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Ever since first appearing on MasterChef Australia as a judge in 2020, Melissa Leong has been praised by followers for her warm and relatable presence on-screen, her impressively diverse food knowledge, and her eloquent delivery of critiques when tasting contestants' dishes.
The 2022 Gold Logie nominee has also become a small-screen fashion icon in her own right. From her statement earrings to food-proof lipstick and colourful outfits, Leong's style has captivated social media over the years and often been the subject of viewers' tweets.
As she returns to the show this year, Leong has said that she's once again worked with the show's wardrobe department to choose some looks that make her feel comfortable and reflect her personality.
"I like to leave creatives to do what they want to do, but also I'm learning about how I need to navigate this public space and feel like I have still some sense of ownership over who I am. And that comes through in what I look like and the choices that I make in terms of fashion," Leong told Refinery29 Australia in an interview that took place in early April, ahead of the show's premiere.
Over time, Leong has become known for effortlessly pulling off bold earrings in the MasterChef kitchen, which have perfectly paired with her show-stopping dresses, jumpsuits and blazers. But she has hinted that her accessories and outfits may not be as loud in 2023. As she's become more familiar with the attention that comes from being on a national cooking show, she's come into her own and wants to embrace fashion in a different way.
"Yes, we started off with heaps of big earrings and big prints and things like that. In my earlier years on television, it gave me a sense of comfort that I had a sense of armour that I could apply to myself in order to to be," said Leong.
"I think, now that I've been doing this for a couple of years, there's a bit of a paring back. I'm good with who I am. I'm doing the work every day to be better. I am not perfect at this by any means, but I'm really good with who I am as a person in a professional capacity and a personal capacity, and so I think I need less things to give me a Dumbo feather to make it through this job."
Like her wardrobe, Leong's makeup — including her bright lipsticks that miraculously never wear off as she tastes multiple dishes — has garnered lots of attention.
"I've had the great fortune of collaborating with a remarkable hair and makeup artist, Ben Dniprowskji, who has been with me on the show this season, and we we get along like a house on fire," she said.
"Our ability to collaborate together to create looks that feel like me, but also push the envelope, gives the audience something interesting to look at. That's been a really wonderful thing to explore this season."
Leong appears as a judge on MasterChef Australia's 15th season alongside Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo (who recently passed away).
Below, we take a look at Leong's stunning on-screen style on MasterChef this season, along with designer details and how you can achieve a similar look. Remember to keep checking back as we continue to update this throughout the season.
Leong injects some brightness into her wardrobe in this sunny Ted Baker dress and statement Gorman earrings, similar to these.
The TV star keeps it chic in smart casual, wearing a top and jean combo from Ted Baker, and a trench coat also from the same brand. She's topped off her look with brown suede shoes from Witchery, and a pair of gorgeous Lovisa earrings.
Leong wears the Ted Baker Immie Cape Sleeve Satin Dress in Mid Blue ($707.46), along with glistening Zara earrings and a slick of bright red lipstick.
Leong wears the Feyah Full Needle Puff Sleeve Dress from Ted Baker ($221). While the green version of this dress is no longer available, you can still purchase it in black. She has accessorised with a pair of glimmerring drop earrings from Zara, and the Crystal Bow Pumps in Nero from Scanlan Theodore.
Leong is popping in pink in an Alice McCall fit and flare dress with white embroidered details, teamed with sparkly red earrings from Hey Polly (similar to these). While Aussie label Alice McCall closed down earlier this year, here are some stunning alternatives to achieve a similar look.
The TV judge keeps with the floral theme, wearing the gorgeous Leo Lin Nayla Midi Dress – Sunflower Print in Pink ($699).
Leong keeps it casual yet chic in Leo Lin's Frankie Pocket Shirt Mini Dress - Evergreen ($399). She's swapped the usual belt for a black woven belt, and topped off her look with a slick of bright red lippie.
Leong is pretty in pastel for the first episode of the season. She wore Leo Lin's Julia Embroidery Fitted Blazer - Sunflower Print in Green ($799), and has paired it with a pair of the label's Hazel Wide Leg Pants ($399).