So Chic, Very Chic: A Clockwork Orange Spray Tan

So Chic, Very Chic: A Clockwork Orange Spray Tan

BYJoan SummersJan 12, 2024

This is So Chic, Very Chic, PAPER’s examination of Bravo’s sprawling cohort of fashion obsessives. From haute couture to TJ Maxx, they’ve literally worn it all. Sometimes they stunt, sometimes they turn the look, and sometimes they burn holes in retinas my ophthalmologist says might never heal.

My middle school graduation, if it can be called that, happened on the lawn of a football field. I know I’m stating that like it's a revelatory place for a middle school graduation to happen, but it’s important to this tale of spray tans and grass stains.

At one point, the richer of the rich girls showed up with a spray tan that was comically orange, which I pointed out to the only other gay kids at our school from the absolute back of the assembled mass of students. I had nothing against her, of course, but she hoarded the good seats at lunch for “cheerleaders only,” which was annoying, because they were in the sun and near some flowers that smelled nice. I thought it was interesting, at the time, that she chose to wear a cream Betsey Johnson tutu dress, mostly because of the spray tan and grass. It didn’t help she also paired it with what could have been little white Bebe pumps.

Eventually we sat, and they started to call our names. I was a few kids behind her in the lineup with another friend of mine, and, as we watched her take the diploma, my friend bent over and stifled a laugh. They grabbed my waist as they came up from their sudden fit, and whispered in my ear, snickering: “She looks like a CARROT!” My eyes widened at this, and I gave her one last up-down before she tottered offstage. There, all along the outside of her dress, was orange residue from her recent spray tan. Her poor white shoes, meanwhile, had been stained green by the freshly mowed lawn.

We laughed again, if just for a second. It wasn’t very nice, obviously, but she did look like a carrot. I thought about her often during last night’s The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Good god, do the women of Utah look like carrots under the harsh studio lights! We should investigate the spray tan salons of Park City; Reality Von (Spray)tan, if you will.

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Whitney Rose, Meredith Marks, Reality Von (Tea)se

I’m getting emotional, thinking that this will be the last time we talk about RHOSLC until later this year. As I expected of these women, they can certainly bring the drama — but they never quite carry their fashions over the finish line. Whitney and Meredith in particular look comically over-tanned in the studio lights. I get the appeal of bronzing up before the reunion, but let’s try and color match with our outfits.

As it is, Whitney looks like a mermaid that’s been caught in a fishing net off Trash Island, somewhere in the Pacific. I quite like her high ponytail, but wish she’d kept a few tendrils out to ward off the traction alopecia. As a fellow square-hairlined sister, let’s think about our futures! Meredith, meanwhile, looks like an evil executive in Westworld who takes over after the fifteenth robot revolution. I’d also like to draw attention to the metal ring used to create some dimension in the drape of her dress. This is a motif we’re going to see everywhere today, so brace yourselves.

Monica, meanwhile, looks like a contestant in a Miss America pageant who got lost on the way to the changing room and accidentally ended up on this ridiculous-looking soundstage. The dress isn’t bad, and neither is the color. It’s just incredibly apparent, all things considered, that she doesn’t quite belong here. (Although, the devil in me would argue she belongs here just as much as the rest of these social media-obsessed glamazons.)

That said, she’s the best dressed on that couch by a good few miles.

Heather Gay, Lisa Barlow, Angie Katsanevas

I literally started to tear up over Angie. That’s my sister for life! I’m going to miss her dearly while she’s away from us. The dress is nothing to write home about, and the cutaway on the side looks unintentional, like her dress couldn’t contain that much personality. I also want to applaud her not-gay husband — who seems perfectly nice, for the record — on her hair today. She’s literally never looked hotter.

Lisa’s in Tom Ford, a likely place for the self-styled King of Chic to end up. He should cast her in his next movie: “A Single Nocturnal Baby Gorgeous.” There’s those metal hoops again, all down her bust, but I mind them less here! The dress is beautifully fit and the color pops against her overly bronzed up skin. As for Heather, though, it’s funny she’s sat opposite of Monica, considering she bought her dress from the same prom shop. Birds of a feather, I say!

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Dorit Kemsley

I watched this TikTok the other day from a self-described fashion influencer who told followers to pin a Chanel brooch on less expensive clothing to make others think it’s all Chanel. I thought about Dorit for most of the video, considering she does essentially the same thing. Here she is pretending to be an active Versace customer. God bless her heart! Were it not for her alleged budgetary restrictions this season — rented jewelry, her lack of blonde hair — I might actually believe her!

Here she is with her therapist. I just wanted to point out that her therapist is in red bottoms, which I found delightful. Imagine that, a therapist who makes house calls to the Valley in red bottoms! There’s no place like California, is there?

Morgan Wade

Here’s Morgan Wade, who tabloids are convinced is stuck in some convoluted affair with Kyle Richards. I’m not going to make fun of her or the event she’s singing at, since it was for a mental health organization, which is a noble cause. Mostly, I want to discuss her in the context of this next photo below.

Kyle Richards

Here is Kyle Richards, dressed not at all like Morgan Wade, filming her perform for an audience of nobody. I don’t quite know what about this shot tickled me so much when I first saw it, but I’m still laughing! Her pose, the iPhone in her hands, the gremlin known as Teddi Mellencamp lurking in the shadows behind her. After 13 years on television, Miss Richards still tickles me to no end.

