“We should all come back in our next life as stylists.”
September 15, 2007 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Being Rachel Zoe (NYTimes) The life of a celebrity stylist.

Zoe, like most stylists, has an agent who negotiates with the publicity department of the movie company or, in the case of TV, the network. “It’s such a racket,” said one head of publicity at a major studio, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of angering any actresses who work with Zoe or other top stylists. “During awards season, when you are nominated or presenting an award, then it makes sense to have a stylist. But now, B- and C-list stars are demanding stylists for everything. The level of insanity is very high. But the bottom line is, if you don’t give them what they want, the actresses say they won’t do any press, that they won’t appear at the premiere. Sometimes I feel like saying, How difficult is it to just go out and buy a dress?”
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (65 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's the economics of it all that I find so fascinating- it's amazing to me that Lindsay Lohan could wear a dress one night walking out of a club, and because of that, the designer completely sells out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:22 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Steamed vegetables were fanned around a small dollop of sauce. “What is this?” she asked. Zoe picked up her untouched plate and beckoned the waitress. “I need to send this back,” she said. “Bring it to me without the sauce, please.”

wtf.

She would be more interesting if it seemed like she displayed any versatility at all, and was doing more than cloning her own look:

She put them in a combination of designer pieces and vintage finds from the ’60s and ’70s, which is also the way she dresses.

Sorry lady, the hipsters had this shit figured out years ago.
posted by hototogisu at 12:50 PM on September 15, 2007


I saw a bit on tv about her once and it showed how she transformed Nicole Richie's look. It was pretty amazing really.
posted by vronsky at 12:50 PM on September 15, 2007


Zoe has done amazing work, but I find her to really be a one note. Nicole Richie was definitely transformed, but honestly now that she's dropped Zoe she's maintained her style and almost looks better. Also, Zoe is absolutely infamous for pushing these "it" girls to anorexia. It's widely rumored that Richie finally dropped Zoe because she wasn't supporting her in gaining weight after she got so ungodly thin.
posted by whoaali at 1:01 PM on September 15, 2007


Fuck. Six pages? I'm going to need more caffeine to get through this.

* resumes reading article *

Ok, I tried. I just couldn't do it. I can't decide which is more tedious, writing that article, reading it, being the subject of the article, or being the clients of the subject of the article.
posted by psmealey at 1:04 PM on September 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Paris and Nicole before stylists.
posted by bijou at 1:04 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fuck. Six pages? I'm going to need more caffeine to get through this.

Here's a shorter article on her -- a year-old article, in which she is three years younger than in the NYT article. Which I point out because I'm shallow. (Come on, there's no way she's 36.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:13 PM on September 15, 2007


Sorry, folks... shouldn't have gone there. I violated my own rule of not posting in topics that are not remotely interesting to me. I just happened to click into it and felt myself getting very, very annoyed by the world that woman inhabits. *me shuts up now*
posted by psmealey at 1:16 PM on September 15, 2007


She does a great Karl Rove.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:19 PM on September 15, 2007


(Come on, there's no way she's 36.)

A 36-year old handbag, maybe. She's rather...scary looking, which is why it's funny she's such a big tastemaker at the moment. See, looks really don't matter!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:19 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey anorexia is only really hot for the first ten years or so.
posted by whoaali at 1:25 PM on September 15, 2007


Because of her fashion sense, which was really my fashion sense, she became famous

this just isn't done, exactly because it's true. stylists, like advisors or speechwriters for major politicians, aren't supposed to upstage their clients, especially not the way Zoe does. and she shouldn't belittle her ex clients like that -- it shows prospective clients that she's unprofessional, that she makes it personal.

Zoe gets slammed because she's supposed to drive her clients to anorexia -- as if this wasn't the point of the business of fashion. so why does she get so much shit? probably because she's not that pleasant in print and I suspect she's not much better in person. but she's cool, she takes those awful messes and gives them a style. and it's lazy to accuse of simply replicating her own style on others, it's not true, her clients all dress differently, what Zoe manages to get across is a tone -- a style.

but celebrity styilists shouldn't be celebrities themselves -- it violates a basic rule, you don't want people to think, actress X would look like a pig if this wasn't for Zoe. you nonly want them to think about actress X, not the woman who dresses her

I also disagree with those who thinks Zoe looks too thin/tan, I think she's extremely hot.

and, she uses a VAIO
posted by matteo at 1:26 PM on September 15, 2007


(Come on, there's no way she's 36.)

Assuming she's not 36 - and I don't think she is either - I really don't understand this phenomenon about women lying about their age. If you're 50 years old, and all of your life you have taken great care of yourself, to the point where you could pass for 35, your age should be a point of pride for you, no? On the other hand if you've partied like a rockstar your entire adult life, to the point where you look haggard and threadbare by the time you're 40, telling people that you're younger than you are seems to exaggerate how worn out you look.

