Rachel Zoe On Fashion's Frontlines


By Noah Michelson

Your job seems difficult and harrowing enough as it is. Does the reality show aspect of it make it worse?
Basically they just film what goes on with our daily lives. So there are definitely days when you want to be alone in the studio at 8 o'clock in the morning to have your coffee and get your head wrapped around the day. But you're being mic-ed and you have cameras following you around while you're doing everything. So in that respect, sometimes it becomes annoying to have so many extra people around you. But most of the time we don't notice it. We're just busy doing what we do. They're not there to like get in our faces. They're there to document what's going on.

What would you say the most valuable things you've learned from Rachel have been so far?
Definitely developing a thicker skin. Rachel and I are very similar in that we're both really nice people and we both show emotion, but you have to develop a kind of armor. That's one thing that has been very valuable to me. And then just on a daily basis, I'm constantly learning from her and her expertise. Whether it be how to pick the right jewelry to make a -- she's taught me so much about styling that she's been the best teacher anybody could have. And also just to be nice -- to stay nice. It's easy to become jaded and annoyed and allow yourself to get taken away by things. But at the end of the day, just be nice.

What have you learned, if anything, that's been valuable from being on reality TV?
I think it was important for the second season to just stay open. When you're filming the first season, you don't know what it's going to be like. You don't know what it's going to look like, you don't know how you are going to fit into the reality world. So going into the second season, for me, I was just trying to be myself. I guess that worked the first season. It was interesting to look back and see my first six weeks on camera. Some moments I don't really want to relive, and some moments I find really funny and fun.

How is the second season different from the first?
Well, it's a year later, so there's an evolution in my relationship with Taylor. She really took what happened last year at the Oscars and we both tried to work on the things that weren't working between us. And we developed a really good relationship that can be very dramatic at times. There are definitely still confrontations, but I think viewers will get to see a more naughty brother/sister relationship. Last year a lot of the drama was just focused on myself and Taylor, and I think this year it's three's a crowd. It's between myself and Rachel, Rachel and Taylor, and me and Taylor. You never know at any instance when they tables are going to be turned.

Last season it almost seemed like Rachel was Mama Rachel with the two kids who were always fighting in the back seat.
Right, totally. The first episode of the second season -- I've seen the first two episodes and they are amazing. I've been told by other people that they just build and build and build as we get towards the end, it really reaches a huge -- let's' just say a lot changes.

Is there more crying or less crying?
You'll have to watch and see. But I've definitely developed a thicker skin this year.

Who would you kill to style?
I love who we work with right now. Their styles vary so much and they're all amazing women. One person who has definitely caught my attention is Emma Watson. I think that she is beyond chic -- like beyond her years. I adore her and she's probably at the top of my list. She's one to watch.

What would you say is the most unforgivable faux pas that a man can make?
I'm not really into embellished jeans -- like a lot of pocket embroidery, wide stitching. Just get yourself a good pair of Levi's. They've been around for like a hundred years for a reason. And then another one that's more like a beauty concern is the threading and the waxing has got to stop. Get rid of the strays, go to somebody get a little pluck here and there, just clean the stuff up, open the eye up a little bit, but the skinny, skinny eyebrow -- [Disapprovingly] mmm mmm mmm.

What are your favorite trends for fall?
Plaid. Lots of plaid. There's like a whole lumberjack chic thing happening. It started last year. Especially on the show, I rock the lumberjack plaid shirts, boots tucked into the jeans and stuff like that. And I think you really see that this year, and I love that look. I think it looks really sexy on guys and almost every single guy can pull it off, and it looks even better with a little bit of scruff.

Bear chic is all the rage right now, eh?

The Rachel Zoe Project airs Mondays on Bravo. Check your local listings and The Rachel Zoe Show website for more info.

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