Christening Gift Crisis Resolved: Mimi’s for Kids!

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I feel like it’s happened to most Newporters at one time or another: you need a certain gift and you know the perfect pace to get it, so when you go the day before the event, you’re unpleasantly surprised to find that said store isn’t there any longer. I found myself in that very situation when I headed down to Brick Market Place last month to get a Christening gift, and therefore, the scramble for the perfect gift began.

Mimi_1A frantic phone call to a friend resolved the crisis when she suggested popping by Mimi’s for Kids on Mill Street. I had been there before, and of course- why hadn’t I thought of that?

Stocked with fun children’s clothing, books and playthings, I asked Mimi for her suggestions when she led me to an adorable block-shaped bank with space for the child’s name, birth date, Christening date and location, plus the parents’ and godparents’ names (see left). It also came with a pen to personalize all the information, and it was less than $20.00. Here’s where the small business shopping touch came in: not only did Mimi direct me to some great gift choices, but when I decided on the Christening bank, she wrapped it so beautifully that in made quite an impression. See last image below. I also recently spotted some beautiful children’s jewelry, including crosses and religious items, at Platinum House in Newport.

Mimi’s for Kids, located at 15 Mill street near the intersection of Bellevue Avenue, caterers to children from newborn to 10 years old.

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April 22, 2014 at 8:31 am 1 comment

Find Your Bliss at the Farmaesthetics Pop-Up Treatment Boutique at Castle Hill

ImageIf you’ve read this blog before, you already know I’m a fan of locally-owned, globally known Farmaesthetics. And a fan of a nice afternoon or evening at Castle Hill. So when the sustainable skincare line made with organically grown herbs, flowers, oils and grains collaborated with Ocean Drive’s luxury Relais & Chateau for a Pop-Up Farmaesthetics Treatment Boutique at Castle Hill, it was a sign it’s time for some springtime skincare pampering.

Two rooms in the historic Agassiz Mansion have been transformed into a haven of peace and relaxation, curated by Farmaesthetics. I hImageeaded out to experience a 60 minute facial this past Friday, warmly greeted by the Castle Hill reception staff and shown to the second floor of the mansion. With the fireplace aglow and wingback chairs to get comfortable in, I was already relaxing.

Farmaesthetics esthetician Michele greeted me and showed me in to the sunlit treatment room, where the lemonade-hued walls, white wood trim and extraordinary view with a panorama of the Newport Pell Bridge, it felt like being on a completely unplugged retreat.* *Cell phone promptly turned off.

Tucked into a warm, fine linen-covered treatment table, the customized facial starts with a deep cleanse followed by exfoliation, steam, massage, masque and hydration. The approach is designed to address, maintain or correct your specific skin texture and tone, using hand infused oils and powerful herbal antioxidants. Each facial includes acupressure and tension-relieving arm, hand, neck and scalp massage using aromatic oils and fragrant herbs to enhance the experience and boost results. Extend your blissful escape with a saltwater and essential oil soak in the claw foot tub pre- or post-treatment (a little summertime teaser). Other treatments include therapeutic massage and acupressure treatments for the face, head and neck ranging from $65-$190 with appointments available between 9am-6pm daily (available to guests and non-guests). Find your bliss and book a treatment now through Memorial Day. Call (401) 849-3800.

ImageFor purposes of this review I was provided a complimentary facial. Opinions, as always, are independently my own.

April 10, 2014 at 8:33 am Leave a comment

SNEAK PEEK! No Rules: The Personal Style of Doris Duke

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Who wears short-shorts? Doris Duke did, apparently, in her 50s no less, and her enviable, seemingly endless gams likely looked amazing in the sequin red, black and white harlequin-patten pair in the new exhibit at the late heiress’ Rough Point mansion. No Rules: The Personal Style of Doris Duke, opening Thursday (April 10) is the second fashion-focused exhibit at the Bellevue Avenue mansion in recent years. I was grateful to get a sneak peek of all the amazing pieces over the weekend and they are as diverse as the designers.photo

“She was ahead of her times in many ways, including fashion,” explained curator Kristen Costa, who revealed Miss Duke’s 5’10” model-esque frame was so lithe it was challenging finding mannequins trim enough to fit some of the clothing. “Doris Duke realized fashion was something to have fun with.”

