Here at Cobblestone Couture, we LOVE Kelly Cutrone. Maybe because she reminds us of that boss that scared the crap out of us, yet taught us some hard lessons. Mostly, we love that she doesn’t sugar coat the fashion industry or the NYC lifestyle. We can’t wait for her show Kell on Earth to premiere on Bravo at 10pm tonight. Here’s a little review from the NY Times this morning. Enjoy!
Behind Every Diva, Another Diva
by Alessandra Stanley with the NY Times
Like “Upstairs, Downstairs,” Bravo brings a fine-grained focus to the servant class. Only instead of chronicling the inner lives of Edwardian butlers and parlor maids, Bravo follows the meltdowns of assistants in gyms, showrooms and fashion houses. These underlings show the same self-deluding loyalty, only with garish egos instead of practiced deference.
The ripples of collateral fame fan further and further from the center. Behind all those celebrity dress designers and hairdressers, there is another caste of stylists, publicists and personal trainers who are the divas of their own sub-ecosystems.
“Kell on Earth,” which begins on Monday, is the latest addition to the Bravo universe, a reality show that follows a publicist, Kelly Cutrone, as she bullies and cajoles her way through the underbelly of the New York fashion world. Like Rachel Zoe, a Hollywood stylist who has her own niche on Bravo, Ms. Cutrone, founder of the P.R. company People’s Revolution, is a backstage figure propelled by the synergy of the celebrity industry into her own version of stardom.
Ms. Cutrone is a hyperbusy publicist who juggles 10 designers at a time at the height of New York’s fashion week. She is the co-author of a book, “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You.” In the premiere episode she explains that she hired her assistant, Andrew Mukamal, a languid, gay Goth who wears bondage bracelets and the occasional skirt, mostly because he wasn’t an overeager young woman.
“I got really tired interviewing blond girl after blond girl,” Ms. Cutrone says, lapsing into a squeaky impersonation. “ ‘Hi, I’m really excited to be here.’ And I just think, oh God.”
Actually Ms. Cutrone sort of owes “Kell on Earth” to blond girl after blond girl: Ms. Cutrone became semifamous on the MTV series “The Hills” and “The City” as the demanding boss of Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port. Those young women never seem very busy. Mostly they attend promotional parties and rock band rehearsals and occasionally lift a finger backstage: at one Cutrone-organized event Ms. Conrad and Ms. Port struggled to zip Lady Gaga’s dress and jammed the zipper.
Ms. Cutrone also briefly made a name for herself in the gossip pages after she allowed Ashley Dupré, the call girl in the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal, to take a front row seat at a fashion show in 2009. The designer fired Ms. Cutrone for the infraction. And that faux pas is still on her calling card.
On “Kell on Earth” she summons Ms. Dupré, whom she describes as a friend, to ask her gently to lay low this year. Later Ms. Cutrone says on the phone, “I really, of all people, cannot take a seating scandal this season.”
Bravo hits like “Project Runway” (which last season moved to Lifetime) and “Shear Genius” are competitions that put creativity to a definable test, and use personality clashes as an overlay. “Kell on Earth,” like “The Rachel Zoe Project,” is all about personality, because the tasks the leads perform — selecting the right evening clutch or keeping track of R.S.V.P.’s to a fashion show — are so mundane. The pleasure of these shows, besides a peek at the grunt work of the fashion world, is in watching young, beautiful and sheltered assistants deal with the stress and conflict of a deadline.
The smaller the task, the greater the pressure.
Ms. Zoe, svelte, cool and sulky, is as much of a diva as her clients. Ms Cutrone, beneath a cursing, fierce exterior, is more of an earth mother. She wears no makeup, dresses sloppily and is as protective of her employees as she is of her 7-year-old daughter. But for her star protégés — Andrew, the laid-back assistant, and Stefanie Skinner, the anxious junior executive — drama is making sure the invitations go out and the printer works.
“Kell on Earth” doesn’t demystify the fashion world so much as try to pump up the mystique. It’s a stretch at times, but it does explain who all those haughty people are who crowd the Breslin Bar: they are the interns to the assistants of the assistants to the stars, letting down their hair after a long day slaving over a hot seating chart.
KELL ON EARTH
Bravo, Monday night at 10, Eastern and Pacific Times.