All On The Line S3E8: Nichole Richie

Posted on November 02, 2012

Better late than never, darlings!


Meet Nicole Ri– Oh, to hell with it. The show abandoned its format for the finale and we’re gonna do the same. Besides, this episode didn’t really lend itself to recapping because it was all so rushed and confusing.


Not that we’re complaining. Actually, we liked the change in format. For one, it would be kind of silly to treat Nicole Ritchie making a collection for QVC the same as you would treat some complete unknown making a collection for Zappo’s.


And besides, the world of fashion IS rushed and confusing most of the time. That, to us, is the best part about this show, which is the best reality fashion show on television at the moment: it gives you the best inside look at the working of this industry; an industry most people outside it don’t really understand.


It’s helped, in huge part, by the presence of Joe himself, who’s not just one of the top fashion editors out there, but an incisive and quick-witted mentor, to boot.


Joe not only knows design, he knows the business inside and out. He’s the very best person to take on a series like this. Picture someone like Tim Gunn doing a show like this. We love Tim, but he’d never be able to pull off the verbal ass-kicking these designers occasionally need and we’ve never heard him give a critique half as insightful as the ones Joe regularly dishes out.


He manages that perfect balance of aesthetic critiques, ego-boosting, and savvy business sense that only the very best fashion editors know.


Anyway, there was a lot of yaddayaddayadda about missing dresses and other such concerns. We, for our parts, were left wondering just how much input Nicole actually had in the process, because it looked to us like QVC was calling all of the shots.


This is of a piece with everything we’ve ever heard about QVC from designers (mostly Project Runway alums) who’ve worked with them in the past. They have capitalism down to a very precise science and know exactly who their customers are and what they’ll buy. If you sign on with QVC, then you’re signing away the right to have complete creative control over your work. They will tell you what you can and cannot do, even if you’re Nicole Richie.


We just about DIED when the director asked us to pose on a step-and-repeat. That was the very LAST thing we wanted to do that day, simply because we’ve been making fun of people on red carpets for five years now. Thankfully, you only saw us for a split second; not nearly enough time to critique our pants hems or posture.


And while our feet were killing us from standing in the street in brand new shoes for the several hours it took to film this segment, it helped to have our fairy blogsisters on hand. We’re all so busy during Fashion Week that we never get to spend as much time together as we’d like.


For some reason, they barely showed the clothes at all. Seriously, we couldn’t get one workable screencap from the whole collection.

Instead, we’ll give you our reaction shots.


Pensive Tom & Lorenzo.


Dubious Tom & Lorenzo.


Not-paying-any-attention-at-all Heather & Jessica.


Jubilant Tom, Lorenzo, Heather, & Jessica!


We thought the clothes were very much in the Nicole Richie mode, working that boho thing she’s been doing for years now, at a QVC price point.


So hats off once again to Mr. Joe, for giving us our favorite fashion show ever – and not because he keeps asking us to be on it.

And if you’re interested in seeing more of the collection (or even buying some of it), you can head on over to QVC.



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  • Can’t see your hems, but Tom’s collar is a bit floppy! 😉

    •  It’s a polo shirt, not a dress shirt.

      • greyhoundgirl

        Oy.  Always with the snappy come back, you two!

        • DeborahJozayt

          I don’t think they mean to come across as snappy, but it definitely seems snappy, y’know?

      •  I know! Sorry, was joking. Should have gone with the “At least you don’t have neck beard” line.

      • CozyCat

        We kid because we love…

    • I think I can see Lo’s(?) hem. It appears to be folded. I like the mustard polo with the purple/brown(?) jacket btw. Can’t get a proper look at Tom.

    • Nelliebelle1197

      Am I the only one who thinks Lorenzo is looking more adorable all the time? Maybe it is because something about him reminds me of a lost love from years ago….

  • NightOwl

    The bio on the QVC page describes her as a “designer, author, actress, singer, and TV personality [who] made bohemian style mainstream.” That’s an….interesting perspective. My main quibble with the clothes is that anything that isn’t flowy and figure obscuring is very plain/basic (the lace trimmed T and tank). But I guess they know their demographic, and I’m not it.

    • oh_dear_oh_dear

      Well “Oblivious rich woman who once milked a cow next to Paris Hilton” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

      • l_c_ann

        Thank you, o_d_o_d, I will now go do the dishes and giggle to myself repeatedly.

