Heidi Montag has her talents — creating drama on The Hills without appearing to read laboriously from cue cards (ahem, Audrina), making us all wonder why she’s still dating villainous Spencer when even his sister seems to dislike him — but design (or even getting dressed, for that matter) has never been among them. Hence our fascination with this week’s launch of her creatively titled Heidiwood line for Anchor Blue. Say what you will about Lauren Conrad’s collection — we called it tragique — but at least she studies fashion; when Heidi attended FIT (tellingly, for a day, before quitting), it was to learn about PR, making Heidiwood the equivalent of having once typed up a recipe and auditioning for Top Chef. Naturally, we had to investigate — the kind of up-close and terrifying recon that can only come from trying Heidi’s wares on our brave, implant-free selves.
It was bad. So bad. To Montag’s credit, she trumpets Heidiwood’s prices of $10 to $60 for any given item — compared to the triple-digit tags on L.C.’s line, that’s a sure sign that she at least she understands her demographic. And yet everything we saw still gave us sticker shock. Paper-thin tanks for $27? Flimsy, panty-line-molesting dresses at nearly 40 bucks? Sure, that’s a steal compared to Marc Jacobs, but not far enough removed from what you’d pay at the Gap for something that’s at least 100 percent cotton and unlikely to give you a rash. When $37 seems exorbitant for a dress, you know you’ve got problems. In fact, it cemented our suspicion that Heidi is turning into Paris 2.0: terrible singer, lame boyfriends, famous mostly for on-camera pouting, and excessively eager to merchandise herself, regardless of actual quality.
Luckily, it’s possible no one else is interested. Not only were we alone in visiting Heidiwood, we were the sole shoppers at that Anchor Blue, period, exposing us to the naked curiosity of the employees. “Are you a … fan of Heidi?” one of them asked. We murmured something unintelligible, much like the previous day when we called to confirm the clothes’ arrival and the store clerk said, “Are you … um … interested in the Heidi Montag stuff?” He might as well have enquired, “Are you eating glass?” But the store’s emptiness ultimately saved us — with customers nearby, we’d have lacked the guts to open the dressing-room doors.
There’s a reason, by the way, that we only photographed Montag’s designs looking unattractive on the hanger and not on ourselves: No self-respecting grown woman should allow herself to be seen in these garments. Only two of the twelve items have sleeves, and just one — a pair of jeans — extends past mid-thigh. In fact, only one other thing extends past the upper thigh: a dress that would have been mildly acceptable had it not been made from the kind of cotton you usually only see on Target’s discount panties. At one point, we faced each other: One of us wore black short-shorts with a one-inch inseam (half a thumb, for real) and a zebra-striped tank with a faux-chiffon back bow; the other, a white-denim, butt-cleavage-baring skirt with a backless teal top that’s baggy in the bust and tight at the gut — perfect if you haven’t eaten pasta in ten years and have ginormous implants (sound familiar?). The stuff was the complete opposite of flattering. We looked like rejects from Rock of Love II with Bret Michaels; stick us on the hood of a car and Whitesnake would’ve appeared, guitars in hand.
Clearly, Heidi’s already grasping at post-Hills career straws, but unfortunately she’s stirring the wrong drink with them. We look to her for gossip and drama, not style. Instead of playing in L.C.’s sandbox, she should write a juicy tell-all or how-to — say, 50 Ways to Leave Your Spencer, or Scalpel of Regret: Surgery Ruined My Face. After all, when you can hoodwink the Times into calling you a feminist hero, surely you can find something better to do than hawking overpriced, crappy hot pants. —The Fug Girls