[Important note: This post is not sponsored/we were in no way compensated for running it. All opinions herein are our own. We just thought this was fun.]

Lisa Simpson is perfect just as she is. But after, what, 33 years spent mostly the same red dress, who among us would resist a temporary makeover? In this Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons, Smithers finally has a boyfriend, and he’s a fashion designer; when he meets Lisa at a barbecue, he pulls off a crafty redesign of Lisa’s dress using materials from around the yard, much in the vein of Project Runway. And who better to execute the redesign in real life than Project Runway winner, and now mentor, Christian Siriano? He’s made a career designing stuff for iconic women, and Lisa more than meets that bar. So when we were offered the chance to preview the dress, there’s no way in hell we were saying no. (Also, not for nothing, it’s scoring me cool points with the beans. During lockdown they became obsessed with The Simpsons and they still watch it pretty much every day, with Dylan — who went as Al Capone for Halloween — especially enamored of anything relating to Fat Tony, Sideshow Bob, Snake… wait, should I be worried?)

Anyway: The result, seen above, is so, so cute. That pattern, ostensibly borrowed from a tablecloth, is sketched such that it shares the chic edge of one of the fabrics from Christian’s Spring 2021 show, one of which we just saw on Alexandra Shipp. Our girl Lisa is au courant, now and forever. I like that he seems to have worked it into some pleats in the front, as contrast detail. Mostly, I like seeing Lisa feel special. Lisa has always been my favorite of The Simpson family. She’s smart, she’s musical, she’s a Renaissance kid, but she also still loves the lowbrow homicidal hijinks of Itchy & Scratchy. Think Elizabeth Wakefield’s brains, but none of her boringness. In the great Broadcast News, Peter Hawkes sneers at Holly Hunter, “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.” Holly’s Jane Craig replies, with sincere anguish, “No. It’s awful.” Lisa Simpson is also the smartest person in the room. And at times in Springfield, you’re sure she’s having that exact same conversation inside her head. But there’s a lot of love there, too. Lisa is brilliant without being above it all, smart but not smug, and she brings out everyone else’s better nature — even when they are hell-bent on resisting the notion that they even have one. So yay for you, Lisa Simpson. We choo-choo-choooose you. Oh, and Lisa, while I’ve got you: There isn’t a good anagram of Jeremy Irons that also describes him. (Or even a good one at all. The best I could do was Jersey Minor, Mr. Noisy Jeer, or Rejoin My Res, which sounds like an app you can use for when your friends cancel on dinner and then change their minds.) That man SET YOU UP with a trick question and you are VINDICATED.

Anyway, Christian got to cap the experience with an appearance as himself:


I wonder if he got to pick his own outfit. To have yourself immortalized in the Groeningverse… that’s a pinch-me moment, and a piano picture if ever there was one. Christian, if you don’t HAVE a piano, you might want to invest in one just so you can plonk this atop it. That is, assuming it’s not already hanging above the door of your atelier.

Just for fun, whom would you freshen up next, and what would you do? I wouldn’t change a hair on Marge’s head, but Christian could zhuzh her green tube dress. Michael Kors could make some sequins for Patty and Selma. Let’s get Groundskeeper Willie in some present-day Jared Leto style Gucci. Ned Flanders? Meet Tom Ford. (Don’t even try Disco Stu; he will have none of it.)

[Screen grabs courtesy of The Simpsons; “Portrait of a Lackey on Fire” airs this coming Sunday, November 21, at 8pm ET/PT on FOX]