      • Anathema_Device

         brilliant. laugh-out-loud brilliant!

    • WhiteOprah

       I wonder how much of that making bohemian style mainstream had to do with Rachel Zoe dressing her way back when.  If I recall, she was quite the fashion victim prior to that. 

      ITA about the clothes- they look like something from Kohl’s, but at Kohl’s they would be a lot cheaper. 

    • AthenaJ

      Wasn’t bohemian style made mainstream before Nicole Richie was even born??

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      Wait – didn’t Rachel Zoe “make” Nicole’s style and propel it to the mainstream. And if we’re talking modern celebs who made that style mainstream credit clearly goes to Kate Moss. Also, I’m pretty sure the 1960s made bohemian style mainstream. But small details, right? Anyway, I’m tired of people giving lowly celebrities who copy from other designers so much credit. And declaring everyone with a good stylist a fashion icon. pshaw. 

  • TLo – Your commentary above was both insightful and funny.  I appreciate the business perspective your comments provide.  I quit watching the show after 2 or 3 times – it’s not quite my thing, but I always look forward to the recaps.  … Yeah, the clothes.  Not my thing either, but best of luck to Nicole.

  • Courtney St. Julian

    I was surprised at the positive reaction these clothes received from Joe and the editor at WWD. The entire line looked very GMC, IMO. The designs offered nothing new and thew were a little on the frumpy side.

    • I, too, said “GMC” when watching this episode.

      • Lisa_Cop

        Me three. Not even GMC but hideous and cheap looking. That black tee with some lace gets love from Joe Zee? He would have reamed anyone else for such a cheap look.

        • Me also. Did not understand all the praise. The “show stopper” dress looked really cheap. It also did not look like Nicole designed anything. That other not-named “manufacturer” girl did everything and Nicole just signed off. She did not even look all that worried about the outcome. I’m heading over to QVC to check the stuff out.

        • Scarlet39

          Yes he would have, but I think he (and I had to keep reminding myself of this during the episode) understood who the target market was and what would have mass market appeal on QVC. 

    • Call me Bee

      Agreed.  In fact–I just saw that white blouse with the black placket at Macy’s.  In the “Women’s World” (i.e. plus size)  department. 

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      Maybe that was the point. That’s sort of QVC’s audience. It’s very Macys but on TV, IMO. 

    • Gail Kwak

       I absolutely agree.  That “signature” dress looked like a cheap old nightgown to me.  The whole collection was ugly and dowdy, and there is no way Joe would have let a real designer get away with that crap.  Then again, Nicole isn’t exactly a real designer.

  • I felt really bad for that poor girl who made all the dresses, who was being brow beaten with last minute changes and demands and then made out to be somehow not working hard enough, which implies lazy. The collection should have her name on it. I hope she got paid a lot.

    • Courtney St. Julian

      This.yes!. There seemed to be many superfluous members of Team Richie that buzzed around doing nothing while that poor girl did EVERYTHING. 

    • DinaSews

      I totally agree.  It was really her job to pick out fabric?  Not really sure what the ‘designer’ did. 

      • annieanne

        First Joe completely redesigned most of the original styles. Then the girl picked out the fabric options. Then Joe decided which ones to use. Then the girl made the samples. Then Nicole showed up at a couple meetings and suddenly it’s “her” collection.

        • Dhammadina

          And she’s “the girl,” right? We don’t even know her name. That’s wrong somehow. 

  • mjude

    i love seeing TLO in the fabulous flesh!

  • I was very confused by this.  They had the samples of everything, so why not show the samples?  It’s not like they had to be hanging on a store rack immediately following the show.  If they already had the fabric and the pattern set, why did it matter if the manufacturer had finished the complete run yet?  

    • Call me Bee

      I would think they’d have to have everything in order to present them on QVC–to make sure the sizes were corect and all that.  But then again–if you order something online or on QVC, it’s not like it’s put in the mail at that moment.  So who knows? 

  • artgirl9

    This was my least favorite segment.  Although I am tiring of the predictable format of the show, this was not the change I was looking for.  I want to see talented designers making design decisions.  This was completely uninspiring.

    • Agree completely.  I loved seeing TLo, but this episode (after quite a terrific season of AOTL, really) fell flat to me.  I much prefer to see real designers trying to figure out the business, rather than Nicole Richie doing whatever it is she does.

