While working on her dress for the Grand Galloping Gala, Rarity gets a visit from Twilight Sparkle and Applejack who present what they will be wearing. Shocked at how simple their ideas are, Rarity ends up generously deciding to make all of the girls new dresses for the Gala. After a lot of hard work, Rarity makes a set of beautiful dresses, but as none of them are exactly what the girls want, they dislike them. Rarity, stunned, nevertheless agrees to make new dresses that are exactly what they want, but soon is thrown for a loop at how Twilight insists on hers being astronomically correct, Applejack wanting a tacky one, Fluttershy nitpicking every detail, Pinkie Pie being indecisive, and Rainbow Dash being indifferent. She ends up making dresses that are horrible but what the girls want. Unfortunately, Spike and the girls arranged for a fashion show with a big-name designer, Hoity Toity, to show them off to him and the rest of the ponies in Ponyville. On seeing the outrageous dresses, Rarity is disgraced and made a public laughingstock. As Rarity sinks into depression, the girls realize they “overdid it” and, to make amends, not only finish Rarity’s own dress but put on her original designs for a second fashion show to Hoity Toity, who loves them this time and decides to feature her work in his biggest Canterlot store. Twilight writes to Celestia that Rarity learned if she tries to please all she’ll please none, and she herself learned “not to look a gift horse in the mouth”.
If you asked me two years ago if I would ever become a brony, I’d say you were insane…but the one thing I definitely never pictured was that the most “stereotypically girly” character of the show, Rarity, would become my favorite character. All of her episodes just seem so well-written and grounded in reality. Most of her concerns are over plausible problems and she’s so delightfully over the top during her “drama queen” bits that she’s hilarious.
There’s just so many funny moments in this episode all around it’s too much. (PINKIE PIE: “She’ll become a crazy cat pony!” TWILIGHT SPARKLE: “She only has one cat.” PINKIE PIE: “Give her time…”) The song may not be the best in the series, but Ingram, to me, never really came up with a “bad” song…at least, not for the first two seasons before it seemed like they were trying to get songs out of him for no reason that didn’t fit. It furthers the arc with the Grand Galloping Gala and really helps Rarity develop as a character herself, as well as shows off her “generous” nature.
Although Lauren Faust didn’t write this episode, she provided the concept art for the girls’ dresses and she did a fantastic job. I love how Pinkie Pie’s dress makes her look like a “candyman”(candy pony?), how Fluttershy’s ribbons for her shoes are like green vines, how Rarity’s own dress makes her look like a princess, and how Rainbow Dash’s dress makes her look like an Olympian. Even the “mane styles” are great. It’s infinitely better than the base stuff they wore in “Equestria Girls”…which is kind of funny considering the fact ponies don’t wear clothes and yet they dress better than humans…
About the only beef I have with this episode is a minor one…namely how something seems to magically hit the girls with common sense in the middle of the fashion show and they realize Rarity’s original dresses were perfect and their current ones are too tacky even for Halloween costumes. There’s also not a whole lot of action. In terms of setting, this might be the most limited episode in the entire series, taking place entirely around and inside Rarity’s boutique.
However, with lots of background “firsts” and entertaining moments, this “kicked off” a strong run of episodes that wrapped up the second half of Season One.
First appearance of Rarity’s pet cat, Opalescence. She’s pretty much a stereotypical snooty cat, but she’s a lot less vicious than Angel Bunny. Plus she has good reason to be annoyed at Rarity in this episode.
This episode continues the story begun in “The Ticket Master” involving the “Grand Galloping Gala”, although it’s primarily the first episode where Rarity is the focus.
Another song debuted here, “Art of the Dress”…and, technically, “Art of the Dress (Reprise)”. It may not be the more favored song in the series, but it’s another hit in my opinion.
Although Rarity’s forte is dress-making, this episode reveals that Fluttershy is no slouch herself, able to make a number of valid critiques of her own dress and ending up directing the others to complete Rarity’s.
This episode was the origin of one of the series’ most infamous memes. When Rarity asks Rainbow Dash for her input, all she can say is the dress “needs to be about 20% cooler”. “20% Cooler” is now one of the most famous catch phrases from the show.
Derpy still isn’t wall-eyed.
First appearance of another popular background pony: DJ-Pon-3 AKA Vinyl Scratch. Initially I thought she was a guy with the sunglasses, but you can see a “mare’s eyelashes” behind them. The shot of her starting up a turntable is an iconic scene for the entire series.
Also, Rarity’s first of her iconic drama queen breakdowns. This one features her in a robe refusing to leave her bedroom.
3.5 Stars out of 5