Ultimate Shopper is a new and upcoming show that unleashes slaves-to-fashion in their ultimate dream store and gives new meaning to the phrase ‘dressed to kill.’ Ulitmate Shopper pits four shopaholics head-to-head in a series of three style-based challenges to be judged by our sartorial front row of fashion experts: pop singer and actress Holly Valance, fashionista Brix Smith-Start and street style photographer Paul Hartnett, along with a special guest judge.
We had the opportunity to talk to Holly Valance and Brix Smith-Start and we dug up as much fashion advice as we could!
Holly Valance is a highly successful model, actress and singer. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Holly now resides in London with her husband, property tycoon Nick Candy.
We talk to her about good and bad moments on the show and also ask for a few tips on what every girl must have in their closet.
Q: What intrigued you the most about being a judge on The Ultimate Shopper?
A: It all for some good light hearted fun – but also ended up really helping people and their fashion style, so that was a surprise. I thought it was going to be a very straight forward show but we ended up meeting several interesting ladies and it was nice to see these ladies gain interest.
Q: In every judging panel, there will be the bad cop and the good cop (In another context, there is the Simon and Paula) – which one do you think you are?
A: To be honest, I thought I was going on as Paula, but I think I left as Simon.
Q: Now, for a simple fashion question – in your opinion, what is that one fashion essential that every girl should own?
Hmm, a good basic is probably the best. A good pair of jeans – I know it sounds a little lame, but it really important to have the right one. It’s all about having the right one that fits and that you can carry along through the years.
Q: What are your favoirte brands for accessories?
A: I’m a sucker for McQueen clutches I have a huge collection of clutches… in fact, I have an addiction to bags… I have a pretty big obsession with Berkins too! *laughs*
Q: Who are your celebrity fashion icons?
A: I would have to say, Kim Kardashian because she always looks so polish and amazing. I mean, I want everything in her closet. And also, i would have to say Victoria Bechkam is one of them too. I just love how they look all the time.
Q: What’s the worst part about being on ‘The Ultimate Shopper’?
A: I would have to see it’s telling the contestants that they look like crap and what they put together wasn’t impressive. Then again, you gotta be mean to be good… right? The hard truth is good for them.
Brix Smith-Start is a television fashion expert and owner of the successful East London clothing boutique called ‘Start’. Being the fashion expert that she is. We spoke to Brix about her love for fashion and also how she deals with working with her husband.
Q: What intriged you the most about becoming a judge on the ulitmate shopper?
A: I found it really facinating that you gave these contestants all the same kind of clothes and they have to style it in their own way. Seeing how all the individuals styled the outfits – it was like watching a scientific experiment.
Q: What’s the best and worst part of being on ‘The Ultimate Shopper’?
A: I love to see what the contestants choose once they are sent down to get the clothes for the different themes that we set for them. and the worst part would ofcourse have to be having to send them home.
Q: In every judging panel, there’s the good cop and the bad cop – who is who in your opinion
A: The bad cop is for sure Mr H… No question. And I wouldn’t say I was the good cop, I’m probably the honest cop… and I think I might be closer to the good cop… Holly is strict.. she’s strict and straight. She’s very dry. But mr. H is definitely
Q: Who is your celebrity fashion icon?
A: I have different ones at different times, but I really love the way the Olsen twins dress up.
Q: Who are your top 3 favorite designs of all time?
A: Well, I have top three fav designers ever and then there are top three designers that I wear all the time. Rick Owens, Martin Magela and Acme are the designers i love to wear. As for the designers I’d love to wear Chanel, Halston, and Issey Miyake…
Q: You went from the music to fashion, is this something that you have always thought of doing?
A: Absoluetly not. I focused as a musician first, that’s how it all started. But when I was younger, I was actually doing tv. I was in commercials, doing a bit of acting, but I loved music so I did that and that ended up being good. I did a large number of albums with The Fall, and then it just stopped there, and it wasn’t fullfilling anymore. I just wanted to have something more grounded.
After being a musician I went back into studying acting in hopes of becoming a TV presenter, because that’s all I ever wanted to do. Then fashion came up, and it felt right. My mother was very encouraging about fashion when I was a child. She used to tell me there are no rules in fashion, it’s all about being different and expressing yourself. It’s like an art.
I was suprisingly good and buy and style people – because I knew how to work a womans body and I knew what they wanted and what I wanted. It just all worked out really well.
Q: In your opinion, what is the one must-have fashion item every girl should own?
A: An LBD obviously.. that’s a no brainer . If you get a little black dress you can dress it up for the day with biker boots and other really cute stuff. Of you can add heels and pretty jewelry and your ready for the night. It’s the type of thing that looks really good on you, and people can’t identify if it’s the same dress again and again. Cos you re accessories – and you get the benefits of it that way, for it’s cost and value.
Q: They say its hard to mix work & personal life… and well, you are currently in buisness with your husband. How is it like for you?
A: I do know the pitfalls, because obviously I was married to Marky Smith, the lead singer of The Fall. I have a long term habit working with my men. So I’ve sorta seen every angle there is. But the way to do it is to both focus on the particular things your good at. So that you have a good balance and you don’t cross over each other. Like with my husband and I are really good at our specific parts iof our job, so we have a lot of respect and trust with each other. That’s what you need the most to make a sucessful business.
Q: What do you love so much about fashion?
A: Fashion is a very powerful tool to help do you deal with the world. Say you feel a bit low, you go to closet, and put on your favorite outfit, or your favorite dress – it lifts your spirit when you head out. Fashion can make you change your day – it can make you successful and make you feel successful.
Premieres every Tuesday at 10:00 p.m., starting December 4. Encores every Monday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Wednesday at 9:00 p.m., and Sunday at midnight. On TLC (Astro Channel 707).