As the result of a rather hasty and informal Twitter poll yesterday, I’ve made the executive decision to recap this season of The Rachel Zoe Project. Although it doesn’t provide as many opportunities for derision and snark as Real Housewives, I’ve always found the series oddly delightful. And that’s so say nothing of the clothes porn.

And so we set out on journey through the…what season is this? Third? Fourth? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Rachel is knocked up and she’s launching a clothing line, so there’s a whole lot more going on than just the Oscars.

We started with Rachel and Rodger back when she was six months pregnant and requiring Rodger to make her breakfast, which was Pellegrino and cranberry, as far as I could tell. For this season, Rodger has added some unfortunate facial hair to his Just Beiber haircut, and one can only hope that Rachel will be in charge of picking future hairstyles for their son. Speaking of her son, Rachel admitted right up front that she had initially been disappointed that she was having a boy, and let’s face it, we all figured that was the case. But as soon as she found cute boy clothes, everything was fixed. Despite what the show may sometimes make it seem like, Rachel is actually really easy to please. Just wave a cute outfit in front of her face!

We then followed the couple and their bean to one of the company’s four offices, which was apparently one that they don’t visit often because they couldn’t figure out how to get in the door. Once they had been buzzed in like the UPS guy, Rachel met with the head of her new line (Did we catch her name? Mandanna or Mandonna or something?) and did a little shilling, which is to be expected in a series that covers the launch of a new fashion line for all of 4.5 seconds, setting the pace for the rest of the episode and making me wonder exactly how many episodes this season will have if we’re running through plot points this quickly.

Pretty soon, Rachel went back to the styling office that we all know and love (and at which she had no problem gaining entry), where Jordan had been promoted in Brad’s absence. That gave Rachel a bit of an opportunity to talk shit about Brad, who she accused of poaching clients and pursuing the limelight after he left the business. And although I generally like Rachel, calling him out for that without giving him an opportunity to respond on the show seemed a little petty.

Besides, of course Brad took a couple of accounts with him when he left; anyone who works in an account-based business knows that happens when someone talented parts ways with a company. Plus, who cares if Brad’s going to events? I’m pretty sure there’s enough room for both of them at fashion shows and parties. The whole thing smacked of jealousy over Brad’s rising profile within the industry. In fact, didn’t they split shortly after he was profiled glowingly in the New York Times?

For me, the way she handled Brad’s departure on the show also makes me wonder about the things she said about Taylor last season. She accused her of stealing and various other nefariousness, but no specific allegations ever came about and Taylor just really didn’t seem like the type. And didn’t Rachel nearly have a heart attack because Taylor dared to style someone for an awards show after she left the company? Does she expect all of her former employees to bag groceries for a living after they leave?

The subject quickly changed to Rachel and Rodger shooting an editorial for Elle themed around John and Yoko’s famous bed-in, and I guess Rodger would be Yoko in this scenario? While Rachel was in hair and makeup, she complained that the bean eliminated half her wardrobe but gave her an added advantage when she fought with Rodger, so I guess that’s basically a wash. Next thing we knew, the wardrobe assistant’s were struggling to zip things over Rachel’s bump and they were being photographed in all white rolling around on a bed. Thankfully, they were both fully clothed. It is Elle, after all.

And then, all of a sudden, we were back at Rachel and Rodger’s house, trying to hire a new assistant. Naturally, Jeremiah, the first adorable gay guy who came in, more or less got the job right then and there. Rachel spent more time talking at him than asking him questions, and for his part, Rodger made a few off-color jokes about being “under” Rachel and they all discussed what exactly a game of dodgeball entails.

In keeping with the quick pace of the rest of the episode, we were then whisked off to tour a potential new home with Rodger and Marissa, the company’s director of operations, because Rachel was…elsewhere. I don’t know where she was. The house was palatial and cost $20,000 a month to rent, and it had a sauna. And then we sprinted directly to the next scene! Why are we rushing?!

We reconvened at Rachel’s office, where she and Rodger were meeting with a different brunette, the one whose name I never managed to catch, who was wearing the Rick Owens jacket that I own in my head. No one had actually seen any final samples yet, so they all seemed a little worried about planning the New York preview for buyers and editors that was quickly approaching. Except, wait! There’s a premiere! It’s on the same day, and it’s in LA, and now Rachel wants to rearrange the entire event to accomodate one bimbo movie star who needs a dress. Why does she pay Jordan if Jordan can’t handle dressing after the dress is chosen?

