On Monday morning, under the glittering chandeliers and spotlights of the Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom Lisa Rinna was the proudest momma bear.
Her 16-year-old daughter Amelia Gray Hamlin was making her runway debut, opening and closing Dennis Basso’s New York Fashion Week show, and Rinna, wine-glass smashing star of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and today dressed all in white and silver, filmed on her mobile phone every moment and movement of her daughter’s appearances.
The last of those saw her daughter close out the show on the arm of Basso himself—with Rinna sporting a huge, proud smile on her face. It's a far cry from the not-to-be-messed with 'housewife' who can be spiky and angry when crossed.
Most memorably, when a fellow cast member threatened to dish on some unspecified scandal involving her husband, Rinna smashed a wine glass on a table.
After the Basso show, the star, who was accompanied by husband Harry Hamlin and fellow model daughter Delilah, told the Daily Beast of Amelia’s appearance: “She was so amazing. She’s so beautiful, we’re so proud. I’m speechless. She rocked it. It is such proud moment. We were in tears. I am overjoyed with pride: to see her open close and then come out with Dennis… I mean what an amazing moment.”
Rinna had bought Amelia to her first fashion show, a Dennis Basso show, when she was 13, she told the Daily Beast. “She saw it. She started to cry she was moved by it so much,” Rinna said. “She said, ‘I want to be a model.’ Rinna paused. “Amazing. What a fabulous day.”
Basso’s show featured 69 looks, all shamelessly luxe and dreamy; from a hand-embroidered and draped Georgette strapless gown to a glittery, sparkly, don’t-breathe-out tight mini-dress. There was fur—like green sheared mink paired with a hand embroidery paneled coat, and a cream mink and fox cape with pleated chiffon gown. There were jewel and desert tones and a lot of hand beading. And even more fur.
The audience is one of Fashion Week's most fascinating in that it features many older women looking expensively well-preserved; many of the men, too, come to that. Everyone was also looking well-summered, and the amount of air-kissing could have powered 50 balloons. It was canny geography to stage it as near to the Upper East Side as possible.
At Basso's last Fashion Week show, Tiffany Trump represented the family that Basso has known, and dressed, for years. Back then, Basso told me that Ivana, Ivanka and Melania, “are just regular women who like beautiful clothes. I’ve known the family for 35 years. They’re lovely people. They’re a very fun, close-knit family.”
Today at the Plaza, there was no Tiffany, but there was Ivana, in a vibrant leopard print coat and blonde bouffant whipped to maximum height. Also sighted: Broadway's Rachel Bay Jones (Dear Evan Hansen) and Laura Osnes (Bandstand), and Rachel Lindsay from The Bachelorette with her fiancé Bryan Abasolo.
Backstage, Basso told the Daily Beast, “Today’s collection is all about the Mediterranean, and women who travel the world to exotic locales, from Tangiers to Capri to Sardinia to Monte Carlo. We’ve taken that woman and translated it. I hope this collection will transport everyone with me on that journey. It’s very glamorous, lightweight, exciting, sophisticated boho.”
Basso was especially proud to be hosting Hamlin’s debut. “I know them as old family friends,” he said of Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin. As a reporter left the hotel, the couple were still being feted by other audience members. Rinna was happy, laughing, and smiling. The Plaza's wine glasses were safe.