Can Jenna Lyons Save 'RHONY'?

Can Jenna Lyons Save 'RHONY'?

by Evan Ross Katz

Yes, I saw the new Thom Browne x Moncler campaign featuring Lee Pace. Am I okay? Inconclusive, but I’m well enough to soldier on.... for now. Special shout out to the debut of the wedding band. My takeneth man. Yes, I saw the headlines that Joy Behar has had sex with a few ghosts.

Other important matters: What does Shawn Mendes think is magical about New York City? "It’s just pretty." He’s not wrong. Jennifer Coolidge glowed at The White Lotus Season 2 premiere in Los Angeles. Jamie Lee Curtis has completed what felt like a House of Gucci-length press tour for Halloween Ends, that completed a number of stand-out moments from her recognition of the trauwma meme, to her "YOU ARE NOT CONTENT" tweet to, most importantly, her denouncing Kanye West’s antisemetic rant. While we can debate the merits of the final (?) Halloween trilogy, one cannot overstate the thrill of having Jamie Lee Curtis remaining in the public consciousness. Now, let’s get this Freaky Friday sequel churning.

As for the Charlie Puth tweet, "It’s amazing how good D major makes me feel"? I’m not touching that. Let’s instead get to the week’s big headlines.

Stan Hathaway

In case you missed it, Anne Hathaway, the actress that was beloved then beloathed is back to being beloved. Hooray. Much like our national reckoning over the mistreatment of Britney Spears, Hathahaters have either pivoted to more pressing incel activities or simply realized their disdain was ill-advised.

Last month we got the demi-return of Andi Sachs at Michael Kors and Moncler at the Duomo, both big moments for sure, but that was merely the aperitif leading up to the Armageddon Time press tour. (I’m sad to report that the film is not a sequel to Michael Bay’s Armageddon with Anne Hathaway taking over the role of A.J. Frost from Ben Affleck). First, we got a Christopher John Rogers, Valentino, Isabel Marant look, then a Sally LaPointe/Nili Lotan look, then Ralph Lauren, then a Veronica Beard, Gucci and Isabel Marant look, and finally a show-stopping David Koma dress.

Now, me trying to get Hathaway's stylist Erin Walsh to respond to a DM is kinda like Lea Michele getting Jessica Lange to notice her on a red carpet in that I’m having no luck. I get it though, she’s helping steer the ship that is Anne Hathaway Enterprises. The proof here is in the pudding. It’s not just throwing a dress on the Queen of Genovia and calling it a day. It’s true mixing and matching. It’s fun. It’s fresh. It’s bold. It’s buoyant. And we are grateful.

Can Jenna Lyons Save 'RHONY'?

The biggest surprise at BravoCon was not Erika Jayne revealing she thinks Dorit and PK Kemsley are the next Bravo couple to break up, was not Jen Aydin throwing a drink on Joe Gorga, was not Anderson Cooper being unveiled as the Gay Shark. No, the biggest shock was the debut of the brand new cast for the long-delayed 14th season of The Real Housewives of New York, and within it a star long been born: Jenna Lyons of J. Crew and Stylish with Jenna Lyons fame.

Lyons has long been a fashion world mainstay, even being named Glamour's Woman of the Year award a decade ago. It’s not an unexpected choice at the surface — Lyons is a New York City staple, if not an institution, and she’s a reality television vet to boot. And though she’s not the first queer Housewife (as many are mistakenly calling her), she’d be the first for the New York franchise, and be among a demographic long underrepresented on the series.

What does stand out is her age within the mix. From what I could uncover online: Erin Dana Lichy is 30, Jessel Taank is 31, Ubah Hassan is 35, Lizzy Savetsky is 36, Brynn Whitfield is 36, Sai De Silva is 41, while Lyons is 54. We’ve had younger Housewives join the fold of an older group (see: Brandi Glaville in Season 2 of Beverly Hills), but it will be interesting to see where Lyons fits in with a group that’s mostly two decades her younger than her. Don’t get me wrong: This might be the right alchemy for this new group. We’ll have to wait and see, of course.

My bigger concern is whether Lyons, known for her relaxed, uptight but not standoffish disposition, can fit on a show that demands warts and all, something her years as a CEO expressly trained her against. Housewives is, at its core, about one's ability to get in the mix. As one fabulous tweet read: "I have such low expectations for this new RHONY cast. Jenna Lyons could never tell someone they smell like hospital." That said, there’s always a place for a strong narrator, something Lyons could deliver big on. Expectations low, hopes high.

Jared Leto Is Launching a Skincare Line, Because of Course

As though his performance in House of Gucci wasn’t punishing enough, Jared Leto is following in the footsteps of another fellow troubled actor, Brad Pitt, and launching a skincare line in the already incredibly oversaturated market. Like Pitt, Leto got a Vogue exclusive to make the announcement. And like Pitt, Leto voiced a similar blasé stance on the industry he hopes to break into. "I’ve never been really interested in beauty products," he told the magazine about Twentynine Palms, his 11-piece range of gender-neutral skin care, body care and hair care products inspired by the town at the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. The whole thing is so "but of course" it feels reductive to even make the effort to roll an eye. A legion of us who grew up longing for the IRL Jared Catalano have been left with a faux wellness apostle.

And while a $97 eye cream is modest in comparison to Pitt’s Le Domaine, a question both seem uninterested in reckoning with is why they need exist at all — a question Leto is oddly not asked, and therefore isn’t tasked with answering. In fact, he’s tasked with saying very little at all. He says five sentences total, one of which is merely “It’s just the beginning,” which feels more like a Hilary Duff lyric than a relevant quote about a beauty line.

Little is known or spoken about the products themselves in the accompanying Vogue article, which links to a website with nothing but a countdown clock. We get a glance at five of the 11 products and are told only that the eye cream contains brightening prickly pear extract as well as retinol and ceramide. "It leaves my eye bags looking smooth and my dark circles minimized," writes the author of the story as though this isn’t the baseline for what an eye cream is supposed to do.

Also, what’s with the empty buzzword "genderless" making its way from fashion to beauty? Why are we touting things that never had a gender to begin with as somehow and newly genderless? "I think if you’re a man starting a skincare line, it’s like ‘ladies, I know we’re very hot and fuckable, [but] you can use this too, don’t worry about it,” said Lauren Garroni when discussing the new line on her Every Outfit podcast. It’s better packaging than Le Domaine, I will admit, but that’s a low bar. "You wouldn’t be embarrassed to have it out in your bathroom," remarked Chelsea Fairless on the same podcast. Wholly agree.

Welcome to "Wear Me Out,"a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a deep dive into celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he'll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.

Photo via BFA/Madison Fender