Last night was the opening party to celebrate Dressed to Play: The Sporty Style of Doris Duke, at the late heiresses’ Rough Point mansion. Admittedly, the home is one of my favorite mansions in Newport, perched on a rocky bluff with uninterrupted, 180-degree views of the Atlantic. Miss Duke (as I discovered many of her staff politely called her when I did a story on her
some time ago), was not your typical heiress, nor was she a shrinking violet. She traveled the world, loved fashion and art, and embraced life to the fullest: surfing, snow and water skiing, ice skating, horseback riding and swimming were all part of her active regimen. Well into her later years, Miss Duke swam off the rocks at Newport (which might explain her enviable figure).
The exhibit features Miss Duke’s sportswear and active clothing including a wide range of casual and active apparel made by American and European designers such as Jantzen, Valentino, and Giorgio Sant’ Angelo. Just as with fashion exhibits featuring Miss Duke’s clothing in the past, I was struck by how many of the pieces would be still wearable and in-style today. For example, the drool-worthy Gucci riding boots, a blue day dress by Emilio Pucci and the great Givenchy sweater set paired with crisp white trousers—so Newport.
See this amazing exhibit for yourself, which will be on display now though November. For more
information on Rough Point and the Newport Restoration Foundation, click here.