Monday, August 11, 2008

The One and Only Chris Keslar

Remember when I offered Chris Keslar from Flipping Out some free life coaching? He took me up on it, and after a brief consultation, I determined that it would be more appropriate for him to be my life coach. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about Chris--he's intelligent, funny, incredibly gracious and unpretentious. And of course, HEL-LO on the style. Yes, my head is way up his ass, but I'm trying to tell you that he deserves it. Wait. That came out a little weird. What I'm trying to say is that he is worthy, oh so worthy, of the love we have been giving him this season.

He kindly agreed to answer some ridiculously shallow (and one or two serious) questions for me. Be prepared to like him even more.

Let's get down to business. I know you watch Real Housewives. Are you partial to East Coast or West? Who do you love to hate--or love to love?

Ooooh, this is a tough one. Being from the East Coast, I'm gonna have to go with my New York gals. 'The Real Housewives of New York City' is such a fascinating study in the hierarchy of class structure. The Orange County women are all pretty much in the same place in terms of their station in their community. Whereas, The NYC women are all at different echelons within New York society, albeit small ones. I think seeing them trying to navigate their different stations is what is so fun - they all call each other out for trying to step out of their stations. Hands down, I am most intrigued by Jena's life and storyline out of the OC housewives (although I do love me some Vicki). Her life and what she's accomplished is pretty impressive. I love how nothing seems to really emotionally affect her, but you know, down deep, there's a lot going on. Out of the New York ladies, I would LOVE to get to know Jill. I just love her interactions with Allie and how much she cares for her family. Her big heart and willingness to help anyone totally endear her to me. You just know that no matter what you're doing with Jill, you're gonna have a good ass time.

You are the nattiest dresser on tv. What do you splurge on? What do you scrimp on? Favorite place to shop?

SGM, it's questions like these that make all the boys love you so! Believe it or not, I'm not a big splurger when it comes to clothes. I grew up the youngest of three kids in a single parent home, so it's always been about the bargains! Shopping for me is about the hunt - finding that perfect piece and getting a deal on it. That's the high for me. It's hard to pay full price when I know it will go down significantly in three weeks.

Having said that, when splurges happen ('cuz let's get real - I'm a gay living in West Hollywood - my resistance to splurging is bound to break down) they usually revolve around accessories. I'm a firm believer that everyone should own an expensive pair of sunglasses. I'm sure there are those of you out there muttering to yourself, "But, I always lose them or break them!" Trust me, when you shell out $300+ bucks for sunglasses - Bitch, you're gonna take care of them! I won't hesitate to splurge on an item if I know it will become a wardrobe staple, like a watch or a one of a kind ring. Oh, and a good cologne knows no price limit. I think a distinctive scent is very essential. I am currently in love with this Sandalwood scent from Geo F. Trumper. Amaaaaazing.

My favorite place to shop, if I had to pick one place, would be J. Crew. It has the best selection of basics for guys. I think any person's wardrobe, male or female, should be about the basics. J. Crew caters to the East Coast boy in me without breaking the bank.

Are you continuing to pursue a career in real estate and/or design?

I'm still mulling this one over. Right after I left Jeff's, I applied to Parsons for their Associates Program in Interior Design. I was granted admission, but have deferred until the spring to make sure that it is something that I really want to invest the money in. This summer, I've been working as a set decorator on a short film. Pretty much like home staging, just on set! Since the show has aired, I've had interest from some designers in having me work for them, but I'm still exploring those options.

Who are your favorite interior designers?

Shelton, Mindel & Associates

They blend classic and modern elements seamlessly. I'd die to live in a home designed by them. (They also did the international headquarters for Polo/Ralph Lauren. Un-freaking-believable.)

Francis Fleetwood.

His style is out of this world and really appeals to the East Coaster in me. This room personifies everything I could ever want in a living room:

If any woman could turn Jeff straight, do you think it would be me?

Does this question even warrant a response? Of course the feminine wiles of the one and only Ms. SGM would turn the Lewis straight! Who can resist her charms, I ask you? WHO?

We know your sister Angela (and your sweet mama Darlene) from Project Runway. Are you watching this season? Who do you like?

I'm totally watching this season like the good little Bravo addict that I am. The first thing that kinda shocked me this season is how young the majority of the designers are. Why are most of them in their 20's? It seems like Bravo is trying to skew younger which makes me wary (did you hear that they're casting for some 'Laguna Beach' type show in the OC? Yikes!)

Anyways, to be successful on Project Runway, I think the contestants need to have that mix of real talent and personality that can carry them through - they have to be watchable and interesting. For that reason, I really like Kenley this season. So far, her work has been sharp, clean and classic. And judging from last week when she won, girl isn't afraid to take a chance! Plus, she puts herself together exceptionally well - her updated pin-up girl look works for her and it sticks in your head. I also like Kelli and was really sad to see Wesley go. Judging by his personal style, he is obviously a great designer.

TV shows that you watch?

