80th Birthday Party for Mikhail Gorbachev

Where: Royal Albert Hall
Joanne Black style: Mage leather dress, Chanel bag, Chopard diamonds and Balmain heels


Joanne Black with Veronica Voronina & Mira Anafina

Mr Gorbachev is a man who certainly knows how to celebrate. So it is no surprise that his 80th birthday concert was an evening to remember. When I met him just two years ago, I jokily told him that Irish people and Russians both love to drink – although we prefer whiskey to vodka. It seems I am not alone in my observations – Bono made the same connection, choosing a shot of vodka to toast Mr Gorbachev in his video message.

Hosted by Sharon Stone and Kevin Spacey, the concert was a stylish affair. Ms Stone set the standard with a stunning figure-hugging blush pink Christian Dior gown accessorised with Damiani diamonds. I also spotted Goldie Hawn in the crowd – which featured everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Israeli President Shimon Peres. Hawn looked young and cool in a long black gown with matching scarf. Ukranian-born actress Milla Jovovich deserves a mention for pulling off a funky look with her short lace and silk dress.

From my exclusive box, it wasn’t just the style that caught my attention. I was well-placed to enjoy the real highlight of the evening – which came in the form of Dame Shirley Bassey, who brought the house down by singing her classic James Bond song, Diamonds are Forever.

Oscars 2011: A week in the spotlight

From the red carpet to pre-awards parties, Oscars week is all about style. In the ‘City of Angels’, you’ve got to be well-dressed if you want to impress – and get invites to all the right parties.

There’s nothing like a week of glamorous events to give your wardrobe a workout. Here’s what I packed for my stay at the Beverley Hills Hotel:


Joanne Black and Olivia Cole @ Soho House

Balmain dress: I wore this with Sergio Rossi heels at the Soho House Grey Goose party. It was a real crowd pleaser – and conversation starter with a few celebs – and made a great addition to the suitcase.
Lanvin jumpsuit: This number kept me warm when it started to rain on the way to the Kevin Spacey Foundation event. With my Christian Louboutin heels and YSL accessories, I was all dressed up and ready to talk to the man himself.
Jitrois leather dress: Faced with a room full of leading ladies at the Charles Finch and Chanel party, I knew I had to pull out all the stops. Wolford tights, my Louboutin heels, Stephen Webster earrings and a hint of Chanel helped me complete the look.
Lanvin gown: No trip to Elton John’s viewing party would be complete without a fabulous gown, which I wore with my Prada fur, Chopard diamonds, YSL heels and a Sergio Rossi clutch.
Extras: I even found time to add a few new accessories, popping into vintage shop Decades for some fab earrings and the Chanel boutique on Rodeo Drive for a pair of stunning gloves – with that famous chain detail.
Chucs bikini: a must for all those morning after pool sessions.

With nights spent living out my A-list fantasies and days spent relaxing poolside, there were more than a few highlights from this week with the stars. To celebrate, here are my Style Academy Awards:

Best dressed man: Ok, so I’ve narrowed it down to a shortlist. First up is Jon Hamm who looks great even when he’s not playing Don Draper! I liked his beige suit and jade green shirt look when I caught up with him at the Grey Goose party. He said he’d just been at an Irish party and had discovered the expressed ‘cead mile failte’, which means a hundred thousand welcomes. Also worth a mention is Piers Morgan (looking sharp in a black suit, white shirt and blue tie) and Gerard Butler, who looked every inch the movie star in a grey suit, white unbuttoned shirt and black cashmere coat at the Weinstein pre-Oscars party.


Joanne Black and Olivia Cole at the Elton John Party

Best dressed woman: It’s another list! Olivia Cole looked cool in a Temperley number with a Paul & Joe blazer at Soho House and Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz showed everyone what a great personal trainer can do – Lopez was sporting a LBD that complemented her shapely pins and Diaz gave us all a treat by stepping into a mini dress. I also think Hayden Panettiere dazzled at Elton’s party in a long white gown with built in gold top.
Best celebrity spot: Too many to mention really, but highlights include having lunch sitting on the table next to designer Valentino and spotting Leonardo DiCaprio (hiding under a baseball cap), Serena Williams (wearing a short grey leather jacket over a tennis-style mini dress) and Helen Mirren (in a fitted top and yellow skirt) at Soho House.
Best use of sparkle: And the winner is… Heidi Klum. In glittery shoes and a Julien Macdonald gown, she sparkled on that red carpet.
Best red carpet look: Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz deserve the title in this category. Both leading ladies opted for colourful, figure-hugging numbers that accentuated their stunning body shapes. Johansson wore a backless purple lace Dolce & Gabbana  dress and Cruz stepped out in true star style in a red sequinned L’Wren Scott dress, which she accessorised with Jimmy Choo and Chopard jewels.
Best use of Chanel (at the Chanel party): With a room full of ladies dressed in Chanel – everyone from Cate Blanchett to Uma Thurman – it was hard to pick a winner. I have to single out Naomi Watts though for her short cream skirt, see through top and soft pink bolero-style jacket, which she paired with cool ankle boots.
Best celeb chat: It’s got to be Kevin Spacey! We talked about his recent trip to Dublin and all the hot spots he visited.
Best sexy number: Sharon Stone kept it simple in a black Dior dress and really let her stunning looks do the talking.

Phew! After all that style, I need a rest.

The Chopard Party Cannes Film Festival

Where: The Baoli Restaurant


Joanne Black and friend Maria indulge in a night of diamonds and dresses

Cannes’ biggest party brought a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘on the rocks’. Accessorising with some of jeweller Chopard’s fabulous gems – which I managed to try on earlier in the day – Hilary Swank, Peaches Geldolf, Gwyneth Paltrow and Christina Ricci were among those dazzling onlookers.

This was a party about diamonds and dresses – one that showed just how powerful accessories can be. I did my bit with some Prada earrings, a Diabless sequined black dress – worn back to front – YLS Tribune heels and a Sergio Rossi clutch, but it was Hilary who stole the show, wearing a metallic grey strapless Armani Privé gown with her Chopard jewels.