Friday, March 8, 2013

Rachel, Rachel

I'm just sayin'...

I know I'm not alone in my fascination with stylist/designer/reality television diva Rachel Zoe. Not content to style her way into our consciousness via dressing red-carpet celebritites, for the past several seasons Rachel Zoe has helmed her own reality tv show on Bravo. By helm I mean she not only stars; she's the executive producer. I assume that means she knows what's being put forth about Rachel Zoe, the Mad Superwoman or the Super Madwoman (am still not sure).

My husband has an expression for it: "like watching a bad accident". I just can't turn away, and in fact have set my dvr to record every minute of the new season that began Wednesday night.

For the uninitiated, those without cable or those who are indeed able to turn away, Rachel Zoe chronicles the "life" of Ms. Zoe, a 41 year-old Hollywood stylist turned fashion designer as she attempts to juggle her uber-busy double— nay triple— life. The Woman You Would Least Expect to be a Mother now has a child. By all accounts she is bananas over him.

Yes there is a nanny, a driver and unseen house help. She still manages to make us feel for her poor, overextended self. I mean, it's obvious she doesn't even have time to eat. Rachel Zoe is slim bordering on anorexic. You can see it in the collarbones.

Men feature prominently in Rachel's life:
> Rodger, disheveled but sexy husband. He straddles the line between whipped dog and resigned enabler and will be played by Bradley Cooper in the movie version.
> Joey, hairdresser/makeup artist best girlfriend
> Skyler, adorable toddler (already trying on some high heels I'm just sayin'...)
> Brad Goreski, much put-upon former assistant who is now in his own reality universe. He appeared briefly on Wednesday's episode and was patently snubbed.
> Mandana, the VP, not a man but acts the part convincingly. She makes the tough decisions and tells Rachel how it really is.
Skyler and Rodger
With Brad in happier times
The best Man

What do we learn from watching The Rachel Zoe Project? There is such a thing as too thin? A fancy handbag will change your life? Rachel is a proponent of style without substance. It's also her way or the highway. While she respects the greats, she doesn't hesitate to mash up every fashion style in the last hundred years and call it her own. The show is less about fashion than it is about the business of fashion. And I'm always, always thinking: She knows what's being filmed and edited. Why would anyone want to show herself in this light?

Even though the tiffs may be fake and the anxieties played to the camera, there is an occasional whiff of genuine humanity, of who these characters may really be as people. If I've read too much into that, this production is indeed the greatest thing since sliced bread.*

* The origin of which was hotly debated in a New York City taxi on Wednesday's premiere.


  1. My daughter, in her 30's, loves Rachel Zoe. I can't get with her. I find the whole thing too much drama. I love fashion and seeing fashionable clothing but the business end of things just turns me off. And I wouldn't be able to work for her. Too much drama. I would want to be better planned and ahead of the game. She seems to like getting too close to deadline. But the fashion stuff. Fun.

  2. I watch it hoping to see some fun fashion. She makes me crazy with her constant looking in a mirror at herself. Infact I felt a little queasy after watching her show wondering if fashion is really that shallow and superficial? Then I thought the answer is YES and so what? I just have to realize watching this kind of program can make me brain dead so I have to balance it with activites that stimulate my own life instead of watching the parts of hers that she chooses to show us.

  3. Really nicely put and obviously I agree with you!

  4. Gah. I love watching her. I am just totally entranced and a little exhausted as well. She has some good fashion moments, I love her extensive vintage jewelry collection. I wish she wouldn't play victim so much. Oh- and I think how she and Rodger talk the same is just so funny. Great write up. xo