It’s Fashion Week on The Real Housewives of New York and that means that we will all be privy to exquisite beauty and unadulterated elegance and we will gain access to the elite of the elite and…I’m sorry, what’s that? Oh, Ramona Singer will be there? Then fuck elegance and class because all Fashion Week on this show really means is that it’s time once again to tread through the bargain basement of blonde muck, but we needn’t despair because once we emerge, we’ll be treated to a New Beginning.
And we’ll get to that New Beginning in just a bit, but first let’s wade in slowly and watch as Heather meets up with Carole – aka Sugar Bean – for drinks so that Carole can tell her how well she and Dorinda got along in London and how much they connected. And here’s why I can’t commit to disliking Heather: upon hearing that her close friend bonded deeply with another woman, Heather’s reaction is one of pure happiness. She’s not threatened that maybe now Carole will want to go over Dorinda’s house to play instead of stopping by Heather’s home. She’s not making any veiled and shitty comments against Dorinda. She’s just pleased that her dear friend’s trip was better because Dorinda was there. Imagine, if you double dog dare, what Ramona’s reaction would have been. First she’d probably bust out an abacus to use as a visual aid to explain how long she’s known each person. Then she’d mutter nonsense about how people everywhere – including on those islands where the natives still wear loincloths – are intimidated by her closeness with women and her staggering success and her book (my God, I still can’t believe this woman has a book). Lastly, she’d probably widen her cosmetically-enhanced eyes and tell whoever sat before her that people were whispering all kinds of terrible shit about them in the banquets of Beautique while they were gone.
Don’t worry; she’ll apologize for all of that tomorrow.
Since Carole missed Bethenny’s party, Heather tells her all about it, including how grossly Ramona behaved as she bellowed for handsome non-bartender cock across the bar, and Heather explains to Carole that Ramona “is on some trip” right now. Um, yeah…it’s an all-expense paid one-way trip to Lunaticsville. Ramona has been journeying there for some time and she’s already made sure that there will be porters ready to haul all of her baggage.
Heather and Carole bandy about reasons for why Ramona behaves the way that she does. “Is it that she doesn’t know how to be single?” wonders Carole – and that’s a decent question, but the actual answer is the one Heather offers: it’s just who she is. She is rude and unmannered and unfiltered and she exists in a society that has not punished her for her deplorable behavior but instead rewards her for it financially. And, as members of this society, we should all be a little fucking ashamed of ourselves, especially those who have bought her book or drink her Pinot or see her on the street and refrain from tossing chewed up gum into her hair. But maybe that’s just me being unfiltered. Where are my endorsements? The one consensus Carole and Heather arrive at is that Ramona needs to get laid. Personally, I think Ramona needs to be pummeled, but perhaps she can just have some very rough sex and combine the two.
Over in Sonja Central, a place with no actual mailing address, Bethenny arrives to help with a casting for models. Even Bethenny expresses that she is not the person to call when it comes to picking models to sashay down an imaginary runway wearing invisible clothing created by a delusional woman who today fancies herself a designer, but Bethenny is still game to help because she is a Real Housewife dammit and this kind of charade is just part of that life. Sonja arrives after Bethenny and makes no real mention of the fact that this meeting is taking place in a random and rented conference room and quickly changes the subject when Bethenny brings up that she was hoping she’d see the clothing in the collection – since at this point all of us have seen exactly one dress and that’s it – and I’m telling you that if Sonja could bottle her essence she should and she could call it Evasive Sonja and it would be sold in the way back corner of Sephora and it would always be on clearance and it would smell like desperation mixed with vodka and just a hint of patchouli-flavored lube.
Sonja claims she’s going to present her line at New York Fashion Week. Perhaps Marc Jacobs, her best friend forever, snagged her the tent next to his! I think it’s really sweet that he’s not worried about Sonja showing him up. Anyway, she’s looking for models that inhabit the look of her brand, which I guess means she’s looking for invisible models. Heather comes into the room next and she is also under the misguided notion that she will be helping to select the clothes for the runway show and now I feel like I am watching a ridiculously low-rent version of Citizen Kane where everybody is searching for the elusive Rosebud and nobody knows yet that it’s a fucking sled just like nobody will admit that these clothes don’t really exist. Could it be possible that the people who are billed as Sonja’s V.P.’s are actually just interns playing a role? Are they getting Theater credit?
