On last night's episode of The Rachel Zoe Project, the stress ripped through all seams of reason binding together team Zoe. The Oscars are just days away; they're returning from Fashion Week in New York; Liv Tyler needs clothes for everyday wear; Anne Hathaway needs two gowns for the Oscars; she only has one hour to fit them both; Brad has to be with Anne on Oscar day and last season he couldn't even remember the foot pads. Will Anne go naked? Suffer a rash at the tulle of her Monique Lhuillier? Well, we learned months ago that none of those things happened. But that doesn't quell the excitement of seeing her walk the carpet, wearing a dress, shoes, jewelry, and even carrying a handbag. Herewith, new things we learned.
Things We Learned About Fashion:
• Sequined dresses that are lovely all on their own don’t need trains. Rachel insists Mister Armani devise two train options for Anne Hathaway’s Oscar dress, a simple sequined sheath, as many of us probably recall. However when the entire Armani team, sans the Mister himself, shows up at Zoe's hotel room at Fashion Week with two trains, Rachel can't stand one and essentially pretends to like another, so the kind Armani people don't feel like they were sent on a train wild goose chase. Both completely overpower the dress, which, being covered in sequins already, is a whole lot of look on its own.
• The rush of going to the Marc Jacobs show is similar to what one experiences when going to a rave. This is because Jacobs has started showing on time, and Zoe must select her ensemble with the speed and energy of Bravo's accompanying techno music set to a montage of New York City traffic.
• In case you don’t remember, when Zoe missed Jacobs’s fashion show two seasons ago, the media had, as Zoe puts it, a “field day” and it was “a huge scandal.” By that she means we ran a blog post about it.
• At the fall 2009 season, since Zoe is on time to the Marc Jacobs show, she says, “The press won’t have anything to say about me during this Fashion Week.” She just poses for pictures with Lindsay Lohan at parties for her person scrapbook, hello!
• “Marc Jacobs is just giving people amazing, cool fucking clothes. He’s a master. That’s it,” quoth Zoe. We love it when she curses.
• Being a stylist is officially the most fun job in the world. When Zoe and Taylor break from OSCAR MADNESS AND BANANAS AND DYING to get a day wardrobe together for her dear client Liv Tyler, the work consists of going to stores and taking things without paying. Whatever Liv wants, they pay for later. No checkout lines. No money-spending guilt. Just pure legal stealing.
• Putting clothes on people is like surgery. Zoe arrives home one day stressed out that Brad won’t be able to handle putting Anne Hathaway into her Oscar clothes. Last year he screwed up and forgot foot pads and topstick and the world ended. Husband Roger tells her, “It’s not like he’s performing a surgery.” Zoe replies, “It is a surgery.” Stress prevents her from sitting down.
• Pulling a second dress at the last minute signals the end of the world for a second year in a row. When Anne Hathaway’s team asks Zoe’s to find a dress for her Oscar dance number with Hugh Jackman, Zoe and Brad are beside themselves. So much for sitting!
• Trying on and fitting two dresses takes four hours. Anne only has one hour for her pre-Oscar fitting with Brad and Rachel, which, despite massive anxiety attacks for the styling team, works out just fine. They probably just lost out on three hours of fawning over her and telling her how faaaabulous she is.
• Joey the hair and makeup artist should be a stylist. For one, he only appears to spend 5 percent of his time with the Zoe team actually doing hair and makeup. Second, at one of the many moments Brad is paralyzed at the thought of putting clothes on Anne Hathaway, Joey suggests she walk onto the carpet in American Apparel leggings and declare, “It’s a recession!” Genius.
• It bears repeating: Styling is a surgery. A medical emergency ensues when Brad discovers the tulle on Anne’s performance dress makes her skin red with irritation. Nurse Brad calls Doctor Zoe to inform her of the impending crisis. Zoe, now beside herself with anxiety, suggests he put a cream on her. “Do you think you have this under control?” she asks. “I have to rise to the occasion like I never have before,” Brad replies. This man deserves an Oscar.
Things We Learned About Life:
• The division of work between first and second assistants is never fair. Taylor has to style Demi Moore for her Oscar party, go to Jennifer Garner’s In Style shoot, and shop for Liv Tyler. All Brad has to do is be with Anne Hathaway on Oscar day. But he might break down, so he’s spared from more work so he can have sufficient time to freak out and freak Rachel out.
• Brad and Liv Tyler have had many fun nights out dancing together. Oh, really?
• Half the fun of having a stylist find everyday clothes for you is having two people tell you how fabulous you are for a few hours while you try everything on. However the fun-ness of that might be depleted once said client remembers she’s paying for this service.
• We should all be movie stars so we don’t have to do mundane things like shop for ourselves. Also because, even if we'd pay people to tell us we’re fabulous, it wouldn't be that big of a deal because we'd have so much money we could easily afford it.
• The best husbands see things for what they are. Roger makes several very smart observations to his wife in this episode. First, about the surgery. Also, that Rachel must trust her underlings (well, Brad) if she wants to grow her businesses. Even if she doesn’t listen, without him she’d probably never know the pleasure of sitting.
• Reality-TV shows need devices to push the plotline along. In this show, it’s Joey. After contemplating what purpose he serves, because it’s certainly not doing hair and makeup, we’ve determined he is the person producers hired for Brad and Taylor to explain things to. At Fashion Week, he listens to Taylor whine about not getting a promotion. Back in L.A., he listens to Brad freak out about everything he has to do for the Oscars. Without him, we'd be reading thought bubbles.
• Don’t get too close to your assistants. Rachel decides to discipline Brad for refusing to help Taylor call in samples. Except all she says to him is, “You have a Braditude.” Then they giggle. No wonder Taylor's so abrasive.
• Attitudes are “not really a cute feature,” quoth Brad. Taylor's sure works for her!
• “Being the freaking-out assistant is so not chic,” quoth Brad.
• Stylists bring snacks to Oscar fittings. Brad remembers these before he goes to Anne, but doesn’t remember to tell his intern to show up on time. How counterintuitive.
• Taylor is one of the best reality-TV-show characters of all time. When Rachel tells her Brad’s dream is to go backstage at the Oscars to change Anne Hathaway into a dress for her performance with Hugh Jackman, Taylor replies, “Ugh, that’s a horrible dream.”
• Zoe implies to Taylor she got drunk off of one full glass of Champagne at the Oscar parties she went to. So if they run out of Champagne glasses and serve her in a wine glass, does she wind up as the poor girl passed out on the recliner in the corner?
• It bears repeating: Taylor is one of the best reality-TV-show characters of all time. Brad recounts his time backstage at the Oscars, where he saw Beyoncé and had to control himself from doing the “Single Ladies” dance in front of her. Enter Taylor: “I’d rather shoot myself. This conversation makes me want to slit my wrists.”