Fashion Addict - Gwen Oakden

Gwen Oakden, from Malpas, has a job which surrounds her with beautiful artistic objects. Her role involves looking after supporters, donors and patrons of Manchester's museums and art galleries

What do you wear to work?I work in an arty environment across Manchester City Galleries, Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum so there is no real dress code which can be tricky at times. I opt for classic pieces to take me from breakfast networking, to the Gallery to greet patrons, to meetings and on to evening events. Rushing around I tend to wear flats but I keep heels under my desk to slip on for a last-minute event. The power of statement jewellery, red lipstick and a pair of heels should never be underestimated.

What do you wear for a big night out?Going out is always a chance to dress up and I love playsuits with dark tights and heels. To top off an evening look I usually throw on my Burberry trench coat. It was my biggest splurge and I adore it.

Tell us about your biggest fashion mistakeWhen I was a teenager we all wore those platform trainers (obviously trying to be like our favourite Spice Girls) and painfully mine were bright white. Crop tops weren’t a great idea either and I’m cringing thinking about the floppy hat phase of 1996...

The last occasion you stepped out feeling really good?I’ve just turned 30 and all my friends and I celebrated with a big 1920s themed party at Cloud 23 in the Hilton. It was lovely to get glammed up and wear flapper dresses, headbands and vintage hairstyles. The 20’s were such a classy time for fashion. Everyone looked amazing and I felt really special all night.

What perfume do you wear?I still wear the same perfumes I wore at school which are Gucci Rush and LancomeMiracle. I should think about changing, but I love them both and always keep a bottle in my handbag for top-ups.

Which grooming products are in your bathroom?I’ve started using Kerastase products for my hair and they are making a difference. I use Lancome moisturiser, St Tropez tanning lotion, Body Shop body butters, Benefit make-up and have loads of bath oils from when I used to work for Penhaligons which smell so divine that I hardly ever let myself use them!

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Which product would you be lost without?Do eyelash curlers count as a product? They are brilliant for opening your eyes up even when you feel really tired after a late event. I guess I’d also have to say Lancome Juicy Tubes. It’s my favourite lipgloss.

What’s your favourite thing to do to unwind?I sing so music is a huge passion of mine, either listening to it or playing it. I also, despite being around them all day, love going to museums and galleries and the quietness and calmness you find in them is just lovely. I’ll often go and sit in one of our historic galleries during the day if it all gets a bit much and instantly feel really relaxed. We’re so lucky we have places like that we can pop into whenever we want.

Do you have a grooming tip you swear by?It’s nothing new, but honestly the best tip is to drink plenty of water and get a lot of sleep. However, if that just isn’t possible, then Lancome Facial Bronzing Gel is fantastic for faking a refreshed glow. I’ve also been known to sleep in my hair conditioner every once in a while- it’s not a great look when you wake up in the morning, but once rinsed through it makes my hair so shiny. Warn boyfriends/room mates first though!

Who is the most stylish man or woman of the past century?Wallis Simpson was rather fabulous, wasn’t she? We’ve got some of her old pieces at the gallery and they are SO stylish and timeless. Frank Sinatra always looked completely dishy and cool. David Beckham is flawless these days, fashion wise, but maybe not when he wore a sarong..

Gwen Oakden, from Malpas, has a job which surrounds her with beautiful artistic objects.

Her role involves looking after supporters, donors and patrons of Manchester’s museums and art galleries

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