Last night’s episode of The City was both fascinating for its insight into the fashion world (that’s right, I used the word “insight” in regards to an MTV show) and simultaneously a near parody of the world itself. On the one hand, we had Whitney struggling to get her fashion line into boutiques and stores by peddling her wares at a huge expo. It was the unglamorous side of fashion that we rarely — if ever — see highlighted on reality TV.
On the other hand, we had Joe Zee and the editors of Elle cooing over popstar Ke$ha’s dumpster diving aesthetic, going so far as to use phrases as “garbage chic” and “she’s very into trash.” And yes, when they said “trash,” they didn’t mean the campy ideal. They meant literal trash. The experience was very much a callback to the famed “Derelicte” look from Zoolander, except this wasn’t an outrageous comedy. These were real editors talking about a real trend in a real magazine. Just as funny though.
The bulk of the show focused on Whitney’s world, which was less amusing than what was going on at Elle (sadly, that’s always the case), but at least we got a healthy dose of Kelly Cutrone. The grand dame of fashion publicity wasn’t as sharp-tongued as usual, but she certainly did a lovely job of scaring Whitney senseless in anticipation of her showing at the expo. Kelly overloaded Whit-Whit with so many potential questions and dilemmas that I thought Whitney’s eyeballs might just explode out of her skull. Best of all, Kelly managed to drop a scathing reference to TJ Maxx, noting that it could be the unfortunate home of the Whitney Eve collection should the young designer not keep her wits about her. Nothing like some good old fashioned TJ Maxx snobbery to make giddy with joy. (Full confession though: I have recently become converted to the joys of TJ Maxx. But don’t tell anyone)
Anyway, Whitney and Roxy headed off to the expo and attempted to woo and wow various buyers from various shops. They seemed to have some success with a trio of women from an establishment annoyingly named “WINK.” However, the ladies proved to be nothing but teases, refusing to fill out an order form for their store. Whitney had greater success with a fussy man who later came by and decided to buy practically one of everything. This was followed by goofy smiles and squeals of delight, which Kelly promptly destroyed by announcing that she was there to work, not giggle. Classic Cutrone (counting down the days until Kell On Earth returns, assuming it does).
Well, the good times didn’t last long for Whitney. After the commercial break, Kelly delivered the news that the strange buyer had reneged on the deal, and now Whitney was left with all sorts of inventory. The blame immediately fell on Roxy, who it turns out hadn’t followed up with the buyer to make sure everything was okay. Roxy looked a touch dumbfounded, and Whitney went so far as to snap at her friend before huffing off in a rage (or at least as much of a rage as Whitney is capable of). Kelly seemed to take an almost empathetic stance towards Roxy, reminding her that Whitney was under major stress. As for Whit-Whit, Kelly told her young protege to let this experience “burn” for a while so that she’d never make the same mistake again. Of course, this implies that Whitney will have any difficulty stocking her line, which is hard to believe considering she’s a legitimate celebrity and not just some anonymous designer climbing her way up through the ranks.
Meanwhile, over at Elle, Olivia was on a mission to find accessories for the aforementioned Ke$ha shoot. Since the singer likes to wear garbage — literally — Olivia wound up at some hipster boutique called Trash & Vaudeville, which specialized in punk-rock, metal-studded, crazy outlandish looks. Basically, it was the total opposite of Olivia’s style. Watching her wade amongst the merchandise uncomfortably was enjoyable enough, but when Olivia was forced to put on some intensely studded shoes against her desires, we got the sense that the producers were just toying with her. And it was awesome.
Olivia then brought her samples back to the Elle show room where an editor summarily dismissed most of the work and asked Olivia to fetch some more items. This was followed by the sudden appearance of resident Elle gossip queen Seth, who stirred the pot by asking if Erin had approved any of the pulled looks. Olivia quickly snapped back that she didn’t give a fuck about what Erin though, instantly causing Seth’s cheeks to go rosy with both awkwardness and excitement over having a new tasty morsel of gossip to present at the altar of Kaplan.
Anyway, Olivia then went off to lunch with her new bestie, Louise, who suggested that the beleaguered editor look into the offerings of a certain designer. Olivia smiled and informed Louise that she had already put in a request to pull some items, but we couldn’t be totally sure if she was being truthful or attempting to put on appearances. All we do know is that the shoes Olivia did wind up bringing to the shoot were a rousing success, causing Joe Zee to gush effusively (then again, an errant dustbunny will cause him to gush effusively). This resulted in many shots of Erin looking pouty and sad, but just because she’d lost this round didn’t mean she was defeated. Later, the two women traded passive-aggressive barbs at their desks, with Erin suggesting that it was Louise’s idea to pull the much-adored shoes. Olivia replied by stating that Erin’s plan to “pin” the two women against each other was failing, causing Erin to retort that the expression is “pit” and not “pin.” It was sniveling office posturing at its best, and once again, I had to offer up a silent thanks to MTV for delivering us yet another fine, fine installment of this wonderful show.
And now the photocap:
Kelly: “Hey. Hey you. Listen up. Stop staring off into space. IT’S FUCKING FASHION WEEK!”
“I find this Trash & Vaudeville store to be HIGHLY unprofessional. I don’t think Ke$ha will like this, and I can say that because I know her PERSONALLY.”
“Hi! We’re from WINK, and we love your line! Wink wink. Get it?”
Whitney: “Are you being facetious or just promoting your brand?”
“You tell US! Wink wink!”
“I don’t give a fuck what Erin thinks about the stuff I pulled. Heck, she could be President Barack Obama, WHOM I KNOW PERSONALLY.”
“Hey Whit, pay attention. This is what you call browsing in the POWER BITCH WORLD.”
“One of these days I’m just gonna STAB Kelly Cutrone in the face. Wait, did I say that out loud?”
“Don’t be afraid that I’m here to take your job, Olivia. That’s just MADNESS. I’m totally SHATTERED. Like a stale old SCONE. God Save the Queen, love.”
“So here’s the deal: that buyer who loved your stuff, Whit, just backed out. You can thank shit for brains over here for not following up.”
“I was being sarcastic.”
“I’m so mad I could almost say ‘Bitch!’ very quietly!”
“Excuse me, but this wasn’t my fault! I’m wearing my Kelly Bensimon glasses. That means I’m responsible!”
Joe: “Ke$ha, all that garbage on you looks CAYUUUUUTE!!! LOOOOOVE TRASH!!!”
Ke$sha: “You know me: I love dumpster diving!”
Olivia: “I know the man who created dumpsters. He is a personal friend of mine.”
“Listen, Erin, I know you want to pin me and Louise against each other, but it’s not gonna happen, IRREGARDLESS of what you supposively think.”
“First of all, it’s ‘pit’ and not ‘pin,’ and second of all, why aren’t you wearing pants?”
What did you think about the episode?