Hailey Gates On Her Sometimes Dangerous, Sometimes Devastating New Job

Photo courtesy of VICELAND

The model goes behind the seams on ‘States of Undress,’ her new show on Viceland

At only 26 years old, Hailey Gates has studied theater at NYU, appeared in major modeling campaigns, worked at The Paris Review, and acted in a movie opposite Meryl Streep. So when asked what she does for a living, what’s her response? “I guess it depends where I am. I've always done a lot of things and it's always been really important for me to be stimulated in lots of different areas.”

It’s no surprise then, that Gates leapt at the chance to host States of Undress, a six-part documentary series on Vice’s new Viceland channel. The show, which premiered last month, sees her travel to Pakistan, Venezuela, the Congo, Palestine, Russia, and China—all countries with local fashion weeks—to investigate the political, cultural, and socioeconomic factors contributing to the often sinister fashion and beauty practices. “The point of the show is to go to these unexpected places where fashion weeks are occurring, and find out why that's happening,” she tells us. The show’s unflinching examination of identity politics, race, and culture, seen through the lens of fashion, follows Vice’s 2011 series Fashion Week Internationale, hosted by Charlet Duboc, who worked with Gates as a producer on States of Undress. “Vice called me in and said they'd like to make a show with me,” Gates says. “I thought they were totally insane, but it turns out they were totally serious. After our initial meeting, they called me back on a Tuesday and then by Friday I was in Pakistan.”

Which is where we find her in the series premiere. We follow Gates to a fashion week in Karachi, a women’s foundation in Lahore, and to a madrassa in Islamabad. “To be able to travel the world, in that way, is unbelievable, but initially, I was hesitant,” says Gates. “I didn't know if fashion would offer enough in terms of avenues to explore, but I quickly learned that we were able to explore a lot of things just through this entry point alone.” Indeed, the first few minutes of the episode sees Gates in her hotel room debating what to wear and wondering aloud about the efficacy of modest dressing: “I might be wearing a burka, but I still masturbate,” she quips.

Along with a skeletal crew (two camera people, a sound person, and a producer, plus a local translator or “fixer”), Gates meets local industry fixtures like models, designers, local It Boys, and journalists, but also tackles heavier sartorial topics with a prominent Muslim cleric with ties to Al-Qaeda, and discusses Pakistan’s energy crisis with the textile ministry’s joint secretary, Hassan Baig. Gates says that one of the coolest things about doing the show is working alongside a group of other women. “That was exciting and important for all of us. While it's hard in a lot of these places, because generally male fixers don't want to take direction from women, I think we were all better off for pushing on and getting through it.”

In one of the show’s more moving scenes, Gates speaks to both the victims of acid attacks provoked by “immodesty,” and an unrepentant perpetrator who disfigured his own wife. She calls the experience harrowing: “I was just a mess. I couldn't do anything that day,” she says. “It's so difficult it makes me cry even talking about it now. The reasoning behind these attacks is so unbelievable, something as simple as a woman wearing a short-sleeve shirt or cutting her hair. You can buy a litre of acid for less than a dollar and it takes two seconds to ruin someone's life.”

It’s an intense but apt beginning to a series that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to talking about clothes. Throughout the course of States of Undress, Gates comes to learn that fashion “is about defending a choice,” but admits that before the project, she took the subject lightly.  “I think the word fashion is sometimes embarrassing to people because they think it's kind of elitist, or they think if you're involved in fashion that you're sort of admitting to participating in some kind of frivolity. But there's so much information in the clothing that we wear.”

Another trip that altered Gates’ perspective was her time spent in Palestine. She had no idea what to expect when “the only young Palestinians that came through the news [to her] were dead ones,” and figured there had to be a community whose story was not getting out to the world at large. But she didn’t expect to discover a landscape that reminded her of home. “I felt sort of ashamed by my surprise at that,” she says. “You think of it as a war zone, but it's on the same coveted waters as the south of France—it's a beach town. And it's really beautiful. I felt really comfortable until there were airstrikes. ”

Gates grew up in the relative calm of Los Angeles, the eldest of six. “I moved around a lot growing up and lived in lots of strange houses. Everywhere from Elvis Presley's old Bel Air bachelor pad to across from the Tate house on Cielo [Drive], where Sharon Tate was murdered [by Charles Manson’s followers].” At one point, she and her sister decided to have a seance to contact Presley’s ghost. “My sister was so obsessed with Elvis dying on the toilet. We lit candles. I actually managed to light myself on fire. There was a lot of L.A. folklore, a lot of weird '70s ghosts in my upbringing.”

Part of what makes Gates such a great host is her hesitance to insert herself into other people’s narratives. She's playful and breezy, but strikingly earnest too, and often visibly affected by the people she meets. You can’t help but wonder how she coped with some of the things she encountered. “There's really no way to prepare yourself for these situations. I know some people are able to reserve their feelings and judgements in these circumstances, but I don't have that ability, for better or for worse.” Her wide-eyed charisma has also drawn hundreds of supportive comments on Instagram, although she doesn’t like social media much. “I guess I'm kind of a private person, which might be shocking considering this show that's so intimate in some ways. I don't like to be that available I guess.” So why did Instagram make the cut? “Actually, because I lost a bet. I've always been kind of a Luddite.”

Her unaffected manner is underpinned by her background in theatre, made clear by her composure during her more challenging encounters on the show. She’s a trained actress and also counts notable filmmakers, writers, and artists in a family that traces its time in California back through seven generations. “I was the eldest, and my parents are both the eldest in their families, so there weren't a lot of kids around that were my age. I spent a lot of time at the dinner table trying to keep up with adults.”

Her family was surprisingly supportive of their firstborn’s dangerous itinerary. “My mom said, ‘As your friend I'm really stoked for you, but as your mother I'm not so into this.’ There was this one moment in Gaza that my phone miraculously worked, and my mom called and was like, 'Where are you?' I was like, 'Er, I just got out the shower,' and she's like, ‘No, where are you?’ and I'm like, ‘er...Gaza?’ She had woken up to news about airstrikes, so she was sufficiently terrified.”

When asked how the experience has changed the way she looks at life back home, Gates pauses to gather her thoughts before saying: “It's funny. Before I left , I used to think of New York as this shithole. Like, 'ugh, I just live in this trash heap and it's disgusting.' And now when I come back, I just can't believe the place that I get to live in. It's remarkable.”

States of Undress airs Wednesdays at 10PM on VICELAND.


Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.