Come one, come all to my very first recap of The Rachel Zoe Project! The show debuted its third season last night in a fit of sparkly dresses and fired employees, and it proved once again why it’s the absolute best fashion porn on television. Sorry, Gossip Girl – Rachel Zoe has you beat.

But sky-high shoes and Hermes cuffs aren’t the only things that Rachel Zoe has to offer – this episode had a giraffe. A giraffe on a beach. It also had a scene where Rachel’s husband obsessively watched football, which was almost as unexpected as a giraffe on a beach.

Things started with a scandal about which many of us have already read: the internet was exploding with talk of Taylor’s, uh, issues. Issues of the financial/missing cash/oh crap Taylor’s cookin’ the books variety. I’m not sure how the internet caught wind of all of those problems before Rachel’s husband and business partner Rodger managed to explain them to her, but apparently it did. We’re a wily bunch out here in the tubes.

Eventually Brad and the rest of Rachel’s assistants arrived to hear the news, and we all learned that Taylor had been fired after creating her own mini Enron within the RZ empire. I got a bit distracted by the fierce Hermes Collier de Chien cuff that Rachel was rocking during these scenes, but I think I managed to hear most of what went on, and it was…uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because I suppose that you never really know you coworkers, but also uncomfortable because we only heard one side of the story.

Taylor wasn’t universally beloved by any means, but I always sort of liked her because she was a bit of scowling, Balenciaga-toting, hair-bleaching punk attitude in the middle of sunny California (although I certainly wouldn’t want to work with her). Brad, on the other hand? I want him to be my gay boyfriend. Apologies to my current gay boyfriend, but honey, I’d bump you down to the second spot for Brad. I hope you understand. He has better wardrobe access. And bow ties. You need to work on your bow tie game. Not only that, but Brad had some extra dirt on Taylor: apparently some samples had gone missing after she had “borrowed” them to go clubbing. Do people actually call it “clubbing” anymore? That seems very early-2000s to me.

But let’s not dwell on the negativity! Out of Taylor’s firing came a job opening for which many of young fashionistas would gladly knife each other in the back (or maybe even in the front) to get, but most of the applicants were a little young and inexperienced for Rachel’s preferences. They all seemed very earnest and nervous, but I suppose that I would be as well if my interview for my dream job was being videotaped for reality television.

We didn’t sit around and think about silly things like job interviews for long, though – it was time for fashion. Fashion and famous people! Namely Demi Moore, who Rachel and Brad would be styling for a Harper’s Bazaar shoot which would potentially involve things like giraffes and giant chairs. Brad brought up an interesting question: can you ride a giraffe? I honestly don’t know. Have any of you ever ridden a giraffe?

The fashion afterglow didn’t last long, though, because Rachel received a phone call letting her know that Taylor had been picked up by a styling agency that used to represent her, and that soon she would be going out on her own and styling and writing books and doing stylist-type jobs. I’m not sure what Rachel expected to happen – it’s not like Taylor would get fired and take her sulky attitude straight to the McDonald’s drive-thru window, but Rachel was upset nonetheless. And also, she was still wearing Hermes bracelets. DISTRACTING.

Luckily we were soon treated to a ridiculous, expensive, high-priced magazine photo shoot to take our minds off staffing issues. This is the section in the show where the clothes porn started in earnest, and I may have started drooling immediately after they arrived at the shoot. There were ALEXANDER MCQUEEN PYTHON ARMADILLO SHOES, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. And the Fendi Cinderellas! And Oscar De La Renta and Christian Louboutin and CHANEL, OH MY. When I say that I may have drooled, I mean that I absolutely drooled all over myself and had to change my shirt. Possibly. You guys won’t tell anyone, right?

And then it was time for the beach, which was a whole different ball of fabulous. Rachel couldn’t actually walk down to the beach herself because she was wearing stilettos with at least a two inch platform, so she had to be carried by a random guy from the shoot, but that was the least odd thing that happened that day. Soon the giraffe arrived and then they made Demi climb a random spiral staircase to nowhere in the middle of the beach while wearing the McQueen armadillo heels, and I wish I could say that I made that up, but I didn’t. Whoever conceptualized that shot was on some good drugs.

