Dannii Minogue has teamed with Target for her latest collaboration: a clothing line catering for petite women. I caught up with the singer-songwriter and X Factor Australia judge to chat about the new fashion range, her mentoring advice to her sister, Kylie, and getting back into the recording studio.
Tell me what a day in a life of you entails?
At the moment, it’s a lot of X Factor stuff, and I’ve relocated to Sydney [for the show]. It’s just constant madness – songs, music and my clothing range for Target.
What inspired you to do this collection?
It is very frustrating to not be able to find clothes that fit. Obviously if you work with couture designers or you’re getting stuff specially made, that’s pretty cool, but just to be able to buy stuff and for it to fit, I haven’t ever really been able to do. A lot of petite shoppers have to buy kids’ clothing.
But can women all shapes and sizes wear your range?
Yes, if you’ve got petite proportions. A lot of people think petite is size 0 but it’s not a size thing, it’s the proportions that are smaller. Our petites [range] start at size 4 and go up to size 16. I try to explain it to people and say, “when I have a family picture with my mum and my grandma, we’re all little, we’ve all got those same proportions, but my grandma is a size 16 and my mum is an 8 to 10 and I’m a 6. So it’s not size zero.”
What do you love most about being a judge on The X Factor?
I love the mentoring. To see them grow and change. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it when I first did it but then I realised, “Actually, I’m really good at this.” I’ve had a crazy track record because I’ve won – including UK – I’ve won three out of five [seasons].
What do you think it is that makes you excel as a mentor?
For me, there is a lot of psychology involved. You need the trust with them. If you don’t have the trust then there is nothing. I think to get the job done, it’s not just singing the song, it’s not just choosing the outfit, but they’ve got to be physically and emotionally ready for it. It’s just very athletic, because if you think you’re going to mess it up, you will. It’s about spending time with them. It’s that “like parenting” thing… you kind of mother them and look after them and then at the end of the 10 weeks they’ve got so many skills when they leave the show to do what they need to do. That’s the bit I love.
Has being a parent helped you become a better mentor?
Well, I started doing the show before I had Ethan and I’d always said, “I don’t think I’ll ever have kids. I have no desire to. Absolutely none.” And then when I started working with the contestants, I unlocked that maternal part of me. I never knew it was there.
Does Ethan know what you do?
Yeah. He has seen Kylie and me on TV. He did ask me the other day, “Mummy, I heard that you’re famous. Is that true?” I’m like, “Yeah. That’s true.” And he thought it was a bad thing and he was like, “But I think you’re really nice and I love you” and I’m like, “OK, what have they told you?” So the concept is hard [to understand].
How does he cope with paparazzi following you around?
He doesn’t like cameras. He doesn’t even like me taking pictures! So I try as best I can to keep him away from it.
Are you protective about paparazzi taking his photo?
Yeah, I’m protective. I try to keep him away from it and keep him out of the media, which is hard because magazines love printing pictures of celebrities and kids. The most difficult bit has been when paparazzi are hanging outside child-care facilities with long lens pointed at all the kids and parents. I don’t agree with it. I would really like to see if they could bring a law against that. We should not be able to bring long lens at school, child-care or child medical centres.
Did you give Kylie any advice when she decided to be a judge on The Voice?
No, no advice, because all you can do is be you and bring whatever it is that is you. She is very uplifting and supportive and encouraging. When they get in my group, I’m like, “OK, you’ve got to work.” She has probably got a much more gentle hand, but you can only be yourself.
What do you do for fun?
A lot of cooking. It’s like I must have some Italian mother trapped inside me because I like to feed people and I like to feed lots of people. For me, I think it’s easier to cook for 15 people than for one.
What’s your signature dish?
In winter, it’s normally risotto, lasagne or soup.
Do you have any plans to release new music anytime soon?
I have been in the studios! I’ve written stuff that I’ve recorded and I’ve also recorded other stuff that other people have written. [I’m] trying some stuff out. So maybe I’m getting some stuff together. But with no pressure because at the moment my schedule is pretty full and I don’t want to do it and then miss out on time with Ethan. So trying to work and see how it’ll work.
WE WENT TO Paddington Inn, Terrace Bar, Paddington.
WE ATE Roast Beetroot Salad with goat’s cheese, quinoa & hazelnuts; A Saffron Chicken Salad with fennel, avocado & freekah.
WE DRANK: Lychee Blush mocktails.
I WORE a Camilla and Marc dress
Shop the latest Lace Bras HERE
Shop the latest Ear Cuffs HERE
Shop the latest Tote Bags HERE
See my ‘date’ with Kris Smith HERE.
See my ‘date’ with Eva Longoria HERE.
See my ‘date’ with Cameron Diaz HERE.