RI Style | Fall 2012

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RISTYLE Fall 2012

transitions fall looks from local designers social media mavens local brands and personalities with an online presence sinful indulgence desserts for your sweet cravings

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RISTYLE CREATIVE MANAGER: Janice Checchio Managing Editor: Mihaela Hinayon Contributing Writers: David Dadekian, Lanna Leite, Dayna Mancini, Andrea E. McHugh, Jamie Samons Contributing photographers: Ian Travis Barnard, David Dadekian graphic artists: Angelina Berardi, Janet Smith Taylor Sales Manager: Everett Finkelstein Account Executives: Jenn Alarie, Bruce Allen, Steve Brown, Dayna Mancini, Mike Weber Traffic Coordinator: Colleen McCarthy Production DIRECTOR: Travis Ritch Finance: Scotty Cole Circulation Director: Jim Dorgan

RI Style is published by Phoenix Media/Communications Group Chairman and Publisher: Stephen M. Mindich President: Bradley M. Mindich Executive Editor: Peter Kadzis

fall 2012 6 what’s hot: all in the details by andrea e. mchugh 8 a surge of positive energy by dayna mancini 10 online connections by jamie samons 12 artful adornments by jamie samons 14 kara wickman: runway ready by lanna leite 16 (still) crazy for color by andrea e. mchugh 21 transitions by ian travis barnard 26 taste: fresh from your local farmer by david dadekian 28 taste: dangerously decadent by david dadekian

Copyright 2012 Providence Phoenix LLC, 150 Chestnut St., Providence, RI 02903. (401) 273.6397 All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission, by any method whatsoever, is prohibited. For advertising information, contact Steve Brown at sbrown@phx.com; (401) 273.6397.

ON THE COVER: Yellow Clover by Sarah Elizabeth silk satin and chiffon dress, price upon request, available at yellow-clover.com. House of Cach shell and spike cuff, $245, available at houseofcach.com. Photo by Ian Travis Barnard.



fall 2012 5


all in the details

what’s hot

The Low Down on Fall MustHaves from Accessories to Footwear By andrea E. mchugh

6 fall 2012


t’s been said many times over that accessories make the woman. From little things that bling, sparkle and shine, to bags and baubles to brag about, accessories range from the subtle details that polish your ensemble to arresting stunners that easily become a conversation starter. Accessories such as these fun finds are an easy and affordable way to completely reinvent everything from the little black dress to that pair of well-worn jeans paired with your favorite simple top. Sevan Janigian from Sonya’s Clothing in Cranston says when it comes to accessories, bigger may be better. “Everything seems to still be oversized,” she says. “We’re seeing a lot of statement necklaces and oversized rings with darker colors — reds, orange, teals; pops of color.” The boutique, which also carries clothing from labels including BCBG, ABS, Jovani, Alice & Trixie, JS Collection and more, features stunning cocktail rings, trendy cuffs with crystal details, and dangling chandelier earrings. There’s no denying Rhode Island’s own Alex and Ani is taking the globe by storm, with women of all ages clamoring to don the positiveenergy inspired jewelry. The necklaces, earrings, rings, and signature bangle bracelets have been spotted on everyone from Tinseltown celebrities to U.S. athletes competing in this past summer’s London Olympics. New collections debuting this fall include Sugar and Spikes, an edgy look; The Art of Deco, artsy pieces that are decidedly retrochic; and Nautical Siren Wraps, which channel the energy of the sea and the myths that command it. Look for the new pieces—and old favorites—at Alex and Ani stores and retailers this season. At Pink Pineapple in Portsmouth and Newport, totes, smartphone wristlets, and laptop sleeves by Slone Ranger are altogether preppy and practical. The line, featuring whale, horse, or Scottie dog patterns, is considered traditional British prep with a modern twist. The popular shop’s jewelry includes styles that fête coastal living, as exemplified in anchor motifs on everything from bracelets to pendants to belts. Dixie Carroll, owner of J. Marcel (and Blue Suede) on Providence’s East Side, enjoys diversifying the shop’s jewelry selection and best of all, pricing everything under $40. “And it’s all really on trend,” she says. Colorful chunky pieces continue to be in demand as are elongated gold and silver necklaces with details including hammered discs, interwoven links, themed pendants, and multiple strands. When it comes to handbags, Carroll says fall 2012 will gradually bid farewell to studs and oversized hardware. “We go to California several times a year for handbags,” she says, adding that mixed textures—bags with leather and suede together, for example—will be in-demand. Messenger and cross-body bags (bags that as the name suggests, cross the body) are upping the style factor with intricate detail work. “Customers are looking for a more stylish bag,” she explains. While tablet bags are also graduating from simple solids to sleek styles, Carroll says she finds that ladies at J. Marcel are looking for chic and sophisticated purses that can accommodate both their everyday needs and their iPad or tablet.