The entire thing was straight out of “Zoolander” in the best way possible and it created so many questions: who do you call when you need a spiral staircase built in the middle of a beach? How do you transport a giraffe down the freeway? Did Demi demand hazard pay for climbing stairs in the armadillo shoes? Does Rachel Zoe really not own flats?

And then, right at the end, we got a little bit of Chanel ridiculousness that made me think that Ms. Zoe knew we were watching – tweed jackets, embellished flap bags, all of it delivered to her penthouse apartment for her private perusal with her Hair Gay present to encourage her to overspend. Jealousy is painful; I need to go take an Ibuprofen.

So much for ending this episode on a positive note, though – just as Rachel had managed to hire Taylor’s replacement, a new issue of Paper magazine arrived that showcased Taylor and Brad styling each other. Rachel ended up throwing Taylor’s pictures into her fireplace and hopefully she lit them on fire off-camera. I once did that to pictures of an ex-boyfriend with my three sophomore college roommates, and it was surprisingly cathartic. Although buying a few of those Chanel bags from the previous scene would have felt so much better.

Programming note: I’d appreciate it if comments about Ms. Zoe’s weight could be kept to a minimum. Everything else? Fair game! I hope you enjoyed the recap and will join us again next week!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • mochababe73

    Too much whining from Rachel in my opinion. It’s unprofessional, and she needs to just let it go. I hope that we don’t hear anything else about it. If it were that bad, Rachel should have filed charges. To be honest, I think that Rachel wanted to get rid of Taylor for a long time. Rodger gave her an out and fired Taylor himself because she didn’t have the tatas to do it. To be honest, we may never know what happened, and I’m not passing judgement. Remember that there are always three sides to a story-side A, side B, and the truth. With all of those secret shopping trips that Rachel did without Rodger’s knowledge, how do we know SHE wasn’t cooking the books. You see, this whole situation can be spun many different ways. Maybe there’s a reason why Taylor isn’t saying anything.

    I like this show because unlike Kell on Earth (which I hate) there is minimum drama. I love fashion and have been looking forward to seeing Rachel for weeks. Since this was a former agency, I don’t see what her issue was.

    I happen to have this particular Harper’s Bazaar issue, and I loved it. This is coming from someone who finds Demi Moore dull, unexciting, and boring.

    I think that when she was trying on all of the fabulous Chanel that I actually drooled. Oh, to be in that room just to see, touch, and smell the couture would have been awesome. Best part of the episode.

    Love your recaps, Amanda.

  • lisa

    Great recap! I love Rachel and Brad and I wish Rodger was my husband. The chanel clothes and Hermes cuffs were incredible. Rachel always looks impeccable and original. Would die to be a Zoe-bot!! I think Rachel’s complaints about Taylor were validated considering Taylor never seemed to appreciate the opportunities Rachel gave her. Everyone is wondering why Rachel didn’t go after Taylor legally- it probably wasn’t worth it by the time attorney’s fees and court fees were factored in. Better to let her go and move on. Im sure Rachel knew Taylor wouldnt dissapear from styling but it still hurts to hear about her good fortunes after she betrayed Rachel. Can’t wait for next weeks episode and to see how Rachel is affected by McQueen’s death.

    • Kate W.

      Rachel wouldn’t have to pay attorney’s fees and court fees if she filed criminal charges, which is what I believe the previous commenter was referring to. I wasn’t watching too closely besides for the super fashion parts, but I thought that the reason she was fired was that she was stealing samples when she said that she was just borrowing them (which, given that this is high fashion, would still add up to grand larceny)? Didn’t realize that she was outright taking money as well….

  • Ellz

    OMG I die!!! I love Rachel Zoe and I’m sooo excited that you’re racpping these for us Amanda! The fashion is literally “on another level” and I jump in my seat at every beautiful piece. Another great recap!!!!

  • PhotoGirl

    Fabulous recap, as always, Amanda. I am with you regarding the fashion: iDrool!

