Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda.
We open with Betsey having a big meeting with Steve Madden (and all of Fashion Week) on her mind–but she finds time to wander around Central Park. She approaches an artist street vendor and somehow it turns into Betsey drawing the vendor, where we learn that “caricatures are really hard….I never could shade…” The end result is whimsical, bordering on awful.
Betsey noisily arrives at Steve Madden and meets with Zina and Gabriella to go over the plans for Fashion Week. There are three components to the show: a retrospective; the Betsey Johnson branded accessories; and prom dresses. Betsey “needs” rose petals all over the floor, “with strippers and drag queens and trannies…elephants or robots.” Well, at least it’s elephants or robots. Then, Betsey insists upon hiring Poor Brandon, who previously let her know that he was on Hail Hiatus.
LuLu and her assistant, Ashley, meet so that Ashley can show LuLu the designs for LuLu’s line. In other words, LuLu doesn’t design her own clothes, even though “this is the first time I put myself out there as a designer.” You can tell from the dynamic that Ashley is being a teensy bit taken advantage of because of her age (uber young) and LuLu’s industry influence (an uber famous mother who happens to be an investor in LuLu’s company). But good for Ashley, she lets LuLu know that she is about to go over budget with the design revisions. We then learn that none of the twenty-five licensing agents LuLu contacted will work with her, so Ashley’s, er, I mean LuLu’s designs may never see the light of day.
I can only imagine how much money was dangled in front of Poor Brandon, because he decided to end Hail Hiatus and join the Betsey Johnson team. They meet in Betsey’s apartment, where she explains that they have ninety looks and four weeks. This is Brandon’s sixteenth show with Betsey, so he knows the drill. Betsey and Brandon visit their new workspace, which is huge and bright and clean. Betsey shows off her branded products, which are made from Betsey’s doodles. Yup, there’s the five dollar bill scarf, the bunny bag, and the straw hat from last week.
Later that day, Betsey receives her Amex bill, and there’s fifteen grand on there that LuLu needs to explain. Ah, youth. Specifically, youth that can’t seem to support themselves despite being given every advantage an opportunity in the world. And now Betsey’s kicking at LuLu’s door. She used her mother’s card to buy vintage clothing, fabrics, and everything else she needed to get her business together, but forgot to run it past her mother first. If you’re a grown adult with children and your mother is supporting your Upper East Side pilates-toned ass, you need to shut up and take your lumps instead of insisting that your behavior is normal and correct. But instead of, you know, getting a job, LuLu goes out and gets a tattoo. It’s super original—stars.
Betsey is sketching runway looks for a show that’s four weeks away, which is a lesson in how mass-produced clothing happens. Instead of designing clothes and accessorizing the collection, Betsey is designing clothes to go with the already-produced branded products. Hmm. That doesn’t sound right….
At LuLu’s apartment/workspace, Allison and Ashley finalize their collection so that they will be ready to meet with “potential licensees.” I can only imagine the stories Ashley has about these two yahoos. “Unfortunately it’s going to take a lot more money to pay Ashley….” Ashley sits there, awkwardly watching her bosses figure out where they’re going to get the money to pay her for the work they’ve asked her to do (*cough* ask Betsey). Oh, Ashley. I hope you’re journaling.
At therapy, LuLu explains that she doesn’t like the whole money thing being thrown in her face. Oh, ha! Betsey gave LuLu the apartment as a wedding present! So if LuLu had to support herself for realsies, she’d be living in a cardboard box in a transitional Brooklyn neighborhood and sending her kids to *gasp* public school. But, thanks to her mother’s generosity, she has a posh lifestyle and can call herself a fashion designer. So LuLu, really. You have two choices—either suck it up, or support yourself. Instead, LuLu goes for Option Three and walks out of therapy because she thinks Betsey is trying to humiliate her.
After all of that, LuLu goes to dinner with Betsey and hits her up for more money. “All I’m asking is, do you think you could help me with a little more money to pay Ashley just for this project?” Betsey reminds her that she started her business with practically nothing. Betsey wants LuLu to learn the whole business, “the business side, the design side, the song-and-dance side.” But LuLu is not a fan of learning (and why should she be when there’s a human ATM machine sitting next to her) and resorts for cutsey face which is just the most embarrassing display I’ve ever seen. But it works, and Betsey gives her what she asks for because she’s proud of LuLu for asking before taking. Ugh. There isn’t enough therapy in the world to straighten out this pair.
Next week: Betsey’s workspace turns into a mess worthy of Hoarders.