    • Introspective

      I agree- don’t know if the bar was lowered because of the qvc alliance but I think I didn’t see much that I couldn’t find at the mall or the non-designer lines for target even. This was not as interesting an ep because of the lack of real design going on plus the radically different business model these clothes were supposed to fit into.

      In all I am an undying JZ fan but even w NRs star power this wasn’t the best ep of the bunch. I say do a Nicole Miller esque finale next season hon.

  • Bytess

    Is Lorenzo the one in yellow shirt? The one who likes plaid pants? Hmm i think im not a bitter kitten tonight just a kitten in heat….lol ( pls dont get offended) …

  • SewingSiren

    This show has great guests.

  • why is that woman sticking her tongue out at you in the “pensive” shot?  is it because you’re … pensive?

  • hughman

    You two were great (if obviously bored out of your minds). Also I have a huge crush on Keith Pollack. 

    • We shouldn’t say this, but he has the most amazing ass.

      • hughman

        GO ON….  😉

      • MilaXX

        feel free to screen cap it for us 🙂

      • annieanne

        What’s the story with him? Wasn’t he with last season?

      • kimmeister

        Any inside scoop on why he doesn’t work with Joe anymore?

      • Anathema_Device

         Of course  you should say that! You’re our gay imaginary best friends/uncles. You’re SUPPOSED to tell us that!

      • Call me Bee

        We so love it when you dish…

  • The only redeeming thing about this QVC collection is that (in keeping with the observation that QVC knows its audience) it appears to be offered in a complete size range, from XS to 3X.   Not too many of those around, are there?

    • MilaXX

       Both QVC and HSN do that. It’s to appeal to the widest audience possible.

  • Call me Bee

    While it was fun to see the process of launching a QVC line, I got the feeling that Nicole doesn’t design anything in her line.  She had the sewist redesign the T shirt and the weird long skirt, and the QVC guy make all the calls to the Chinese sweatshop following up on the dress, and her little PA make all the appointments.  Yeah–she said she had several companies to run, but whatever.  I have a feeling she wouldn’t know real hard work if it bit her in the arse. 

    • MilaXX

       I think a lot of celeb lines are like that.  Especially when you have a celeb who doesn’t sketch or sew. All they can do is meet with a sample maker, tell them what they want, review and adjust until it becomes a look they like.

  • Angel O’Leary

    That was by far my least favorite episode. I thought that Joe and Nicole really treated that poor sample maker unfairly. They acted like she had committed a crime for not having finished a sample when they kept changing their minds and heaping new things on her. Nicole designing:  “I’m Nicole Ritchie and I want a t-shirt with lace. Make me a t-shirt with lace, Indentured Servant Lady”. The clothes were hideous and both Nicole and Joe came off as total phonies.   I think I’m done with the show.

    • Anathema_Device

       Thank you. I just posted something similar, but I like your “Indentured Servant Lady” take. Spot on.

  • MilaXX

    You just confirmed what I had thought all along. QVC wants clothing that can be sized from XS to 3X, in multiple colors and the designer is not only working with their own team, they are working with the machine that is QVC.

    I was discussing this on another board and speculated that is why we had so little of Joe telling Nicole she had to be on top of her team because to a certain extent she wasn’t in charge.

  • Billie_Dawn

    Did either of you have your hands in your pockets while you were posing? You did, didn’t you? Admit it! 🙂

  • AthenaJ

    Oh boys, you look adorable as always.

  • Wellworn

    Issac Mizrahi is QVC’s bitch.  Remember that everytime he acts all holier than thou on PR All Stars.  (There Peach, I got one in for you.)

  • Contralto

    who are those two cuties!  You guys look great.

  • annieanne

    I guess she’s of the opinion she needs reality show exposure to keep her name out there to sell her clothes. I can’t imagine any other reason she agreed to be on that Fashion Show thing or why she’d hook up with QVC for this episode. Seems to me that being on a show all about designers failing in their business doesn’t do a designer who theoretically isn’t failing in her business any real good.
    But exposure is exposure I guess.

  • kimmeister

    Was anyone else completely underwhelmed by the signature dress?  I get that non-form-fitting clothes is Nicole’s thing, but I thought the bust looked long and droopy.

    • Lisa_Cop

      I thought the “signature” dress looked like an ugly, cheap nightgown.

