The Rachel Zoe ProjectFront Row at NY Fashion Week Season 2 • Episode 2
Last night on the Rachel Zoe Project, Rachel, Brad, and Taylor went to fall 2009 New York Fashion Week. Even though the Oscars were to occur immediately after the eight-day affair. We don't know about you, but we just died when we learned Rachel would have to find an Oscar gown for Anne Hathaway and schmooze with designers on an entirely different coast in the same week. On top of that she has to style Jennifer Garner — her first client, whom she will always be there for — for the cover of InStyle. Stressy! Thank goodness she has Taylor to dump small projects like that on while she deals with adding a train to one dress. And thank goodness she has Brad to keep her company and help her pick out outfits for herself while Taylor's hustling. As usual, we learned much about the fashion industry and life this week. And as usual, none of those lessons involved stress management.
What we learned about fashion:
• If Rachel, Taylor, and Brad don’t go to Fashion Week, Fashion Week will “disappear.” Sounds extreme, but she has a point: the amount of money she spends shipping five suitcases, staying in the Thompson Hotel, having her makeup artist, assistant, and husband around at all times, and buying clothes for herself probably funds 25 percent of the entire eight-day event, while keeping unemployment from rising in the retail and hospitality industries.
• If walking in your Oscar dress is easy, you should have worn it to the Golden Globes. Rachel is stressed about Fashion Week because the Oscars are two days after they return. The best option she has for Anne Hathaway is a sequined Armani dress. As is, it’s perfect for the Golden Globes, she explains, but for the Oscars she needs glamour and drama so she has to ask Mister Armani to add a train. If Karl Lagerfeld did it for her, Mister Armani might too. Lest you think she’s not a real designer, she can sketch her vision, okay?
• In one of many completely staged looking scenes when Brad, sans glasses, is showing
AnnieAnne’s Oscar options to Rachel’s makeup artist, he notes that pleated chiffon makes boobs look weird and the peplums on a Dior number would have to be taken off, which is the entire point of a Dior gown. Sadly Middle America will never get that memo.
• “Black leather leggings are the next must-have for every girl,” Rachel says. We hope you started dieting seven months ago!
• Diane von Furstenberg’s fall 2009 collection consisted of friends, not clothes. When Rachel visits Diane for a preview before the actual show, Diane explains of the racks before them, “When you open your closet all these are just great friends.” Amazing.
• “It’s not the best time to open a store right now,” Rachel explains to Brad et al as they’re preparing to go to the Matthew Williamson store opening party. If Rachel and Brad don’t go will store openings disappear too?
• According to Brad, a typical Fashion Week Day for “starts with pom pom hats and ends with Lindsay Lohan.” This is true, even for non-glamourous blogging attendees like us. Except our days usually involve a cocktail at about hour intervals.
• When Rachel meets Mister Armani for the first time and asks him awkward questions about glamour, he explains Armani Privé is a gift he gives to himself. Alright then.
• When traveling, it’s okay to dress like a normal person. Taylor leaves New York to deal with Jen Garner’s In Style shoot in L.A. wearing velour sweats and sneakers, which is exactly how we would travel if we were hungover and angry too.
• Leopard print is so diva. Normally leopard print is not our go to print for any occasion. However Taylor has two severely fierce diva leopard moments, first in the leopard Dior dress she wears to the Fashion Week party at Marquee. (If you’re going to Marquee you may as well look like a designer zoo animal.) Her next diva leopard moment occurred in the half panther half leopard coat she wears while doing store pulls in L.A. for the In Style shoot and getting mad at the world when she learns all the clothes she’s pulling won’t actually show up in the magazine. For some reason the more we stared at that coat the more we fell in love with it, which is kind of how we came around to men in ankle pants.
• Sometimes it’s best not to meddle with Mister Armani’s design process. Rachel is not satisfied with the trains they attach on the gown at her request. We guess she won’t be getting her Armani diploma this week.
What we learned about life:
• Gay men will always get more attention from female bosses than straight women. While Taylor’s work during Fashion Week consists of styling the In Style shoot, Brad simply accompanies Zoe to her various parties, private viewings, and fashion shows. In the initial meeting when Taylor’s complaining about all the work she won’t be able to do in New York, Rachel hardly even looks at her. She only has eyes for Brad and how fabulous and charming a duo they’ll make trotting around New York trying on pom pom hats. Just because Sex and the City’s off the air doesn’t mean television won’t cast gay men as straight women’s best accessories anymore.
• Shipping luggage is much better than checking luggage, mostly because it arrives at your hotel before you do wrapped in Saran Wrap, as Rachel’s five bags do when she arrives at the Thompson Hotel. All five, almost one per day.
• Always over-pack so you can change two or three times a day and still have options.
• When you’re in your hotel room, never wear any of the clothes you packed. Only wear the white robe provided by the hotel.
• Don’t bring your husband to Fashion Week. Roger, Rachel explains, feels neglected and becomes like “needy Nellie.”
• Never do your own hair and makeup. But this is mostly for social reasons. Rachel brings her fabulous hair and makeup artist Joey with her. He keeps Rachel, Taylor, Brad and Marisa company throughout the trip and seems to only do real work a couple hours a day. The rest of his time is spent giving his opinions on Rachel and Taylor’s outfits, listening to Taylor gripe, and being a beam of sunshine in every member of Team Rachel's life.
• If the paparazzi want a piece of you, it is your duty to selflessly give yourself to the people. Even though Rachel poses for dozens of red carpet photos, she says the experience is “awful” and “like a big disaster” and she has no idea what she’s doing and the lights blind her and it’s just the worst thing in the world. But she does it. For us.
• Straight men will shop with their significant others if there’s a comfortable chair involved. When Rachel and Roger go shopping, he contentedly collapses in the giant chair and mouths off on everything Rachel wants to buy. It is impressive that Rachel has him trained to the point of genuine interest.
• Claim to hate Valentine’s Day, but shower your significant other with designer gifts and overpriced room service carbohydrates. Rachel orders everything on the menu for Roger on Valentine’s day and gives him Dior cufflinks. Even though it’s so cheesy and they hate to do this kind of thing on this kind of "holiday."
• Always have at least two gay men around when getting choosing an outfit for a party. Brad and Joey help Rachel select her outfit for the Matthew Williamson party. And they did a good job: she ended up in something that looked nice on her and wouldn’t cause a firestorm the next day about how skinny she is.
• If you want a product line, embrace faux fur. Rachel meets with some faux fur manufacturers to discuss doing a line with them. She loves real fur, but this is a recession and she wants to be a brand, so she tries on the coats and references 80s Alaia pieces to make herself feel better about how fake they are.
• Again ladies: never get dressed for a party without a gay man present. Your boyfriend and best girlfriends will never say with the utmost honesty and enthusiasm, as Joey does to Taylor when he hooks her into her Dior leopard dress, “You’re so giving it to me tonight.” You know that made her feel so good.
• Brad and Lorenzo Martone are friends. But not just friends, friends who post on the red carpet together outside Marquee. Adorbs!
• Never let Bravo cameras film you dancing at Marquee.