Archive for January, 2011
Though her wildly successful Couture Parties and Couture Wedding Design launched years ago, Middletown’s Stephanie Frazier Grimm just opened the doors to her exquisite studio in downtown Newport. The busy mom of two young ones has a unique skill for executing events flawlessly while making each one as distinct and memorable as they are heartfelt and beautiful, which is why she jets all over the country for clients and is used to being covered in national magazines. Grimm’s opening was a toast to her craft, with hors d’oeuvres by Middletown’s Chanterelle Boutique Catering, whimsical cupcakes with miniature, custom-made Louis Vuitton and Gucci toppers, and wedding dress and wedding cake cookies by It’s My Party. Grimm also caters to party-planning-challenged parents with her Get The Party Started Party Packs which feature paper dessert plates, plastic cups with themed labels, napkins rolled with forks/spoons and sealed with a coordinating napkin ring, favor bags with tags and matching ribbons to tie bag closed, all for eight, plus 12 themed cupcake picks.
Her modern work space turned lounge was punctuated with bold accessories, precious mementos and made a comfortable setting to sip champagne and the evening’s signature cocktail, the Stephanie Sombrero, a savory Khaluha concoction. Catch up with the planner on Facebook, Twitter, or her two blogs.
Cheers to you, couture style, Stephanie!
StyleWeek Providence went out on a high note Saturday night by presenting the collections of Joseph Aaron Segal (a knitwear and print designer and Industrial Knitting instructor at RISD–see my interview with him by CLICKING HERE), the vivacious Daniela Corte, and one of the masterminds credited with shining the spotlight on the region’s burgeoning fashion scene, Jonathan Joseph Peters. See the video above for a taste of some of the great fashions we’ve seen throughout the week, and what StyleWeek Ambassadors Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen from the Real Housewives of New York City as seen on Bravo had to say. The 17th floor of the Biltmore was jam packed and I was honored to wear the opening look from designer Kara Wickman’s Oui collection, shown on Monday night to rave reviews! We’ll also be doing a feature on StyleWeek designers Andrea Valentini, Jessica Abernethy and Philip Sawyer soon.
Jonathan Joseph Peters
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On Thursday night, StyleWeek Providence‘s fifth day of fashion, designer Jennifer Greeke debuted Harpy, a collection of feminine pieces with vintage subtleties (a la Mad Men) punctuated by modern styling. The Gloucester, Mass., native is a Parsons School of Design (BFA) alum with a MFA from NYU’s Tisch Design for Stage and Film was a costume designer in the Big Apple, so it’s no surprise there’s a certain dramatic whimsy to each look. Well-fitted cigarette trousers paired with a tailored button down; wide leg pants with reverse illusion suspenders; a long sleeve, body-hugging, gunmetal gray metallic cocktail mini-dress (decidedly 21st century)…classic style with an unexpected twist. I’m coveting the black full skirt with a fitted waist replete with crinoline as shown on The Rhode Show this morning. PS: Kudos to the details, including cage veils, great make-upplus edgy shoes and accessories that offered a finished, polished look. PPS: I love that Greeke donned an old school pair of checkered Vans for her final bow—classic!
RISD’s own and Providence local Kelly Eident presented her sophomore showing at StyleWeek of her I’m Your Present collection, which is sold in boutiques all over the world and has been worn by sassy songstress Katy Perry and “Scenequeen” Audrey Kitching. The line was a natural complement to Greeke’s Harpy as it also evoked a vintage flair. For example, capes, ruffles and bows peppered the collection throughout. But arguably the most refreshing element of the collection was that many looks were paired with an equally stunning, bow-tie clad male model. Enough words; enjoy the images from night five.
This year’s StyleWeek Providence has adopted a philanthropic element as evidenced in last night’s Go Red StyleWeek Challenge, an extraordinary Project Runway-like competition where 14 of the week’s showing designers dressed a heart disease or stroke survivor to benefit the American Heart Association.
As cardiovascular disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, the Go Red for Women movement began in 2004 to raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women. The red dress has become the national symbol to promote the cause, and events surrounding the now iconic symbol include fashion shows like last night’s standing-room-only event at the Providence Biltmore. With boatloads of crystals at their disposal supplied by Rhode Island’s own Swarovski Elements, the red dresses shimmered under the lights as models sashayed down the runway escorted by their assigned designer. Project Runway Season 7 standout and the Ocean State’s own Jonathan Joseph Peters debuted a floor-length evening gown (pictured above), Kara Wickman (who we featured HERE) showed a bustier top with a crystal-embedded tank neckline and floor-length skirt with a train gathered at the back with a detailed rosette, and Jessica Abernethy designed the evening’s crowning look (above left), a tea-length cocktail dress with a stunning over-sized pleated collar, fitted waist, and full skirt with red-on-red biased stripes. Sarah Prost, mastermind behind Yellow Clover and Cologne, fashioned a gown with a banded waist and tiered skirt that flowed down the runway (at right) .
Daniela Corte stole the sentimental spotlight with her strapless evening gown she designer for her mother (see below).
