This week on Kell on Earth, fashion is once again in crisis. Everything is too overwhelming and stressful for everyone else except our hero, Kelly Cuttrone, who spends the whole night saving the day.
Sooooo, fashion week is stressful. In case you didn’t know. Robyn, the really unimpressive of Kelly’s partners asks No, But Ativan Andrew if they’re up to date on everything. “I think so,” he casually answers. “No, are we?” she snaps back. Um, can you be specific? Ready in terms of there’s a stage built and people to walk on it, or ready in terms of do we have enough pharmaceuticals? The one thing we learn in this episode is that Stephanie V. – well, actually we learn that Stephanie V. might be mentally retarded, but we also learn that she’s not totally wrong about this lack of training and communication problem. But more about that later. Oh, and they also complain about being short staffed. Are you kidding me? You can have as many free interns as you want, how are you short staffed? I love Kelly but I think she might need a management consultant.
The big news of today is the Agent Provocateur show! This is one of my all time favorite lingerie lines, by the way. They’re described as “cheeky” cause they’re British. Anyway, some of their designs are pretty risque, so Kelly asks the models at the casting if they have any issues with “nipples, boobies or your ass cause if you do, this is not your event.” They are looking for girls who are thin but not bony.
There are a lot of limitations with Agent Provocateur – mainly, budgetary ones. And the client’s particular, Kelly informs us in a very diplomatic way, which means they want something for nothing. Which is what everyone wants. Kelly is not so impressed with the models at the casting. “She has a strange face,” she says of one, then yells, “How hard is it to find pretty models?” That should be an oxymoron, right? But nowadays, it seems like models always have to be “different” looking. I’m not into that. I like my models pretty.
Well, it turns out that the brand’s representative told all the modeling agencies she called for the casting that they were doing a “presentation”, which is not a show. But apparently also not an “installation”, which was what last weeks denim hanging off a tree event was all about. Perhaps some consistency with the naming conventions? These people seem like they become confused easily, do what you can do to work around that. So, apparently presentations are for losers which is why they didn’t get any pretty models at the casting.
And this week’s other project is Nicolas Petrou, a menswear designer launching for the first time. Emily, the bitchy partner who’s growing on me, tells us right off the bat that they’re handling this as a “favor that was brought up last minute. He’s not previously known, and he had budget issues, but we said we’d help him.” Okay, I smell trouble. Why would they take on a losing proposition like this during fashion week? Which, in case you didn’t know is extremely busy and stressful. This is either Bravo intervention or straight up blackmail. Which may be one and the same.
“I’m a sucker for avant garde,” Kelly informs us. Yeah, I could see that about her. She does not like flowery dresses, she continues. She tells him that he’ll get “great editorial, but they’re going to say it’s not wearable.” And already, the guy’s arguing with her. “Someone educated in clothing will know it’s wearable,” he tells her. If that’s your target market buddy, I’d do some re-strategizing. Idealistic fashion students won’t be able to afford your inevitably overpriced shit.
I googled this guy and this is the first image that came up. Hence the uggo models.
But Kelly stays on him, and gets him to edit down to four mannequins and the remaining jumpsuits and….jumpsuits? For men? Anyway, blah blah blah and merchandising and she closes with “Why are we here? We’re here to sell. I know how to do this.” The great scholar of clothing grudgingly agrees to let her do it her way. As a thank you, she tosses of a casual “real genius” as she leads him the hell out of her sight.
And guess what’s going on in the office? More drama with invites and a list. Have these people learned nothing? Well, that was rhetorical and stupid. Of course they’ve learned nothing. They need to get the invites in the mailbox now, so naturally they get Stephanie V. on the case. Immediately, there’s confusion over how many stamps they have. She heads to the mailroom to investigate this mystery further, and is met by confused stares from the interns decamped in there. Then she takes a glance at her invitations, and notices that there are doubles of of some people. No wait – it was triples. Finally, she determines that there are actually quadruples of names and labels. I wait patiently for her to claim lack of training, and am rewarded quite quickly with an “it seems like common sense, but I’ve never done it before”. Ohhhh, okay. So common sense only applies to stuff you already know how to do. Good to know. Too bad we’ve already spent the entire Kell on Earth series watching you screw up invitations and lists on a weekly basis.
