Archive for February, 2011

The Oscars! Our Best (and Worst) Dressed from The Rhode Show

If the others are divisional championships, the Academy Awards as the Super Bowl of awards season, and last night did not disappoint (the Red Carpet didn’t anyway). Personal stylist Jill Marinelli and I were up bright and early to dish on our fashion hits and misses. Click the image above to watch the clip!

We both agreed Haliee Stienfeld and Halle Berry, each in blush-toned in Marchesa gowns were extraordinary, and we equally adored Mila Kunis in her lavender Elie Saab Haute Couture lace and silk organza gown. Jill loved Jennifer Husdon in tangerine Versace, and while I think she looked amazing overall–the hair, the makeup, even the silhouette and color of the dress–I thought the decolletage was distracting. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Calvin Klein was simple, elegant and intriguing with an unusual neckline, and instanting glamorous in a silver/gold shimmer. I didn’t mention it on our segment, but I also adored Mandy Moore in an off-the-shoulder, illusion neckline dress by Monique Lhuillier, also in blush.

Though we agreed on Michelle Williams’ exquisite hair and make up, I gave her short sleeve, form-fitting Chanel two thumbs up for it’s classic Mia Farrow style, while Jill thought Williams could have made a more figure flattering choice. Another jaw dropper was Jennifer Lawrence in a body-hugging, flaming red Calvin Klein number.

Our misses included Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabanna (maroon lace? not so much…), Nicole Kidman in Dior (really? you wanted to add volume to your hips?) and Helena Bonham Carter wearing a velvet and taffeta dress by Colleen Atwood–but I give her a pass because her eccentricity is predictable–I’m not expecting to she her in a pastel de la Renta anytime soon..

Who were your hits and misses? Leave a comment, tweet me at or friend and post a message on the Newport Stylephile Facebook page.

Had a great time with you Jill! Thank you again Rhode Show– always a fun, coffee-fueled morning!


February 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm 2 comments

Grab that Givenchy! Walk the Red Carpet in Newport

Wanna walk the Red Carpet? The Friends of the Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center are hosting a Red Carpet Gala & Live Screening Party Sunday. Don that ballgown if you like, or slide on your favorite pair of jeans—the choice is yours because the official dress code is “blue jeans to black tie.”

With promises of gregarious glamour, the one-night only event includes hors d’oeuvres, champagne, wine and beer (all cash bar), and a live auction and raffle with great prizes. Prepare for the paparazzi, then sit back and who takes top prize in each category and how hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco (who’s been popping up around Providence these days per his RISD classes) fair. Proceeds from the event will benefit efforts to upgrade the heating system in the Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center.

To Go: $35 ticket for the whole evening, (6:30 arrival for Red Carpet), appetizers, dessert and awards screening. / $15 ticket for 7:45 arrival, desserts & coffee. Tickets may be purchased on-line at or at the box office at 49 Touro Street. The live screening starts at 8pm.

Me? I’ll be busy taking notes for an early morning appearance on The Rhode Show to talk Red Carpet fashion—who was hot and who was not. I’d love to know who YOU think wears it best, and who’s a hot mess! Leave a comment here, post on my Facebook, or Tweet me at @newportSTYLE!

Then, tune in at 8am on Fox Providence on Monday morning as stylist and friend Jill Marinelli and I dish!

February 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

EXCLUSIVE: Handbag Designer Marcela Calvet to Open Bellevue Boutique

We first featured Argentinean-born designer Marcela Calvet and her line of luxe handbags in November 2009 (read it here), but today we’re breaking news that she’s making the move from her by-appointment-only Newport studio to a Bellevue Avenue storefront. “I am looking forward to contributing to the ‘new landscape’ on Bellevue!” she says. The designer’s first flagship shop will open it’s doors in an intimate space at 59 Bellevue, across from the Redwood Library and Athenæum in April.

Calvet comes from a legacy of luxury design. In 1928, le Maison Calvet in Paris partnered with the haute couture label Callot Soeurs, a legendary fashion house which opened in 1895 (see an exquisite Callot Soeurs gown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute by clicking here). The House of Calvet continued to design and produce couture fashion under the Callot label while expanding their perfume line.

