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The Dos and Don'ts of Making It at the House of DVF, Episode 5

Also known as the episode in which I found myself rooting for Kier in some moments, if only because everyone else was so disappointing.

While it was refreshing to see some solid girl support in the beginning (well, two lone moments, actually: Abigail running after an aimlessly wandering, distraught and just-fired Jinna, and then Brittany actually comforting Abs after her surprise discharge during the team meeting), the claws came out quite quickly later. Brittany -- who probably realized she wasn't getting enough screen time in the beginning of the season -- sensed that Kier wasn't being abused enough in the last episode and gave wide-eyed Amanda a break for this round. And Amanda went totally text book (and even admitted it) as she gleefully joined the Kier pile-on because she was so relieved to not be Brittany's punching bag again.

More moments: Diane von Furstenberg started firing people willy nilly, the girls -- again -- showed a serious lack of critical thinking skills (wouldn't you cast a photo shoot before the photo shoot takes place, Amanda and everyone?!) and, OMG, tricep dips on a park bench while wearing a wrap dress. Why didn't I think of that?

So it's time for the latest installment of the Dos and the Don'ts -- or the Don'ts and Dos, rather, because let's be real -- to snag that coveted brand ambassador role at the "House of DVF," the after-school special edition. 


For crying out loud, DON'T get shit-faced (twice) during the job interview process. We all knew Jinna was a goner in this episode after her well-documented double intoxication episode. I mean, if you're going to go on a bender, save it for when the hiring powers aren't watching your behavior on camera (and when producers aren't constantly plying you with boozy temptation to fall off track along the way). I did feel bad for Jinna when she said she sold 80 percent of her closet to buy a one-way ticket to New York to be on the show, but as DVF said, "Jinna does not know how to behave publicly." And that is a problem if you want to be a brand ambassador -- or anyone, really.

Half ass it. Oh, Abigail, when will you ever learn? During the first challenge to sell as much DVF stock as possible at the flagship store, Abigail didn't even try. She even had a head start with a VIP customer who, granted, was a tad difficult. But that was an obvious opportunity to ply moneybags with her requested champagne for a drunk shopping bonanza. (Where's Jinna when you need her?!) Again, when encountered with a challenging sales environment, Abs just gave up and started fake-straightening up the shop floor. "The only checking out we do at our retail stores is at the register,” quips Stefani Greenfield. Plus, no one will ever get over how Abigail desecrated her DVF dress at Bergdorf Goodman last week. "You found your DVF and you wore it your own way with your bra and everything else," scolded von Furstenberg. "It was great for the ambassador of Abigail, not DVF,." And with that, her fate was sealed.

Think Diane von Furstenburg won't terminate you at any given time, during any group gathering. Jinna received her marching orders during a sacred mid-day meal. "How could Diane really send someone home," asked an incredulous Lenore, "DURING LUNCH?" And Abigail received the first public sacking at a team meeting after her fairly pathetic performance during the sales mini-challenge. Are there just DVF gift bags littered all over the Meatpacking District, just waiting for the next surprise ousting?

Fight in front of DVF and her guests. Brittany, Amanda, Lenore and Kier presented their photo show-and-tell to von Furstenberg, her team and stylist/blogger Natalie Joos and the meeting unsurprisingly (and rapidly) devolved into a huge bickering sesh amongst the girls. Of course, ‎Global Marketing and Communications SVP Grace Cha kind of opened the Pandora's Box there when she asked if the girls worked together during the team challenge. Then it was like Lord of the Flies, a Piggy, er, Kier pile-on here, picking on anyone in sight for self-preservation. DVF, embarrassed for humanity at this point, eventually tells the girls, "Enough. Go and fight somewhere else. Thank you." No, thank you.

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Try to work multiple digs into a moral lesson. That Brittany just can't help herself. After the embarrassing verbal altercation in front of the grown-ups, Brittany attempts to regulate the group by telling her teammates not to act like children in front of DVF. Although this doesn't really sound like the voice of reason, does it? "We’re supposed to represent each other. Like, I tell you I don’t think that you don’t know what you're talking about and you’re clutter braining everybody else and I tell Kier like you’re not helpful you're fake, blah blah blah, carry yourself a little better. I don’t like you as a person. That’s not a thing we should bring to the table with Diane." This might also be the episode when Brittany turned into the official Kristin Cavallari/Olivia Palermo/Spencer Pratt of the show. I cannot wait until the next episode when Jessica Joffe brings the hammer down on Brittany. (Brit v. J. Jof smackdown in DVF's house, who's the queen bee, now?!)


Feel free to poach clients. During the sales challenge, Amanda, finally showing some balls, decides to steal one of Lenore's customers -- Chief Marketing Officer Eran Cohen's adorable daughter -- right in front of Lenore's face. Granted, the two shouldn't have started arguing in front of the Cohens (retail 101, ladies), but Lenore was kicking everyone's ass in the competition and all's fair in love and reality shows. Even von Furstenberg is impressed with this show of sass, admiring that Amanda finally "fought for herself." (Side question: Can't Cohen just bring home free swag for his wife and daughter? Or employee-discounted dresses at least?)

Make time for family bonding. Staten Island native Lenore, who clearly has some retail experience ("We have something for everyone, so you’re in the perfect location!" she assures her first customer), wins the first challenge. She outsold all her fellow contestants, even that pilfering Amanda. "“I could have bet on that the first day I saw you," DVF nods approvingly. So Lenore wins some furlough time to meet her family at a Manhattan Italian restaurant (natch). Of course, her adorbs family is straight out of "Real Housewives of the Tristate Area," complete with Albie and Chris Manzo-doppelgangers for brothers. (And, yes, I know New Jersey is not Staten Island.) Lenore brings her family up to speed on her experience so far and proud dad gives a few words of encouragement. "You’re like Rocky," he says. "You’re gonna go the distance."

Dance it off. When Brittany starts relentlessly picking on Kier (and Amanda happily joins right in, ugh Amanda), Lenore (who isn't totally innocent either) tries to diffuse the situation with her smooth freestyle moves. Of course, only the camera crew and editors notice that this even happened, thankfully preserving this moment on video forever. Also, can we stop misusing the words "victimize" and "bullying" on reality shows, please? 

Regularly embrace fitness into our daily lives. So to sum it up, everyone's social media photo shoot ideas are meh (Kier's awkward luggage cart motif, Brittany's unimaginative lipstick application session and Amanda's inappropriately sexy boardroom scene). But, Lenore, who had her model (or Brittany's best friend Sammi, whatever), do yoga poses and triceps dips on a park bench and, as a piece de resistance, a majestic lunge on the hood of a car, won the hearts of DVF and her crew -- and the competition. "It’s fun. It could be a DVF ad," says DVF, as the rest of the girls swallowed their earlier disbelieving words... and their pride.

So, basically, Lenore won the episode. (Cue the high pitched scream -- and how have we not heard that before?) DVF was sated by her two earlier firings, so everyone's safe for now. Or until the next episode when they're partying in the Hamptons and some rando girl jumps in the pool wearing *gasp* a DVF dress. Oh, someone's getting a gift bag for sure.