tv Amanpour Company PBS December 24, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour and company." here's what's coming up. >> from syria to the jungle to the theaters of london and new york, the searing, humanizing story of refugees, brilliant in stage. plus, president trump has embraced saudi arabia and its crown prince, come what may. we do the deep dive on the kingdom's controversial projection of islam abroad. and award season is upon us. we get the inside view from a woman who's not your average hollywood stylist.
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london. america's closest allies are still reeling from president trump's surprise announcement on wednesday that he would withdraw all american forces from syria, claiming mission accomplished. but those troops are a bulwark against not just isis but also the assad regime. also they protect syria's sizable kurdish population from being vanquished. already 5 million people have fled the syrian war, many ending up as refugees, many have made the long and treacherous journey to europe. so it is with art that some are pushing back to showcase the humanity of refugees. it is called the jungle, it is a play that was first staged in london, and it is now in new york. it's named after the famous encampment in callet france on the european side. joining me are amar, a syrian
actor who himself left his country in 2011 never to return. and also director steven doldry of billy elliot, the hours, and the hit show the crown on netflix. those are just some of his major works. gentlemen, welcome to the program. >> thank you very much for having us. >> amar, let me ask you, what is your reaction, if you have any to president trump saying that he wants to withdraw all u.s. forces from syria and that mission there is accomplished? what do you think will happen on the ground? >> i'm speechless always when i look at the news because lots of our houses, they have been flattened to the ground. because of some people saying, you know, we're coming to free the place from this party or this party. and you end up with nothing. so, yeah, withdrawing the
troops, fine. but we already lost everything in a way. >> so this is really an extraordinary play, and i first want to ask you, stephen, because you could be described as being at the top of the food chain when it comes to film and theater, direction and product, and yet it was two unknown oxford college graduates who came to you with an idea, so tell me how this happened. how did you come to stage this "the jungle"? >> i think at the time of the great migration crisis in 2015, many of us were very aware of this sprawling camp that was being created on the french side of the english channel, where the english border is, which is why the camp was there, not in dover, and many of us wanted to find out more about it, bear witness and really do something. it felt like a great humanitarian crisis. there was nobody there. there was quite a few ngos and a number of people, including two
british play wrights went down to bear witness and stayed for seven months and built a theater, which created the good chance theater. we call it a theater. in many senses, it's many different things. it's a town hall, a meeting place, a multi-faith gathering place, as well as a place for art and, you know, it's such a strange thing to talk about, isn't it, why build a theater in a refugee camp. in a sense, of course the basics need to be taken care of and they were in some vague haphazard way, in terms of sanitation, which was terrible, some shelters, but it felt there was a real need for a gathering place where people from many different communities, many different faiths and many different, speak many different languages could come together and share the experiences they had and the hopes and dreams for the future. >> it is remarkable. it has received incredible reviews in new york and london, everywhere it was staged and also staged in the jungle
itself, but it's done something that little other has been able to do, and that is humanize refugees. i mean, it's made them too people. so amar, let me ask you, you are yourself a de facto refugee. you had left for a project. the war broke out. you didn't return to syria, and you have never gone back. what made you get involved with this production? >> actually, what made me agree to do the production is because it's one of these very rare productions that what you said exactly, to tell the story of refugees as humans and they are not just, like, they are not a threat coming to europe. >> i just want to ask you both. a little bit about how difficult it was, actually, to get you into new york, the trump ban from muslim nations including
syria and many others. stephen and amar, how difficult was it to get the actors who you needed to play into new york to play and to rehearse and to get this show on the road? >> it was an almost impossible task, honest, but we were blessed with a huge amount of what i would call community organizing from a series of very great human rights lawyers, but huge support really from the mayor of new york, the mayor of london, and many different ways of trying to find ways around the travel ban when it comes to amar, we had a particular, which you should talk about but a particular interesting way of trying to combat the travel ban. >> i think, yeah, it was really hard, but i'm forever grateful to the army of people from america and london who supported our case. in my case, i was already ineligible for citizenship because i have been in london
for more than seven years now, but i didn't apply for citizenship because in a way we were confident that we were doing this great human play, that we were taking it to america and there won't be a problem, but then they said, well, we can't give you a visa. and then the lawyers here and the london, they said but you're eligible for a citizenship, and then they said, okay, let's go for it. and i said there is no time. we only have maybe a month and a half to get to america. but then with the help of lots of people from the home office, the mayor of london, the mayor of new york, and lots of other people, if i start naming them, it's an army of people who were motivated by the good and the help, so my citizenship application was expedited and i received my visa on the day i
flew to america. >> wow. >> the morning i flew to america. >> and straight into rehearsals. i'm going to play just a little clip from the trailer and then we'll talk about it. >> by november in the jungle, i could walk from the sudan through palestine and syria. walk into a pakistani country on oxford in egypt, when does the play become home. >> so that is actually a great line, i mean, what do you feel about that line and, you know, the life that it was portraying or this play portrays? >> like, i love this sentence and this line. when does a place become home. and in a way, this is what good chance have been doing all this time until this moment. it's to make people feel home.
