Monday, March 9, 2015

Big Sister Boston Draws Big Names and Even Bigger Bucks

Big Sister, Jessica Burday and Little Sister, Syleena

Boston tastemakers took to the catwalk last week to help raise some serious coin for the Big Sister Association of GreaterBoston. The mentoring organization partnered with Boston Common magazine, Bloomingdale’s and a host of notables for their 5th annual Make a Statement Fashion Show at the Revere Hotel. 

Delectable canapés and flutes of Whispering Angel rosé circled a sold-out crowd of more than 350 that included State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, clothing designer Michael De Paulo; social butterfly Abby Cushman; and style bloggers Kimberly Gioioso and Jessica Hennessy of The Haute Mamas.

Boston Ballet dancers opened the evening and were followed by a welcome from Deborah Re, CEO of Big Sister Boston. Models sported designer pieces curated locally by Bloomingdale’s in Chestnut Hill and Crane & Lion, a fitness apparel brand. In addition to members of the Big Sister community strutting under the spotlight, the star-studded stage welcomed former U.S. Senator Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff; posh pair Tonya and Ben Mezrich; baseball babes Jason and Catherine Varitek; Boston Common’s Lisa Pierpont; and Bianca de la Garza. 

Dining Playbook's Jenny Johnson commanded emcee duties alongside Gary Tanguay of Comcast SportsNet. The duo kept the crowd under control as a slew of sought-after prizes went up for bid. On the auction block: an African safari, two tickets to see piano man, Billy Joel at Fenway Park this summer and (my personal favorite) a chichi dinner party for a dozen friends courtesy of the Catered Affair – I’d like a seat at that table. If you scored this mouthwatering swag, call me. 

The fashion fête raked in more than $140,000 and proceeds will help “Little Sisters” achieve their full potential by fostering positive mentor relationships with “Big Sisters.” If you missed the event, it’s never too late to lend your support here.

Boston Ballet

Bianca de la Garza

Lisa Pierpont

Gail Huff and Scott Brown




 
Tonya and Ben Mezrich

Catherine and Jason Varitek
  
Jessica Diaz // Ms. Fit for Society
 

Kimberly Gioioso, Jessica Hennessy and Rue Le Chat

Photos // Yuri Vaysgant

Monday, March 2, 2015

Claire Underwood's House of Style


In honor of the season three release of House of Cards a mere 72 hours ago, I'm talking all things Claire today. I've been mesmerized with the minimal-chic-power dressing of Robin Wright since her Netflix debut as Mrs. Frank Underwood in 2013. I just can't get enough of the well-tailored, Washington, D.C. wardrobe she so elegantly sports in seasons one and two. A consumer of clean lines and architecturally-sound pieces, the pixie-haired goddess rocks a shift dress and man-tailored shirt like nobody's business.  

Claire has offered us a promenade of high-end, form-fitting staples and left many suffering from serious closet envy. Her monochromatic mile of black, navy and grey in the likes of Narciso Rodriguez, Ralph Lauren, Theory and Burberry has left me salivating. And if you haven't yet begged for a glass of Champagne to quell your thirst, then this may not be the fashion show for you.

Neutral tones aside, the one pop of color that has
continually appeared on-screen in past seasons has come in the form of red bottoms. Just thinking about the suede Louboutin boots Claire sported in season two makes me weak in the knees. Remember the episode where she had a mini-cry sesh on her staircase (looming over the endless souls she'd stepped on to get to the top)? Then, with the blink of an eye, she hoisted herself onto her scarlet soles (see what I did there?) and walked away as if all was well in the world. Icy indeed, but that's classic Claire. It's easy to hate her, but I'm sure we'd all love to live in her closet. 

Can you just imagine her carrying a crimson Céline calfskin tote?! The accessories don't run that wild this season, but expect to see an off-the-shoulder pale blue-lilac suit for the presidential portrait (a gorgeous piece) and a burgundy suit in a key Air Force One scene. I'm welcoming this wardrobe refresh because there are times when you just need to make a statement. But then again, this is Claire Underwood we're talking about and no statement (bold or otherwise) is necessary when you're the First Lady of the United States…or playing one on TV for that matter.

With Wright's personal stylist, Kemal Harris, at the helm as Claire's costume designer, we can expect inspiration from the late Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and Carolyn Bassette-Kennedy. This D.C. dame's famed black dresses and Louboutins have taken a backseat as a new First Lady look is revealed. In a recent interview with Today.com, Harris said this about the new look

I wanted Claire to have the chance to be vulnerable and feminine without losing her true self. Her character has been fighting her way to the top for the past two seasons, looking focused and streamlined in her protective armor of strict, sharp tailoring. I softened the collars of her blouses, added kick-pleats to the pencil skirts, opted for softer sleeves on jackets and used quite a few full skirt options. Colors include pale lilac, deep green, burgundy, raspberry and lots of blue. I made a concerted effort to avoid black in her wardrobe.

What do you think of Claire Underwood's style? Love it? Hate it? Tell me!






images via Glamour.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pantone Color of the Year :: Marsala


Meet Marsala! This rich and romantic hue is Pantone's Color of the Year and its intensity runs deep within my wedding flowers. According to Pantone, the earthy red wine color enriches the mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. My floral color palette is actually a combination of Marsala and Radiant Orchid, a color known for creativity and imagination, and Pantone's pick in 2014.

