THE INTERVIEW: George Kotsiopoulos, E!'s Fashion Police Star

Thursday, September 04, 2014

George Kotsiopoulos, from E!'s Fashion Police was in town to host the Gap Factory Fashion Show that I blogged about here with Houston Stylist & Fashion Designer Ashley Dunn. Prior to the fashion show, George sat town with some of Houston's top Fashion Bloggers for a Q&A session on his style, career, and style advice for fashionistas. After the interview we had fun taking photos with George and pretending to be models on the runway! Read on for the fully transcribed group interview and photos! 


After George walked by and said hello to everyone individually, we gathered around him on the stage, like kids at a campfire for ghost stories, to conduct the interview! Each of us had a chance to ask a question. Up first was Madeline Pena.

MADELINE PENA: How do you like being in Houston? - I like it. I just came from Dallas, which is really dry. It's a bit more humid here, but I'm from Chicago so I'm used to the humidity. If you ask people in Dallas what they think of Houston they're like, "eww!" and if I ask you what you think of Dallas? 
Almost unconsciously we all responded eww!
It seems a little bit prettier here. Dallas is a little crazy, but it's different, so I do like it here.

SARAH PENDLEY, HOUSTONIA MAGAZINE: As we're transitioning to Fall, what styles do you foresee and what's the must-have piece for a ladies wardrobe? 
There was a lot of shearling on every single runway for the Fall,. Shearling, whether it's faux or real, whatever your proclivity is, I have no judgement. I eat meat, so it doesn't matter to me, and then a lot of really bright colors were on the Fall Runway. Super, super saturated, which is fun. Fall is just way more fun! It gets cold here right? 

We all chimed in that it 'does' get cold in Houston!
Well, see you can still wear fur!

What is the key piece from Gap that you like the most, besides jeans? 
Oh! Well, you know they do have great jeans, believe it or not.  Well, not believe it or not, because it's the GAP, of course they have great jeans.  There's a great denim motorcycle jacket that is really super cute, and there's this cute little bucley jacket that's very Chanel-esque that's quite adorable, but there really are great jeans.  There's a white denim jean that's distressed just a little bit which is cool. I love the jeans because there's no embellishment on them and they are very simple. I've been wearing Gap forever and ever and there's one that looks like it has patches on them and then there are some that seem like they were taken out on the side. There's just a little bit of something going on.  I'm not into overly-washed & distressed jeans. If it looks fake...I don't care if looks vintage, but that it looks like it really could be vintage.  What else? There's a cute little sweater that's embellished that I like, some varsity jackets, and a black jumpsuit that I like.

What Celebrity would you love to style?
Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, you know, movie stars...none of these...(we laugh). Honestly, Rihanna is fabulously incredible, I love her and Emma Stone. They're girls that love clothes and fashion and get it. They both seem to really get it and they are into it. There's nothing worse then someone who could have anything they want in the world and they're just not into it or has bad taste and is confident in their bad taste. That's the worst thing in the world. 

VALERIE GREEN ANDERSON, STYLE TO ENVY: What's the one tip you would give any woman, you work with, that is going into her 30s?  Into her thirties? You're still young! Keep dressing young! I think that when you're in your twenties, women try to dress a little bit  older because they want to appear older,  but then once you get (not to your thirties,) into your mid-thirties there's a flip that should happen. If you're still dressing older because you think you need to look more sophisticated you're going to end up looking like you're 50.  There's something that happens when you get around 38. Look at Jennifer Aniston, if she dressed the way that  she dressed when she was in her thirties or twenties, she would look childish or not sexy.  She would have to sex it up a little bit, but not too much, not real housewives.

More laughter! George is funny!

BETHANY MICHELS, SOUTHERN CHIC STYLE: Fashion Police related, Do you have a worst-dressed of all time that sticks out in your head? You know what? Honestly, I really don't. I don't really focus on that. I love fashion and I love people to look good, and I love women. I'm not 'waiting' for someone to look bad. I kind of block it out. I could give you the easy ones, like Lindsey Lohan, or whoever, but that's just redundant and why kick a girl when she's down? So I tend to not really answer that question. I just don't care about the worst dressed people. I care about the best-dressed people.

Do you have any styling tips for teachers or professionals going back to school? You never think of your teachers as "real people." If they have some sort of fashion sense or a way to identify with keeping it young, I think that's great. I would have noticed that and said, "My Teacher's kind of cool". My cousin is a teacher, she's 26 and teaches junior high in the suburbs of Chicago. I go out partying with her, and I think, if her students--like she's hot-- saw her out dancing with her girlfriends, this would blow their minds. In junior high, I would never have thought that my teacher was a real person! You know, who actually did things?! To me, music is the fountain of youth. Stay relevant with music and fashion. If you keep relevant with music, you keep relevant with fashion. I'm not saying to dress like a child or like a teenager, but just kind of know what's going on, or you'll just become that old person that doesn't know what's going on.  And I'm 45, so I speak with knowledge.