and again, like, do we treat, like, in this play for refugees, they have been treated as a potential rather than victims and that is a very important thing. >> you know, you both talked about good chance and the theater that was called good chance, and i read that actually good chance was kind of the slang or sort of the slogan that was being used in the camp for, you know, a good chance to cross the border to the uk that night, and of course throughout the play, it shows refugees, you represent one of them, basically trying to get across to england. that was the big sort of dynamic, and it's pretty sad. going to get to that in just a second but again, i just want to ask stephen again because one of the amazing things is the way you set it, it looks like it's set in a restaurant that belongs to one of the refugees, an
afghan restaurant in the camp, and it's a mutual friend and college a food critic, a contributor to vanity fair. he's very well known in the literary and journalistic world and he did two things. he did something very humanizing. he wrote actually a food criticism of the, you know, a restaurant criticism. he said, this was a properly cleverly crafted and wholly unexpected dish made with finesse and defied the surroundings and at the same time elevated them as he was eating a red bone curry and chicken liver stew, so tell me what you think first before i go into his other descriptions. that was giving dignity to refugees in a camp by taking their restaurant seriously. how much of an impact did that have on you both? >> i think adrian was, he came
and was just so interesting. he didn't come to write about the camp necessarily. but he did write about the afghan flag which is a restaurant that bwe have set th whole play, the show, sitting in the restaurant, it's performed around them on the tables of the restaurant. it's quite an extreme experience for the audience in terms of the chaos, and some danger, if you like, of the situation, the inhabitants of that restaurant. he humanized the restaurant, and came to the theater as well, the good chance at that point in place, nearby. >> and he also said, i mean, in a way it's a little bit like art imitating life imitating art and the whole sort of circular aspect of it. he wrote that of all the things i've told people back home in england, the stuff about the theater has caused the most eye rolling, brow furrowing,
exasperated exhaling. what a monument to a bleeding heart liberal pretension, a theater in a refugee camp. so how was that sort of overcome? >> i think that, ai said, you know, the vital thing is the basics of survival, which is, again, there was no ngos, there was very little presence by any of the french authorities. so it was really a makeshift camp supported by and large, actually, by english volunteers. and one of the things that we felt was important within that context was to build a meeting place that actually allowed different people from different faiths, different communities to come together. we called it a theater provocation because it allowed people to tell stories in many wa ways out of cultural traditions. the terrible things people get caught up in as you know so well as they get into the countries
is the destruction of personal narrative. you might know where your past is, your presence, but you have no idea where your future is. and you're stuck in this limbo to connect the dots so people can tell stories to each other. shares stories. and stories are so similar, whether it's from a libyan route or whether it's a balken route. people had terrible stories that actually was a very useful way of people sharing those stories, again, to try to find and reconnect with a narrative that actually meant they could perceive a future. >> you talk about not knowing their future and we discussed briefly that part of this, an essential part was to make it across to england, come what may, somehow, whether throwing themselves under the lauries being smuggled out. i want to play another clib and this is -- clip and this is about a people trafficker in the camp talking about the nature of
his business. >> the only way a man could dream of riding on your shore, now as he looks at the map on his phone, he zooms out, he thinks it's not too far, close enough to walk. and then he sets up on the skrour journey about his life. what about this border, the border here, that, that is gone now. >> so the human trafficker is a complicated character. he's talking about all sort of borders, you know, coming down, and particularly the border, he says he's a freedom fighter, a kurdish trying to help refugees find a home, but obviously there's the trafficking aspect of it. amar, talk to me a little bit about what you know about the dynamic between these refugees, some of whom were making a lot of money, trying to get other refugees out and across to england? >> i don't know much about it
other than from the people i met who experienced that. and it is a very hard situation because lots of people, they want to become like a business for lots of people, and actually, some smugglers are better than other smugglers and lots of people will put all their savings of money to give it to one person who would promise them to get to safety, whether on a boat or, and they just, they just go, and i think as we heard from lots of people, whether in turkey, greece or it's kurdish smugglers are the best. they still don't know why. >> do you see them as predators or helpful in this particular narrative?