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Each of the nearly 40 pieces in the collection are a peek into the socialite-cum-philanthropist’s global point of view. A stunning button-up, kimono-style gown in metallic green, purple, gold and silver opens the exhibit making quite an impression. Pieces highlighted in this gallery include an embroidered Balenciaga bolero caplet, billowy striped harem pants (a nod to Miss Duke’s travels to the Middle East, as are the Taj of India flats), a Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique (ready to wear line) leather snakeskin-print jacket with denim sleeves, Leslie Hamel studded jeans (worn at Rough Point in Miss Duke through her last years there), a yellow sequin Bill Blass jacket with black trim (and iconic BB detail) and a completely covet-able floor-length sequin Valentino skirt—in leopard print.photo 5

Complete ensembles and accessories are the heart of the second gallery. The amazing staff at the Newport Restoration Foundation, the non-profit Miss Duke founded which operates the home, was aflutter over an over-the-top outfit that was one of the last to be displayed. The metallic gold body suit, complete with a black tulle-like completely sheer over “cost” embellished with silver and gold is a site to behold. The piece would certainly give a Lady Gaga run for her money.

Madame Gres gown

Madame Gres gown

Other stunning pieces include a colorful Saint Laurent Rive Gauche outfit, a black gown with gold studs Ms. Duke to the Costume Exhibition Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1981, a woolen red coat Kate Middleton would be a perfect fit for today, an emerald green tunic with matching cigarette pants made from Italian silk by Irene Galitzine and an iridescent Halston pant suit. (Miss Duke loved that ensemble so much she also had one  made in black. She was front row fixture at Halston shows alongside other fashion icons of the day including Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Martha Graham and D. D. Ryan—an editor at Harper’s Bazaar.)

That’s just a snapshot. See the exhibit for yourself to truly experience a global fashion collection worn by one of Newport’s, and the world’s, most intriguing women.

No Rules: The Personal Style of Doris Duke, opens at Rough Point April 10 and continues through Nov. 9, 2014. For more details, CLICK HERE.

photo 1A special thank you to Jeanine Kober, Kristen Costa and the dedicated NRF staff!

April 8, 2014 at 12:31 am 2 comments

Faire Thee Well: A Sensational, Sustainable Giveaway

ImageA UN climate impact report, released yesterday, functionally said the planet is in “deep trouble.” Air and water pollution, deforestation, overfishing—it’s just some of what contributes to Earth’s issues. The good news is that it’s not too late to make changes in our lifestyle, including what we wear and how we accessorize, that reflect positive, conscious decisions. I’ve featured pieces, including the coveted Catalina necklace, from Faire Collection here on Newport Stylephile and on my style segments for The Rhode Show before as this chic, sustainable accessories line designed in New York and handcrafted by artisans in Ecuador, Vietnam, Peru, Swaziland practices what it preaches. Artisan workshops around the world have been established to hand craft scarves, bracelets Imageand statement necklaces, providing them with a steady source of income so the artisans can financially plan for their future.

I’m so excited to announce a giveaway of a Havana bracelet from Faire Collection! (left) The bracelet, in the sold out navy blue, was handcrafted using dyed woven leather and intricately wrapped gold colored metal wire. These unique bracelets can be worn alone, or stacked together for a layered look, while being on-trend and socially impactful. They retail for $29.00.

To enter, simply leave a comment below (something as simple as “enter me” is fine) and LIKE Newport Stylephile on Facebook (click here). Entry is open 4/1/14 through 11:59 a.m. Sunday, Image1/6/14. A winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Learn more about Faire Collection by CLICKING HERE, see Faire Collection pieces at Green Envy Eco-Boutique on Franklin Street in Newport, and consider subscribing to Newport Stylephile to get updates on local steals and deals by entering your email in the subscription bar to your right. (Names are never sold or shared.)

April 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm 5 comments

That’s From WHERE? Talbots. That’s Right. Talbots.

ImageI nearly stopped in my tracks when I saw the windows at Talbots on Bellevue Avenue last month. The pieces were nautical, fresh and dare I say, head-turning. I’m not sure about you, but when I think of Talbots, I think of matching sweater sets, smart blazers and well, Imagesafe polished pieces for women … women much older than I. Laura Bush comes to mind. Heck, Barbara Bush. Turns out, a lot of women feel that way. In an informal survey I conducted, without meaning to, I garnered 100% of the same reaction to the Talbots sweater I admired from the window that I’ve worn this past month: “THAT’S from Talbots?” Yes, it is. And it’s fabulous.

