Lorraine Downes will front a new fashion documentary series taking us inside the lives of Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier and more.
The documentaries, to screen on Sky's Rialto, follow some of fashion's biggest names - with a timeline that also mimics Downes' own fashion career.
"My career as a model began in the early 80s and that was the time of dressing to excess and high glamour with NZ designers like Patrick Steele and Adrienne Winkelmann. It was also a time when fashion shows were regular big events," she says.
"I remember modelling in Patrick Steele's collection show in 1985 which was held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The big NZ fashion competition which ran from 1964-1998 was The Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Awards, which was showcased once a year on live TV. It was a wonderful opportunity for new fashion designers to showcase their work on a national platform and to forge successful fashion design careers."
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The former Miss Universe couldn't believe the good timing during lockdown, when she received an email from Roger Wyllie, CEO of Sky's Rialto Channel, asking if she would be interested in discussing being the host for a series of fashion documentaries Rialto Channel would be premiering.
"I met Roger and his team and I left the meeting instantly knowing the fit was right for us all. The shoot was done in a private, chic residence in Ponsonby, which was perfectly suited to our subject matter of high-end fashion," she says.
The series - Fashion's Front Row - will screen in August.
Downes' first foray into presenting, follows a tough act to follow at Rialto, after "mother of the nation" Judy Bailey presented the channel's Reel Women series last autumn.
"It was my first time reading autocue, I was a little nervous, but Roger was an incredible director and told me after the shoot, that I was a natural," said Downes. "I have always said you are as good as the team you are working with, and this shoot was filled with such positive happy energy so I felt in very good hands."
It's not just TV work that is keeping her busy. She runs a wellbeing and image consultancy. Her love of ballroom dancing hasn't faded since she won Dancing with the Stars in 2006 with Aaron Gilmore - and she says being able to dance her Argentine tango again and hugging, have been essentials since lockdown.
"I really missed a good hug!" she says.