One accessory that can transcend seasons is exceptional shades. Bob Folgo from OPTX, a Johnston-based eyewear boutique, says renowned designers are making their mark with unique signature designs. Dolce & Gabbana, he says, is embracing “geek chic” with full-rimmed, square-shaped eyeglasses in dark colors, while Gucci is styling oversized frames in brown, black, or grey. “They follow the lines of the classic aviator, he says.

Style Afoot

The way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, but the way to a lady’s “sole” is through fabulous footwear. Whether your closet is stocked with a dozen classic styles or several dozen trendy kicks, there’s always excitement when talking about new shoes. At Michael Hayes in Newport, the classic Tory Burch “Reva” ballerina flat, the designer’s signature shoe, continues to be a musthave. An elasticized heel ensures a secure fit and the Tory Burch gold logo medallion adds eye-catching elegance. The newly-released Reva in a deep grey hue is decidedly fall and complements the color palette of most ensembles. Neutral-toned ankle boots, or “shooties,” as some may call them, by Rag & Bone as well as Diva, are also fall favorites at the Bellevue Avenue boutique. Fall fashionistas often look forward to reuniting with their beloved boots this season. Tall, mid-calf, or over the knee boots are as synonymous with the season as leaf-peeping and in most cases, are simultaneously fashionable and functional—especially convenient for unpredictable New England winters. “Boots are definitely a huge trend,” confirms Dixie Carroll, owner of Blue Suede in Warren. The store, located in the Samsonite Factory Building on Main Street, stocks boots exclusively (save for accessories including jewelry and handbags). Carroll says Frye Boots are a perennial favorite as they are known for classic styling and dependable longevity. “They can last more than 20 years,” she says. “If you give them love, they will love you back.” While Blue Suede’s Frye boots might be the classic staple, pairs by Old Gringo, she says, are just the opposite, best known for intricate embroidery and crystal detail work. “These aren’t ‘clean out the stables’ boots,” she laughs. Carroll also expects over-the-knee boots by Ariat to be a huge hit again this season. Ray Gardner of Ray Gardner Design in Cranston, known for special occasion fashion, weighed in adding that this season’s heel heights are either really high or really low, and not much in-between. “The 2.5-inch high heel is disappearing,” he declares. “The 5-inch heel is hot because with the platform, the pitch of the foot is a lot less; the lift in the front reduces the incline.” This season will be jampacked with color, he predicts, pointing to bold reds, royal blues, and, in his words, “funky” patterns and diverse textures. “Mixed with a simple black dress, the shoes are being used as accessories,” he explains. “Colorful shoes with some added bold jewelry turn out a whole other look.” x

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carolyn rafaelian

a surge of positive energy q+A with local entrepreneur carolyn rafaelian, the woman behind alex and ani By dayna mancini


here’s no doubt that Alex and Ani is revolutionizing the jewelry industry as we know it, but at the helm is a woman whose entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to do things her way has made Alex and Ani an overwhelming success. We caught up with the woman behind the positive energy, Carolyn Rafaelian, who was recently named Ernst & Young’s 2012 New England Entrepreneur of the Year. Tell us about the real Alex and Ani and why you chose the name for your company. Alex and Ani are my two oldest daughters and when I originally developed the brand, they were just 12 and 11 years old. My third daughter, Alivia, came along later and will be inspiring another exciting launch for us in the beginning of next year. Family has, and will always be, a continuous source of inspiration for all of our designs.

style icon

What inspires the creation of each bangle? I am constantly inspired by people, ideas, and places. Each individual bangle has a purpose and has been thoughtfully crafted. Ranging from collaboration with extraordinary non-profits to divine ideas of Spiritual Armor, I think of each bangle as special and uniquely customizable. I want every individual to feel the connection to a symbolic piece, to feel empowered and inspired by literally wearing their hearts on their sleeves, or in this case, charms on their arms.

8 fall 2012

What’s a typical day in the life of Carolyn Rafaelian (if there is one!)? Every day is so different, a blessing in its own way. I enjoy greeting the day with the knowledge that I can positively affect others and create ideas that may inspire. The best days are the ones where I can be in my element designing and brainstorming with organizations or people that can change the world in a great way. Who is your Style Icon? Norma Kamali because she used to make the hottest bathing suits when I was a teenager, we all looked like movie stars! Also, Gloria Vanderbilt because I have such a deep appreciation for history and Jordache jeans (laughs). How about your style, what’s in your closet? My style, my closet, are an extension of what’s important to me: comfortable, organic, and well designed clothing with an eye toward quality materials. On

