This Saturday at 9 pm/ET, Style Network's How Do I Look? marks 100 episodes by delivering some of its most heartwarming and life-changing makeovers to date. Visiting New Orleans, host Finola Hughes and her crew turn their attention to a trio of school teachers who long to have their selves "rebuilt" as their hurricane-torn city rises from the rubble. TVGuide.com invited Hughes to share a look at the very special episode.
TVGuide.com: First of all, happy 100th episode....
Hughes: Thank you very much! Thank you.
TVGuide.com: How was the New Orleans idea presented to you?
Hughes: The producers wanted to find something that was really worthy, where we could give back to someone. So we approached the schools in New Orleans and asked for teachers who they thought had a really great story. They submitted a bunch and from there we pitched these three women who are just extraordinary. They had all lost their houses [in Katrina] and their stories are amazing, and they were all so grateful. They want their city rebuilt and they kind of felt like they wanted themselves rebuilt, too. It had a nice synchronicity to it.
TVGuide.com: You also do something very special for their school itself.
Hughes: Yeah, we got them shoes and bags.... All the children got to participate in the makeover and sit in and hang out. The children were so awesome, they were so much fun. The schools are suffering down there, a lot of them haven't even reopened, so this was kind of a special school, and the teachers are so proud of it. It was a very unique experience. The crew, myself and the producers, we felt like we benefited more from it than maybe the teachers did.
TVGuide.com: My eyes are welling up just talking to you about this. How emotional did you get on camera?
Hughes: Well, obviously I was very touched by these teachers and when I spoke to them privately I felt that I had liberty to say how I felt. But on camera, I really want the audience to experience what's happening. If I get too caught up in the story, the audience will be taken out of the moment, so I allow the women to tell their story. But it was hard, because they are talking about incredibly emotional things
TVGuide.com: All in all, from what you saw down there, how is New Orleans doing?
Hughes: The city is a genius city, and it's amazing because of the people who live there. I'm going back at Thanksgiving. I hadn't been there in some 20 years, and I just love that place. It's so friendly and the French Quarter is so cool, there are so many unique places to see. It's so family-oriented, so I'm taking my whole family down there to meet up with some friends and hang out.
TVGuide.com: Did you like accomplishing something extra-meaningful with this episode?
Hughes: I did, yeah. We had done another show for Dressed for Success, and I told one of our producers I want to do more of these. I felt such a connection, and the audience feels it too. Our show has evolved so much in that respect. The producers and I, we feel we have the opportunity to do great shows as well as to do whatever we want. We can take people on a unique journey and also have people benefit from it. When you meet these kinds of people, you don't just walk away; you stay in touch with them. They have gone through an enormous tragedy with an incredible amount of elegance and dignity. Faced with such a devastating situation and watching their city slowly, slowly get rebuilt... they're still laughing and still have an incredible sense of humor.
TVGuide.com: Turning to the more superficial, which current fashion trend are you loving?
Hughes: I love the new sleek look that hopefully is going to come back in, which Marc Jacobs put into his fall runway show. Hello, the body is back! That's really nice.
TVGuide.com: And what are you not loving?
Hughes: Hmm.... I'd like to see the end of the round toe [shoe]. I'd like to go back to a more pointed, savage, vicious toe. I like that warrior look. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What would you do with Britney Spears if How Do I Look? got a hold of her?
Hughes: Oh, I think she should just start thinking about becoming a woman and actually taking responsibility for the way she looks. I would certainly find a more dignified way for her to dress.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of makeovers, General Hospital's Anna recently returned to her romantic leading-lady roots with this Noah story line. Is that going anywhere?
Hughes: I don't know. I would like it to. I really enjoyed working with Rick [Springfield]. He's a nice, relaxed, cool, chill guy. But we still have a lot of episodes of How Do I Look? to do before the end of the year, and I'm still making jewelry for QVC, which takes up a great deal of my time. GH and I, we really try to synch our schedules. They have all my dates and they know when I'm in and out of town. I feel this is why it works so well with Rick and I, because we're both flying around in and out. That's kind of how the story line came about.
TVGuide.com: Did they try to get you for the Night Shift, or is that spin-off pretty much just for the kiddies?
Hughes: Yeah, they did talk to me about that. We'll have to see if that works into the schedule. I think it's an amazing show. I've been watching it and it's great.
TVGuide.com: Maybe if it gets renewed for a second season, they can get you to swing by.
Hughes: That would be nice! Sure.
TVGuide.com: What about Dancing with the Stars? You could totally rock that. Or do you think you're overqualified?
Hughes: No, I don't think I could qualify, because I don't know what category I would fit into. I'm not enough of a dancer now to be the [professional] partner, and I'm not enough of a non-dancer to be sort of "learning." There's no real category for me to be in there.
TVGuide.com: Oh, well — can't blame a fella for trying!
Hughes: [Laughs] Thank you!
The Sept. 3 issue of TV Guide features loads of NFL previews, as well as sneak peeks at many of your favorite returning shows. Try four risk-free issues now!
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