Archive for March, 2011
Before there were thousands of personal style and street fashion blogs (many of which I love), there was Bill Cunningham. The famed New York Times photographer is best known for riding around the Big Apple on his bicycle for the past forty years with a camera around his neck and a passion for documenting fashion trends. By night, he was charged with capturing Manhattanites on the social circuit for his two weekly columns in the Sunday Times.
Today, the man behind the lens can be seen on big screen in a new documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, capturing his exceptional zeal for fashion and the City. The documentary, offering a peek into this intensely private, 81-year-old’s non-stop working habits, comes to the Jane Pickens (and theaters around the country) April 1-7th. Click here for show times.
“We had the best time there!” Ramona Singer told me, reminiscing on her sojourn in Newport last summer. And she stayed here in style, aboard the 145-foot luxury motor yacht Lady Sheila with her family as guests of a friend. The mile-a-minute wife, mother and entrepreneuress behind Tru Renewal skincare, True Faith jewelry, and Ramona Singer Jewelry for HSN is best known for her role on the wildly popular Bravo reality series, The Real Housewives of New York City (she gives us a little teaser of the new season at the end of this interview). “I’m a maven at what I do,” she gushes. “I believe to be successful, you need to love what you do.” So Singer has added yet another passion-meets-venture to her already impressive line up: wine. Pinot Grigio, as longtime Housewives viewers know, is Singer’s libation of choice. “Turtle Time!” Singer’s song and dance in homage to the vino when living it up in St. Martin, has become her signature moniker. Singer said she’s tried a lot of brands, but had yet to find an absolute favorite. “Personally, there was nothing I loved out there,” she told me. “Lots that I liked, but not that I loved.”
When fans would ask what her top pinot was, not having a definitive answer inspired Singer to create her own vintage with Opici Wines. “And the best Pinot Grigios come from Italy’s Venezia region,” she explains. “Basically, to me the most important thing was for the end note to have no bite—you know how sometimes there’s that…just lingering aftertaste? I don’t like that,” she explains. “Ramona Pinot Grigio is crisp, refreshingly fruity, and you can drink it with anything,” she describes. “And it’s a natural, low calorie drink.” A 4oz. glass, she notes, is less than 90 calories. “I’m so neurotic about perfection when it comes to what I do,” she told me, to the point where she ensured in the making of Ramona Pinot Grigio would taste extraordinary in almost any circumstance. “I mean, I want it to be room temperature and still taste good!” The wine is currently being distributed in the tri-state area with plans to expand to Rhode Island and beyond. (It retails for $14.99, and Singer asked me to tell readers to ask their local beer/wine/liquor stores to carry her wine.)
For now, fans will have to get their fill of Ramona when the fourth season of Housewives begins, “Thursday, April 7th at 10!” she sings. “I’m telling you, this will be the best season ever. Last year I was the peacemaker, this year I become ‘Ra-motional!’ There are scenes in Morocco that are better than Sex in the City—really full jam packed!”
As for Newport, where last summer she played on the grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and enjoyed Cliff Walk, The Breakers, went jet skiing and raved about local shops and restaurants, she’s planning her return this summer, yacht or no yacht!
Image at left: Bravo
Sara Campbell is open! It’s true. When I first reported the Boston-based designer’s plans for a Newport store here, the opening seems so far away, but we’re here. The shop, located at 117 Bellevue Avenue, is Campbell’s sixth, with others in Massachusetts (Boston’s South End and Beacon Hill, Wellesley, Concord, and Nantucket). For now, the Newport store hours for April are Thursday- Sunday, 10–6 p.m., but it will be open daily come summertime.
Clock Tower Square takes the ribbon for deals and steals this weekend, with a March Madness Sale today now through Sunday. Look for bargains at Stalise, Lou Lou’s Décor and Deborah Winthrop Lingerie. Also, The Bay magazine launched a promotion recently: a purchase of $25 at participating stores gets you a free medium coffee at Custom House Coffee, so save you receipts from Deborah Winthrop, Stalise and Groovy Gator (promo runs through end of May). In Newport, sales continue to toast the grand reopening of the newly remodeled Potter & Co. (25% off a nice selection of goods) and Banana Republic has 40% off already reduced pieces (total steals!), not to mention you can clean up on fine looking threads at Chace N’Lulu. Happy shopping!
Dresses shown by Sara Campbell
I just wrote about Alex and Ani last week, but today I’m putting the eco-conscious jewelry line back in the spotlight as the team behind the original expandable bangle and bangle bar has debuted a black obsidian bangle to support relief efforts in Japan. This bangle has been specifically designed to support relief of the recent disasters in Japan utilizing Alex and Ani’s Charity By Design process. With charms promoting healing protection and peace, the piece is available in a Russian Gold or Russian Silver finish, and is adorned with a black obsidian stone which is said help to ward off negative energy and keep thoughts positive. Together, Alex and Ani and Spreehive, Rhode Island’s local answer to Groupon, will be donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of the Obsidian Bangles to the Red Cross. In lieu of the regular $38 price, the bangle is just $19. Purchase through Spreehive.com and either pick up at Alex and Ani retail stores, including Newport’s Bowen’s Wharf locations, or order through the website if you do not live near any of the four retail stores.