SHASIE, LIVE LIFE IN STYLE: How would you describe your own personal style? My style on the show is one thing and then this is more...(George looks at his oufit) well, I'd wear this with sneakers  I wore nicer shoes because I'm with you guys and I wore a T-shirt because it's freaking hot! I don't know, it's a little preppy, grungy? Honestly, I've been wearing crazy clothes this summer on Fashion Police, like head to toe prints, which I'd probably tell people not to do, but I just figured, "You know what, it's Summer and I don't Care."  You know what I mean? I'm just like, whatever, I don't care and if you want to make fun of me, make fun of me. Usually with guys, I'd say, keep it to one statement piece, as I was wearing two, ha! My pants and my jacket. Ladies can do two statement pieces maximum, otherwise you look, not crazy, but like you're looking for attention.  I'll go back to the worst-dressed question. If you're making an effort to get ready and trying to look pretty and you're trying to look glamorous, even if you don't succeed, I still love you. If you're making an effort I can't fault you. If you're really just not making an effort and you're a movie star with a lot of money, then you deserve to be worst dressed. But if you're trying, I can't fault you.

FELICE SIMMONS, URBAN SWANK: What are your thoughts on McFashion, the whole Fast-Fashion thing? I like it! I first started working in Fashion 20 years and "fashion" didn't exist. It existed, but I was an Associate Fashion Editor of The New York Times magazine, so I worked in FASHION, then everybody glommed on after Sex and the City. Everyone was like, "Fashion, fashion, fashion , fashion" and the word just drives me crazy at this point, but you couldn't find an H&M.  The first time I went to H&M was in Paris, and I was like "OMG, what is this place? There's these things that look like Prada and they fit me!" You couldn't find them [H&Ms] anywhere and I was young. I didn't have any money. I think fast fashion has made it so it's available at every single price point. Look, if you have the money and you want to go spend a fortune at Prada or Gucci or whatever, you can, but you can also find that at Gap Factory.  You can find it at H&M. You can find it in Zara. It's made fashion available at every price point and I think it's great.

HEATHER PETREY, LA FASHION SNOB: For the runway that we're going to see today, what was your aesthetic, as in, how did you style the models? 
Well,there's two different groupings and it's denim heavy. I wanted to put in a lot of denim. One [group] is kind of sporty athletic, but still slick, and the other one is more relaxed and neutral and camo. Lots of skinny jeans and a jumpsuit. You'll just have to wait and see!

NICOLE KESTENBAUM, LIPTSTICK & BRUNCH:  How did the Gap approach you about this project and what made you say that you had to do it!?
I don't know, they just asked! They just asked me out one day! They said, "You want to go on a date?" and I said, "Okay"!  I've been wearing GAP for as long as I can remember, ever since I was in junior high or grade school, so I've always been a huge fan of the brand. It's just one of those things: "What? Am I going to say no? It's the GAP!" I mean I'm in GAP ads. I didn't move to LA to be a celebrity or to be famous. I'm not an actor, I didn't do any of that stuff, so just to be in a GAP ad...I remember in 1990 I moved to LA, and that's when they first started having Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell in the ads and they were incorporated celebrities into it and it was just a big deal to be in a GAP ad....and "I'm in a GAP AD NOW"

We all laugh again! Fun times with George K!

JILLIAN WILLIAMS, What advice would you give future, up and comping stylists to get where you are today?
To know what the hell they're talking about. I think, unfortunately a lot of people say "I'm a Stylist, I'm a Stylist, I'm a Stylist" and they don't know who the designers are. They don't know who the players are. They don't know who Anna Wintour is, well I think they all know who Anna Wintour is, but they don't know who Nicholas Ghesgiuire is, and he's the designer for Louis Vuitton now, and that he was the designer at Balenciaga for 15 years. If you don't know that, you should not be a stylist. I think you also need to know how to dress every shape, size, & age. If you cannot do that, you are not a stylist. Anyone can dress a 25 year old, size 0 and that's why I said Emma Stone before, because it's easy. You can have anything you want in the world for that girl, at anytime that she wants it. As a stylist, that's like your dream, because that just makes it so much easier. You don't want anyone saying no, and that's how it was when I worked at The New York Times, nobody said no. No one said no to the New York Times. You wanted that Chanel outfit, they overnight-ed it to you from Paris & the next day you had it, which was great. Those were the days.

SHAUNDRA WEBB: The show after the awards, does that bring you any anxiety with some of your colleagues being stylists? No, because I do it every week. I've kind of learned to finesse that, while still being honest. I don't think I insult anyone. I don't insult them personally. I don't insult their body or their face or anything, unless I know that they are horrible, then I really don't care. Really, if I work with someone and I'm like that is an evil person then I just don't care. But look, if something didn't look right then I'm just giving my honest opinion, and if that stylist asks me about it, because they got offended, they get offended. I mean I'm not being a d--- about it, I'm just doing my job, and if I don't do my job, I wouldn't be sitting there every week. Those [the show after awards] actually give me less anxiety because those are on the fly, like guerrilla tactics. We're up pretty late the night before and we just show up the next morning and there's really not that much preparation. What I see on the red carpet is what I'm going to critique. I may look at stuff the night before, but it just moves really, really fast as opposed to a regular show, which we are booked in advance and we kind of know what's going on. I try to have takeaways for the viewer at home.

Thank you George for the amazing experience, and come back to Houston soon!
Houston Fashion Bloggers!

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