We sell bumper stickers, right?
Ativan Andrew flits into the mailroom to find out what’s going on. Do you notice that about Ativan Andrew? Whenever there’s drama brewing and people are about to lose it, there’s Ativan Andrew. He’s never particularly helpful, he’s just nosy. And tonight’s no exception. He tells Stephanie V. to just forget about it tonight and they’ll fix it tomorrow. “Fine, then you talk to Emily,” she sighs. To which Ativan’s like, “Helllllllll no.” Even Ativan Andrew is annoyed with Stephanie V. and doesn’t understand why it wasn’t done right in the first place. Emily says she’s never had these problems before, which judging by the chaos in which they function, I find very difficult to believe.
Steph reminds us for the hundredth time that she didn’t know what she was doing and every time she asked, the door was slammed in her face. You know, I can kind of see that. These ladies definitely seem like the type who won’t tell you how to do things, and then get mad at you for messing them up. The only thing is…it’s printing labels on envelopes, Steph. The final determination is that there are 120 stamps, so Emily directs Steph V. to figure out who the most important 120 people are and send the invites to them. Steph V. continues her ballad of everything was so poorly organized, and she’s exhausted and overwhelmed. Cry me a river of champagne that I can drink through a straw, honey.
Of course, Steph V. has no idea who the most important 120 people are, because no one ever made an indexed list for her, and Emily snaps at her that if she doesn’t know who the most 120 important people are, maybe she shouldn’t be working there. Here’s where I have to side with Steph V. This is exactly the kind of thing that she would do the best she could, inevitably choose the wrong 120 people and end up with everyone yelling at her that she did it wrong. Give the girl a clue, or at least offer to check her work.
Finally, Steph decides that the best way to handle it is to just call the designer. Kelly, who you get the feeling was silently observing the whole time, at this point steps in and solves the problem. See how that works, Emily? You can complain that people don’t know how to do things, or you can sort of try to empower them. “Let me break it down,” Steph tells Kelly, who interrupts with an, “I’ll break it down.”
Things are not looking good for Steph V., cause next thing you know, Kelly’s in the mailroom stamping the envelopes. And listening to Steph whine about how she feels bad because Kelly has so much going on. “I think I’m the only person here who has the experience to do this,” the CEO of the company deadpans back from her spot on the floor of the mailroom where she is sticking labels on envelopes. I say this at least once a week – I love her. “I give you a paycheck, and you give me work. And you should give me money back because you don’t know what you’re doing if you can’t put a stamp on an envelope and make sure shit gets mailed,” she tells us. But in the mailroom, she just sits there and gets it done.
The ominous music starts, and I feel another disaster coming on. Two days until the Agent Provocateur show, and the private club they have booked cancels out of nowhere. Kelly’s not fazed. “It’s fashion, someone’s always gonna do something to screw you over,” she comments. The Agent Provocateur rep, who put in the wrong order at the modeling agency, advises to call Page Six. “Page Six is for punks,” retorts Kelly. Then she takes her little daughter for a walk where they run into the dog they gave away to the daughter of some old nanny, who is now living with “two lesbian painters in a big loft”. Small world. Of downtown hipster types.
We were gonna put the nanny and the dog to sleep but we found them both a good home.
Back at the office, there’s a dual crisis. Shockingly, neither involves a list or labels or stamps. Robyn’s got a problem finding a replacement venue for Agent Provocateur. But there’s still a day or so to go on that show, so we’ll come back to that. Of course the other crisis involves Stephanie V. This time, she sent a press release out for the Nicolas Petrou event – and she misspelled the designer’s name. The she breaks into a song that goes I’m really sorry – It was a mistake – I know details are important – but I made a mistake – I take responsibility – I’m sorry. She closes with big finish of “It haaaaaapens.”
