Argh! Stylista! We’ve all wanted to love you! Pitched to us as the tv version of “The Devil Wears Prada,” we thought this would be so much fun. But now we’re in our second to last episode, and oh how you’ve tested us! Don’t you realize that annoying characters don’t actually make good tv? Annoying characters just make us annoyed!
That’s right, I’m lookin’ at you, Slowey.So we are officially down to our Final Four: Megan, Gay Sidekick, Ashlie and Weird Toupee Hair Johanna. Sigh. Come on, everyone. We can do this. Only one more episode left after this one. Let’s hold hands and just pull on through. Take a pain killer if you need it. I will try my best to be your cheerleader and also your shoulder to cry on.
We are back in the Stylista loft in Manhattan, and I’m wondering what they’ll do now that Hate is gone. Whereas they used to sit at the dining room table, having their bi-daily gab session about our boobed wonder, what shall they do with themselves now?
Now all that is left to do is to die.
Well I guess now all there is to discuss are silly things like goals and ideas. Johanna leads the discussion and opens up a bit about herself. She says that the fashion industry is a hard one to break into with her resume, but this show is a free foot in the door. She’s worried that if she loses, she’ll go back to her job forever. And, honestly, throughout this episode, the way she talks about her former life and career, you’d think that she’d just broken free out of one of Kathie Lee Gifford’s sweat shops. It’s Chinese Linguistness, girl. Not tying tiny knots in carpet until your fingers bleed. Get a little perspective, mmkay?
It could be worse. She could have a job as Megan’s personal pimple popper.
To get on the show, Johanna tells us about her famed fashion blog. The purpose of it was to show insight into the fashion industry but also build up a body of writing. Ohhhhh BLOGS. BLOGGERS. One person gets discovered from a blog and lands a book deal and now everyone sees it as a short cut to fame and fortune. Blah.
Megan sniffs around and determines that there must be idealism in the room, so she must stomp it out. She says that Johanna is in for a rude awakening because the fashion world is more than just loving clothes – it’s a business. Then she tells us that she was like Johanna when she was 15. But when you start working in the industry, you realize it’s not a fun hobby but a job. Ashlie agrees. It’s funny because I swear the screen says that Megan is 22, but she acts as though she has decades worth of wise experience. Is her life recorded in dog years? Or maybe she’s aging backwards and now looks young but is technically 80. She IS Benjamin Button.
I bet her hair turns into long, brown fingers and blogs for her whenever she’s too tired.
Well all that ridiculous fun is cut short when Malina calls. She tells them to get ready and meet her at Elite Modeling as soon as possible. So they head straight there. Their assistant task is to cast a replacement model for designer Zac Posen, one of America’s most successful, young designers. Ashlie gets so excited at the utterance of his name that her whole face practically turns inside out. They have 30 models to choose from and will put them in the same dress. Whose ever model Zac chooses will win.
Okay, now whereas I do enjoy Zac Posen, I am not a big fan of the dress. It looks yellowed and antiquey — like something you would find in your grandma’s boarded up attic, smelling of must and old people scent. Or maybe that dog from last week has peed on it. We all know how much he enjoys making “Jackson Pollocks.”
I like to call it “Pee on a Doily.” It’s really in this season.
Gay Sidekick says that he needs someone with a darker skin tone, so he makes a valiant promise to find someone who is “not pale.” Megan thinks that she needs a shapelier model to fill the dress out because it doesn’t have any structure. And so the models arrive. GS picks this girl who looks SO familiar to me:
Was this girl on Project Runway? Who is she? Someone please tell me before I lose yet another marble.
Ashlie chooses a girl who also looks familiar to me…the full, brunette hair…the cute face…the big lips…
Hate? Is that you?
Megan finds her a nice, curvy girl, and Johanna picks a completely emaciated Asian girl. The emaciatedness must remind her of the sweat shop that she fled from back home. Anne arrives to judge, so they all line up with their models. Megan ends up winning because her model is curvy enough to actually be able to fill out the dress. She says that Johanna’s model is too skinny and the other two aren’t tall enough. Megan’s model is secretly happy that she forgot to starve herself that week, I’m sure.
A sea of dog pee dresses…
Our stylistas leave to meet Brett at the Elle offices for their next editorial challenge. They will be going to a fashion show that features new up and coming talent to choose a designer to work with. They will then use that designer to create a New Designer page. The criteria are as follows: (1) Choose a designer who is “on trend.” (2) Show photos that best represent that designer’s collection. (3) Convey who the designer is through interview questions.
There will be two teams of two and because Megan won, she gets to choose the teams. Megan chooses Johanna for her partner because she feels that the page is writing intensive, which is one of her strengths considering that she has a blog and all. And not just ANYbody can have a blog. Gay Sidekick is actually surprised and hurt that Megan didn’t choose him. Wow, he is dumber than we thought. He actually thought that Megan had loyalty? He’s probably kicking himself in the butt for being a sidekick for so long and with no pay-off.