>> gosh, it's a very complicated answer. there are syndicates and networks that are just in for the money and in bad faith in lots of ways, and there are other people who work to try to enable family members to get over different borders. and some of the migrants, refugees who turn themselves into smugglers help enable other people. it's hard to generalize, certainly in dunkirk, there were groups of smugglers, i mean, again, it's very hard to say these words, who were without doubt questionable in their motives and there were other people who were generally trying to help out different groups of people who often had family links and a lot of people in cali had the right to be in the uk. these weren't necessarily people who were trying to get to the uk for any reason.
there's only about 10,000 on that border, given the fact there was a million people coming into europe. many people had the legal right to be in the uk and it was the british government breaking their own laws by stopping them coming in, and unaccompanied children that had the right to be in the uk, and the dublin three that were not allowed to be in the uk. the british government consistently broke their own laws about stopping people coming into the country who had the right to be there. >> i sense a real intense from you stephen, not just the artistic and creative, but political, humanizing refugees can be called political and i know there was quite a lot of anger among activists, a major bill passed to allow thousands of children to come in, as you say, to be reunited with family members, and the government just stopped it after several hundred and i just want you to talk a little bit about how you feel refugees are being treated, whether it's in england, whether it's in america and what you feel your role is in giving them a voice.
>> it's to make sure people understand that these people get so anxious about the rhetoric, these people are terrorists or drug smugglers. it's nonsense. people have the right to come to the uk. they have family there. they are trying to make a better life for themselves and these often are people who are highly educated, that struggle to get to a certain point in europe and actually have made significant sacrifices. in the jungle, frequent, there were professors, there were engineers, there were, you know, teachers, a whole variety of, particularly within the community that tended to be, if you like the first of the wave of refugees that came over and a lot of them were incredibly professional class. is that the right way to describe them? >> absolutely. and i agree with you, but
basically, i don't think we need to justify by the amount of ser certificates. i agree with you, but if we look back in history, it's just the world as nations running away from one place to another. lots of people, all of us we seek refuge on different volumes and intensities. and i think the people before they reject welcoming others, it's really important to try to attempt to understand the situation, and i think we all in a way suffer from judgment before anything else. i understand it's political, it's sometimes, like, it's not easy to just say to people, welcome. and you open your door. it's not like this. but at the same time, i don't think that there is enough
attempts of understanding of opening arms that people can prosper and can integrate and people are willing to live together. we all live together in a way. >> and the rhetoric at the time, i mean, the rhetoric still now, was a swarm of migrants, david cameron called them. and the image of these migrants of refugees coming, they were portrayed, these people coming to grab something, they were dangerous, and in a sense the job of the jungle is to humanize, and understand who the stories are. i want to ask you one thing, do you expect to go back to syria, do you want to go back to aleppo one day? >> of course i would love to. i would love to. but, you know, i think i don't know if we want to go back to a distorted place from how we know it, how we lived in it, and h e
hopefully, i would love to go and take you all, everyone, everyone watching and listening is very welcome. and i'm sure i'll guarantee we have enough food and enough water because syrian people always have been welcoming. >> one of the most counter factuals is how welcoming, you just said syrians are famously hospitable, people in the most dire circumstances are really hospitable and would give their last piece of bread, their last cup of tea to a visitor, quite unlike much of the political reaction and nonwelcome you are getting in the western world. ithink that's really important. one of the things you said in an interview about this play is that people want to hug each other after this play. people put up signs in their windows saying refugees welcome. this show broke the frame. it's not about refugees, it is about humans. i just wonder if you both can
