The second season* of “The City” made its epic return to the small screen Tuesday night and with it came Whitney Port’s perfectly honey-colored ombre hair, Oliva Palermo’s over-enunciated Connecticut clip, and the softest side of Kelly Cutrone we’ve ever seen; it was the Mama Wolf’s tears that begat my own.
But let’s start at the beginning. Following hot on the 5-inch heels of its sister series “The Hills,” “The City” should be given immediate and extensive credit for at least pretending to focus on the work life of Port and the rest of her sun-kissed-despite-Manhattan’s-skyline crew.
Whitney has been given the once-in-a-lifetime (unless you’re not on a reality show and then it’s the never-in-a-lifetime) chance of showing her very first collection at Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week. The dramz: she’s been given less than two weeks notice and her collection is only two-thirds complete. Whatever will she do?!
Well, according to MTV, she’ll take her underminey best friend and lover of red lipstick Roxy Olin to Mood Fabrics — talk about reality tv branding! — to idly wander the rows of materials while discussing everything she needs to do. The model casting! The hair and makeup looks! The run of show! And, of course, the music, which is the only thing Roxy not-so-helpfully offers to help with. Onwards! — to a windowless space in the Garment District where Port has employed a small staff of Asian women to actually make her clothes. She’ll check in on them throughout the episode, telling them to hurry, asking them to drape, and providing them with non-stretch material for a pair of lace leggings. The deathstare Whitney receives in response to her legging request is priceless. But, it does seem like she’s actually working, if at a slightly more expensive and fully-staffed level than any other first-time designer we’ve heard of. So, go Whitney!
In the meantime, all is still awry in Elle’s glass-walled tower. Palermo and scowly Erin Kaplan still hate each other and Joe Zee is tired, very tired of all of this. In one of the friendliest and least-angry reprimands in the history of fashion magazines, Zee tells Olivia to make nice with Erin and placates her by giving her a new fake job at Elle.com. Olivia invites Erin for coffee and the two of them grit their teeth and pretend to be friends and blahblahblah but let’s get to the good stuff: Robbie Meyers is on TV! I can’t remember if this is her first cameo on the show, but I love it and I hope she and her sexily-mussed beehive hairdo stay on it forever. She looks like she keeps a dirty martini and a pack of smokes under her desk and I cannot get enough of her.
Whitney goes to meet with Kelly and all the other “up and coming” designers in this special People’s Revolution fashion show she’s in and they’re all surprisingly nice to her even though someone like swimsuit designer Mara Hoffman has been around for longer than Whitney’s been on MTV and I can’t help but assume they’re thanking their lucky stars that Port has joined them in their show because it means people will probably show up. Anyway, I think this part of the episode was supposed to show how woefully unprepared Whitney is, but she actually kind of seems like she’s handling it.