The first model that walks in is willowy and fair and far too slim for Sonja who is looking for the fat girls who are usually in the Ralph Lauren ads. This chick is just way too Versace so she gets the boot before she can even pull on an imaginary pair of Sonja boots. Before the next lucky girl walks in, Sonja is told that she shouldn’t offer critiques in front of the model, but when Sonja was a model – in between running a PR firm and being named the Poet Laureate of the Upper East Side for a haiku she wrote about vibrators – critiques were said in front of her and so she will do the very same thing to these girls. She makes sure to explain to Heather why it’s fine to say a model is too skinny directly to her face and she has that discussion in front of the next model who just stands there looking uncomfortable and she doesn’t feel badly in the least because Sonja was taught that being ragingly inappropriate is an indication of success by a guy she once blew who took a class at Wharton.
Then a brunette walks into the room and it’s a eureka moment for Sonja who heralds the woman’s waist and her tits as the walking embodiment of a brand that she herself cannot seem to adequately describe. The models, she says, “need to look, walk, and breathe Sonja Morgan,” so I hope that the lucky ones who were hired were given a pamphlet as they left by her Pamphlet Intern that indicated how to properly open one’s legs and where in the city Plan B is sold and how cold water flowing from a faucet is actually a sign of being eccentric, not broke. And listen, I know that I’m being seriously mean right now, but this segment infuriated me almost beyond comprehension because it was a blustering moron inflicting her bullshit on actual people in the name of pretend art and I almost can no longer handle it and when Heather asked the very appropriate question as to where in a store the brand might reside – you know, like between BCBG and knock-off La Perla – nobody had an answer for her and Sonja sat there and nodded approvingly as her business partner insisted that Sonja is an island unto herself and it’s impossible to imagine where her clothing could fit in because no other brands are like her brand and that’s because all of those other brands actually exist.
Then it’s time for Ramona to meet up with Dorinda and she tells her a scintillating story about how a chicken dish at Cipriani led her to meet a man and maybe she’ll add that guy to the pile of men she’s allegedly not currently sleeping with. But a chicken-and-man story can only go on for so long, even when Ramona is telling it, and it’s time instead to talk about the trip to London and Ramona’s first question is, “How did you and Carole get along?” When Dorinda raves about Carole, Ramona’s response is, “She’s great one on one,” and that kind of comment really illustrates just who Ramona is, though she is kind in her dealings with Dorinda. She’s glad her friend is finding closure – I’m glad too – though the story of Dorinda’s boyfriend calling hotel security to pound on his girlfriend’s door because she forgot to call him sounds a little stalker-y. Since I think I like Dorinda, I’m just going to hope John is protective and not crazy.
Speaking of crazy, it’s time for Ramona to launch into her monologue about how it’s time for her to concentrate on herself because hers has been a life that has been spent being so selfless as she has concentrated only of the bliss of others. (Are these others that she’s allegedly been so kind to maybe wearing Sonja’s clothing and that’s why nobody can see them?) Then Ramona hits on the waiter who smiles because he’s already signed a release to appear on this show and now he’s just snagged himself another second of screen time and maybe this interaction with a crazy woman will finally yield him a S.A.G. card.
Kristen pops up next and I kind of forgot she was even on this show, but here she is and her nail polish line is being featured on the nails of the models at Tahari. Okay, so maybe I’ve never looked at the fingernails of the models on a runway, but that’s still a cool thing for Kristen and her new company. Heather shows up to meet up with Carole and Kristen and reveals that Sonja will shockingly not be showing at Lincoln Center but at The Carriage House and all three look both nervous and a little bit excited for what might easily become a trainwreck.
Over at Sonja’s show, backstage is mayhem. Her interns are running around clueless, probably because they spend most of their days tending to their drunken mistress’ hangovers, and Sonja is attempting to hold it all together. Thankfully she has thrown fashion shows since the day she turned fourteen – though lining up your Cabbage Patch Kids as you and your best friend Jenny parade down a teeny aisle in your bedroom wearing bras stuffed with Charmin doesn’t really count. Unfortunately, Sonja’s seventy interns can’t pull off what a pre-teen Sonja could and maybe adult Sonja could actually turn shit around if she spent more time actually doing things to solve the problems that are crashing down around her instead of yapping about how she does everythinglike the seating and the clothing and the hair and the logo and the alcohol and oh my God, Sonja! Shut. Up. My other suggestion (besides burning those spectacles that look like the kind of thing that Charlie Bucket’s grandpa wore) is to maybe hire actual professionals to plan a professional show instead of Raquelle, the Stylist Intern.
