Monday, January 2, 2012

My Guest Appearance on All on the Line With Joe Zee

My guest appearance on All on the Line with Joe Zee recently aired on the Sundance Channel. As I write about this experience I still can’t believe that I was chosen to be on the show. I’ve been a huge fan of Joe Zee ever since watching him on The City. I remember dreaming about a chance to work with him and be one of the guests on the show. Little did I know that a few years later it would all come true… 

Let me tell you, my life in fashion has been very interesting, perhaps even movie worthy if someone decided to make a film about it. A few months after launching this blog I received an email from a producer in California saying how much his staff loves my blog which by itself was completely amazing until I read the rest of the email… The email was asking me to guest star on Season 2 of All on the Line with Joe Zee the Creative Director of Elle magazine! I remember sitting in a café that day with my good friend Shoshana and telling her the story in complete shock and excitement. 

I promptly called the producer to confirm that I was interested in the opportunity. My role on the show was to be part of a Bloomingdale’s shopper focus group that would critique a selected designer’s collection. The producer confirmed my filming date as the beginning of August.

The weekend before I was suppose to film I made sure to hunt down the perfect “I’m filming with fashion legend Joe Zee outfit.” So what does an outfit like this entail? I had a vision in my head of a bright coral dress, chunky jewelry and black wedges. Back in 2009 I was asked to appear on the Tyra Banks show and I remember my contract advising my wardrobe to be bright as this would look better on camera. I finally found the perfect bright coral dress and knew it was the one. Jewelry and shoes came next and finally a black belt to cinch the waist.

The morning I was supposed to film at the Elle offices I remember feeling completely ready and excited for whatever curveball I might encounter during filming. Little did I know that I was about to face something I wasn’t at all prepared for or expecting but I’ll get to that a bit later...

When I got to the Elle offices I was escorted to a conference room with 3 other lovely ladies who were also in fashion. We had a little bit of time before filming so we all introduced ourselves. I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica La-Rotta founder of the StylEast groupErin Flynn founder of and Kristine Banasik designer of B A N A S I K Couture.

Before we knew it Joe Zee came in to meet us with as much enthusiasm and charisma as you see on TV. I remember Joe saying how much he liked my name after I introduced myself. I know my name isn’t that common here in the States so I hope he remembers me in the future if we ever have an opportunity to work together again… After the meeting with Joe we were taken to a room with two racks of clothing from the designer we were assigned to give our opinion on. I remember being the first one to eagerly go into the room as I was excited and ready to do my job. 

To my surprise the label on the clothes was from Aysha Saeed, a “designer” whom I had the unfortunate experience of briefly working with. Now I won’t go into the details of my experience working with her as that would go against my moral standards. I will say that once I saw her name as the designer I was supposed to critique I was faced with two options. I could either A. Just critique her collection (which was my role) or B. critique her collection and also add an extra dose of drama by revealing the details of my experience working with her. 

It’s a bit cliché to say but when I began my career in fashion I set a goal for myself that I would be a good person and treat people with respect (even if they didn't deserve it) so I ultimately decided against revealing the details of my experience working with her. A friend of mine once told me a quote that “in life you always see a person twice so you should always be kind to them the first time you meet."

In all honesty, the things I said about her clothes were without bias and I would have said the same exact things even if I didn't know her. Our job was to give our honest opinion of her collection and give her advice of how she could better it to appeal to a fashion savvy Bloomingdale's customer. 

Aysha was watching our critiques from the other room. Instead of taking in the advice that our focus group was giving her she used the opportunity to lash out against most of it and also personally attack a few of the girls.  

If you’re thinking about the Devil Wears Prada when you’re reading this keep in mind that Miranda Priestly had a sense of method to her madness with a track record of success... 
Finally it was my turn to give my opinion on this dress that looked like a crazy combination of Walmart meets a knock off version of Diane Von Furstenberg. The first thing that came to my head was “it kind of looks like Diane Von Furstenberg but on acid.” Joe then asked if we would pay maybe $40 bucks for the dress to which I responded that I would only pay $15. Of course to retaliate Aysha responded to my answer by saying that “$15 is too much for me.” In all honestly she was right… $15 is way too much for me to spend on that monstrosity she calls a dress. You couldn’t PAY me to wear such an unflattering piece of clothing. 

Don’t think I only had negative things to say about her pieces, I did say a few nice things about a structured jacket she designed. 
Towards the end we were asked what she could do to make her collection more appealing to a Bloomingdale's customer. My advice was to infuse her designs with brighter colors and add in age appropriate structure. It was amusing to see that she took my advice and designed her final looks with bright colors and structure. 

Overall, I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the final cut of the show came out. Joe Zee is truly a fashion power house and as I mentioned before it was a dream come true to work with him.  

Here is the clip of my appearance on All on the Line Season 2 Episode 4 with Joe Zee! 

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