Friday, 4 November 2011

Review: My Style by Dannii Minogue

"I'm not perfect when it comes to fashion and I never have been, but I feel I am starting to hit my stride" - Dannii Minogue


Dannii Minogue has been working longer then I've been alive, so I've grown up with her on the radio, seeing her face on TV and in magazines. I've always been fascinated by her style - all the way from her experimental early pop days, her goth 'bad girl' Home & Away look, her sex kitten disco girl era, to today's pretty and polished glam.

She always wears her clothes, not the other way round; that's something that I aspire to, but never seem able to pull off. So the chance to learn about where it all started and how she achieves it was something I couldn't resist, even though I would never class myself as trendy or as someone who is otherwise really into fashion - I'm mainly just nosey and wanted to see the contents of her wardrobe...

MY STYLE opens with a brief intro from Kylie Minogue [four pages of nothing in all honesty] and then it is split into eight main sections, and each section is split into further breakdowns.

The main sections to MY STYLE are:

My Love Affair With Fashion
How Dannii went from directly being told what to wear, to using stylists, then finally becoming confident in choosing her own clothes.

Love My Style Icons
A look at the women Dannii uses for fashion inspiration, why she picked them and what to look for when choosing fashion icons to inspire you.

I Love Dressing Up
Red-carpet events - or special occasion wear to us mere mortals. There's also a section where she decodes dress wear on invitations.

Day By Day
What to wear for every other day. This section also includes sections on underwear and maternity wear.

Love My Label
Why and how Dannii started her own fashion label [Project D], with her friend Tabitha Somerset-Webb.

Love The Lot
All about accessories and caring for them.

I Love Getting Organised
Storage, how to sort your wardrobe and how to/what to pack for travelling.

Loving Who You Are
Dannii's favourite make-up and exorcise routines for enhancing health and confidence.

At the end of the book there is a 'Where To Find' guide, listing various shops and websites, for those of you that are interested in emulating the 'Dannii Minogue look'.

Maybe MY STYLE doesn't contain any groundbreaking information or advice, but I like Dannii's writing style as she makes the tips and stories personal; it feels like your chatting with her, rather then reading a book. I'm going to sound a bit dippy, but this all allows the information to 'flow' naturally, without her coming across as pretentious or patronising, just simply friendly.

There are tips scattered throughout the book for readers to take away; ranging from exploring the best styles of T-shirts and jeans for your body shape, to various tips for brides to be. Some of the advise is common sense or stuff you may have heard before, but that is stuff that was new to me, that is both affordable and easy to try. For example; I didn't know that draping a scarf helps elongate and slim your frame - so now whenever I go shopping I find myself heading towards the displays of scarves. I'm all about them now.

The advise and tips don't just come from Dannii either; for example her hairdresser [yes, he worked with her on X Factor] lists the products that he uses most often on her hair and Dannii bumped into Miss J Alexander at a event and has now passed along some of the tips he gave her for posing for photos. These additional sources really help to stop the advice from becoming a cold, clinical laundry list of what to and what not to do.

I'm going on holiday in less then two weeks, so something that I'm going to come back to and follow is the section on travel; namely the part on how to fold your clothes to pack into a suitcase for the fewest creases [it isn't rolls if you were wondering] , and then how to pack them into the case in such a way that you won't need to wrinkle everything up as you rummage around the case whilst looking for a certain thing. So simple, yet I wouldn't have thought of it myself.

Another thing that I loved and deserves a mention is how the section on make-up included brand and shade names - I've noticed that when you read an article on 'how to get' a particular celebrity look in various magazines that they just generalise, by either saying "a medium brown eyeshadow", or by listing something that turns out to be a colour mismatch by a company that is sponsoring them.

I really enjoyed reading about the start of her fashion label Project D - did you know it remains a private company between Dannii and her best friend? They do it all, both on the creative and business sides. I find it all very impressive, especially considering how they've successfully expanded into perfumery [they've just launched scented candles too] and have even collaborated with Boots to produce limited gift sets this year too. I know that this is actually Dannii's third clothing label, so I would have liked to learn about the earlier ones - but they must just been her name on the labels or something, as she doesn't mention them.

I was hoping that the book would be illustrated and have an attractive layout and I was pleased to be right. As well as professional portraits, magazine portraits, promotional shots and paparazzi snaps, there are plenty of personal photos of Dannii, her sister and her close friends. She doesn't just stick to 'pretty' shots; there are pap shots of her without makeup, 80's and early 90s promotional shots and she's also included what she thinks of as her biggest hair mishap [a wash out red hair dye that didn't wash back out].

In addition to that the blocks of text are broken up a bit with various tips and inspirational quotes so you can make sure that you have taken the information in fully before moving on. I've been very busy for the past few weeks, so can confirm that the book's layout also makes the book easy to get back into if you have to put it down for a bit.

The one section in MY STYLE that I don't think I'll ever read again is the advise for sorting out my wardrobe. Maybe it's just me, but is it really so difficult to do? I certainly don't need to get my friends to help me or to read up on how to do it. She doesn't seem to realise that a lot of us wear uniforms for five days, so don't necessarily have bulging wardrobes for our limited leisure time.

And, whilst it wasn't a problem for me, I imagine that most people who buy MY STYLE will want to use it as a actual style guide for achieving Dannii's clothing style - this is where it loses a star. Bluntly put, Dannii has millions in the bank and her taste in clothes reflects that. So whilst she does show a few affordable bits from Topshop, Marks and Spenser and Lola Rose, the majority of brand names on her clothes are well beyond the reach of the average person on the street.

She also helpfully mentions that hat boxes are great for the decor of walk-in wardrobes... We're not all like Cher in Clueless, Dannii love.

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£19.99 [hardback]

MY STYLE is only £10.39 for the hardback and £12.99 for the Kindle edition on Amazon.

There is a £13.99 enhanced ebook version on Itunes, that comes with two videos [a short film of Dannii in her various book guises and a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoots for the new portraits in the book].

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