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- Jill Zarin, Dina Manzo, friend and Sonja Tremont-Morgan
- LuAnn de Lesseps, RHNJ's Dina Manzo, Alex McCord, Jill Zarin, Sonja Tremont Morgan, friend and new RHNY housewife Cindy Barshop.
- Jill busting a move. Too bad Ramona wasn't there.
- Modeling the Skweeze Couture
- Jill's daughter Ali Shapiro in an Alice + Olivia dress.
- Johnny Weir is seriously everywhere!
- Jill tries to pass some line sheets to Dina Manzo
- Bobby Zarin and friends
- The scene
- Neglected cupcakes. They're cute though!
The Meatpacking District was Housewife central last night thanks to Jill Zarin, who launched her Skweez Couture line at club RdV. A bevy of Real Housewives of New York City cast members came out to support her—only crazy-eyes Ramona Singer and jellybean lover Kelly Bensimon were missing. (What does that mean?) We walked in expecting something along the lines of JWOWW's now defunct Filthy Couture (the constant abuse of the word "couture" confuses us), but after talking to Jill, we have to admit that Skweez is a pretty solid take on Spanx.
"The inspiration was myself and my daughter," explains Jill in a well-rehearsed marketing pitch. "We couldn't really find something sexy and comfortable that fit all our needs. I've been in the upholstery business for 20 years—before I retired—and I went back into the business with my partner Greg to try out hosiery. Together we formed an incredible collection of 25 looks, from leggings to corsets to bodysuits, everything, and it comes in five skin-tones, plus black, so it really covers the gamut of all ethnicities, which no one else has done. Our price point can be up to 20% lower than our competition. There are a lot of reversible styles, so you really get that two for one value. You can go out in your girdle and come home in your lingerie, if you know what I mean." Ah, there's Jill we know and love.
So what does Bobby think of getting a little Skweeze on?
"Ask him, he's here! Bobby! Boooobbbbby! Baby!" To us: "He's very talkative about it, actually." To Bobby: "What do you think of the line, baby?"
(Now try to imagine this scene with Bobby and Jill both talking to and over each other. Just like on the show.)
B: Sexy and gorgeous.
J: That's sexy. That's sexy!
B: She did something that's unique. First of all there's five different colors and she's thought of the men.
J: He knows my shpiel, I love it!
B: The first time women thought of the men.
J: Because he doesn't like me wearing that stuff.
B: When she crosses her legs, and instead of seeing a girdle, you see...
J: You're going to see lace.
B: You see lace. I love it, I love it. It works for me, works for me. How about this, you can wear that when we're renewing our vows?
The shivering models weren't the only ones vamping about in their Skweez. "Well, I'm wearing her bustier," the Countess LuAnn de Lesseps explained to us from her position ensconced in a plush VIP-area chair (putting us in the uncomfortable position of peering down her cleavage.) "This is her bustier, and it's comfortable and that's the most important thing." Asked if innerwear-as-outerwear is keeping it classy with the Countess, she schooled us with a steely gaze and succinctly said, "Well, bustiers can be very classy." We slunk away.
Along with LuAnn, Sonja Tremont-Morgan, former Real Housewife of New Jersey Dina Manzo, new New York Housewife Cindy Barshop (of vajazzling fame), and Silex were partying and posing for pics in the VIP room. But we all know who the real fashionista in the room was: Simon van Kempen.
"Well, I suppose for middle-aged men like me, one day we'll need to have a Skweeze for men," jokes Simon, looking unusually subdued in a black lean-fitting military-style sweater jacket with tails. "But I think it's awesome that women are not conforming to some stereotype that they need to be thin. Gotta look good and I would rather have a situation where you hold it in temporarily than go under the knife."
Interestingly enough, as Simon was talking, Jill walked by and gave Simon a friendly squeeze (skweez?) on the the shoulder and Bobby gave him an enthusiastic man-hug. So what's the deal with the delayed next season? We knew that the man sometimes known as the "Additional Housewife" would be the best to ask.
"You'll see conflict, you'll see drama, but it goes deeper than some of the conflict that you've seen in the past and look, does everyone come out at the end all rosy? No," Simon tells us. "And you know, you shouldn't assume that we're here tonight supporting Jill because we're best friends with Jill. But you'll see on the show that part of me really loves Jill, but part of me has a problem with her. But deep down we're all in this together and sometimes [you] keep a stiff upper lip. And you saw, Jill just walked by me and squeezed me on the shoulder. This season, when it eventually airs in April—April, May, June and July—no one who's seen it in the past will be at all disappointed."
With that, all the Housewives (and Johnny Weir) disappeared into the night, leaving us in a basement lounge drinking with an inordinate amount of guys in blazers, wondering if it was all a reality TV dream.
· Skweeze Couture [Official Site]