Fashion / Interviews

Interview: Denise Van Outen

By meena alexander, Tuesday Sep 1, 2015

Basildon-born actress, singer and presenter Denise Van Outen is no stranger to the spotlight, with appearances in everything from Broadway musicals to Strictly Come Dancing under her belt. An undeniable all-rounder, she has just completed a four-day stint in the eponymous role of the musical Sweet Charity, as well as hosting the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards and her own Saturday show on Magic FM. Effortless star quality, coupled with hands-on designing experience and a lifelong love of the high street all make Denise a natural fit for hosting Bristol’s Autumn/Winter 2015 Fashion Week, which will see her presenting 17 different catwalk shows and events alongside Scottish fashion expert Mark Heyes between September 30 – October 4.

It’s great to hear you will be presenting Bristol Fashion Week. Have you been to Bristol before? What are you most looking forward to?
Yes I have – I think back in the 90s we had a couple of fun nights out here. I used to DJ at the university balls! It’s been a while but I’m definitely looking forward to coming back, it’ll be good to be able to talk clothes for a whole week and be with like–minded people who love fashion.

Where do you usually shop for clothes? Do you have any favourite shops/designers that you always go back to?
I’m very much a high street girl at heart. My favourites are Zara, Warehouse, Topshop and Cos. I do like a Belstaff jacket though, and I will do a bit of online shopping as well.

It can get really cold here in Bristol – any tips for people who need to wrap up warm but still want to look stylish?
Always get a great warm scarf, and invest in a nice, classically styled coat that’ll last a few winters.

Do you think London and Bristol have different styles? What’s the most popular look where you live?
I think you guys are probably a bit quirkier and cooler in Bristol than in London. Where I live, in Kent, I’m a mum on the school run, so my personal look is normally gym clothes!

If you could raid another celebrity’s wardrobe, whose would it be?
Oh it would have to be Kate Moss’ wardrobe.

How would you say your fashion sense has changed since becoming a mum?
I think if anything it’s probably become a little bit more adventurous – I’ve never wanted to become a dowdy mum.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 fashion items with you, what would you choose and why?
I would take my black Chanel ankle boots, YSL clutch bag and an umbrella in case it rains – I wouldn’t want it to ruin my shoes!

You’ve just done Sweet Charity on stage and I know you’ve done quite a bit of theatre. Are there any costumes you’ve worn on stage that you’ve ended up keeping and wearing in real life too? 
For Sweet Charity I actually wore my own clothes. I have kept one thing – the Burberry Mac I wore in Tell Me On A Sunday. It’s a classic.

For more information on Bristol Fashion Week, visit

Photo credit: David Venni.

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