Wednesday, September 10, 2008


That doesn't make a bit of sense to those of you who have not watched The Rachel Zoe Project, does it? Don't worry; this recap will introduce you to The Secret Language of Rachel Zoe.

I'd like to begin by revealing that I feel a deep spiritual connection with Rachel. She is a dramatic gasper, I am a dramatic gasper; she loves Michael Kors, I love Michael Kors; she's afraid of her assistant, I am historically afraid of secretaries. It's almost like I am her long lost sister, except for the fact that I don't have her fashion sense, jet-setting lifestyle or hatred of Perez Hilton.

So let's just do a rundown of the main characters, and I shall weave the storyline therein. Sound good? Let's get started!

1. Taylor, Rachel's assistant. I hate to give her top billing, but I just need to get her out of the way. As an anonymous star pupil from my last post commented, Taylor is a "raging snatch." Her teenaged eye-rolling, ugly commentary and overall surly demeanor begs for a smack in the face. Look at this photo:

You want to smack her too, right? She spends the whole show exuding nastiness to Brad, Rachel's newly hired second assistant. Taylor is in charge of training Brad, but decides she "can't be bothered." Instead, she alternately screams at and ignores Brad, who's only screwing up because she won't tell him what the fuck is going on.

Brad alerts Rachel to the situation. Rachel initially acts all hardass--"I need to talk to Taylor IMMEDIATELY"--but then she IMMEDIATELY pusses out. Well, not completely, but she takes Taylor out to dinner for the discussion, and brings husband Rodger along as "another voice of reason" because Taylor is clearly a scary, unpredictable hellbeast. This is how it goes down: Taylor starts yelling about how incompetent Brad is. Rodger lays down the law and explains how much more efficient the office would be if Taylor would just take half hour out of each day to train Brad. Taylor rolls her eyes and shouts "FINE!" I'm surprised she didn't shout "I hate you! I wish I was never born!" before storming out.

Can't you see, Rachel? Taylor's negative energy is so draining.

Did you note how Rachel generally showers praise on "Tay" to the camera, such as: "Taylor is my rock. She thinks FOR me, she thinks BUH-fore me." Meanwhile Taylor shoots daggers from her eyes as she talks about how Brad is with Rachel in NYC and that they're probably shopping at Chelsea Girl while she's busting her ass in LA. Oy vey. This girl needs to be shipped off to one of those boot camps for troubled teens. Pronto.

2. Rachel
. The big storylines for Rachel in this episode are "expanding [her] brand," a phrase which she used approximately 42 times in this episode (still love you Rach, just keeping it real), and the dressing of client Joy Bryant for a big high fashion event in LA.

Rachel goes to NYC to meet with some suits about creating a line of everything on the earth as it relates to fashion. Personally, I think the phrase "developing the brand" would have been more appropriate than "expanding the brand," as she has no product line right now. Maybe SHE is the brand? I don't get it when people refer to themselves as a brand. Anyhow, before she meets the execs, she meets with Michael Kors to find a dress for Joy Bryant and discuss being a brand.

Hi Michael Kors! I love you! He's his usual fabulous self, and when he's describing these gowns to Rachel, she's so overcome with excitement that she clutches his hand with great fierceness. It was beautiful, and I'm sad that I don't have the means to show it to you here, where we could watch it over and over. Side note: her make-up does look a little Joker-ish here, but it didn't during the show. Girl has a heavy hand with the black eyeliner, but it works.

After they look at dresses, Rachel says to Michael, "I've seen you go from Michael Kors to MICHAEL KORS" and asks what it is like to produce a line of everything in the gd world. He tells her to buckle her seatbelt because she's going to be cra-zy busy. She asks when is she going to have a baby, which sounded like a subtle proposition to me. But really? She wants to have a baby? That kind of shocked me. She'd better get crackin' with some cheese fries because no matter how much I like her, I think she's too skinny to be making babies.

The two part with a hug and Rachel goes off to her meeting. But first, she has to psyche herself up beforehand with a call to Rodger. This is exactly what is so endearing about her--she's the top celebrity stylist in the world and is calling her husband because she's nervous about failing. She still looks nervous when she walks into the conference room with her ginormous coffee, hair, fur coat and sunglasses. But everything turns out fine, and plans are made to suck us all dry.

Moving on to Joy. Rachel works hard for the money, folks. Not only that, but she likes her clients and genuinely loves to see them "SHUT. IT. DOWN." (Rachel speak for "look incredibly amazing"). When she saw Joy wearing the perfect dress, she started to cry a little bit. I love that her job makes her so happy. And that she has cocktail rings as big as doorknobs.

