On last night's episode of The Rachel Zoe Project, stress finally gets the best of Her Zoeness. A doctor explains that her crippling bout of nausea was in fact a symptom of vertigo. “I don’t have time for this — I don’t have time for vertigo,” Zoe responds. Vertigo is a consequence of something, the doctor explains. “Great. Great. And now I’m being punished by my body,” Zoe continues. The perfectly primped doctor (hey there, national television audience) tells her to relax, de-stress, and not work so hard. Ironically, the robe time at home will only make her life more stressful because from the comfort of her bed she manages to brew up a megadrama between Brad and Taylor over who gets to go to Paris Fashion Week. It was a great lesson in how not to handle a situation.
What we learned about fashion:
• Rachel Zoe’s occupation is not styling, it’s stressing. This becomes clear when the doctor tells her she has vertigo and must try to de-stress if she wants to get better. Zoe says, “It’s like telling a singer not to sing.” Right — picking out outfits for people and massive anxiety attacks are one and the same.
• Taylor has the best blazers. We had to grab a fan when we saw the embellished black Viktor & Rolf number she wore when Rachel called to tell her and Brad about the vertigo.
• Styling at Camp Zoe is always insane, Brad explains, because celebrities always need outfits. Otherwise, they’ll go naked?
• Jewelry are like children. Rachel invites a Decades 2 owner over to pull some jewelry to auction off in his store so she can raise money for cancer. She says she has an “anxiety attack,” naturally, every time someone goes through her jewelry, which she stores in a staggering closet bigger than most New York City apartment bathrooms.
• Even if you say you hate something one week, you can wear it the next. Last week, Brad said he wanted to do away with deep V-necks on men. But this week, he sports a white deep-V with his chest hair spilling out in a scene in the showroom with Taylor. It’s kind of how we felt about leopard print. A few months ago we never would have gone there, but two new scarves with rather innocuous leopard spots have us fantasizing about brisk fall wind.
• Men are just as vain as women. Every woman has seen her boyfriend pinching his fat in the bathroom mirror when he thought no one was looking. But apparently getting dressed is fraught with similar anxieties. Or it is for Roger, at least. When dressing for Rachel’s jewelry party, rather than take his wife’s advice, he spends 30 minutes trying to select a shirt and a pair of pants, sending Zoe’s stress back into the Vertizone. They really are soul mates.
What we learned about life:
• Do not bring your husband to the doctor’s office when you are diagnosed with vertigo. When the doctor explains intense stress may have caused Zoe’s vertigo, Roger exclaims, “The stakes are starting to get higher!” No wonder Rachel's so stressed out all the time.
• Assistants are much better at diffusing drama than husbands. “Are you dying?” Taylor deadpans to Rachel when she learns she has vertigo. “That’s good. We wouldn’t want you to die. I don’t want you to die.” And over to Roger: “You have to take those signs seriously — otherwise there is no Rachel Zoe.” Nothing soothes a vertiginous woman like a husband forecasting her imminent demise.
• A bit of time off does wonders for the complexion! After de-stressing away from her office in her new favorite black robe for a while, Rachel’s skin begins to glow and her eyes look remarkably de-puffed. Sleep or microderm? She would have had time for both.
• Rachel Zoe may in fact have been a child once. That is, if the baby photos her sister brought over for the jewelry auction weren't fraudulent.
• The boss needs to decide who gets to go to Paris Fashion Week. Rachel tells Taylor and Brad they can both go to Paris, but then realizes Hollywood can’t go naked, and three celebrities need outfits for events that overlap with Paris. Either Taylor or Brad has to stay behind to deal with this. Deep down inside it’s clear Zoe wants Brad to go, because Taylor won’t hang out with her every waking — possibly sleeping — second to tell her she’s fabulous while making sure her dresses don’t show too much spine bone. But Zoe realizes Taylor deserves to go because she has been working for her much longer. Rather than tell Brad and Taylor herself, she tells them to decide who gets to go, hoping that Brad will suck it up, realize Taylor is more senior and therefore deserves to go, and give up his spot. She may as well have just thrown them in a barbed wire pen and sold tickets to their catfight.
• Know your assistants. If Rachel had really thought about her method of dealing with the Paris Match situation, she would have realized that Brad would never step up and let Paris go because he is a ham and will not turn down any chance he has to be in front of the cameras or do something "fabulous."
• When the boss can’t make a decision, the senior assistant needs to be the boss and make the right one for her. Taylor knows Rachel wants Brad to step up and give up Paris, but ultimately, rather than make the decision of her own accord, tells Brad he can go and she’ll stay behind, because she is the bigger person.
• Don’t just take your second assistant to Paris Fashion Week because he is kind of a baby. Brad goes to Rachel and tells her she handled the situation very poorly, and he feels like he was “tricked.” This is the perfect opportunity for Rachel to own up to her mismanagement — which she does — and remedy the situation by telling Brad that Taylor should go, not him. But she needs as many gay men as possible around to be on clavicle watch with DVF pom-poms to cheer her on as she moves through life, so she lets Brad come anyway. “Know this isn’t over,” Brad says. Taylor had better redefine "diva" next week.