The cozy, striped boatneck pullover with nautical stripes and sequined letters that spell “Je t’aime(I love you in French) is super soft and a new Saturday go-to. Talbots, cited in the Official Preppy Handbook (the prep’s field guide) along with staples from Brooks Brothers and L.L. Bean, is intrinsically nautical, even if it doesn’t seem so, as it was was founded in Hingham, Mass. in 1947. So it just makes sense that the spring line features anchor print cotton buttondowns, scarves and tops emblazoned with lobsters, sailboat print tops, outerwear, accessories and more.  The best part? Most of these pieces, included the coveted Je t’aime top, is currently on sale!

Based on what I’m seeing, it might be time to see what’s behind that iconic red door…

Talbots in Newport is located at 162 Bellevue Avenue.

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For purposes of this review, Talbots supplied me with a sample of the Je’taime top. Opinions expressed are my own.

March 27, 2014 at 8:21 am 2 comments

On The Rhode Show: Springtime Finds for Chilly Temps

ImageApologies for the blogging hiatus–I’ve had a number of writing assignments on the docket! Since my last post, spring officially sprung,  but it’s not quite time to bust out the open toe shoes and spaghetti strap sundresses. So on Friday, I headed to The Rhode Show to talk about transitional wardrobe pieces that will take us from unseasonable chills to warm spring thrills.

From Laura Jean Denim in Newport:Image

J Brand JAKE low-rise slim boyfriend jeans in white, $180

Hudson NICO mid-rise super skinny jeans in soft teal, $154

Hudson HARKIN crop jean, super skinny with cuff, $176

AG Jeans STILT cigarette jeans $168

AG Jeans, THE PRIMA mid-rise cigarette jeans, $168

360 CASHMERE Life’s a beach gray cashmere short sleeve sweater, $310

MAGASHONI stitched sweater in sunkissed, $278

Black iolite and peach quartz necklace by local artisan Susan Tyler $200

BELLA DAHL shirt in aquamist, $134

360 CASHMERE Sybil sweater in tangerine, $253

ALTERNATIVE Everydaybuttonup in lemon $69

Man’s STONE ROSE gray/purple gimgham button-down, $154

From Pink Pineapple:

ImageSURF GYPSY long sleeve light anchor sweater, $58

ESLEY green and blue blazer, $78

Pink Pineapple cashmere nautical stripe dress, $289

Pink Pineapple cashmere green anchor sweater, $268

Pink Pineapple cashmere blue poncho, $220

Pink Pineapple cashmere HOLY SHIP sweater, $160

From Talbots

Striped boatneck “Je T’aime” sequin pullover, $55.65

Here’s the clip of host Michaela Johnson and I having fun looking at spring finds: http://wpri.com/2014/03/21/fashion-tips-for-the-new-season

 

March 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm 3 comments

Slipping Into Something a Little More Comfortable

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Partnerships: as a writer who has covered extraordinary happenings for magazines, newspapers, websites and television while also having a mind for marketing and PR, I see so many missed opportunities for perceivable unrelated businesses to work together and create a new idea, concept or experience that ultimately has the potential to boost their bottom line.

When I heard about the new partnership promotion between Newport’s own Castle Hill Inn and New York City-based luxury lingerie retailer Journelle, my first thought was: genius! The “Journelle Getaway” is a shopping and travel package Castle-Hill-duo-4that merges a  timeless collection of lingerie, curated by Journelle, with a stay at this timeless Newport resort.

The experience includes a private lingerie appointment and fitting at the Atelier at Journelle in New York City (guests receive 15% off their purchase during their atelier fitting). Sip champagne and tea while shopping a selection of both basics and high-fashion pieces, tailored to guests’ personal requests, waiting upon arrival. (For those who cannot make it to the Atelier in New York, Journelle will be offering 15% off online purchases at www.Journelle.com.)

Then, indulge in a two-night stay at Castle Hill Inn and enjoy a champagne upon arrival, complimentary gourmet breakfast and afternoon tea daily, a three-course dinner for two (gratuity included) and two tickets to any Preservation Society mansion. Guests may opt to stay in the historic and widely-praised Turret Suite offering panoramic views of Narragansett Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Castle Hill Lighthouse, or a private Beach Cottage or Beach House, located just steps away from the sand. Rates start at $800 (tax not included). The package is available through December 31, 2014 and can be found online here. To peruse Journelle’s Inspired By Castle Hill Lookbook, CLICK HERE.

March 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm 1 comment

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