Richard Newman was one of the contestants in Big Brother 7, he was known for his flamboyant style, makeup and accessories as well as a fiery personality.
I managed to get ‘5 Quick Questions’ about Richard’s Fashion Sense, past and present, his designer of choice and why you should never lose you’re childhood enthusiasm.
- HJB: You were one of the contestants on Big Brother 7, (voted by the nation as the best series of Big Brother), how has the experience changed your life and what difficulties did you face in the house?
- RN: Big Brother was a wonderful experience, something I really enjoyed. I still remain rather sentimental about my time in the house, however life moves forward so fast that it all seems so long ago. I wouldn’t say Big Brother changed my life, but life sure did change once I excited the house. Suddenly, a lot of people know who you are and they want something from you. I have swam with a lot of sharks after my Big Brother experience. Being in the public eye is both incredibly hard to maintain and immensely draining. Six years on and it’s all back to normal. I’m back working a normal job, in a profession I enjoy. Things have very much slowed down and I’m in a very happy place. I think the most difficult thing for me in the house was the day to day boredom. What looks like fun to the viewers is very much a long drawn out prison sentence with a bunch of crazy people on a television set. You sit around all day waiting for something to happen, one moment of excitement. The quietness and silence drove you insane, especially in those last few weeks when there was so little of us left. The house just seemed so huge and quiet then.
- HJB: You were known for having quite a daring sense of style, makeup, military caps, leather wristbands, and a lot of pearls, how would you say these components of your style represent parts of your personality?
- RN: Well this was all dress-up, going back to when I was a child, digging deep into my costume box and my mother’s wardrobe. It’s what children do. They dress-up to feel special. I think that’s what fashion is. It’s layers of armor, protection. I believe It’s important that we never lose our sense of childish enthusiasm, those early years of dress up. All the fashion pieces I brought into the house and everything I wore was inspired by my years as a child dressing up. I was heavily influenced by Madonna growing up, I worshipped her. The gloves, bangles, pears and wrist bands were all things Madonna wore during her Toy Boy phase. I wanted to bring these memories into the house with me. The Cowboy boots and hats are very Canadian, the fashion growing up in the prairies. The Cowboy look was also a very huge part of my childhood. What I did was mix the two looks up in the house, the Madonna being feminine and the Cowboy parts of me being masculine. I think all of us represent both at some degree and if we bring it out in our fashion sense it can be a lot of fun.
- HJB: How would you say your style has changed from Big Brother to the present day?
- RN: Well I’ve always been a casual jeans & t-shirt kind of guy when I’m not dressing up for a party. I tend to shop at G-Star, Diesel and Levis for denim and shorts. For tops I’ll shop anywhere from TK maxx to expensive boutiques, even vintage and second hand shops. Monday through Friday I work in an office, so I wear dress shirts, ties and posh trousers. A very different look from what I wore in the Big Brother house. I’d say my fashion sense is still very unpredictable. I like that! I try and keep my friends guessing. When I’m planning out what I want to wear, I always remember to keep it fun. This is the most important thing with fashion, to keep it fun.
- HJB: If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life (all expenses paid), who would it be and why?
- RN: Tom Ford hands down. His suits and clothing just oozes sex appeal. I’m getting on in age, so at some stage I’ll have to pack in the gloves and pears. I mean I don’t want to be in my 70’s dressed like Madonna’s Toy Boy. I think Tom Ford is the way forward for me, I just need to get my hands on the cash.
- HJB: Give me 3 reasons why you believe FASHION is important.
- RN: Fashion is important because it’s an expression of who we are, it’s empowering and makes us feel good about ourselves.