This week on our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things. They listened to their children demand gummy bears and then pulled them out of the refrigerator miraculously because, well, no one has ever once wanted to eat a cold gummy bear. They mourned the loss of their oldest and best daughters by replacing them with puppies. They said, “I love you” a lot. A real lot. Like, more than a giant bouquet of Valentine’s Day balloons that a man who got caught with an Ashley Madison account bought for his wife after his computer got hacked. More than a bunch of drunk sorority girls clutching one another as they tried not to barf on their too-short dresses. More than a bunch of straight dudes after seeing a midnight showing of The Big Lebowski at an Alamo Drafthouse. That’s how much they said, “I love you.”
At the beginning of the episode, our rich women are still in New York for Fashion Week and they are all going to the Malan Breton show to cheer on Camille’s daughter Mason, who is walking in her first fashion show. You may not remember, but Malan Breton is the same designer that Dorinda and John celebrated on The Real Housewives of New York when they had that party where Luann’s ex Ray showed up and Ramona got thrown out and Dorinda chased her into the street.
What you really might not realize is that Malan Breton, a man who looks like a cartoon child that is possessed by a devil and might eat the head off the family pet at any moment, is essentially my archnemesis. After that episode aired, I remembered Malan from Project Runway. When I went to his Wikipedia page to find out which season he was on, it wasn’t listed at all. Of course, being generous with the Real Housewives Institute’s extensive catalogue of knowledge, I added that he appeared on the show to his Wikipedia. Well, the next day it was removed. So I added it again. The next day it was removed, so I added it again. Repeatedly I added it and repeatedly it was deleted. This went on every day for months, until we finally reached a détente: In the furthest reaches of his Wikipedia page, under a section called “Awards,” it now reads, right between his Bulgarian Fashion Award and being named an ambassador for Taiwanese tourism, “Additionally he came in 14th in the third season of Project Runway.” I take it as a small victory.
But Breton is one of those weird fashion designers that we see on these shows who doesn’t seem to sell any actual clothes. There are a few $3,200 dresses on his website, but to even find out which stores sell his clothes you have to email someone through his website. That probably means they are sold exactly nowhere. So, how does he get the money to rent out a decommissioned battleship and put St. Camille Grammer’s daughter in a dress that looks like Scarlett O’Hara’s ball gown if it has been slowly molding in a barn since the Civil War? I have no idea. But he does, and he did, and they did, and now we’re talking about it, so Malan is sitting at home, stroking his cat, and wondering whether or not he’s hungry.
The best part of the show is that Camille’s daughter Mason actually thinks that she is going to get some of the pizza after the show. Ha! That pizza is not for the models. The pizza is for the fatsos doing the hair and makeup, taking the pictures, and otherwise allowing themselves to be doughy in their totally normal clothes. I also loved Breton’s main gay, who surveys one of Mason’s looks and says, “Popcorn and ice cream,” two foods that certainly didn’t evoke her look and that none of the women who touched their feet to that runway have enjoyed since their first menstrual cycle.
The much better party is the one at Kyle by Alene Too’s Upper East Side outpost, mostly because it contains the candy raver woodland sprite that is Matt Sarafa. He’s Kyle’s godson and, unlike Malan Breton, his connection to Project Runway Junior is in the second line of his bio on his website. He is proud to be on reality television. Matt looks like the love child of Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana and he is dressed absolutely perfectly at his trunk show at Kyle’s store, with a topknot, a shirt that says “Bad” on it, and a choker that looks like a surgical mask made out of diamonds. He is absolutely perfect and his multicolored fake fur coat looks so divine on Lisa Rinna that she should have snatched it up right there on the spot with some of those QVC dollars that she’s hoarding.
Bethenny Frankel also shows up to the party and she is looking so flawless these days that I kind of want to die. She’s wearing a white blazer and high-waisted beige pants and she just looks freaking amazing. Kyle tells her about this dumb fight with Lisa Vanderpump and Bethenny tries to clear the air by berating Lisa and trying to be confrontational about it. It has never been clearer how diametrically opposed the Real Housewives of New York and of Beverly Hills are than in that instant. The women of Beverly Hills do not just go headfirst into the problem and yell and scream about it. They have to be nice, gentle, and consider the feng shui of whatever room they’re in before getting started. It’s much more indirect and low-key. These are rich women doing things, not crazy impatient bitches haranguing each other.
