I know this is not the way to sell a recap full of text on BuzzFeed, but what was last night's episode of the Rachel Zoe Project? No, seriously — the entire plot was about Rachel getting her picture taken in a gold lamé dress, trying on turbans and coats in her closet, and then doing her look book shoot for pre-fall. Pre-fall isn't even a real season. It's a PRE season. It's the APPETIZER to fashion week. The AMUSE FUCKING BOUCHE if I were to be really negative about it (heeeyyy Rebecca Martinson). Anyway, the whole thing could have been done in about ten minutes because everything was so unbelievably unnecessarily drawn out. Also, there were like eight lengthy flashbacks this episode, none of which needed to take eight minutes.
ANYWAY. There were enough absurd moments to cobble together a list of ways Rachel Zoe leans in, so here you go. Hopefully this episode was the amuse-bouche to a full-fat tasting menu of juicy drama.
1. Rachel influences everyone around her, but mostly her husband.
In the very beginning of the episode Rodger is wearing a Missoni scarf. Now, we already know that she and Mandana say "oh my God" in the exact same eerily annoying way. And this episode, we learn that Rodger, who is a man, not only says the same things Rachel has taught Mandana to say all the time, but that he also wears her accessories. Finally I understand why the man wears so much jewelry all the time. It's because he is Rachel Zoe, whose nickname is "accessory Sue." Rachel Zoe's "Lean In Circle" is not a circle so much as a cult where everyone becomes a lesser version of their gold lamé Queen.
2. Rachel shuts Rodger down when he's obnoxious about them having a second child.
Their morning pillow talk consists of Rodger telling Rachel she's not getting any younger and they have to have another kid because if they don't Skyler will be spoiled. Rachel leans in and goes, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard!" And she would be right. Nothing, not even a Lanvin-clad baby girl, is going to save Skyler from being abominably spoiled.
3. Rachel absorbs feedback from those around her.
For her first book, Rachel didn't want to be on the cover, nor did she want her name in the title. Because reality TV was enough? I don't know. That whole faux protestation against one's own fame when one is on a reality show doesn't make any fucking sense. But maybe Rachel finally realizes that to a small degree now because she didn't even try to keep her visage off the cover of her second book. Rachel doesn't read books, by the way.
4. Rachel has her people impeccably trained.
So trained, in fact, that they know everything in her clothing collection and when she wore it. The assistant girl helping Rachel with her book cover shoot has to go through Rachel's "archive" — not her closet, her archive — and find options for her book cover. This is hard because Rachel has worn everything for at least a few hours in the presence of other people and cameras so she can't wear it again for her book. And I know — it's like, does she know nothing about how Michelle Obama and K-Mid repeat outfits?! Repeating things is so post-recession cool, seriously. But I guess if you're Rachel Zoe, the recession was like watching somebody else fall down in the middle of the street and feeling kind of bad for them before moving on with your life.
5. Rachel does not wear what Rachel does not want to wear.
Rachel's assistant person convinces her to wear the pink Dior couture dress with the foofy sleeves for the book photo shoot even though it's bright pink and makes Rachel "feel like Barbie." But Rachel is assertive — a lean-er in-er! — and after a few minutes of looking like she's been forced to wear old banana peels, because pink is so "[makes face]," she says, she changes into a gold lamé caftan dress.
6. Rachel tries to make things work before overriding her subordinates' decisions.
Like the pink Dior dress. (Also: can you imagine if your job was to get Rachel Zoe to wear something pink for a photo shoot? I kind of can because hey, I blog about cats in fashion, but still.) Anyway, a good leader considers feedback before leaning in, right? So Rachel puts on the dress, changes to a "natural nail" because the wrong shade would "drive. her. crazy." but it just doesn't feel right. So she leans into that gold lame and all is right in her circle.
Recap intermission: bonus vocabularly lesson.
If you've stayed with me for this show this long, you probably know that Team Zoe does not speak English as you and I know it. They speak glamlish. Glamlish is a language used exclusively in fashion circles. Commonly used Glamlish words include "obsessed," and "ehrmahghod," and "bananas" (though I haven't heard that on the show in a while which leads me to believe it would be like a normal person saying "ye" conversationally and then looking like some kind of weirdo). Anyway, William the vintage dealer, who is "like the chicest Santa," says Rachel, introduces a new word to the language of Glamlish this episode. That word is: glamoflauge. It means, according this man who eats caviar and mayonnaise for lunch and hangs around for no apparent reason other than to make Joey jealous: "when you choose your wardrobe because it arms you, it keeps you strong, and it stops you from collapsing in a really hard time." Joey, wearing a striped tee-shirt and pave diamond necklace, is told he's not "glamoflauge" because aside from his necklace he looks like crap, basically.
7. Rachel doesn't let Rodger dress Skyler.
Dressing the kid is Rachel's domain, and she shamelessly owns it at all times. When Rodger buys him ACDC tee shirts and like trucker caps with flames on them, Rachel makes a face at him like he smells and says, "Have you lost your mind?" And dutifully reminds Rodger, "He's not wearing skulls, that's number one." You're so out of this Circle, Rodger. So. Out.
8. Rachel wants her work on her clothing line to speak for itself, independent of who she is as a celebrity.
She wants people to buy the line because they love it, not because it's by her, she says for the eight millionth time this season. But it's still good to hear that she doesn't want to just ride the coattails of fame into Saks and Neiman Marcus and wherever else her line is sold. It's like, she's not fucking her way to the top, you know?
9. Rachel will not tolerate a bad outfit, no matter how little time they have at the photo studio to shoot the look book.
Like, when the model is wearing skinny jeans and cream-colored leather knee-high boots with laser cut outs and some orange top? Remember how that look made no sense? Not nearly as much sense as the pleated gold lamé bedsheet that was the only thing Rachel felt comfortable in for her book shoot, I'll tell you that much. Anyway, with a quick boots switcheroo, the addition of a burnt orange jacket, and probably like a shiny belt and oversized hat and other things, Rachel feels satisfied with everything.
At the end of the episode we get a nice big group shot of Rachel and Mandana and the model and Sky Sky (wearing Gucci or some such luxe nonsense) all smiling for the camera. Hey, if Rachel Zoe doesn't come back next season because the ratings have dipped, we'll never know if she cuts Mandana out of her Lean In Circle the way she did Brad and Taylor (remember Taylor? she's great). Anyway, what an uneventful season that was. Rachel styled some shoots, Skyler outdressed Rodger, Rodger outdressed Joey — no surprises but a fun enough season nonetheless. I guess.
It's been real, recap readers! And don't be like Rachel: KEEP READING THINGS!