“I’m like the queen and you’re the princesses,” said Lisa Rinna said, standing on a pedestal, flanked by her two daughters, admiring their Dennis Basso designs in a mirror on Saturday.
Encircled by the designer, various handlers and a film crew on the second floor of Basso’s Madison Avenue store, the trio echoed their agreement that “It really is a moment.”
‘Don’t cry,” advised Rinna’s older daughter Delilah Belle Hamlin. “I won’t,” Rinna assured her. During what was their final fitting before closing Basso’s Sunday night show, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star’s other daughter Amelia Gray Hamlin also kept things light. After the focus turned to the muslins of their three runway looks on a display and Basso offered a ultraswift explanation of couture design, they said in unison, “That would be really cute in my apartment.”
“Everybody can have one. Merry Christmas early. The people who come here usually want a zillion-dollar coat. This is perfect,” Basso laughed.
“And maybe a pillow? A satin, or is that too much?” Amelia Gray Hamlin asked.
Basso, whose friendship with Rinna and her husband Harry Hamlin spans 25 years, said, “I know that girls never want to wear anything in front of the public twice. But after tomorrow, these clearly need a second airing somewhere big…When you think about generations of mothers and daughters playing dress up, this is exactly what fashion dreams are made of.”
Before a quick Champagne toast, Basso warned the Hamlins, “And girls, do not stay out late tonight. I will really be annoyed — no late nights.”
After a few practice walks, Rinna got her share of unsolicited modeling advice. “Don’t look at the floor.” “Take your time.” “Breathe out of your mouth very lightly.” “Do your face from the show [curling her upper lip for effect.]” “I just want you to be feis-ty, Lisa Rinna.” Rinna responded, “Thanks guys. Wow – that’s’ a lot.”
Introduced through a mutual friend, Basso and Rinna clicked and became friends. The pair have shared a dressing room from time to time at QVC, where Rinna has sold her line for eight years and Basso has done the same for a quarter-century. In between some QVC on-air time and a few runway shows this week, Rinna planned to grab a coffee with “RHOBH” friend Erika Jayne, who is headllning “Chicago” on Broadway. Not a rookie to NYFW, Rinna walked in Kyle Richards’ fashion show in September. Confident about her Basso appearance, Rinna said, “I’m so excited — first of all because the girls are in it. I think I’m a supermodel in my head and I have been my whole life. I practice in my head all of the time.”
Amelia Gray Hamlin doesn’t know Gigi and Bella Hadid, but would love to ask them for modeling advice. The Hamlin sisters are working on their own deals, having learned from last year’s athleisure collaboration. Open about struggling with an eating disorder, Amelia Gray Hamlin said, “It’s amazing that they are using curvier women in fashion shows. But they’re still lacking what people would call quote-normal — not just one extreme and another extreme. There needs to be a better mixture of more natural body figures, not to say that neither is. I just want to see more diversity.”
Basso said of Rinna, “We’re more than just fashion friends or showbiz friends. I know her mother Lois, I know the kids.” With interchangeable looks like HotPants, a mini trapeze dress and a ballgown, Basso said of his “Mommy and Me” collection that Rinna and her daughters were sporting “Trangenerational is so important today, and women being strong and modern. Being able to have three of them on the runway represents what the new roaring Twenties are,” Basso said, adding that had Rinna’s mother come, he planned to maker her the perfect ladylike suit in the same material. “Shes’ 91. She lives in Medford, Oregon. She’ll come down to LA, but she said New York’s too far. And she doesn’t know what she would have done with herself on the plane for five hours. How hilarious is that?” Rinna said. “So we got her an iPad and an Instagram and she knows how to use it. It’s almost like a window into our lives so that she can follow us and see what everyone’s doing.”
Rinna, meanwhile, had another kind of fashion view flying to New York from L.A. Saturday. Seated behind Anna Wintour, the reality star said, “It was a 7 a.m. flight and she was sleeping. It was the closest I have ever been to Anna and I must say it was thrilling.”
Most days Rinna’s daughters dole out the fashion advice, after one quick look at an outfit. Just the other day, Delilah Belle insisted that her mother do an about-face before going to an event. Rinna said, “So I went right back up and changed. She was right — 100 percent.”