Marsala is massive and by that I mean it can range from a vibrant cranberry to a smoky burgundy. The color embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated aura, Pantone explained in a press release. "This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, design, home furnishings and interiors."

Designed by the creative professionals at Stoneblossom, my flowers were a true testament to my vision. Well, "our" vision to be exact. I can't leave Mr. Chat out in the cold. We longed for an old-world opulence blended with a modern-day romance and we captured this aura by way of royal tones such as gold, magenta, ruby and emerald. This was a look and feel Sherry Scott, event manager and designer at the Rhode Island-based florist, forged against the already-lush and well-manicured landscape at The Chanler at CliffWalk.

One of the most precious items I carried on my wedding day was my bouquet. Also known as the Polly bouquet, the custom-made creation carried (and still does since I've had it professionally preserved) a tremendous amount of history and sentiment that it's difficult to know where to begin with its enchanting story.

If you ask me, the Polly bouquet is a work of art and way more beautiful than I had initially envisioned. It was crafted of the finest O'hara garden roses, amnesia roses, dahlias, ranunculus and seeded eucalyptus. The finishing touch, and what actually gives the arrangement its name, is its emerald toned tail feathers. Never heard the name Polly mentioned on the blog before? Well, he's a parrot. One day, 30 years ago, my father brought him home from Panama and that tale, my friends, is for my autobiography…or another blog post. 

Today, Polly lives with a new family. I mean a girl (or parrot for that matter) could not ask for more wonderful parents than the couple who adopted Polly nearly two years ago. Polly had been shedding his tail feathers since he arrived at his new home (something very natural that he also did when I was growing up). Coincidentally, his parents had been saving the feathers (in a parrot jar no less) for no particular reason. As a matter of fact, the couple joked with their friends about what they should do with the mounting collection. Last summer, I called Polly's parents to inquire about the possibility of incorporating some of his feathers into my bouquet (if in fact he'd shed any) and the rest is history. 

My bouquet's stem was wrapped in silk champagne remnants from my wedding gown and dressed with solid gold buttons from my father's U.S. Army coat. As a tribute to my late father's memory and the bird he loved so very much (I love Polly too), I incorporated this intimacy as a way to keep them both close to my heart. Here's a look at more stunning pieces designed for us on our special day.








Matron of Honor bouquet :: amnesia roses, dahlias,
lace flowers and seeded eucalyptus


Centerpieces :: antique local hydrangeas, South American hydrangeas,
chocolate Queen Anne's lace, amnesia roses, dahlias, sea oats,
cymbidium orchids, steel berries, ranunculus, astilbes & seeded eucalyptus








Monday, January 12, 2015

Cat Chat :: Dunwello Appoints Mezrich & Her Mavens

Photo // Russ Mezikofsky

I'm thrilled to welcome 2015 with some very exciting news: I'm a maven! What does that mean exactly? Well, in this case, it's a hand-selected expert for Dunwello, a Boston startup designed to help individuals deliver online feedback and recognition to industry professionals. 

When brand ambassador and executive advisor, Tonya Mezrich, approached me about the idea, I was honored to say the least. Mezrich, whose designer dossier includes co-founder of fashion brand Mike&Ton and principal fashion expert and style correspondent for StyleBoston, said she was elated when company founder Matt Lauzon appointed her to the highly-regarded post

"Dunwello will completely mold the service industry in Boston by helping professionals brand and market themselves as individuals." Mezrich said. "It will allow professionals to take their reviews with them when they transition to new companies. This is huge for the longevity and brand building of the individual."

Mezrich has crafted an exclusive list of Boston tastemakers who city dwellers often call upon when looking for tried-and-true recommendations in the lifestyle arena. "You have to be someone who is 'in the know.'" Mezrich said about the members of this coveted club. "Someone who has their pulse on what is hot and who might know about up and coming professionals who haven't yet been saturated."

Looking for a cutting edge hair stylist? Check. Need the most luxurious facial in the Back Bay? Mezrich's mavens have you covered. In addition to me, this social butterfly, with a contact list as far as the eye can see, has also crowned to the throne: Jessica Diaz and Alisa Kapinos of Ms. Fit for Society, Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104.1, and Tiffany Dowd of Luxe Tiffany. There are more mavens on the move, so stay tuned.

Starting my year off on a fresh and utterly fabulous foot, I've selected 5 professionals in Boston's beauty and wellness industry who I’ve come to know, trust and adore. Click on the links below and get to know a little about the talented ladies who make me look and feel like a million bucks.

Caitlin Young // Hair Stylist // Salon Capri
Manuela Rodrigues // Master Stylist // The Loft Salon
Jessica Diaz // Barre Instructor // Equinox, Yoga Room, Charlestown Yoga  
Marina Kovalenko // Personal Trainer // Bodyscapes Fitness 
Melinda // Esthetician // The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston 

Who are your go-to professionals? Leave a comment below and create a Dunwello profile here to let the world know. And don't forget to visit my Dunwello page regularly for more rave reviews. Happy New Year!

Tonya Mezrich managing emcee duties at Sparkle 7 and Lisa Pierpont, editor-in-chief at Boston Common, modeling mike&ton // Photo Russ Mezikofsky