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SPOILER ALERT: Soooo, turns out that the only glitch in last night's premier of Joe Zee's new show All On The Line wasn't that the episode aired without sound, but the wrong episode (the second episode) was uploaded to Hulu. That means, our recap is actually about next week's episode, which is available right now on Hulu. Apologies for the spoiler. — The Management
UPDATE #2 4/1/11: The Sundance people emailed us to tell us they "intentionally put up Kara Jenks episode two" on Hulu.
Oh, dear—last night the Sundance Channel premiered All On the Line, a new reality series following Elle's always-charming Joe Zee as he devotes his time and talents to rehabilitating an array of down-on-their-luck fashion labels. And the show was super entertaining, if you watched it on Hulu. Apparently, there were all kinds of technology issues and the episode aired without a soundtrack!
How do we know this when we watched later, on our laptops? Behold, the majesty of Twitter: From @mrjoezee himself, in reference to the soundtrack glitchery: "GUYS, I'm freaking out too, the network is having a huge broadcast issue but working on it. I AM SO SORRY. Stay tuned..(drinks for everyone)." And, later—always looking on the funny side: "For those considering a career in TV, tonight's episode was an exercise in understanding how important a background soundtrack can be." Meanwhile, @SundanceChannel piped in: "We are having technical problems with the sound and will resolve a.s.a.p - engineers are on it."
Always an adventure! And if you did miss out on sound (or miss it entirely), check Hulu or watch for Sundance's inevitable rerunnings.
In last night's adventure Joe met with one Kara Janx, a runner-up from Project Runway's second season. Once upon a time, the South African former architect's infamous kimono dresses were the talk of the town—everybody wanted one and over 200 retailers stocked the frocks. Since then, Janx's business has tanked: No point of view; collections that lack cohesion; customer confusion (is she the every woman or a dewy 20-year-old?); the reality TV taint (upon calling various showrooms Janx reported "giggling"); and—possibly most detrimental—Janx's retiring of her famed kimonos.
That's a lot of intro, so here's a condensed top ten moments—All On the Line, episode 1:
10.) Joe likening Janx's current offerings to "bridesmaids dresses" and "prom dresses" ("That dress is great if you're going to the prom with Justin Bieber.") at the Elle offices before telling the designer—to her face—that her looks were very "GMC." What ever does GMC mean, you ask? How about "Generic Mall Clothes"—harsh!
9.) While we're tearing Janx to shreds—how about when her showroom's representative gushed about wanting to wear so many items from the new Zee-approved kimono collection before Zee asked which items from the main line she might like to wear. Her answer: Silence (this particular silence had nothing to do with any soundtrack issues).
8.) Man! You can majorly curse on Sundance! Janx has a serious potty mouth!
7.) Aw, Viktor and Rolf of Viktor & Rolf stopped by to offer some feedback (Janx was terrified: "I'm gonna cry because I'm, like, spazzing.")—they're just the cutest (not that we're ever entirely sure who might be Viktor and who might be Rolf). Anyway, they definitely prefer quirk to commercial and Viktor/Rolf sagely noted that "frustration can be good for creativity."
6.) Zee wanted Janx to meet with women of every size and stripe to discuss what they want out of a dress. So, obviously, they shipped off to a posh Meatpacking District gym to chat with a gaggle of fit, wealthy white women in their 30s. Duh.
5.) Oh, snap! A midpoint meeting left Zee fretting over Janx's lack of progress. Janx was unmoved by Zee's alarm. Cue cruel reality television jokes ("This is real business; this isn't like you have 30 minutes to make a dress; this isn't Project Runway!") and a big, fat presentation postponement.
4.) Speaking of big and fat (and this is by no means a swipe at anyone; it's more a transitional whim than anything else)—Zee brought a "plus-sized" model (size 8) in to the fitting. If Janx wasn't shaken by Zee's alarm, she was certainly shaken by the very existence of this model. Her confessional response: "When I saw the size 8 model I thought, who the fuck wants to do that?" Man, Jezebel is going to be pissed.
3.) Then, after sort of agreeing to cut a certain dress in a certain size for said model, Janx dismissed the girl and opted out of producing the dress in favor of perfecting other details. Zee is pissed and, now, Janx is terrified. She ran away from Zee and the cameras. But all is well once some other model stands in, cramming herself into Janx's floor-grazing evening look.
2.) Zee got Neiman Marcus up from Dallas to check out the collection and promised Janx that he'd walk Seventh Avenue in a kimono if they bought it for the store. Well, they're stocking it—so will Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's. Cut to Zee crossing Seventh in the rain in a full-length print kimono.
1.) Was it really such a sacrifice? A colleague: "You just really wanna wear a kimono." Zee: "Well, secretly, yes."
· All On the Line [Sundance]