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Exclusive interview: Paul Henry


We asked straight-talking Breakfast host Paul Henry for his opinions on fashion.

tvnz.co.nz:  What does New Zealand fashion mean to you?

Paul:  It's something I'm personally very proud of.  I travel a lot, particularly to the States and I'm always pleased to see Kate Sylvester in shop windows and Trelise Cooper too. It always gives you that pang of pride.  There's an edge that New Zealand garments have and even someone like me who's an Aztec when it comes to fashion, really, can still recognise some of the little twists of some of the designer's work.  I think it's one of our exports that we can be proud of.   

tvnz.co.nz:  Whos your favourite designer? 

Paul: I like the impact of Trelise Cooper's work.  In the right situation, the clothes are stunning.  

tvnz.co.nz:  Do you prefer dressing smartly or casually given you're smart most of the time at work?

Paul: Casually. I like to look really smart in casual clothing.  I think for a man, that's the look to try and achieve. So you look smart yet relaxed, that should be the goal. 

tvnz.co.nz:  What's your favourite outfit?  

Paul: If we're talking a style, I like Chuck Taylors, a nice pair of light denim jeans, a good T-shirt and a casual jacket.  That's the style I try and achieve, if I can be bothered to go to the room where I keep my jackets!

tvnz.co.nz:  Looking your best every morning is obviously very important to your image and the work that you do, what's your secret?  

Paul: I think the idea is to imagine the sort of person that someone would want in their living room early in the morning (and the bedroom too).  Thats really why I don't wear a tie because I don't imagine you'd really want to wake up every morning to an accountant, unless you choose them as your partner. 

I think you have to look relaxed but because of the nature of the work and some of the people I interview each morning, I can't look too casual. 

tvnz.co.nz:  What's the worst item of clothing you've ever purchased? 

Paul: My daughter once encouraged me to buy a pink and grey singlet which she made me try on in the shop and told me it looked absolutely fantastic on me.  I got it home and on a number of occasions I actually took it out and put it on and immediately took it off.  It didn't leave the wardrobe area.  It was about six months later, my middle daughter Sophie burst into laughter when I told her how ridiculous it looked and she told me she knew she could make me buy it.  I genuinely thought she thought it looked good on me!

tvnz.co.nz:  How often do you go shopping? 

Paul: I don't like crowds so I try and reduce my shopping as much as possible.  But I have three daughters so I tend to spend a long time standing in clothes shops and commenting on outfits.  I end up in a clothes shop with one of my daughters at least once a fortnight.  I buy in bulk.  A lot of clothes are purchased for me so when I do go out and find something I like, I'll buy several of them.

tvnz.co.nz:  What's the most luxurious item you've ever worn?

Paul:  I suppose shirts. I've got some lovely shirts which sometimes I don't put on because they're too lovely for the other things I put with them. I don't like spending too much on clothes for myself.  

tvnz.co.nz: What's your favourite colour? 

Paul: I quite like greys and khaki green.  I'm not sure about fabrics but a good quality T-shirt with the right print on it works.  I'm wearing one now which is one of my favourites.  It has an old advert for Arctic Air which I bought in Alaska.  If you get a good quality T-shirt with a good print you're not going to get bored with and the T-shirt is going to look better as it ages.  

tvnz.co.nz:  Who would you say is the most stylish man or woman in the public eye at the moment?  

Paul: (Air New Zealand CEO) Rob Fyfe but sometimes he can look weird. Sometimes he steps over the boundary between stylish and modern and weird.  I've seen him at times when clearly he's been wearing many thousands worth of dollars but it's all wrong.  But having said that, the mere fact he obviously gets great enjoyment out of clothes and he likes to see himself as a clothes horse and he likes to push the boundaries a bit, gives him the award as most stylish. 


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NZ Fashion Week 2010 

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