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Interview with CulturE!d host Francesca Hung

Interview with CulturE!d host Francesca Hung

Rising from pageant and modelling assertiveness to successfully hosting her own television show, Francesca Hung is a unique talent. The former Miss Universe Australia winner is lovely to get to know and has a passion for sustainable fashion, which is the main talking point on CulturE!d. Featuring in the show are designers setting standards for a new era in fashion. There’s also a chat with personality Celeste Barber, while I also found out Francesca’s favourite classical pieces to play on piano and our mutual love of Giuliana Rancic.

Congratulations for the recent opportunity to join the E family.

FH – Obviously up until now (current isolation), it’s been an amazing dream come true. Lucky enough to interview so much Australian and international talent. Just before we went into lockdown, I was in LA and NYC for a kind of E gathering.

Did you meet one of my favourite people, your new colleague Giuliana Rancic?

FH – No I did not unfortunately Shane. She’s tricky to pin down because of being involved in so many incredible things and someone I look up to. I did talk with one of my favourites, Erin Lim of The Rundown. Also fellow Australian Scott Tweedie, with Lilliana Vazquez from Pop of the Morning.

What does it mean to you in general to recycle?

FH – I’m not going to lie, I do have that urge to have the newest outfits all the time. I feel that pressure, my mum was in the fashion industry. She instilled the importance of buying timeless style items, reusing, re-wearing all the time. Actually, recycling clothes for me is raiding my mum’s wardrobe (laughs), something I’ve done for a long time.

Are we only scratching the surface of sustainability in episode one?

FH – With fashion, there’s so much more to be done. All these Aussie designers are taking this step forward and influence of celebrities now using their platforms to spread awareness. Always, more could be done. I do think we are moving in the right direction as suggested in CulturE!d.

During the last Award Season, it was apparent many celebrities wore sustainable clothes. Will it continue or just a trend?

FH – It will continue, the conversation has just started. You had Margot Robbie alongside Emma Watson as a massive advocate towards it, they’re changing the branding around it. It’s cool now to wear the same thing twice or more which, once in Hollywood life, was not really an option. It’s a movement gathering steam, some influencers included.

Who is leading the way or is inspirational for sustainable fashion locally?

FH – Some of my all-time favourite designers I got to speak with at VAMFF (Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival) were the girls behind Australian labels Ginger & Smart + Viktoria & Woods. They have not jumped on the bandwagon, they’ve certainly been advocates of sustainability, important to their brands since the beginning.

Yes I was intrigued to learn their aims, also James the denim guy.

FH – James Bartle is incredible. What he is doing is on another level with the social side of it and ethical fashion, he keeps things really interesting.

Do you ever wear ‘double denim’?

FH – (laughs) Oh yes absolutely, personally I love double denim. Mum isn’t a fan, she says it reminds her too much of the 1980s but I admire the look.

Besides the beautiful formal dress you still have from school days, what else in your wardrobe may be of special significance?

FH – I always think outerwear, key investment pieces that you can put with everything, is really important. One other timeless piece I’ve had in my wardrobe around six years now that is whipped out every winter, a stunning Camilla and Marc blazer bought long ago, never dates. It goes to show, if you invest in good quality made well, it will last a lifetime.

Does your mood influence the way you dress daily?

FH – That’s probably for everyone really, if I am happy or excited, I’ll opt for brighter outfit colours. Maybe if I’m grumpy, I’d choose black, not sure.

Being freckly, what sort of items do you choose being sunsmart?

FH – Good question, I have to be very careful in the sun as I didn’t get my dad’s flawless olive complexion. I go with mostly shirts, long sleeves but sunscreen is the best accessory I think. Also, sunnies extremely important as I learnt eyes are susceptible to melanomas. Mum being Irish fair skin, red hair, freckles galore, she cannot step foot in the sun.

Do you have a favourite colour preference you might wear most often?

FH – Generally stick to muted tones, beige or white for off-duty Francesca but for E brand, sense of fun, colour, pizzazz. My go-to is likely baby pink or pale blue and if feeling fierce or edgy, I’ll pop a bit of red in there.

Are you still playing piano on a regular basis?

FH – I do, a lot more in isolation. But to my parents dismay, I have the same songs on repeat. Not having a piano teacher in such a long time, I struggle to learn alone. All are classical such as Beethoven’s moonlight sonata or Chopin or one of my favourites is by Erik Satie, Gnossienne. None are fun sing-a-longs (laughs).

Can you sing?

FH – Absolutely not, I think I’m tone deaf.

When vlogging, which subjects excite you most to present?

FH – Love the beauty and hair tutorials, people seem to enjoy those and I know I watch exactly that on YouTube all the time. Apart from that, travel vlogs are exciting – especially now at this time. I will never ever take travelling for granted again.

You had a joyful chat with Celeste Barber on CulturE!d. What happened behind the scenes with her that you can share?

FH – What didn’t exactly make it on screen, she was so complimentary as I was a little nervous to meet her being such a well known comedienne. However she immediately calmed my nerves passing on encouragement. Throughout the night, I caught her eye a few times as I walked past. She’d smile and go ‘you did great honey’ that sort of thing being really positive.

Lonely Planet recently released a terrific sustainable holiday resort guide book. In your travels, have you been to any locations embracing environmental designs or one you’d like to visit?

FH – Another good question Shane. I have been to one I can think of in Bali, Alila resorts using their own products and eco friendly practices. I’ll have to get that Lonely Planet book, I’ll also take more notice now.

During self isolation right now, what are your go-to movies or shows?

FH – Just started Ozark: Season Three. It’s something my family and I watch while I’m into the new season of the Kardashians, it is the perfect time to binge it.

Did you come up with CulturE!d concept or brainstorm content ideas?

FH – We all work together in a big team and VAMFF was a big event so we worked around that because sustainability, being a hot topic, it was the perfect fit. All our concepts are a team effort.

What else can we look forward to seeing you do on E through 2020?

FH – We at E, like everyone, are trying to navigate new and uncertain times but we have created a new series called Hung Up At Home. The title is a play on my surname of course, so fun video content is being worked on including, without naming names, amusing interviews with Aussie personalities coming up, so stay tuned.

What about Baking with Francesca, will that get a run?

FH – (laughs) Just don’t know, I tried baking Apple Tarte Tatin the other night. It was a sort of flop so may give the kitchen a rest for a while.

Watch CulturE!d on E Entertainment (Foxtel) – EOnline – FetchTV

Shane A. Bassett

Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.