a typical workday you’ll find me in jeans and a white V-neck T-shirt. All day long I’m experimenting with design, texture and form, so by wearing the basics, I create and become a great canvas. What’s the most interesting story you’ve heard about what people do with Alex and Ani bangles? My favorite story is when people give a bangle to a friend (or stranger!) right off their wrists. This is so cool! It’s like this great, pay it forward effect where someone is like, “Hey, you’re dealing with something, I dealt with something similar… put this bracelet on and get grounded, let it remind you that you got this.” This is powerful. It happens all the time and it’s something I never expected. I love it! Why is it so important to you that Alex and Ani jewelry is made in America? Jewelry has energy; it’s conductive. So for any piece, who it’s created by, where it’s created and what synergies were achieved in that process, it all winds up in the DNA of that piece. In keeping production local, from the metals we use in bracelets to the gelato or coffee we sell at Teas and Javas, I can personally interact with vendors to make sure that what we’re supplied with were produced with integrity and responsibility. Production matters! There is no doubt Alex and Ani is growing exponentially. What do you think this says about RI’s potential? The growth of Alex and Ani has been fantastic, and keeping the business in Rhode Island is an important part of our mission. We made the commitment to produce a quality product locally, which is important to our customers. They respond to that, they support us and they’re proud to do that. Rhode Island has the potential to do anything, our success at Alex and Ani is proof of that. We just need more businesses to believe in that fact, and to bring their manufacturing and operations back to the state. What can we expect next from Alex and Ani? Expect to see more of our venture, Teas and Javas, more collaborations, a lifestyle website, and a fantastic beauty line. These will all have the same emphasis on positive energy, using quality, locally produced products and delivering an amazing product that reflects the unique personalities of all who use them. x

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online connections link up with ri’s social media scene By jamie samons


ot too long ago, tweeting was something a rockin’ robin would do and a blog sounded suspiciously like something that would require a trip to the doctor. Today, we master the art of messaging in 140 characters and feel intimately connected to people we’ve never met via their daily online musings. In Rhode Island, several tastemakers help us decide what to do, eat, and wear through their digital imprimaturs. Keep these folks on your online radar and you’ll never be hungry, bored, or poorly dressed again.


Fashion and potions

10 fall 2012

There’s a reason America’s wealthiest industrialists and hottest Hollywood directors have chosen Newport as their playground: Nature has provided them a breath-taking background. On her blog newportstylephile.com, Andrea McHugh uncovers the best and brightest of the City by the Sea. She profiles local boutiques, interviews designers, comments on national trends, and points out the best places to score a bargain. Follow McHugh on twitter @newportstyle. Meanwhile, Lorien Balayan and Joanna Levitt, the bloggers at getalongandgo.com have their fingers on the pulse of style, culture, DIY-ing, and design in the Ocean State, and they intend to share their inspirations with the fashionably inclined. “It’s an exciting time to be a part of social media in Rhode Island,” Balayan says. “We want getalongandgo to provide a way to connect with like-minded folks and expand our two voices to a platform for many voices.” For immediate sartorial stimulation, visit the Pinterest page of Tara Solon, the proprietress of Providence boutique Mignonette. From chic lingerie to the latest lotions and potions from Europe, Solon’s pins at mignonetteprov are as well-curated as her delightful jewel box of a shop. And while Solon can supply some gorgeous underpinnings, follow Nordstrom Providence’s personal stylist Flannery Zimmer on Twitter @FDZ_NordStylist to get a first look at the new wardrobe acquisitions from everyone’s favorite upscale retailer. Need a daily dose of pretty? Check out the Pinterest of Kyla Covert (kylacovert), gamine designer/illustrator/blogtress of KylaIsInspired.com, for all things girly and flirty.

Foodies and food trucks

Rhode Island’s gastronome-in-chief is David Dadekian (also a

regular contributor to RI Style). David’s comprehensive site eatdrinkri.com runs down every event or tidbit of information regarding the giant food scene in this tiny state. He’s also a talented photographer; his photos grace his site (and many other publications) and his twitter feed, @dadekian. If you need food, like, right now, hit up one of the state’s many food trucks. The migratory nature of these mobile meal providers means that the only way to keep track of them is via social media. Fulfill your craving for Korean barbeque with @MamaKimsKbbq; LA-style tacos @MijosTacos; traditional Mexican tacos @tallulahstacos; gourmet burgers @rockettruck; grilled cheese @fancheezical and @ChampionshipMelt; French-inspired treats @ploufplouftruck; yummy desserts @sugarushtruck and @flourgirlstreat; and frozen delights @PVDPops and @LikeNoUdder. For sheer food porn, indulge in the Instagram of James Beard-nominated chef Matthew Jennings, co-owner and Executive Chef of Providence’s Farmstead and LaLaiterie Bistro, @matthewjennings. Chef Jennings’ photos are favorites of the editorial staff at Bon Appetit magazine.

Events and local buzz

Looking to lose those last five pounds? Check out rhodyfitness. com, run by mother-daughter team Jane Govednik and Sharon Coutu. Together, this dynamic duo spread the word about Rhode Island fitness activities and deals (free yoga classes, anyone?). Follow them on Twitter @RhodyFitness. Score free giveaways and promotions for family-appropriate activities at rhodymamas.com. Jen Senecal and Audrey McClelland merge their mom-power and writing chops to deliver snappy content and advice in addition to a rundown of some excellent deals. Check out their tweets @RhodyMamas. Launched in 2011, the PVD Lady Project is an “‘Old Boys’ Club’ for fabulous women in the Creative Capital.” Launched by Julie Sygiel of Underbrella and Sierra Barter of Clementine Lime, the group organizes champagnelaced networking events and counts stylistas Jen Brister and Jane Parisi of iamtheeverydaygirl.com and Kristen Minsky of chifferobecabaret.com as members. Find the ladies at pvdladyproject.com and on Twitter @PVDLadyProject. x