JCM Louchel print for Callot Soeurs (Calvet, 1945 Paris)

“A limited number of made to order exotic skin handbags were hand-crafted for the label’s clientele to complement their couture ensembles,” Calvet explains. “The stunning designs were made in fashionable Buenos Aires.” In 1937, the Maison Calvet completed its acquisition of the quintessential Parisian luxury label of feminine chic and under the new leadership, and the sophisticated designs continued to bear the Callot label. Since then, style has continued to run through the Calvet veins for decades, with Marcela’s grandmother’s social circle including friends like Coco Chanel and Newport’s own Doris Duke, and her mother rubbing elbows with Newport’s most famous style icon, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Today, Marcela Calvet leads her family’s legacy of fine design into the twenty-first century. “Each glamorous collection is a tribute to this iconic history, bringing back the elegance, sophistication and glamour that defined an era,” she describes. Come April, Calvet will continue to add to the chic history of her family’s name, and storied history.

February 25, 2011 at 9:42 am 2 comments

It’s a “Mad” Mad World…

If you haven’t been keeping up with the Newport Winter Festival, grown ups may want to make note of tonight’s Samuel Adams Beer Dinner at The Mooring (reservations required, 401-846-2260) and the 11th Annual Martini Contest at Newport Grand.

Funny how a drink holds a certain panache, a signature swagger. The Cosmo clearly has the fictional Carrie Bradshaw and her gaggle of galpals to tank for making the ubiquitous pink potion the official cocktail of Girls Night Out, and while the martini has never really gone out of style, we have Mad Men’s Don and Betty Draper to thank for it’s soaring popularity. (Frankly, Betty is being blamed, in the best of ways, for a lot of trends recently, including full, flirty skirts paired with belted waists, and coifed, flipped ‘dos. Wanna get the Portsmouth’s own Cynthia Bogart of got the fashion scoop from Janie Bryant, the costume designer behind Mad Men. CLICK HERE to read the story).

I must confess, I have Christie’s to thank for reuniting me with the legendary libation. Five dollar martinis seven days a week? It’s no wonder I finally broke down. Their gateway martini was the bevy of fresh and fruity concoctions, but one evening the bartender convinced me to try a standard, shaken not stirred, Beefeater gin martini with a twist, and it was lovely.

They continue to make a great martini, and I adore a Fifth Element gin martini,  and espresso renditions from Asterisk, the Clarke Cooke House and the Brick Alley Pub. But we’ll have to wait to tonight to see who Newport thinks does it best…

Mad Men photo courtesy AMC, Sex and the City photo courtesy HBO

February 23, 2011 at 9:48 am 2 comments

Deals & Steals: Winter Fest Edition

There are tons of sales going around the island! Lots of restaurants and retailers are offering additional discounts with a Newport Winter Festival button, click here for a complete list of discounts.

Also, Kristina Richards is having a HUGE sale this weekend. If you have any doubt, I can tell you I picked up a T-Bags tunic with a stunning beaded collar that was marked $228 for $25. There were super steals on dresses and tops by Milly, Alice + Trixie, Shoshanna, Alexis, and Monrow, plus a whole table of sale jeans by J Brand, Seven, Rich & Skinny and DL1961.

Down on Lower Thames, shoe shop Tropical Gangstilettos is offering 35% off store-wide (except for new arrivals) where I spotted platforms, flats, knee-high boots and the much-coveted over-the-knee boots. Most sale shoes and boots with the discount are under $50. At Team One Newport, everything in the store is at least 15% off (there are a few exceptions) so sailors can gear up. And at Wish, the girls are gearing up for their big move up the hill, so there are huge discounts on top of the already low fabulous consignments.

J. McLaughlin on Bellevue has slashed prices to make room for spring, but the bast part is that so many of their pieces you can wear all year long. Case in point, the silk Kara vest I scored that was originally $198 for $25 and the $195 dress for $35. (The delightful silk taffeta ballerina skirt in pink (seen above) is also on sale and it’s awesome, as are scarves, belts, toes and accessories. Great menswear is also deeply discounted, including sweaters, polos, outerwear, hats, needlepoint belts, embroidered pans and ties! Visit my Facebook page to see info on their friends and family sale tomorrow from 11-4 p.m.

February 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

BREAKING: Sara Campbell is coming to Newport!

