Notes From Sundance

01.25.11

Joe Zee Loves Utah’s Messy Look

The always polished creative director of Elle shares his fashion must-haves at Sundance.
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Joe Zee and the Sundance Channel’s Executive Vice President & General Manager, Sarah Barnett (John Parra / Getty Images)

The abundance of work boots, muddy jeans, and bed-head-gone-wild coifs at Sundance are a fashionista’s nightmare. Cue Tim Gunn: Everyone looks so dirty!

But Elle creative director Joe Zee (The City, Stylista), whose new fashion reality show All On The Line debuts March 29 on the Sundance Channel, revels in the festival’s sartorial dishevelment.

“Oh, I love it!” Zee told us the other day, looking and sounding remarkably energetic for a man who’d finished wrapping his show the night before, gotten an hour of sleep, and just flown in from New York.

“I was actually just interviewing Amy Ryan yesterday, and I said, what I love about Sundance is it’s the only place you can go to and have no pressure to dress up. You’re never underdressed. I think I tweeted that last night. You can roll out of bed and wear the same thing every day, and you’d be fine here.”

Asked what three items he still had to have in his suitcase, Zee said: “The boots, the puffer jacket, and a pair of solid jeans.”

He was wearing (along with solid-looking jeans and a navy pullover) a pair of Red Wing boots. “I got them at J Crew.”

His face fell ever so slightly. “But, you know, I think everyone here is rocking Sorels. I tweeted that yesterday, saying that Sorels are the new Uggs, and I must have gotten hundreds of hundreds of responses.”

Zee admits his addiction to Twitter, where he has about 63,000 followers. “I guess I have too much to say. For me, it’s not a conscious thing. I love talking to people, I love answering questions.”

Does he have a goal for number of followers?

“You mean, when does it stop before people become annoyed by me?” He laughed. “I don’t know.”

Fans are still eager to follow his every fashionable move.

Based on a recent tweet saying “I’m done with the snow,” it appears Zee has packed up his winter-weather essentials and headed to sunny California, where a pair of Red Wings isn’t required to cross the street.