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Shannon Storms Beador and Gina Kirschenheiter have gone through their fair share of ups and downs, but they suddenly seemed to be the best of friends at the start of this season of The Real Housewives of Orange County. "Cheers to two girls that have warmed my heart and make me realize that you can start off rocky, but you can end up with a really amazing friendship," Shannon raised a glass to Gina and Emily Simpson while out to drinks in the RHOC Season 16 premiere.
Shannon then revealed how she and Gina, as well as Emily, were able to get to such a good place in an interview during the episode. "I really haven't had that much of a friendship with Gina and Emily in the last year. But I went to New York with Gina," Shannon explained. "She and I were alone together, so we did spend a lot of time talking, having dinners together, and we kind of bonded there. So I'm looking at both of them in a different light."
Now we finally know what exactly brought these West Coast 'Wives to the Big Apple. Shannon and Gina appeared as clients in the January 6 episode of Bravo's Project Runway in which the Season 19 designers were tasked with creating a reunion look for several Housewives from across the franchise, including The Real Housewives of New York City's Luann de Lesseps and Leah McSweeney, as well as The Real Housewives of Potomac's Gizelle Bryant, Karen Huger, and Dr. Wendy Osefo.
Prior to the episode airing on Thursday night, Shannon took to Instagram to share several photos from her time in New York City with the Housewives, which also memorably included a hangout sesh for her and Gizelle's daughters. "The trip to NYC that Gina and I refer to this season. I had so much fun getting to know these ladies!" Shannon wrote in a post on Instagram on January 6. "I haven’t seen the show yet so I am excited (and a tad nervous) to see how it comes out! So grateful to be a part of such an iconic show! And by the way, you will love the designer I am paired up with!"
That designer was Bones Jones, to whom Shannon also sent some major love on Instagram. "So honored to work with [Bones] on [Project Runway]! An amazing talent and an incredibly kind heart!" Shannon said in an Instagram post on January 6. "Cannot wait to see him in NYC soon and work together again! #hegotme #perfectly."
Shannon wasn't the only Housewife to gush about her Project Runway designer on social media. Leah praised Coral Castillo's look for her as a "beautiful creation" on Instagram, while Karen said on Twitter that Chasity Sereal "hit the mark" with her design.
Gizelle said that appearing on Project Runway "was such a MOMENT for me" in a post on Instagram on January 6. "I LOVED being a part of such an iconic show!" Gizelle captioned a series of photos of herself rocking her look in the Project Runway Work Room. "Thank you [Aaron Michael] for making me feel beautiful enough to rock the runway like [Naomi Campbell]."
Gina similarly said in her Instagram Stories that she's "a model now" after wearing designer Anna Yinan Zhou's look on the runway. She also shared her excitement for her Project Runway appearance with an Instagram post that featured a photo of herself and Anna in the Work Room.
Wendy, who was paired with Kristina Kharlashkina as her designer, similarly shared that it was "such a privilege and an honor to be a guest model on Season 19 of [Project Runway]." She added a "special thanks to each of the designers," whom she called "tremendously talented." "I am forever grateful," Wendy ended her January 6 Instagram post, which featured a collection of photos from the episode.
Luann told Page Six prior to this episode of Project Runway airing that Shantall Lacayo's design for her "was absolutely spectacular," adding that she "would definitely hire Shantall to make something else for me down the road" and that she was "so happy our paths crossed."
Following this trip to New York, Shannon and Gina encountered friction in their friendship over some drama involving Heather Dubrow this season of RHOC. In the December 15 episode, the ladies hashed out their issues and agreed that they didn't want this conflict to destroy the bond that they had built while filming Project Runway. "Recently, we just, like, traveled together to New York, and I got to know her on a deeper level," Gina said in an interview during the episode. "And I feel like Shannon is pulling me back to a place where I don't want to go with her."
Shannon and Gina both agreed to put this drama behind them and move forward, but we'll have to keep tuning in to RHOC on Wednesdays at 9/8c to see what else this season has in store for them. You can also catch up on RHOC on the Bravo app.
And for more Project Runway, new episodes air every Thursday at 9/8c, and catch up the next day on Peacock.
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