Eventually, Bethenny says that Lisa’s apology was like a “Thank you, fuck you,” which is something that she said about Tinsley’s party for Sonja in the last season of The Real Housewives of New York. She’s trying to bring these women onto her level and they’re all like, “Thanks, we have it covered.” However, I would love to see Bethenny and Lisa go toe to toe on a season together. I think that Lisa would absolutely cream Bethenny, but that’s just me. Can’t we get them to unite and take on some charitable obligation and absolutely eradicate bubonic plague or dog abuse or something?
I’m still not entirely sure what the fight between Lisa, Kyle, and Dorit was all about. It is multipronged. Lisa is mad they were all talking shit about her, Kyle is mad that Dorit was talking shit and not being held accountable (but also mad at Lisa for not having her back and holding her to a different standard), and Dorit is just mad because she refuses to take the blame for anything. Lisa is totally right that the problem is that groups of three never work. No matter how hard you try, one person is always left out. I’ve been in a lot of threeways and this is absolutely right. But you can’t do four either, because then it’s just like two groups of two people pairing off. If you want to have good group sex, you need five at a minimum. The same is true of friendships. (Maybe? I don’t know. I’ve never tried that.)
Back in L.A., Teddi is surprisingly the most astute about the whole situation. She goes to hang with Lisa and tells her that Dorit makes everything worse because she won’t take accountability for her issues. She also tells Lisa that maybe she should apologize to Kyle for not having her back in New York. She tells Lisa not to make it about their relationship with Dorit, but just her relationship with Kyle.
Lisa takes Kyle out to lunch and does exactly that and all is fixed. When dealing with both Dorit during their hotel sit-down and Kyle at the restaurant, Lisa lets out these long, exhausted sighs whenever she has to deal with real emotions. It’s like, “God, what is wrong with these women? Why can’t they just get over it?” I think it came when Kyle pulled out her old chestnut, “You treat me to a different standard.” Finally, Lisa says what I’ve been shouting at my screen for weeks, which is that every friendship is different and every friend should be treated to different standards. Lisa makes it nicer and says that they are way closer and that is why they are harder on each other. But they clink glasses and all is forgiven for now. Thank God, because I really want to move past this.
This whole thing reminds me of that night of Kyle’s big party back in the Big Apple when all of the women were vamping in their fake furs around the store while Matt screamed, “Yaaaasss, mama!” and snapped his fingers in the air. Eileen Davidson was walking toward the store when she stopped a few yards short and opened the door to a black SUV that was idling on the corner.
“This is all that you’ll need,” a red-haired woman told her as Eileen settled into the seat and closed the door. Eileen took the small mechanical device with a green button in the middle and stared at it like it was going to give her an infection.
“I don’t know about this,” Eileen said. “These women are my friends. They really want me back.”
“No, they aren’t. No, they don’t,” the woman said. “This is the only way. They got rid of you. They kicked you out and this is the only thing that is going to make them listen. You go out there and you do this. Take back your power, take back what is rightfully yours.”
“I just want to go to the party,” Eileen said. “I just want to go on vacation and have them say nice things to me and invite me over to their houses and lend me their nice purses.”
“Listen,” the woman said, taking both of Eileen’s hands within her own. “I understand. I want that for you too. And I will invite you wherever you want. I have a party in the Hamptons every summer and you can come. Kathy Wakile will be there and Cindy Barshop. Sometimes Lynne Curtin comes if she can afford a plane ticket. And Jules Wainstein and Joyce Giraud. You remember Joyce? You took her place. These are all your friends. These are all your new friends. Now go. All of your new friends are counting on you.”
“All right, if you say so,” Eileen opened her small, spangly bag and dropped the device in. She opened the door and walked toward the store. The woman scooted to the other side of the car, still a little warm from Eileen’s body, and rolled down the window. Jill Zarin stared out of that small crack through the New York night, streaked with steam from some unknown source, to see the destruction that she hath wrought.