I don't get it.

I also disagree with those who thinks Zoe looks too thin/tan, I think she's extremely hot.

Too thin too tan, whatever. She looks like a middle aged skank. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Paris Hilton should look so good when she hits, um, 36.
posted by Gervais Brooke-Hamster at 1:31 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


oh, and when she says that "Vogue won’t change a designer’s business", she's of course in full-blown delirium.
posted by matteo at 1:32 PM on September 15, 2007


Zoe gets slammed because she's supposed to drive her clients to anorexia -- as if this wasn't the point of the business of fashion.

Of course fashion is about being thin, but Zoe essentially brought back heroine chic, minus the heroine (but uh plus the cocaine). Zoe represents the most extreme end of the fashion world's push to make girls thinner and thinner.
posted by whoaali at 1:38 PM on September 15, 2007


zoe is a freak of nature and either a drug dealer or a pusher. she keeps giving the stars drugs, they keep asking her for fashion advice, she keeps having a job and pretending to be a generation younger than she really is. it's a win for zoe and not for anyone else.

I also disagree with those who thinks Zoe looks too thin/tan, I think she's extremely hot.

It's that kind of attitude that keeps ugly people believing that they're actually good looking.
posted by Stynxno at 1:41 PM on September 15, 2007


oh, and when she says that "Vogue won’t change a designer’s business", she's of course in full-blown delirium.

Absolutely. Wintour can make a designer . See: Vogue/CFDA.
posted by bijou at 1:56 PM on September 15, 2007


It's that kind of attitude that keeps ugly people believing that they're actually good looking.

ignoring the fact that ugly people believing they're actually goodlooking is a big part of the business of fashion, because you cannot sell stuff only to goodlooking people, ignoring that fact, well, I don't really have to justify to you who I find attractive or not. because if I did, well, I could ask you to justify why you find someone attractive, and I'm sure I'd disagree, and it'd never end.

also, I can't fucking believe how one cannot have a crush on someone who talks like this:
“It’s bananies here, just bananies. Liv’s fitting went great. But she needs some bags. Get some Atwood, Choo and Vivier. And I saw Annie last night.
... What else? What else? I have lost my short-term memory — I’m just getting blonder by the day.”
it's just cute. also, she has a closetful of Birkins, you just cannot fuck with that. and she sits on front row at fashion shows, it's usually only the big editors in chief and the biggest buyers who sit there. she's a tough cookie. slamming her weight doesn't change these facts.
posted by matteo at 1:58 PM on September 15, 2007


brought back heroine chic, minus the heroine

I'm now obsessing about heroin/heroine and whether the above was intentional and I just missed it.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:59 PM on September 15, 2007


Wintour can make a designer .

Sozzani, too, even more than Wintour. and maybe even Roitfeld can, maybe.
posted by matteo at 2:00 PM on September 15, 2007


brought back heroine chic, minus the heroine

I'm now obsessing about heroin/heroine and whether the above was intentional and I just missed it.


Um, let's call it intentional. I really gotta brush up on my illicit drugs.
posted by whoaali at 2:03 PM on September 15, 2007


Matteo, isn't that her assistant talking?

Also:

“We have to stop at Starbucks. Even when I’m in Paris, I only drink Starbucks coffee. Otherwise, I feel like I’m cheating on this country.” After ordering an iced tea and placing the cup inside another cup (“I hate condensation,” she explained), Zoe returned to the car.

This article must be an incredibly subtle assassination attempt...
posted by hototogisu at 2:12 PM on September 15, 2007


hototogisu, no, it's Zoe
posted by matteo at 2:18 PM on September 15, 2007


On the other hand if you've partied like a rockstar your entire adult life, to the point where you look haggard and threadbare by the time you're 40, telling people that you're younger than you are seems to exaggerate how worn out you look.


True story: Several years ago, I was working at a preschool when a mother, who looked to be about 40, came up to me and said, "Excuse me. How old are you? You don't look old enough to be taking care of kids."

I explained that I was 18 and that I "get that a lot." She nodded and told me I was lucky. "You'll appreciate that when you're my age. Don't party like I did. I'm 28."

One of the few times in my talkative teenage years when I was actually speechless.
posted by katillathehun at 2:26 PM on September 15, 2007


nice rib cage. You find that "extreemly hot" matteo?
posted by delmoi at 2:35 PM on September 15, 2007


Everyone woman I've ever dated and/or married has had rib cage. It's a requirment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:40 PM on September 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hard to tell if the difference between parasitism and symbiosis when it comes to these kinds of relationships. The more people try to fulfill our shallow "superhuman" media-enforced archetypes, the more they remind me of their animal kingdom counterparts.

