by Stacey Cunningham on
Kelly Osbourne shows up on location to the Maniac cover shoot in LA, she’s wearing a studded trucker’s cap, black, menswear-inspired flats and a floaty white tunic adorned with a rubber pin of Karl Lagerfeld’s head, shimmering white ponytail and all. She’s carrying a Chanel hatbox and has a fluffy black Pomeranian in tow- Sid, we later learn. She greets us, warning of a lilac hair color that “wasn’t quite right yet.” But we think it’s nothing less than kick ass.
The lilac hair has become just as much Kelly’s trademark as her Black Sabbath rocker dad Ozzy Osbourne, her reality star fame or her fashion prowess. We can think of another star with a penchant for hair color- there’s a billboard in LA that shows an illustration of Katy Perry in full costume, complete with lilac hair. Kelly must have seen it too, and much to her chagrin, Perry’s hair color was changed from her signature blue to lilac.
“Come on Katy, we’ve been doing this since we were 18!” Kelly says, the first glimpse into her trademark, candid way of speaking that is 1) usually laced with expletives, 2) usually gets her in trouble and 3) makes her one of the most ‘real’ celebs we’ve ever met.
Kelly has become a powerhouse all on her own when it comes to her mouthy role on E!’s Fashion Police, dissecting the Do’s and Don’ts of the fashion world alongside Giuliana Rancic, George Kotsiopoulos and Joan Rivers. The tomboyish, Doc Marten-wearing kid on The Osbournes has morphed before our eyes into a fashion powerhouse who occasionally dons Chanel, Valentino and the like. Through her role of Fashion Police, Kelly’s had a bit of time to cultivate her own style, describing herself as “the grisliest tomboy fashionista you’ll ever meet.” She plays up to this fashion sense at the shoot, donning pieces by Rebecca Minkoff, Chanel, Ruthie Davis, Alexis Bittar and one leather and lace Valentino creation, which I die over, in a Rachel Zoe kind of way. Kelly, however, cites Helmut Lang as her go to brand.
Do we love her most on Fashion Police because we relate to her transformation into a Valentino-clad angel? Or because she’s as shocking now as the teenager she once was on camera? Of her role on Fashion Police, Kelly puts it simply. “ I know I am one of the luckiest girls in the world,” she says. We think so, too. Anyone who attends supermodel and fashion icon Kate Moss’ wedding and walks the runway at Fashion Week’s Heatherette show is on to envy, if you ask us.
But her role on Fashion Police isn’t as simple as it seems. Considering the barbs the cast direst at fellow celebs, we know there must be backlash. So celebs actually do get upset when they make the show’s Don’t list? “Um, yeah, they do,” Kelly says. “I’ve never had anyone come up to me and say, ‘Why did you say that?’ I’ve just been accused of saying things that others on the show have said. I’m just the easiest; no one is going to go after Joan!” While we can’t argue with that (who would go against Joan?) it seems to us that the only girl who can pull off the purple hair is also the girl everyone loves to hate.
But Kelly still holds on to her humble fashion roots, evident by her nervousness while wearing the aforementioned Valentino. “Get this the f— off my body before I ruin it,” she says, walking around set stiffly as if the dress itself will split at any moment. Seeing her diminutive frame, it doesn’t seem likely.
But Fashion Police isn’t the only project the teenage rebel all grown up has taken on. She’s been on Dancing with the Stars, has released two musical albums – and done various musical collaborations and covers, including a duet with her dad of Black Sabbath’s Changes – was the face of Madonna’s Material Girl line for Fall 2011, and most recently, had a cameo appearance on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva.
With all she’s done- TV, music, fashion, on-air hosting, we have to wonder – just why isn’t she bigger? She’s famous sure. But she’s yet to achieve her big break, the one propelling her to superstardom, transcending her past forays into reality TV, failed fashion lines, trips to rehab. At the shoot she even mentions being bumped from the February cover of Lovecat magazine in lieu of indie music phenom Lana Del Ray. “You guys aren’t going to do that to me, are you?” she asks, in a moment of rare insecurity. “I’m really on the cover, right?”
Perhaps her familial role of caretaker has something to do with her stalled fame. Her dad famously suffered from substance abuse and had a near fatal all-terrain accident in 2003; Sharon battled- and survived- colon cancer in 2002.