                                      

            


          


ellen mayer

amie louise plante

Hannah wood

artful adornments

Tzu-Ju Chen


ne of the world’s largest centers for jewelry responsible for so much of our sustenance as well as so much meet some of manufacturing through the twentieth century, now this of the natural beauty we experience. I think bees deserve some rhode island’s small gem of a state mines the talent of local design veneration.” mecca RISD for some of today’s most intriguing talent. Available via blackblackmoonne.etsy.com and at the SoWa market most creative in Boston every weekend. embellishers The Naturalist The Couturier By Jamie One look through the windows at Amie Louise Plante’s Drawing on her experiences of travel and her love of cultural studio, perched on the edge of upper Narragansett Bay in Port Samons Edgewood, reveals the artist’s love of nature. Leaves, flowers, exploration, Taiwan-born Tzu-Ju Chen mixes materials as varied


and sea creatures all find an expression in cast, hammered, and intricately worked silver. The Pawtucket native began her education in the RISD Apparel Design program, but quickly switched to jewelry, mesmerized by the processes and techniques of metalsmithing. Recently, Plante took part in National Geographic’s BioBlitz in Jamestown, RI. Over a 24-hour period, Plante, along with scientists, ecologists, and other artists, biologically surveyed the area in an attempt to record all the living species. “That experience has resonated in my work,” she explains, “and I am pursuing some elegant representations of what we found: bugs, mosses, molds, skate rays.” Plante also has executed a series of quasi-Victorian pieces, featuring hidden elements, such as pearls snuggled beneath a giant crystal and secret messages carved inside a ring or bracelet. “Wearing a work of art is as important as having a work of art in your house,” she says. Available via amieplante.com and also during monthly open studio weekends at 8 Aborn Street in Cranston.

12 fall 2012

The Storyteller

“The process of assemblage—gathering materials—often tells me what to create,” explains Hannah Wood, whose jewelry designs all begin with locally-sourced materials, including vintage printed images from Audubon and Waterhouse. Wood has fused her training in jewelry and illustration to create pieces with individual stories. “I love the period from 1880 to 1920,” she says. “The art scene in Europe was very exciting and artists everywhere embraced the discovery of the self.” Currently, Wood credits bees with much of her inspiration. “I am constantly amazed by all the unseen things bees do. They are

as precious metals and cast crystals in her individually executed pieces. Although her love of 3D design led her to consider pursuing industrial design while at RISD, jewelry design ultimately won her over. “The intimate scale of jewelry felt akin to my own temperament, and I’ve always felt a sense of validation making things with my own hands.” Chen’s love of ancient culture, art in antiquity, and Gothic cathedrals is evident in her work, especially in her enamel pieces: their open backs let light through, reminiscent of stained glass windows. “Light is a key component for how one views things,” she says. “Ultimately, the light brings an uplifting experience.” Available via tzujuchen.com for couture commission and at the RISD Alumni Sale, where she will debut a limited production line this fall.

The Kineticist

Ellen Mayer’s currency is movement. The pixie-like Mayer owns Providence Tango and every year brings thousands of talented dancers to her Pawtucket enclave to wind languorously around her studio, making beautiful shapes with their bodies within the improvisational expression of the Argentine tango. Mayer brings this same sensitivity to movement in her line of jewelry, using vintage and modern beads that dance, dangle, and clap with each movement of the wearer. Intricate combinations of beads and worked wire communicate both structure and whimsy; bold color combinations and variations on scale bring visual interest. Her recent work has included kyanite combined with vintage glass buttons and Venetian glass with freshwater pearls. Available exclusively at Studio Hop, 810 Hope Street, Providence, hopestreetprov.com/studio-hop. x

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19 SanderSon road Smithfield, ri 02917 401.949.4849 facebook.com/flauntri @flauntri


kara wickman

kara wickman: runway ready

designer spotlight

the fearless desginer talks about home and what makes her brand By lanna leite

14 fall 2012


ara Wickman embodies what we’ve come to love about Rhode Island and look for in fashion—elegance and charm, as well as ease and effortlessness. When told that she grasps the Rhode Island spirit, she smiles in agreement, “This is home; these are my roots.” Rhode Island has undoubtedly shaped what she does and how she does it. After high school and much to her mother’s dismay, Wickman joined the army where she quickly earned the nickname “Hollywood”. She worked a series of jobs after completing her time with the army in order to make ends meet while she pondered on higher education. Her mother reminded her of her love of design, a love Wickman says goes back to grade school when she much preferred drawing in her notebook than completing written assignments. She eventually applied to and was accepted into URI’s Textile, Fashion Merchandising, and Design program. Beyond the undergraduate level, Wickman continued to pursue an understanding of fashion design as she took jobs designing and consulting in jewelry product development. She sewed in her free time, but was not sure how to launch her love of design into actual work. Then came an invitation to the launch of StyleWeek Providence and as she watched designers send their garments down the runway, she recalls feeling a rush of emotions. She realized then that the sewing she was doing in the modest lighting of her basement back home needed to be seen in the limelight of StyleWeek’s runway. Soon enough, StyleWeek interviewed her and gave her a spot the very next season, where she would launch her Fall/Winter 2011 collection. As Wickman continues to forge her identity in the fashion world, she credits her hometown and “home base” for keeping her both grounded and inspired. “There’s so much opportunity in Rhode Island,” she says, “The creativity in Providence is overflowing!” Although she grew up in Barrington, she has moved around quite a bit in Rhode Island and continues to become more invested in the different parts of the state. She

