On this episode of Straight Up With Stassi, the infamous Dorinda Medley of The Real Housewives of New York joins Stassi to chat about fashion, L.A., and (obviously) reality TV.
“I got rid of all of my Chanel jackets.”
“I look on Tradesy.com,” Stassi says, while the two talk about designer fashion. “Do housewives look at used websites?” she asks.
“No,” Dorinda laughs. “Listen, at this point, we’ve had enough used stuff of all sorts that we are finally at a point where we can just have unused goods. Although I will say, I’ve bought Chanel jewelry, the beads, from The RealReal.”
“The RealReal is another good one,” Stassi says. “Listen, I loved used everything because then I don’t have that feeling of…”
“Stassi, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to send you my clothes when I’m done with them,” Dorinda interrupts. “But you’re a lot thinner than me.”
“You can’t just throw that out there,” Stassi gasps. “We’re pretty much the same size. Nononononono. You can’t just throw that out there, especially when you have a supermodel daughter. She’s not going to care?”
“First of all, she’s 6 feet tall,” Dorinda says. “A lot of the stuff… How old are you now?”
“I will be 30 in a couple of months,” Stassi answers.
“Well, there you go,” Dorinda says. “So you’re starting to hone your look, it’s still youthful, a little bit of professional, slightly sophisticated…”
“I’m only slightly sophisticated?” Stassi asks. “You ass.”
“Curated. That’s what you’re going for now!” Dorinda laughs. “Not too sophisticated, because you don’t want anyone to think…”
“I don’t want to look like a president’s wife,” Stassi finishes the sentence.
“Listen, I said this to someone the other day, and they said, ‘Dorinda, I knew you were a smart woman, but this is singlehandedly one of the most brilliant statements you’ve ever made,’ and here you go — I got rid of all of my Chanel jackets.”
“What?” Stassi asks, horrified.
“I got rid of all of my Chanel jackets,” Dorinda repeats. “I’ll tell you why.”
“I know why you did, but I’m at the age… Because… Oh my God I’m going to throw up on myself,” Stassi gasps.
“When I was 24, 25, I was living in London, married to an investment banker, and I thought I was all rich and fancy,” Dorinda explains. “I practically had an accent. I used to walk around in a Chanel jacket, a t-shirt, and ripped jeans.”
“Yes! That’s the look!” Stassi yells.
“But if I wear a Chanel jacket at this age, I look old,” Dorinda says. “So I will re-pick them up again at about 72.”
“I understand,” Stassi says. “Okay, so where are they right now?”
“I sold them…” Dorinda answers.
“Really?” Stassi whines. “God, this is so depressing.”
“I didn’t have many left,” Dorinda reassures her. “Hannah, I think, has a couple, and then I sent a couple to the Berkshires to wear, like, on a fall weekend. You know, the Boucle one that goes with a turtleneck, to go apple picking.”
“Oh my god, you’re an asshole,” Stassi sighs.
“It was just all mine to make it or break it.”
“You’re going to have a season where you suck, you’re going to have a season where it’s great for you, but even the seasons where it’s great for you, you’re going to have moments where you suck,” Stassi says, while she and Dorinda discuss the realities of being a reality TV star.
“It’s against everything we were raised with,” Dorinda says. “We were taught that if you do good, and be good, you’ll be rewarded. In these shows, it’s the inverse. The worse you are, the more popular you are.”
“Of course,” Stassi says.
“I said to someone the other day, ‘Look, Luann goes to jail and she’s more popular than ever. Next year, I’m going to run over someone.'” Dorinda jokes.
“I say this about Jax all the time,” Stassi empathizes. “It’s like he’s rewarded for doing really shitty things. We’re not encouraged to grow as human beings.”
“But you strangely do grow,” Dorinda says. “A reporter once said to me, ‘Do you think reality TV can ruin your life?’ And I said, ‘No, because only you can ruin your life. You are responsible.’ For me, I think it saved my life. I was so used to all of these roles — mother, wife. I had a set idea about what my fifties and sixties were going to look like, what I’d work towards. I thought, ‘Hannah is going to college, okay, check, I did that job. I’ve been dedicated. Richard and I can finally move to Georgetown, live in Georgetown, the Berkshires, New York, travel, do everything we want to do. Check. And then, in a year in a half, she’s going to college, and he’s dead. I was like, ‘Well, that’s not fair.’ I kept saying to my mom, ‘It’s not fair. I’ve been one of the good ones. I was always loyal to my family, to my daughter, to my work, to my religion. I’ve never been really a bad girl.’ And I just felt very depressed. I was losing focus. I had gotten in my mind that I was old.”
“Like you weren’t going to be able to do anything fun again,” Stassi says.
“I was thinking, ‘I’m too old, I don’t want to date, who wants to start dating again? What am I going to do, work and do what?’ So I couldn’t get my hand around this new life,” Dorinda explains. “And, you know, Ramona had always asked me to be on the show, I was always in the background. They would ask me all the time, ‘Would you consider it?’ And I’d say, ‘No no no.’ So when they asked me again, I thought, ‘Oh, well, I’ll do it for a year. And if I like it, I’ll stay.’ I had to do something. And it gave me focus, it made me get up every day. I had to be engaged, I had to start going out again. People responded positively to me. And it had nothing to do with me being a mother, or being a wife, or being a daughter, or being a single mom. It was just all mine to make it or break it. And it was very empowering.”
“Ugh, I love that you just said all of that,” Stassi says.
“It’s true,” Dorinda responds. “If Richard saw me now, I don’t think he’d recognize me. He’d be so proud. But he wouldn’t believe that out of the ashes came this brand new career. And I own it.”