After a horrible one million years without new episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo, the high priestess of caftans returned to America's lives last night. Life is different for her — she's exited her pre-Skyler phase and entered her post-Skyler phase. She gets to put on a fashion show at Lincoln Center. She still has no say over how much jewelry her husband Rodger can wear at any one time. Even so! We can learn a lot from this fashion mogul, who, everyone but Anne-Marie Slaughter just might argue, has it all.
Lesson 1: If you're going to make money off endorsing things call events by their rightfully sponsored names.
Rachel calls New York Fashion Week "Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week," which no one actually does because that would be like saying "did you see the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime show?" But Rachel is a brand, she is paid to endorse things/herself, and she is going to do the luxury car company right because maybe they're paying her? She did put on a fashion show in their tents. Maybe they also loaned her a black car.
Lesson 2: Don't keep assistants around just because they look hot without their shirts on.
This I don't understand — Rachel Zoe Inc. has parted ways with Jeremiah, even though he practically built the innards of her house from scratch last season. Apparently since she has no more work that needs to be performed shirtless and sweating (clothing design evidently doesn't fall into this category, go figure), she has no more use for him? And it's better to let hot people go rather than waste money on keeping them around just so you can touch their stomachs once in a while? I guess that makes sense, business-wise.
Lesson 3: Line your eyes with black Sharpie.
Both Rachel and Mandanna are doing this. Baby Skyler is spared for now.
Lesson 4: Style your husband like Brad Pitt but with more jewelry.
Rodger has grown a mostly gray goatee. Did he have this when we last saw him on Bravo? Who can remember. That's like saying, "How many rings did he wear yesterday?" — it would be impossible to assess! Yet I'm fairly certain he might be wearing approximately 33% more jewelry than he did last season. What can you say? It's the perfect outfit for canoodling with your straight friends over how flamboyantly your son dresses. Which brings me to my next point...
Lesson 5: Do not get together with your friends to talk about how not manly your son's clothes are.
What is Rodger thinking, laughing with his man friends over his son's "feminine" bloomers? This footage is going to scar the boy when he's about the age of 9, thisclose to a Bravo show of his own.
Lesson 6: If you're going to take issue, as a dad, with your son's fedora collection and Burberry coats, you might want to stop accessorizing your bathrobes.
Instead of two necklaces, one pendant, try zero necklaces, zero pendants.
Lesson 7: If you're putting on a fashion show, have the flowers done right, dammit.
One of the biggest points of conflict and suspension in the plot of the premiere episode is how to make use of white orchids at Rachel's fashion week show. "Rachel wants to make sure that there's an environment," says Mandanna, the "VP of everything," evidently including orchids. "The only way we can do that is with flowers." Rachel has decided she wants something "girly" but also "not bridal." I think this is a fair point — no one trying to design a FASHION line wants their show to remind anyone of the inside of a Kleinfeld's. I've seen Say Yes to the Dress, and I know that's the place where dinner napkins and Ke$ha's unused glitter go to die. So Rachel wants her orchids just so — like "strands of fucking hippie beads!" she cries. "I feel like it's not that deep to make an orchid wall. How hard can it be?" She gets it in the end, so apparently it's not "that deep."
Lesson 8: Having a baby saves husbands money.
Rachel tells Rodger that since she's had Skyler, she's had no time to shop, which has saved her husband a downright fortune. Rodger disputes this assertion, because Rachel buys Skyler only designer clothes — but Rachel points out there is a vast difference in the price or a child's Burberry jacket and HER Burberry jacket. And then there was some more arguing and enthusing over how cute Skyler looks in all his clothes (which he does), but I didn't write it down because I was too busy hardcore-relating to what they were talking about.
Lesson 9: Prabal Gurung has fantastic skin.
That's it. The man is pretty much flawless.
Lesson 10: Working moms just can't catch a break.
In the middle of Team Zoe's freakout over the Page Six item that alleged her clothing line was tanking in stores, Rodger made an astute point about how women who are moms and businesswomen and stylists and designers and incredibly wealthy and fabulous and famous can never win. Did you guys see Sheryl Sandberg sitting in the front row of Zoe's show? She was disguised as Anna Dello Russo. Anyway, I think this is true — people like to root for successful women to fail. That said! The teaser for the season suggested that Zoe's line wasn't selling well, so maybe Page Six really was onto something? I do know the line has lost floor space since its debut.
Lesson 11: You don't have to seat your kids front row at your fashion show.
Did you guys catch baby Skyler sitting BEHIND Rodger at the show? Rodger's lap was free and Skyler was sitting on a lap that was definitely not Rodger's. If I'm baby Skyler, I'm thinking, WHAT KIND OF CRAP IS THAT? I'M FAMOUS, BITCHES!
Lesson 12: Teach your baby the joys of fashion at a young age.
How precious is baby Skyler? With his little fedora collection and fashionable stripes and flowing baby hair? He's a total Bravo peanut and I look forward to his forthcoming outfits. Also, I am very much pro Rachel and Rodger reproducing again. Rachel has too many styling talents for just one child.
Lesson 13: That said, do not try to get your wife to have a baby by saying, "You're not getting any younger."
Neither is your goatee, Rodger.
Lesson 14: If you're going to show your fashion line at fashion week, have a husband around to make sure the models are getting their hair and makeup done.
What else are husbands for? Oh, that's right — insinuating you're "old."
Lesson 15: Sliced bread is "unchic."
"I think it's cooler when it's ripped," said Rachel. This was in the middle of a conversation with Rodger about how every parent must think their kid is "the coolest thing since sliced bread." But then OMG who decided sliced bread was cool anyway? Not salami-baking bread expert Rachel Zoe, that's for sure!