Watching People Watching Rachel Zoe’s F/W 2102 Runway Show

Summer K

The average fashion week review will often tell you a lot about the clothes, a little about the designer, but never does it delve into the actual attendees beyond who’s sitting front row. And given we’ve come to know and love Rachel Zoe as a reality TV star, it seems only fitting that we treat our review as such.

But first the important points. Inspired by a “rock star girlfriend” vibe, the celebrity stylist focused her energies on creating a 60s and 70s-inspired collection with an emphasis on goucho pants, chunky knits, slim-fitting suits, dress-over-pants layering and a bold color palette including black, white and jewel tones. Yes we loved it, and yes we will covet it it greatly, but what also caught our attention was the rich play-by-play between Marie Claire‘s Joanna Cole and our other favorite reality TV darling, the one and only Nina Garcia.

When it comes to a fashion poker face, Nina usually wins (I mean, how many times on Project Runway have you watched her cooly gaze at a contestant’s outfit then later proclaim it “extremely editorial?”), but this time around we were instantly attuned to her reactions after many a season trying to decipher her every facial nuance.

Smiles: The ultimate compliment! The two outfits above not only brought a slight grin to Nina’s face, we even saw her snapping pics of them.

The Terse Nod: Hard-won approval. Yes she likes it and yes she would consider it for a cover or fashion spread. This is usually followed by a clipped suggestion on how to improve it by some obscure alteration only her laser-like gaze would notice.

The Crossed Arms: She’s not loving it. We only saw this manuver once, so we think this weighs well in Rachel’s favor. Even when you have a varied collection, you’re just not going to please everyone.

The Look Down The Nose: Hard to decipher since Nina was wearing glasses, but we’ve come to know this as her “thoughtful” stare down. The wheels in her head are spinning and this could go either way.

The Lean-in Whisper: Nina isn’t looking for reassurance — she’s making an assessment and wants to share it. In this instance, we saw her trade a few words with Joanna at the beginning of the show. Since this wasn’t followed by a furious scribbling of notes, I’m convinced this was most likely a “girl, did you see how cute that suit was?” exchange.

Final Analysis: Nina and I share a similar fashion aesthetic, but I seem much more open to exaggerated layering than she is (after all, our office IS freezing all the time). I wouldn’t be surprised if several of Rachel’s pieces end up in Marie Claire, but far more importantly, I wouldn’t be surprised if several also ended up in my closet.

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