The first installment of Diane von Furstenberg's reality TV competition, "House of DVF," premiered Sunday night on E! and, let's just say, we're fully entertained. We have the "out-of-the-box" contestant, Tiffani Warkenthein (she's from the Bronx and has tattoos and piercings); a self-proclaimed "weird Mormon" from Utah, Codi Critchfield; and a bunch of shit stirrers, namely blogger Kier Mellour (complete with fake boobs -- we know because von Furstenberg asked her) and stylist Brittany Hampton.
Plus, there's a sophisticated, stink-eye throwing clutch of executives ready to set the girls straight and, of course, the venerated von Furstenberg — who's there to give hugs and tissues when needed, but also throw out withering stares and tough love sayings like, "You're going to have to polish your accent," to Staten Island native Lenore Genovese.
The big drama of the series premiere was whittling the group of 10 down to eight via some fashion industry-type work assignments at the prestigious DVF Awards (social media, PR, ushering guests and manning a buffet, seemingly the most difficult of all). So, of course, bitchiness and drama ensue. Ladies, you don't need to be a bitch to get ahead, remember? But there are some definite dos and don'ts for making it at the House of DVF. And as with most reality TV competitions, there are more don'ts than dos.
Brush up on your human growth before a team meeting. During an exec power session, DVF Creative Brand Director Stefani Greenfield mentions that Kier sold her eggs so she could afford to go to Fashion Week. Style Editor Jessica Joffe then exclaims in her very proper English accent, "But did she sell all of the eggs?" She then receives a piercing "Seriously?" side-eye from boss lady von Furstenberg. Luckily, Joffe already has a job at DVF.
Dress appropriately. Especially for the tony and celeb-filled DVF Awards at the United Nations. "Stefani said we have to dress appropriately," moans Lenore. "What am I gonna make look appropriate for the United Nations representing DIANE. VON. FURSTENBERG?" Which leads me to...
Think twice before you accessorize. The Staten Island native's appropriate look for the UN included a '90s-style neon yellow bedazzled choker, which Greenfield practically ripped off her neck on sight. "Lenore had this choker that I couldn't stop staring at," she says. "I wanted to choke myself." And tacky bags: "We need to lose. As in get them lost."
Charge your phone. ...even if you don't know beforehand that your assignment for the evening will be to Instagram the action, as poor little Tiffani learned. (And don't depend on your competitor to share her $800, uninsured smartphone.) There's a reason why editors carry their Mophie juice packs around during Fashion Week. Live and learn young Tiffani.
Hydrate. As Rhianna (not to be confused with the singer) learned the hard way after having to leave in the middle of Alicia Keys's inspirational awards acceptance speech, requiring prospective boss Greenfield to "drop the fur" and get down on her knees on a public bathroom floor to help before the EMT and U.N. security staff wheeled the contestant out on a gurney.
Cry in front of Diane von Furstenberg. During the individual "tête à têtes" with each contestant, a grateful Codi bursts into tears. "I'm just so amazed there's so much good in this world," the devout blonde sobs. Von Furstenberg looks sympathetically at her and kindly says, "Take a tissue." Then Abigail, who was also on the ball with the tears (that miraculously didn't streak her yellow eye shadow job), tells DVF her life story. "Abigail was honest and I like that," says the grandmotherly figure. "I actually like her more after we spoke."
Use your phone when DVF execs are talking to you. Yeah, you, Rhianna. Unless you want to be dressed down by a sharp tongued Greenfield at "the Spice Market."
Treat the DVF showroom like its your own closet. As the girls first enter the sacred chamber, they immediately start acting out some sort of outfit montage scene from a movie by taking selfies, pawing through the bags, tying turbans out of finespun silk scarves and hovering like vultures over sample shoes (which apparently all come in a size seven). "Certain behaviors and etiquettes are on brand. If you were in my living room would you be going through my stuff?" asks Greenfield. (Um, no.)
DIY your outfit for an event that's part of your job application. As Rhi Rhi learned after haphazardly and nonsensically tying a bunch of thrift store scarves together over her "Wang dress." Not a good look for getting sick on the U.N. public bathroom floor.
Gossip, especially in front of your prospective boss's right-hand man. While the girls come up with tattle-y theories on why Rhianna is having a "moment" at the Awards, DVF Chief Marketing Officer Eran Cohen (whom von Furstenberg likes to refer to as "the Stanley Tucci" of the company) steps in and regulates: "We don't know. We don't need to speculate." Yeah, good luck with that.
Whatever you do, do NOT try to make eye contact with Diane von Furstenberg at her own awards show. Von Furstenberg wants to officially meet the contestants in the right setting. "I really, really tried to avoid eye contact with the girls. This event is about the awardees and that's what I want to focus on. Tonight is not when I want to be introduced to them." Snap.
Use that BS interview speak. Leave it to von Furstenberg to finally call someone out on throwing that canned, over-used job interview response. "Your biggest fault is that you're a perfectionist — that's not a fault," she says to contestant Jinna Yang. Nice try.
Take a gift bag from Diane von Furstenberg! Instead of the "auf wiedersehen" sign off, axed contestants receive a DVF gift bag from von Furstenberg herself, complete with an autographed book, some candy, "and a whole lot of love."
"House of DVF" airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on E!