So last week’s netaporter 10th birthday party on Wednesday night was majorly fun for lots of reasons (Victoria Beckham was there, we drank many, many mojitos, there was a flickerbook photobooth etc), but perhaps our favourite part of the night was the moment we scrambled through the crowds for an opportunity to talk to designer Julien Macdonald about his role as judge on our new favourite thing - Britain’s Next Top Model.
Julien was in a teasy-weasy mood, saying of the show “it’s like a Tale of the Unexpected - you never know who is going to stay and who will go…”
Actually, this is not quite true, because, as of this week, the show’s first stage of filming is now complete, and the girls have already been narrowed down to the three finalists. The final sounds like a blast; a live, catwalk show in front of an invited audience (don’t worry, we are SO onto getting some tickets to giveaway).
And while Julien might be on the judging panel, alongside male model Charley Speed, stylist Grace Woodward and supermodel host Elle Macpherson, the winner of Britain’s Next Top Model will be decided by – YOU, in a live phone vote “just like X Factor – so we have no control over who wins.”
Naturally, Mr McDonald is keeping tight-lipped about who the lucky three girls are, but he will say this “it’s all about how good they are at the tasks. You could be the most beautiful girl in the show, but unless she’s performing the best, she’ll still be forced to leave…”
Hmmm, something about the way he’s talking makes us think that perhaps the judge didn’t get HIS first choice of girl through to the final three? “It’s a joint decision” he says, diplomatically (so – no).
Anyway, for us viewers, next week is only week two, but according to Julien and Elle the action really hots up after episode four “Elle says, that’s really when the fun starts.”
Besides, the modeling contest is pretty much just a backdrop for the real star of the show – The Body’s wardrobe; “the most exciting thing is seeing Elle’s outfits each week. She always looks gorgeous and she’s on the most amazing fashion adventure”. Has he managed to entice her into any of his own designs? "She wears a little bit of Julien Macdonald” he beams.
Of course, we couldn’t let him slip away without asking him about those outrageous comments on plus size models “I was misquoted!” he shrieks, indignantly. So what DID you mean to say? “...that I think there is room for everyone in fashion, but if you’re a plus sized model the opportunities are less – there’s just less work for plus sized models.”
And, the designer says, proudly “my mother is a size 20, my sister is a size 18, the bestselling size in my Debenhams range is size 16. And you can see in my designs – I don’t try to cover up plus size women, I want them to accentuate their bodies.”
Well alright, but we’re keeping an eye on you, Julien.
Anyway, back to BNTM, and we have an exclusive preview clip of tonight’s show just for you.
This week the girls have decamped from the rural idyll that was the BNTM academy to the Big City. Now we’re down to the final fourteen, it should be a bit more obvious as to who the real contenders are and who is just there to make up the numbers, a la every girlband Louis Walsh’s has ever mentored on The X Factor. Tonight, there are tears (from geek chic Hannah), tantrums (from Julien ‘you’re every designers niiight-mare’ Macdonald), gold lurex all-in-ones and a very steamy underwear shoot, in which Amba seems to get rather overexcited with her male co-star. I mean really; this isn’t an ‘Ann Summer’s’ catalogue, you know dear. >Ahem<.
Now WATCH our exclusive sneak preview . . .
OF COURSE tomorrow we will have our resident BNTM Chief Correspondent’s thorough review of the episode. Do not miss!