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New York retail has filled reality TV's gaping need for backdrops (Real Housewives, Project Runway, The City), plot twists (ditto), and thinly veiled excuses for real work (hello, Kardashians), but rarely does a show spend all of its creative energy documenting life in a single store. Lately, though, we've been hearing more about reality TV based on local boutiques. The soon-to-air Thrift Wars will feature shops like Beacon's Closet, while Stacy London's rumored new TLC show will center on Lisa and Jim Dolan's plus-size shop Lee Lee's Valise. In honor of them both, let's revisit five shows that call New York retail home.
1. Say Yes to the Dress
Like most bridal shows, Say Yes to the Dress hinges on the emotional ledge all engaged women climb up on (evidently) and is best viewed in secret, only accompanied by ice cream and your shame. Unlike most bridal shows, it's based on Kleinfeld. This means you can look forward to the New York bridal staple's display of couture designs at a myriad of price-points on pretty much anyone who walks through the door. Check out one bride's effort to include her fiancé, Bob, in the dress shopping by bringing a cardboard cut-out of his face along with her. The nod to "Silent Bob" is so far from everything Kleinfeld stands for that we couldn't resist.
2. Fashion Hunters
Whether the staff at Second Time Around is dealing with angry ladies dressed in pastels or waxing poetic on a socialite's Manolo Blahnik collection ("It's the quintessential New York shoe"), Fashion Hunters is just as interested in the species of consumers the city is known for as it is about the designers they are after. Enjoy the store owner's encounter with a costume designer and her surprising goods in the video below.
3. NY Ink
The Kardashians' shop Dash might get more attention, but neighbor Wooster St. Social Club is a reality star in its own right thanks to NY Ink. The show features a reality star from another reality show, Miama Ink, tatting up still other reality personalities like Angelina from Jersey Shore, Tila Tequila, that guy from the Cake Boss. Watch the meta-reality inking in action below.
The Discovery Channel has been known to put out strange but highly addictive shows, and the one centered on a Manhattan artifacts shop follows suit. Oddities tracks aficionados of all things weird at Obscura Antiques & Oddities, a curiosity shop dealing in pickled pigs, dinosaur feces, and too many skulls to count.
5. Dresscue Me
With Shareen Mitchell at the helm, Dresscue Me regales viewers with the trials, the tribulations, and the fabulousness of owning a cult vintage store in LA and NYC. In one clip, Cat Deeley says, "Shareen is like Fight Club. You do not tell any body about it because it's like this little secret." Your secret might be blown, Cat, but there's still hope: The show airs on Planet Green, which has kept it in relative secrecy compared to anything on TLC or the best bad TV mecca, Bravo.
· Fifteen New York Stores with Reality TV Links [Racked NY]