Move Over, Tim Gunn

CW's fashion reality series Stylista is the perfect replacement for those obsessed with Project RunwayElle magazine's creative director, Joe Zee -- who acts as mentor as contestants fight and claw their way toward an internship at the magazine -- takes us behind the scenes

BY Corey Scholibo

October 21 2008 11:00 PM ET

  Stylista Joe Zee x390 (The CW publicity) | Advocate.com

Which brings me to my next question. How much is
Anne Slowey really like this?
I think definitely there is a heightened element
of Anne. But Anne’s hysterical
and definitely eccentric. But at the same time
there’s also a satire part of Anne in that. I
think her character is a little bit more of a cross
between heightened reality and true reality. 

I mean, do they come in and say "We really want
Devil Wears Prada
"? They have certainly been marketing her like that. I think the reality is that no one said to her,
"You have to be Devil Wears Prada." Because number 1,
she’s never even seen the movie. 

Does she not see movies? She doesn’t. I don’t think she
sees blockbusters. The flip side is that people are
using that as a marketing point of comparison. Fashion
remains sort of mysterious and untouchable for so
long. I would have to say Prada and Ugly Betty
are the only real insight into what our industry is. 

I think everyone expects it now. It's sort of this
bitch-goddess mentality.
Yeah, but you’ve worked with celebrities.
You know. It’s about entertaining. It’s
about television. It's fun to watch. 

Why do you think there’s this obsession with
fashion and fashion publishing, specifically with
Prada, Ugly Betty, The Rachel Zoe Project, Top
Model,
and Runway?
I think because it’s been elusive for so
long. Literally I used to explain to people what I did
for a living. They were fascinated by it. They really
thought my days were involved flying to a fashion show,
going to a photo shoot with Madonna, then having
dinner with Gwyneth Paltrow. That hardly ever happens.
I think this sort of is blowing the door open and
giving people the opportunity to come into something that
they would have no access to in the past. And be
fascinated by it. I think that’s why it's
fascinating. Here’s the chance. It’s
happening. You know, pull the curtain apart. And
people are like, "Is that how it’s done?" And I
think people like that. 

It seems to me, going by the show, you’re
the mentor. Anne’s the tough one, you got to
impress Anne. But Joe's maybe going to help you.
Oh, really... 

I don’t know if they’re trying to package
you as the Tim Gunn or what. Do you come in
and say 'Do this, do this' and help them?
That kind of only happens initially. But they
want us to have minimum contact with these
contestants. Just so that their work can be organic. I
thought they should be mentored through the process. Because
even as assistants and editors in the magazine day to
day, you want to help them be a bigger and better
employee every day. So I’m actually very
fascinated that you said that, because I think that should
happen. I think they should be mentored a little bit.

Tags: television

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