But we didn’t get an answer to that question, because first we had to interview another stylist, as if Jeremiah’s spot wasn’t already set in stone. A girl named Ashley came in who admittedly had much more experience and who seemed much more enthusiastic, plus she pronounced Proenza Schouler correctly, which is so rare that I can’t even get started on how much it bothers me when people within the industry say it incorrectly. This Ashley girl, she seemed like the perfect candidate. She seemed like a Rachel-in-training!

Ultimately, though, Rachel wanted to bring Jeremiah back in and talk to him again. Rachel would rather have a cute gay guy with fun hair around the office than yet another totally qualified female assistant, and that was just the way it was going to be. Rodger protested that Ashley was better, but let’s face it, Rodger’s not the one running the show in any real way. Rachel’s the cash cow, and what she says go, even if it makes Rodger so frustrated that his Beiber bangs get frizzy.

Naturally, when Jeremiah came back in, he admitted that most of his work was as a model and not an actual stylist or photo assistant or fashion assistant or anything that might add any kind of value to a styling business, which seemed to delight Rachel and make her even more determined to hire him. She justified it by saying that Brad hadn’t had much experience before she hired him either, but don’t I remember something about how he worked for Vogue? Did I make that up? Anyway, Jeremiah got hired. Duh. We all knew that 45 minutes ago.

Later, Marissa made the mistake of showing Rachel the pictures of the giant house that they had toured previously, which Rodger had asked her not to do since he thought it would be too big and too expensive to furnish and too much of a whirlwind to accomplish before the baby arrived. If ever you needed proof that Rodger knows his wife, that was it, because she took a single glance at the pictures of the house and demanded that they rent it. With a bit of protestation (but not too much), Rodger gave in. There’s no use arguing with a determined pregnant lady. She’ll always win, particularly when she was already a little nuts before she was pregnant.

That was that, so it was on to the next thing – Rachel’s collection, which had just magically shown up in the studio and needed to be styled and shipping back to New York as outfits by the end of the day. As luck would have it, that was also Jeremiah’s first day, and he was completely overwhelmed. That would be understandable, save for the fact that all he was asked to do was steam the garments. Not only is that not rocket science, but anyone who has ever done any kind of legitimate work in fashion, ever, has used a standard hand steamer. The fashion industry runs on hand steamers, unpaid interns and Diet Coke.

He figured it out eventually, though, and it got him an invitation to come to New York to help out with the presentation. Speaking of the presentation, if you haven’t seen the collection by now, the clothes are actually really nice. They’re a little spendy, but there’s a reason that they’ve been picked up by several major high-end department stores and some great online retailers. There’s a $550 maxi dress in the line that I would stab someone in order to obtain, but considering the price tag, I’ll probably abstain. Still, Rachel’s duds seem to be the real deal, which is more than I can say for basically any other person who I can think of who has a reality TV show.

That more or less covers it for this episode, but with plenty of high-pressure situations to come, there are surely plenty of meltdowns and Chanel jackets left to be seen in this season. And at the pace the producers have set, we might see them all in the span of an hour next week.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Lottied

    I absolutely adore your recaps :)

  • gacats

    As much as I hate typing on this Droid,I must applaud your recap! Whew!

  • suz

    “Why are we rushing?” Duh….we might find out they are actually the most boring, superficial people on earth if they don’t keep on rushing and creating drama out of thin air That said….I am so happy you are recapping. I am and have been totally addicted to this show just because of the milieu…fashion, fashion and more fashion! So, thank you for taking this on. We will continue to love you for this. You have my undying appreciation….especially since I’m pretty sure I’m done with the Real Housewives…at least for the moment….although I will keep on reading your recaps.

  • Ellz

    Yay for real fashion! While I still (stupidly) watch the Real Housewives and will continue to adore BH, I soooo missed the fashion porn given to us by Rachel Zoe. Just the fact that she has an actual knowledge of fashion (not Teresa and Melissa’s deluded ideas) makes her my favorite Bravo show!!! Thank you for recapping again for us!

  • erica

    love the recap, so funny. Did you see Rachel almost cackle when Jerry (Jerimiah) mentioned that tether ball was a poor person’s game? Here I thought it was a lonely person’s game.