talk about your reaction to the reaction to this play, whether it's in england and now in the united states? >> you know, actually, it's really, i think it's important, in fact, to say that there are people in britain who were, and to be objective about it, they were so welcoming including still my family and i many friends, people i lived with, people like stephen. he's a genius director. but he's a great human being as well, and justin and again if i start naming people, i will. >> and how did you find the reaction at the end of the play, to the united states and the united kingdom? >> it's different. in london when we perform it, it's very recent and very close, so most of what we tell has a
direct, clear visual reference, whether political or human. and of course people connect to the story because it's a strong story. but every word we say, it lands in a place that is very fresh and new, because we see it daily on the news. it's just 22 miles away, and so just seeing some people after the show, it's such an incredible, i'm very privileged to do it, to see how people come together to us and to themselves, and yes, the question after the play is not what shall i do in this specific thing. it's what shall i do as a human, and you start to look at the other person beside you, which we unfortunately rarely do right now, to look at the other person, not only at ourselves,
and in america, it's similar, and i find it in a way stronger because now it's stripped from all the visual references, yes, what's happening at the borders with mexico is right now, but it's far away from new york. so the story is very effective and people, they just, i can't tell you. i'm every night speechless, and what keeps me going, and do the show every night, not only the responsibility to share this story but actually the reflection and, you know, the reflection that you see on people's eyes and people's hugs. some people i meet after the show, they don't want to say a word, just want to look you in the eyes and say thank you, and it's not a thank you for a great
performance sometimes, but it's thank you because you just helped me to widen in a way the window of my heart and my mind, and that's, i think, that's why theater should be there always. i'm sorry, i talked a lot. >> no, no, that was very good. you said it very beautifully, and it's reflected in what so many theater goers are saying. many people have said this is the most moving thing we have ever seen, and particularly, again, given the political climate, which is against refugees, despite the fact that one on one, people have a completely different view, once they meet one. i just wanted to end. you said this about stephen's director on opening night. you said, i don't have a huge amount to tell you, but the task of this function here is to change the world. go and change the world. stephen, do you remember that? >> i do. what's amazing about this show is i think each performance, they do change the world, i
think people come out changed. i think they connect with the individuals and stories, and they just, there's representatives from many different communities around the world who are refugees themselves or portraying refugees or descendants of refugees and i think people have a huge emotional reaction to the show and to yourself and the cast and the story that you're telling. >> well, it's wonderful. congratulations to you both. stephen doldry director, and amar hag, playing the character of safi. thank you very much in indeed. the war in syria has been made so bloody and lengthy in part because it is the target of so many nation's ambitions, whether turkey, iran, saudi arabia, this fall has brought renewed focus on riyadh's projection of power abroad with the brutal murder and dismemberment of one of its own
citizens, the u.s. based columnist, jamal khashoggi, one of our colleagues, saudi arabia sits in a region that has its fair share of malevolent actors, but there is a long and complex history of extremist ideology and the use of religion to spread ideas abroad. terrance ward has spent his entire life living in and studying the region. he speaks six languages, including arabic and farsi, and his new book is the wahhabi code, how the saudis spread extremism globally, and he came into the studio this week to talk about it. terrance ward, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> so your book, the premise of it is that sort of an overlooked aspect of the global terrorism that we face today is how much of it is inspired by this wahhabism, that is emblematic of saudi arabia. so tell me about that. >> i grew up in the middle east.
