George Kotsiopoulos is slapping the cuffs on crazy couture with the hit show Fashion Police for the Entertainment channel. The openly gay fashionista from Skokie rose from the ranks of fashion associate at The New York Times Magazine to become editor for C Magazine.
We talked about being the only man on a panel composed of Joan Rivers, Kelly Osbourne, and Giuliana Rancic on E!
Jerry Nunn: Hi, George. How are you?
George Kotsiopoulos: I’m so tired. We shot Fashion Police this morning and I was picked up at 6:15. I ain’t a morning person. I don’t mind it but if my everyday life was early that would be fine but it is one day a week. It just messes you up.
JN: I bet it does.
GK: If I have a fashion shoot then I can focus creatively on visual things but with this I have to be on. No one cares if my personality sucks on a photo shoot but not on this show.
JN: Melissa Rivers told me that I needed to talk to you because I had interviewed everyone else from the show, then I noticed you are from Skokie…
GK: Born and raised!
JN: You went to school at a university in Illinois.
GK: The University of Illinois in Champagne. I went to Niles West High School. I left Illinois when I was 21. Only because of the weather, it sucks, come on!
JN: I know. So you moved to LA but you learned everything from the New York Times, correct?
GK: Yes, It was an interesting situation because I worked for the New York Times Magazine but I always lived in LA. I had an actual fashion job in New York but lived in Los Angeles. That doesn’t exist anymore. There aren’t real fashion jobs in LA, Vogue or Women’s Wear Daily, but for the most part people have to live in New York City. I really lucked out.
JN: How did you wind up on Fashion Police?
GK: I had some friends that worked at E! so they would ask me to come and do talking head stuff. People said I was good at it so I pursued it more. That became my focus. I was always looking for the next step after styling. I didn’t want to be in my fifties schlepping gowns around to 25-year old girls. It is not becoming (laughs).
I was looking for the bigger picture and I always saw TV as that outlet. The more I did it the better I got. I said yes to anything on television and auditioned. I did shows like Style Her Famous on the Style Network and things like that. I was a correspondent on MSNBC for a show called The Hot List
JN: So one thing led to another.
GK: Yes, the Fashion Police happened about a year and a half ago. They remembered me and there was a short list of guys they wanted. I got it and it is one of those things of watch out for what you wish for! No, I realize how lucky I am. Sometimes I can’t even believe it. I am on a weekly show that airs in over 100 countries all over the world. It kind of freaks me out.
JN: It is very popular and now longer.
GK: We are expanded to an hour. It is crazy when my friends think I am a celebrity. What are they talking about? It’s no big deal to me.
JN: Is it hard being the only guy on the show?
GK: You know what? No. I love them all. It is such a wonderful experience being on the show. I am the fashion expert on the show so that can be hard. My opinions differ from others because I see it from a fashion point of view not a general public point of view. Although I think those both should merge quite well. Kelly and I bicker but I think that is a cute brother and sister thing we do. Being the boy I got over very quickly. I worked in fashion for fifteen years and it is predominantly women. I am surrounded by women all the time!
JN: The SAG Award episode is airing now.
GK: We just shot it.
JN: What did you think of Meryl Streep’s outfit?
GK: On camera when she was moving I thought it was really beautiful. It was cool and light weight. It was by Vivienne Westwood, which is an edgy designer. The only thing I didn’t like was the brown belt. It was very casual. I would have rather have seen black leather. Overall it looked great but didn’t photograph well. I love the fact that she is saying, “I’m here take me the way I am.” It is very refreshing. Her confidence is her most attractive quality and that she came poke fun of herself at the same time.
JN: I remember her being insecure in past interviews.
GK: Maybe that is what happens when you get older. You know you are not the hot thing and just accept that. We are all growing old. It is a matter of accepting it, especially an actress.
JN: So what you were saying before is the accessories are really important like the belt and it all goes together.
GK: Oh absolutely. Accessories are huge! They can ruin an outfit like with Kristen Wiig and that ridiculous collar. I can’t even explain it. Sometimes when you see someone make a mistake like a long earring I can get. With this I didn’t even get it at all. It was a halter neck dress by Balenciaga. It was gorgeous but she had a weird Victorian collar on. If she had not worn that then she would have been one of my Best Dressed choices. Things like baffle me.
JN: What did you think of Viola Davis?
GK: I love Viola. Her dress looked absolutely delicious. It was a Grecian look that we have seen a lot yet she made it look really fresh. She was a Best Dressed nominee for me. I have seen her speak at a couple of events and she just moves you.
JN: Do you ever come back and visit your hometown?
GK: I do. I was there for Thanksgiving. I hosted an event for Swarovski in October. I love coming to Chicago I just need reasons to come there.
JN: Does the show take up tons of your time?
GK: It shoots once a week but I am a real stylist the rest of the time. I am styling magazine shoots and doing appearances. I went on the road with Swarovski this past fall.
I really do want my own show so that is something I want to pursue more and that will happen. Nothing has happened yet but it will, not that I am overly confident or anything like that! (laughs)
Catch the Police on E! For details visit http://www.eonline.com/news/fashion.