    “A game for poor people!!” muh hah hah. Not a good side there Rach!

    That was Mandanna? Basically Taylor just died her hair brown and changed her name or something.

    Roger scarfing down food while Rachel drinks her breakfast is priceless. Glad her little cutie son came out healthy and adorable. Maybe she scarfs down Big Macs in private in a locked bathroom.

  • Laura

    This is definitely my favorite Bravo show! Love Rachel and her clothing/bag porn that she provides for us!

    As annoying as she can be sometimes, I’d rather watch their made-up drama than the ridiculousness of the housewives. I feel like all the RH franchises are getting too stupid even for reality tv.

  • Purse Mommy

    Clothes porn! We all have our vices and clothes and purses are mine. So I’m all over this show. Did anyone catch the comment that Taylor I mean Mandanna said to Rodger when they were leaving awesome house? “I’ll talk to the top money earner” or something like that.

  • justine

    “The fashion industry runs on hand steamers, unpaid interns and Diet Coke.”

    this line was hilarious! it is painfully true, too. i can’t find an internship in a prominent company to save my life because i recently graduated. that’s what i get for not going to college in nyc.

  • chloebagfreak

    So glad you are doing this recap! I love this vapid, vain show as a break from my studies. Real Housewives seem to get more disturbing with each new season, so this will be my martini at the end of the day!

    Does anyone know the brand of the leather moto vest Rachel was wearing towards the end of the show?

  • willbuy

    So happy to see you’re recapping this show. Always love to read your recap and all the comments. Hope the show sticks to the fashion stories and not so much the baby stories.

  • Lynn

    love the recap!! love the show… keep em coming!

  • shallowgal

    I vowed I wouldn’t watch it, but I did, of course. How about her Chanel jacket?

    I die! /lol.

    great to see you recapping this, Amanda.

  • AudraS

    My favorite boss ever, when I worked in NY publishing, said “the good ones always leave” when I turned in my notice. And she was sincerely proud of me! Rachel never got the memo: hire the best, let them improve your brand, keep them as you can, cheer them on when they leave and wherever they go they will always give props to you for inspiring them. Or act like they should be assistants for life (how ambitious) and watch them become your competition. Ba.Na.Nas.

    • Blaine

      I love that – absolutely. Rachel should refer to them airily as her “usual championship offspring.”

  • Mochababe73

    I never thought that there was anything nefarious going on with Taylor. Seemed like she did most of the work. Once I read that NYT article on Brad, I knew that his days were numbered.
    To be honest, I own seasons 1 and 2. Watch them all the time. Last season was okay. This season seems to be more of the same- not as fun as the first two.
    If RZ is worth so much, why is she RENTING a house?!
    I like Rodger. He actually makes good business sense. Rachel really needs to listen to him and stop being so disrespectful.
    Yes. Brad worked at Vogue.
    I can’t wait for Fashion Hunters and Mad Fashion. Now, that looks like fun.
    Too bad you don’t recap Dance Moms. My newest guilty pleasure.

  • hannah

    just wanted to say I am so giddy with happiness that you are recapping Rachel Zoe this season! I watched the first episode and mentioned to my sister that I wished PB was recapping it!!
    also, i completely agree with your thoughts on her line — every single item of clothing in her line was amazing and i was really shocked! part of me thought it would be, considering she styles for a living, but the other part of me thought it’d be another She by Sheree’ nightmare hahaah!
    also, she shares my love of all black ensembles, so theres always that.

  • adrienne z

    Thank goodness Rachel is having a boy, and Rodg will realize soon enough how much cheaper (and easier!) it will be to raise a boy as opposed to a girl in the Zoe household. I have 2 teen boys who are both amazing and a pleasure to be around.
    I hope that Rachel realizes that the most important achievement in raising ANY child is to make sure that they grow up to be stable, confident adults with a sensitivity to others’ feelings and situations, an appreciation for the world/surroundings around us, a pride in the heritage from whence they come, an emotional attachment to those who love, and a respect for life itself in all of its forms.
    Cute designer outfits are only a prop for temporary show and out of reach for most Americans. When you fall in love with your kids, nothing else matters but molding them with valuable life experiences, compassion, and a striving to shape them into human beings that will be able to stand on their own with pride, integrity, and self-worth.