The City Recap: Olivia Palermo Is Joe Zee’s Little Pony

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Photo: Courtesy of MTV

Week after week The City lies to us — about how “hard” it is to become a designer or fashion journalist, about how “big” and “nice” the apartments of dream chasers who move here in their early 20s are — but no lie was more deceitful than that which closed last week’s episode. Robbie Myers had said she’d “make a call” about Olivia, implying she was about to Nina Garcia her ass. Yet last night’s episode opened with Olivia and Erin in a meeting with Joe Zee, just going about business as though Robbie had never said that and Olivia had never royally screwed anything up before. If the fictitious plotline is to be taken for reality, one can only assume Joe continues to employ Olivia because he’s drawn to her smooth hair and pretty features, much in the way a cat is drawn to a laser pointer. On to this week’s lessons.

Lesson 1: Servitude.
Do: Get out as soon as possible. When Roxy and Whitney arrive in Miami for Whitney’s group show under the now-defunct Gen Art, Roxy says this is a good opportunity for Whitney to separate from People’s Revolution. Of course Roxy wants to get out — things look terribly unpleasant there on Kell on Earth.
Do: Demand better working conditions. Whitney tells Roxy she hopes she can sever from People’s Revolution, too, which surprised us since she seems so happy-go-lucky all the time. But anyone who lived in her giant sunny apartment and had to go to work everyday in Kelly’s dark backroom dungeon would hate it, too.

Lesson 2: Assigning an interview to a nitwit.
Don’t: Make it seem harder than it really is. Joe, Erin, and Olivia meet to discuss the Zac Posen for Target party. Joe is all, “Do you think you can get Zac Posen?” And Olivia is all, “I’m pretty positive I can get Zac Posen.” Our cat could get Zac Posen — he’s a very chatty fellow with reporters at parties. But making it seem so difficult allows Olivia to feel more important and Joe to feel like he has a solid reason to keep her if she accomplishes the most banal of tasks. (“Oh my God — you showed up today! RAISE!”)

Lesson 3: Creating drama at Whitney Port’s model casting!
Do: Cheat on Whitney with another designer. Whitney has to show with other designers in Miami, and they all have to cast models together. After Whitney picks out a hot girl, she goes right down the line to another designer and starts strutting around in her clothes. Whitney sees and exclaims, “This bitch keeps stealing our models.” Thank you, model, for making Whitney call someone a bitch when it’s you she should probably be most mad at.
Do: Play dumb. When Whitney confronts the Model Snatcher, the Model just plays dumb, like she had no hand in sauntering over to the other designers and enticing them with her good looks and sexy legs. Thus she remains exempt from the catfighting but enjoys her camera time. Genius.

Lesson 4: Doing video coverage at a fashion party.
Don’t: Do the step and repeat. It’s always bugged us when pretty red-carpet hosts do their own walk on the carpet before or after an event, and then go stand next to it so they can work on it. There should be a rule: If you have to cover an event, you can’t go on the step and repeat. It’s tacky! But Olivia, unable to resist the New York fame she enjoys in her real life, can’t resist a stroll down the step and repeat anyway. She also can’t resist getting her picture taken for a random style blog. Got a cameraphone? You’re probably guaranteed at least ten seconds of Olivia’s attention.
Do: Be more excited about it than you’ve been about anything ever in your life. When Olivia gets to Zac Posen at the party — which looks like the old Avalon nightclub, minus the strobe lights, mixed with a Victoria’s Secret store — she looks like she’s about to pop her ears off with her smile. Her foundation will just have to crease — she’s reporting on-camera, and she is going to take a hint from Louise Roe and pretend like she likes it as much as posing for random style blogs. She vivaciously barnacles onto Zac and bursts with so much fake enthusiasm for discount clothing she probably finds disgusting that it’s legitimately terrifying.

Lesson 5: Selling your clothing line.
Do: Ask stores to look at it. Whitney wanders into the boutique sponsoring her show in Miami and just asks the people working there if they’d consider buying her line. Bold, Whit!
Do: Be realistic. Whitney sees Diane Von Furstenberg and Mara Hoffman in the store and says she could see her stuff next to theirs. We don’t know about that, but we could see her stuff next to an indoor fountain.

Lesson 6: Bringing new, entertaining rivalries into the office.
Do: Judge people behind their backs. Robbie, Erin, and online editor Keith review Olivia and Louise’s video reports side by side. It’s a good thing there were no forks in the room, or this crew might have mangled their own eyeballs, judging by their facial expressions during this torturous exercise. Keith says Olivia is “very pretty.” Robbie says, “You know what they say — there are two kinds of people in this business: workhorses and show ponies.” Someone get that woman her own show!
Don’t: Choose when you can have both. Keith wants to use both Louise and Olivia as video correspondents for Elle.com. Erin looks like she wants to die when he says this, but this may be good for her, because although she hates Olivia, she can’t shoulder that burden all her own. At least now she has the possibility of hating her with Louise.

Lesson 7: Running a fashion show.
Do: Be nice. The Gen Art people organizing Whitney’s group show sass her when she asks perfectly understandable questions backstage, which is very poor form. It just seems like they hate her because she’s beautiful.

Lesson 8: Meeting your new competition.
Don’t: Be outwardly bitter. Louise goes over to Erin and Olivia’s desks after her meeting with Robbie to chirp like a robin in the sunshine about their great view. Erin goes out of her way to tell Louise she’s so excited she’s about to start (no one gets hired on the spot after one interview, but whatever) because she’s everything Olivia is not: She shows up, she shows up on time, she cares, etc. Olivia butts into the conversation to introduce herself and act like she’s so excited to be working with her! For maybe the first time ever she looks like a bigger person than Erin. Not that it matters, because Erin is still so much cooler.
Do: Make her your new best friend. Olivia completely takes over the conversation and flirts like crazy with Louise. She whisks her away on what may be their first of many dates to the accessories closet. Louise is so hot for Olivia she suggests a second lunch date before they can even make out in the accessories closet. Poor Erin. But we knew that Louise wasn’t to be trusted. She seems like the annoying kind of girl who will agree with whomever she’s talking to. One minute she’ll tell Erin Olivia sucks and the next she’ll tell Olivia Erin sucks. But at least the show has finally cast a person with an accent.