I was surprised to see that Joy had lots of "fittings" (which just means she comes to Rachel's studio and tries on dresses), and that 4 hours before the event, Joy still didn't have a dress. I'd be a little, uh, FREAKED OUT, but maybe that's because I'm a midget and have to have everything tailored. Apparently if you're size 2 and 6 feet tall, you can shimmy into anything and make it work. Make that almost anything--a few gowns were rejected because they didn't fit properly. Anyhow, a red Zac Posen is the winnah, and upon seeing Joy on the red carpet, Rachel says that Joy "KILLED IT SHUT IT DOWN SHE OWNS IT I DIE."

I don't know why the repetition of her stock phrases fill me with such joy, but they do, and to hear them strung together like that--I almost passed out.

After the event, she's in her robe in the bathroom with Rodger, talking about how she doesn't want to give up styling in order to expand the mother-loving brand. I wasn't really listening, as I was trying to decide if Rodger was cute, and also whether we would see Rachel without her make-up.

Sadly, we don't. (look at her watch! I need her watch!)

One more thing--you've seen Rachel's Piperlime picks, haven't you? Of course you have. I've always suspected that these picks were made by an overworked assistant who knew Rachel's "aesthetic" (i.e. brands she wanted to promote) and that Rachel had no idea what was on that website. Wrong! They actually send her a bunch of shoes and she sits on the phone with Piperlime and gushes in detail about her favorites. God love her. (Piperlime and Rach, you'd better not be manipulating us on this one).

3. Brad. The emotionally abused second assistant. Used to work for Vogue, dresses full-on East coast, is super-gay and loves Rachel. Remember the red dress in which Joy KILLED IT SHUT IT DOWN SHE OWNS IT I DIE? Brad had picked it out of many and said to Taylor, "isn't this perfect for Joy?" and Taylor just sneered at him and told him to be quiet. The kid's obviously got talent and a sense of humor, but for now, he walks on eggshells around Taylor and tries to coddle her with jokes. Good luck, my brother. From the looks of "this season on The Rachel Zoe Project," you will experience even more suffering at the hands of Tay. You will even shed some tears. I am so sorry.

4. Rodger. Rachel's husband and business manager. The vestigial "d" in his name distracts me. Seems like a nice, solid guy and Rachel adores him. I'll tell you right now, she's so busy that I'm worried about their sex life.

He's kind of handsome, but I'm not really one for floppy 80s hair. He definitely has a Todd Oldham thing going on, don't you think?

(wtf is Todd doing fanning the cash money like that?)


While The Rachel Zoe Project is missing the rapid fire repartee and sexy hotness of Flipping Out, it is still definitely worth watching, even if you don't feel the spiritual connection that I do. The show is clearly one big commercial for every luxury brand and accessory on the earth (not to mention Rachel's own brand), but I don't even mind because we are given an insider's view of celebrity styling and because Rachel lays herself bare--she lets us see her insecurities and that not only makes her likable but also pretty brave.

Am I the only one who hopped online to shop after this show? Rachel has convinced me that I need some highly impractical skyscraper platforms. FYI, the wide-leg pant and platform pump look makes my chest constrict with happiness. I. Can't. Breathe. I love it that much.

Let me know what you think. About everything.

(NOTE: my computer is on its last leg. I had to SHUT IT DOWN (alternate use) about 5 times last night and am praying it will let me post this. If you don't hear from me for a few days, you know that I am wrapped up with the Geek Squad and/or negotiating with Frank for a Mac. Or maybe I will be curled up in the fetal position and weeping. Keep me in your thoughts.)


karey m. said...

i believe the d in rodger is a petite homage to the true genius behind that hair-do...

dorothy. as in hamill.

and i do love the zoe. especially after this post. which stinks bc we don't {sing along with me!} have this show in jordan!

damn you, sgm. damn you.

CashmereLibrarian said...

Does anybody have Rachel's book? Is it worthwhile? I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

Red dress was Zac Posen. They mentioned that the last time Joy had a "Red Moment" it was a year ago and it was Valentino.

So glad you are recapping this show! Luvs it!

Anonymous said...

I have her book. Read it front to back...its just about feeling confident and creating your own glamorous look!

Natalie said...

This show is totally helping to ween my from my Flipping Out feening. I cannot believe I like it as much as I do. I love Brad, and totally agree with you that he's got talent. Taylor busts her butt, and that is soooo critical, but Brad might just have "it".

Meg said...

I totally love this show, and I expected to hate it/her. It is fascinating.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

I beyond obsessed with this show, not to mention I want Brad as my BFF. He's so adorable, almost like a little puppy.

