On the other side of the low dividing wall, while a representative of some lifestyle magazine or fashion website was lobbing softball questions at Georgia Fowler, I sat one seat away from Jack Tame, waiting for my own opportunity to lob softball questions at her.

It was what's known, I believe, as a "press call", a day of interviews and photos and whatever else the media craves to fill its empty pages and endless minutes of air time. It requires a famous and sought-after subject to stay in one place while members of the press rotate over a merciless period of hours to ask endless variations on the same basic set of questions.

If I had arrived early enough, I could have just sat against this dividing wall with my tape recorder going and left, long before my scheduled interview time, with more material than I could ever hope to use.

Jack Tame and I had never met but I recognised him from television and we rapped genially about our respective prospective softball questions. Frankly though, at such close proximity, it was hard to pay attention to anything except the flawlessness of Tame's skin.


I had contemplated sitting immediately next to him but had decided he might think that inappropriate. Still, from two chairs away, it was impossible not to be struck by his porelessness.

His face was so smooth that it was all I could do not to reach over and stroke it. There were no bags under his eyes despite the fact he works on a show that starts so early in the morning, including the morning in question, that he's getting out of bed at about the same time most cool people his age (36? 17?) are getting into it.

It wasn't just the frightening smoothness of the face or its well-known ageless quality that most struck me though - it was its sense of surety, its calm but confident sense of its place in the room. My own face tends to apologise for its presence, but Tame's face bestrode that studio on that morning, as it does the TVNZ studio and every New Zealand television screen on which it appears every weekday morning between 6am and 9am.

Marques Almedia skirt, Paris Georgia top, 08 by Priya Patel earrings.
Marques Almedia skirt, Paris Georgia top, 08 by Priya Patel earrings.

His interview was first. The whole event was running a bit behind schedule. He rounded the dividing wall and I sat there listening intermittently. I wasn't nearly so intrigued by his questions as I was by his face. Mostly, I was trying to memorise my own lame questions: "What does it feel like to be a model?" / "What would you do if you weren't modelling?" / "What's the greatest misconception about modelling?"

I heard him ask a question that indicated he had hung out with Fowler in New York City during the time he had famously served as One News' US correspondent. It was about going to brunch, or maybe it was about going to a nightclub. It may even have been about two separate occasions. I think he was asking if she was aware how much attention she was attracting. I think she said no.

Anyway, this article's not about Jack Tame.

Here's a random but representative sample of headlines about her from the last couple of years:

"Victoria's Secret Model Georgia Fowler Shares Her Ultimate Five Minute Beauty Routine"
"My Everyday Face: Georgia Fowler"
"Victoria's Secret Model Georgia Fowler Shares Her Best Beauty Hacks."
"Georgia Fowler's Go-To Skincare, Makeup And Hair Tips"
"A look inside Georgia Fowler's beauty bag."
"Train like an Angel with Victoria's Secret model Georgia Fowler"
"Project Runway host Georgia Fowler's Kiwi workout"
"Get fit with Georgia Fowler"
"Kiwi Victoria's Secret model Georgia Fowler reveals fridge contents"
"Victoria's Secret Model Georgia Fowler on Food, Fitness, and Insecurities"
"Georgia Fowler reveals her strict diet and exercise regime on the eve of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show"

What the media chooses to say about a person can tell you a lot about the media.

She says that when she was at high school she'd wanted to do engineering because it was so black and white: "There was no bullshit behind it. Maybe I could have done something like that."

But she had been spotted, age 12, by a modelling agency, and her life appears more or less preordained from that point.

Her modelling success - which has been extensive, international, next-level - has, she says, has been down to her ability to work hard, which is something she learned from her dad, Australian golf legend Peter Fowler. Everyone on tour knew that Chooky was the first on the course and the last to leave.

Georgia Fowler walks the runway during the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week 2018. Photo / Getty Images
Georgia Fowler walks the runway during the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week 2018. Photo / Getty Images

In a recent birthday message to her dad on Instagram, she wrote: "Thank you for teaching me that reaching your goals takes dedication and reminding me that if you don't do the hard work, no one else will. Seeing how you work inspires and encourages me everyday."

Growing up, she would say to him, "Dad, why are you going to the gym? Come on, please, don't do it!" He would reply, "I haven't found anyone else to do it for me."

Her life and career philosophy is perhaps best summed up in the following quote: "I think my resilience is the only reason I have got as far in the modelling industry as I have. I just never gave up. There are so many people along the way who will tell you that you aren't good enough, but you just have to keep trying."

She says you also need to be lucky but also says she doesn't think she's been lucky. There were many seasons, she says, when models around her were having fantastic success while she was working hard and getting nowhere.

"A lot of those girls got too big, too soon and got spat out the other end. And I think I became so successful because all the hard work paid off and I was determined and now when I get on set I am working hard and people notice that."

You get given an opportunity, like she was when she was first spotted, and you're brave, and you don't turn it down, as she didn't, and you work hard and persist ... "and then next minute it's 10 years later and I'm like, Wow, okay, here I am.'"

Now 26, Fowler's a big international success and about to become a primetime TV host. Her headline achievement to this point is her 2016 and 2017 appearances in the televised underwear extravaganza that is the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, but her major break came in 2012 when she was asked by Karl Lagerfeld to appear in Chanel's show at Versailles. Last year, she closed Kanye West's Yeezy label's New York Fashion Week show, and she's also appeared in some of the world's leading fashion magazines and been in campaigns for some of the world's leading fashion brands. Two weeks ago she found out she's scored a spot in her third straight Victoria's Secret show.

