02 September 2010



a trip to CAPITOL is an experience. don't take it from me, rather- take it from Hutton Wilkinson, curator historian of the extraordinary TONY DUQUETTE home Dawnridge. Hutton is always busy creating his own design legacy as well-interiors, jewelry, books, what next? Hutton said in all his travels of late, there is none more chic, more beautifully laid out  store than the glamorous women's design atelier-CAPITOL. The collection is edited  by the charmingly feminine Laura Vinroot Poole. Laura, a petite powerhouse, is as gracious as they come. A visit to CAPITOL must be much like a visit to her home- come early, stay late. You don't want to leave.

 Capitol scenes from de GournayAlbers

A vignette created for the Duquette jewels- featuring Oscar de la Renta's patchwork
embroidered evening skirt and silk blouse.

Hutton Wilkinson was on hand to show his collection of otherworldly jewels from Tony Duquette.
I will never,
look at a brooch without first thinking of a Duquette brooch.
I will likely visualize any dress or lapel as being slightly lack luster without a brooch--preferably a Duquette one- with "air" behind it (that means perching it up a bit up on the shoulder so it can  show properly).

Laura wearing a necklace of citrine,aquamarine, peridot, spocolite in 18 karat gold 
with designer Hutton Wilkinson

 Hutton describes the earrings and necklace of malachite, citrine, and emerald bead in 18 karat gold
as emulating pond scum. My vision is of a pond somewhere in the Pavlovsk Palace Park with shards of 
malachite scattered across the water by a water nymph. It was my favorite in the entire collection, 
without a doubt.

Both brooches above are made of emerald, green amethyst & fluorite in 18karat gold

Looking over the two couture floors of CAPITOL is viewing fashion for Fall 2010-at its best. What could be better? Nothing-
unless it is the smooth sophisticated decor the clothes are shown in.
Everything works, it is glamorous- like the clothes-but does not overwhelm them. Very important.

Again-Hutton Wilkinson put it beautifully-It is like being on the set of the 1939 movie THE WOMEN. The centerpiece of the fashionable "movie" CAPITOL is the fantastic Vertical Garden created by botanist and inventor, Patrick Blanc.

The Tony Duquette collection is not just jewelry-each piece is a work of art. Hutton creates his jewelry from stones in the original Duquette collection &  special  gems he has amassed. He entertains at the legendary Dawnridge frequently and is thinking of declaring certain of his soirees as a full out wearing of couture only. After seeing the well dressed women come out for CAPITOL'S party honoring Dara Caponigro of Veranda, he wants to see women at Dawnridge wearing their best couture, their best jewelry- just the way they did when Tony Duquette and his wife Elizabeth entertained there.

 the 3 images above copyright Tony Duquette, used with permission

 an aquamarine and diamond in 18 karat gold ring
photographs of Elizabeth Duquette

...more scenes from CAPITOL

An evening event honoring Dara Caponigro was standing room only for the fashionably dressed -the decor was certainly VERANDA worthy.

 Owner, Laura Vinroot Poole of CAPITOL-looks at fashion through a unique lens and what a beautiful setting she has created for a fashionable life.

CAPITOL Interior Designer is Barrie Benson & Architect is Perry Poole-Laura's husband.



  1. Dear Gaye,

    I have been thinking of your night out while wearing the Praying Mantis of McQueen...you wore it well I see.

    Of course, THAT necklace and earring set by Hutton is DIVINE...I LOVE IT.

    Having just visited Dawnridge and speaking with Hutton a couple of weeks ago, the glow is still shimmering.

    Your friends store and her style are CAPITAL!!!
    What splendor is too be had of Balenciaga Shaw photos, little mottoes on walls with teensy butterflies fluttering...and those Roses. The Garden is perfection, very Duquettian!

    I hope you SHIMMERED that night AND the glow is still is fresh.

    Regina Joi

  2. What a movie.Tres chic!!!!

  3. WoW! What a post! they are all fabulous!love gems so much and the designs are outstanding pieces.The images are great!so is the blog!interesting and inspiring. thanks for sharing.

  4. This is a gorgeous post!!! Thank you so much for introducing us to CAPITOL!! I can look at this post over and over again!! Beautiful fabrics, beautiful clothing, beautiful jewelry and a wonderful garden!
    Have a nice weekend!

  5. How right he is, it IS just like the women, hopefully without all of the drama though. That wallpaper, the sofa, those ROSES, that garden! I just can't get over it- amazing!

  6. More pond scum jewels in the world, please

  7. Would love to go to Capitol!!!

    And I love the words in the last image.

  8. I think you might have a Scarlet moment at those violet drapes. What at amazing tour de force. The garden is a bit of paradise. Pond scum, indeed.

  9. Everything here is so fantastic and sensational...all rather heady! Love it all.
    What an inspiring post!

  10. Dawnridge is the holy of hollies. Lucky it is preserved and in Ca. A rare bird that exists in the climate. I hope it will always be so. The Capitol is a little slice of heaven too. Great work.

  11. Come early... stay late, indeed! Every single image is lovely. I too, am crazy about the "pond scum" necklace and love the cotton pleated white dress with sweet stitching it's sitting on! Great post... lovely. Would love to shop at Capitol!

  12. I want to give the credit to Interior Designer Barrie Benson & Architect Perry Poole-Laura's husband. Gorgeous work from them. also- Laura is featured in Veranda for Sept. with some of her calls for fall. pgt

  13. I knew all my swank readers would love this post.great comments and thank you for continuing to read. I am not a shopper-other than the internet-so seeing this well heeled in all ways space with such wonderful clothes- for Women-not teens, tweens-Was so lovely. I have to give it to all the creators as being a destination in Charlotte. pgt

  14. Gaye, what a breathtaking post full of fabulous images. I wish this kind of luxury and style could be enjoyed by all!

    Art by Karena

  15. I'm gawping at the beauty of it all. Not sure what I'd pick first - the "pond scum" necklace, the star brooch, or that perfect, pin-tucked white blouse (or dress?). And the vertical garden??? Hoping to make it to NC later this month or early next, and I'm adding Capitol to my list of must-stops.

  16. I could write a paragraph - so much inspiration here. Thanks for sharing it.

  17. Karena, Mrs Blandings, Jill- I really loved this space, modern yet grounded and serious-Not to mention the clothes- wow.

  18. DMC-All of the above-don't miss a thing. I hope you do go to Capitol-Do tell them I sent You! and let me know what You think. pgt

  19. What a stunning post, beautifully put together. That aquamarine is amazing! xx

  20. Amazing post. I am dying to buy a book on Tony Duquette and my research tells me that there are several. Is there one that you recommend ?



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