i grew up in saudi arabia, then iran, and then cairo. and egypt, and i have many muslim friends and i felt so much pain viscerally, because there was this huge misunderstanding, which i have seen in saudi arabia, which many have understood is there are footprints or at least finger prints on much of what we call global terrorism that emanate through wahhabism, but it's never been really spelled out. sunni islam is 1,400 years old. this is a very new cult, sect, doctrine. the problem is now that it's the official creed of saudi arabia and it's also the inspiring ideology of al qaeda, boca ha b
haram. >> why did you feel that it's even important to distinguish and raise a whole other, i mean, the whole world is happy holding iran accountable. >> if certain powers that be hold to their wishes, i believe we're on the verge of another war, and this would be a third american war in the middle east, ostensibly to deal with terrorism. >> you're talking about in iran. >> against iran. let me just cite a simple set of facts because it's not enough to just look at that question. let's look at the global terrorism data base that is based in kings college, london. cites that more than 94% of the deaths caused by islamic terrorism since 2001 were perpetrated by islamic state, al qaeda and other suni ji hadists.
almost every terrorist attack in the u.s. has had some connection with saudi arabia. visually none is with iran. if we're about to go into another conflict that would cost another trillion dollars, how many countless lives will be spent. and visually none of these terrorist attacks have been linked to iran. are we making the right choice? how is it possible the saudis have escaped the scrutiny. >> that's my question to you, how is it possible, then, since 9/11 when this mantra that 15 of the 19 hijackers were saudis did they escape the kind of scrutiny that iran is under as a matter of course every day. >> all we have to do is look at what has just happened. the entire u.s. senate, divided on every issue, absolutely not even able to have a christmas party together, they passed the unanimous resolution condemning and holding the crown prince
accountable for the murder and obvious decapitation, dismemberment of khashoggi. >> are you basically saying we couldn't even have this conversation and the body polit politic wouldn't even take it very seriously if it hadn't been for the concentrating effect of the murder of khashoggi. >> i think so. >> that's one question. how did the saudis escape the scrutiny post 9/11. >> i think the silence has been purchased. there has been a lot of collaboration on the american side. look, when the jihadis went over to afghanistan, that was part of an american project. very much sponsored by american entities. the fact that -- >> you're talking about the muodra haden. >> against the soviet occupation. >> that was very much a collaborative effort. when it went rogue in turn,
that's when it became difficult. >> let's just unpick it. so wahhabism started and is fundamental to saudi arabia. that's an accepted historical religious fact. what is the link between the house of saud and wahhabism and are you actually saying something that most people disagree with that the government, the kingdom of saudi arabia, the official saudi arabia sponsors terrorism or what are you saying? >> no. i'm not saying that the kingdom sponsors it, what i'm saying is that within wahhabism, which the wahhabis, they are the potential leaders of the political body of which the wahhabi clerics give their allegiance. it was a very os tier,
puritanical interpretation of the quran. essentially dismissing 1,400 years of history. >> a more moderate islam. >> moderate, tolerant, cos cosmopolitan islam was dismissed. very much like what luther said when he held up his book and said only the book, nothing else. >> you in your book talk about the five imperial wahhabi projects that launched this very doctrine, medieval version of islam, intolerant, and let it flourish, and this happened in the last 40 years. which was the first one? >> in 1973, there was extraordinary cash flow. >> that's because of the oil. >> the ioil embargo, and all ofa
sudden the kingdom found itself flush with funds. those within the wahhabi community said, well, now it's time to really spread the word, and the word they called the mission, and the spreading of the word involved building madasas and sending imams to different parts of the world, so the mainstream, traditional islam we were talking about, the tolerant, cosmopolitan islam. the first example, pakistan, takes over power, but then he adopts sherif law. one thing he does also is for saudi funds to come into the western borders to build madasas, for whom, for all refugees that had spilled out after the russian invasion. number two, the students who
