Down-to-earth Hunter charms fans at show

Mark Thompson meets reality television host Rachel Hunter at Fashion in the Chapel event at John McGlashan College, in Dunedin, last night. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Mark Thompson meets reality television host Rachel Hunter at Fashion in the Chapel event at John McGlashan College, in Dunedin, last night. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A kiss on the cheek from supermodel and reality television show judge Rachel Hunter made Dunedin man Mark Thompson's day.

''I've always been a fan of Rachel's,'' the wheelchair-bound man said after meeting her at the sold-out Fashion in the Chapel event at John McGlashan College last night.

''She's taller than I thought.''

He was among a few attendees who met Ms Hunter before the event. And those that did were impressed.

''I grew up with her as the [Tip Top] Trumpet girl and to see her now as a mature woman is fantastic,'' Sue Heenan said.

''She's amazing. I didn't expect her to be so approachable,'' Abby Fitzgerald said.

Ms Hunter, wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress, metallic belt and black stilettos, continued that approach on stage, offering to take questions from the audience.

They ranged from what she earned on her first modelling job - $125 - to how she kept in shape - bikram yoga, pilates, eating well - to when her autobiography was coming out - she has written one but pulled it after finding out her former husband Rod Stewart's was coming out at the same time.

She rubbished a recent New Zealand magazine article about her love life, saying she was single and the main love of her life was a black Pomeranian called Baby.

Her ideal day of bliss was cooking for her children, ice hockey player Liam (19) and dancer Renee (21), which happened rarely these days, as both had left home.

She said her modelling career stemmed from

being ''really lucky and good timing'' as it was not something she had set out to do. She wanted to be a dancer but illness put paid to that, she said.

Despite having lived in the United States for more than 20 years, she still considered herself a ''Kiwi''.

She admitted she got hormonal ''zits'' and that she never wanted to be ''mutton dressed as lamb'', advising women to accessorise to update their look.

''I'm pretty casual. I like to be different and not let fashion dictate to me. I like to mix things up.''

The event was organised by Arthur Barnett to launch its spring and summer fashion collection and also featured a show by Diamond Entertainment, showcasing Bendon lingerie and advice from a MAC make-up artist.

About 440 tickets were sold for the show and $5 from each ticket went to Cancer Society Otago.

-rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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