We meet Lee Trimble, the fashion designer for Gen Art, which is the group that is putting on the show. Omg, have you guys ever actually been to a Gen Art event? I went to one of their hair shows and they totally turned my hair in a big, sticky, curly ‘fro. And I totally never understood why. But at least for one night only, I could bounce on my head like a pogo stick and not get hurt. Each Stylista pair will have six designers to choose from: Laila Azhar, Lewis Cho, Jolibe, Falls, Fremont, and Richard Ruiz. Do any of these names mean anything to you? Yeah, me neither. But let’s play along, shall we?
Oh and because that crazy Anne Slowey is so darn spontaneous and unpredictable, there’s a kicker: All our stylistas will be producing the fashion show for their chosen designer. A total non-shocker if you saw any of the commercials for this episode. But our contestants are shocks and totally freaked out. First they don’t have experience as stylists. Then they don’t have experience as editors. And now they don’t have experience as producers! How many ways can this show possible test the human limits of incompetence?
Oh Ashlie and GS! That feigned excited doesn’t even barely mask your fear.
Our contestants mingle around with the designers, asking them questions and perusing their racks of clothes. They ask about inspirations, themes, etc. Megan gets excited because she is actually wearing a Lewis Cho shirt, but then she says that she’d rather choose a newer, less known designer.
Both teams like Jolibe, which is a hubby/wifey team of Joel Diaz — a designer from the Dominican Republic — and his wife, Christine LaPens who is a photographer and art director. Ashlie and Gay Sidekick instantly know that they want to choose Jolibe, so they make a point to approach them first. But Megan is hot on their heels and makes another offer. Brett tells the design team that they are allowed to make arguments and have the designer choose them.
Kind of an odd couple, wouldn’t ya say?
Megan gives a business pitch that literally consists of this “It’s special. It’s really really special!” Johanna says nothing. Ashlie and GaySidekick point out what they like about the line and have never seen before. Jolibe chooses Ashlie and GS because they seemed more enthusiastic. So Megan and Johanna settled on Richard Ruiz as their second choice. OOoooOOOooooOOoo wasn’t that dramatic?! Weren’t you so scared that the conflict would last forever and peace would never be restored to the land??? Yeah, me neither. The only conflict I’m really worried about is how mismatched the Jolibe hubby/wife team seem. And how it seems like the hubby does all the work while the wife just kinda stands there. And also how Richard Ruiz kinda looks like Mr. Ernst from the Nickelodeon tween hit “Hey, Dude.”
Time to get started with the runway show, so back to “Elle” downtown. The designers meet the contestants there with their Fall collections. They look through the clothes to decide what to show. Megan picks out something for the model and Johanna whispers that she doesn’t like it. Richard looks up, which is probably just clever editing. But they try to make it appear as though he overhears that Johanna doesn’t like something and is surprised. Megan tells the model to try it anyway, and they’ll see what they think. Megan tells us that it’s rude to tell the designer that you don’t like something they created. So she calls Johanna aside, saying that she’s worked with a lot of designers, so she knows what Richard’s feeling right now. They have to agree with everything about his vision. Ultimately, he has to decide what goes down the runway, and they have to work with it. Johanna goes along with it all and doesn’t protest. In fact, she looked nervous and scared when Megan talked. This is really difficult for me. I want to root for Johanna because she is the only one (other than Ashlie at this point) who seems non-vile. But I can’t stand how spineless she is. And such a follower. And a follower of dumb people, no less.
Can’t you just see the fear of Megan in her eyes?! Ugh.
Meanwhile, GS and Ashlie are stocking up on shoes. They take all the shoes that will fit their model and pretty much just hoard them all. Megan is shocked, but they tell her they’ll give her whatever they decide not to use. Gay Sidekick actually tells us that hoarding all the shoes is Megan’s karma getting back at her. Um, okay, dude. Like YOU have any understanding of karma. Because if you did, then you should be hiding in your closet right about now because a swirl of hurricanes and tornados are probably coming your way. With everything he said to Hate, he REALLY has it coming. And I’d like front row seats to that, btdubs.
The day is over, and the teams head up. Johanna stays up late to write up the interview notes from her conversation with Richard. She tells us that Ashlie gets ahead by hoarding shoes. But she gets ahead by staying up late. (Okay, nerd.) I find it hilarious that she works in the bedroom with all the lights on, so Megan has to sleep with the light in her face. And I find it hard to believe that she didn’t pitch a fit about that one. Being a vampire and all, I’d think that she’d be more comfortable in the dark. AND yet again, I find myself bothered by the general clutter of the apartment.
