the take

‘The Fashionista Diaries’: Unrealistic, Shockingly

Courtesy of SOAPnet

Oh, yes, we’ve witnessed the glamorous life of a fashion assistant: scraping together money to make rent, subsisting entirely on a diet of ramen and vodka, spilling your boss’s no-whip-part-skim-latte on your hands as you run to work. We have no idea why this warrants a reality show, but here comes The Fashionista Diaries, premiering tonight on SOAPnet, anyway.

As it turns out, though, “reality” plays a very small role in this show. The featured “assistants” serve little purpose other than to make actual assistants feel terrible about their lives; they bumble around New York, schmooze with Kenneth Cole and Vanessa Williams, carry around $2,000 Chanel bags, and live rent-free in gorgeous Soho apartments. That’s a far cry from our experience, in which assistants spend long days and nights in front of a desk, followed by sweaty treks back to Brooklyn. And maybe we just haven’t been in such a nurturing work environment, but we can’t remember the last time our bosses sat us down for an end-of-the-week evaluation like the ones we used to get in kindergarten, complete with gold star. Actual assistants know that they’ve moved up in the company ladder when the boss finally stops referring to them as “you” and starts using their actual names when dictating their salad order.

So, sure, this is probably way more fun than a real assistant’s life — just don’t blame us for burying our head in our hands when one contestant is asked her favorite designer and responds, “Juicy Couture.” That sound you just heard is a thousand overworked fashion assistants leaping off the Brooklyn Bridge. —Xiyin Tang

‘The Fashionista Diaries’: Unrealistic, Shockingly