Crystal Kung Minkoff, an Esophageal Investigator, Garcelle Beauvais

Annemarie, sat between Crystal and Garcelle, has chosen Sutton’s esophageal issues as her storyline this season. I’m not quite sure what the endgame is for Annemarie, because esophageal issues are neither entertaining or glamorous. Those are the two things that need to be in moderate alchemical harmony for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to function. Sadly, she appears to lack the reality television chops to wrap her head around that formula. Or, she’s a supremely weird individual with even weirder nursing habits. I haven’t decided which is worse.

Conversely, this is the best Garcelle has looked all season. The fit of the suit is impeccable and her glam is sublime. I don’t even mind her peek-a-boo bustier! Crystal, likewise, has on a perfectly serviceable velvet suit in a perfectly serviceable color. Her glam makes the outfit, although the hoop earrings are much too big. I’m not opposed to big hoops by any means! Just these ones.

Real Housewives of Miami

Larsa Pippen 1.0

Boo! Jump scare! I bet nobody expected to see Larsa’s original-flavor face in a fashion roundup of The Real Housewives. Well, here she is, in a tank top and mall jewelry. Just like Kim Kardashian first found her!

Larsa Pippen 3.0

Boo again! Here’s Larsa and her heaving bosom one last time today. The more things change, the more they change, even if the clothes still stay the same. It’s funny how little impact she’s made this season on RHOM, considering she’s trotted out Michael Jordan’s son for a storyline. If we’re all being real though, it’s because I spend most of the time she’s talking trying to differentiate different parts of her face from her mouth, considering these lipstick and foundation shades are essentially the same color.

Marysol Patton

Here goes Marysol and her appliqués again. She loves to style herself as the crème de la crème of Miami hostesses, and she’s probably right. I just can’t get past how hard she tries to convince the audience of the fact, what with all her statement brooches and Chanel jewelry and oversized shoulder growths. Stop trying to make "cockies" happen, Marysol! The gays have moved on to greener pastures, and so should this dress.

Lisa Hochstein

Speaking of flower appliqués, I’d like to highlight the best she’s looked all season — maybe ever, actually! I love how silly this dress looks. I love the choker and the PVC straps across her chest. I love how much blush she’s shellacked on, and I even love these honey blonde extensions! This is what I want my rich bitches to look like.

I also giggled at the dress she wore to open her son’s first bank account. She’s oftentimes like a character out of my imagination, and I lay awake wondering if I’ve dreamed her up in my sleep.

Southern Hospitality

Grace Lilly

I unfortunately had to take the week off from Southern Hospitality last week. It’s a shame, considering Grace here hosted the “Met Gala of Charleston,” in which she and her friends dressed in fairytale costumes off Amazon and had a BBQ in the woods. Here she is arriving by boat as a “wavy baby.” Has there ever been a person who represents PLUR more than Grace Lilly? She’s like a sentient molly pill.

Maddi Reese

It’s nice to check in on the working class members of Bravo’s lineup, if only to what’s on sale at Zara and H&M these days. Here’s Maddi with the tag on her jeans exposed, a cut-out bodysuit and a pastel knit sweater-let. (That’s what I’m calling these shoulder shrugs nowadays.) I couldn’t ID the sunglasses from this angle, but they’re obviously imitation Versace. No disrespect, of course! I own imitation Celine.

Emmy Sharrett

The cast of Southern Hospitality are forced to wear uniforms like the original seasons of Vanderpump Rules, which is delightful. This week, there was a mixup on the schedule, and Maddi told the bottle girls the wrong color to wear for Thursday shift at Charleston’s hottest nightclub. I’m glad Emmy had to change in the end, as the coral monstrosity her boss passes off as a “uniform” should be crucified in the town square for its crimes against nightlife.

Some Guy, Leva Bonaparte, Some Lady

Here’s the bosses in question. I can’t remember the name of the one in red, since she’s new and not actually a cast member on the show. Leva owns and operates Republic, alongside a slew of other establishments on the single street in the tiny town of Charleston they pass off as “downtown.” I say all that because if I showed up to work and these people told me to change my outfit, I’d say: “After you!”

Married to Medicine

Phaedra Parks

Married to Medicine has officially booted Quad over a completely arbitrary disagreement that will ultimately get this show canceled, if the women on the cast are allowed to have any more sway over production. I’m bored now, so instead will focus on Phaedra each week in protest. I mean, she’s on the show, but she’s also above the show and beneath it at the same time. She’s exempt from my ire.

This Mugler dress is fine enough, but I grow weary of Bravo cast members parading around in poorly fitting Mugler each week. That said, this hair color is divine on her, and she always looks objectively gorgeous, even if the clothes don’t.

Here she is eating Dr. Jackie up at dinner in Napa. The dress fits her beautifully, the purse is exactly right, and the fur shawl was camp enough to make me giggle in delight every time the camera cut away to it. This side part is also correct, and accurately showcases how the style can be done right under the hateful eyes of Gen Z’s fashion police.

Real Housewives of Potomac

Speaking of shows that piss me off, here’s the cast of The Real Housewives of Potomac strutting through a mall like those gays on Instagram. Their outfits are louder than anything I could say, and it’s only fair I let them speak for themselves, here in front of god and PAPER and everyone in the entire world.

Photos courtesy of Bravo/NBCUniversal Media, LLC