Thursday, May 2, 2013

The shutting down of Rachel Zoe?


Sitting down to the finale of the Rachel Zoe Project last night, I felt a tinge of sadness.  No longer was I hanging off every word, every scene, every outfit.  In between checking my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I occasionally glanced up at the screen, yawning on occasion with boredom.

Word on the street is this is her last and final season, after Bravo TV cancelled the show due to poor ratings.  Has Boho Zoe lost her crown as Queen of Celebrity Styling?  Did she peak too soon?  Doing too much at once, has she got her merlot painted talons in too many pies?  Or does all that narcissism become boring without substance?

RZ hit our screens in 2008 with a splash.  She was the girl with the job we all wanted, the wardrobe we envied, the celebrity circle of friends we desired.  Like a breath of fresh air, we finally got to see who put together the looks behind all those paparazzi perfect celebrities of the moment - Lindsay, Mischa and of course Nicole.

In fact, it was RZ's styling that changed our view of Ms Richie, from bubble-gum-smacking, Juicy Couture wearing, smart mouthed side kick of Paris Hilton, into the serious fashionista she is today.  Would House of Harlow have been so successful, if the head of the brand was still toting cheap hair extensions and a lycra mini?

Over the course of 5 years, we were taken on a journey.  As viewers, we were excited to be exposed to celebrity in this manner.  Between finding the perfect Oscars outfit for her few select celebrity clients, RZ was also at the centre of the power struggle between her two protégés - Taylor Jacobson and Brad Goreski.  We could relate to newcomer Brad in his struggle to fit in and find his way, in turn frustrated at the very threatened Taylor for her mean-girl tendencies.  Still, it was enough of a hook to get us watching next season.

Season 2 saw Rachel with a more impressive celebrity clientele, and an obvious preference in her attention towards an easily impressionable Goreski.  Tensions started to form when long standing support Taylor began being pushed aside, given mere assistant roles back in LA, while RZ and her bespectacled new BFF Brad enjoyed glamorous trips across country to New York and, the 'piece de resistance' of a stylists career, an invitation to the elusive Paris Fashion Week.

This is the season where we got to see Brad spread his wings a little, and being given the sole responsibility of styling Anne Hathaway for the Oscars, I wondered if this was the beginning of her 'creating of the monster'?  As we all know, Brad later flew the coop, taking clients with him and signed a deal for his own show. In the same breath, a frustrated Taylor realises the battle has been fought and lost, walking away from RZ Inc, much to the surprise of her employers, who are soon to shift the blame back on to her at the beginning of Season 3 (did anyone else feel uncomfortable with RZ's accusation of Taylors supposed 'theft'? Talk about not taking responsibility!)


Fast forward to an overworked Rachel throughout her pregnancy, and the eventual arrival of cute-as-a-button Skyler.  While we finally got to see the 'human' side of Ms Zoe, she also appeared to have lost her appeal somewhat.  In between her faux embarrassment of her appearance on a billboard and high pitched 'Oh My God's' (has anyone noticed she's gone up an octave or ten?) RZ looks to be more focussed on her fashion label, and with that, became less interesting to watch. (I mean, how many meetings about fabric samples can one sit through?) 

Yes, we're happy that RZ is securing her financial future with a successful label (that interestingly enough, has now signed on to department store Myer - due to hit our shores later this year) but without her desperation of hunting down of the perfect dress and the stress of the other personalities clashing behind the scenes, the program seems to have lost its way.

So as we bid Adieu to the Rachel Zoe Project, I feel like I'm breaking up with that holiday romance.  A little sad and it was fun while it lasted, but its time to move on.

photo credits :

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Australia's Misunderstood Sweetheart?

Australian's have a love/hate relationship with Lara Bingle.  Correction.  Fashionistas love Lara, many others don't get it. 

Unafraid to take a style risk, when this Fashion-Week-darling gets it right, she gets it 'oh so right' and the rest of us follow.   We've watched her evolve from that sunny Bondi Beach babe into a fearless trendsetter within a matter of years.

Whether it's a singular Sarina Suriano diamante ear cuff, a Dior hairnet or a Balenciaga Halo, she's ahead of her time in the Aussie fashion stakes, often drawing inspiration from what's happening in Paris RIGHT NOW.  If Lara debuts the look, chances are, the masses will follow, and several imitations will pop up in chain stores within a matter of weeks.

In 2012, Channel 10's fly-on-the-wall reality show 'Being Lara Bingle' was trashed by the critics but adored by Aussie girls, stalking her looks week after week, with many emulating her outfits within days of screening.  Yet we saw a side to Lara that showed more than being just a coat-hanger for designer looks.  We grew to know a refreshingly imperfect girl, thrust into the spotlight, suffering regret about her ex, struggling with her weight, throwing hissy fits, marvelling at her fame on occasion and resenting it all in the same day.  A candid take on a tabloid favourite, it was a delight to watch.

As a misunderstood front-row regular, she's worked hard to gain the respect of the average Australian and throughout much scandal, has held her head high, often using the opportunity as a chance to showcase her latest favourite look-of-the-moment.  A Fashion PR dream or happy accident?  One can only speculate.

Photo credits -
Lara Bingle instagram