Paloma said...

Yea! I'm so glad you're doing recaps of this show. :)

I really enjoyed the show. I think Brad has tons of style and potential, but wonder if he will last alongside the evil Tay, who by the way, desperately needs to brush her damn hair.

I actually like Rachel a whole lot more now that I've seen her show. Before, all you would ever hear about her was that she would turn her clients (i.e. Nicole Richie) into way-too=skinny clones of herself, but clearly, there is more to the Zoe. Bananas.

this one said...

ummm, lets talk about how much i love Rachel. This show is so amazing.

I was talking about it this morning with my two gay lovers. It doesnt give me a nervous/panic attack like Flipping Out (I always prayed that no one would upset Jeff) but I still love it. Now I pray that no one will stress Rachel out more than she is already.

I do worry about their sex life too. And sometimes I worry a little that Rodg may be batting for the other team, but lets hope not (because that would REALLY stress Rach out!)

Oh, SGM. I love that we love the same shows. I think that I love your commentary just as much as I love the shows themselves.

I want your take on Million Dollar Listings though. I mean that show is full of crazy.

Mint Julep said...

Gawd, I love you SGM. Nobody, I mean NOBODY makes me laugh like you do. I don't need to watch that shit. I will just read your recaps. Love. You.

Scandalous Housewife said...

How I have missed this reality trainwreck show, I haven't the faintest. And, after I finish this bowl of queso and chips, I will no longer channel Karen Carpenter and turn my ommmmm to Rachel Zoe.

SGM said...

Thanks, anon, for alerting me that it was Zac Posen. I don't know how I missed that, what with RZ having a "Zac Posen" moment. Are you the same anon who brought up the Balmain issue? I'm going to hire you as my consultant. You obv know your stuff.

I also was worried that Rodge was playing for the other team, but then again I have an overactive gaydar. Anyone else have an opinion on this?

I don't watch Million Dollar Listing because I can take about 3 minutes of Chad before I want to hurl my tv out the window. Maybe I need to build up some tolerance.

Pour one out for Karen Carpenter, poor soul.

Thanks for the love--this is going to be a show that we D-I-E for.

SGM said...

I meant "Zac Posen moment." I hate when I mess up on quotation marks.

Brittany said...

OMG Paloma. That is what I kept screaming at the television.

"Bitch, brush your damn hair!!!"
Effing Tay Tay. Yeah, that's what I call her.

I love Brad so much. SOOO much. He makes me smile, and laugh with his adorableness. Is that a word? Hope so.

Rachel....I love her. Lovelovelovelovelovelovelove. She is so cute, and so sweet, and when she talks and from the way she dresses, she reminds me of a female Christian Siriano, which is ALL kinds of fabulous. I love this show, and thank goodness it comes on earlier next week. For realz.

Teal Chic said...

I love this show. I thought it was great. Can't wait to tune in next week. As for Taylor, she has serious issues. I would venture to say she's one of those people who doesn't want to train anybody in her job, as she's afraid somebody is going to take it. We've all had bosses like that, or at least I have..who would rather make us look bad than teach us the correct way to do something!

Jennifer said...

Well, it's no Flipping Out--but it's not bad! Her catch phrases have been swirling through my head since last night. I'll probably blurt out "shut it down" or "I die" at cirriculum night tonight.

The upcoming season looks intriguing--the flood in particular! And lots of tears! Can't wait...

I *Heart* You said...

i bow down before you, sgm. you are my new god. thank you for recapping this. i die just reading it. why can't we live in the same city and be friends???

Anonymous said...

I always thought that Zoe was the transparent, too thin, "LA" stereotype, but I was so refreshed to see how endearing she was

I think Taylor should be happy that she has such a fabulous job and should stop bitching

this show is great, can't get enough of it!

Anonymous said...

I'm voting "present" in your class, SGM, I'm the anon who brought up the Balmain-- the Zac was the work of another non-blogspotted anon.

I can't wait for more designer cameos, which is pretty much the only reason I watch Project Runway this season.

I think probably the main reason we never see Rachael eating is because she is one of those rare people that eat for fuel alone. She is just so busy and frazzled that I think she just forgets or doesn't care. I kind of wish we discovered that she only drank Emergen-C or some other magic elixir for diet reasons...and then I would immediately follow suit. C'mon Zoe, what's your secret?!?

Her husband is nice and all, but kind of weirds me out.

Good luck with your computer, and keep fighting the good fight for a Mac!

Habitually Chic said...

I don't know what I love more...Rachel Zoe, her show or your recap! You crack me up and are so spot on that someone needs to hire you to write for their magazine or website! I might have to work on that for you!

katiedid said...