In truth though, they were all winners, celebrating fashion and health and a bright future ahead.
Last night, the Ocean State was treated to the work of some our most creative, fresh, female designers, Barrington native Kara Wickman and Maria Del Carmen Mercado, a Dominican Republic native who now calls Providence home (see an in depth story I wrote on her by CLICKING HERE). The collections shared a toast to feminine form, boasting graceful silhouettes and a cacophony of color.
Wickman’s debut collection, Oui, (fall/winter 2011) was inspired by, “the essence of the Parisian woman: a women who never forgoes chic even though life is on the go.” With delicate cage veils, sky high stilettos, opera gloves and painted faces, the collection captured the very essence of the stylish woman. “Ladylike glamour,” is how she describes the 22 looks that owned the catwalk at the Providence Biltmore. “My collection is sexy and classy. A woman could wear one of my corsets under a blazer with a pencil skirt or pants then take off the jacket and go out for cocktails.”
Diverse textures simultaneously complemented and contrasted a cohesive collection, which incorporated rich fabrics including French lace to fine silks, luxurious velvet and Italian wool. In the January issue of Rhode Island Monthly, Wickman appears in a 2-page spread featuring all of the StyleWeek designers, each with in individual moniker. Wickman is labeled, quite apropos, as “The Glamorous.” “What a flattering label!” she beams. “I designed a collection which I would wear myself and have described as effortless chic. I have always been influenced by the glamour of designers Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta whom I hope I have paid homage to.”
This site will be updated with more looks from Oui soon! PS: I’m honored to wear a piece from Kara Wickman’s show later this week! Which will it be?! I don’t think I can resist the look at the top of the page!
Last night I was busy taking notes on Golden Globe fashion hits and misses for this morning’s Rhode Show on WPRI/FOX Providence (in between catching the football score, of course). Overall, there was a ton of great gowns, oodles of color and crystals, and polished hair and makeup on the ladies of the red carpet. It was hard to choose the very best; but here’s what I profiled on the show. (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SEGMENT).
Eva Longoria in Zac Posen Simply elegant, hugged her petite frame in all the right places, had a bit of a daring décolletage but it was balanced by sweet cap sleeves, hair and makeup was subtle to let the dress do the talking…I call this the ‘Tony Parker, I hope she was worth it, honey, because you ain’t never having it this good again!’ dress…
Amy Adams in Marchesa I’m calling her my Golden Globes dark horse because I’m not expecting to see a ton of “best dressed” press on her today, but her rich blue one-shoulder gown featured laser-cut detail from the shoulder to the hip. It was a lot of dress but she complemented it perfectly with loose, upswept locks and natural makeup (read how her makeup artist, Molly Stern, created the look here). Bonus points to this new mother who chose the perfect gown to flatter her incredibly shrinking figure.
January Jones in Versace You could practically hear jaws drop when the Mad Men starlet exited her limousine in her smokin’ hot, strategically placed Versace number crafted from long fringe and finished with a polished coif and Chanel red lips. I’m not quite sure she’s a Rhodes Scholar or anything, but she sure knows how to make heads turn in a sea of gorgeousness.
Dianna Agron in J. Mendel Nude, taupe, beige and pale pastels were aplenty on the red carpet last night, but this Gleek did it best in my opinion. Her soft, half-pulled buttery blonde ‘do was reminiscent of Old Hollywood, channeling Veronica Lake—a lovely look and total package.
Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta Glee’s resident drama queen might be relatively new to red carpet events but she works it like a pro and didn’t disappoint last night. In a girly pink, one-shoulder Oscar boasting an asymmetrical ruffle cascading over layers of dress.
Anne Hathaway in Armani Privé Oddly enough, this dress grew on me the longer she spent on the red carpet. Sure, the poufy sleeves were tres Dynasty and the fit around her waistline was imperfect, but the down-to-there back made it decidedly modern. Her stylist, the famed Rachel Zoe, is all over this number as retro-influence permeates Zoe’s looks.
Olivia Wilde in Marchesa Once again she was first on the red carpet and made a splash with this huge, blinged out ballgown. I just didn’t feel her casual hair and cat-eye makeup were well suited for such a glamorous look. Her gold, crystal-encrusted Louboutins, however, were breathtaking.
Claire Danes in Calvin Klein Collection You could tell this was Calvin from a mile away: simple, timeless, classic. It fit her perfectly. Shout out to Emma Stone as well who also rocked Calvin. Both blondes wore peach/pink hues.
Piper Perabo in Oscar de la Renta Who knew the Coyote Ugly star could look so sophisticated? The black, tank top neckline was festooned with a simple black bow at the shoulder while the sculptured skirt was feminine and flouncy.
Jane Krakowski in Badgley Mischka Even if she wasn’t on the cusp of her third trimester, the 30 Rock funny girl gets two thumbs up for this exquisite Badgley Mischka in cornflower blue. Even better, her polished but loose flowing tresses and glowing makeup finished the look of to perfection.