When I think about celebrities with kids, I always imagine they’ve got a village of helpers: people to do the wiping, the feeding, the waking up in the middle of the night, and someone to style them in child-friendly outfits that still allow them to maintain their glittering image.
Yet, after my chat with Dannii Minogue, it’s clear that once we become mothers we all face the same fashion dilemmas, body challenges and sometimes-ridiculous style situations.
Global celebrity and multi-tasking mama Dannii Minogue
A lot of us grew up with Dannii. We watched her on Young Talent Time – Dannii in the studio wearing bright sequined costumes, us at home in our flannelette Holly Hobby PJs. We danced our tushies off on sweaty night-club dancefloors to her thump-a-licious techno-pop and sexy dance tracks. And while we dated tradies, traders, and shaggy men in suits in our search for love, we’ve also witnessed Dannii’s own search in the tabloids, splashing around in a spectacular gene pool of male models, race car drivers, and Hollywood actors.
And we’re still growing up with Dannii in this special, challenging, messy, magnificent, perplexing, tiring and inspiring period of our lives called motherhood. But now it doesn’t feel like our lives are as different as before.”
Dannii and I first crossed paths when we contributed to OCRF White Shirt Day to raise awareness and funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. She shared her celebrity name and designed a spunky shirt, I shared the story about my spunky mum, and how Ovarian Cancer affected her and my family. I nearly spat out my Cornflakes one morning when I woke up to this tweet from Dannii – who discovered Fox in Flats through that campaign – and over the next few months we shared a couple more tweets.
Then one night after my boys were tucked in bed, and I was feeling courageous, I tapped out a message to Dannii asking if she’d be up for doing an interview for the blog, and within hours she’d given the big thumbs up. This time I really did spit out my Cornflakes – the interview was well and truly on like Donkey Kong!
In the first of a two-part series, Dannii Minogue talks candidly with Fox in Flats about her style secrets and challenges, and breastfeeding back stage at The X Factor – we’re dubbing it ‘The Minogue Mothers’ Group’.
DANNII’S STYLE AS A MOTHER
Fox in Flats: Describe your style when you’re with Ethan.
I try to choose clothing that can be puked or dribbled on – where I won’t have a mini heart attack – “Not the VALENTINOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
I love my clothes and have some items I would rather keep in the same condition, so they have gone to the back of the wardrobe during the baby-toddler stage.
Fox in Flats: How has your style changed compared to before you had a child?
Dannii Minogue: I love an accessory and it was hard not to be able to wear earrings for the best part of Ethan’s first year. Tiny little hands can snatch an earring and pull your earlobe off, even when you’re watching them!
The biggest change, though, is wearing flat shoes. I’m only 5’2” and I’ve loved heels pretty much my whole life. I’ve had to work out which flats to wear – and what to wear with them – since becoming a mum. I guess that has pushed my mummy-style towards more rock-edgy than pretty, as heels for day are pretty. I revel in wearing them when I can now.
Fox in Flats: What would you say is the biggest fashion issue you’ve faced since becoming a mum?
Dannii Minogue: Having seconds to get dressed, as everything else takes time.
Gone are the days of staring into the wardrobe and dreaming up outfit combinations – sometimes I just put on what I left folded on my bed!”
Fox in Flats: How have you attempted to overcome it?
Dannii Minogue: I’ve had to simplify my wardrobe. Too much to choose from is not good for a Libran like me. “Should I wear this… or that… or…?”
Fox in Flats: What’s the funniest style situation you’ve found yourself in since you had Ethan?
Dannii Minogue: When I returned to London to judge on The X Factor and Ethan was only four months old, I was running between the studio and my dressing room for four-hourly feeds…
…and let me tell you, when you’re in an evening gown with heels and microphones wired into your dress, doing a quick feed becomes a logistical nightmare!
But it was a beautiful and peaceful time away from the noisy studio, and I wouldn’t have missed a feed with Ethan for anything.