“It’s official!” exclaimed designer Sara Campbell from her studio space in Boston’s South End this week, confirming she’ll be opening a store at 117 Bellevue Avenue in late March/early April. The elegant space at the corner of Newport’s toniest address and Prospect Hill Street spent last summer housing a Badgley Mischka pop-up shop. Last spring, the design duo of Mark Badgley and James Mischka told me they were delighted to be in Newport for the season, especially since they expected business at their Palm Beach store might suffer from construction on Worth Avenue, but had no long-term guarantees for the 02840.

“I fell in love with the space as soon as I saw it,” Sara said, conceding she functionally checked in daily to see if the Badgley boys would be renewing their lease. When they didn’t, she signed on to be Newport newest designer boutique right away. The eponymously named shop joining her stores in Boston’s Beacon Hill and the South End, Concord, Wellesley, and Nantucket, Mass. “I’m really excited!” she said with a joyous laugh.

Sara describes her mostly all made in the U.S.A. line as modern with a retro influence, colorful, contemporary and lively with a mix of formal and casual pieces. “It’s ageless in spirit,” she describes. “Sassy little numbers for summer too.” Silk and stretch cotton is used amply throughout and the price point she says is in an affordable range from $100-$350.

A Massachusetts native who spent considerable years in California, Sara calls Newport “the new frontier” of her thriving business. The designer is married to a sailor, which no doubt made Newport an even more attractive endeavor, and she also has her hands full raising two teen daughters. Sara said she simply can’t wait to be up and running in Newport and greatly looks forward to becoming a part of the community and supporting local causes as philanthropy is a vital part of brand’s ethos. View her collections by clicking here.

Welcome, Sara!

February 17, 2011 at 9:45 am 10 comments

One on One with Designer Michelle Smith of Milly on the Eve of Her New York Fashion Week Show

I’ve long been a fan of Milly, the lovely luxe label that has celebrated classic female form by rolling out utterly covetable color-rich dresses, outerwear and separates season after season. With timeless, figure flattering silohuettes, it’s no wonder Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and Beyoncé clad themselves in Milly. So when I heard designer Michelle Smith was toasting the label’s 10th anniversary this spring by debuting a playful new line for little fashionistas, I just had to chat with the designer about Milly Minis. I’m delighted share with Stylephile readers our interview below on the eve of Michelle’s New York Fashion Week Milly Fall/Winter 2011 show at Lincoln Center, which you can watch LIVE tomorrow at 3 p.m. on

What was your inspiration for launching Milly Minis? My four-year-old daughter, Sophia, was my true inspiration for the collection. She was even the fit model! Overall, it was a natural progression to translate Milly’s signature bold prints and feminine chic aesthetic to playful dresses for young Milly aspirants.

What sort of piece comprise the collection? The Spring 2011 collection is an assortment of dresses and spring coats. Moving into Fall, I decided to introduce skirts and knit tops and cardigans—the perfect little pieces that wear well with the dresses and skirts.

How does Minis complement Milly’s women’s collection? The Milly Minis collection captures the feminine chic style of Milly for young girls, in the 2 to 7 age range. The line features adorable dresses and coats in the same luxe fabrics and bold prints from the women’s ready-to-wear collection.

How do you describe the debut collection, and what do you see at the future of Milly Minis? The debut Spring 2011 collection is straight from the runway and adapted for aspiring young Milly girls. The silhouettes include ribbon tie-back party dresses and shift styles with button-front details and grosgrain trim.  Future Minis collections will continue to align with the women’s fabrics and prints, and I plan to create more styles and assortments for my newest little clients!

Milly Minis range from $95-$196. Michelle is also anticipating the opening of Milly’s première flagship boutique on Madison Avenue and the debut of new handbag and jewelry collections. Keep an eye out!

Select pieces by Milly are available locally at:

Kristina Richards Studio 17 Touro Street, Newport,  (401) 848-5284; 1000 Chapel View Blvd., Cranston, (401) 270-0188

Pink Pineapple, 380 Thames Street, Newport, (401) 849-8181; 106 Clock Tower Sq, Portsmouth, (401) 293-5490

Zuzu’s Petals, 165 Main Street, East Greenwich, (401) 398-1199; 288 Thayer Street, Providence, (401) 331-9846

Nordstrom, 6 Providence Place, Providence, (401) 621-3111

Image at top courtesy

February 15, 2011 at 9:13 am 3 comments

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