With a career spanning over three decades, Elle MacPherson has solidified her place in the fashion world through a record six Sports Illustrated covers, a successful workout series, a lingerie brand, a beauty line and spots in popular films and television shows. Now the supermodel known as ‘The Body’ is stepping into a new role as Host and Executive Producer of reality television series, Fashion Star. Real Style Network joined Elle on a call to talk about her role in the show and her personal style.
Q: Can you tell me how did your executive producer, Ben Silverman, convince you to do the show? And what did you initially think of the idea behind it especially given the unique shopping angle?
Elle Macpherson: Well, first of all I’m thrilled to be working with Ben Silverman and all my producers. It’s really been a team effort as far as getting the show up and running. I was very interested in the concept because I had seen something a few years ago, where I saw a fashion show streamed live from Japan. And I noticed that you could move your mouse across the model and click onto the garments and buy them immediately. And I knew that this was revolutionary as far as fashion and shopping were concerned.
So when I spoke to Ben about it and the format came up for Fashion Star it really felt right for me and felt right for where we are today as far as technology and shopping is concerned. And, you know, that coupled with wonderful heartfelt stories of these 14 unknown designers and a big stage show felt fresh.
Q: What kind of designer do you think could most benefit from Fashion Star?
Elle Macpherson: I love the fact that it is clothing that we can wear every day. I think we’re more relaxed as a society in the kind of clothes we want to wear. You know, Fashion Star promotes people that can create an evening dress, but also a jeans and t-shirt. And I think these are modern designers creating everyday wear for everyday people.
Q: How do you your own personal style has evolved over the years? Are you more casual now? Do you still love dressing up?
Elle Macpherson: Well I have two styles; I have my working outfits, my wardrobes that is. It’s like my game face or my show face and then I have my at home, you know, running around taking my kids on the school run type of thing. I do know that as I’ve matured and I’m more confident in who I am on the inside I worry less about making mistakes on the outside. I think fashion is really interesting because we can really express ourselves through fashion. And today I can be frivolous, I can be fun, I can experiment and it’s all okay, you know, as long as it reflects what I’m feeling and it’s true to me then I feel confident. That wasn’t always the case. I think when I was younger I wanted to get it right or I wanted to be on trend or I wanted to look like a model or look like what people expected from me. Today I use fashion the way I think fashion is meant to be; it’s supposed to be fun. And I certainly have fun on the show. There are some serious get-ups. When I look back I laugh at them. I think what was I thinking when I wore those black tight leather pants?
Q: You look so amazing on this show. What is the secret?
Elle Macpherson: Oh it’s the lighting. You know, I’m old school. It’s all about good hair and makeup and lighting. And, you know, great wardrobe. I had Alex White from W do my styling. For me it’s professional stuff more than anything else.
Q: Since you’ve built such a great brand yourself, how do you see the future of fashion as more and more designers become big brands?
Elle Macpherson: Fashion is becoming more and more accessible. The fact that we have a fashion show on network television in itself speaks wonders because fashion has been niche; it’s been kept on cable and it has been a niche business. But it is now a business that is global and it is a business that affects the music industry, it affects the film industry, the beauty industry. And, you know, it is a big business and people are interested in it. There are whole television stations that are dedicated to fashion. I think it’s a fantastic testament to the growth of society’s desire to express ourselves though the clothes that we wear.
Q: How do you feel the differing backgrounds of the judges and yourself help to give the show a more diverse and entertaining feel?
Elle Macpherson: I think the most important thing is that because everybody comes from different backgrounds they’re quite able to speak from experience about a journey in the sense that I’ve started doing one thing and I finished doing something else because I had a passion, I was committed, I was dedicated, I believed in myself, I had courage and tenacity and discipline. So these judges or the mentors are in a fantastic position to be able to communicate that message to these young designers some of whom have started off working in offices and are now on the Fashion Star stage. So they can really speak from experience.
I also empathize with these young designers because I wasn’t a designer, I was a girl that wanted to go to law school. And then I became a model and then I started designing lingerie and now I’m producing a television show. So I have my own journey. I can talk to these contestants backstage and say I understand how scary it is to try something new. But with courage and commitment, dedication and passion we can do it. We’re all living examples of that.
Watch Elle continue on her journey with these budding designers each week on Tuesday at 10 pm.