were trained in those madrasas. >> they become the taliban, and they take over the country. >> what's the third project? >> then the third project was al qaeda, of course. saudi nationals for the most part, along with bin laden, they come out of that tradition. now, back to your question, is the government funding, no. there are religious institutions, there are charities, there are all sorts of ways money funnels in through private donors, but private donors who found this a very attractive, appealing cause. the fourth becomes isis. >> and the fifth? >> euro islam or the euro project which began because in 19 -- >> the fate of terrorism over the last two or three years. >> why did i write the book. let's go back and connect the dots because without connecting the dots, we live in fear with
no context. it's not 1.5 muslims are mind this. let's connect the dots, 1973, king facing the incredible leap of prices, very nationalistic, he calls out to king fiso of saudi arabia. >> this is the belgian king. >> belgian king, and he said would you perhaps give us a discount and in return, i will give you the tropical pavilion in brussels for your first mosque. of course he said yes, and there is the largest wahhabi mosque in europe. now, there are 77 mosques within brussels proper. all of the fighters who ended up on the streets of paris on that friday the 13th night in november of 2015 came from that
community. >> the bataclan murders. >> right. so when i say another export, it's not brussels, it's kosovo, bosnia, you have been to those countries, you have seen the saudi mosque that have erased chafs what was a traditional form of islam that had lived in this multiethnic environment, thrived in that environment. >> so then, surely you would have been pleased a few years ago when crown prince mohammed bin salman starts to talk about moderating and modernizing islam. this is mohammed bin salman during one of those riyadh investment conferences. we have returned to a country of moderate islam that is open to all religions and to the world. >> i would say that his intentions are very very positive. now, when he says return to the tolerant islam we had before, i
would beg to differ. i grew up there. there wasn't a sense of tolerance. the difference being iran has gone through a very intolerant moment, but that is not the history of the country. saudi arabia has always been wahhabi. >> do you think he means, then, do you think he means go back to the sense of maybe tolerant muslim, moderate islam, that predated wahhabism, that predated the islamic world. >> again, i wrote the book because i have so many muslim who feel absolutely ostracized because of what's taking place. can he turn back to that more, shall we say, tolerant version of islam. traditional version of islam. that would be terrific. i think he would find great resistance. remember, this is a country that doesn't have a single church, a single temple, a single
synagogue, it is absolutely prohibited. so what does turning back to mean. does it mean welcoming in all the other faiths? i think the world would welcome that. the problem with his role and the role of his father is they are also custodians of the holy shrine. >> that's mecca and medina, the holyist shrines of islam. >> and you can't imagine the weight that holds in indonesia, and other parts of the world. >> what is the way forward because if a new, young, crown prince of saudi arabia, which is, you know, ground zero for wahhabism, if he's saying stuff and it's not enough, and plus he's compromised now with the global focus after the khashoggi murder, and even those who were in his corner and backing him and supporting him in the american media and congress et cetera, are turning against him, what is the hope, then? how is this virulent strain of
osteer islam strengthened? >> i think in those actions has been positive. it's a wake up call for the country. after the failure of isis in syria and after the possibility d people connecting the dots of historical linkages in the past, i think that all of that has been positive. let us hope that it can continue, and everyone, as you know, that has come back from saudi arabia has said there is this air of positivity in the air. women are still saying, what about all our activists that are in prison. women are still saying i am my own guardian. i don't want to have the guardian. >> he allowed women to drive but didn't change the fundamental root of the presentation against women. >> that's right. the united states has framed the
battle for supremacy in that region between bad evil iran and decent ally saudi arabia. what needs to happen to create some kind of a tipping point that neutralizes wahhabism, or is that not possible? obviously the saudis went to war against their own terrorists when they attacked them in 2003. what more do they need to do? >> well, in fact, what isis leaders have always said is we are better wahhabis than you are, and claimed that the saudis and the royal family were, in fact, fallen wahhabis and that they were the pure ones, carrying the pure message forward. i think they've understood that this is a huge problem that keeps coming back to revisit them. let's be sane about our next steps because we can't afford other crises. but a strategic relationship that doesn't share democracy, freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom of the press or
