Meet Andrea, designer for her own brand, Electric Love Light. This is the portion of the post where we’d make a ton of jokes about her riding a unicorn in from Rainbow Land, but that sharp-tongued bitch Joe Zee got to all the good jokes before we did, cycling through pretty much every girl’s cartoon character from the ’80s and ’90s, from Rainbow Brite to Strawberry Shortcake. We think our favorite was when he called her and her team “My Teletubbies.”
Suffice it to say…
… Andrea is very special. This was her initial presentation to Joe, by the way.
Lace penis applique!
You heard us.
Joe is more than a little confused by the goings-on. He likes Andrea for her core aesthetic, which can best be described as “tea-stained Grandma’s attic crossed with ADHD.” The problem is – as if you can’t tell – she clearly has no ability to edit and gives no thought to actually selling her clothes. Joe verbally slaps her around a bit to see if a light will go off over her head and tells her to make something wearable and a little more mainstream for a celebrity client he’s going to introduce her to. He makes the excellent analogy that she needs to walk away from her “experimental film” aesthetic and walk towards an indie film one.
Enter actress Zoe Kazan, who knows a thing or two about indie film and likes to be quirky in her personal style. She hides behind a chair when Andrea enters the room:
Because, wouldn’t you?
Oh, we’re being mean. Andrea’s actually a sweetheart and we’ll never not root for the guys and gals out there who zoomed right past marching to the beat of a different drum and wound up dancing along to a song only they can hear. In short: she’s very sweet and we had no doubt that this isn’t a put-on. This is really what she’s like. This is her aesthetic, which, if you remember the ’80s, is what pretty much every homeless person looked like after the psychiatric hospitals dumped all their patients on the streets.
Whoops. Still being mean. Okay, let’s try this: the outfit she wound up making is really adorable and the first sign that underneath all the other stuff, there’s someone who has a marketable aesthetic. Zoe loved the outfit.
Here is Andrea’s team and workspace. See what we mean? Not a put on. Whatever else you can say about her, the girl walks the walk.
Joe tells her he got her a buyer’s meeting with Anthropologie, which causes her to cry and hyperventilate at the same time. We don’t blame her. There couldn’t possibly be a better match for her aesthetic than Anthropologie. He urges her and her team to think about things from a business perspective, and to have a pitch and a business plan ready for when he brings a member of the press in to look at her work.
Also, if Andrea doesn’t make a sale, she’s going to get deported to her home country, which we imagine looks an awful lot like a CandyLand board (actually it’s Canada, but it still probably looks like a CandyLand board to her).
Joe brings in Samantha Critchell, fashion writer for the Associated Press and at first, we thought things were going to go well just because Andrea toned her look down quite a bit to something approaching “not crazy.”
Unfortunately, her pitch consisted of a summer camp project …
And some highly questionable notebook doodles. Samantha is, understandably put off and reveals that she won’t be doing a piece on Electric Love Light any time soon, finding a very polite way of saying, “You really need to get your shit together.” Joe concurs, adding, “You really need to get your shit together.”
On buyers day, the ladies from Anthropologie arrive and we kind of love them immediately because they seem pretty used to people like Andrea. In fact, they seemed eager to see what the little ragamuffin was going to show them.
For her part, Andrea was all cleaned up, looking adorable, and wound up giving a really succinct and powerful pitch to the buyers. We were impressed.
Both the top and the jacket are really, really cute. Andrea’s inspiration for this collection was butterflies, and while that might cause you to reflexively roll your eyes (as we did), she actually did a very good job of interpreting the concept. We love the jacket the most. Joe seemed really opposed to the idea of eyelet pants, but we thought it sounded cute. The problem was the flare on the bottom, which is both out of fashion right now and proportionally wrong when paired with that coat. Skinny eyelet pants would have been really cute.
This didn’t work for us at all. The vest was cute, but we hated those competing pinks. The top’s just okay, but the shorts look cheap and fragile.
Super cute. The blouse is really, really pretty – and extremely retail-ready. The shorts are as cute as they were the first time she made them. We like the jacket, but don’t quite love it.
The buyers said they’d seen this dress before and we couldn’t help thinking if it didn’t have those shoulder cutouts, they might have liked it more. It’s cute.
We’re using “cute” a lot, but come on, what other word would you use?
We’re really asking for it with that question, aren’t we?
We don’t like these pieces paired together, but they’re both great pieces.
She ended her presentation with the dress version of a “waa-waa-waaaaa” trombone slide. This is a big, drab, nothing of a dress. Pretty fabric, but the silhouette and the proportions are problematic.
Fortunately, the Anthropologie ladies mostly loved the collection (they disliked the same pieces we did) and excitedly told Andrea that they were ready to do business with her. Which caused this to happen:
And that is our favorite picture of Joe Zee EVER.
Next week: Korto! And us!