Spoiler alert! Each week, DVF Style Editor Jessica Joffe is debriefing Sunday night’s episode. Read more for her take on all the latest drama, but be sure to catch Episode 5 first!
Ah kids! This may be one of the hardest lessons to teach and learn. How do you remain appropriate and poised in a professional environment without hiding what makes you human? Being an ambassador for any brand is not simply about your style or your social media following, not even how brand-appropriate you look or how many scintillating creative ideas you might have. Before all of that, what matters most is how well you represent that brand out there in the world, and that is about charm, approachability, sincerity, self-sufficiency and a mature, thoughtful way of ‘being yourself.’
If you squint, this episode is awash in tears. Everywhere you turn the girls are crying. Crying from being overwhelmed, crying from being exposed, crying out of loyalty (or over-identification), crying because they can’t afford designer clothes. Aside from steely Cat, who may yet show us a softer side, every one of the girl’s emotions gets the best of her. And yet during her private moment at the 9/11 Memorial, Diane tells Hanna Beth how much she appreciates her sudden vulnerability and candor. Remember when she asks Maytee and Cat to be more vulnerable? HB’s tears are finally what endear her to Diane. And I understand why. Hanna Beth is opening up and letting her in, albeit gingerly. Diane wants to know the girls, and so do I. The more honestly each girl can be herself the more confidence she can have. Know thyself! Both good and bad, weak and strong! That does not mean you can collapse into a puddle of tears because you don’t like someone or because you aren’t getting what you want, but to show yourself truly is the sign of great strength and a strong woman is a DVF woman.
All that said, I like the moments where the girls can’t help but be themselves, and Hanna Beth is finally finding her stride within the group. I still haven’t spent much time with her, but I know there’s a lot underneath her reticent exterior.
Alli is a true contender. For how unreasonably she dresses, she is the most reasonable emotionally and socially. She even manages to push her design through and while it’s not truly “on brand” she took the earlier criticism, adjusted her idea and made the best of it. It’s fun to spend some time with her in her hilariously messy room. She is living life to the fullest and enjoying her time in New York. We talk about her personal life and play dress up when the cameras stop rolling. I am not sure what those bleating noises I make are all about, but I’m confused that girls always feel the need to cry about clothes in my presence. In those moments I evidently lose my grasp of the English language. Allie has so much going for her, I really don’t care if she’s got a closet full of DVF or not. If she becomes our brand ambassador she’ll be drowning in it!
Vulnerability may only be something you can understand as a strength the older you are, but the sooner the girls realize we really want to know and see all of who they are – instead of what they assume we want to see – the better they will perform and the better they will feel about the work they do in the program.