To every American woman who’s ever wanted her breasts cupped by British fashionistas (and Lord knows I do), you can officially get happy. Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, hosts of BBC’s What Not to Wear (and frequent Oprah visitors) are bringing their act Stateside.
I was obsessed with Trinny and Susannah (Sunny? Tranny? Nah, they’re too good for a Franken-moniker) on the original British What Not to Wear because they made fashion literally hands-on, fondling boobs to see if bras fit, snatching off unflattering knickers, and revealing their own squidgy bits. (How can you not love women who’ll lift their own skirts and shirts to show you how to hide flabby abs?) Now they’re piling into an RV, looking for sartorial tragedies this side of the Atlantic for Making Over America With Trinny and Susannah (airing Saturday at 10 p.m. on TLC after the 2009 Miss America Pageant). It’s only a special for now (hint: If you watch it, they’ll make more), but I’ll grab any excuse to talk to Trinny (after the jump).
Funny enough, this isn’t the ladies’ first attempt at an Americanseries. “Years and years ago, we did a pilot for ABC that totallyflunked,” says Woodall, by phone from London. “There wasn’t a [single]woman on the production team, and we thought, ‘Well, let’s go with theflow, it is ABC.’ Disaster!” This time they spent months working outthe concept, which, incidentally, is not What Not to Wear, even if itis the same hosts, same desperate cases, and same makeovers. WNTW was”quite a formulaic show,” she says, adding that Making Over America isfar looser, with no script or structure. The pair didn’t even knowwhere they were going for their first case, Denise, a waitress in a NewJersey diner. “We were given a map and an address and a car.” I won’tspoil the whole special, but suffice it to say Denise ends up all thebetter for her British invasion.
Not that America is full of fashion flunkies — Trinny happens to becrushing on Michelle Obama. “I thought her [Inaugural] morning outfitwas just perfection,” she says, but ask her about the First Lady’sballgown that night and she gets veddy British. “To critique it, [toask,] ‘Is it the most fashionable or the most whatever?’ isinappropriate, actually.” (Is it wrong that I hated Michelle’sball gown? Is it more wrong that I love being chastised by an Englishmum in fab heels?) Actually, she and Susannah are more than a littleused to being flagged down for their expertise, Trinny having once beensurrounded by seven flight attendants on a British Airways jet toTurkey, only for the pilot to emerge from the cockpit. “I thought thepilot was coming down to tell off all the air stewardesses who werechatting, and he went, ‘You know my wife wants to ask you thisquestion….'”
Funny! But really, if the British hosts of What Not to Wear come toAmerica — and on TLC, no less — what does that mean for the hosts of TLC’sAmerican version of What Not to Wear? Should Clinton and Stacey watchtheir backs? “No, not at all!” says Woodall, emphatically. Thenagain — “Well, I don’t know…how successful are they in America?”