Archive for May, 2012

Here Comes the Andria Bird Bride

I love weddings—going to weddings, being in weddings (I have the dozen or so dresses to prove it!), planning weddings, shopping for weddings, and reading about weddings. I write for a number of wedding magazines and have often joked with editors, photographers and those in the biz that it’s some sort of freakish gene we have to tolerate love the wedding industry.

Andrea Sperl must have the same gene since she opened the doors to her new boutique Andria Bird Bride, a month ago in Newport. It’s been a long time since Newport has had a wedding dress shop and the young, entrepreneurial Sperl handpicked each dress available, all by independent bridal designers whose gowns are handmade in the U.S. Designers include Chaviano Couture (at top), Lindee Daniel, Whitney Deal, Ariel Jennifer Taub (left) and Winifred Bean and range between $1,200-6,000 (not including lower-priced tea-length dresses—perfect for a end of the night going-away dress or comfortable reception dress).

Andria Bird will be welcoming some of the designers for trunk shows (this means sales!) starting with Winifred Bean for a week in July. The shop also exclusively carries accessories (like the French lace veiled mask at right) from the Andria Bird line in addition to custom-order accessories (rhinestone-detailed belts, hair accessories, etc.). Keep posted on trunk shows and other in-store events on the Andria Bird Facebook page.

Andria Bird Bride is located at 225 Spring street (at the corner of Franklin Street). Appointments are booking fast, so call to reserve a time. Spring hours are Tuesday through Thursday 5-8, Friday 2-8, Saturday and Sunday 11-6.

May 30, 2012 at 7:29 am 2 comments

Revisiting: Jack Rogers, All-American Style

As Jack Rogers loyalists know, the brand has been a consummate favorite of the fashionably unfussy for more than half a decade. It’s most famous style icon was unequivocally Jackie O, who embraced the shoe’s simple whipstitch design and quality workmanship. (There’s a long standing debate if she wore Jack Rogers or Stephen Bonanno, some say both, and each have similarities). When I caught “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years: Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (curated by Hamish Bowles, who was in Newport last summer), there was a fabulous photograph of Jackie in Palm Beach sporting Jack Rogers style shoes in a 1962 photo (the above photo was also taken in the early 60s), and many more shots caught her in the fabulous footwear through the years. Regardless of the debate, the Navajo style sandal is timeless and enduring.

Incidentally, The Met recently recognized Jack Rogers’ heritage by initiating the brand into the permanent collection of its prestigious Costume Institute.

Available locally at Angela Moore, Chace N’Lulu and Island Outfitters.

May 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

Memorial Day Markdowns!

Tons of shops around Newport are toasting the unofficial start of summer with a sale so you can stock up on seasonal must-haves just in time.

Kristina Richards Studio has marked 30-75% off select pieces from brands like Shoshanna, Sam Edelman, Seven for All Mankind, Milly and more.

Get 20%, 30% or 40% off at Banana Republic.

At Chico’s, get 40% off shorts, tees, crops and tanks.

Boardshorts and bikinis (and they’re so cute—I checked ‘em out!) are 15% off at Potter & Co. (full priced).

The just-opened White House Black Market is giving out in-store coupons for $20 off any purchase of $80 or more.

Gap: in-stores and online at, save up to 40% off select styles with tees, tanks and kids shorts as low as $10, kids swim from $12, regular shorts from $25, khakis 20% off and more.

Stalise: Up to 70% off spring and summer merchandise, plus $10, $20, $30 markdown racks.

Amelie Michel French tablecloth warehouse sale in Middletown (in the old Modern Furniture building).

Click here to see some great sales from national retailers.

Did we miss you? If you’re having a Memorial Day sale, email

May 25, 2012 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

Memorial Day Must-Haves from The Rhode Show

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer here in the Ocean State and spending time with family and friends is what the weekend is all about. Whether gathering at a backyard barbeque or clinking champagne on the stern of the ship, dressing the part is half the fun. These fun finds—almost all under $100—will allow you to be cute, casual and comfortable with class!

