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Ratty jeans to the theater? Shorts and T-shirts to church? Flip-flops everywhere? No, no and no!
Granted, we must dress for comfort, but sometimes the occasion demands that the clothing be as lovely as the setting. Such is the case with China Chow, the stylish host of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, airing Wednesdays on Bravo.
As she heads into museums, galleries and studios, while burgeoning artists compete for a show, Chow’s ensembles “try to let the wardrobe somehow suit the challenges or assignments the artists are given every week,” she says.
Her show wardrobe is 95 percent samples. Granted, not most of us could fit into these or would be entrusted with them. Designers make a sample, a prototype, usually in a very small size, to entice executive buyers at stores.
And, it’s 100 percent couture. She wears Chanel, Thakoon, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Jil Sander and Erin Fetherston.
Chow also wears Oleg Cassini (vintage), Hussein Chalayan, Derek Lam and Chris Benz.
The outfits on the show, mostly dresses, have also been from Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent.
Chow is fond of a blouse from Rag & Bone. The Chanel dress worn in the pilot is the standard for elegance in the form of a little black dress. The main accent for that outfit was an unusual gold flower in her hair, which was angled so that it framed her face.
“That headpiece was solid metal, and it weighed quite a bit, and I thought, ‘This will be fine,’ ” Chow says. “By the end of the night, I (felt I) have got to take this off, and I could not take it off. I put it on maybe at noon and took it off at 3 a.m. I had a dent in my forehead.”
Because she’s very petite, Chow wears extremely high heels. On the show, she’s been in Christian Louboutin and Brian Atwood.
Chow’s personal style off-screen is “more quiet” she says.
“For me, it is less about the designer and more about the quality and fit,” Chow says, “and whether you can wear it season after season. I try to not accumulate too much. When I was younger, I would buy tons of things, and I just found I didn’t wear those as much. I would rather buy things that are more timeless and that you can wear over and over – and (have) good basics.”
Chow doesn’t have many rules for fashion, though she avoids pastels “because they make me look like I died because of my skin tone.” And she doesn’t wear many prints except Balenciaga and Dries von Noten.
“I feel like it’s a lot chic-er to look quiet and understated,” she says.