She says she can now go on to a shoot and be herself, show her true personality and pretty much get away with whatever. That's what hard work can get you.

She's hosting Project Runway, in part because somebody offered her the job, which is the type of thing that happens only when you're already a big international success.

"I did grow up wanting to be something big," she says. "I loved performing. I wanted to be famous."

She says she has always looked up to models like Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson and Miranda Kerr, who became names and then brands. Being a Victoria's Secret model has been her biggest step in that direction so far: "It gives you much more of a platform and a voice," she says.

The next step , she says, is "just getting more. More more more!" She's been working so hard for so many years that she'd like to be more selective and less exhausted.

Georgia Fowler is host of TVNZ's Project Runway.
Georgia Fowler is host of TVNZ's Project Runway.

"It would be amazing to get a jewellery contract or a beauty contract, like a brand that you become the face of and that's guaranteed lock-in money. You know the team and, if it's something you believe in, it can be quite special as well."

Becoming the face of a brand is not easy though. There are so many faces available and only so many brands wanting them, so you have to work the angles. For example you might, she says, get them a bit interested by doing some makeup tutorials and tagging in the brand's products.

But because modelling can never stop being about the way you look, that might not be enough. She's been told she should get surgery to fill in her eyebrows because they're too thin, she's been asked to lose weight for one client and she's been asked to put weight back on for another. "You can never ever please everyone," she says, "and that's what initially you try to do, and then you just end up tearing your hair out and being like, 'Who am I?'

"Some models are some of the most self-conscious people I know because we're judged constantly about everything and from such a young age. 'You're too this, you're not this' - things that other people would never have pointed out to them, we've had pointed out."

The top Google result for her name after wikipedia, her agency page and a short Spy article is a picture-driven story from The Daily Mail, headlined: "Heavenly body! Victoria's Secret Angel Georgia Fowler flaunts her model figure and sculpted abs in black bikini and during Bondi photoshoot"

In 2016, Harper's Bazaar wrote about her daily beauty routine: Embryolisse moisturiser, Nuxe lip, Pawpaw, M.A.C face and body foundation, some concealer under her eyes, around her nose and on any spots, bronzer as a slight contour and on her eyelids, Boy Brow, mascara and a little bit of highlighter on her Cupid's bow, moisturising cream for her hair, occasional exfoliator at night, Bioderma Crealine makeup remover, Glossier face wash, SKINny chemical peel in a jar for the backs of arms and thighs during the week before the show and SKINny face oil for when she's feeling super-dry.

Miss Vogue sought comment about her skin regimen: "I don't think skincare needs to be so complicated. It's best to come from within: lots of good fats, lots of avocado, lots of salmon, olive oil. I never travel without good probiotics and magnesium."

"There are so many people along the way who will tell you that you aren't good enough, but you just have to keep trying."

Last year, Marie Claire wrote of how she de-puffs her morning eyes with Skyn ICELAND eye patches.

In November last year, Byrdie.com.au wrote that all the makeup she has to use while modelling makes her use less in her regular life: "I think that makes me look more chic, you know, by just putting a bit of gloss on my lids rather than a full face. It's easier. Give yourself some dewy skin with a bit of brow gel and concealer, and you're ready to go."

In January this year, Harper's Bazaar wrote that her routine includes: La Mer Creme de La Mer; Nuxe Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm; YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch; Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow Pomade; Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Palette in Intensity One; Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender Brush; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Black; Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Dew.

W magazine wrote that she never leaves the house without brows filled in, skin moisturised, eye circles concealed, a touch of creme contour and a dash of mascara focused on the outer corners.

Various publications have mentioned some of her other favoured products: John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo, Oribe Supershine moisturising cream, Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine, Oribe Dry texturising spray, Chanel eye gel, Equal Beauty's Moisture Eye Veil and Weleda Skin Food.

You can find equal and often even greater detail about how she manages her appearance by googling "Georgia Fowler fitness" or "Georgia Fowler eating"

Last year, news.com.au ran an article about how she follows a diet of protein and vegetables and tries to always take nuts with her to avoid snacking on bad stuff; Vogue wrote about her love for battle ropes as a way to work her heart rate, posture and abs; the-file.com ran a story covering her top six moves for toning her entire body.

Hosting Project Runway is her first major step off the catwalk and away from the fashion pages. She understands that to build a career beyond modelling, she needs to shift the world's perception of her.

"It's about being a personality if you want to really hit the big time," she says.

In just over a week she will, like Jack Tame, be a high-profile TVNZ presenter.

It's very hard to find specific information on how to achieve and maintain an appearance like Jack Tame's.

Googling "Jack Tame eating" gets you the following results: "Jack Tame: Eating a slice of history - about dinner at Rao's"; "Jack Tame: Following Bourdain, some of the best experiences of my life."

Googling "Jack Tame fitness" gets you: "Jack Tame: Breakfast will give me a normal life"; "Jack Tame came back for love"; "Jack Tame talks Tinder and dating in New York City."

Googling "Jack Tame beauty" gets: "Jack Tame wants to use his Hoskingian-level platform to get young people to vote."

You do what you can with your platform, Hoskingian or otherwise, but in the end it's not you who decides what your platform looks like.

Project Runway NZ, TVNZ 2, October 1, Monday, 7.30pm