Faulty Logic

Faulty Logic

Alex gives her take on Bethenny and Jill's relationship, and reacts to the Brooklyn fashion meeting bickering.


When we are able to show great drama AND benefit a worthy organization by highlighting them on the show, everyone wins. Such is the case with Brooklyn Fashion Week{end}, a twice-yearly event benefitting the Brooklyn Style Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to mentoring young and low-income designers and helping them launch their businesses. The founder contacted us last spring to see whether Simon and I would host a presentation for them. We did, and afterward decided to get involved by joining the board, and we invited our friend Derek to join as well. My goal for this season was to raise the bar for design and get a top level designer for the finale, alongside brand new designers who are part of the program, and Simon, Derek and I thought it would be great to invite some of our fashionista friends to help out. I spoke to several designers who are friends of mine, and was particularly drawn to Loris Diran as he’s a native New Yorker whose story starting out was similar to many of the kids in the program today. I hoped everyone would like his work as much as I did.

Ramona, Kelly and Bethenny joined us that afternoon, and we made headway although I had to tell everyone to focus and stop bickering. I don’t blame Bethenny for bringing up the Post article – it mentioned all of our names and we’d all seen it or at least heard about it. I asked the only question I had, which was whether she was the source, and B said no. Sarcasm is one thing but I’ve never known Bethenny to lie, so I was good to go. Unfortunately Kelly saw an opportunity to rehash the whole “Madonna/I’m up here/You’re down there” thing again and I had to tell them to either stop or take it outside. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Jill were there, too?

There were a couple of reasons I didn’t ask Jill. I didn’t want her drama with Bethenny to overshadow the designers and I wasn’t sure whether she was the right person to get involved with this particular part of the process. We were choosing one established headline designer, but also looking at lots of new and up-and-comers, some of whom were showing their first collections. I knew Ramona and Kelly would be good at seeing ideas and potential. Although Bethenny tries to stay out of the fashion world more than the rest of us, she knows what she likes when she sees it, plus I felt she wouldn’t condemn someone because they were nervous or maybe their samples were made on a budget. Jill has said she only likes to go to “big name shows” during fashion week and honestly I didn’t want her making some brand new swimwear or denim designer feel badly because they weren’t on par with Rosa Cha or G-Star. I love to see people just starting out, which is why you’ll see me out with Simon during fashion week hitting the Academy of Art University shows; that’s where you can find the next Jil Stuart or Marc Jacobs.


How did all this go so wrong between Jill and Bethenny? Jill is a giver. She gives relentlessly, whether you want it or not, and expects equal payback as though friendship is a stock she’s optioning. Some people find that comforting; others don’t. There was a time in which she took over Bethenny’s life, and gave her love and good times and a place to stay in the Hamptons and her mother Gloria’s advice. I think they had fun together. I also think that Jill expected Bethenny to take Jill along with her as she grew her brand and career – that somehow to Jill the friendship she gave Bethenny was an emotional investment from which she wanted business dividends. To me that’s faulty logic. Most of us on the show are working as hard as we can to grow our businesses or otherwise better our lives for our families and ourselves by hard work and creativity, not by hitching our wagons to our castmates. When Bethenny fell in love, her heart found a home in Jason and she felt complete. Friendships always go through the ringer when people fall in love, and that’s when you see whom your real friends are. The ones who are superficial fall away, and the ones who are in deep stick around. There are friends I’ve had for decades and sometimes we don’t talk for a couple of years because we’ve been too busy having babies or working or something. We ALWAYS circle back, even if it’s just a hit and run email to let them know we’re thinking of them. Simon and I got to meet a few of those friends of Bethenny’s last weekend at her wedding, and I believe Bethenny thought she had a similar friendship with Jill. It was a crazy, work filled and falling-in-love summer and I think to her, falling in love was something Jill should understand, support and step away from so she and Jason could figure out where this relationship was going before the cameras started rolling in September. Instead of that, B got angry phone calls, the “why aren’t you taking me with you,” harangue again and again, whether it was a vacation or hosting the Today Show, etc. etc. I see how it happened, and I’m not surprised.

Regardless of how it started, a huge divide got even bigger when Bethenny phoned Jill. I thought it was reprehensible that Jill put Bethenny on speakerphone and didn’t announce LuAnn, and also that LuAnn wanted Jill to say she was alone. Let’s get one thing straight. It’s true that when we make reality TV, we are often asked to place calls on speaker. The biggest reason for that is so there’s no microphone reverb and they can record both sides. It DOESN’T automatically mean there are other housewives around. Yes, the crew is there, and yes, we know two million viewers will see it six months later, but it’s also a real conversation and we don’t expect that other cast members are lurking. The nasty smirks on Jill and LuAnn’s faces, coupled with Bethenny’s tears and disoriented wandering around the sidewalk, pretty much tell the whole story.


OK, let’s go to a happy place. The wedding was Sunday and it was amazing. Bethenny and Jason both glowed, we got to meet his parents and more of their friends, and it was just a magical, spectacular night. They are off on their honeymoon now, and while the camera crew will capture part of it, I’m so glad they have a few days just to themselves in a beautiful place where cell phone reception is terrible and wi-fi barely works! Enjoy, guys…you deserve it.

Our book comes out this Tuesday! Little Kids, Big City is released April 6th – take the link to order and also check out www.mccordvankempen.com for our book tour dates!

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