I am going to give Taylor a chance......there has got to be a reason that she is so slap worthy. I have given Chad a chance and there is a definite reason for his, shall we say, "quirkiness". It all becomes so clear once you see him trying to interact with his father.

Jessie said...

Three cheers for SGM!

(You rocked it on the radio broadcast the other night, BTW! I loved hearing what everyone's voice sounded like and E was right, your darling voice DOES kind of ruin your street cred. But I still love you!)

Ok, back to the topic at hand. RZ is amazing, and I loved the catch phrases... Guarantee they are going to be smattered all over the GD world, once enough people see the show. Just like "fierce".

Brad is a peach, and I really hope he hangs in there. What an awesome opportunity he has! Even though Jeff Lewis is hotter, he is definitely harder on his employees, and if JET can handle Jeff, then I think Brad can handle Tay Tay.

The Zoe is so freaking glamorous, that I had to pause in the middle of watching and get up and paint my finger nails. Am also planning on getting myself some badass cocktail rings... STAT!

Can't wait for the next recap, my dear! Shut it down!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Her puffed out bulimia-jowels freak me out. Poor lamb. Hope she gets help for it.

thismslife said...

OMG, I am having an existential crisis over this. So, I am usually on the SAME page with all of you on the peeps on the tv we like and don't like. BUT, I like Taylor and (gasp) think that Brad would drive me completely nuts. It drives me crazy when someone cruises in to a new job and cutesies his way in and doesn't do any of the stuff he's supposed to do. Stuff that you were 100% held accountable for figuring out yourself. So meanwhile you get to do twice the workload to make up for it while he sits around and chitchats and brown noses with the boss. It makes me bitchy too. So, Taylor, I understand. He should be proactive, pull his own weight.

Anonymous said...

Frank: Please buy your bitch a MAC! They are fab and she deserves it.

Better yet....

Bravo: Please buy SGM a MAC - it is the gift that keeps on giving!

The Lil Bee said...

Let's not forget how completely "bananas" Joy looked and how "insanity" it was when she put on that dress. Killer recap, sister. YOU TOTALLY KILLED SHUT IT DOWN YOU OWNED IT I DIE!

PS: Didn't you love Brad asking Tay if she was going to turn on her "bitch switch"?! I'm so adopting.

Anonymous said...

hate to be the lone (pseudo)hater but mz. zoe is biting her stock phrases from drag queens! i've been hearing "SHUT IT DOWN", "WORK IT", "OWN IT" for about 20 years, which means it's been around for much longer. she's biting RuPaul's (and all of his sistahs') rhymes. but arent't they all?

i'm still loving it. LOVES IT.

also i'm only Anon b/c i don't have a logon YET. SGM is the biz.

the glamourai said...

i am sooo with thisismylife.

brad would bring out my bitchfest FOR SURE.

its not hard to find ways to be useful without having someone spell them out for you!!

SGM said...

I have to weigh in on the Brad issue--he's no Chris Keslar, that's for sure, but he's not bad--just likes to chit chat and that's not Tay's style. I'm going to have to see more of him before I really form an opinion.

The bulimia jowls! Yikes, I didn't even recognize that but I think you may be right. Dammit. The loose clothing kind of suggests eating disorder too?

Taylor lovers, stay with me. We need your side of things--thanks for speaking up.

As for drag queen language--no doubt that she copied it from someone else--good point, but for me it's really about the repetition, not to mention the delivery.

Puhvis Kukk said...

I don't know why everyone is feeling so bad for Brad. Sure Taylor is v bitchy but I had to take her side when the gowns were wet and Brad took off to weep instead of cleaning it up asap. You got to think/act fast in this line of work.

I did like her book. It does talk about her styling etc and has some decent advice but I really liked how open she was about her life. She said smth like u know shit will happen, move on. Amen.

Anonymous said...

okay, honestly! why hasn't anyone commented on the fact that rachel is obviously anorexic and looks terrible! all the wrinkles that have been botoxed, and she claims to be 36? seriously ladies! sheesh. maybe if she would eat something aside from a grapefruit and a giant coffee, i would like her more. she looks like a coat hanger with chipmunk cheeks.

Anonymous said...

I think the fact that Rachel Zoe even has a show is a sign of the times we live in. She could, maybe, stop buying Birkins at $6k a pop and, oh i don't know, give that $6k to a charity? puh-leeeze! We sure live in a Republican, fed-for-yourself country don't we? She is a terrible example to young women (anorexic much?) and has yet to say/do anything of any relevance, and yet she has a tv show featuring her and (God forbid) her new "brand"?

muranogirl said...

