Jackie Comes to the Jane Pickens Theater



Jackie is the postmortem exploration into the mind of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following the assassination of her husband, the 35th President of the United States. Playing at the Jane Pickens Theater now through Feb. 2 and directed by filmmaker Pablo Larraín, Jackie has been called “…a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of ‘Camelot’ that they created and loved so well.” Yesterday, we learned it has been nominated for three Academy Awards.

Of course, the Kennedy legacy and Camelot—and all it entails—is inextricably tied to jackie_o_cellist_concertNewport. The City by the Sea is where Jackie spent much of her childhood, and ultimately where she exchanged vows with the then-junior Senator from Massachusetts. The film doesn’t address those earliest days as man and wife, but in flashbacks, we see moments that reflect Jackie’s legendary style. Among them:

The recreation of Jackie’s globally-viewed 1962 televised tour of the White House (the First Lady won an Emmy for the CBS special) where she dons a memorable red suit by Chez Nixon inspired by a Christian Dior design (top). Her now-iconic three strand pearl necklace peeks through the bateau neckline and her brunette bouffant coif is perfectly styled. This look is seen on the film’s official promos.

The pink Chanel* double-breasted suit worn in Fort Worth, then Dallas, on that fateful November day. Featuring navy blue lapels and paired with a coordinating pillbox hat 2f989f92c45275387e5edbd0b1775ebc(said to be a favorite of the President) was technically made by Chez Ninon with Chanel boucle wool with permission from the esteemed French fashion house. For this film, costume designer Madeline Fontaine worked directly with Chanel, hand-dying the fabric until it imitated the perfect shade of pink.

Recital of cellist Pablo Casals at the White House, November 13, 1961. I can’t say for certain the film is portraying this specific legendary recital, but the First Lady was known for her passion for arts and culture which included regularly welcoming famed musicians at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In the scene, Jackie is captivating in a soft yellow ivory silk sating evening gown with cap sleeves and cowl neckline paired with elbow length gloves. The gown is emblematic of the many (more than 300) designs she wore by designer Oleg Cassini (above left). The silhouette is reminiscent of the light blue silk shantung evening dress by Chez Ninon during a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Notably, she wore the same shade here in gallery-1480719336-image-04afa3ee-f8cc-4059-8c62-8208612a44bcNewport to a dinner during the 1962 America’s Cup (designed by Oleg Cassini) hosted by Ambassador Howard Beale. I wrote about it here a few years ago.

Lastly, we see Jackie in mourning, donning black ensembles through the White House and the surrounding funeral events and ceremonies. Jackie wore a black Givenchy suit with traditional Spanish mantilla veil to escort the flag-draped casket to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. The next and final day, she led President John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession on foot to St. Matthews Cathedral donning a long sheer black veil.

Jackie is playing at various times at Newport’s Jane Pickens Theater through Feb. 2.

Photos: top, © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;

January 25, 2017 at 2:58 am Leave a comment

5 Fantastic “Wear Right Now” Pieces from J. McLaughlin (including my favorite) – And All On Sale


I knew it as soon as I saw it: the Betts Dress from J. McLaughlin would be the perfect winter staple. Classic A-line silhouette, knee-length and long sleeved—it was altogether elegant but with an eye-catching vegan leather collar and gold buttons complemented by sleek  side welt pockets. It’s so very Claire Underwood. I wore it on this

episode of The Rhode Show and featured it on this episode. And the reason there’s not a link to the dress on this post is because it’s not even available online any longer. There’s some good news for Newport locals though- there are a few left in various sizes at the Newport J. McLaughlin on Bellevue, and marked nearly 50% off at $109.)

So the Winter Sale at JMcL is in full swing with 50% off hundreds of pieces. Four of my other favs right now:

The Elm Skirt ( pictured a top)is a textured jacquard pencil skirt with rich pattern of red, black and gray on winter white. Flattering and fabulous, the skirt is a statement piece that pairs best with a simple solid (likely already in your wardrobe) and is built to last. Originally $189, now $89.90.


Lila Wrap Dress


Not even DVF knew when she invented the wrap dress, the style would be one of the most enduring in women’s fashion. The Lila Wrap Dress in Pop Arcadia (this one: black and off-white) features a v-neckline with point collar, ¾ length sleeves, self-tie belt in reverse color pattern, and most of all, is made from J. McLaughlin’s signature (and super comfy) Catalina Cloth. Though part of the fall collection, this can easily be worn any time of year. Was $225, now $109.90.

I love pieces you can wear the whole year through. They’re more practical and offer much more bang for the buck. Stripes and Newport go together like peas and carrots (viva la Forrest and Jen-nay!). The Campus Sweater in wide stripes of taupe and off white is as perfect for now as it will be on a crisp summer night. Was $198, now $89.90.

The Casey Dress in Mayan Paisley (below) is brilliantly designed to be super flattering. The top half features an angular pattern that skews to the smallest part of the natural waist, while the bottom half sports an art deco-esque pattern that is timeless. Another piece made with JMcL’s Catalina Cloth (and with hidden pockets), this dress is a traveler’s dream. Was $225, now $109.90.


