The City could not have ended the season with a better finale than what aired last night. Everyone was so tan, but more important, bitchy! They’ve spent quite a few episodes with each other and they can’t stand it anymore. Kelly hates Roxy, Roxy hates Kelly, Erin hates Olivia, Olivia hates Erin, and surely Joe hates people, too, but he’s too jolly to let it show (maybe men are better at this than women — good thing he’s the only guy in the cast). And Bergdorf Goodman hates on Whitney’s fashion line, but they are too classy to outright tell her they hate it. No bitchiness shall go undocumented!
Lesson 1: Being a best girlfriend and soul sister.
Don’t: Tell the object of your affection her current best friend and soul sister is neither of those things. Kelly tells Whitney that Bergdorf Goodman liked her look book. (This must be, if not an outright lie, a cruel exaggeration. Because, well, crap, look at what’s on her Whitney Eve website right now, and those clothes aren’t even mired in a food fight. There is no way those awkward dresses look better stained with frosting.) She suggests that Whitney do a presentation for the top buyers there, and bring her instead of Roxy. Roxy is unquestionably annoying, but we think Kelly’s hatred for her runs deeper than that. We hypothesize that she is jealous of Roxy’s BFF status with Whitney. If Kelly had it her way, she’d probably be sleeping on Whitney’s couch and having morning pajama talk about boys. She’s probably trying to sever their friendship so she can be Whitney’s one and only, maybe because she doesn’t have any other friends or doesn’t have any other friends so pretty. But! Bad-mouthing the current best friend is not going to get her anywhere. Whitney tends not to pick up on, well, much, but certainly not semi-subtle conniving.
Do: Resist bad-mouthing the enemy. When Whitney tells Roxy that Kelly doesn’t want her to go to the Bergdorf meeting, Roxy gets a little upset and decides to go talk to Kelly (see below for more on that epic conversation). Even though Kelly is a nasty bitch to her, Roxy doesn’t go back to Whitney and talk shit about Kelly. In fact, later she even tells Whitney not to worry about what news Kelly might have from the Bergdorf people, because surely she’ll be positive. This is a girl who is sure in her friendship with Whitney Port. And when it comes to life, few things are worth being so sure of.
Lesson 2: Being tactful.
Don’t: Tell your friend your boss doesn’t want her hanging around when you do important career things. Any person whose brain is occupied with thoughts would not tell her friend blatantly that the reason she must uninvite her from an important meeting is because the boss doesn’t think she should go. You would think Whitney would go back to her desk and say, “Actually I’m just going to go to this with Kelly. It’s just how these things work.” Instead of “KELLY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO GO WITH ME BECAUSE SHE THINKS YOU’RE AN IDIOT AND WILL EMBARRASS ME.” Whitney doesn’t quite use these words, but she may as well have.
Don’t: Then go to the boss and ask why she thinks ill of her. If Whitney handled the situation stupidly, Roxy handled it even more stupidly. Because on what planet is it appropriate to march into your boss’s office and suggest the reason she doesn’t want you to do something is because she feels threatened by you? Roxy tells Kelly she thinks she sees herself in her, which is why Kelly doesn’t want her to be a part of things. Kelly is quick to dish out the bitchitude: “I think [Whitney] should have a trained sales person there … somebody who knows what the fuck they’re doing.” With a side of passive aggression: “If she wants you to go, you can fucking go with her.” Finished with: “You know what, I’ve had enough of this for the day. Bye.” Amazing.
Lesson 3: Proving to your bosses that you’re not utterly useless.
Don’t: “Refrain from commenting” on things you fucked up. The Elle team is doing a morning-show segment — again — and Olivia couldn’t style it to save her life, so Erin had to scrap everything Olivia pulled and pull things herself. When they get there, she asks Olivia if she understands why what she pulled didn’t work. Olivia responds, “I’m going to refrain from commenting on that question.” This is what we all do, right, working people out there? When the boss asks why you fucked up, you “refrain from commenting on” questions, too, don’t you? Nothing makes something blow over easier than a line like that, let us tell you.
Do: At least pretend like you’re doing stuff. Apparently they had to sit around for three hours before Joe taped his segment. Olivia doesn’t bother to look at what Erin pulled or try to do any work at all to help make the segment go well. This screws Joe over when he asks her where the clothes came from and how much they cost right before he goes on air. She doesn’t know, and he goes on not knowing what he’s talking about. But Olivia was surely occupying her time with more important things. Like trying not to eat the muffins and putting on hairspray every 25 minutes.
