By: David Ninh
I got to interview Mandy Moore this afternoon for 5 minutes (the songstress made a pit stop at Fashion Industry Gallery (FIG) today to promote her Mblem fashion line. Here's why I love her...
* She's not only super gorgeous and has perfect skin, she's freakin' tall. At 5' 10", the striking starlet towers over everyone! (AND no fake hair extensions in sight -- a rarity if you're a young "It" gal in LA)
* She's unfailingly polite. When someone with a professional camera started snapping away during the interview, she stopped mid-sentence and asked "Is it ok you not take any pictures? I'd rather not right now...thank you so much!" He sheepishly creeps away.
* Forget shameless self-promotion by stumbling down the rehab/party path. When this girl has any spare time at all, which is none, she'd rather stay home and not go out.
* Humility is her middle name. She says, "People don't care too much about me at the end of the day."
* She exclaims to the FIG publicist, "He's so nice!" as I walk away.
F!D: What’s your fashion line all about?
MM: It’s all knitwear. It’s a contemporary line and it’s been kicking around for the last two and a half years. It started off in its first incarnation as just t-shirts because I was a total jeans and t-shirts tomboy; but I really feel that as my style has evolved, the line has well. It’s progressed and reflects how I feel about where I am in my life right now and it’s definitely feminine. There’s a huge emphasis on dresses and still feeling comfortable and sexy — and modest at the same time.
F!D: How big a role do you play when it comes to design?
MM: I work with a great designer who works on the line and I give input. I draw a lot of inspiration from vintage. I’m a huge vintage freak. I love scouring thrift stores and vintage stores. With the line it’s about finding silhouettes that I like and making them more modern and adding more details. Mblem started off as being more of a hobby for me but it’s grown into something just as important as my acting and singing. It’s what makes my plate full.
F!D: You sing, you act and you design. How do you manage having so much on your plate?
MM: It’s all about prioritizing. The line is one of my creative outlets and I tend to shy away from calling myself a “desginer”. I want the line to speak for itself. Gwen Stefani and JLO have unbelievable presence and fashion sense and I admire them for what they’ve done with their lines, but I don’t necessarily want to put myself out there in a big way. I would much rather the clothes and the designs speak for themselves. I definitely have a lot of fun with it.
F!D: What kind of woman would wear Mblem?
MM: It skews a little younger. There are pieces in the collection that are pretty universal and flattering on any figure. I am not a tiny girl and I want the shape and silhouettes to reflect that. You can wear flats and heels with a lot of the pieces — and it looks good whatever size you are.
F!D: I keep reading from critics that there’s a new “mature” Mandy now. How do you think you’ve evolved from your “Candy” singing days?
MM: I feel like people are playing this don’t feel any different. I’ve been living my life and working these past few years. I’ve always felt like an adult and I’m excited that I have these projects that put an emphasis on the fact that I have grown up a lot more. It’s reflected in the films I’ve done, my music and designs as well.
F!D: Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
MM: I have no idea. I don’t really know where my place in this world in. I want to continue doing what I want to do -- singing and acting and being involved with Mblem. Just as long as I can maintain creative control in certain aspects then I’d be pretty settled.
F!D: I’ve been reading a lot about the new album and your collaboration with some cool artists like Rachel Yamagata?
MM: I am so excited about the record and having the opportunity to work with some great artists. I also hope that when people hear the album, they will also be more inclined to check out Rachel Yamagata and the Weepies (who both co-wrote songs with Moore on her new album). To me they are artists who have paid their dues and deserve more credit in the mainstream sense than what they are given right now. I love all of them and feel lucky to call them friends.
F!D: What do you do in your spare time?
MM: (Laughs) What is spare time? Since the beginning of the year I haven’t really heard or known the meaning of the term. I just wish I had some time to do some shopping!
F!D: Compared to all the hard-partying girls like Britney, Lindsay and Paris, you seem to keep it pretty low-key.
MM: I think innately that’s not who I am. I think it’s a combination of that and the fact that people don’t care too much about me at the end of the day. They let me do what I do and let me live my life. And I am perfectly content with that. I also think it’s a choice to put yourself out there in that sense. As a young woman, I am not a big going out person and I’m a homebody anyways. But if I want to go out and have a drink with my friends, there are places to go in town (Moore lives in LA) where nobody’s going to be outside waiting to take your picture. It’s definitely a choice to put yourself in those situations.