By: Jen Smith
Stylista is the new brainchild of ANTM producers Ken Mok and Tyra Banks, so instantly we know it’s going to be trashy and delicious. The premise is to throw a bunch of fashion editor wanna-bes into a room and make them do embarrassing and menial tasks for Elle fashion director Anne Slowey. The prize: a year-long position as junior editor with Elle, complete with an apartment and wardrobe. That’s pretty cool, I guess. No money though? Lame. OK, let’s just get the obvious out of the way: this show is pretty much a reality version of The Devil Wears Prada. Anne plays the role of Miranda Priestly, complete with the tossing of the coat onto the assistant’s desk like the frigid bitch she is. Only, she doesn’t quite live up to the role and it’s obvious she’s acting. I guess the whole persona was part of the appeal for the show, so it’s understandable. But why this lady would want to possibly hinder her reputation, I don’t know. Let’s meet the Anne Hathaways (and my nicknames for them based purely on first impressions):
Cologne, 21- mascara queen
William, 26- fake Brit
Jason, 25- fresh prince
Kate, 22- Jennifer Love Hewitt
Devin, 19- Ivy League brat
Johanna , 28- smarty pants
Danielle, 22- resident outsider
Megan, 22- resident beeyatch
Dyshaun, 24- resident player hater
Arnaldo, 22- Justin Guarini (sorry, Justin. I still love you.)
Ashlie, 22- networking ninny
So, the people who made the biggest impressions on me were Megan and Danielle. Megan is a spoiled rich girl who had one point opened up her own clothing boutique but closed it after she realized how boring it was. She also made fun of Devin’s fake boobs… a lot. She tops off her lack of class by proudly declaring she’d never fetch anyone’s coffee. Danielle, on the other hand, is much different in every way. She’s down to earth but seems really hard on herself for being a fuller figured gal. She contends that she still loves dressing other people up. Her attitude is instantly charming. I can see why she was picked for the show.
Moving on, it’s time for the first task. Anne has sent her underlings to explain. The contestants have $40 and an hour to run to a deli and put together a healthy breakfast for Anne, complete with irrelevant fancy presentation. My first thought was no wonder the magazine industry is failing. The freaking editors are spending forty bucks on breakfast every day. How much are they spending for lunch and dinner?! So the little ones all take off and make a mad dash around the deli. Ashlie unfortunately gets lost and barely makes it back to Elle in time. Everyone is “decorating” their trays with gaudy baubles and I wanted to just scream that less is more. Once the time limit is up, the kids get their first glimpse of Anne. She walks in and completely ignores their presence, breezing on by and walking straight into her office. I find it difficult to believe that even Miranda Priestly wouldn’t acknowledge the 12 people holding gaudy trays of fruit and omelets, especially ones who have a camera crew filming them while they stare at her. I’m just saying.
She calls everyone in so she can pick her favorite tray that will serve her breakfast. I can’t get over the incredibly large star-shaped necklace hanging off her. It looks heavy. Anywho, she goes one by one and nitpicks about the food, like the contestants were supposed to know that she hates almonds. The winner turns out to be Ashlie, who only had two minutes to put it together. Minimalist is sooo chic right now. She also takes a few minutes to diss everyone’s personal wardrobe. Tasteful, Anne.
Next up on the roster for today is a shopping spree! Since Anne hated everyone’s looks so much, they get to go to H&M to pick out three outfits apiece that reflect their personal style but still falls within the Elle guidelines. Once they pick their outfits, they will have a fashion show for Anne to show they were listening to her critique. Since Ashlie won the challenge, she gets to split them up into teams. Team One has Ashlie, Johanna, Cologne, and Dyshaun. Team Two has Arnaldo, Danielle, and Megan. Team Three has Katie, Devon, William, and Jason. After the shopping spree is over, everyone heads to the house where they’ll be staying. Of course, they all go ape shit until they discover their tiny Ikea bunk beds. Naturally, Megan turns into a snob about it and declares that she’s sleeping on the couch. Okie dokie. Then, Megan and partner-in-crime Dyshaun are overheard making fun of Kate’s boobs. In fact, “boobs” is their new nickname for her. She doesn’t really appreciate it much and throws Dyshaun out of her room. He got served! Megan then starts to bitch that she has to compete with people who have no experience. Um, yeah, that’s kind of the point. People with experience wouldn’t have to go on a reality show, would they, Megan? Unless they were in love with themselves, Megan?
Before the fashion show, everyone finds out yet another task they must complete. They’ll have to put together a “contributor’s page” as a team and include photos of themselves from the show. They’ll also have to describe their style in 30 words and arrange it all pretty on the page. For the fashion show, the entire Elle squad was circling to critique along with Anne. Kate was the only person who wasn’t fond of her clothes. She was uncomfortable with looking demure and hiding her assets. Hey, she probably paid a pretty penny for those things. Why not show them off? After, the teams got an hour to put together their pages. They have to lay out four pictures and four descriptions. Sounds simple enough. Except when you try too hard.
Everyone gathers round in Anne’s office for their first editorial presentation (also known as the judging panel on other reality shows). Anne is impressed with Team One’s presentation, except for Dyshaun’s tacky sandals (she said men’s toes weren’t appropriate for the work place. I happen to agree but it’s a double standard nonetheless). Team Two’s page layout was great, except Megan’s big mouth cost them big-time. She claimed they were supposed to write 30 words total, but it was actually 30 words each. Nice job, Megan. Team Three’s page gave Anne a headache. It was bright yellow with crazy type going everywhere. Their only saving grace was their personal style choices. In the end, Team One is chosen as the winner and Team Two is the loser. Megan is safe (blast!) and it comes down to Danielle (my personal fave) and Arnaldo (who didn’t have a great fashion sense). Alas, it was Arnaldo’s turn to go.
So, it was a pretty decent show. I didn’t get the chance to talk about everyone in detail, but that’ll change as the season goes on. Next week looks like it’ll be full of drama… so stay tuned! It’s certainly not an Emmy-award winning show, but hey, everyone has their guilty pleasures.