Love your recap!
Honey, get yourself a Mac. You are far too cool for anything else.

On a practical note, Rachel needs more
s p a c e. Her studio is as messy as the back of Taylor's hair. Her clients do not need to traipse through her home, (yeah we know her house is cool and she has a great aesthetic) for fittings. Just wait till sunglasses and jewelry samples for the Zoe line start arriving from Italy for Rachel's approval. What then? One less Birkin and vintage Lanvin dress = $ for a great showroom/studio.

Anonymous said...

Is "own it" something drag queens made up? I think it started as psychotherapy jargon. Drag queens aren't behind EVERY great invention (although they were instrumental in particle physics).

Anonymous said...

I definitely will be watching it again! Mostly because I love the clothes and I'm waiting for Brad to go off the rails and have a total catfight with Tay. lol

On another, not as flattering note, I kind of have to agree with Perez (who I don't regularly look at) about the lip situation. Rachel takes off her glasses and it's all good from the nose up. From the nose down looks like somebody forgot the cardinal rule of moisturizer with SPF.

Jennifer said...

Rachel Zoe is surprisingly likeable, for sure. I think she's really going to benefit from having a reality show. Unlike *some* people, i.e., everyone else.

SGM, you rock my world. I die!

Meg said...

I think I have to watch this show- she gasps, she wears dramatic clothes, she loves dressing up her clients, silly, impractical luxury items are all over the place, making viewers covetous. Also: in total agreement that girlfriend needs some cheese fries, whether she decides to make babies or not. Elbows should never be the thickest part of an arm.

Doodle Whore said...

Loved the show, loved the recap even more. I just want to wrap up sensitive Brad in a cashmere blanket and rock him to sleep while tousling his hair and say, "There there. It will aaaaall be OK."

Anonymous said...

Breaking News: "Shut it down" and "killed it" are not Zoe-isms. These terms have been used in the "urban" community for eons. I guess they're mainstream now. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Brilliant Asylum said...

I could not comment until I actually saw the show. Wow--you were dead on about Taylor. Brat city.

Bonniesgirl said...

Brad -- I'd like to see him play the part of Andrea in The Devil Wears Prada. He couldn't even fetch a Starbucks.

crabapple said...

I wasn't even going to watch this show til I saw your positive recaps--I just figured I would hate Rachel Zoe after things I have read about her in the press.

I did watch though, and I found her amazingly disarming and actually...quite nice.

Though I like Brad I thought his limp ass reaction to the wet gowns was pretty pathetic, and I am not sure if he's really a worker or just one of those people who creates drama to make it seem as though he's overworked.

Taylor for sure acted like a territorial bitch, but....I noticed after several of her most vile outbursts that she had a bit of a self-aware smirk, as though she knows what she is doing...could any of this drama be scripted, or suggested, by Bravo? I hope not, I am so fond of several of their shows. Thanks SGM for turning me onto this one.

Bev said...

Yes, a little late, but oh well...

First off, I Love The Show. I love the show like daddy loves Shelly (movie line, I digress). I don't care that it's focused on materialism or that it's an hour long commercial for luxury brands. In the world we live in, I could use a break from discussions on politics, oil and war.

Awww, Rachel, I would love to be a fly on her wall. Yes, she looks a bit haggard in the face, but I still think she's adorable. She inspires me to want to look my best even if it is just a regular ol' day.

Taylor...ok, although I'm sure she knows her shit and exactly what to do when Rach spazzes out, I really wish she could just take the time to explain things to Brad. Seriously, she went on complaining for minutes on how the racks were "horrendous" and "horrific" yet she doesn't explain how they are horrendous or horrific until Brad finally points out that he doesn't know how the clothes should be arranged. How is a person supposed to know how you like things unless you tell them?

Oh, but I noticed a discrepancy. In the first episode when Rach is on the phone with Piperlime her fingernail polish is nude. Yet, supposedly after her call Rach goes to speak with Brad and her fingernail polish is now a dark shade of deep purple. What the heck is that?!

As far as her husband, I think he's a sweetheart. Most boyfriends/husbands would roll their eyes if their girlfriend/wife was acting like the world was ending just because she can't find the right dress/shoe/jewelry.

msangelfish said...

I agree with an earlier comment, I enjoy your recap of the show just as much as the actual show. You say it like it is!

Rachel is so different than I thought and I really like her, but that Tay is a hag. Love the Bradster, though!


Jessica Claire said...

i have yet to watch more than a 5 minute clip but with your delightful posts I am there in front of the TV

thanks for catching me up SGM