The Oxygen network docudrama is set at Diane & Co., a Freehold, NJ, dress emporium that specializes in glitzy special-occasion frocks. Here we meet the loving but brash Scali family, who drive shiny new Mercedeses, live in bedazzled McMansions, and manage a hectic staff of 15 saleswomen.
StyleList's advance look at the June 1 premiere episode had us thinking there was some reality inbreeding going on along the Jersey Turnpike. It was as if "Say Yes to the Dress" had a love child with "Jerseylicious," and the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" were asked to be the godmother.
The charm of "Jersey Couture" is in the interaction between high-octane owner Diane Scali and her cleavage-baring daughters, Christina and Kimberly, as they squeeze customers into blinged-out dresses for proms, baby showers, weddings, and more.
Diane goes by the nickname "The Tornado" -- sounds a little like "The Situation," doesn't it? -- and even does the fashion version of "Jersey Shore" fist-pumping: the booty-bop dance, which she performs whenever a dress accentuates a customer's rear assets. Seriously.
Is there a Snooki in the bunch? In fairness, youngest daughter Christina is much more refined than the "Shore" breakout star, but at less than 5 feet tall, just as vertically challenged. And her silver metallic eye shadow looks exactly like a signature smoky eye look of "Jerseylicious" star Olivia Blois Sharpe. (Maybe Christina goes to The Gatsby Salon's "Glam Fairy"?)
The not-so-real housewife in the clan is eldest daughter Kimberly, who just had a cute baby girl and gets in everyone's business. And, not surprisingly, the Scali sisters have a "baby" brother named Anthony who abuses hair gel and aspires to be a deejay. Make it stop!
Despite the unfortunate Jersey stereotypes, the Scalis have some genuine talent as fashion retailers. They seem to intuitively understand their customers' personal style, steering them toward the perfect dress. And Diane possesses a special, um, hands-on ability for creating the illusion of cleavage.
StyleList also found the charity prom fashion show Christina produced in the first episode strangely watchable, although it did prove that the slutty-chic prom trend we recently reported on is alive and well.
The series's fashion moments, if you can call them that, are much more captivating than the contrived plotlines.
"Jersey Couture" premieres on Oxygen on Tuesday, June 1, at 10 p.m. E.T.
In other reality news, read the latest on "America's Next Top Model."