Episode Synopsis: And on the eighth day, God created the Ivy League. The Battle of New Haven commences as S and B slug it out for plum spots at Yale, complete with an Audrey Hepburn dream sequence. Elsewhere, Chuck hunts down the elusive Skull and Bones and claims Dan is Nate, which gets even more confusing when Nate claims to be Dan in order to chase some Connecticut tail. Back in the Big Apple, Vanessa and Jenny form an unholy alliance to keep J in work at Eleanor Waldorf’s Little Sweatshop of Horrors, and Rufus makes inappropriate googly eyes at Lily’s van der Woodsens. Let’s roll on with the show...
“The rain...in Spain...stays mainly...in the...plain?”
Leighton Meester’s dulcet Cockney tones grate on the ear just as her outfit does on the eye. I know she’s supposed to be Audrey in the guise of a poor London flower seller, but couldn’t Eliza Doolittle have picked clothes that don’t look like they came out of the gutter along with her accent?
Luckily, Dream!Serena is here to show us how it’s done.
Blair clearly has no illusions about her frenemy even in her sleep, Serena’s costume from the same movie is skin tight with cleavage cut down to there, accessorised with glossy red lipstick. Audrey claimed she could have danced all night; not sure what Serena has planned for the evening...
Luckily, even Blair’s unsweetened dreams come complete with glamorous nightwear. I’m not sure how well a halter-neck would work in bed, but the rich royal blue ruffles and, of course, mandatory black silk sleep mask just scream attendee at the Dean of Yale’s private reception. No? No one else getting that?
In order to ensure her success, Blair dons a dowdy Annie Hall outfit which makes her really fit in at Yale – as part of the foliage. A sludgy green and grey cardigan tops a mustard coloured shirt (with accordion pleats, ack!) and multi-hued camo coloured tie. Her purse is dark green, boxy, and looks like untreated crocodile hide. Bad form, B.
Serena’s purse is eerily similar, though her outfit is miles away sartorially speaking. Her prime assets are on parade in a tucked white tee, paired with slim cut jeans and the knee high boots she so favoured in season one. The pièce de résistance, however, comes in the form of that wonderful blazer: ivory and with a stylishly high colour, vertical purple stripes match a purple and gold crest worthy of her long-legged lineage.
S both wins and loses at the dean’s reception. This little number does wonders showcasing a golden and glowing décolleté and, at almost knee length, it’s positively conservative for Serena. However, the khaki colour doesn't fit with white and black, and the cut of the dress is just plain boring. Dare I say she’s a little underdressed for such an auspicious occasion?
Woah, woah, woah – I take it all back. Since Blair’s dressed as a hedge this epi, Serena can do no wrong.
B’s green dress is certainly appropriate for the evening, but then she adds an enormous cardigan and swamps her figure completely. The topper on this Christmas tree of a disaster is a lavender headband, where the bow overwhelms Blair’s simple hairstyle and clashes with the rest of the ensemble. Someone’s getting coal in their Falke stockings this year...
Voila, some colour! Only now Blair’s not a hedge...she’s a popsicle. The same three colours of white, grey and blue run throughout the outfit, but the clashing patterns on the shirt alone are too busy and her shoes are clompy and match neither icky skirt nor poorly fitting top. God knows what she was thinking when it came to accessories – her scarf and hat appear to have been chosen in the dark.
Finally, Serena brings it home, a vision in a white sweater dress with a light pattern of runs. She suffers from the Gossip Girl Curse of the White Tights, yes, but these are sheer and almost sparkly, so I can’t hate them for too long.
Caught between Princess Rock and Queen Hard Place is Dean Berube, a stereotypical dean with neat grey hair, pants up to his armpits and suits in varying shades of dull and blah. He is naturally charmed by Serena, underestimates Blair and is scathing of Dan.
That sums up the whole season, really.
The Alfred to the Dean’s Batman is Shirley, a secretary who loves cats so much that they dominate her décor and dress sense. What would you call that colour, Russian Blue? Silver Tabby? Either way, she’s WASP-tastic in a tie-neck shirt and skirt suit, accessorised with a knitted brooch which actually looks less cat, more raccoon.