human rights, is transaction nalt. >> -- transactional. >> the most interesting things about this moment is all of those things were off the table and couldn't be discussed. now that's changed, should shaw di's main allies go that route. in the after math of khashoggi, we'll see what happens. terrance ward, thank you for coming in. >> thank you so much. eye opening historical facts and analysis. our next guest ranked the most powerful stylist by the hollywood reporter, she is karla welch, the red carpet fairy god mother to today's a list stars waging her wand over justin bieber lord and more, recently collaborated with levis to lobby for gun control. with hollywood's award season just around the corner, karla
briefly stepped away from the glitz and the glam to chat with our alicia menendez. >> karla, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> you have described your process as alchemy and magic and described your role ads an imag architecture. what does that mean? >> i say alchemy because when i meet a client and think about where we're going to go together, conjure myself a little bit of a muse. like i don't think, okay, we're going to do audrey hepburn or romantic or super feminine, i have to internalize a little bit who this person is and what their role is, and what their essence is in a way, so i say it's a little bit of magic because it's really an internal process for me to think about them and then it will come to me. >> we hear stylist and that sounds so glamorous, but what is the actual work? >> i'll run you through a day. we come in the morning, i
probably answer a hundred e-mails. i work with my team. we go out to showrooms where designers have all their clothes, you know, in l.a. and new york, and of course europe as well. so you're actually working on everybody's clock to get requests in, the girls pull, i pull, we lug everything back. i mean, we are so strong and fit because we're carrying these huge, like garment bags of stuff, and then, you know, everything had come back to my studio. i'll edit the clothes down and create a rack for like a client, cesar say sarah paulson is coming, we'll do a fitting, a tailer and the next step is we're adding the shoes, adding the jewelry, packing all the cloths back that we just literally brought in and returning them to the show rooms and the next day we repeat it. >> when you have the client going out for a campaign or a client going out to promote a movie, do you think about how all those looks relate to one
another? >> yeah 100%. it's really, no pun intended a thread. i want to create a whole cohesiveness. at the end if i was to put all 30 images together or however many outfits there are, it's going to look like we told the story that person. there's a lot of thought that goes into it. it's a lot of work. >> i think in some ways people think, oh, you shop for a living. how exciting. i could cure you of wanting to be a stylist in one day. >> like ruth nader known for her acting but became a breakout star on the red carpet, how did that happen? >> she has a unique presence. she carries herself so amazingly. she understands, like, the power of theater. the way we met was so interesting because i was googling kan film festival, and i saw the film loving, this is
an amazing story, and i loved the director, and the next day i got a text from her publicist. this girl wants to meet you. and i was like, well, yes. and we met and we were off and running, and it was incredible. >> growing up as a child in canada, you worked in your father's retail store. what did you learn from that experience? >> i think i learned just hard work, customer service, how to take care of people. like his store was very much where you served the customers, so the idea of service i think very much comes my dad and his shop. i think everybody should work in retail. i think everybody should work in a restaurant. >> your mom is a big influence on your life. >> they both are. i'm blessed with wonderful parents, wonderful siblings, i feel really really fortunate. my mom was such an amazing nurse and she's a cancer survivor and she's just one of those moms who like, i don't know how she did it all. she was kind of born to be a
mom. >> four kids is a lot of kids. >> four kids in five years is a lot. she's an incredible woman. i get a lot of my moral compass from my mom. >> you were interested in fashion when you were younger when you take this detour and work in the restaurant business. what brought you back? >> my husband. my husband came into my sfrau restaurant in vancouver. he fell in love with me, and wrote me a love letter, and i moved down to the states. at that time i was learning what a stylist was. he had photo shoots and the person who was styling for him wasn't doing a good job, and i was like, i can do this. in a way, i think in the styling business, so many up and coming kids want to be instantly the stylist. you'll have so much more longevity, if you find a mentor, apprentice with them, learn the skills you know you're there to represent who you're working for, rather than just for yourself, and i think that's a skill you can kind of take to any job really.