“I’ve lived with my mom almost dying of cancer, and I was in the hospital with her for over two years,” Kelly says. “ And my dad’s addiction, my high life, and when he had his [accident] and almost died, I stayed in the hospital by his bedside for 14 days. When he came home from the hospital, I slept on the floor by his bed for two months. We had a full routine, had a special shower built. I had to put a swimsuit on, he had to put a swimsuit on, and I’d brush his teeth, wash his hair. I’m probably one of the only girls who can say I’ve wiped both my parent’s asses.”
And no, with Jack’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis earlier this year, it seems her family has another challenge to deal with. Kelly, who is famously close to her brother, was still in the process of digesting the news when taking flight weeks after the diagnosis. She, to put it simply, lost it.
“I had a moment,” she says. “It hit me on an airplane. It was a moment of weakness and I just couldn’t take it. I had a bad day; I’m not even f—ing sorry.” It seems Kelly is susceptible to the same emotional moments as the rest of us. The difference? When she does it, it’s caught on camera. Yet she admits that it “comes with the territory.” Since then, she’s in a better place. “Now I know more about [MS,] and now I know it isn’t a death sentence,” she says.
Kelly is the girl you can’t help rooting for – and we at Maniac were nothing less than thrilled when she announced her relationship with chef Matthew Mosshart via social media earlier this year. The announcement was well coordinated by Kelly- and came nearly a year after the two became a couple.
“When you’re in a relationship with the world and your boyfriend, it’s difficult,” she says. “All of a sudden, you’re Kelly Osbourne’s boyfriend, you lose your identity,” she says. “I just wanted to get to know him before the world stepped in.” Mosshart is a chef, something that Kelly, (who has struggled with her weight for years and now maintains a 50-pound weight loss) doesn’t think is a big deal. Others can’t seem to let it go.
“The newest thing people are asking is ‘How does she stay thin with a boyfriend who’s a chef?’” Kelly says. “And I’m like, ‘F— you.’ It’s no like he’s making me Big Macs.” As of press time the two were still happily ensconced in coupledom.
Kelly, it seems, is a perfect bundle of contradictions—a couture-loving heavy metal scion, a recovering addict who drinks, a former hot mess all grown up, donning enviable designer gowns and speaking articulately in an interview. She’s the girl the public can’t help but watch, whether to praise or criticize. She’s the girl that we love to love and love to hate, but it seems that after everything, Kelly Osbourne has finally found some peace.
“The more we realize to stop seeking perfection, the happier we will be, because there is no person who is perfect,” she says. “There is always going to be someone who’s smarter than you, always going to be someone who’s prettier than you, always going to be someone who has something you want. The grass is always greener on the other side. Love what you have, not what someone else has.”
Through the interview and shoot, the lilac-haired star sneaks outside the studio to take some smoke breaks, once wearing a silky leopard robe then donning a shimmering purple-gray Maria Lucia Hohan gown, one she initially balked at putting on. The reason? She slammed it on Fashion Police. She tells Maniac and her stylist that she can’t put it on or else she’ll look like a complete hypocrite. In the end, she gave in, and the results were nothing less than stunning.
Taking a drag of her cigarette, she throws the tail of the gauzy purple gown over her shoulder so her fluffy rescue Pomeranian won’t pee on it. This is so very Kelly. One minute she’s perfectly poised with immaculate posture and very British accent in place; the next, she’s taking a drag on a cigarette, letting out an expletive-ridden, usually completely true rant about the mean comments she receives on Twitter or the first (and wildly inappropriate) photographer who ever did a shoot with her and spanked her ass.
She even sounds off on the famed photographer Terry Richardson, a shutterbug known for his rumored inappropriate conduct on shoots. Richardson, who has shot everyone from Kate Moss to campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, allegedly engages in all kinds of mess up behavior on set- ‘tampon tea’ being the most prominent rumor.
Kelly tells us she actually prefers female photographers, probably for that reason. In fact, after she wears the very un-Kelly-like Maria Lucia Hohan gown on set, she tells Maniac: “No one’s ever made me feel as ladylike as you did in that dress.”
Interview courtesy of Maniac Magazine from their current issue on stands now.
Photography courtesy of April Hubal