As for her "hotness", well that's irrelevant. Hotness is always debatable, the real question is whether she's fabulous. And as much as NYC is chock-a-block with dick-inverting paper-skinned rich bitches with hair extensions, Zoe has certainly gotten a stranglehold on fabulous, which she'll probably never let go of, at risk of all else.

Older socialites tend to look like a whole different species than, say, women who have preserved themselves via truly healthy lifestyles. The years of partying and malaise can be scoured and sucked away, but their petulance and adolescent insecurity, which seems so jarring coming from an obviously older woman, do a lot to point attention to their real age and their world-- to have grown old, but never having grown up past a certain point, forever clacking around in their mommy's high heels and flinging imperious orders at their dolls.
posted by hermitosis at 2:46 PM on September 15, 2007 [7 favorites]


Older socialites tend to look like a whole different species than, say, women who have preserved themselves via truly healthy lifestyles.

Tom Wolfe in 'Bonfire of the Vanities' called them "Social X-Rays."
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on September 15, 2007


What's with pronouncing "Zoe" as "Zoh"? Last names can be deceptive, sure, but it seems like a pretentious thing, like having the last name "Bucket" and demanding it be pronounced "Bouquet".

Also every time I see the world "Chanel" I want to pronounce it "Channel". Damn French. From now on "fashion" is "freedom clothes".
posted by tepidmonkey at 3:04 PM on September 15, 2007


I'm just glad that celebrities have enough money to pay someone exorbitant sums to teach them not to be afraid to wear enormous sunglasses. I don't have that sort of money, and so live in unfair fear, and spent too much time with a pocket ruler, carefully measure sunglasses before I buy them, to be certain they are small enough to fit my cowardice.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:11 PM on September 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also every time I see the world "Chanel" I want to pronounce it "Channel". Damn French. From now on "fashion" is "freedom clothes".

That's haute.
posted by hal9k at 3:20 PM on September 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


After looking at the NY Times pictures, there's not bleeding way that woman is not around my age (48). I can't comment on the fahion stuff because it's a bit of a foreign language for me, but it's always fascinating to see how people's dreams and fantasies translate into the economy.
posted by jokeefe at 3:27 PM on September 15, 2007


Also, I seem to have forgotten to spell today. I blame the hair extensions and fake tan.
posted by jokeefe at 3:28 PM on September 15, 2007


Re lying about her age: the client isn't going to take fashion advice from someone who's old enough to be her mother.

...it seems like a pretentious thing, like having the last name "Bucket" and demanding it be pronounced "Bouquet".

... or having the last name "Rosenzweig" and pronouncing it "zoh."
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:40 PM on September 15, 2007


1) Watching grass grow
2) Celebrities
3) Stylists
4) Celebrity stylists
5) Watching paint dry

In that order.
posted by DU at 4:43 PM on September 15, 2007


Is Zoe responsible for the enormous sunglasses fad? What is it supposed to do? Makes your face look smaller? The fad has spread to every would-be cool younger woman in my city's downtown. I guess I'm just too old (Zoe's age -- 36). I remember the glasses the first time around.

That's what they say, if you remember it the first time around, you're too old to wear it.
posted by bad grammar at 4:43 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


"In many ways, Zoe and Shemarya share a worldview: everyone has to get dressed in the morning, so why not have some role, financial or otherwise, in those choices? Both utilize the allure of celebrities, and both have altered the existing business model. Zoe has made every insecure actress (and they are all insecure) feel that her fame/success/career depend on what clothes her stylist tells her to wear, and Shemarya has turned top actors into “brands” without, he says, compromising their artistic credibility."


That Swarovski-studded hoofbeat is the sound of one of the horsemen prancing around, waiting to crash the velvet-roped pre-awards party, carrying a dozen heads of paparazzi mounted on a golden multi-spiked scepter. He's coming for you, Zoe. He's coming for you.
posted by lalochezia at 5:10 PM on September 15, 2007


Best Rachel Zoe nickname I've ever heard? Chupacabra. Honestly, she's just the oldest looking 35 year old I've ever seen in my life.

Plus, in my mind that whole heroin chic/bug eye sunglasses look she was known for promoting was just not attractive. Sorry, but ick.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:29 PM on September 15, 2007


Only one person could wear those glasses well. Okay, maybe two.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:33 PM on September 15, 2007


rachel zoe, meet jerri blank.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:40 PM on September 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I wish Christopher Guest was still doing his mockumentaries. He could do one about celebrity stylists. This woman and everyone else in her whacked-out cohort takes themselves and what they do so incredibly seriously.

