The Rachel Zoe Project (plus our interview w/ Taylor)
Last year we happened to mention that we were enjoying the hell out of The Rachel Zoe Project and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the comments section about us becoming “Bravo whores” and “selling out.”
By the way, we haven’t yet sold out but if there are any rich TV executives out there with some extra cash laying around, we’re willing to lie back and think of England if we have to. Hey, a boy’s got to make his rent sometimes.
We get it: Rachel Zoe, the most horrible human being to breath air. Responsible for the death of millions. Blahblahblah. We tried to explain then that she really wasn’t the main reason to watch the show. Sure, she represents a lot about the intersection of fashion and celebrity that is not good and she doesn’t particularly strike us as the type of person we would enjoy being around for more than 30 seconds, but she’s hardly the supervillain people make her out to be. As reality television characters go, she doesn’t rate anywhere near the top of the list when it comes to annoying or sociopathic tendencies, both of which are in abundance on reality television programs.
Besides, say what you will about her, but she is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry and solely responsible for a lot of what you see on the most important runway of them all, the red carpet:
So busy were we with the launch of Project Runway that we dissed our Bravo peeps by forgetting to mention that the new season of the show launched last week. With the launch of season 2 comes the return of one of our favorite reality show “characters” ever:
Brad, one of Rachel’s 2 assistants. We’ll keep reiterating this until you get sick of it: Rachel is not the reason to watch this show. The clothes are one reason and the supporting characters are another.
Seriously, how adorable is that? Like one of those cute little dogs you carry around in your purse. Plus he’s hysterically funny; one of those types that’s just made for the cameras to follow around. And we LOVE his personal style.
Last season ended with a little of a Brad-induced cliffhanger.
Whatever. The whole thing was glossed over in the season premiere last week and it was business as usual for the rag-tag band. The business being dressing various stars for the Golden Globe awards and all the drama that goes on behind the scenes. You’ve got to admire a woman who can call up Karl Lagerfeld and request that he alter one of his couture creations for Cameron Diaz.
Aside from the drama, there was the part of the show that makes Lorenzo weep:
After all the various moments of eye-rolling drama, Rachel sat down with her favorite gays and watched her clients walk the red carpet for the Globes. Part of what made it so fun for us was that the looks she was frantically trying to put together (including the altered Chanel for Cameron Diaz) were all featured here by us here and here. We’re sure Rachel was devastated to hear that we didn’t give her high marks for all the looks at the time.
Anyway, that’s it. If you’re at all interested in looking at beautiful clothes and want to see the insane process that gets them on actresses’ backs (a process that Uncle Nick revealed in the interview we featured last week), this is a fun hour full of eye candy. Episode 2 airs tomorrow night at 10. We’ll be checking in with a post about that some time in the coming week.
Let’s start with your background, how did you become a stylist?
I started in the wardrobe department on a movie set and from there I met different costume designers and started working on commercials, and then finally, celebrity styling.
Is that how you got hired by Rachel?
I basically solicited her. I told everyone in town that I wanted to work for Rachel and she was bombarded by phone calls…we have the same doctor, and they kept telling her that she had to meet me, so after many months of pursuing her, I finally got to meet her, we hit it off, and I’ve been with her ever since.
Since 2005, right? What is it like working with Rachel?
Yes, that’s correct. She’s a great boss. She doesn’t micromanage things; she lets you do things on your own at your own pace. She’s amazing.
What skills do you need to be a successful stylist?
There’s a bunch of them. First of all, you have to be really dedicated and organized because this is a 24-hour job. Also, having a good eye, paying attention to details, following the trends, having taste, of course, that’s a big part of being a stylist, also, always knowing what’s new, what’s out there, what’s about to break.
Watching the episodes, it seems that there’s a lot of pressure all the time and that you need to always be aggressive, on top of things…do you have to be a bitch to survive in this business?
I don’t think you need to be bitchy, but you definitely need to be on top of things, always be on the ball and that can be interpreted as being a bitch.
Do you have favorite designers?
Oh, yes, I love Chanel, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Alexander Wang, so many…
There’s a lot of drama centered around you this season.
Yeah, there’s some stuff that involves me, some drama, some frustrations. There’s no secret that I’ve been with Rachel for a very long time and I do want more for myself and that is definitely expressed on the show, what I want and where I want to go. I want more than just being an assistant, basically. You’ll see.
It looks like you and Brad are finally getting along now. What changed?
It’s been a whole year since Season 1 and we definitely learned how to work with each other. I apologized for being so crazy and we learned how to work with each other and now I adore him.
Speaking of Brad, how come he’s the one going to all the shows and stuff while you run around like a headless chicken?
I love fashion shows but if there’s work to be done I’d rather focus on that than attend the shows. We worked it out, it’s fine, he goes to the shows and I do other things. He works just as hard as I do.
You mentioned in the first episode that you despise Award shows, why is that?
[Laughs] Because it’s become so intense, so much pressure, you can’t really do fashion, you have to think about mainstream America, what’s going to be received well. It’s not about taking the coolest, chicest dresses, it’s more about pleasing the masses. I’m not so into that. I understand on a professional level why that is important, all the exposure you get from an award show, but it’s so contrived, there’s nothing fun about it.
Watching the episode it looks like the economic downturn has affected the way you guys do things.
Yes, definitely. The design houses have cut back on making a lot of dresses and that limits the options that we get. It’s so much better when you have as many options as possible and if the designers are only producing three dresses as opposed to six and we get one out of the three, it’s really bad for us. People don’t have the budget anymore to FedEx us things, it’s a constant battle.
Having to deal with so many celebrities on a daily basis, all the fittings and all, what is the most annoying thing a celebrity can do to piss you off?
[Laughs] There are lots things, but the most annoying thing is when you have done fifty fittings, you have decided on a dress, and they change their minds at the last minute for no reason at all. That’s annoying.
How about the designers?
Not sending the clothes we want.
BONUS, BITCHES! You’ve got to watch this hysterically funny spoof of the show:
[Photo: Bravotv.com - Video: Youtube/ meetamyphillips - Screencaps: projectrungay.blogspot.com]