credits networks that she has been a part of in Rhode Island— networks that contradict the notion of fashion as a “cut-throat” environment. Wickman tells the story of how she refused to catch the city bug that often bites anxious designers. “When I was studying fashion, I attended a career day event at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology] with guest speakers such as Anna Sui and Catherine Malandrino. I also thought New York was overwhelming and didn’t see myself living there, so when Anna Sui cautioned the group of designer hopefuls that moving to a city like New York to start a fashion business from scratch was anything but glamorous, I knew that I would be unhappy there; I knew I had to evaluate my dream with my priorities.” A few years later, she admits to finding everything she ever needed to get started right here in RI. Nevertheless, her family, that has been in Rhode Island for as long as she could remember, is perhaps her greatest recourse. From her mother’s sound career counseling and her grandfather’s initial investment, to the rock that is her husband and their two little boys that keep her on her toes, she is proud to say that she is part of a team. As with any venture, Wickman has faced her share of struggles and has met them with great patience and spirit. She relates how her struggles have led her to create a more purposeful business. “I am not the next, ‘insert big fashion name here,’ I am Kara Wickman and I have had a lot of time to think about my brand and the impact that I want it to have.” What is her brand? Who exactly is Kara Wickman designing for? She explains it best: “The woman I design for is busy but more than that, she is dynamic and she wants to always look great. I hope to, in one outfit, create something that she can wake up in the morning, put on, run errands, spend some time buying good coffee at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket and in a few minutes do an accessory change, perhaps add a little make up and head off to a romantic dinner on Ocean Drive in Newport.” x



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(Still) crazy for color

fall fashion

color blocking is still in, plus wow with prints, lace, and leather By andrea E. McHugh

16 fall 2012


s temperatures begin to drop and leaves adopt awe-inspiring shades of rich burgundy, crisp auburn and brilliant yellow, some say Rhode Island enters its most exquisite season. Fashion forecasters and trendsetters might just call fall the most anticipated season, when fashionistas trade bikinis for boots and colorful sundresses for chunky knits. Christina Pierce, stylist and founder of Christina K. Pierce Boutique and Agency on Boston’s fashionable Newbury Street, says there are many exciting looks to anticipate. “Some hot trends we can expect to see are various shades of jewel tone green, especially rich emerald with undertones of blue—cooler tones,” she says. Leather tops, bottoms, and dresses will be in-demand, while black and white pieces will be popular bases. “Complementing colors, I forecast, will be burgundy and deep raspberry.” Graphic prints, a strong trend from spring and summer, seamlessly ease in to fall by adopting rich gem tones and textured fabrics. Natalie Morello, owner of Shoppe Pioneer in Providence (known for its whimsical, eye-catching window displays on South Main Street) says patterned pants will continue to be a fashionable trend this season. “There are definitely tons of great prints coming in,” she says. “I have a lot of high-waisted, wide leg pants in prints.” High fashion designers including Proenza Schouler, Marchesa and Sophie Theallet all sent wild, head-turning prints down their fall fashion runways, and even more affordable mass market retailers, including J. Crew, were in sync with the trend. Morello also says even floral patterns will continue to wow by taking on fall sensibilities appearing in darker, more seasonappropriate hues. Consider pairing wider leg pants with a fitted blouse or top she suggests, so that your finished look doesn’t translate too bulky. “You don’t want too much weight or volume,” she says. “You have to even it out.” Juxtapose busy prints with a classic, more subtle shoe, like a patent leather


