You’re always very fashionable. Has there ever been a time you stepped out of the house and hoped no one would see you?
Of course. I think that’s just being human. Especially living in L.A., everyone is kind of casual but in a dressed up way. A lot of effortless looks like, “I did put effort into this, but I’m trying to make it look like I didn’t.” There are loads of times when I run out to the supermarket or have had a few drinks the night before.
So you’re just like everyone else.
In your book “Front Roe” you discuss how “It’s not about what you wear, but how you wear it.” Did you have this confidence as a child?
It’s interesting that you use the word “confidence” because I don’t think I necessarily had confidence. That’s something that came later and I still have moments when I don’t, like everyone does. But in terms of taste and a love for fashion, my mum said since I was about 3 I would lay things on the bed. I would say, “No, no mummy! This is what we’re wearing today.” So she didn’t even try and dress me, even kindergarten age I did it.
Alright, let’s hear a ridiculous story that isn’t in the book from your journey in the fashion world?
I mean there are so many. One of my favorite, funniest few days was going to the Cannes Film Festival for the first time ever. I was there to cover for Vogue TV at the time. I was going around with a cameraman to all sorts of parties. It’s like the L.A. red carpet scene but with a European flair. So the parties don’t stop, there’s no stopping time, everyone is drinking and even PRs are smoking on the red carpet. It’s all very European. I think it’s got such an energy. You end up on a boat for a party. It’s pretty fun.
What are the highs and lows of a career in fashion?
I think it’s definitely categorized as a fun, glamorous job. Those are the ones that you have to work your butt off for free for a long time at the beginning. And I served my time. My first job was unpaid. I was an intern at Elle Magazine in London and then the next job was at InStyle Magazine. It pretty much wasn’t paid either, it was officially but [not a lot]. The downs are definitely how long it takes to get up there. It’s not a quick skip. You have to travel, and I always say that’s the best part of my job and the worst. It sounds very glamorous to be in all these different places, but sometimes that’s exhausting. The last thing you want to do is go to another airport, but I’m very grateful to see the world.
Is there a particular event you consider your big break?
I don’t know if I’ve ever had one. I definitely had moments like getting the book or hosting “Fashion Star” on NBC. That was a big moment. The first time I’d gotten into hosting was when I was hosting Vogue TV years ago in the UK, and it was online. That led me to cover the Oscars in L.A. I think that trip was when I saw this amazing city and just thought, “I don’t know how, but I need to live here.” So I don’t know if it was a big break, but it was a moment where I thought, “I’m going to go for this.”
With so many fashion blogs out there, why do you think you were able to break away and have your personal brand take off?
I didn’t have to think up my brand. It just was there. It’s organic to me and I am who I am in the book, on the blog or on TV. I think one of the biggest compliments I get is, “Oh, you’re the same in real life.” So there’s nothing false about it. I think that that perhaps has led me to just carry on the same kind of brand. Also, I have a really strong work ethic. I work really long hours. A lot of people do. I’m not the only one at all, but I will go the extra mile. I will do a lot of hard work and research, whether it’s for the red carpet or for writing a book. I work very hard and into the night. If there’s no one at home I will literally be like, “Oh, it’s midnight! I’m still at my desk.” So there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
So even your career isn’t always glamorous.
No, and I think that there is a slight tendency–in this millennial era– to think that it’s going to happen in a flash and overnight. Occasionally that happens, but usually there’s a lot more [that goes into it.] As someone once said, it might’ve been Jennifer Lawrence, “The overnight successes have actually been working at it for at least a decade.”
Who do you go to for inspiration?
It’s more about visual inspiration. I have a folder on my phone. I screengrab photos from bloggers. I’m obsessed with Instagram and I will just go on bloggers’ feeds and get ideas. They make the cool things on the runway palatable and wearable more than a celebrity does or even a magazine because they’re real girls. They style themselves, there isn’t a team. I find my peers the most inspiring. If I want to wear culottes I might hashtag culottes and look on Instagram to see how people are doing it.
You’ve said statistically you’re more likely to be chatted up by a man if you’re in a red dress. Did this come from personal experience?
[Laughs] No, although I can think of one or two occasions. I’ve read it more than once, actually. In the book I look into the power of different colors and what subliminal messages they give off. I talk about what colors you should wear to a job interview.
What color should you wear to a job interview?
A dark orange, like a burnt orange, or bright blue. They are colors of success, enthusiasm and positivity. And also loyalty, which is a good thing to say to a future employer. But yeah, red is a very passionate color and it will turn heads aesthetically but also subliminally it says… it’s the color of love isn’t it?
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Michelle Obama would be up there. I think she’s an incredible role model. I’m always fighting for female role models who really are worthy of that status. Those who are inspiring and helping women do better, rather than other more questionable role models that exist in today’s society. So I think that it would be her.
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