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Who the hell is Rachel Zoe?

L-A: Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian without access to the American Bravo network (actually, I don’t even have the Canadian Bravo), but this Rachel Zoe character appeared out of the fashion ether one day and I had no idea who she was or why she was famous.  The Fug Girls love her. Auntie Fashion calls her BeelZoeBub™. So I gave the guest bloggers an assignment and asked the question:

Who the hell is Rachel Zoe?

Ange: Good question.

What I know about Rachel Zoe: Very little. I’m not even sure whether I like her or not. She’s one of those people who elicits in me a sort of skeptical distance. I think I look at Ms. Zoe (pronounced Zoh, apparently) with the same kind of head-tilt L-A applied all those shoes. She has to be smart, riding the wave of pseudo-celebrity that also carries some of her clients, in this case to a book deal, a TV show, a clothing line (quel surprise), and on.

I do find her vaguely amusing. I like listening to her Valley girl voice, and the things that come out of her mouth can be hilarious. I feel like if I read an interview with myself, I would end up having said things that are equally ridiculous. My favourite from this New York Times profile: “I wish caffeine had vitamins in it.” So do I, Rachel, so do I. Still, after putting myself into Ms. Zoe’s world, I feel a little like I might after an Venti ultra-non-fat extra-sweet caramel machiatto (with an extra shot and a vitamin chaser). Not ashamed, no. I wouldn’t even feel ashamed after the whole milk version I am actually likely to consume. But a little queasy. The rest of my day will be a little bit off kilter, and I’ll need to eat some protein and some fibre to get back to normal. In cultural terms, watching (and reading about) Rachel Zoe keeps me momentarily entranced, but I then feel the need to go read some Kierkegaard or something to feel balanced again. Okay, that is a massive overstatement. I would probably actually read O Magazine or watch an episode of 30 Rock, but I think you know what I mean.

Forgetting Rachel Zoe as a character and a brand, what about the fashion? I thought I knew, and sort of liked, what Rachel Zoe represented style-wise. I had this picture in my head of a sort of layered, casual bohemian, nouveau-rock look from her still friends with Nicole Richie heyday.

NRichie

I think this photo is probably post-Richie/Zoe breakup – but this is the kind of thing I was picturing.

Then I saw some of Zoe’s actual outfits.

Not good, my friends.

RZoeJumpsuit

Okay. At first I saw this and saw the colour and thought: ew. But the layered necklaces are sort of pretty. But then I looked down. This is a harem panted jumpsuit. If this were black, or midnight blue, or some rich, sophisticated colour, I might not be opposed. I am not, on principle, opposed to jumpsuits (yet). But it is a harem panted jumpsuit in a colour I can only describe as cat-vomit beige. I’m sorry for that. But it’s true.

Milla looks cute, though (I just accidentally typed culte. I think this should be a word.)

Next.

rzoebrown

I feel like I wore something like this when I went to 60s Daze at my elementary school circa 1995. Is it a costume of some kind? Is she trying to be a superhero whose outfit is made out of rec room upholstery? I don’t get it. At all.

Next.

rzoepinksweater

Okay, no. Sweater dresses = yes. Giant wad of chewed gum in fuzzy wool form = no.

Next.

rzoeblueruffles

Um. Dear Rachel, I have heard conflicting reports about your actual age, but so far none of them have said 87. Please dress accordingly. Love, Angela.

All of these photos were taken at fashion shows, so I honestly started wondering if there was a rule for people attending fashion shows like the one for bridesmaids – never upstage the bride (and/or models). I’ve asked. There isn’t.

L-A (again): I have to take off for an appointment and my research into watching the Rachel Zoe Project online had me up late, so I haven’t got my own answer for you…yet. Tune in again later today. But that last dress? I die. And not in a good way.

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