Lesson 4: Not being dense.
Do: Try to catch on to patterns. Olivia has done like 500 morning-show segments so far this season. She should know how these things work, which is why, even if Erin doesn’t explicitly say, “Please learn these looks so you can brief Joe in case I’m busy,” she should know that’s what she has to do. But hey! She’s a socialite. Why bother paying attention to anything that isn’t all about her and what she feels like doing?
Don’t: Blame your fuckups on other people. Of course Olivia tells Joe she didn’t know the looks because they weren’t her looks, so his flub on live TV wasn’t her fault — it was Erin’s! However, if Erin had gone with her clothes, the models would have emerged either half-naked or as though they don’t know what size they wear because Olivia didn’t pull enough sizes. So this is all Olivia’s fault.
Lesson 5: Presenting a collection to Bergdorf Goodman for the first time.
Don’t: Dress like a shedding tree trunk. Whitney looked ridiculous at her Bergdorf Goodman meeting. The white jacket was acceptable, but the dress spilling out the bottom like voluminous, diseased tree bark made us cringe.
Do: Include black clothes. Watching Linda Fargo critique Whitney’s clothes warmed our hearts so. One, because Linda Fargo is a consummate professional and an extremely sweet lady (also a former Tastemaker) who always looks smashing and always behaves tactfully. Second, because she ripped into Whitney’s line. One problem with it: The girl had no black clothes. Whitney says that’s because no one wears black in L.A. Yeah, you know, when we look around and see tall buildings and subways and the Empire State Building, we sometimes think we’re in L.A., too. Even though we’ve been living here for, oh, years.
Don’t: Show things with sloppy hemlines. A classic Project Runway mistake, Whitney shows a slanted hemline and Linda calls her out on it.
Don’t: Show things that make the models look fat. Whitney shows a cold-shoulder dress made of some bizarre fabric that Linda et al. agree makes the model look large. If a model looks large, you know you’ve done something very wrong.
Don’t: Use cheap fabric. Linda notes a different fabric looks cheap, and says, “It’s not a high-end designer talent.” Whitney Port? No. Really?
Lesson 6: Being a diva in a good way.
Do: Tell Olivia Palermo’s boss she sucks at life in front of Olivia Palermo. Erin, Olivia, and Joe convene to discuss what went wrong at the morning-show segment. “You keep messing up and I keep having to fix it, Olivia,” Erin says, no longer able to hide her frustration. “There is clearly not at all a respect level that she has for me,” Olivia says, barely able to part her lips to enunciate words, her hair is pulled back so tightly. “I clearly do not like dealing with you,” Erin, who is beginning to reach unknown levels of awesome, says. “You have to change your tone of voice with me,” Olivia counters. Erin tells her that she takes her job very seriously (she does — we’ve worked with her and can confirm sister works hard), but Olivia doesn’t seem to give a damn. Though why should she, when she’s fake-employed and just wants to be on TV? Joe asks if they can work together. Erin says, “I can’t do it anymore. It’s her or me.”
Do: Deign to engage in conversation about Olivia Palermo’s competence. The best thing about the fight in Joe’s office was when Erin stormed out. And she had every right to, because she is above arguing about Olivia’s competence, which isn’t even a debatable subject. Besides, she has an actual job to do.
Lesson 7: Deciding when to stage a fashion show if you want to be a serious designer.
Don’t: Do it for the sake of reality TV. Kelly tells Whitney that Linda was fairly positive about their meeting (yeah, right), but wanted to see more of the collection and asked if there was a runway show. Kelly suggests Whitney go ahead and do one in Bryant Park. This is the girl who showed stained clothes to Bergdorf Goodman. She has no business doing a fashion show. We wonder if this is Kelly’s way of sabotaging Whitney for choosing Roxy over her. Whitney Port doing a (shit)show in Bryant Park is sure to draw press and be, sadly, huge.
Don’t: Do it if you don’t even have the balls to tell the obnoxious girl she can’t come to your meetings. Whitney is very hesitant about committing to a show. If she had any confidence in herself as a designer, she’d spring from her seat and say “Yes! I am ready! I will show the world my talents span far beyond staring!” She agrees to do the show even though she looks — as much like a person with such unvaried facial expressions can — like she wants to cry. Honey, when we saw what resulted, we did, too.