The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns tonight with the premiere of season seven and, guys, I am excited. Much to my dismay, I’m the only resident HOF alpha female who watches Housewives, although I’ve had some limited success recruiting within our friend group. We all have our things that others might term “guilty pleasures,” and I’m certainly not above watching for the drama and the lifestyles of the rich and famous of it all, but, for me, the core of these shows has always been the depiction of female friendship. Our friendships with other women can be some of the most significant relationships in our lives, and I love watching these dynamics play out on-screen. Sometimes conflict between two Housewives is a simple matter of different friendship styles. Sometimes one Housewife is playing to the cameras when another thinks she’s being genuine. And some of these friendships span years and seasons, and I think it’s so interesting to see how they evolve. Honestly, I could write my dissertation on female friendship based on season three of The Real Housewives of New York alone. RHOBH has the added dynamic of two sisters in the cast which, as the youngest of three girls, I really appreciate, and might be partly why this city is one of my faves. Also, I can think of at least three examples from over the years of a Housewife coming across badly all season only for viewers to find out later she was going through a custody dispute or marital problems off-screen, which is a good reminder to try to reserve judgment because someone in your life might being going through a hard time that you don’t know about. The thing is, even if a medium is meant to be superficial, when real people are involved, it can’t help but capture real human moments.
In my excitement for the premiere, I thought what better way to get ready than to take a look back at the iconic first season of this franchise? Season one was a simpler time. Pre Brandi. No one had ever uttered the word “Munchausen’s.” We didn’t know yet how dark Taylor or Kim’s problems were, and we thought Adrienne and Paul were happy. We had no idea who Alene Too was (and still don’t, to be honest), and we’d never heard of “patting the puss.” Camille was quickly named the most hated Housewife in America (it was on a magazine cover!), although she looked great doing it. And it included my all-time favorite, most oft-quoted Housewives moment:
RHOBH is a flagship franchise, the best example of the aspirational wealth of it all – and the fashion, my god, the fashion. Now, after the first season of every city, the clothes and everyday outfits get more polished and the ladies look more put together, and while the same is true of Beverly Hills, these Wives had a much better grasp on what worked for them right out of the gate in season one. (Although it has to be said they are very attached to a hoop earring.)
Listen, 2016 has been rough. Things got dark. And no, life isn’t all diamonds and rosé. But it should be. So if you’re able to hit pause on real life for a moment, grab a glass of rosé (but not Whispering Angel, as loyal Bitch Sesh listeners know, we’ve turnt on them) and join me in taking a look back at my favorite ten looks from this iconic season of Housewives.
- Camille at the Tonys
Look at this.
Have you ever??
And from the back. That cut-out!
Camille shut it down with this red gown when she attended the Tonys with her soon-to-be ex, nominee Kelsey Grammer. I’m not very familiar with that red carpet so I did a little googling and, as suspected, this was an event-appropriate look, but would most likely stand out even for a nominee, let alone a date of. The lost footage specials that run at the end of many seasons are usually garbage, cutting-room-floor stuff, but I’m so glad I rewatched this one because Camille explains that Kelsey wanted her to wear another, more low-key option so she wouldn’t draw as much attention, and that’s why she chose the red even though it was raining that night. For the most part, S1 Camille was no treat, but I’m so proud of her for doing that. (And he got his understated date the next year, so don’t feel sorry for him.)
2) Taylor at Kennedy’s birthday tea party
I don’t love that Taylor used her 4-year-old daughter as an excuse to throw herself a lavish party, but I do love this simple print dress.
Sorry for the unflattering photo, but she was determined to pose on that table for her professional photographer (yes, really) and I was determined to show you the pink feather in her hat that just misses ruining the entire look.
And I feel bad that Kennedy didn’t want the attention, but I’m glad this closeup of her hiding her face behind Taylor’s skirt shows that gorgeous print in detail. Don’t you love?
3) Lisa at Mohamed’s dinner party
Shout-out to Mohamed Hadid, father of Gigi and Bella, for hosting this glam dinner for Lisa. I wish the velvet bodice detail on her gown showed more clearly in photos, because it was to die for.
If you look closely past RHOBH’s answer to Kato Kaelin, you can see there’s a bow on the back of her gown and you know I love a bow.
And look at the sheer back! I can’t, she looks so elegant yet modern and just rich (and I don’t mean price tag, but I’m guessing it was hefty). There are times when Lisa plays a little too into the British grande dame look, but this is definitely not one of them.
4 Adrienne at the Jay-Z concert
The interesting thing about Adrienne is that her taste often hews tacky even though her net worth over her lifetime has got to be the highest of all the ladies (but money can’t buy you class, right, Countess?). I always knew there was a taste-level issue there, but rewatching the season specifically for the fashion, I kept going, “oh, Adrienne.”
THIS, on the other hand, I love. That blue sparkly one-shoulder (and I’m only just now realizing how about a one-shoulder she was) is very Adrienne, but in a classy, almost restrained way.
Okay, yes, the shoulder pad is a little intense but I don’t mind it. I do mind the glitter extensions, though; let’s get another look at those:
Do you see what I mean? Taste. Level. Issue.