At 79, comedienne Joan Rivers rules the red carpet - even if she's not on it - thanks to her caustic wit and ruthless eye for celebrities who make dubious fashion choices.
Have you ever regretted anything that you've said on the show?
No. That's because the minute I sit in my chair my allegiance is to the viewer. When you hit my age you say 'I am here because I want to make them happy'. I'm not being corny but that's my job.
Has anyone ever come up to you afterwards?
Yes and the bigger they are... Sarah Jessica Parker will say 'Say it to my face!' and you love her for that. It's the ones that are very still and insecure who say 'how dare you say this?' The bigger they are the more they give.
If you have friends that are on the red carpet, do you go easier on them?
I don't do the red carpet any more per se, but on the show no, you can't, you just can't. That makes it very hard, and it's very, very difficult when you've just had dinner making up with Sarah Jessica Parker and the next day you're going to say where did she get that Philip Treacy hat from?
You must get celebs that love the show and want to be on it?
Yes, everybody now. And we've never had anyone, except one person, and of course I can't remember who now, say that they don't want to come back. Every single person that's been on the show, that's 100 guests, all say this is fun.
Is there anyone who you wouldn't have on because you think they will take themselves too seriously?
Well, I think they have to go through the producers first but I think Lea Michele [from 'Glee']. I would like Lea Michele to come on and explain to us why she is a goddess. Because she absolutely thinks she is. Come on and explain to me why she stands like that and maybe she sits like that too. I would like to see if she sits like that.
Do you ever get tired of making fun of Angelina Jolie?
No, she's my favourite. I love Angelina Jolie, and she's perfect because she takes herself so seriously. Anyone that thinks they are God's gift to the world you say 'darling if you dropped dead tomorrow you will be replaced by someone else'. Those are the ones I just love to take the mickey out of.
What do you think about Victoria Beckham?
First of all I think she doesn't smile enough because she has rotten teeth... (laughs) There has to be a reason! I have met her at Elton John and David Furnish's party, and she was adorable. I couldn't believe it; it brought tears to my eyes. I think her clothes are incredible and impeccable so I love her for that and we always know that she is going to look good, she always looks great. And four children! It is amazing, so I think she looks great. I have nothing to say about her. I think all of my jokes that she smells of vomit and stuff those are just... I have never seen her miss.
What do you think of Kate Middleton and her style?
I think she's stunning. And she buys and wears clothes that are not beyond anybody's range. And the way she puts things together, she dresses beautifully. Oh she's perfect. Not one slip, including the wedding dress. Gorgeous.
What about Rihanna, do you think she should wear more?
Oh bare all while you can! Rihanna take it all off! Because you're going to hit 40 and you are going to start saying, add a long sleeve there. She has got a great body and I don't like sometimes some of the things that she wears. Whoever her stylist is, he is doing a wonderful job.
Are you bored with Lady Gaga's wacky style?
I keep feeling very sorry for her. Because she tried to move into fashion and people absolutely didn't want to see her in that. I want to see her wearing worms! Where's the dead fish hat? I want to see her do something. Wait for when that meat dress becomes vintage!
Who do you love to keep an eye on?
Christina Aguilera, we have just watched her eat, eat, eat! I wouldn't want to be behind her at the fair. You see Christina Aguilera at a buffet, you get in front!. You watch Nicki Minaj, you watch Beyonce like with the controversy where she pretended to be pregnant, those are the kind of things that we study.
You don't think she was pregnant?
I don't think she was pregnant because her body went back in three weeks, I think they had a surrogate like Giuliana [Rancic]. A lot of people are doing it now. I don't know but we were studying those pictures.
Do you have any fashion regrets?
I've always wanted a tattoo. And I went with a friend of mine to get a tattoo but backed out, and on season 1 of Joan and Melissa I went with a friend of mine to get a tattoo and I backed out again, and I was on the table with my ass out. And they had mirrors in the room, stupidly, and I looked in the mirror and saw this big lumpy old thing and I thought no, no, no, no, no, that tattoo will be hitting the back of my shoe, so I stopped. But I really would like to do it.
What tattoo were you going to get?
Probably at my age it would be a recipe. Or maybe at my age it could be a phone number to get me home. Or both. A recipe for chicken soup and then a 'if found wandering call ...' that would be my tattoo.
What do you love about fashion?
Fashion is fun, trends are fun, and if you understand that, it's fine. When people take fashion seriously, I think get away from me. When actresses say this is what we wear, it has to be one shoulder, it has to be this, and it has to be that - oh come on. I'd rather be Helena Bonham Carter. In a way, I hope, she's having fun when she's wearing two different shoes, rather than taking herself too seriously because that's what looks good at the time.
Is there anything you wouldn't wear?
When you're an old lady, it's hard to wear a short skirt if your nipples are going to show underneath it. But you have to know what to wear and when to stop. What does upset me is to see the younger girls dressing a little older. And we talk about that on 'Fashion Police'. If you're 20 years old don't wear a dress for a 35-year-old woman, wear something silly. I'd rather see Katy Perry than Taylor Swift in a gown. I always see her in a gown, and I think you're 20 years old; I want to see you in something young, and hip and fun.
Have you got a guilty fashion pleasure?
Shoes. Platform shoes. Beautiful platform shoes with sparkles on. I've got a pair of Chanel shoes that are like that, all pearls and rhinestones - even a circus clown could not wear them. They're too high, unless you truly want to break a hip. There is no way. I will give them to someone I really hate. But I love looking at them in my closet. My closet is filled with shoes that I don't wear.
Is there one celebrity that you would love to get your hands on for a full makeover?
Sharon Stone - bring her back to where she was. Gwyneth Paltrow - slap her back into reality. Angelina Jolie - calm down. Lea Michele - let's just get real here. You are not the Queen of England. Calm down, and you're not that gorgeous, be happy with who you are. Barbara Streisand - just say no.
Who are your favourite designers?
I look good in Dolce and Gabbana, I look good in Armani. It's classic. And again my one fashion tip is simple and doable. Simple stuff will last and you can add to it. Like this old coat I'm wearing, I added fur. Take something and redo it. I love redoing things. My coat is nine years old and I added the collar so it looks different.
Do you have one item of clothing that has sentimental value and you won't get rid of?
Yes, my wedding dress which I've worn three times (laughs). No I had one dress that I wore to the hospital when my grandson was born. I keep that because I can say to him this is what grandma wore when you were born.
- Joan Rivers will critique the 2013 Oscars red carpet looks in a 'Fashion Police' special on the E! Channel at 9.30pm on Wednesday February 27.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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