This week, we chatted to former Miss Universe Australia and CulturE!d* host Francesca Hung about how Hollywood is changing the way we think about sustainable fashion, what it was like interviewing iconic Aussie comedian Celeste Barber and our mutual love of original E! host Giuliana Rancic.
*watch CulturE!d on E Entertainment (Foxtel) – EOnline – Fetch TV
Congratulations on joining the E! family.
FH: Obviously up until now (current isolation) it’s been an amazing dream come true. I’ve been lucky enough to interview so many Australian and international talent. Just before we went into lockdown, I was in L.A and New York for a kind of E! gathering.
Did you meet one of my favourite people, your new colleague Giuliana Rancic?
FH: No, I did not unfortunately. She’s tricky to pin down because of being involved in so many incredible things. She’s definitely someone I look up to though. I did talk with one of my favourites, Erin Lim of The Rundwown and also fellow Aussie Scott Tweedie with Liliana Vazquez from Pop of the Morning.
What does it mean to you in general to recycle fashion?
FH: I’m not going to lie. I do have that urge to have the newest outfits all the time. I feel that pressure. My mum was in the fashion industry and she instilled the importance of buying timeless style items, re-using, re-wearing all the time. Actually, recycling clothes for me is raiding my mums wardrobe (laughs), something I’ve done for a long time!
Are we only scratching the surface of sustainability in episode one of CulturE!d?
FH: With fashion, there’s so much more to be done. All these Aussie designers are taking this step forward and celebrities are now using their platforms to spread awareness. There’s always more that could be done. I do think we are moving in the right direction though as suggested in CulturE!d.
During the last Awards season, it was apparent many celebrities wore sustainable clothes. Will it continue or do you think it’s just a trend?
FH: It will continue. The conversation has just started. You had Margot Robbie alongside Emma Watson as a massive advocate for it. They’re changing the branding around it. It’s cools now to wear the same thing twice or more which once in Hollywood life was not really an option. It’s a movement gathering steam, some influencers included.
Who is leading the way or is inspirational for sustainable fashion locally?
FH: Some of my all time favourite designers I got to speak with at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) were the girls behind Aussie labels Ginger & Smart and Viktoria & Woods. They have not jumped on the bandwagon. They’ve certainly been advocates of sustainability. It’s been important to their brands since the beginning. James Bartle is also incredible. What he is doing is on another level with the social side of it and ethical fashion. He keeps things really interesting.
Do you ever wear “double denim”?
FH: (laughs) oh yes, absolutely! Personally I love double denim. Mum isn’t a fan. She says it reminds her too much of the 80s but I admire the look.
Did you come up with the concept for CulturE!d or brainstorm content ideas?
FH: We all work together in a big team and VAMFF was a big event so we worked around that because sustainability is such a hot topic. It was the perfect fit. All our concepts are a team effort.
Lonely Planet recently released a terrific sustainable holiday resort guide book. In your travels, have you been to any locations embracing environmental designs or one you’d perhaps like to visit?
FH: Good question! I have been to one I can think of in Bali. Alila Resorts are using their own products and have eco-friendly practices. I’ll have to to get that Lonely Planet book. I’ll also take more notice now!
You had a great chat with Celeste Barber on CulturE!d. What was that like?
FH: What didn’t make it on screen was that she was so complimentary! I was a little nervous to meet her being such a well-known comedian, however she immediately calmed my nerves and was passing on encouragement. Throughout the night, I caught her eye a few times as I walked past, She’d smile and go “you did great honey!” that sort of thing. Just really positive.
What else can we look forward to seeing you do on E! this year?
FH: We at E!, like everyone are trying to navigate new and uncertain times but we have created a new series called Hung Up At Home. The title is a play on my surname of course, so fun video content is being worked on including, without naming names, some amusing interviews with Aussie personalities. Stay tuned!
CulturE!d is on E! Entertainment (Foxtel) – EOnline – FetchTV