Real Housewives of Toronto episode six recap: the pop-up shopping party
On this week’s Real Housewives of Toronto, the AMBI Gala is back with a vengeance. The episode starts with Kara, a member of the committee for the TIFF charity gala, at a meeting with the other organizers. They’re busy discussing the tables they sold to bigwigs, like Facebook execs, and all of a sudden Kara’s upcoming shopping party with designer Mikael D doesn’t seem so impressive.
But Kara is determined: “There are always more tables to be sold. It satisfies that competitive itch I have.” This is what happens when you take highly educated, hyper-motivated women out of the workforce and give them nothing to do but buy dresses off each other, helicopter parent and do three exercise classes a day.
Or, if you’re Joan, you decorate yet another one of your homes. (Seriously, has someone screened this show for the finance minister yet?) Joan is showing off her enormous, newly remodelled townhouse to her interior designer friend Jonathan. Remember: this is in addition to her King City estate, three Muskoka cottages and probably a few other pads I’m forgetting. The décor is basic—lots of greys and expensive light fixtures—but I’m pretty sure Joan is only planning on using this place to throw a few parties, so it will do.
Next, we follow Ann and her husband Stephen on a date night at Sotto Sotto. We learned earlier in the season that Stephen is having medical problems. Whatever is going on, it was enough to give Ann a scare. At the dinner table, she tells Stephen how much he means to her and gets down on one knee to ask him to marry her, again.
The whole thing is awkward—only more so when it’s clear that Stephen hates the ring he’s now going to be forced to wear. It’s a mix between a signet and a Super Bowl ring, with a giant diamond in it. As Stephen says, “I’m just a bit concerned that real men don’t wear rings like this, do they?” Ann tells him it goes with his watch. Eventually he says yes to the re-proposal, and it looks like we may have a wedding to look forward to this season! Is there anything more begrudgingly attended than a second wedding?
Over at Roxy’s house, she’s getting new lash extensions, because hers have been looking a bit “ratchet” for the past few weeks. Her aesthetician, who recently did Kara’s lashes as well, tells Roxy that she heard the scoop about the crazy Muskoka party. Roxy assumes she means Joan’s dock party, which had 700 attendees. But no—once again, it’s Kara complaining about the women getting too drunk at her dockside dinner party. Kara also told the lash artist about Joan taking off her panties, and that really shocks Roxy. Joan is married to one of the top CEOs in the country and does not seem like the type of woman you want to spread useless rumours about. But maybe that is why Kara seems to have it out for Joan: she’s the only woman she considers a worthy rival. Or maybe Kara wants to make it clear that no matter how much money you make in the King City construction industry, you ain’t never gonna be a Rosedale Housewife.
Later, we catch up with Joga Jana, Roxy, Grego, Joan and Ann at a dinner at Spoke on the Water on Toronto Island. Jana recruits the other women to be “Joga girls” at an upcoming charity golf tournament she’s participating in with Blue Jays announcer Gregg Zaun, giving the men “Joga Tips and Tricks” before they tee off. Also at dinner, Grego tells us she used to be a touring ballet dancer with a Montreal company. She quit when she was 19 because of a jealous boyfriend and hasn’t danced since. Ann is besotted with this story and seems to be forming a plan to get Grego back on her point shoes. Perhaps a dancing gig at the second wedding?
Instead of joining the Island dinner, Kara goes for lunch with her mother at the National Club, an old-money, members-only spot on Bay Street. Like at any good mother-daughter meal, fundraising advice features prominently. You can sell tickets to people you hate, Kara’s mom says. “Just make sure your table isn’t near them so you don’t have to interact.” Good to know!
On the way to Kara’s shopping party, Roxy finally tells Ann that Kara’s been gossiping to lash-extension artists all around town, telling them that Joan is a lush. Roxy seems legitimately uncomfortable knowing this, given she’s on her way to a party where Kara plans to fawn over Joan to get a cheque out of her.
We arrive at the party, where Kara has laid out “Parisian chic” cookies and a cutesy candy bar. Even Roxy concedes that there is no shade to be thrown at Kara’s hosting skills. “Kara’s one hell of a hostess,” Roxy says. “It’s just a shame she makes you feel so uncomfortable.”
Then we meet designer Mikael D. His dresses are the real deal. They are gorgeous couture gowns that have been worn onstage by celebs like Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry. One of the dresses has 200,000 crystals on it; another took 2,000 hours to make. Not that that means any of these women are going to buy one.
But Ainsley might! We meet a friend of Kara’s from the charity circuit—Toronto it-girl Ainsley Kerr—and quickly learn that she has purchased a table at the AMBI gala. Perhaps Kara promised her a few scenes on Housewives to sweeten the deal?
Once the women start trying on the gowns, the real drama ensues. Jana asks Kara if she has any dresses picked out for her, and Kara leads her the sale rack. This is a low blow: Jana runs a successful start-up business, but she’s a single mom and not yet a certifiable Rich Lady like Kara. Jana tells us she is “insulted to the highest degree” and is definitely not buying a dress today.
Things are even worse for Roxy, who realizes none of the dresses will fit her curvy figure. (Flashback: Roxy anticipated this very scenario last week and asked Kara if there would be dresses in her size. Kara promised there would be.) It’s a testament to Roxy’s grace that she ends up having a perfectly lovely conversation with Mikael D about his gowns. He offers to take her measurements and, instead of trying to sell the other women on his gowns, takes time to make Roxy feel comfortable. He also says that if he had known, he would have tried to bring something in Roxy’s size. It looks like Kara never asked.
Joan and Ann seem to make a purchase. Grego gives a few of the gowns some serious thought. But forget about buying dresses, it’s time for Kara’s AMBI Gala hard sell. “Because Alloways finish strong,” she says. She diverts the women to another room and formally invites them to purchase tickets, which are $25,000 per table. Kara tells them not to commit on the spot, but Joan looks like she is definitely thinking about it. This drives Roxy crazy (given Kara’s gossiping), so she spills her guts to Jana and Grego in the limo home. They’re both pissed and plan on telling Joan about it next week.
Ultimately, most of the dress customers leave empty handed, and no one buys an AMBI Gala ticket—not yet. I hope Kara has a few more packs of women to march through this pop-up and buy dresses, or the AMBI gala fundraising committee will not be pleased.