      • DCSheehan

        Agreed. All that panic and worry over that horrid rag? If I saw a woman wearing that on the street I’d think she was mad or homeless. Possibly both.

    • Victoria

       Ugh, especially the bust – so unflattering. I didn’t get the praise at all. In fact, when they presented it to Joe I thought he would rip it apart. Color me surprised…

  • I really like this show for all the reasons stated by T-Lo but this episode was stupid & pointless. No one really buys that Nicole has anything to do with this collection other than her name & fame, right? Watching her & Joe gang up on that poor girl for the sake of tv drama was gross and in the end Joe praised Nicole for her big girl attitude towards real world disappointments. Yuck!

  • Anathema_Device

    This was a weird episode. It was good to change the format because I was getting a little bored with the formula, plus it was interesting to have a peek behind the scenes at how a QVC collection comes together. But, wow, that one woman who had to redesign everything at the last minute worked her fucking ass off and Nicole got all the credit for pointing at what she liked! Okay, she had more input than that, but I felt really bad for the woman making up all the samples. In all, I’d say this was like a big Nicole Richie for QVC  advertisement. It all felt pretty staged and forced.

    • But see, that one woman who did all the work was just The Help. And we all know how they are treated. 

  • guest2visits

    Is this show available online?

  • DTLAFamilies

    I love the shot of Tom, Lorenzo, Heather and Jessica all clutching their bags. 

  • From reading the comments to seeing the positively underwhelming collection on the QVC website, I’ll pass on seeing the episode.

  • mom2ab

    Sorry guys I am usually a fan of AOTL, TLO and GFY but this was a terrible episode.  I kept watching but at the end all I could think was GMC and who cares?

  • marilyn

    QVC was probably the best fit for Nicole Richie, since her ‘boho’ look is very off the rack.  Having lived through the 70’s, it looks like a replay of hippie style clothes.  But, it works for her and QVC customers are buying it.  I could see Mary Kate and Ashley in this style of clothes.  

  • DCSheehan

    What most annoyed me this ep was the way Joe heaped praise on those fugly dresses and Nicole’s designing ability. The more we saw of what she didn’t do, the more embarrassing that became.

  • I actually paid for this series on iTunes. Enjoyed the second-to-last episode a lot but absolutely hated this one.

    And my positive opinion of Joe Zee has taken a major hit.

  • I was really hoping someone  would call out the collection as boring and ugly. But no, everyone praised it! That “signature” dress just looked like a bad knock off of a vintage slip. Those babydoll dress and that ditsy floral maxi skirt were more of the 90’s version of 70’s than anything typically “boho chic”.  And just seeing how little Nicole was involved was disappointing, though not surprising. I wonder if this is how she also runs Winter Kate and House of Harlow.

    I actually think Rachel Zoe’s clothing lines are far superior to Nicole’s.  Go figure.

  • Bwin51

    Thanks for enlightening me as to why Nicole barely played a part in the design and production. QVC is actually the designer. Makes perfect sense. Now I also understand why their dressmaker who didn’t get things done hasn’t been fired. I love how they had to go overseas to get things made. Good luck on getting anything manufactured in the US is the message it sends. I’m left wondering whether Nicole has talent for design or whether she’s just a pretty front person with a big name. As always, I love Joe Zee but did you really looove those pieces or was that just for the camera?

  • noelster_sf

    this show is obviously so producer manipulated its embarassing. joe zee’s breathless narration and kowtowing to celebrity is so fake as to make it a fantasy. since tlo get to be on the show occasionally i can see why they love it unconditionally, but it really isn’t one of the best reality shows on tv. 

  • Carrieanno

    So THAT’S what the fug girls look like!  Love them too!

  • I love the shots of you guys pensive and dubious. I love how you have the same expressions on your faces. :crush:

  • Daisy James

    Glad to see from the comments that most other people had the same take-aways from this episode that I did. What I have to wonder, though, is how could anyone involved here think they were going to come off looking good? (Aside from our dashing bloggers, of course.) Joe came off as a celebrity sycophant, Nichole as a talentless do-nothing only good at taking all the credit and none of the blame, and QVC may have gotten some prime-time product placement, but at the expense of being cast as not knowing how to run their business. I’m not going to stop watching the show just yet, but I hope they course-correct away from this kind of phoniness in the future.