“You can’t make mistakes like that,” Emily / Robyn tells her seriously, “It’s the spelling of the designer’s name.” Kelly wants to know if Petrou’s upset. She instructs Emily / Robyn to call him and give him a speech about how overworked the interns are. It occurs to me that this mistake was almost too stupid…even for Stephanie V., which means she might not be as stupid as she seems. Is that crazy?
And then it’s time for the Petrou show. Emily takes charge and she doesn’t do half bad. Out of all of them, she’s the most wary of working with this guy. As for his designs that only people educated in clothing can appreciate – it’s full length, mulit-colored body socks. Well, color me uneducated, cause I think it looks totally fucking stupid. I suspect Kelly & Co. might agree. They’re doing an awful lot of reminding everyone of how avant garde it is.
Gay bank robbers have their own designer now.
The models are freaking out a little under the body socks. One of them needs Kelly to help him because he has an eyelash. Kelly tells us the story of all male models, which is that they’re all little surfer dudes hanging out at the mall who get scouted. “They’re sweet,” she says, “Why do I have to be 44 and work with hot, beautiful 21 boys?” she wonders. Sweet, yes but the rest of it – a little creepy. I don’t have a problem with age difference, but these particular boys look pretty young.
And then it’s back to the inept partner on the team, Robyn. She couldn’t make another venue for the Agent Provocateur show happen, so once again it’s Kelly to the rescue as she hooks them up with the Soho Grand. “I’ve never felt more helpless and stressed,” says the businesswoman of the year.
Over at the Petrou show for people educated in clothing, Kelly and Emily are basically saying they’ve done all they can do. They bring Professor Colorful Body Sock around to meet various members of the press, and try and make pleasant conversation by telling people it’s his birthday. “Stop saying that to everyone, I want them to focus on the work,” he bitches. Am I the only one who wants to shove one of those full length body socks down his throat?
And the verdict? “Some people appreciated it but some people thought it was a joke. GQ nearly wet their pants. But the Japanese seemed to like it,” says Kelly. She said he had great press, every important men’s magazine. And WWD. Who this dumbass managed to completely offend. Poor Emily nearly has heart failure when he recounts the story. “But it’s WWD,” she croaks.
“Don’t be condescending,” he says giving her the hand and continuing on his impassioned monologue over how he won’t change his vision and told the WWD writer, “Why you so defensive, bitch?” I don’t know in which sewage pipe they found this loser, but they should really return him to his natural habitat. And upon hearing the WWD insult, Emily’s heard enough. “We don’t want to work with him,” she says simply. I hope this is the end of this asshole.
But of course, it’s not. Because even though Kelly got people who never would have given him the time of day to his joke of a show, only to have him offend her contacts – he’s pulling the old ‘you didn’t do the job right, so I’m not paying’ trick. First Emily fights with him, then Kelly. She threatens to take him to court, and then decrees that he can’t have his images. Good for her. “He had amazing press, but he offended everyone there with his self importance,” she tells us. Personally, I’m just annoyed that he got any exposure at all out of it.
There are at least twenty people watching this show. THAT’S WORTH SOMETHING!
Well, with that disaster over, it’s time to go back to the lingerie part. We’re at the Soho Grand to check the place for the Agent Provocateur show. Robyn cruises the lobby and tells us how they’re not spending too much on decor, so she hopes the client’s going to be happy.
Back at the office, Emily’s yelling at everyone to pick up the pace. The Director of Marketing for the brand is there too, and she’s like the British version of Kelly, with really great bangs. “She can be brutal, but she has to be the brand,” Kelly explains. They start going over the seating chart, and there’s talk of how they don’t have the money to do that whole something for nothing thing that the client wants.
