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16.1.15

#FashionPolice with Kathy Griffin: Don’t watch if you actually want to hear about fashion

A note to anyone tuning into the new version of E!’s “Fashion Police,” with Kathy Griffin replacing the late Joan Rivers as host: Don’t watch if you actually want to hear about fashion, writes Emily Yahr

Brad Goreski, Giuliana Rancic, Kathy Griffin and Kelly Osborne, Kathy Griffin, the new “Fashion Police” team.
(Brian Bowen Smith/E! Entertainment)
Griffin, known for happily heaving insults at anyone, treated her inaugural show — in which the panel critiqued the gowns from Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards — like a stand-up routine. It made for a slightly uncomfortable dynamic on Wednesday night’s premiere, as the rest of the crew (E!’s Giuliana Rancic, correspondent Kelly Osbourne and stylist Brad Goreski) seemed to patiently wait for Griffin to finish her joke; the laugh track to roar; and then attempt some actual fashion criticism.

Here’s how it works now: In Griffin’s world, anyone who has an amazing dress is just boring. Anyone who has a terrible dress? Jackpot. That gives her more material. Especially if it’s a celebrity that everyone loves and she can create controversy.

Case in point: Amal Clooney. Griffin had a field day scorching the human rights lawyer, also known as George Clooney’s new wife — probably because she figured it would make people angry, since Amal is widely adored.

Amal Clooney in Dior Haute Couture and those ghastly gloves
PIC: AP
“Yeah, she’s annoying,” Griffin announced as soon as a picture of Amal in her Dior gown came up on screen. “You heard me! Everybody run in fear.” She had this critique of Amal’s accessories: “I thought it was weird she had those gloves that remind me of, like, a porn scene, where the guy goes home and there’s the naughty dishwasher and she only has the gloves.”

Burn. Even though the panel agreed (Osbourne said the gloves belonged on “a vet helping a calf be born”) Griffin wasn’t finished.

“Like, she used those bovine insemination gloves to rake through her hair instead of a brush,” Griffin complained as as the camera showed Amal on the carpet sweeping back her hair. “But I’m fascinated how we’re like, not supposed to make fun of her because she married the great George Clooney. Look, everybody’s on the table, George! Nobody’s safe, nobody gets a pass.”

This is where Griffin differed from Rivers, who, of course, loved a vicious celebrity insult more than anyone and anything, including actual fashion expertise. But in her role on “Fashion Police,” Rivers didn’t explain the joke — she just let the harsh zingers fly. This time, it appeared Griffin was trying a little too hard to make some enemies, which she excitedly said before the show was the plan.

With lots of breezy makeup, minimal jewelry and loose hair, the Golden Globes opened the awards season with a red carpet chock-full of sparkly metallics, bright whites and dramatic reds. (AP)
Lupita Nyong'o in a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown
PIC: AP
With some, like Lupita Nyong’o dressed in purple Giambattista Valli Couture, Griffin appeared to barely glance at the gown.”Yawn, perfect again,” Griffin said, rolling her eyes at the starlet who wowed fashion critics on the red carpet last year. “I just think, yeah, it’s cool and it’s great and it’s beautiful, I’m just a little bored with how, kind of like, perfect … she is all the time.”

Actually, the panel wasn’t too wowed by Nyong’o’s dress, either. But Griffin wanted people to bring the crazy and was disappointed when they didn’t. She was similarly bored by Lena Dunham’s flattering Zac Posen (“I still kind of like her in the fluffy, kooky nutty stuff”). Griffin also denounced “Homeland” actress Claire Danes in Valentino (“I just think she’s a pill”) and teen singing sensation Lorde in a Narciso Rodriguez suit and crop top (“I would have put her the men’s section … I love going for Lorde because she is so humorless and she is so ridiculous.”)


What did she love? Dresses dangerously close to a wardrobe malfunction, such as Kate Hudson’s cut-out Atelier Versace and Jennifer Lopez’s plunging Zuhair Murad. Griffin dubbed them “One False Move” dresses and announced they’re the best because, really, everyone watching just hopes something will go horribly wrong. 

There were also several of Griffin’s R-rated jokes: When Goreski said Hudson’s frock was “the type of gown that can turn a gay man straight” and Rancic said it was a dress that makes men and women want to sleep with her, Griffin immediately demanded to know what sexual position each would prefer if that scenario played out in real life. (We cannot repeat the answers here, but both co-hosts gamely answered.)

So if you like celebrity insults and don’t really care about the fashion? This new edition of “Fashion Police,” which definitely puts the emphasis on controversy, might be the perfect show. In the beginning, Griffin paid tribute to her friend Rivers, and noted that she was inspired by insults of the past.


“Now, before I start making more enemies and burning more bridges, I just want to thank my good friend whom we all miss, Joan Rivers,” Griffin said. “So Joan, I know you are watching from heaven, but don’t get it twisted — I will not be afraid to bring the hammer down on anyone and everyone. I learned from the best.” - Washington Post 

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