Mary Jane or solid color “shootie” (a shoe-boot hybrid), or leather knee-high boot, and keep jewelry and accessories, like handbags, muted. The contrast will ensure the print remains dominant and without distraction. Billowy blouses, featured in the fall 2012 collections of Stella McCartney, Cynthia Steffe, and Chloe are expected to be celebrity favorites. Morello says pieces from classic-meetseclectic line Effie’s Heart, made from 100% cotton, capture a vintage feel, making the collection very popular with Shoppe Pioneer clients. The line’s comfort, classic silhouettes, and quality construction (and an affordable price point at $90-$110) makes it a best-seller for Morello. “They’re very flattering—and washable which everybody loves,” she says. Lisa Hurd, co-owner of Stalise in Portsmouth’s Clock Tower Square, says color block dresses will continue to be in demand as fall approaches. Renowned Canadian women’s clothing designer Joseph Ribkoff might just do it best she says, as his pieces (retailing for around $200) are popular with Stalise customers for their versatility of taking a look from day to night. Colorful lifestyle separates by Cartise, which prides itself on “original designs with the ‘real’ woman in mind,” Hurd expects will wow this fall. Color also continues to permeate denim collections. “Slim jeans by Citizens, NYDJ (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans), and Hudson are great,” she says. The premium denim brands are embracing the season with darker washes in tones including cranberry, dark green, and magenta. “They come in a straight leg, which is nice for the woman who doesn’t like the skinny jean, and it offers a more flattering, nice, clean look,” she adds. Leather jackets will also be hot for fall she predicts. The jackets from the line Stalise features, Tribal, come in both a black, more biker-inspired look, as well as a sophisticated taupe hue. The Nina dress by Milly at ZuZu’s Petals in East Greenwich Continued on p18

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fall fashion


exemplifies the two aforementioned popular fall trends: color-blocking and leather. The black on black ponte dress features a conservative boat neckline with a chic leather panel on both the front and back. Its sleek, fitted silhouette features a hemline that hits just above knee. Lace is also a highly anticipated fall trend. The Shoshanna’s Patricia dress in classic navy, also from ZuZu’s Petals, features delicate lace with sheer sleeves and a feminine scalloped hem. Ray Gardner of Ray Gardner Designs in Cranston, suspects the ladylike lace look can be attributed to the Duchess of Cambridge, who is quickly turning into a global style icon. “Kate Middleton is a trendsetter,” he says. “She’s like the new Jackie O from the 60s. [Kate] has a distinct taste level.” Gardner continues to add that special occasion dresses, like those found in his eponymous shop, will trade oncepopular earth tones for richer hues including deep purples and royal blues. “Brown is history,” he declares; “yesterday’s newspaper!” While channeling your inner Carrie Bradshaw and going on a no-holds-barred shopping spree might be tempting, it can also break the budget. Before finding yourself “in the red,” stylist Christina Pierce says start with a couple “must have” pieces. “From there, look to add in pieces from last fall that can mix in with your new items and start planning mix and match outfits,” she says. “For the rest of the season, only pick up items that can work in with the existing ‘mini wardrobe’; that way you will feel like you have a cohesive fall/winter wardrobe and many more outfits than physical items since they can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways.” x

Tr a n s iti o n s photograhy: ian travis barnard Stylist: Jonathan Joseph Peters Hair/Makeup: Jeremy Stone photo assistant: evan robichaud Stylist Assistant: Nick Pini Model: Christine Stripinis for Maggie inc.

fall 2012 21

Hope Macdonald jacket and sequin tank, price upon request, available at hopemacdonald.com. Jess Abernethy shorts, $140, available at jessabernethy.com. House of Cach bracelet, $125, available at houseofcach.com. Previous page: Sequin wrap, stylist’s own. Jess Abernethy red chiffon blouson top, $95, available at jessabernethy.com. Hope Macdonald swimsuit bottom, price upon request, available at hopemacdonald.com. House of Cach necklace, $255, available at houseofcach.com. Shoes, stylist’s own. 22 fall 2012

Jess Abernethy pants, $195, available at jessabernethy.com. Cropped caftan, sunglasses, necklace and shoes, stylist’s own.

fall 2012 23

Custom Nick Pini gown, price upon request, contact ndpini@gmail.com.

24 fall 2012

Yellow Clover by Sarah Elizabeth silk satin and chiffon dress, price upon request, available at yellow-clover.com. House of Cach shell and spike cuff, $245, available at houseofcach.com. Shoes, stylist’s own. fall 2012 25


fresh from your local farmer


healthy eats and locallygrown produce words and photos by david dadekian

26 fall 2012


e have a somewhat shorter growing season in Rhode Island for local produce, but what a wonderful growing season it is. From asparagus to zucchini, Rhode Island grows some of the best fruits and vegetables, and more farms are producing more varieties each year. It’s almost hard to keep up, but along with bigger harvests at area farms, Rhode Island is a leader in the growth of farmers’ markets, CSA’s, and other programs designed to help the consumer make the most of the abundance of healthy, local food. There are over 50 farmers’ markets in Rhode Island now, some running almost all year round, most of them administered by the RI Department of Environmental Management or non-profit organization Farm Fresh Rhode Island. Farmers’ markets haven’t just grown in number, but the number and types of vendors at them has skyrocketed. In fact, at some of the bigger markets, if you came to stock up on groceries but didn’t feel like cooking that night, you could have your dinner right there. At a visit to Aquidneck Growers’ Market in Newport, Bravo Wood Fired Pizza was even serving pies made with ingredients they got right at the market that day and Tallulah’s Tacos had a line of customers waiting for tacos made with local beef. We spoke with Bevan Linsley, Market Manager of four of the biggest farmers’ markets in the state, about why the markets are such a great service to the local consumer. Linsley highlighted some of the best reasons to her, “Buying locally keeps from having things shipped all over the country, making our [carbon] footprint smaller. When you buy from the grocery store, things rot, and when you buy from the farmers’ market, you can’t quite believe how long things last because they were picked the night before. There’s supporting the local economy. We reckon that the Coastal Market probably keeps between $750K to $1M in the local economy every year, and that’s just three hours once a week. Plus it [farmers’ market] functions as a community center. People get to see each other and connect and feel that they are doing all these things for the local economy.” Another huge benefit to consumers is finding something new or learning a new way to prepare a really delicious dish using produce they might not be familiar with. Linsley said, “I was walking by Farming Turtles [tent] and heard a customer say ‘What is that?’ I think people are really interested in new ideas, even just simple things using our ingredients.” Johnson & Wales University, one of the country’s top culinary schools, was a natural fit to help educate the farmers’ market shopper on what to do with all that produce. Michelle Pugh, Community Service Chef and Nutritionist at JWU described their Veggin’ Out program, “We’re trying to encourage fruits & vegetable consumption and purchasing through local farms. We cook all vegetarian. We offer two or three recipes at the market using local