Fox in Flats: Complete this sentence: My favourite thing to wear when I’m with Ethan is…
Dannii Minogue: Pyjamas! I love mornings together, and playtime at night after a nice bath.
Fox in Flats: We surveyed 150 mums, who said their favourite shoes for when they’re with their kids were thongs, casual sneakers, ballet slippers, knee-high boots, and sandals. What’s your favourite type of shoe to wear when you’re with Ethan?
Dannii Minogue: I live in sneakers now, knee-high flat boots for winter and sandals for the hot weather coming up.
Fox in Flats: And is there a particular brand you love?
Dannii Minogue: Holster jellies are great because they come in every colour, are cute and sparkly and are practically indestructible. For any other mothers travelling by plane…even the studded ones don’t set off the security sensors at the airport – I hate taking my shoes off for that and having to walk barefoot – yucky poo!
Dannii at the airport, ready to challenge anyone who asks her to take off her shoes.
ON ‘MUMMY MATCHING’ & MIU MIU
Fox in Flats: Some women like to match or coordinate their outfits with their kids. Do you ever do this with Ethan?
Dannii Minogue: I think one day we both had striped Tees on, but this was a total mistake. I’m not crazy about dressing him up, I just want him to be comfortable and enjoy being a boy.
Fox in Flats: Speaking of sunglasses, I reckon they’re an absolute essential for woman with kids as nothing hides sleep-deprived eyes better. What are your favourites at the moment?
Dannii Minogue: I’ve just bought some gorgeous black sunnies from The Row that have leather covered arms. They go with everything and cover all dark circles!
I also have my eye on some outrageous blue glitter Miu Miu ones. I saw them on a website, and I think I hear them calling my name 😉
Fox in Flats: What was your pregnancy style essential?
Dannii Minogue: Scarves, and lots of them! I felt very protective of my bump and it was a good way of shielding it from the long lenses pointed at me. The scarves helped me to have something pretty and colourful on, while the rest of me was in stretch everything!
BABY BUMPS & BODY OBSESSIONS
Fox in Flats: When I was first pregnant I found it weird that my body became a topic of conversation with people like Aaron in Accounts and Simon in Sales (yes, their real names ;)). All of a sudden it’s apparently OK for people to comment on how big you’re getting and the shape of your body – but it freaked me out. And there’s always so much in the press about female celebrities’ bodies – their ‘bangin’-body’, their ‘pregnancy body’, their ‘post-baby body’, their ‘post-baby-bounce-back-body’… it’s relentless! How do you cope with that kind of attention?
Dannii Minogue: It seemed everyone was obsessed about when I would get my pre-baby body back, but it was the last thing on my mind. I was just learning how to be a mum and happy to go with the flow.
Hi to Simon and Aaron by the way – ha ha hilarious!
Fox in Flats: What advice do you have for women who are uncomfortable with the new-found attention their bodies are receiving when pregnant?
Cross the road if you see me coming ’cause I love to rub a baby bump too. I miss my bump!!!!!!!!
CHANGING SHAPES & DOING WEIGHTS
Fox in Flats: How has your body changed since you’ve had kids?
Dannii Minogue: My body went through a hell of a lot in the space of a year – with its fair share of health challenges. There was no time to feel energetic or do anything for health and fitness, so I’m happy to now start working on it. I lost a LOT of weight when I was sick, so even though I’m not a huge fan of my muffin-top bulging over my jeans, I am quite proud that I’m feeling good again and ready to start working out. I just have to put it into action now!!!!
Fox in Flats: What are your tips for staying fit after having children?
Dannii Minogue: My fitness level at the moment is just from going up and down the stairs, and from carrying Ethan. The weather has picked up, so I’ll probably start with walking, which is my favourite, then add in lots of swimming in the pool when the days are hot.
