Supermodel Angela Lindvall lives a green lifestyle, and she’d like to see the fashion industry follow suit. The host and judge of “Project Runway All Stars,” premiering Jan. 5 on Lifetime, lives in a canyon home decorated with vintage pieces, painted with VOC-free paints. She practices biodynamic farming on her 7-acre spread, composts, and uses biodegradable products.
“We grow vegetables, have fruit trees, we’re building a chicken coop. We’ll have honeybees after the winter. Solar is next on the list. I want to live a life that’s sustainable in this short time on the planet, and I’m finding ways to do that now,” says Lindvall, who co-hosted Planet Green’s “Alter Eco” with Adrian Grenier, hosted the Be ECO Chic runway show during New York’s Fashion Week and is a founding member of the NRDC’s Clean By Design initiative, which has worked in China to “improve manufacturing standards and reduce pollution by an astronomical amount.
It’s a matter of getting the bigwigs on board to say yes, we can create a look that’s just as gorgeous and sexy and makes less of an impact on the environment.”
A fan of eco-friendly brands like Linda Loudermilk, Edun, and Loomstate and who is always looking for new green designers to wear, Lindvall notes that Source4Style, a sustainable fabric-sourcing site created by environmentalist Summer Rayne Oakes, can be a great resource for designers.
“I would love to see high-end mainstream designers starting to work with sustainable fibers,” she says, but not at the sacrifice of style. “It can’t look like a potato sack.”
The 13 returning contestants on “All Stars” were judged on their design esthetic, not their environmental awareness, “but there was one little green element in the final challenge. We threw in a little twist: we brought them all the scraps from their previous looks and they had to make another look to fit in there,” says Lindvall, who’d like to see more reusing and recycling on the show. “If I have the opportunity to do it again I definitely have some ideas!”
The stakes are higher for the designers in this edition, along with commensurately bigger prizes and tougher challenges, says Lindvall. “They had to pull off a look in six hours for one challenge, and in another they had to ask people for the clothes off their backs.”
The judging sessions were lengthy and intense, although “that gets edited down to five minutes,” with the best lines making it in, she notes. “It’s catty, it’s fashion, it’s dramatic — that’s what it’s about. I watched an episode and thought, ‘Did that just come out of my mouth? I’m such a b*tch!’ But you almost have to be the voice of the audience at home because they’re thinking the same thing!”
Not a big TV-watcher, Lindvall admits she hadn’t seen “Project Runway” before she was offered the job, but then checked it out and found it very entertaining. She nevertheless had some reservations about accepting the gig. Stepping into the Heidi Klum role of host, judge (alongside Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman and a weekly guest judge), and challenge-giver came with a responsibility and exposure that scared her. “I have the biggest fear of public speaking.
And if I suck the show is going to suck,” she thought. “By nature I’m not a judgmental person, I’ve never been particularly great at confrontation.” But she decided to put her fears aside and found that she enjoyed the experience, emerging as a more confident public speaker and learning
“how to constructively say what I like and what I don’t like about somebody and be able to voice my opinion. I started taking that into my relationship, into my management, my life. ‘I can do this now!'”
Interested in doing more hosting and public speaking to augment her career as a model (credits include Prada, DKNY and Victoria’s Secret), Lindvall leads a busy life as the mother of 9- and 6-year-old sons, and is “trying to balance that with how much I can take on my plate.”
At the moment, projects include a jewelry line for QVC with John Hardy that uses recycled silver, and designing a limited edition label for Josie Maran Cosmetics’ Argan Oil that will be available this spring. “The proceeds will go to charity and mine is Healthy Child, Healthy Planet.” She is also training in kundalini yoga with an eye toward getting a teaching certificate.
“I put mind, body, and spirit on my goal list this year,” she says, noting that she signed up to further her own education, not necessarily to teach classes, “but it’s really been transforming my life and bring things into a new perspective for me. I’m gaining such an abundance of knowledge about health. Who knows how it will play itself out?” she asks, glad that she has opened herself up to trying new things.
“I put mind, body, and spirit on my goal list this year”
“Everything that I’ve been afraid of in the past and decided to do has brought my life to where it is today,” Lindvall reflects. “They’ve all happened by fluke and surprise: my fashion career, my son, the films I’ve done, TV shows. I’ve been really fortunate to have a career that’s lasted so long, and I feel really honored to still be able to do it, and I’ll continue to do it as long as I can.”
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