Meet Brooke Rodd. Brooke moved her family to Los Angeles with nothing but a great pair of eyebrows, a beachy aesthetic, and a dream. Also, a husband who can’t get work as an actor, but we’ll drop that lest we get mean.
Brooke makes nice, but totally nondescript clothing.
Enter Doctor Joe, once again. Joe tells her that her clothes are nondescript. She begs to differ. Then she spends the next 40 minutes begging to differ over and over again.
Look, we’re not naive when it comes to reality television, but this is something we don’t get at all. Sure, maybe Brooke was approached by the producers or maybe she eagerly signed up because she wanted the exposure, but what the hell is the point in going to a bona fide expert for advice and then arguing with literally every single thing that expert tells them?
She seems like a nice enough lady, but she had that breezy way of saying “I don’t agree” to every single criticism and it made her come off like an extremely frustrating brick wall. Not only did she argue with Joe’s point that her clothes are nondescript, she argued with his point that she doesn’t know how to describe her brand EVEN AS SHE SPENT THE NEXT 3 WEEKS STRUGGLING WITH A WAY TO DESCRIBE HER BRAND. There’s stubbornness, and then there’s jaw-dropping lack of self awareness.
But like we said, she seems like a nice enough lady, and Joe thought she had something to offer, so that’s good enough for us. He orders her to make a look for Whitney Port, who’s a pretty good match to the “bicoastal chic” aesthetic that he imposed on her (because she couldn’t come up with an aesthetic description on her own).
Can we just say that we’re loving the L.A. locale as a change of pace for the show?
Brooke’s first attempt is embarrassingly nondescript, with a truly hideous Blanche Devereux gold jacket paired with an orange cami. Joe tells her to re-do the cami in a print, and pairs it with this cool little tweedy jacket from her collection, which lifts the entire look up. Once again, we marvel at the man’s ability to style a look at the drop of a dime and never get a detail wrong.
They meet up with Whitney in an empty restaurant, where she pretends to be both busy and eating.
Totally annoying blogger name-dropping moment: We’ve seen Whitney at several Fashion Week events and she’s stunningly beautiful in person. It’s not that she’s not beautiful on camera, but she’s one of those rare celebs who don’t photograph as well as you’d think.
Brooke brings her look out and Whitney is immediately unimpressed.
We think it’s okay, but just okay. But what really ruined the look was the hiddy gold jacket that Joe specifically told her not to include. Like we said: stubbornness at a blinding level. Whitney, to no one but Brooke’s surprise, tells her she’s not going to wear anything from anyone who thinks that hiddy gold jacket is acceptable on anyone but a Golden Girl.
To our surprise, Joe did not tear her a new one for that. Instead, he tells her to come up with a capsule collection for Zappo’s, which seems like a pretty good fit for her aesthetic. He also tells her, in grand “All on the Line” fashion, that he’s bringing in two bitchy bloggers to look at her work.
Enter Heather and Jessica, aka, The Fug Girls! Yay! We love these two ladies like a gay kid loves sequins. Our twice-yearly drinkup with them and Joe at Fashion Week is one of the highlights of our year, even if it does only last an hour or so because we’re all so busy. When you make a career out of being a bitchy fashion blogger, it can sometimes feel like there isn’t a person on the planet who really understands what your life is like. Heather and Jessica are the only two people who really get it, for obvious reasons. Last month, when we all met up, we admitted to each other that we’re fascinated by the other’s work process. We can’t imagine doing this with someone we don’t live with and they can’t imagine living with someone that does what they do. Then we all turned to Joe and told him how much we adore him.
And ladies, you both look super-cute. Loved your dresses.
Unlike us, the shrieking queens who CAN’T FINISH A SENTENCE, KORTO, H & J were lovely and offered very on-point criticisms that basically came down to the same thing everyone else said, i.e., “Girl, your clothes are nondescript.” They admitted that, given what they’re looking at, they have no plans to do a writeup. After they left, Brooke says that she’s really happy with the way things went; her stubbornness now reaching dangerously delusional levels.
It’s presentation day and the Zappo’s ladies are ready to be impressed. We can’t imagine this is going to go well.
This is okay. The jacket fabric looks like something you’d make drapes out of. The dress is (we’re sorry to use this word so much) nondescript. The buyers asked to see it without the tie around the waist and that instantly makes it a better look.
Brooke loved this Flintstones fabric, but we hated it. We felt vindicated when the Zappo’s ladies admitted they didn’t like it either. We’re also not fond at all of all that draping at the hips, which seems to us like the very worst place to add draping.
The top is cute, in a minimalist sort of way. The Zappo’s ladies felt the sleeves were too long and we agreed.
This is probably one of her best looks, but it looks totally Tory Burch to us. This is what happens when you can’t describe your brand. Your work winds up being either boring or derivative.
The buyers liked this a lot more than we did. Joe seemed to like it as well. But to us, it looks both boob-droopy and hip-enhancing. Joe helped her a lot with this look, advising her to take it in at the armholes a little more. The Zappo’s ladies wound up buying this dress and the Whitney look, which, not coincidentally, were the two looks in which Joe had the most input. We hope Brooke examined that when this was all over.
But at least she was tearily grateful to him. Like we said, she seems like a nice lady who needed a break, but she really needs to pay attention when she gets criticism and she absolutely needs to be able to figure out her aesthetic going forward.