Emily leaves for the night, but not before checking up on Stephanie V. Kelly’s Andrew is still in that one shoulder shirt. The only thing more disturbing than the shirt itself – well, the shirt itself with him in it – is the thought that he might still be wearing it from last week’s episode. Emily’s mind is heavy with Stephanie V. She calls her sister to complain. Ten blocks later, she’s still complaining. She knows it’s hard at first, you have to jump in and figure things out, but Steph V. just doesn’t seem to be doing that. “You can only accept so many mistakes,” is her sister’s advice.
Four hours until the Agent Provocateur show! Kelly’s looking for her daughter’s shoes for the first day of school. She comes up with a pair of butterfly wings and tells her to fly around the house while she finds shoes. The kid looks like a normal seven year old. Kelly tells us she never misses anything her daughter has for fashion, even if she’s only on three hours sleep. They take a picture on the way to school. It’s cute.
While Kelly and her little one are frolicking on the way to school, her inept “partner” Robyn is not at all holding it down at the Soho Grand. British Kelly is rolling right over her, shouting demands and asking where Kelly is. It was – all together now – stressful, Robyn tells us. Robyn’s torturing us with a whole lot of colorful makeup in her interview today. Find a balance, sweetie. No makeup wasn’t working either, but this looks like a clown who robbed the Wet N’ Wild display at the drugstore. British Kelly just runs around yelling “bloody” a lot. She’s fabulous.
This is haaaard!
“Where’s Kelly? Isn’t she coming? Isn’t anyone worried about how the show’s going to look?” wonders British Kelly exasperatedly as Robyn stands there frozen. “Where’s Cuttrone?” yells British Kelly. Robyn manages to unfreeze herself and settle into a confused expression. Finally, she gets a grip and calls Kelly. “Do you mind coming over here? She needs something, she wants our opinion on a few things,” she simpers to Kelly.
Luckily, Kelly’s no dummy and gets exactly what her mousy partner isn’t saying. That she needs to get her ass there ASAP. “Get her a cocktail!” Kelly advises, racing through the street. When she gets there, Steph V. is on the scene. Oh, Lord. Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse. “This is not where we do check in!” screams Kelly at the sight of her. She instructs the girls on the door on not rolling their eyes, and manages to throw in a “if you have to cry, go outside.” Well done, cause she missed her cue for that one last week.
British Kelly is flipping out over the banana leaf plants because they’re not palm trees and are apparently ruining everything. “A lot of it’s ritual,” Kelly explains, “An hour and a half before the show, the client freaks out. It’s our job to say how can we get to that solution.”
In the end, the Agent Provocateur show is pretty cool. Kelly tells us the show is about beautiful and flawless women. Shouldn’t all fashion shows be? “We made it through,” says Robyn. Yeah, once Kelly showed up to save the day. For a change. British Kelly is happy. “Kelly’s fantastic,” she says.
The next day, Stephanie V.’ s latest office drama has to do with DVDs. Somehow, she managed to mess those up too and once again, Emily’s pissed. Steph V. of course is not at fault, because there was some piece of crucial information about DVD copying involved that she didn’t know. “It doesn’t take all day to burn discs!” yells Emily. Then she complains that Steph V. isn’t doing enough. Well, with the work quality she’s currently giving, is it such a good idea for her to do more? Emily finally just puts her head in her hands and tells her to go away.
Steph V. goes into a back room and complains that everyone thinks she’s not doing anything. Well, that might be better then them thinking you’re just screwing up all the time. More of the ballad of the overwhelmed, and then Steph V. reminds us that Emily’s mean to her because it’s her ass on the line. I do agree that Emily’s a little hard on her. “She doesn’t understand how long things take if you want them done right,” Steph continues. Okay, now she’s lost me. That logic only works if you’re actually doing things right.
It might be time to learn a trade, hon.
Next week, Kelly heads to Europe where we meet her Baby Daddy, and I will be spending the rest of this week and probably next scratching my head over how the hell Kelly ever managed to land such a hottie. Ciao!