    Oddly enough, all of the Taylor-bashing rubbed me the wrong way, though. I am going to reserve judgement until I hear Taylor’s side of the story. We all saw Rachel’s secret shopping sprees last season, so who knows what really hapened to the books? Taylor was certainly no Miss Congeniality, but I don’t think this was an All About Eve situation, either.

    Taylor is younger and will eventually prove to be at least as talented as Rachel, I think. That’s probably grounds for firing her right there.

    I always liked Rodger in the past, but I am already finding him curiously annoying this season.

    Can someone tell me which issue of Harpers the photo shoot appeared in? That’s not a magazine I usually read, but I would love to see the photos.

    • Lo

      iDrool, love it!!! i shall now be incorporating into my vocab, thank you v.much

  • Idealist

    I love Rachel, I love Brad. Yes taylor did complain alot but I liked her too. So I’m kind of torn on this situation. However, I DON’T like how Rachel handled this Taylor situation. Dragging her name through the mud on national tv. Basically ripping her a new 1. Burning pics?? R u serious!? I know u’re hurt but really. & you definitely shouldn’t insinuate theft with no actual proof esp. when everything was returned. On another note: I don’t like how Rachel’s husband is working for her. He seems a bit controlling to me. i don’t like him 4 sum reason I just get a bad vibe. Just my thoughts

  • Claire

    Great recap Amanda!

    I agree with everyone else. The clothes were great, the name dragging wasn’t.

    And I think she was making a big effort to act more professionally, when she was telling Brad his new title, and area of responsibility.

    I’m always a little shocked at how old RZ looks, she’s exactly 2 years older than me (same bday!) but seriously, she looks 10 years older. And that means she looks 10 years older than she is, not that I look 10 years younger than I am!

    • suz

      How old is she?

      • Jen

        You know, I was wondering the same thing — googled her and Wikipedia has he birthday in 1971 — that would make her 39. I think she looks a lot older and as if she had considerable work so I was surprised.

  • Jo Marie

    Well, I haven’t followed Rachel before but, as I enjoy your recaps so much …..

  • suz

    I’ve watched RZ off and on for the last two seasons and found it somewhat interesting because in a former life long ago and far away, I was a stylist and fashion editor in NY. However, I never really got hooked on the show because Rachel herself is such a dreadful bore…humoress and narcissistic. ……never could stand Taylor or understand why anyone in their right mind would employ her…continue to wonder why such a talented stylist can’t get her husband to dress like a grownup and not a Justin Beiber wannabe…if she’ll ever eat a meal and/or not have a headache or not be tired.

    So, casting all that aside, I sat down and actually watched the show last night just so I could read your recap. I still don’t much like RZ for all the same reasons, but because of your recaps I’ll at least DVR her through the season and try to stay focused on the fashion and your delightful take on things.

  • Handbag Lover

    I really loved this show last night! I can’t wait for the next one! Looking at her recap last night, I so want a chanel bag! Great Recap, Great Show! :)-

  • Rosecity

    Said in a monotone, “I’m-too-upset-to-talk-about-this-now.”

    Oh, RZ. How you would have failed speech class in high school!

  • RedHead

    Amanda –

    Since no one else said it I’ll be first: That recap was Ba-na-nas!! I put you in the same catagory as my beloved “chick-lit” authors Plum Sykes and Candace Bushnell: Absolute must read:-) Please consider using your considerable writing talents/sense of humor/fashion sense for the greater good and write a book that will be turned into a movie that I will happily go see with all my best GFs. **See you Friday for the Housewives of DC recap….can’t wait! Looks like lots of LV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Aww thank you so much! That’s so sweet of you to say, I’m glad you enjoy the blog and my recaps. Hopefully one day I’ll write a book and get it optioned so that I can spend the rest of my life on a beach somewhere, but until then, I’ll be here plugging away at the recaps :-)

  • Chris

    I tried to watch the first 1 1/2 seasons – no doubt Ms Zoe is a very talented stylist. And the fashion is great. Unfortunately, that’s about it.
    Rachael Zoe is really boring, with zero humour. And she is a terrible manager – she cannot lead people. I am not surprised to hear that she did not have the guts to fire Taylor personally.
    Also, I doubt that working for her is a dream job – she is so narcissistic, a young woman is a competitor for her. She mainly has gay men around her that flatter her and cheer her up – she needs this because of her constant headaches, tiredness etc.
    Taylor – I loved her style, but she was an awful colleague.
    As for the photo shoot – yes, it sounds like HB had great ideas. Unfortunately, Demi is not a relevant actress anymore. She had her time in the 80s/90s, and is not good enough to play character roles now.
    But yes, the fashion is great.