Dorinda shows up wearing pelts she skinned off some poor creature and explains that she really hopes that Sonja pulls it all off. Kristen, Carole, and Heather arrive and say nice things on the red carpet about Sonja. Luann and Bethenny are there too and the one thing all of these women have in common is that they have a look of undiluted panic on their faces buried beneath an expression of calm that they are clearly trying hard to maintain as they all know quite well that there’s a chance that Sonja might be humiliated in public in less than an hour. Now, it’s not like everyone loves Heather and it’s not as though Kristen has been recently anointed Everybody’s Favorite Housewife, but not one person has shown up to events thrown by either of them with a barely contained look of fear because mayhem might ensue. All of this trepidation? It’s because Sonja has presented herself like she’s a fucking disaster. Going in, I feel like I’m watching a political debate with someone who has been widely reported to be a total moron and the debate will actually be heralded as a grand success if the person can answer just one question without fainting or falling off the stage. Right now it doesn’t matter what comes down that runway. If it’s a person and that person is wearing clothing, the evening will be considered a success because the bar has been set just that low.
Before the maybe-carnage-starring-curvy-models begins, we get to find out that Ramona is having a New Beginnings party, a phrase I’m certain she has already trademarked, and my latent and almost dying love for Bethenny surged anew as she spoke snidely about what bullshit a party like that is for a woman who hasn’t changed one fucking iota since the day she got her period.
Backstage Sonja is freaking out because not one woman has a chignon and there’s total confusion and chaos because the show is supposed to start in three minutes and someone is in the wrong dress and the models look terrified and I can only imagine that they are not being paid for any of this but are maybe earning fake college credit.
But then the show begins and models file down a staircase and they are actually wearing clothes and the stuff is pretty and the women are styled well and it’s frankly shocking. Not everything goes so well, though. There’s a huge delay in between the model rotations and sure, it takes time to dress models, but I guarantee they all could have gotten back on that staircase and back down that runway far more quickly if they weren’t being held hostage backstage by Sonja as she rambled on and on about just about nothing. But as far as Sonja is concerned, everyone can wait. There’s a bar there! Plus, now there’s ample time for Bethenny to confront Ramona about how she heard a story from Heather where Heather said that Ramona said (good lord, I feel like I’m back in middle school – and seventh grade, not even eighth) that Bethenny cheated on her former husband. Ramona actually admits to saying such a thing even though, according to the woman whose vagina she’s talking about, it’s completely untrue and when Bethenny asks her why she would say such a thing, Ramona tosses her hair and turns away and starts instead thinking about what the favors should be for her New Beginnings party.
Can a certificate for a lobotomy fit into a gift bag?
On and on the delay goes, but I kind of don’t care anymore because it’s way more fun watching Bethenny confront Ramona about being a kleptomaniac monster who lies and then apologizes the next day. I might not always love Bethenny, but she’s articulate during a confrontation, she rarely raises her voice (unless it’s to tell Sonja to shut the fuck up, but really, who amongst us hasn’t screamed the very same thing to the television set?), and her arsenal of grievances against Ms. Singer are fired – bam! – one right after the other and this is a time I wish a verbal blow could actually lead to the spilling of some blood because to steal two dresses from someone is one thing but to announce that someone in the midst of a ridiculously contentious divorce is a cheater is another thing entirely.
Finally the second looks come down the staircase and Ramona’s reaction is this: “She did it! It’s like Sonja’s saying, ‘Hey, you bitch girls, I did it so stop picking on me!’” Once again, I think it’s pretty important to acknowledge that the reason nobody had that much confidence in Sonja is not because they’re all bitches but because the designer in question has no office, showed them no clothes, couldn’t answer what her brand stood for, and is rarely sober, so methinks “the bitch girls” had a point when they arrived at that show looking mildly terrified for a person who decided to be a designer in much the same way my niece once decided to be the future wife of one of those guys in One Direction. And finally down the runway comes Sonja and Ramona stands up and cheers because she is a true celebrator of women everywhere.
Next week everybody fights again at a brand new location. Full disclosure? I might be starting to really grow tired of all of this cyclical nonsense, so I’m going to nicely request that the person I watch this show with next week bring me some Gatorade and some orange slices so I can get my head back in the game. I’ll consider it a new beginning.