The special offer is available for the next few days. Click here for information and to order.
Alex and Ani made headlines this week when it was announced the Rhode Island-based company will sponsor the Harbor Stage at Fort Adams State Park at the Newport Folk Festival on July 30-31 and at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 6-7. It’s the first time in the history of the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival one corporation will be a sponsor at both events.
Rent the Runway, arguably fashion’s best kept secret, just added more than a half dozen Lilly Pulitzer dresses to their roster of drool-worthy designers. If you haven’t heard, RenttheRunway.com is an online designer rental destination where you can rent looks by Herve Leger, Badgley Mischka, Diane Von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and tons more for a fraction of what you would buy it in stores. Browse by style, occasion, price or even ring up one of their on-call stylists and tell them what you’re looking for, what kind of function you’re going to, what your preferences are, and they’ll steer you in the right direction.
Lilly is one of those lines that never really goes out of style. It’s perennially preppy look might lend itself to buying more than renting, especially if you live, summer or travel to Newport, Palm Beach, the Hamptons or other resort areas. In fact, here in Newport, I just recently spotted some beautiful Lilly Pulitzer pieces at Island Outfitters on Lower Thames and Angela Moore on Bellevue Avenue.
But if Lilly is a little out of your standard Cynthia Steffe LBD comfort zone and you’re just hoping to land the look for a specific event or weekend respite, Rent the Runway might be the way to go. I think RTR’s best value is for your black tie events, when you can rent something fabulous like an Angel Sanchez gown that normally retails for $3,000 for $350. Now, $350 is still a nice chunk of change, but if you’re looking to make an unforgettable entrance and make a splash in designer duds you may never otherwise be able to afford, here’s your chance.
Wanna see how fabulous Rent the Runway really is? Then ENTER NOW to win a $150 credit to use on any look from Rent the Runway (within the $150 credit limit). Here’s how to enter: Subscribe to the Newport Stylephile now (look for the subscribe tab at right next to the top Lilly image). If you’re already a subscriber, simply email NewportStylephile@yahoo.com and place ‘Enter me to Rent the Runway’ in the subject line or body of the email. A winner will be chose at random a week from today! Good luck!
The 50% off rack at Chace N’Lulu on America’s Cup Avenue continues to grow, and while yesterday’s sun-soaked afternoon spread spring fever throughout Newport, there’s plenty of time to get use out of these warmer clearance pieces. If spring break and warmer temperatures are all you can think of, you’re in luck as the shop is hosting a store-wide sale through the weekend, offering 20% off the entire store PLUS sale items that are already marked down.
The Pink Pineapple just launched The Pink Pick 3 Giveaway, a fun social media promotion. Here’s how it works: Pick your favorite 3 Pink Pineapple items by clicking here or by popping in the stores in Newport or Portsmouth, then post them on the Pink Pineapple’s Facebook page. The winner will be picked at random on March 31st. Good luck!
It’s BOGO time for the boys at Michael Hayes on Bellevue…now through Sunday, buy one, get one free on sport coats, sport shirts, sweaters and trousers. Downstairs, ladies can take advantage of 75% off all clearance items. Sales are final but fabulous.
It’s a Wish come true as the girls prepare to make the move from Lower Thames to the corner of Bellevue and William Street. Super chic pieces in the shop are not already on super sale, but the shop is offering an extra 20% off the lowest sale price (there’s a ton of $10 to $30 tops, skirts, dresses, jeans, jackets and more).
If you’re a Facebook fan of Deborah Winthrop Lingerie, get any sale item at 50% off the original price (if you’re not, it’s 10%, 20% or 30%, so fan them today by clicking here). The Clock Tower Square shop is stocked with Wacoal colored bras, lingerie, pjs, panties, and discontinued SPANX—included in the sale.
Lastly, I posted this same deal Thursday, but as a reminder, visit the Newport Stylephile Facebook page (www.facebook.com/newport.stylephile) where you’ll find a 30% off coupon to use at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy today through Sunday, March 20th. (It’s a friend page, so just send a friend request if you’re not a friend yet and we’ll confirm ASAP and you’ll be on your way to save! We’ll be moving to a fan page in the future). Best of all, when you use the coupon, the company will donate 5% to the World Wildlife Fund, the leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species.
Illustration courtesy Ann Taylor
Tomorrow morning we’ll be posting Deals & Steals bright and early, but today we’re observing Bloggers Day of Silence to benefit ShelterBox USA, which provides emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. I’d also like to sing the praises of Newport-based graphic designer Bob Troutman, who created this touching poster being featured by GlobalGiving.org for Japan relief.