products. We want to show things that are easy to replicate, that don’t cost a lot of money, and that families can make. Linda Kane, Community Service Chef at JWU added, “It also gives us a great opportunity to bring our students out and teach them how they as chefs can address some of those issues we’re tackling here. It gives them a good overview of the community needs.” Farm Fresh RI helps to further facilitate that community need with their Healthy Food, Healthy Family program at some markets as well as their very successful Veggie Box program. Healthy Food, Healthy Family is a program for low-income families to encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables. Farm Fresh RI is giving them money every third week they come to the market and participate in buying new items. The program also teaches children about new produce with a scavenger hunt, which has proven to be a hugely fun way to interact with kids at the market. Farm Fresh RI’s Veggie Box is a weekly subscription to fresh, local produce from farms. “Veggie Boxes are delivered directly to workplaces, community centers, schools, and daycares around Rhode Island. Every week, participants receive a newsletter with information about what is in their share, recipe suggestions, and stories about the farms. If you love fresh, locally grown foods but don’t have the time to pick each item out at the farmers’ market (and are excited about trying a few new ingredients), this program is for you.” Of course, the Veggie Box grew out of one of the best ways to support your local farm and that’s Community Supported Agriculture or CSA. When a consumer buys a CSA share from a farm at the beginning of the growing season, the consumer is prebuying their produce (or other locally produced goods) for the year. You pay a set fee up front and once a week you pick up whatever was harvested that week at the farm. We spoke to local wedding photographer Brad Smith, an avid CSA buyer who is also growing some of his own produce as his family grows. Smith said, “My wife and I have been part of a CSA for three years now, this is our second year with Simmons Farm in Middletown. The CSA is different every week, is different year to year, and isn’t necessarily all stuff I’m familiar with. Last night I had to look up what to do with fennel. I know what it is, but never really knew what to do with it. So it’s a learning process. We’ve got the two-year-old who’s a great eater and tends to try anything at least once, so it’s been nice being able to take him outside and pick veggies alongside me. His favorite phrase is ‘Ready?’ as he points to a green tomato or tiny pea pod.” Farmers’ markets, Veggie Boxes, CSA’s, even the local supermarkets are starting to sell Rhode Island produce as the demand increases. There’s no better time to find local produce and the resources to use all that wonderfully healthy food. x


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dangerously decadent


the best places to indulge your dessert cravings words and photos by david dadekian

28 fall 2012


s with so many culinary delights, whatever your dessert desires are, Rhode Island has them covered. Whether it’s the perfect fine-dining dessert experience, or a happily sinful cake, you’ll find them in Providence, and in Johnston there’s even a gluten-free bakery that will have you clamoring for more, regardless of a gluten allergy. Gracie’s on Washington Street in Providence is one of a select few restaurants in the area to employ a full-time pastry chef, and a remarkably talented one at that. Chef Melissa Denmark, originally from Maryland, moved to Providence when she attended Johnson & Wales University where she graduated from the Baking and Pastry Arts program. Denmark has been at Gracie’s for over two years and may be the best pastry chef in Rhode Island. But don’t just take our word for it, this past spring Denmark was one of only 50 pastry chefs in the country nominated by Food & Wine magazine for their “People’s Best New Pastry Chef ” award. Chef Denmark’s desserts are loaded with unrestrained flavors, but they never seem unbalanced or over the top. They are also some of the most beautiful desserts you’ll ever see, artfully built and arranged to look as good as they taste, but not overdesigned or too precious to happily attack with a fork or spoon. The desserts, like most items on Gracie’s menu, are seasonal. To demonstrate some current desserts, Denmark whipped up a Vanilla Pavlova, macerated local strawberries, black pepper wafers, strawberry poppy seed gelato, garden basil and strawberry chamomile consommé, as well as Caramelized Local Apricots made with honey whipped ricotta, tarragon shortbread, sweet corn ice cream and fresh blueberries. They are both the kind of desserts that will make you want to lick the bowl when you get to the bottom, especially for those last few drops of melted ice cream.