J. McLaughlin in Newport is located at 180 Bellevue Avenue. Happy shopping!

January 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Four Fabulous Looks for New Year’s Eve from The Rhode Show

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and whether your perfect idea of welcoming on 2017 is watching the ball drop in Times Square while comfortably on the couch or it’s by getting all dolled up and dancing he night away, here are four fashionable looks and easy accessorizing ideas I brought to The Rhode Show this week:

Look 1: Soft cotton CHEERS t-shirt from Old Navy ($5 on sale) and Gap true skinny jeans, both from Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Look 2: Long-sleeve sheer tunic/dress with leather paillettes by Staples from The Sail Loft on Bowen’s Wharf in Newport. Pair with black leggings and heels, opaque black tights and heels, skinny jeans or with a blazer, etc. Shop The Sail Loft now via Shoptiques.  


Cheers, Darling! Bags – Kate Spade

Look 3: Gold, rose gold and silver sequin mini dress with 3/4 sleeves, round neckline and a swing silhouette. Can also be paired with leggings or tights. $189. The Sail Loft on Bowen’s Wharf in Newport. SShop The Sail Loft now via Shoptiques.

Look 4: Long-sleeve shimmering body suit paired with flirty tulle midi skirt. Whole look from Charlotte Russe and  under $50, both from Tanger Outets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

On me: Use your favorite black dress as a canvas for chic accessories. I’m wearing the J. McLaughlin Betts dress which is as elegant and dramatic as it is comfy and low-maintenance. The vegan leather collar and side welt pockets make for chic detailing. $225, J. McLaughlin Newport.

Easy accessories: Extra long necklace with gold chain and amber-hued stones, J. Crew Factory Store; multi-stone tassel necklace from LOFT, both from Tanger Outets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Tips for shopping at Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino:

  1. Strategize! Visit first to see which shops you want to explore first so you can make the most of your time there.
  2. Join TangerClub in advance and check in at Shopper Services with your member card for a free coupon book.Free coupon books also offered to police, fire,rescue services & military personnel every time you shop. AARP and AAA members (and CAA) also get the free coupon book.
  3. Download apps for the stores you want to shop in advance for added coupons. Also sign up for any e-newsletters they offer as they will also often have discounts.
  4. Enjoy! The comfy couches between stores are perfect for a email check and to relax.

Happy Shopping!

Disclosure: Tanger Outlets provided me with a gift card to experience the outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino. 

December 24, 2016 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

Good Things Come in Small Packages: Sensational Stocking Stuffers on The Rhode Show

Some might think Santa does his best work under the tree, but great things come in small packages. Today, I headed to The Rhode Show to share some sensational stocking stuffers sure to make in impression. Click to watch!


For the wonderfully whimsy woman: Flower Eyewear by Drew Barrymore, $39 to $88, retailers nationwide.

flower-eyewearFor the all-natural friend: Block Island Organics  organic cleanser, organic purifying
facial cleanser, organic moisturizer, $21.99 to $29.99 at blockislandorganics.com and Amazon.

For the dapper dandy: Funky trouser socks from J. Crew Factory Store at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, sale, 3 for $10

For the jet-setter: Passport leather case from J. Crew Factory Store at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets. Regular: $32.50. Sale: $13

51uicn1fmglFor the fashionista: Tassel necklace from LOFT at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, Under $12 with ales and promotions. 

For the “investor:  Mason Pearson brush, $105 – $200, Soap & Water in Newport, Bowen’s Wharf. Developed and patented more than 100 years ago, Mason Pearson’s hair brush is the ultimate grooming tool featuring the finest, premium-grade boar bristle, which is gentle to the hair and scalp. Does it date back to the Industrial Revolution? Yes. Is it worth? Oh, hell yes. Shop there now by CLICKING HERE

For the glamour gal: Kate Spade Little Shiloh $59 + 60% off.  (Wrentham Village Premium Outlets)

For the little one: Little Finger Puppet Board Books, $6.99, Island Books, Middletown. To shop, CLICK HERE


December 20, 2016 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

12+Holiday Gifts Ideas from Around Town




























December 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

12+ Thoughtful Hostess Gifts with a Local Twist as seen on The Rhode Show


click to watch the segment!

“Good manners reflect something from inside-an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.” ― Emily Post 

In this season of giving, good manners mean recognizing the host and hostess of your gatherings with a sincere token of thanks. Channel you inner Emily Post and always play by the rules of civility with this locally made and locally sold gifts.

From Lou Lou’s Décor, Newport:

Jute Newport tote by Apolis (more info HERE)

 From Soap & Water Newport on Bowen’s Wharf

Birchwood Pine Classic Candle & Diffuser Set from Nest Fragrances featuring two of Nest’s signature products in an iconic seasonal scent. Use the reed diffuser to scent your space or brighten the room with the classic candle.nest-pumpkin-chai-candle-box

The Pumpkin Chai classic candle by Nest Fragrances creates a cozy autumn ambiance with a blend of wild pumpkin, spicy Masala chai, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon.