  • Amy

    lol@clothes porn. I love watching Rachael Zoe, … Her “sample room”, i would love to horde and browse through. I love her take on accessories, that.s one department i can not function well with and she is accessories queen.

  • Staci

    Amanda, I thoroughly enjoyed your RZP recap!! You really said exactly everything I was thinking and then some! I’m looking forward to next week’s! xoxo

  • Jennifer

    I just found The PurseBlog site and I want to say that I love it, your reviews/photos of handbags, and the fact that someone else drools over them as much as I do!!! :)

    Secondly, I LOVE that you are recapping RZ. Your recap was so great to read…and I love that you notice everything everyone in the episode is wearing and comment on it much as I do while watching it myself!

    I have watched RZ from the beginning and while I admit I watch for the fashion and accessories I also have to admit I watch for RZ and company as well. Brad is hilarious and watching him and Rachel together is like watching two kids in a candy store (and usually as brightly colored!).

    The Demi Moore shoot was so great to see and I liked that they also showed the final magazine cover with her on it as well (just so I could see what the final product actually looked like). I don’t know how Demi Moore stood in those shoes much less walked in them! And yes, I couldn’t believe that Rachel said she doesn’t even own a pair of flats! I can’t imagine! :)

    The jackets at the end of the episode were so amazing! I loved them all and couldn’t blame Rachel for wanting to keep them all!!

    Having said all that though, I hope that Rachel won’t talk about Taylor in future episodes. While I would give anything to work for her it kind of annoyed me that she kept harping on it even though I’m sure she was hurt by it all.

    I also read an interview with Taylor (I think on the TVGuide website?) that said she couldn’t comment due to signing a confidentiality agreement when working for Rachel. She also said that she could not fit into the sample sizes because of her bust size. While I agree that Taylor could be annoying and usually just acted unhappy I also have to admit she did add something “extra” to the show and I often she just felt underappreciated for all that she was doing (or maybe I’ve been there so I read more into her than what was there! ha!).

    Having said all that though, I agree with mochababe73 in that there are always three sides to every story. I apologize this is so long and I promise I’ll keep it lots shorter in the future, but I am so excited I stumbled across this site! :)

    • Welcome to the blog, we’re glad you found us! And feel free to write as much as you’d like, we don’t mind :-)

  • Jo Marie

    I think the giraffe shows the most style and grace.

  • erica

    I love your blog as it is, but now I will make sure I never miss your RZ write-ups! You did such an excellent job!!!

    I am so glad the RZ project is on again. And Flipping Out is coming on soon too. LOVE JEFF AND ZOILA!

    Back to Zoe though, I seriously had that nervous feeling in my gut (butterflies) watching this episode. SO GOOD!

    My favorite line in the show: “I don’t own any flats” said Rachel Zoe

    If you ever want to check out my blog it’s prettyallthetime.blogspot.com. It’s all pretty fashion and beauty for less. All the best and I will definitely be back for more of your recaps!

  • Bagolicious

    I missed it. A friend e-mailed me about it after the fact, but informed me that I needed to go out and get the Chanel bag that she had. Does anyone know when the rerun of the show will play here in L.A.?

    • lisa

      its on demand!

  • Nee

    Rachel bashing Taylor TOTALLY killed the show for me. if she keeps it up, i will have to stop watching. Taylor was whiny, but she got the job done, and she was good at it. RZ came across as having no leadership/management skills in the 2nd season. I think its just a matter of time before Taylor eclipses RZ. On another note, the fashion was amazing!

