As hosts of ‘The MTV Show’, it comes as second nature to Holly Grabarek and Richard Herrera, the concept of running a show. Yet come 14th July 2012, the duo will have a stage unlike any other to command and excite. With a 20,000 strong crowd and global audience watching, VJs Holly and Rich as they’re more commonly known, will be mistress and masters of ceremony for MTV World Stage 2012. Tongue in Chic sat down with the bubbly duo and learnt of their deep love for family, the outdoors, and… people stroking their hair?

Holly Grabarek, 22 and Richard Herrera, 32, MTV Asia VJs

Who is your style icon?
Holly: I don’t really have one in particular. But I really like reading street fashion blogs. I prefer seeing real people and what they wear, rather than someone famous. I go to The Sartorialist. I usually type in “street style” and just browse from the results.

Rich: I always liked the designs of Hedi Slimane back in the day. I always liked Tom Ford and Tom Ford’s suits. I wish I could look like that – I imagine myself in a suit looking sharp and crisp all the time.

I will never be caught dead in …
H: Fishnets. Even at Halloween, I’d rather not.

R: [Laughs] If you got caught in an actual fishnet though, you’d probably be dying.

H: Probably, yeah [laughs].

R: I’ll never be caught dead in a suit with slippers. I’ve seen guys rocking the vest and the tie, and slippers. That’s a strange look. It says I’m trying, and then I’m not trying. Or I tried until my ankles.

I splurge on …
H: The thing about me is that I know that I should just buy one nice bag, but I keep buying random bags. And then after a few months, I calculate my receipts and I realize I could have just bought that one bag, instead of all these mediocre bags.

R: Shades. I would rock a 15 dollar outfit and a 2000 dollar shades. It doesn’t matter.

I skimp on …
H. Accessories. I used to splurge really bad but then I keep losing them so now I have one ring. I know it looks like I’m married…

R: My friends have been asking if you’re married…

H: [laughs] … but my step dad gave it to me and told me to wear it on my ring finger until I find the right person who will swap it out, so this is all I ever really wear anymore.

R: I skimp on all the manly skincare stuff. Get one solid moisturizer and you’re good to go. You don’t need all that other stuff.

Describe your personal style in 3 words.
H: Casual, convenient and… cool. [bursts out laughing]. That’s so lame to say I’m cool.

R: [laughs] Crisp, clean,…

H: You’re copying me with the 3 C’s!

R: …cocky.

Richard’s choice of accessories – never without his trusty watch.

What are your personal style rules?
H: I like tights. My friends who have watched the MTV show, they know that there’s not been one single episode where I show my legs.  I always wear tights. Maybe once, when I wore a three quarter dress, but I feel more comfortable moving around and stuff. For me, tights go with everything. Once, my friend rang me, saying “Hey I’m writing an article on quirky styles and I hear you wear tights with everything.” I was like, “Kinda.”  But she said, “But it’s so warm in Singapore.” I was like, “Yeah, but I just feel more protected.”

R: It’s like your security blanket.

H: Yeah, I guess. Live recklessly… but with tights on.

R: Follow the dresscode at a party. Because it shows effort and respect to your host. And no slippers with suits [laughs] but dress shoes and underwear okay.

What is your most treasured possession?
H: My ring. Since my stepdad gave it to me, I haven’t taken it off since. The one day I did, I lost it! Well, not really. It  actually went under my bed so I had this panic attack and I never look under my bed and thank goodness, found it.

R: I have a gold chain my mother gave to me and it was her favourite.

Holly’s most treasured possession

When are you at your happiest?
H: When I’m with my family. They live in Los Angeles so whenever I go there,  I just have this intense happiness doing nothing. I’ll be at home, in my room and my parents are downstairs and my sister upstairs – but just knowing that I’m in the same place as them and being able to talk to them.

R: Definitely with family. My immediate family is in the US but I have family in the Philippines as well. Outdoors as well…

H: Yeah, being outdoors. Me too.

R: Playing sports. Being active. I play ultimate Frisbee and American football in Singapore.

H: I just started doing yoga a couple of months. I used to go for it but I used to be horrible. I used to be a joke and then I discovered this yoga teacher. And there’s something about her, she’s super calm and great and suddenly I can do all the moves.

What is your beauty regime?
H: I wash my hair every two days so it doesn’t get too dry. I used to wash it everyday, but the thing about washing is that I straighten it after and it used to get so dry. Washing it less actually has benefited my hair. I just started moisturising my skin with Benefit’s moisturiser and that has been a good thing too. I also started using eye cream too!

R: Scrub everything. And my mum says moisturise. That’s the only thing she told me to do.  I use Clinique and the Kiehl’s for men’s line is quite good too.

What is your favourite scent / smell?
H: I don’t use a lot of perfume but my mum used to use Gucci Rush, and that’s the only one she really liked, so I used to borrow it and it smelled really good. But my favourite is, you know that one, the apple one… Nina Ricci, but I don’t remember what it’s called. That’s the only perfume I’ve ever bought.

R: I like the smell of babies and fruity lotions on women.

Yay or Nay? K-pop.
H: Yay!

R: I’m going to have to say yay.

H: Not crazy yay, but yay.

R: I want to be the member in the back that does not dance. Everyone else is dancing and I’m just looking cool, frontin’.

A happy coincidence – both VJs were wearing white Converse shoes.


I hate it when a man/woman (person of the opposite sex) ….
Smiles! [bursts out laughing]

R: [laughs] No man shall ever be happy around you, Holly.

H: No, no! Unless I know them! If it’s just random people, I’m like, “Why are you smiling at me?”

R: I hate it when women aren’t nice – unkind women. I also don’t like it when a man or woman licks his or her lip in an interview. That’s just a pet peeve of mine.

I love it when a man /woman (person of the opposite sex) …
H: Strokes my head.

R: So they can’t smile at you, but they can stroke your head?

[general laughter all around]

R: I love it when a woman gets ready for work in the morning. That’s a very beautiful sight.

What’s currently playing on your iPod?
H: The Kooks! I’ve always liked them, but I’ve just found a new appreciation for them. I was on the plane and everything else I had heard before, so I saw that they had a new album and after hearing it, yeah, I really like it.

R: I’ve been listening to Mizz Nina’s new album, Takeover, trying to get into the groove. The song she did with FloRida was really cool. I like FloRida. The clubby flavour of her songs will be really good for World Stage to get the crowd pumped up.

My idea of a perfect holiday is …
H: Somewhere just away from civilization. I like mountains and the forest pretty much. No Internet, because I’m too addicted.

R: She can’t handle that.

H: Yes, I can!

R: No Internet, no Wi-Fi for 3 days? You would snap.

H: It’ll be detox!

R: I haven’t been camping or hiking in a while. Like really, really out there. Not the whole 5 star hotel accommodation thing. But…

H: With bears and stuff?

R: Yeah, get in with bears. Just really get in touch with nature. That would be a good holiday, I think so.

When asked what to expect from MTV World Stage 2012, VJ Rich best surmised it with this quip, “Dancing. Insanity. A combination of the great dance forces of the Beliebers and the K-poppers coming together as one. Rather than swim upstream and fight each other, just join forces.”

For more on the VJs, follow them on Twitter at @RichRampage and @hollygrabarek.

MTV World Stage 2012 is happening on 14th July 2012 at Sunway Lagoon with headliner Justin Bieber and other acts like Kara, Jay Park and Mizz Nina. Tongue in Chic will be giving away tickets starting tomorrow so best to start following us on Twitter and on Facebook for all the latest updates.