Molton Brown 5-piece travel set (airplane-approved size) featuring body wash, shampoo, body lotion, body polisher and hand cream

Pom pom fleece sock slippers by Ugg

 Elegant throw

 From Isherwood & Company on Bowen’s Wharf:

wine-tote-seas-the-wineHandcrafted cheese board and cheeseboard/trivet set made by Howard Burbank of Westport

Seas the Wine wine tote by Mona B fitted with FitVine wine (has 1/3 calories and carbs of comparable wines and 1/3 of the sulfites — read my review HERE)

Nautical napkin rings by Vilmain (made in the USA)

Urban Agriculture CO. organic herb growing kit  as featured in Oprah’s 2016 Gift Guide as Product of the Year 



Note Cards and thank you cards by Wildes of Port Press:



November 17, 2016 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Home Style: A Middletown Home Where the Hue Always Fits


The October issue of The Bay Magazine, on newsstands now, features my monthly home feature. For details and more photos, pick up The Bay this month or CLICK HERE. PHOTOS BY MIKE CEVOLI

“I remember my husband saying, ‘If we don’t buy this house, we’re not going to have a 1474655098_2753house,’” recalls Mary Ellen. “It had four tiny rooms with a dirt driveway.” But it was enough, so the little family moved in and made the house a home. “I think it cost $26,000 and the mortgage payments were a little over $100 a month – and we had a hard time paying it sometimes!”

The layout of the home was a little awkward as well. Mary Ellen says there was a small living room, and bedrooms bookending the, as she describes, “itty bitty” kitchen. “And you had to go through this tiny bedroom to get to the kitchen,” she says.

After getting on their feet, the Fraziers decided to expand on the home by adding a second floor. The space would accommodate a new master suite. “Then we took the other side of the house and added a great room. Later, we decided to move downstairs, so we added another master there – but this all evolved over quite a bit of time,” explains Mary Ellen. The couple even modified the home as recently as five years ago to create an in-law suite to accommodate Mary Ellen’s parents.

But as Mary Ellen first adjusted to the changes in the home, she also got in touch with a wonderfully whimsical side of her personality: decorating with an unabashed spirit. Color became her passion. Colorful window treatments, furniture, décor and artwork. Colorful light fixtures, decorative pillows and throws. Colorful accent walls. She looks around and has an epiphany: “I think I’m a closet decorator!”

It’s no surprise, really. Mary Ellen says she grew up in the age of neutrals and her childhood home reflected that trend. “If my mom put up celery green drapes it was like, ‘Oh my God!’” she laughs. So her penchant for personality in the home all makes sense, she explains. “Some people go off to get tattoos to rebel; I rebel with color!”1474655101_7026

Mary Ellen says that through the decades, she has gone through various stages, like many homeowners. “The country stage, then all the antiques, the all-Oriental furniture and now it is what it is,” she says, which might be described as nautical meets pop art meets sophisticated sass. “I don’t know where the inspiration came from,” she says. “It’s just evolved.”

It’s not that Mary Ellen is all color, all the time. Many surfaces are linen white which serves as a baseline. But the accent walls (there’s a purple one and orange one, to name a couple), furniture (like the banana yellow hutch) and décor (like the pair of acrylic octopus chandeliers by North Kingstown artist Nicole Ketchum and her husband of Chandelier By NK, sporting hues of turquoise, fuchsia, green, orange and red) do all the talking. In the dining room, orange leather chairs strikingly contrast with the pair of purple chairs that are parked at each end of the table. In the kitchen, where the orange accent wall resides, there is an obvious “seaworthy” motif. The kitchen cabinets are brown, but that may not be for long. “In a year they could be white,” Mary Ellen hints.

As for Walt, he enjoys Mary Ellen’s decorative eye. “He’s not one of those husbands who has to go furniture shopping with me and look at every single thing. He just sits in his recliner and will go with anything,” she laughs. When Mary Ellen starts rearranging furniture, which is often, he goes with the flow. “Walt is just like, ‘Oh my God, there she1474655096_7b88 goes again.’” That isn’t to say Walt doesn’t pick up when Mary Ellen has a new design inspiration. “If I sneak a new chair into the house, a week or so later he’ll look up and say, ‘I see you bought a new chair…’”

While Mary Ellen sources her colorful pieces locally, she also names Home Goods as one of her favorite stores. She says she has gone shopping with her daughter Stephanie and might say to her quietly, “Did you see what that lady had in her cart? For her home?”

“And Stephanie will say quickly, ‘Mom! Have you seen what’s in your cart?’” Mary Ellen laughs. “And she’s right!”

Mary Ellen and Walt say they love the way their home looks, even if it is evolving all the time. “It’s not for everyone, but it makes us happy. People walk through the door and say, ‘I could never do this,’ but they also seem to love it.”

A cacophony of color, the Frazier’s home is decidedly warm and welcoming, so it’s no surprise it is a favorite place for friends and family to gather including their grandchildren. “We love this home – it’s a happy place.”

For details and more photos, pick up The Bay this month or CLICK HERE.

October 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm 2 comments

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