I love clothes and style, but at the end of the day I could never stand for my whole life to revolve around clothes. It would just feel too incredibly stupid and pointless. And to each their own, but I'm not sure it's a good idea for anyone to live in Vanity Fair 24/7 (and no, I don't mean the magazine, but that would work as well).
posted by orange swan at 5:43 PM on September 15, 2007


Also from the New York Times:

"Fashion is bourgeois, girly, unfeminist, conformist, elitist, frivolous, anti-intellectual and a cultural stepchild barely worth the attention paid to even the most minor arts."
posted by four panels at 5:44 PM on September 15, 2007


i hate our freedom
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:51 PM on September 15, 2007


I think indie rock is fashionable, though, and I don't know if I'm able to reconcile my black sweater with a greater, political indifference to fashion.

Help.
posted by four panels at 7:05 PM on September 15, 2007


I must admit that I do own a pair of over-sized sunglasses, for no other reason than the fact that local stores seem to sell nothing but this type.

They make me look like a bee.
posted by liquorice at 7:35 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Zoe (and her protégées and the tanorexia and big sunglasses fads) makes me think of Palm Beach grandmothers -- with too much money, who never stop dieting, tanning, or trying, who disinherit their children and date their oncologists or plastic surgeons. Somehow I don't think that's exactly what Zoe and her lot have in mind.

(beg pardon if ageist stereotype is out of date, supply current too-expensive gated community neighborhood)
posted by bad grammar at 7:36 PM on September 15, 2007


That was my 500th comment? Well, shit.
posted by liquorice at 7:36 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow liquorice, that comment made me check your profile. You are stunning. (and I mean that in the most non-stalkerish but eyes popping out of my head and smoke coming out my ears way)
posted by vronsky at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2007


Uh oh. Vronsky's getting frisky.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:07 PM on September 15, 2007


Nah, my girlfriend is hotter and I loooove her, but I just wasn't prepared for someone from mefi to be that pretty;)
posted by vronsky at 8:16 PM on September 15, 2007


Thanks. I think. To that first comment. And half of that second comment. I'm also glad that your girlfriend is hotter and that you love her, though.
posted by liquorice at 8:22 PM on September 15, 2007


"also glad that your girlfriend is hotter"

Nah she's a troll, she was just looking over my shoulder wondering why I had smoke coming out of my ears so I had to type that.

Oh crap, here she comes again - vronsky out.

*closes screen*
posted by vronsky at 8:34 PM on September 15, 2007


Is Zoe responsible for the enormous sunglasses fad? What is it supposed to do? Makes your face look smaller?

They're sunglasses- they protect your eyes from the sun. Which might lead one to think that a bigger pair is more practical, as it covers more of your eye area. But they are also fabulously fucking awesome, and anyone who says otherwise is just jealous.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:16 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I just wasn't prepared for someone from mefi to be that pretty."

Obviously you haven't seen a pic of jonmc. (Haute!)
posted by Liosliath at 9:20 PM on September 15, 2007


That's not liquorice, anyway. She merely filched those photos from some random Pakistani girl's flickr.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:36 PM on September 15, 2007


*bats eyelashes*

I don't have a girlfriend, liquorice.
posted by dobbs at 10:26 PM on September 15, 2007


doppelganger
posted by vronsky at 10:29 PM on September 15, 2007


But they are also fabulously fucking awesome, and anyone who says otherwise is just jealous.

Amen to that, sister. They can pry my huge glasses out of my cold, dead hands. To the haters: not my fault if you can't rock them.
posted by piratebowling at 11:39 PM on September 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, I do think big glasses can be rocked. But when used for evil they can also make Nicole Ritchie look like a housefly. (Minus the fact that flies are attracted to food.)

Moral of the story, I'm not a hater of sunglasses, I'm a hater of humans who look like insects.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:38 AM on September 16, 2007


they can also make Nicole Ritchie look like a housefly

They also make Mary Kate and Ashley look even more freakishly carney cupie doll looking than they normally do.

if you can't rock them

It was a good line, piratebowling, but can I ask when the word "rock" was first used in the sense of donning apparel or accessories to chic or cool effect? I see this usage more and more, and it kind of annoys me.
posted by psmealey at 8:08 AM on September 16, 2007


But when used for evil they can also make Nicole Ritchie look like a housefly.

It doesn't help that she's had so many proboscis-jobs.
posted by hermitosis at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2007


I remember the glasses the first time around.

I'm 51. I remember the glasses the FIRST first time around.
posted by nax at 3:38 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


On a positive note, Nicole Ritchie is now a Hell of an arm wrestler.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:39 PM on September 16, 2007


I am no expert on slang usage, so I cannot be positive when rock took on that connotation.

On another note, which I forgot to mention before, no way is Ms. Zoe responsible for the big sunglasses thing, the Italians have been wearing them forever, and they always look amazing in my mind.
posted by piratebowling at 12:48 AM on September 17, 2007


I must say, I think the big glasses look silly.

Although, it's nice to have a pair that fits over my spectacles.
posted by ysabet at 1:47 AM on September 17, 2007


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