The Rachel Zoe Project has its human moments. There are many inhuman moments, to be sure, such as last week’s episode where Rachel had to style Naomi Campbell’s charity fashion show to raise money for Haiti victims, and seemed more often than not to fail to acknowledge how vast the difference was between members of team Zoe and most citizens of Haiti. But last night Rachel didn’t have to deal with any charity fashion shows, just plain Fashion Week shows, and came back down to earth from her dark cloud of stress a little bit to enjoy her twelfth wedding anniversary with Rodger. After she enjoyed Fashion Week, that is.
Zoe also grapples with a very real problem that so many working women — supermodels aside — worry about: children, and the timing of when to have them. Rachel can’t shake her fear that taking a break to bring new life into the world will ruin all the hard work she’s done to get herself to the position in the industry she now enjoys. And this, coupled with her crazy fetish for fashion, seems more powerful than her mothering instincts. Besides, how does one have children when clothes are her children? More on all that in our summation of what we learned this week.
Things We Learned About Fashion:
• Rachel decides that Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz must have "white moments" at the Oscars. "Everyone looks good in white," she says. It's statements like this that separate L.A. people from New York people.
• Oscar de la Renta, who is a natural on television and had an awesome cameo last night, tells Rachel he used to show 150 dresses on six models who brought their own shoes and did their own makeup.
• Assistants can sit front-row if someone doesn't show up, which is what Brad does when there's an empty seat near Rachel at Oscar de la Renta. But husbands like Rodger can sit front-row all the time.
• If you have the opportunity to have Brian Atwood design a shoe for you, make it as scary as possible. Rachel goes with something like an over-the-knee boot with a "tranny heel" and chain up the back.
• Rachel only wears "plain underwear." This was one of many bits of oversharing that occurred in Kiki de Montparnasse when Rachel's sister went with Rodger to help him pick out some lingerie to give her as an anniversary gift.
• Interestingly, while Rachel will have Brian Atwood design the shoe-iest shoe he can possibly make for her, and generally likes everything on her body to be big, bold, and over-the-top, she wants her underwear to be very simple. Maybe there is a universally inverse relationship, like a mathematical formula or something, between a hard-core fashion person's outerwear and her underthings. But a lot more of them will probably have to get reality shows for us to find out, and we're not even sure we want to.
• Treat fashion shows like gossip items. "You have no idea what just happened at Derek Lam," Brad tells Rachel over the phone after the show. You might expect him to next say, "[Insert famous industry person's name here] went insane in the middle of the show, stormed onto the runway screaming like a baboon, punched a model in the hip bone, took her own pants off, and then ran out the door." Instead he just says, "Cameron’s Oscar gown is in there."
• Rachel owns — and wears — sequin zebra tops. She is probably the only non-drag queen who can get away with this.
• Fashion warps the brain. Hairstylist Joey calls the QVC show "like, the most interesting experience I’ve ever had ... Because it’s shopping and a fashion show."
• Fashion-disinclined men will internalize all kinds of random fashion knowledge by marrying a fashion lady, if they truly love them. Rodger tries to sell Rachel on the black lace thong he bought her by saying, "If you don’t want seams to show — isn’t this nice?"
• The fashion industry can be very fake. Rachel says she and Marc Jacobs "actually coined this term for each other: non-fashion love." Yes, they needed to amend their vocabularies to define their relationship among the sea that is fashion's fake ones.
• Going to the Marc Jacobs show is a fabulous way to spend a wedding anniversary. Even Rodger, who complains the whole episode about having to spend his anniversary at Fashion Week, liked it so much he exclaims afterward, "How sick was that?" Aw, he really loves Rachel. And ... clothes.
Things We Learned About Life:
• Overpack for trips so you can talk about it! Brad on his Fashion Week packing: "I only brought three suitcases. I’m turning into Rachel — it’s really bad." It's not really bad — it's the world's opportunity to recognize how fashion he is.
• Experimenting with one's own accent can lead to a dangerous loss of control. Brad's speaking flamboyances become more exaggerated with each episode, and last night reached dangerous levels. He turned extravaganza into "extravagAAAAHnza"; major into "majOYar"; and blouses into "blouZes."
• Being a princess is all about wearing the right dress. Rachel says that Cameron Diaz hasn't had a "princess moment" in a while, never mind that she's constantly on magazine covers and is, like, one of the biggest movie stars in the world. No, that's not princess. White dresses on red carpets are princess.
• If you are a crazy fan who talks the way Christina Applegate and Cameron Diaz do when they prank-call Selma Blair at work in that movie The Sweetest Thing, and approach Rachel's car to take photos and gush, she will entertain your deep longing to interact with her.
• Husbands are giant wusses in lingerie stores. Rodger is absolutely terrified of the glitter nipple pasties, lube, "restraints," and vibrator the Kiki de Montparnasse woman tries to sell him. However, he should man up, and buy his wife the vibrator with the lingerie, because the lingerie is mostly for his enjoyment, not hers, so at least the vibrator kind of suggests that he's thinking of her enjoyment too. Hell, writing about this is awkward!
• Launching a QVC line doesn't leave a lot of time for a baby. While Rodger talks endlessly the entire episode about having a baby, Rachel talks about work. "Designing is kind of like the next chapter of my life and of my career," she says at the strange event that was the QVC fashion show. So much for putting any buns in any ovens.
• True love happens when husbands and wives are proud of each other. Rodger, who says he feels more in love with Rachel now than in all of their seventeen years together, is just beside himself watching his wife at the QVC show. "When I first met her I thought she wouldn’t even have a career," he says. But watching her now as a "fashion icon" is "surreal," he adds. Um, aw?
• Enjoy the simple life while it lasts. Rodger longs for the old days when his and Rachel's biggest concern was "What time are we going out?" Now he has to worry about Rachel's outfits, Brad's outfits, Rachel's hair, Brad's glasses, Joey's neon V-necks ...
• Buying your own anniversary gift is okay as long as you buy your spouse something, too. Rachel buys herself rose gold handcuff bracelets with diamonds on them, which ironically goes perfectly with the lingerie Rodger bought her at the fancy fetish store.
• Personalized gifts are the best kind. Rachel dies when Rodger gives her a Barbie he had custom-made in her image. Naturally, Rachel is obsessed with Barbie, and this more than makes up for how much she hated that he just gave her a black lace thong on national television.
• You don't have to have a baby because your family happens to be full of baby people and tells you to all the time to have one. Rachel says her family wanting her to have a child is "a constant weight on my shoulders every single day." Her sister, who has two kids and lives in the suburbs, encourages her to go for it, but Rachel says she doesn't want her sister's life and that basically, she values her career more than having a kid. And this is okay — not every woman is dying for babies! Too bad Rodger doesn't, um, have a uterus, which would save Rachel the bother.