oversized chest pockets.

For everyday use, team with something unstructured – try a loose textured piece, a casual, pocketed T-short or a silk vest like Heidi – or add oversized knitwear.

If you need to hide a belly, invest in a good pair of control pants to smooth lumps and bumps. Or try a loose-fitting vest top with a sequinned, waterfall jacket to draw attention away from the problem area. This is a great going out outfit.

For the office, tuck in a tailored sleeveless blouse and top with a sleek cardigan.

To take your pencil skirt into ultra modern territory, choose a shirt in a clashing colour and pair with a bright red lip, a la Emily Blunt.

Mary and Frederik to welcome William and Kate to Denmark

nullSt James's Palace has announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's next public engagement will be a trip to Denmark.

The newlywed couple will visit UNICEF’s emergency supply centre in Copenhagen on November 2 which distributes emergency food and medical supplies to East Africa.

It will be only the second official visit abroad by the couple, following their tour of Canada and the US in July, and will be the Duchess’s first trip to a foreign country specifically to carry out charity work.


William and Kate will be accompanied by Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark. 

The royal couples will seek to maintain global attention on the crisis in East Africa, an area well known to The Duke and Duchess, where the situation is getting worse.

More areas are expected to be declared as ‘in famine’ over the next few months.

Currently some 320,000 children in East Africa are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and are at imminent risk of death without immediate assistance.

Clarence House said: "The Duke and Duchess have been deeply moved over the past few weeks by the desperate plight of hundreds of thousands of seriously ill children in East Africa, a part of the world they know well and which is dear to them.

"Going to Copenhagen to view the supplies heading out to the famine zones was their idea as they are very troubled by the situation.

"The British public have already been very generous, but the royal couple wish to do what they can to help to help maintain global attention on the worsening situation."

Meet Mr June: Zara's buff husband strips off for calendar

nullThis is Mike Tindall as you've never seen him before – oiled, shirtless and looking moodily into the distance as an underwear model.

Zara Phillips' husband shows off his buff physique for a charity calendar in a black and white photo that leaves little to the imagination.

'Mr June' joined some of his England rugby teammates in stripping off for Rugby For Heroes - of which Mike is patron.

The new organisation, which is run by players, aims to raise money for ex-servicemen.

Founder Alan Lamb, whose son Ryan plays for Northampton Saints – said Mike was a bit reluctant the start of the photoshoot.

"Some of the players, frankly, didn’t need an awful lot of persuading but some of them were quite shy and reserved, particularly Tins," he said – referring to Mike.

Joining Mike in peeling off for a good cause were fellow players including Delon Armitage and Tom Croft.

Each player has a short poem dedicated to them next to their photo, describing their attributes.

Mike's reads: "Breaks up the attack, leaves opponents exposed.

"A calming influence, inspiring and composed."

Nancy Dell'Ollio bends over backwards to get some extra practice

nullThe last few weeks of waltzing and whirling have clearly had an effect on her.
Strictly Come Dancing contestant Nancy Dell'Olio looked quite the dancing queen as she twirled around on an evening out.

Her curves encased in slinky red bandage dress, the Italian bombshell took to the floor with jewellery designer, Stephen Webster.


Perhaps the impromptu performance was the result of Nancy’s vow to perfect her Pasodoble.

Because while her glamorous looks are a hit with viewers, the moves don’t always come as naturally to her.

Judge Alesha Dixon summed up her last performance by saying: "In this dance, you were a bit of a rag doll, counting out loud and being thrown about like a rag doll by Anton."

Her comments came on Saturday, after Nancy found herself at the bottom of the leader board for the second week running.

All the latest from Strictly Come Dancing

Princess Mary and Frederik have a 'Strictly' moment

The Strictly Come Dancing crew aren't the only ones who know how to shake their stuff on the dancefloor.
Crown Princess Mary and her husband Prince Frederik showed off their fancy footwork at a ball in New York recently.
Mary's face shone with delight as her husband twirled her round at the chic function in the Hilton Hotel.

The mum-of-four was elegant in a floor length nude-hued gown.
The fun-loving couple were letting their hair down at a gala to celebrate 100 years of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, which promotes good relations between the US and the region.
Joining the popular Danish royals at the event were blue bloods from their neighbouring countries.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden – who also donned a nude gown – was joined by her parents King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia.
King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway were also in attendance.

Recycler Sarah shows thrilling and thrifty go together

Faced with recent financial troubles, the Duchess of York vowed to get the situation back under her control, saying she was "doing everything she can" to avoid bankruptcy.
And recently, the flame-haired royal has also been applying that motto to her wardrobe – proving that thrifty and thrilling go together quite nicely.
Although she looked the picture of elegance as she stepped out in purple at Elton John's annual aids fundraiser on Wednesday, she was actually recycling a tried and tested look.
Her sweeping, floor-length silk trimmed gown had already seen the red carpet treatment when she attended a Children in Crisis charity in 2005.
On Monday, the Duchess also attended a launch party for AllSaints Spitalfields swathed in an affordable and elegant ensemble - all from the High Street outfit.
Her snappy black blazer cost only £250 and was teamed with an even more bank friendly £40 pencil skirt.
No matter what the price tag, the one constant in Sarah's wardrobe is her devotion to her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

She was recently spotted wearing a gold bracelet emblazoned with Eugenie's name spelled out in gems.
The mother-of-two also stepped out clutching a bag with both girls' faces emblazoned on the front.
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