Johanna’s bed is literally a little nest, carved out in a pile of garbage!
The next day, they arrive at Arena two hours before the fashion show is set to start. Malina meets them with Max Factor make-up artist Jake Bailey who will be there with his team to do massive product placement — er, I mean, the make-up for the show. He shows us a lot of Max Factor crap that I refuse to repeat unless they pay me some bucks for advertising.
Megan and Johanna turn their models into 80s Barbies. But GaySidekick and Ashlie do THIS:
Bert from “Sesame Street” forgot to lick all the frosting off his lips.
The show starts and Anne and Joe Zee are sitting front and center. GaySidekick and Megan are first. Anne comments that she likes the hair and makeup. Things go well except that a zipper breaks on a model’s dress, which creates a pacing problem. Instead of fixing it with, say, safety pins, hot glue, tape, or any other type of adhesive (GS looks enough like a bat; he could probably manage to cough up some sticky mucus), GS just tries to yank on the zipper within an inch of its life. When there is dead space on stage, we see Anne say “uh oh.”
Well, she doesn’t actually SAY anything. But the subtitles tell us her thoughts.
Now time for Megan and Johanna. Johanna is supposed to tell the models when to go out, but Megan tells them to use their best judgment for timing. Haha! Models!? Best judgement!? Models think that barfing up everything they eat and dating Rod Stewart is good judgment. I’m not sure that their judgment is to be trusted. Anyway, Anne likes the hair but finds the makeup extreme, which confuses me because it seems much less extreme than GS’s models’ big, fatty, caterpillar, raunchy eyebrows. Oh, and Joe Zee isn’t a fan of the shoes, which made me snicker. Looks like perhaps Ashlie’s revenge by shoe hoarding paid off.
Back to the offices, they have 90 minutes to write the article, choose the photos and complete the layout. Johanna tells us again that she’s nervous because having this opportunity taken away would be heartbreaking. She can’t bear the thought of life back at the sweatshop. And that’s exactly where she’d have to return. She couldn’t, like, make any new decisions and pursue another career path. It’s total life or death. We see Ashlie use a lot of pictures again this week; GS comments that it looks like a collage. But time is up.
That night Johanna talks to her mom on the phone and cries because she wants the job so badly. SO. BADLY. Despite her lack of experience she feels she has an aptitude for this line of work. She doesn’t want to go home because she left for a reason. Oh geez. Johanna: If you don’t get this job and you don’t want to go home, then just do something completely different. It’s simple pimple, really.
WE GET IT, JOHANNA! YOU WANT THE JOB!
Now it’s time for presentations. Zac Posen is the guest judge, and man is he ever pretty! I totally understand why Ashlie was guffawing so much earlier. Those darks curls. Those soft brown eyes…I might have to divorce Leonardo DiCaprio for him. And Leo has been my invisible, fake celebrity husband for YEARS. I mean, we’re talking close to two decades of romantic, “Growing Pains”-inspired delusions here.
Well hello, sailor! Wink wink!
Team 1: Ashlie says the clothes of Jolibe are new, fashion-forward and have amazing craftsmanship. The title of the article is “The Alchemist” because Joel takes unusual fabrics and turns them into amazing artworks. Anne assumes that GS spearheaded the styling, and she loves the hair and makeup. But they all want less pictures. Zac says the page does not have focus. Anne loves the title but gets lost in the page. Moreover, there are mistakes in the copy and too much information.
Team 2: Megan says they featured Richard’s custom, Egyptian-inspired prints. Anne didn’t love some of the styling choices in the fashion show but thinks they made up for it in the layout. She commends them for doing editing on the page and accurately presenting Richard’s vision. But they could have blown up one of the pictures to show some detailing. And they have a pic of the designer with the girls without his clothes on, which they all think is weird. The headline of “hisEGYPTIAN imPRINT” confuses Anne (and me and everyone else in the world). AND Joe says the layout is a bit of a bore. They need to take more risks and be bold.
At this point, I’m totally thinking that Ashlie and GS have won, and that Johanna will go home because they’ve focused on her SO much in the episode. Wrong! The judges deliberate and decide that Megan and Johanna win because they edited and show a focused point of view. Ashlie and GS must see Anne in her office.
Last week, Ashlie was given a strong warning about cluttering the page. And because she didn’t take the constructive criticism, she is out. Ashlie cries and hugs everyone. She says the show has helped her gain confidence.
Next time on the SEASON FINALE, all the previously eliminated contestants return to the show. AND Megan gets pushed to the edge and wants to leave.
So what did you guys think? Now that Ashlie is gone, who is left to root for? I will reluctantly be cheering for Johanna, I s’pose. But you know I ain’t happy about it!