  • Bestremywigs

    I watched it and I loved every drop. I am sooooooooo in love with Rachel’s husband, there’s something about him, that’s a bit odd, yet I manage to have a crush none the less. I have the same exact Hermes belt, and had it listed on Ebay, but after watching RZ, I snatched it right back off. Sorry bidders.While I am sorry that Tai is no longer on the show, I can truly understand how Rachel would be affected by her departure, and would bring her up in conversations relentlessly. How many times after a bad breakup does one continuously mention their ex?????? anyone???? anyone??. It’s the same feeling. Great recap as usual. can’t wait to hear your though on the real housewives of d.c

  • B

    too bad taylor isn’t telling her side of the story, would love to hear it. never liked her attitude, but she was a hard worker & fantastic stylist. i read that her boobs are too big to fit sample sizes, and i do remember an episode where she was trying on sample dresses for rz and couldnt zip them up all the way. rz also did go on shopping sprees without rodger’s knowledge. rz has always had a reputation for being dishonest, so its really hard to believe her story. would love to hear nicole ritchie’s fallout details with rz too, i think it would shed lots of light on the real rz. just sayin’

  • arlene

    Loved your recap and loved the show. The chanel RTW at the end of the episode had me drooling. That is one of my weaknesses. I had to rewind 4 times, I was in heaven.

  • nee

    Nee, I didn’t think she was really bashing Taylor. She was hurt by Taylor’s actions and wanted her to care that their friendship was over. Also Taylor supposedly “stole” from the company. That’s a hard pill to swallow for Rachel as it should be. If Taylor was sincerely sorry and apologized I think Rachel would have forgiven her Rachel seems like a nice person.

    Also, I love how Rodger manned up in this episode. Very good!

  • erica

    oops, i wrote my name was nee, lol

  • Melissa

    So excited you’ve added the RZP to your roster. You are so right, this show is pure fashion pornography. It puts me in a bit of a trance. The Chanel delivery from Decadestwo was pure torture to observe. Your Hermes bracelet sightings were hilarious. Perhaps it can become season 3’s drinking game? Looking forward to your recaps!

  • tadpolenyc

    i’m really happy you’re recapping rzp. it’s my favorite bravo show by far! i loved the behind-the-scenes look at the harper’s bazaar shoot. i thought their demi moore cover was one of the best this year even though i don’t care much for demi.

    rachel was being pretty immature wrt taylor’s departure, but i’m actually glad she’s gone. she was negative, rude, melodramatic, and a whiner. brad’s more fun to watch.

  • Ted

    Her husband is superhumanly gay and it was the funniest thing I ever seen when he was trying to pretentious to be straight. You know that his personal trainer is his boyfriend right. Football and beer ya right girlfriend!

  • GerriGer

    OK.

  • GerriGer

    I can’t believe they have changed this show so much … and not in a good way! All you hear now is bad talk about Taylor. The husband (who used to be a manly guy) is now a cry baby trying to be big stuff on the show and is suddenly always there. It is obvious Brad is really loving that now he doesn’t have to “steal” the scenes by being the one going to all the fashion shows and things that Taylor should have been going to: for example … New York Fashion Week and Paris … come on now!

    Get off Taylor’s back …. Rodger … get manly and only come on the show for one appearance (makes you look better and less like a baby). Brad, you want to be the star too much … Taylor made you look good and fun except for when YOU went on all the trips and supposedly didn’t realize that maybe as the new person you should have insisted that Taylor go to AT LEAST ONE EVENT!

    I used to really love this show … now … not so much. I will watch for a little longer but I really think the dynamics of the show need to be re-worked and maybe somehow they need to let Taylor go and be gracious about it. You guys just come off like ‘gossip girls’ that are jealous.

    I know … who am I to have an opinion.
    GerriGer

  • Tina

    i love RZ…too bad Taylor got greedy and resorted to theft! I kind of liked her…it is sad, very sad:(

  • GerriGer

    Read “B’s” entry above .. ditto from me. I love you “B” .. nail on the head.

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