>> well, you talk about service. you service celebrities but in doing that, you've become a celebrity yourself. do you see yourself that way? >> no, not at all. i'm honored to even be in this position. i pinch myself all the time because i think, what, this person made me a dress. it's great. but you're still there to do the work. my clients need to shine, and i'm happy to support them. obviously i love all my goirirl and my one guy. >> that takes a specific personality type to be willing to let somebody else shine. >> of course. it's like the kite and the string. someone's got to hold the string. >> and that's you? >> yeah, happily. >> you take that first styling job and it seems as though things snowballed pretty quick alrea ly for you. do you have a sense of what makes you so good? >> it wasn't overnight. i did lots of jobs like getting images, and music jobs, and ad
jobs that were like we need you to also build the floor, and i was like, okay, i can do this. i had this one client, they always wanted me to do the art department, so i think i tried to like take on as many jobs adds i could in the beginning just to learn as much as i could and then i did, about five years in, i got a huge break. brook wall from the wall group followed me and signed me, and i also, at the beginning, i said, i will not say no to work. >> and what did you sacrifice by never saying no to work? >> well, i sacrificed a little of my kids' life for sure, which, you know, looking back on it is hard, it's a bit of a pill to swallow, but i also needed to provide, you know, in the end we'll be fine. i don't overly regret it, though, because i know she sees me, and i know she's actually really proud of me. >> for those who believe that america is in a period of crisis, it might be easy to look at what you do and say, well, why does style matter, why does
it matter in a moment like this? >> it's separate, and you can and you should be political if you're breathing the air we all share. we're all part of the process, and it affects us. we're all living in part of the system, so you should be political, and i think style can exist because it's a representation of who you are. you know, with my girls, in a way it's your armour that you wear out into the world. there's no greater joy for a lot of the people i know than to put on something they feel amazing in. >> karla, how would you describe your politics? >> i would say, you know, maybe it's because i'm canadian, i think we should all have health care. i think we should be safe from guns. i believe in a woman's right to choose. i believe in anybody's right to love anyone. but i think, am i wrong to think that most people actually feel that way? and i believe that we can
actually find middle ground with each other. >> for you, as a feminist, as a mother of a daughter, do you have reservations about the narrow scope of images we see coming out of hollywood of women? >> of course. but i think if you look at my clientele, you can tell i work with people who are well outside of that narrow scope. you know, i don't have a lot of, like, the tiny, hottest, blondest, sexiest girls but i have, like, amazing women. there is a real type that i work with, and i'm proud of that. so i think we're all changing it. and i think one of the greatest things about social media is how the narrative is being more controlled by people like my clients and like, me, and i think that's a good thing. i think the scope's gotten so much bigger. i think there's so many really interesting people coming out, and i think a lot of women are taking the power. slowly but surely.
>> you talk a lot about conscious consumerism, knowing where you're putting your dollars. how do you decide where you're spending your money? >> i try to work with brands that i think are really authentic. and i think from being in that landscape, and being in the retail world and knowing what's out there, i just try to be super duper conscious. i try to support young designers. of course i work with major brand. that's what's available, and i support these designers who are my friends and who are artists, but i also like to put the ban on a few brands that i think are really negative and there's some stores i'm not going to shop at. >> because of the way they treat women, because of their working conditions? >> working conditions, and how they treat women. if no one is getting paid well for you and i to wear our blazers, like, we don't need it. >> what does it mean to leverage your platform? >> for me, it means choosing projects that allow me to work with partners that will
essentially donate or give money to causes i believe in. for example, the levis collaboration, 100% went to every town for gun safety. i called jen say, the cmo of levis, i think this would be great if you would give all the money, and i'll leverage fi my e and i had the song in my head, and i just was like, oh, i'm going to find out a way to use it and i wrote yoko ono a letter, and they said levis is going to not only make the full fund but they are going to make another donation and take a stand for gun control. it's a really big thing, and two minutes later we got the yes from yoko.
i was like. >> why is it making you emotional? >> because i think that's amazing. like, that felt very big for me. that felt like i am living my purpose. when i was younger, i wanted to join the peace corps and they were like, no, girl, you're not a nurse, you have no real skills for what we need, and i remember thinking, oh, yeah, so i have my skills now. >> thank you so much, karla. >> thank you. and with that we button up tonight's program. thank you for watching, "amanpour and company" on pbs and join us again next time. uniworld is a proud sponsor of
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this is "nightly business report" with bill griffeth and sue herera. >> where's santa? that's what investors are asking as stocks are routed once again. is there any hope the jolly old fella makes a stop on wall street to end the year? d.c. drama. a partial government shutdown, treasury calls to banks to reassure the investors and the president continues to attack the fed. all creating a hangover for stocks. down to the wire. shoppers are still out there getting last minute gifts. that's making retailers happy for the holidays. all that and more for this monday, christmas eve, 2018. we do bid you good evening.