I am the biggest Real Housewives fan.* I do not discriminate when it comes to watching the franchise: I will watch any episode of any city at any time, including reruns.
So when I got an email asking if I would like to come by and see "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Melissa Gorga's new jewelry line for HSN (natch), I was like, "Um, HELL YES." (That's not really how I responded because I'm professional, but you get the idea.) I went because I wanted to meet Gorga, obviously, but also because I was curious as to what her line would look like.
That's because, as any true Real Housewives fan knows, launching your own side project du jour is the mark that you've made it as one of Andy's Angels. But Gorga isn't worried about setting hers apart from the rest. "I just put myself into it, I don't do things just to do them," Gorga said. "I do them because they come from the heart and because they're things I really think I can grow in and be good in. I don't care about the quick flip over thing."
So in addition to a somewhat-controversial book and attempts at a music career, Gorga is launching this line of jewelry, a passion project for her. "Jewelry, it's easy for me -- I don't have a stylist, it's something that I love and I'm good at decorating," she told me. "Now I feel like I can decorate people!"
The thing is, a jewelry line is kind of brilliant; unlike wine (Ramona, New York), handbags (Gretchen, Orange County), cookbooks (Teresa, New Jersey and Gorga's sister-in-law) or sex toys (uh, Kandi, Atlanta), jewelry is incredibly easy to work seamlessly into a shot. In fact, for a show mostly shot from the waist up -- the solo interviews and reaction shots are clutch -- Gorga could conceivably wear something from her line in every episode and not have to use some ham-handed excuse to film herself promoting it.
And whether she was as hands-on as she says she is -- Gorga told Fashionista she designed all the pieces herself -- the line truly does look like something she would wear. The statement necklaces, hoop earrings and bold rings fit in with Gorga's Jersey Girl style, though at $17.95 to $99.95 per piece, they cost less than her typical choices. Plus, they all pop -- again, perfect on camera.
In fact, Gorga has already worn her pieces on Bravo, once at a party during the debut episode of the new season and another on an episode of Watch What Happens Live. Of course, she filmed the episode when there was still snow on the ground, which means this really has been a long time coming. "It's been a year," she said. "It was a lot of work, I was extremely hands on."
So scoff if you will, but Gorga is likely laughing all the way to the bank. "This is the fun part of being on Real Housewives," Gorga says. "You always have dreams and aspirations, and I always knew that was my knack -- I'm good at styling, I'm good at fashion -- and to be able to put it together and do it, I'm blessed."
(I was also #blessed by a horn necklace from the line which is meant to give good luck in Italian culture. I quite like it.)
*At least here at Fashionista. I make no promises for anywhere else. But I'm probably at least in the top 10 worldwide.