Real TV: Swingtown (best show on TV), Gossip Girl, Weeds, The L Word, 30 Rock, The Office, Tell Me You Love Me, Entourage, Anderson Cooper 360, Larry King Live.

Reality TV: America's Next Top Model (a master class in reality television), Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods, Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser, Housewives, Runway, Workout (confession: I just couldn't get through Season 3 ... oy!) Top Chef, American Idol (although I don't think I can get through another season), The Real World (I can't believe I just admitted that) and Date My Ex: Jo and Slade (Psych! Even I have standards!)

When you picked up Jeff's 140 degree lattes, what did you get for yourself?

First of all, the workers at the Starbucks we went to in Los Feliz were SAINTS. Here's how the order went down everyday, regardless of who was at the counter:

ME: Hi! I'd like a grande, non-fat, no foam latte at 140 degrees for Jeff. And could you please write Jeff on the cup? And make sure there's no foam on it. Thanks. Next, I'd like a grande non-fat, no foam latte, normal temperature for Jenni. And could you write her name on the cup? Thanks! And for me, I'd like a venti, non-fat, no foam latte. Normal temp is fine.

BARISTA: Your name?

ME: My name is Chris. Thanks!

Somedays, there would be variations to the order. For instance, sometimes Jenni would only get a tall latte. Or sometimes she would get a non-fat, no foam, green tea latte with only two pumps of melon syrup. And some days, Zoila would get a breakfast sandwich. But, we usually kept that secret from Jeff. ;)

Any parting words about your Flipping Out experience?

I still miss Oliver a whole heck of a lot. Best. Dang. Dog. Ever.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work for Jeff and to see the inner workings of his world and of his business. I have no regrets and will always look back on that period of my life with fondness. Like I said in my blog, I started with a smile and ended with a smile.

It's ALL good.


Indeed it is. Thank you, Chris. You can read more about his Flipping Out experience here.

(So, how about that coffee order?! Who knew Jeff was so opposed to foam? And the incisive sociological breakdown of Real Housewives? Let's discuss!)


Mint Julep said...

fabulous! you're right, i love him more that ever.

I *Heart* You said...

um, SGM, you are AMAZING!!!! such a rick star for getting this interview!

Paloma said...

How awesome that you were able to interview Chris! He sounds like so much fun. I'm sad that we didn't get to see more of him or his personality on Flipping Out.

Leah said...

That guy is a class act. Jeff was so stupid for driving him away.

Chris, you'll do well!

Courtney said...

this is the best profile ever in blogland! I think you have a new job coming need to be a correspondent for reality tv. too cute!!

and Chris seems absolutely adorable! what an awesome interview.

Richie Designs said...

SGM you are a total rock star. wow.

Chris - you are too healthy [emotionally] to have worked for that man. Glad we got to witness someone stepping out of that train wreck. I hope you go out and kick some designer bootie.

Anonymous said...

Stellar interview. SGM never disappoints. What are we going to do now that the Flipping Out season is over? I guess wait for the RHWs of Hotlanta! Rock on SGM. P.s. favorite word of the season "Cuthimoff, cuthimoff, cuthimoff, cuthimoff!" That's one word, right?

amber said...

SGM, you may have just made my "free pass five" list with this interview, it was SO good. I kind of love Chris now...

Megan said...

Superb! Chris is adorable, and someone who should be one of my friends, obviously. You scored, and are obviously going to be hired by Bravo.

The Lil Bee said...

This is AWESOME!! I can't believe he let you interview cool:) He is so hysterical. The phone call alone to Starbucks... He really needs to write a book.

Brittany said...

He is just the sweetest thing! Love it!

Sarah's Fab Day said...

SGM - Not only are you super nice for wishing the rat bastard Wii thieves ill will you got an interview with our fan fave! Look at you celebrity interviewer, next stop E! :)

bakingwithplath said...

I feel so lame because I've never seen flipping out! Now I really want to. Better late than never, I suppose. This interview was so great!

Harvey Millstein, Certified Interior Decorator said...

Hook a brother up, SGM!

SGM said...

Harvey--the two of you together would be MAGICAL.

Thanks for all of the kind words, everyone!

We will miss you on FO, Chris!

Brilliant Asylum said...

a) You rock.
b) I love that you watched "Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods". I HATE that Bailey won over Autumn. Wtf?

P.S. niiiice work, SGM. I think you should become Andy Cohen's understudy prontoburger.

katiedid said...

Can't beleive you got to the Chris! What a fun read, and he sounds like he will be having his own show at some point. Why isn't Ryan hiring this guy? He is a natural. It sounds like he already has the "taste" part down....and that is half the battlr.

Jennifer said...

That was a great interview! He seems like a really nice guy and so funny. OMG--that coffee order! Those must have been some patient Baristas!

About to watch Flipping Out Reunion. Excited!!

maison21 said...

i love he.

Anonymous said...

Do they have thermometers at Starbucks?

SGM said...

Yeah, I'm not sure how they cool it down.

Harvey Millstein, Certified Interior Decorator said...

That picture of him with the pink cuffs--the man can DRESS.

So handsome.