Fox in Flats: My two boys grew big, fast. And the constant lifting and carrying was exhausting – it’s the equivalent of doing 300 reps a day of a 15kg weight that moves, babbles, and dribbles. I recently saw a photo of you carrying Ethan and it looks like you’re in a similar boat – he’s a strapping boy! Any tips for becoming and staying physically strong enough to cope?
Dannii Minogue: I have a Swiss Ball that I use to stretch over. It’s the quickest way to keep my back from crumbling. I put it in a place that I HAVE to walk past, so that I just do it. All I do is lie back and stretch out the upper back, which tends to ache from lifting my little (big!) boy.
SNACKS, CRAVINGS & EATING AT KIDS’ TIME
Fox in Flats: I read in a magazine that you’ve got an obsession with Salt & Vinegar Chips – which for the record made me crave them, and subsequently scoff my face with them, thanks a lot 😉 Did you have any particular cravings while you were pregnant? Or food aversions?
Dannii Minogue: I’ve loved salt & vinegar chips since I was a child, and they will always be a treat for me. I never loved sugar or sugary items as a child, yet all I craved during my pregnancy was sugar! I ate cupcakes till people around me were feeling ill. I just went with it. There weren’t any other crazy cravings, though.
Fox in Flats: Have your eating habits changed since having Ethan?
Dannii Minogue: I now eat dinner at ‘kid’s time’ around 5:30 or 6pm and actually quite love it.
CELEBRITY BABY PHOTOS & TWITTER PICS
Fox in Flats: Celebs can release some pretty ‘creative’ first shots of themselves with their babies, but yours was refreshingly normal: hair swept back in an Alice band, teamed with a fresh face and a huge smile – you looked so beautiful.
Given we’re used to seeing you glammed up on TV or on the cover of magazines, it’s probably the most ‘natural’ the public has seen you. Is the look in that photo a reflection of your off-duty style now you’re two years into motherhood?
Dannii Minogue: Yes, I still slap on an Alice band and go about with little or no make up. That is the me when I am not working or dressed up.
Fox in Flats: And speaking of that photo, you released it on Twitter instead of getting wads of cash from a mag to publish the pic. Can you talk us through your thinking process?
Dannii Minogue: Well it calmed down the happy snappers that were following us ferociously for the ‘first pictures,’ but more importantly it was a wonderful way to share the good news. The positive response was overwhelming. It added to the wonderful day when I brought my baby boy home.
DANNII’S STYLE SECRETS, INSPIRATION, AND ADVICE
Fox in Flats: Finish this sentence: My sneaky style secret is…
Dannii Minogue: If you love it, and can afford it, buy it in every colour.
Fox in Flats: Toe cleavage (when you have a bit of toe-crack showing immediately above the toe of a shoe). Yay or nay?
Dannii Minogue: Yay.
Fox in Flats: Tracksuits in public? Discuss.
Dannii Minogue: Perfect in public for exercise or the post-exercise food stop. I managed to find some nice black silk pants that are cut like a comfy track pant, and they are going to be my staple now for casual comfy days. I would have bought more than one pair, but I spotted the last pair in stock!
Fox in Flats: At the risk of sounding like a stalker, when I was a teenager I used to ask my hairdresser to copy your awesome spiral perm that you wore in your YTT days. Is there anyone whose style you’re inspired by?
Dannii Minogue: I love a pixie crop, so I’m always drawn to pictures of Michelle Williams and Emma Watson.
Fox in Flats: What are your top 3, never-fail pieces of style advice?
1. Be confident.
2. Accentuate what makes you special.
In part 2 of our chat, Dannii talks balancing work with motherhood, getting out the door without Vegemite stains on her pants, and her fashion line Project D London which she runs with her best buddy, Tabitha. She also reveals whether she does little performances for Ethan (I couldn’t help but ask!), and shares her top tip for looking fab once you become a mum. Get the full run-down here.
If you were in a Mothers’ Group with Dannii, what would you chat about?
And what are YOUR top 3 never-fail pieces of style advice?
Image Credits: KDBArtists PtyLtd
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