Carson Kressley is probably my favorite celebrity interview ever.
Back before Shop HQ rebranded itself as EVINE Live, I talked to the outrageous Kressley about a runway show featuring his clothing line. He's scheduled to return to the Eden Prairie-based shopping network for a "Designer Showcase."
"We've had 'Fashion Days' before but really amped it up," he said. "My stuff is about easy to care for, easy to wear, things you can pop on like you're getting an instant makeover. That's kind of what I've always done, make women feel fantastic about themselves. A key component to that is what you're wearing; it affects how you feel the entire day. So if you can put something on that isn't a fortune …"
While not a fortune, it will be of fine quality because this fashion expert worked with Ralph Lauren.
"I was lucky to work directly with him, and the first thing is that it's all about quality. If you have any Ralph Lauren products at home, you're always amazed with the quality. They last forever, always in perfect taste," said Kressley.
I did two startribune.com/videos with Kressley. One is this Q & A, and the other involves making a game of the fashion expert examining T-shirts from my closet — with his eyes closed — to find one that meets his standards.
Q: What did you learn from Ralph Lauren's aesthetic that you use?
A: He was very true to his aesthetic, a designer who wouldn't jump on the bandwagon for a trend just because it was trendy.
Q: When you have been so influenced by Ralph Lauren, is it difficult not to copy him when you go off to do your own thing?
A: I think you can be over-influenced by a designer you work for. It's 'The World of Ralph Lauren,' so you become immersed in it. When I first started designing my own collection sometimes it was very, very traditional and very, very classic. I thought the only way to dress a woman was in a tweed skirt and button-down blouse. As you gain more experience and see what other designers are doing and shopping the markets and researching trends, you kind of find your own aesthetic. I think now, after doing this for 15 years, I think a real aesthetic of mine has emerged, where it's a lot of quality details, embellishments, a lot of beautiful trims. Fun, playful, easier to wear, celebratory style. A lot of bling, color and pattern. You're constantly zhuzhing me. I need to get some starch up in here.
Q: Is there ever a time when anyone would say you are shy?
A: I'm really not that shy. Sorry.
Q: Similar question : Is there a time of day when you are more quiet?
A: Oh, yeah. I don't really like anything between 6 in the morning to like noon. So if you're going to call me, don't call me until 1 p.m.
Q: If you were a woman in your next life …
A: Yes. Next life?
Q: … would you want to be more like Sofia Vergara, Oprah or Amal Alamuddin [Clooney]?
A: Oh, those are all good choices. I think I would probably want to be a little bit of all of them. Could I be Oprah Sophia Alamuddin?
Q: Is there any celebrity you look at these days and say, Boy, if I could take him or her out for a haircut …
A: Oh, for a haircut ? Hmm. There are a lot of younger celebrities I do think look like they've combed their hair with a pork chop in the morning. If they are happy with it and it works for them and I can amp it up a notch, then that's what I like to do.
Q: From which side of your family do you get those full lips?
A: I got these from my brother, and that sounds weird, but when I was like 6 years old we decided to play homemade teeter-totter. Don't ever do this at home. Basically, took a giant board and put it on a cinder block and started teeter-tottering, and he's like, Oh, look a bunny, and he left and the wood went bam. So I have 37 stitches right here. But it gave me great lips, and it was much cheaper than all the filler. It didn't seem like a blessing at the time, but now, thank you!
A more detailed version of this edited interview is online. To reach, C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org, and to see her on TV check out the Fox 9 Buzz.