For most of the television viewing public their first introduction to Olivier Green was when he, and twenty other hopeful fashion designers, came armed with garments to appear on ‘Project Runway’. Green, and the other designers, had no idea they’d be doing one last casting before the final fashion designers for season nine of ‘Project Runway’ were decided.
Green walked into his casting to an enthusiastic Heidi Klum who immediately commented on how cute he was. Most ‘Project Runway’ fans seem to agree. Although Anya Ayoung Chee, with her scandalous sex tape past, currently claims the title of fan favorite with over 40% of the vote Olivier Green has earned himself Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr comments galore about his looks, his designs, and . . . his fakeness?
That’s right. As much as fans seem to love Olivier plenty are crying foul over everything from the way he talks to the pronunciation of his name. Just as many people are commenting on how fake they think his accent is as people are swooning over his fluentness in Italian and his blond good looks. The grumbling reached record heights when Olivier revealed on an episode of ‘Project Runway’ that he was not British and in fact had been born in Columbus, Ohio.
So what’s up with his odd accent?
Here’s the scoop, as Olivier has tried to clarified since the poorly edited ‘Project Runway’ comment aired. While the designer was born in Ohio as a young child he spent several years in Taiwan. At the age of 16 he moved to London. And then, after around six years in the UK, Olivier moved to Milan for schooling.
Could Olivier be outright faking it? Certainly. Though it seems like there would be little reason for an out and out deception. Who would open themselves up to potentially being outed on national television for faking something as silly as an accent?
Many have dubbed his manner of speaking a ‘Madonna accent’, a term which gently pokes fun at Madonna who moved to London and immediately picked up a laughable faux-accent. And yes, that’s always a possibility for Olivier as well.
However, Olivier is multilingual. He is proficient in English, Italian, French and Chinese. It is very likely that Olivier has slight accents from the many places he’s lived. So while the American viewing audience sees his way of speaking as decidedly English, this could explain why many British viewers of the show are quick to point out that his English accent is more than just a little wonky in their opinion. Olivier may just have an accent unique to his country hopping history, one that doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.
Less explainable is his name. Olivier is French and is pronounced ‘O-liv-ee-ay’. On ‘Project Runway’ however, the designers name is pronounced by contestants and the designer himself the same as ‘Oliver’. It is possible that when the designer moved to New York City he decided to Americanize his French name and go by ‘Oliver’. Or that his parents simply liked the French spelling and went with that regardless of what they actually wanted to call him. While Olivier Green has been pretty quick to explain the origins of his accent so far he has nothing to say on the subject of his name.
Looking for all the latest ‘Project Runway’ news? Follow us on Facebook and get all the dirt on designers from all the seasons. Click here!