Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Favorite Show

Earlier this summer I read If You Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone. She's the owner of a fashion PR company in New York called People's Revolution. I thought it was going to be dumb, I guess because I read a review of it in a fashion magazine, and because I had only heard of her because she was on The City. I've never seen any episodes of The City or The Hills, so I assumed it was all kind of fakery. Anyway, it was a fun summer read and I liked it more than I anticipated because of her honesty, snide wit and lack of pretense. She had a pretty crazy young life and worked incredibly hard to build her business, and while she has a reputation for being really harsh she also has this sincere earth-mother protectiveness that is inspiring. Her advice for aspiring fashion slaves seemed pretty accurate.

Soooo... she has a show on Bravo called Kell on Earth. Karl downloaded the first season for me and it's so entertaining. It follows her and her company through the process of promoting and organizing fashion shows for fashion week. There's all the interpersonal drama, as well as the stuff that really goes on in the fashion industry. I'm always bothered by the glamorous facade of the business and it's nice to see some reality. Beyond the glossily edited air-kisses, gift bags and over-sized sunglasses, backstage is at best barely functioning madness and at worst a shitstorm of failure, and it makes for compelling TV.

It's so refreshing to see a smart, ballsy, bossy woman running the show and yelling at incompetent underlings. She looks like the last person you'd imagine living and breathing fashion all day everyday: no makeup, hair undone, floppy black layers and schlumpy sweats, but it does help you believe that she works really hard. She also seems like an awesome single mom and someone who cares really deeply about her integrity and about raising her employees into powerful, smart women.

She makes a point of stressing how difficult and demanding the fashion industry is, and how important it is to have very high standards. I worry that the logic that leads some people to pursue a career in fashion is "I like to shop = I should work in fashion". No and no. The highest up and hardest working women on this show are the most bedraggled and haggard looking ones. It's the cute young things with glossy lips and hot clothes that are getting bitched out and sent packing. I love my job, but I put in long days and I work hard the whole time. And I get paid peanuts. Tell is like it is, sister.

I'm going to be pissed when I finish the last episode!

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