Some of the favorite footwear of style icon Jackie O, Jack Rogers have been “the” summer shoe to slip on since 1960. ($105) The gold trim sandals would complement the flag print, Barbara Gerwit knit dress ($104) from Island Outfitters, Newport

The Smathers & Branson custom Newport needlepoint belt is a nod to the Newport Bridge, the Dark n’ Stormy, and the America’s Cup 12 meter yachts ($165.) BYOB? No problem. Swill in style with this Smathers & Branson Jolly Roger flask. $65, both from Island Outfitters, Newport

Bright, bold bangles with graphic and nautical motifs set the tone for serious style, and turn heads with a whimsical toggle necklace or don a cocktail ring (at left). $19-$40, Jason & Co., Newport

Light and lovely, this Barbara Gerwit whale print tunic (at top)  is perfectly paired with crisp white jeans or linen pants. $69.50, Island Pursuit, Newport

Fashion is fit to be tied in the Melly M nautical rope shorts. Pair with a white oxford and roll up sleeves for a preppy look or keep is casual with a navy or white tank (at left). $132, Island Pursuit, Newport

Keep Clam and Sail On…it just about wraps up summer in Newport (at right). $29.50, Island Pursuit, Newport

It’s all about the super wedge (4.5”!!!) the summer and the Jessica Simpson Amande in patent pink is too precious to pass up! $69.99, Sole Desire, Newport

The crochet trend continues with the Steve Madden Manngo wrapped platform and wedge heel. $75, Sole Desire, Newport

May 24, 2012 at 10:23 am 1 comment

Simple Style: Le Ballerina Bun

Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Nicole Ritchie, SJP…they’re among the many celebs who been been known to rock the ballerina bun—a “bad hair day’s” best friend. Whether worn loose and lovely for an ethereal look, or tight and sleek for a polished coif, the look is much easier than you might think. Sally Beauty Supply’s Mesh Chignon is just $3.69 and gives hair buns the volume that is usually only achieved with a professional touch. Essentially you pull your hair in a ponytail, pull the pony through the mesh chignon (a.k.a. the doughnut), spread hair evenly around, secure with a clear elastic, tuck in ends, and voila! (A perfect style for a week ahead of rainy days…) There are some great, easy-to-follow tutorials on YouTube like this one inspired by a Lauren Conrad ‘do, or a messy Sarah Jessica Parker-esque bun like this created with just an elastic, some bobby pins, a dab of hairspray and some backcombing (she’s a regular mane MacGyver!)…easy!

May 22, 2012 at 12:09 am 4 comments

Happy Anniversary, Ray-Ban!

Marking their 75th anniversary, Ray-Ban has revived its “Never Hide” slogan, debuting a complementary “Legends” campaign collection which fêtes the brand’s most classic styles. Ray-Bans have always seemed a signature Newport style, from the original Wayfarer, now available in funky colors and patterns, to super chic Aviators. (Even the Clubmaster, a somewhat hybrid of the two, is appropriately described by the company asretro and timeless, and as fashionable today as they were when they were the sunglasses of choice of counter-culture intellectuals and civil rights leaders.”)

Coveted by stylish men and women, Ray-Bans are an investment piece (approximately $90 – $230), and should be worn with care. (Note to reader: perpetually-worn-as-a-headband sunnies may rest at the bottom of Newport Harbor if you’re not careful … personal experience speaking).

Ray Bans area available locally at Sunglass Hut, The Music Box, and Island Pursuit.

May 18, 2012 at 12:45 am Leave a comment

Eyelash Tinting Made Easy

Long, luscious lashes are always alluring, but applying mascara everyday isn’t always your first choice. Another way to get the look? Eyelash tinting. Not knowing about the nitty-gritty of the process, I turned to Jenni at The Apothecary who told me tinting would temporarily thicken lashes, give the appearance of  added length, and lasts 4-6 weeks.

Somewhat skeptical of seeing much of a difference from my already dark lashes, I was soon convinced to try the process at The Apothecary, which lasted about 20 minutes, and quickly became a believer. The result was darkened lashes with a subtle dramatic effect—a fun and flirty beauty treatment for just $20 (add mascara for added volume and glamour)!

The Apothecary is located at 39 Memorial Blvd. in Newport.

May 16, 2012 at 12:18 am Leave a comment

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