The Upper East Side is all a-twitter over Lily’s impending sentencing for forging Serena’s signature on the affidavit, though the entire family spends the entire day obsessing instead over the Taschen Modern Royalty book, which the Rhodes women are being included in.  Big surprise:  the “Florida bohemian” half of the Rhodes family arrives, ostensibly to support Lily during these trying times, but everyone knows better, including a more devious than ever CeCe.  Chuck is also to be photographed,  initially singling representing the Bass name but he really yearns to put hotels and Eastern European trollops and Dan Humphrey in the past and finally claim Blair as his family.  Also present at the photo shoot:  Vanessa, for what reason, nobody is really sure—oh right, so they can claim she’s still a series regular; Epperly, returned from her yoga retreat in Bali with her belief in love renewed; and even stranger, Dr. Van der Woodsen, who spends the day skulking in corners and trying to piss off a caveman-esque Rufus.

 

It’s no surprise that the Rhodes women are considered “modern royalty”—or that the men in their lives aren’t included.  After all, the male halves seem to be rather fleeting.

CeCe, the glorious Rhodes matron, never disappoints (and looks better than ever!).  When she first appears, she descends to earth to greet her inferiors in a halo of Chanel light.


The fabric of her matching skirt and jacket suit looks positively celestial, with the interwoven silver strands, accented by the tasteful beading on the jacket lapel.  Pair it with the cream silk blouse and diamond and pearl earrings the size of doorknobs and you understand why the phrase “bow down, bitches,” was practically invented for Cecelia Rhodes.

When I’m CeCe’s advanced age, I can only hope I wear my still-blond hair long, with this much aplomb.

 

But what an ugly potato sack of a dress. The cut is just unflattering and that collar looks like it belongs on a set of tennis whites from the ‘70s.

The brooch is even a little dated, and the hair is even more so—taking CeCe all the way to matronly, which she didn’t even veer towards in a classic Chanel suit.  I much prefer her hair loose and soft, versus this overly styled, helmet of aquanet curls.

 

Oh no.  What have you done to our glorious goddess?  The color is the only good part of this sky blue blouse.  The fit is loose and bulky, making it look like her chest is falling to her knees—which might be true, but Cecelia Rhodes would never let anybody see that, especially if she knew she was going to be photographed for posterity.

 

Lily, despite nearly being sent up to the “big house,” is really the graceful, classy epitome of modern royalty—at least if you take her wardrobe.

She’s still enamored of neutrals, but she wears them so beautifully that it’s hard to hate on her for it.

The most color Lily dons all episode, this blush ruffle collar blouse is incredibly flattering, with just the right touch of youth.  Her accessories are flawless—the necklace is particular is gorgeous and is the perfect amount of edgy to go with the airy innocence of the blouse.

Even her reading glasses coordinate with the milky stones at her ears.  A consummate dresser, Lily either has a stylist on retainer or she was the born with the same heavenly power that CeCe still shows flashes of.

 

For the photo shoot, Lily continues to epitomize royalty in this black cocktail gown.

The simple, almost austere lines fit her body perfectly, and I love the edgy neckline.  Even more, I love her hair and makeup.

I might even go as far as to say she’s never looked more beautiful, which is appropriate considering the occasion she’s dressed for.  If you’re going to be immortalized as modern royalty, you might want to look the part.

 

I wanted to bitch about this gray wool drape dress that Lily wears to the second, much more impromptu photo shoot, but it’s hard when it flatters her so beautifully.

Rarely does one see an outfit on Gossip Girl and think, “wow that looks so comfortable!”  This does—and looks cozy, too.  But since this is Lily Rhodes Van der Woodsen Bass Humphrey, she glams it up with that intricate crystal beaded necklace and very simple makeup.

And don’t forget the killer snakeskin t-strap pumps.  A woman’s never fully dressed without stilettos.

 

Serena, the youngest generation of Rhodes women to be represented in the modern royalty portrait, struggles to understand the concept of “royalty”.

