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.
5 and 6) Kyle and Lisa at the La Cage Aux Folles premiere
These bitches love jackets and, as it happens, so do I.
This is, hands down, the Housewives friendship that I am most invested in. All I want from any season of RHOBH is Kyle and Lisa as ride-or-die besties who always have each other’s backs. The last couple of seasons have been good for them, and I hope that continues this year.
Let’s talk about Lisa first:
This dress is so glam but let’s be honest, the look is really made by the jacket, described by one of my friends as Jackie Kennedy with a touch of Elizabeth Taylor, which you just know Lisa would be thrilled by (as am I).
Bless the editors for including this shot during the getting-ready montage.
And here’s Kyle trying on her look at the designer’s studio:
What ever happened to Christina Makowsky? (The alternate title for this post.) You’ll have to tell me seriously in the comments how you feel about this look because I’m not objective about Kyle, jackets, or black and white. Is it a love or is it a how many chickens had to die so she could look that stupid?
7) Taylor at the Roaring Twenties party
Taylor has never met a sidewalk she didn’t strut down like a catwalk but this look deserved it. Theme parties can be hit or miss but I love this from head to toe to bold lip.
And I have good news – going by the season seven trailer, there’s going to be another twenties-themed party, I’m already so hyped.
8) Kyle’s green interview top and earrings
I wanted to include at least one more everyday outfit and, as a brunette who looks good in green, I really feel this look. I love these earrings; she wears them as contrast with other looks (see: La Cage Aux Folles premiere) but I’m very into the matching here.
Speaking of accessories:
My head tells me not to, but I love Kyle’s signature ring. I believe she had one of her late mother’s diamonds reset in a new design, and I’ve always really liked that idea (my grandmother did something similar with the diamond from her engagement ring after my grandfather passed away). Let me know in the comments if I’m crazy or if you love it too.
9) Camille’s title card look
Do you love?
Because I do. I love how structured it is, yet feminine. I love the asymmetry, the flair.
And it works perfectly here. Camille’s taste runs expensive, classic and, let’s be honest, safe – so, naturally, I respond well to it – but it’s generally the right side of safe. This could be called an LBD, but it’s so interesting to look at. And I’m glad that she found a way to incorporate this look into the show after deciding to wear the more dramatic red to the Tonys instead.
10) Taylor’s pink gown at Mohamed’s dinner party
This is actually the look that launched this post. I accidentally rewatched this season one weekend, as you do, and when I saw this gown I thought to myself how I’ve always loved it and then the idea came from there. On closer examination, I do think the butterfly broach looks cheap, but this shade of pink and these tiers, I just love.
And from the back, too, I just can’t get over it.
There are my ten favorite looks, but no look back at season one would be complete without mention of the Dinner Party From Hell. Camille told the ladies to wear “cocktail attire,” which I would just very much like you to keep in mind as you look at this first photo:
Cocktail. Attire. Okay, let’s go left to right. Camille, who I wasn’t able to get fully in frame, is wearing an adorable Chloe LBD. Her makeup artist and best friend D.D. looks cute as hell in white sparkles. And D.D. really is an unsung hero of this season, you guys, as basically a paid companion for Camille, she always looks great but in a low-key way so as not to outshine. She’s like the petite Judy Greer to Camille’s Jennifer Aniston. Or Katherine Heigl. Or Jennifer Lopez. You get the idea, and also people don’t talk about Judy Greer enough.
But the psychic, you guys. Okay, so this is Camille’s friend Allison DuBois and, yes, the show Medium with Patricia Arquette was based on her, but she’s off the clock. It’s a girls’ night. She’s not here to work. But listen, maybe I need her services because that chunky sweater haunts me. (I can’t even discuss the electronic cigarette.) She wore khakis. Is this the world we live in, where the friend Camille chose to be her second in this fight with Kyle showed up in khakis? I will never be over those khakis. Cocktail attire, you guys. Cocktail attire.
For contrast, this is Kyle’s squad arriving in, you know, actual cocktail attire.
Now, you may have noticed that Kim is absent from the top ten looks. I tried, guys. I really tried to represent everyone, but I couldn’t find a Kim look to include. The problem is that her outfits throughout the season just seem a little cheap to me. Even this dress, which I’ve always liked on her, is a little softer side of Sears for this crowd, you know?
The morally corrupt Faye Resnick, looking absolutely lovely. In cocktail attire.
Did your favorite looks make the list? Do you have faves from other seasons? Are you as hyped for this twenties-themed party as I am? Let us know in the comments!