Digital Spy spoke with Angela this week about working alongside judges Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi, mentor Joanna Coles, and how she has found the whole experience of hosting Project Runway.
Congratulations on the show!
"Thank you. I think it's a really great show. It's super entertaining but watching myself was super surreal and I don't think I can do it anymore! I had so much fun filming it but it's almost like I need to put that aside and go back to living my regular life. I don't even watch TV - I haven't watched TV in ten years - so even seeing what's on TV these days freaked me out, and then seeing myself up there playing the role of a fashonista! I can't! I've decided at this point I need to take a step out and hope all the fans love it and get back to my little farming lifestyle."
So, does that mean you hadn't watched the show before taking the job?
"Of course I'd heard about it and knew about it but I'd never seen it. When I got the job I watched every single episode so I knew what it was about. It's a great show, it's a competition and fun and entertaining and fast. I definitely did my research before I started filming but I'd never seen it before - which is pretty crazy, I guess!"
Did you feel pressure stepping into Heidi Klum's shoes as the All Stars host?
"Of course! She's a huge star and beloved by many. It's definitely huge shoes to fill. I know I said something to Joanna Coles and she was like, 'Oh my God, I didn't think about it either! Tim Gunn is one of the most beloved men in America!' We both kind of went through that but ultimately it's about being ourselves and it's a new eye on things. It's the same format but new eyes. I think the fun thing is to get the new judges' opinions and a new, fresh feel to the show. Of course, all the designers had huge fan bases and everyone was really excited to see them compete against each other too."
How was it working with Joanna, Georgina and Isaac?
"I unfortunately don't really get to work with Joanna much because she's in the workroom and I'm not allowed back there. I see her on occasion backstage and she's just lovely, and then seeing her on the show, I think she's great with her eye as an editor and these being all-stars. Georgina and Isaac were so brilliant to work with, so much fun. Isaac is hilarious, he's one of a kind and his opinions and expertise really go far. And then with Georgina, I think first of all all Americans love a Brit, and she's very refined. She makes some of the best red carpet dresses out there and she's very educated in terms of the practicalities of design and all the structure. She's a great person to give advice. It's invaluable advice for the designers to be getting from these two people."
What are you looking for personally when you see the runway designs?
"I've worked with the best creative people in the industry for the last 15 years whether it's designers, art directors, stylists, hair and make-up, everything. I think ultimately these are all-stars and the stakes are high. For me it's about how would this relate into high fashion and whether it could be pulled off as a runway look, and then how it will be worn. How a woman will wear these clothes all the time, how will it relate into everyday practicalities."
If you're not spending time with the designers in the workroom every day do you still get emotionally attached to them?
"I did get attached to them because I gave them their challenges and introduced the judges and ultimately I'm the one who has to do the unfortunate job of sending them home. They all have such unique personalities. I remember there were maybe like five of them left and they're all so different and unique that they're almost like fashionista superstars or superheroes!
"I get attached to the personalities that I saw and then watching the episodes and seeing their interviews and how they interact backstage is a whole different thing. They're all so sweet and on their best form when they present everything to us, and then you hear them backstage and they're all drama ridden with each other! But I have to be unbiased because if I was back in the workroom and saw someone was giving someone else a hard time that might affect how I feel so it's good they don't let us get too close to them."
The first challenge of creating an outfit from materials found at the 99-cent store was great. Can you give us any teasers about what else is in store this season?
"We definitely gave them some good ones! There was one challenge where they only got six hours which I think is the shortest in all of Project Runway history. That's pretty intense. There was another challenge where I brought them into Central Park and told them they had to get clothes off people's backs in New York City to create a look! They had to convince people to give them the clothes off their back!"
What else are you working on outside of Project Runway All Stars?
"In October I launched a jewellery line with John Hardy called Angela by John Hardy on QVC. I've been working with the company for a few years and we really have similar philosophies. They really take steps to be socially responsible and environmentally conscious. We kind of fell in love with each other and were working together and then decided to do a line together. I'm really getting into designing. I'm going to travel to Thailand next month to get inspired for some designs and I plan on incorporating different ancient cultures into my designs. The company is based in Bali and my first designs are based around the Balinese culture but I plan over time to bring in different cultures like India and Turkey.
"I always set myself huge goals each year and I'm pretty good at manifesting them, which ends up meaning I take a lot on my plate. I make this yearly pie calendar and write my goals and things I'd like to focus on. One of them was branding which was kind of vague and then I totally launched a brand with John Hardy. I even put something in there with TV and then did Project Runway!
"I signed up with Kundalini yoga teacher training which has been shifting me in some really beautiful ways. All I put on my goal list this year was 'mind, body, spirit, family, home, children'. I'm focusing on cultivating my land. I have vegetables and fruit trees, I want to get some chickens and solar and really get off the grid and focus on just really being a mother. Of course I have my work and will continue to do that but I think it's important to balance. My 9-year-old is like a little philosopher. He said, 'Mum, I don't understand all these people that go and make all this money and don't even have time to enjoy it'." Balance is important."
What did you learn from your Project Runway All Stars experience?
"i did learn a lot from Project Runway, things I could incorporate into my own life. To have these designers who are working so hard with such limited amounts of time and the pressures of the cameras on them and then to critique their looks was really hard for me at first. I knew it was my job on the show and that the viewers at home are thinking, 'What are they thinking?' so it's up to me to be the voice for the viewers. It was good though because I learned to say what I like and don't like and express my opinion in a constructive way. I've been able to bring that into my own life with friends, family, business.
"I also overcame my biggest fear of my whole entire life which was public speaking. On our last episode I had to present in front of a live audience and I was terrified, thinking, 'You can't mess up on this, you're filming a TV show, you've done this, just make it happen'. I channeled something, walked out there with a microphone, addressed the whole crowd, and was so proud of myself."
Would you return to Project Runway if the opportunity arose?
"Oh, absolutely. I definitely have a hard time watching it but I loved the experience. I had never pursued the idea of becoming a host for TV but the opportunity came and I absolutely loved it. If the fans love it then I'm sure they'll do another season and if they want to have me back I would love to do it again."
Project Runway All Stars airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Lifetime
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