Talking Fashion, Politics and Game of Thrones With Cosmo's Joanna Coles

Coles is clever, smart, and kind of a fabulous no-nonsense badass. Also, she loves Game of Thrones. In other words, she's awesome and we were delighted last night when she let us pick her brain at the Matrix Awards after party. Read on for our interview, in which she dishes on that Christine Quinn luncheon, why fashion and politics are so intertwined (and will continue to be), and all the details on the high-profile political event to which she is taking the cast of GoT.
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Coles is clever, smart, and kind of a fabulous no-nonsense badass. Also, she loves Game of Thrones. In other words, she's awesome and we were delighted last night when she let us pick her brain at the Matrix Awards after party. Read on for our interview, in which she dishes on that Christine Quinn luncheon, why fashion and politics are so intertwined (and will continue to be), and all the details on the high-profile political event to which she is taking the cast of GoT.
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Why did you decide to throw a luncheon for Christine Quinn? I think the next mayoral election is really important. I'm thrilled that she's standing, because I think it's great for us to have a female candidate and a gay candidate, which is really exciting and I think that she was interested in hearing from the fashion community about their needs in New York because the fashion industry is incredibly important to New York; it brings in a huge amount of tax dollars and I think she wanted to talk to people and find out what their anxieties were and how we can bring more jobs to New York, what people feel about the Garment Center, which is now under real pressure. Really, it was an opportunity to talk about fashion and fashion jobs in New York City.

Fashion and politics seem more intertwined now than ever. Why do you think that is? The whole concept of fashion and fashion itself has become much more accessible. Twenty-five years ago it was really about Lacroix and it was about really, really high fashion and then it was about the stuff that people could actually afford, usually in department stores and as we know, that's all changed and now the high street has a strong role. Everybody's making those diffusion lines, so I think fashion itself has changed and people realize it's not just drama and exterior and crazy frocks in Paris. It's actually a real industry. Also, there are a lot of designers who want to make clothes in America, but it's very expensive for them to do that. People understand that fashion could be as powerful for New York as Hollywood is to L.A. and I think that's probably why they've come together. Also, we have a fantastic first lady who wears clothes brilliantly and she's young and vibrant and clearly loves fashion.

What you think politicians like Christine Quinn stand to gain from being in glossy magazines or getting involved in fashion? I think they have a lot to gain in terms of connecting with people who are passionate about their business, who are clear in their demands. A lot of them have a lot of money to support politicians financially and also who bring big audiences with them. Many, many designers have huge, huge followings. At that lunch, it was interesting to see Isaac Mizrahi there and Tim Gunn there. We had Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family, and they bring with them a lot of supporters and a lot of social media followers and just people who are very engaged by them, so their opinion has a lot of influence.

So I read you recently hired a new fashion director... Aya Kanai, have you met her? She's kind of fabulous. She came from Shopbop, where she was the Style Director. Before that she was at Teen Vogue and she's fabulous.

Fabulous. So, any other exciting events coming up? On Saturday, we're going to the White House Correspondents Ball and we're taking the cast of Game of Thrones and we're also going with senator Richard Blumenthal, who's the senior senator in Connecticut and a very powerful political figure, so I'm very much looking forward to that. It's my sort of fantasy evening: D.C., black tie, celebrities, and politics. Heaven.

That's amazing--what exactly does "taking the cast of Game of Thrones" somewhere entail? They're at our table; we've invited them; they're coming; we're going to have a great evening. I'm very excited to be sitting next to Nikolaj (Coster-Waldau aka Jaime Lannister), the incestuous one.

I don't watch it but our other editors are obsessed. You have to; it's so good and there are so many metaphors for what's going on today, so I think it's going to be great fun and I understand that a lot of people in Washington are riveted by the show because it's all about power play but in bear skins.

Does this mean one of GoT's leading ladies could grace a Cosmo cover in the near future? We'll just have to wait and see, but we'd put our money on budding red carpet star Emilia Clarke.