Last night's episode of The Rachel Zoe Project was hard to stomach. Brad and Rachel trotted off to Paris Fashion Week while Taylor was stuck in the showroom in L.A. doing the work of all three — an injustice Rachel can make herself feel better about by buying Taylor a gift! But she picks out better things for herself and Brad all the while. Brad thinks he can make himself feel better about it by reporting back to Taylor about all the fabulous things he's doing, like going to Chanel and John Galliano and meeting Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano. But the appalling behavior didn't stop there.
What we learned about fashion:
• Paris Fashion Week is a big deal. Zoe explains that it sets the tone for the industry each season. “Everything I get excited about happens in Paris,” she says. We’re pretty sure she’s died over Marc Jacobs and other American designers, but she’s just that intent on rubbing in what Taylor’s missing out on. Just to rub it in more, Brad can’t stop talking about how big of a deal it is for his career to get to go to Paris. He better have sent her some fine macarons.
• There are only two words to describe a Lacroix show: “Parisian chic.” Zoe says “Lacroix epitomizes Parisian chic.” She repeats the phrase “Parisian chic” about seven times in these two minutes. She even tells Christian Lacroix, “Thank you. Thank you. Parisian chic!” and then runs away as though she can’t believe she just said that to him. Everyone can use a reminder of what city they’re showing in from time to time.
• Guests are seated at fashion shows according to their status. Brad notes he usually sits in the second row right behind Rachel. However, at Stella McCartney, he sits in row six. Not to toot our own horn or anything, but at Whitney Port's show, we sat in the front row.
• Bring your best gay assistant to Paris Fashion Week instead of the bitchy girl. Though Rachel professes to be thinking nonstop about Taylor in Paris, she’s secretly glad Brad came. Taylor would have spent the entire tour of Coco Chanel’s apartment (which was ingenious extra publicity for Chanel) huffing and flipping her hair, unlike Brad, who hyperventilates while telling Rachel how fabulous she looks sitting on Coco’s couch.
• Advertising clients are very important to a stylist. Brad sent a bunch of dresses to an ad shoot in New York. They aren’t happy with them and ask the day before the shoot for more options. Shoots for magazines like V are great, but these clients pay the real money. So it’s important that someone (Taylor, obviously) fixes Brad’s mess and gets these people a dress they love.
• Erin Fetherston needs publicity. After Brad hears his work wasn’t good enough for the all-important ad client and Taylor has to send more options, Rachel sends him to Erin Fetherston to pull dresses. Erin herself just happens to be in Paris with racks and racks of dresses to go through with Brad personally. Yeah, this doesn’t quite work like this ... but she looked great on television!
• Fashion shows look terrible when Bravo turns them into montages with cheesy techno music better suited to skits mocking European house clubs on Saturday Night Live. Bravo’s footage of John Galliano’s fall 2009 show absolutely killed us.
• If you’re filming a Bravo reality show, you can go backstage after one of the world’s biggest fashion shows and try on the shoes just for fun. Rachel does this after Galliano. Yeah, and we just go backstage after Alexander McQueen and do chicken impressions with his dresses.
• Shoes are slimming! During the Galliano shoe fest, Rachel says, “I would eat this shoe for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” So that’s her secret!
• Do not call your colleague at the office while you’re being fabulous at Paris Fashion Week to tell her all the fabulous things she’s missing. Brad phones Taylor to tell her he saw the Chanel show and — funny thing! — there was an empty seat next to him with her name all over it. She hangs up on him, and rightfully so.
• One bracelet is not enough to make up for stealing Paris Fashion Week away from your hardest-working employee. Rachel gets Taylor a Hermès red croc-and-gold cuff so she feels less guilty about bringing Brad with her to Paris. One bracelet is not a suitable gift for such an injustice. Unless Rachel delivers it with a parade of elephants while sitting on top of one and singing as a marching band plays alongside and glittery confetti magically materializes from the sky. But if they can try on Galliano shoes backstage right after the show, maybe they can make that happen, too.
• Declining snails is a great way to get out of eating. Rodger eats snails at the end of the episode in the hotel. Rachel says they repulse her and refuses. Is it the snails or that they’re cooked in butter?
What we learned about life:
• Overpack. It's not a burden when your husband is there to carry your bags. (He may whine, but it's better than Rachel exerting physical effort.)
• If you don’t bring your first assistant to Paris Fashion Week, don’t bring the hair guy. Goodness, Joey’s presence in Paris has to be the biggest slap in Taylor’s face. He only works 45 minutes a day (not counting the cheerleading he has to do every time Zoe gets dressed).
• It’s okay to run business meetings in your robe if you’re in a hotel. Zoe does this with her team when they arrive in Paris. She is the only one not wearing actual clothes.
• If you’re going to bring your man to fashion shows, make sure he has something to do. Rodger takes pictures because Rachel and Brad have to be fabulous, which is a full-time job.
• As far as husbands go, Rodger is a find. It’s hard to find straight men who not only shop with minimal whining, but are also completely comfortably in gay fashion circles. Watching Rodger take pictures of Brad and Joey frolicking in the streets of Paris, it became clear that at heart he is one of them.
• OOC stands for out of control. Rodger: “OOC. BRB. OMG. What am I, 12 years old?” No, he could pass for at least 18.
• If you work for Rachel Zoe, you’d better be rich. While Taylor is slaving away in L.A. dressing Jen Garner and fixing the ad job Brad screwed up, Zoe and Brad are vintage shopping in Paris. Brad stumbles upon a leather Dior trench that looks great on him and Zoe — while Taylor is doing the work of all three of them in L.A. — says to Brad, “How about I give you a raise?” so he can buy the 800 euro Dior find.
• Be shameless. The point of the vintage shopping trip is for Rachel to find a present for Taylor because she feels so bad she’s in L.A. working when really she should be in Paris. Instead she finds some Chanel for herself and forces Brad into buying the coat. `
• Again: Be shameless. While Taylor is slaving away in L.A., Brad is meeting John Galliano. “Meeting Galliano is one of the highlights of my career,” he says. Taylor must have liked him so much at that very moment.
• If you talk about the team member that missed Paris Fashion Week because she had to do your work while you went and had the most fabulous fun ever, you’ll feel better about yourself. After the Chanel show Brad and Rachel go to a restaurant to talk about how they died and it’s too bad Taylor wasn’t there to die with them. Brad keeps talking about the empty seat next to him and how it was the only empty seat in the whole house and just had Taylor’s name all over it. But he doesn’t feel remorse. It’s like eating out with a friend who’s on a diet. If you’re not trying to lose weight, indulging in a giant piece of pie doesn’t make you feel bad — it makes you feel awesome!
• When in Paris it is okay to adopt a phony Madonna accent. When Zoe speaks, “Paris” becomes “P-AH-ris.” At one point she even pronounces “bananas” “Ba-NAH-nas.” Just, no.