As if all this wasn’t tempting enough, in the fall Gracie’s owner Ellen Gracyalny is opening Ellie’s Bakery down the street from the restaurant in the newly renovated Biltmore Garage building. Designed to be more bakery café than dessert shop, Ellie’s Bakery will also be featuring Denmark’s pastry creations as well as the should-be-famous Gracie’s macarons, little bites of confectionary perfection that are made in a hundred different flavors by Danielle Lowe. Across town from Gracie’s in a renovated building at 200 Allens Avenue on the waterfront is Sin, Jennifer Luxmoore’s temple to criminally delicious cakes and desserts. Luxmoore makes some of the most beautiful cakes in town, everything from replicas of the Rhode Island State House to the Millenium Falcon and beyond, but that wouldn’t matter if the cakes didn’t also taste better than anyone else’s. Luxmoore confirms that that was her philosophy, “As much as we make beautiful cakes, we’re all about the taste first. That’s the first thing we always work on, the taste.” Unlike Denmark, Luxmoore didn’t come to baking straight out of school. “This is my second career. I have a love of baking started with grandma next door. I would go over and help her roll out the pie dough and put the little x’s on the peanut butter cookies.” She adds very modestly, “I always had a love of baking and finally decided to go back to it and here I am.” Sin began as a custom cake company doing wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and cakes for all kinds of special events. They make everything from scratch and don’t use pre-made mixes or fillings. What is new this year is their storefront café. Luxmoore explains, “We had so many people coming thinking we were a bakery and looking for something, so when this [space in our building] came available we opened the café up and expanded Continued on p30

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30 fall 2012


some of the stuff we do. We have cookies, whoopie pies, cupcakes, and some take-out cakes. So if you’re in a bind and off to a party, you can stop in and grab a cake, we can write happy birthday or something on it, and you’re good to go.” Luxmoore brought out a Guiness Chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream and layered on top and bottom with chocolate Mexican ganache made of dark chocolate, cream, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and vanilla. Luxmoore describes her process, “Someone mentioned baking with Guinness a couple of years ago. We did some research and tried some recipes out, tweaked them a little bit. We ended up adding a little more cocoa and a little more vanilla. We found that the beer reduced the sweetness level of the cake. You don’t bite into it and think, there’s beer, but the maltiness [of the Guinness] reduces the sweetness level and you get a little bit of the malty taste.” The cake Luxmoore made for us was frosted with vanilla buttercream and so perfectly decorated, it made for a gorgeous sight. When we tasted it we knew we found a new favorite chocolate cake, along with some of the most perfectly made buttercream, light and almost fluffy with just the right sweetness. If you’re looking for a custom cake, you’re not going to do much better than Sin. Finding the right dessert can be tricky for people with a gluten allergy or Celiac disease, a digestive and nutritional condition triggered by the protein gluten which is primarily found in foods containing wheat, barley, or rye. If you still haven’t met a gluten-free pastry that suits your taste buds, look no further than Jill Puleo’s Sugarbird Bakery. Interestingly, Puleo tells a similar story to Luxmoore. “I’ve been baking with my grandmother since I was little. I learned how to make pie crust from scratch when I was five. I always really enjoyed it, but never considered it as a profession. I went to college. I got a degree in nothing. I got a masters degree in

really nothing.” But whereas Luxmoore decided to pursue a new career, Puleo’s was almost thrust upon her with the diagnosis of Celiac disease. “When I got diagnosed with Celiac disease, I started baking because at the time there was nothing. I made up my own stuff. I researched everything there was and whatever there wasn’t research for, I figured out on my own. I put myself in boot camp. For every possible thing that I wanted to learn how to make, I’d make 7,000 renditions of it and would lock myself in the house until I figured out how to make it. I tried to learn everything I could from pastry textbooks on conventional stuff, then rip them apart and start over again and make it my own. So then finally I said, ‘This is what I want to do.’” Puleo presented us with three tarts, a Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart of chocolate shortbread crust, chocolate truffle middle and shiny chocolate glaze on top, a Vanilla Bean and Fig Tart of vanilla bean pastry cream and fresh figs and a Pear Frangipane of traditional frangipane paste and fresh pears. All three tarts, along with many other Sugarbird Bakery creations we’ve tried in the past, were some of the best desserts we’ve had, period. They’re gluten-free, which is essential to a segment of the population, but beyond that, they’re just plain delicious. Sugarbird is a custom bakery, taking phone orders for pick-up, though as the demand for Puleo’s gluten-free desserts increases, she is opening the bakery’s doors on select Saturdays, which she announces on Facebook. Puleo continues, “Since the day we opened, our goal here is to elevate gluten-free. We are prepared to and love to attempt anything that someone wants. People can call here for custom orders. There’s nothing I won’t try. I want Sugarbird to be considered along the same lines as every other bakery, not just ‘good enough for gluten-free.’ We are more than that. We are an excellent place to get delicious cakes, cupcakes and all the other beautiful pastries that people want me to do.” x

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