The Rachel Zoe Project had its fifth season premiere last night on Bravo, and it was everything. It was major and bananas and I. Died. But then I came back to life so I could give you this recap. It was an amazing feat, and you should be very grateful that I did it.
In the premiere, dangly necklace wearer extraordinaire Rachel Zoe is busy with New York Fashion Week. Because she wears two hats now (metaphorically, as a designer and a stylist, but probably also literally sometimes because wearing items in duplicates is so in now), she has to both attend fashion shows and plan her own. As she tells her team at the start of the episode, they have three days to basically do everything related to this really important fashion show, but everyone needs to be calm. I think I just had a miniature panic attack writing that sentence.
Someone who is also quite stressed is the VP of Rachel’s company, Mandala
Mañana Mandolin Mandana, whose Cleopatra eyeliner and colorless wardrobe are reminiscent of Rachel’s former assistant, She Who Shall Not Be Named But FYI Her Name Is Taylor. Except Mandana is totally likable and hard-working and a million other adjectives I wouldn’t attribute to Taylor. Mandana works so hard, in fact, that she has developed an ulcer, and she laments the loss of Mexican food, which Rachel forbids her to eat. Before I realized Rachel was protecting Mandana from worsening her ulcer, I just thought she was dictating her employees’ dietary choices, and I was about to revoke my standing application to be Rachel’s fur vest wrangler. But Rachel is just being a “mama bear.”
Rachel is also a mama bear to her tiny son Skyler, who is so adorable in his sailor romper and permanent smile that I spent the whole episode wishing they would just rename the series The Skyler Project and be done with it. There’s a bit of arguing in this episode about the best way to raise Skyler in Rachel’s fashion-forward universe. Rachel argues that she’s saving her husband Rodger Berman money by buying Skyler Burberry jackets instead of getting them for herself. Because obviously kids’ Burberry jackets are cheaper, Rodger. Why aren’t you thanking your wife for this? Rodger’s bros also worry that Rachel is raising Skyler to be too feminine. Judging by Rodger’s shoulder-length hairdo and low-cut shirts, I wouldn’t put all the blame on Rachel.
But the most important part of this episode is one monumental, life-changing decision that Rachel makes. It is such an important event that it takes precedence over both Rachel’s Fashion Week collection (which is totally chic and I will wear it in my dreams all week) and her stylist duties. Everybody, Rachel got bangs. That’s right. She joined the ranks of Michelle Obama and Taylor Swift and got the ole forehead curtains. It was a totally impulsive and daredevilish decision, and it changed Rachel’s life for the rest of the episode and likely a little bit into the next one. I’ll summarize her bangs-related commentary throughout the show:
As it’s happening: “I’m just sitting here cutting my bangs. That is not normal.”
Shortly after it happens: “I’m going to Oscar de la Renta with bangs.”
A little after that: “I don’t know who I am anymore.”
The next day: “Oh my God, I have bangs.”
Touching the bangs: “All I keep doing is this.”
Talking to a designer friend: “I just cut bangs yesterday.”
And those are just the bangs-related comments that made it into the episode! I wouldn’t be surprised if the editor had bangs fatigue and left out 90% of Rachel’s fringy fixation.
While you grapple with whether or not get bangs yourself, I’ll leave you with my favorite moment of the episode. Rachel wonders why the phrase “best thing since sliced bread” came into being, because she thinks sliced bread is so “unchic.” It’s so much more stylish when the bread is just imperfect and natural-looking. While this concept entertained me to no end, it also made me feel uncool for eating that entire loaf of Wonder Bread slice by slice while I watched the show. Oops.