Posted May 31, 2012 @ 3:01 PM
I was super excited to see the show after visiting LLV (more below) and loving WNTW, but I ended up so disappointed with the show that I didn't make it through the second episode. I didn't like the multiple crying testimonials and the "Lee Lee changed my whole life!" message repetition, as it was way too heavy handed. Let the viewers arrive at the conclusion that she rocks; don't tell us that over and over and in a variety of ways. Yes, she's great at what she does and took a risk to open the place, but every big girl who enters is not an emotional project in need of rescue by LL. It feels very patronizing to me, in spite of the "yay, big is beautiful" message. I agree with other posters who felt the show was one big advertorial, with a lack of enticing plot lines. For example, the "will you be my model?" flattery was quickly diminished when we saw it was merely a casual photo shoot with amateurish results.
I have actually been to the store, so I can chime in with some insider info. (To help you assess, I'm a size 14/16 and about 5-8", so I'm on the smaller end of the plus size world and occasionally find that "regular" store clothes are a little too small -- especially in the bust area.)
When I was there, about two years ago, Jim did all the consulting with me, as LL was out. I actually thought he was much more knowledgeable than portrayed in the show. He immediately pulled several outfits for me that I tried on. The store, at least at that time, was a mix of LLV's designs (which is the bulk of what we saw last night) and some high-end name brands that one would see in Nordstrom Salon Z. The prices for everything are also Salon Z-ish, with a LLV wrap shirt running around $150. Jim brought me lots of designer jeans to try on, but none of them fit me well (my hips/rear were a little too small for them). I bought one of the infamous wrap dresses at $175-ish, a gorgeous cocktail dress (around $300), and one of the wrap shirts (which is actually made in silk or a silk blend). The wrap shirt is fantastic and is really a special item, well worth traveling to Brooklyn for (and paying that amount of $ for).
I really enjoyed the experience, as Jim was wonderful, patient, etc. and picked out a range of things for me to try on (including a maxi-dress, which I didn't like -- way too Mrs. Roper for me). It was hard to part with the $ I spent there, as I'm usually one to stalk TJ Maxx for my wardrobe at a much lower cost, but Jim gave me such a customized and personal experience that it made me feel happy to support a small boutique store like that while I was in the NYC area.
All that said, I didn't feel like my experience meshed with what I saw on TV. While I would say it was fun for me to be in a place with so many options for someone my size, I wouldn't say it was something that I would describe as "life changing." It was a good time, I dropped a few hundred that I really shouldn't have, and I still love my purchases. Although that wouldn't have made for crazy good TV, I don't think what we saw last night was good TV, either. I think they're going to have to rethink how they shoot the show and develop some great plot lines, or this show may not last long. (Even the Kardashians could only shoot so much footage in DASH before they branched out to other topics/venues!)