That’s the only conclusion I came come to after witnessing the above monstrosity.

That might be my grandmother’s afghan that used to lie on the back of her couch, and from the looks if it, Serena’s decided to fashion it into a cardigan that my grandfather would be proud to own.

Combine that with the most hideous shade of maroon leggings Serena could find, and you have an outfit that practically screams “royalty.”

Or not.

 

Really, it’s too bad Serena ever took her coat off, because it’s a massively significant improvement over the cardigan sweater-dress.

The patchwork tweeds are sharp and flattering, especially paired with the dark scarf and brown leather bag.

 

After that outfit, it’s hard to have any faith that Serena will be anything resembling presentable for the photo shoot.

And I’m shocked speechless.  Just when you think all the style genes in her body have been sucked out by hanging out so much in Brooklyn and with ex-cons, Serena pulls out a fairy tale ensemble that has me believing all over again.

Even the hair and makeup is a huge improvement over her regular, bedhead style.

The nearly-retro wave she’s sporting is very flattering and the makeup is even better.  She should go out like this all the time.  Well, maybe without the ten pounds of folded satin and ruffles sprouting out of her midsection.

That’s my only real complaint about this dress—it’s a little overly designed and the ruffle section seems like an afterthought to the rest of the gown.

I totally get where Eric Daman was going with the white fur stole, but unfortunately it pushes this whole outfit into costume-y territory.  She still looks beautiful but more like a caricature of what we could expect Serena might look like.

 

Oh, Serena.

You take two steps forward only to take ten back.  I’m afraid to break the news that your coat looks like it might be molding—or is it molting?  Hard to say.

Also, is that an ace bandage you’re wearing around your neck? Or maybe an old tube top you fashioned into a scarf?

However, it goes beautifully with those earrings that look straight out of an exhibit on the Russian royal jewels.

But then lookin at the whole sweater, I’m befuzzled, S.  Did you get into a fight with an evil cappuccino machine?  Did it claw your sweater to bits?  Fashion the neckline into a noose?  The color, however, is lovely on you.  That’s the one positive in a sea of bizarre choices and even stranger stylistic furbelows on this sweater.

 

After the beauty and style and wacky that is the Rhodes women, the Van der Woodsen men can’t help but be a raging disappointment.

I have to admit that Dr. William Van der Woodsen confuses the living hell out of me.

I was under the impression he was a billionaire doctor playboy—not a used car salesman who bathes in a vat of grease.

His clothes are ill-fitting and devoid of any style whatsoever.  I find it impossible to believe that he bought them anywhere other than Ross or JC Penny’s.  That shirt under the jacket is so unfortunate that I can’t even talk about it.

 

 

The suit he wears to the photo shoot is a vague improvement, but he still needs to lay off the pomade.

This…I can’t even talk about.  My grandfather wears an outfit extremely similar to this when we go to the lunch buffet at Sizzler.  William Van der Woodsen isn’t supposed to look like he even knows what a Sizzler is.

 

Sorry, Doctor, but I’ve got to give the W to Rufus, who we’ll analyze a bit later.  But I will add that he at least knows what a loafer is.  You, on the other hand, look like you wear socks with your Tevas.

 

Eric, Eric, Eric.  I wish that I could truly believe that you’ve traded in your entire snappy wardrobe for Rufus’ hand-me-down plaid shirts.  I know he was trying to save them from being turned into cleaning rags, but forcing them on your new stepson is taking it too far.

The best thing I can say is that it fits him well, and the colors aren’t unflattering, at least.

 

A bit less traditional on the coloration of the plaid—I like the red in this, but it’s still just a plaid shirt at the end of the day.

 

Even for the photo shoot, Eric keeps it horribly blah.  I find it difficult to believe that when you have the style of the Rhodes women at your disposal, the Van der Woodsen money to spend, and the lifestyle to make good fashion choices, this is what you choose.

Eric needs a Chuck Bass intervention STAT.

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