Saint-Gaudens and Summer Fashion: Real and Ideal

Summer is about going places and doing things. Fashion is about self-expression and fantasy. To blend the practicality and playfulness of the season, our stylist and photographer visited the New Hampshire home of one of our country’s greatest artists, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens in front of a variation of the Amor Caritas sculpture, 1898

Realism and idealism are words often used to describe the works of one of our country’s most beloved artists and teachers: Augustus Saint-Gaudens — known as the “Sculptor of the American Renaissance.” His home and studio in Cornish are nestled next to the wide Connecticut River, with panoramic views of Vermont’s Mt. Ascutney and the vivid colors of the aptly named Maxfield Parrish highway. “Aspet,” as he named his estate, began as his summer getaway and later became his permanent home. Boasting a reputation as New Hampshire’s only National Historic Site, the Saint-Gaudens estate comes complete with bronze cast copies of iconic memorials such as the depiction of Civil War Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the prestigious Shaw Memorial — the original is displayed on Beacon Street in Boston — and many others. These memorials, in combination with the Italian Renaissance-inspired formal gardens, atrium pools and Federal-style columned porches, adorn the landscape as durable tributes to the style and artistry of their creator.

The designers and boutiques who provided the summer fashions adorning these pages work in a more ephemeral medium, but share the pride of workmanship and the joy of enhancing mundane life with beauty and delight.

Our models for this feature showcase garments either designed or handmade in or sourced from the Granite State. These looks are meant to inspire, educate, and bring well-deserved attention to the countless fashionable individuals who are working to give New Hampshire its own style statement.

Inspired by the Federal-style piazza of Aspet, Saint-Gaudens’ Cornish home, Olivia embodies classic summer style in a silk taffeta gingham skirt, white blouse and quintessential straw hat, each piece as versatile in styling as it is in ageless appeal.
DETAILS: Shabby Apple silk taffeta gingham floor-length skirt ($108), cameo charm bracelet ($695) and choker ($69) from Lady Pickwick’s, with Maniju tulle skirt ($78) from Pretty Little Things. Few Moda blouse ($59), Dolce Vita gladiator sandals ($59.99), Michael Kors chain belt ($17) and straw hat ($19) from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets
Modern meets edgy in this leather polka dot tunic, hedged by the marble surroundings of the Piping Pan Fountain.
DETAILS: Krista Larson parachute slip dress in silk organza ($343) layered over Staples leather polka dot tunic dress ($198) from Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co., with a Garnet Hill tulle skirt in fawn dot ($118). Circle beaded rope necklaces ($10, $15) from Charming Charlie at the Pheasant Lane Mall and Sam Edelman kitten heel tie-up shoe ($69) from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets
Left: Olivia’s electric blue dress completes the Mediterranean scene under Saint-Gaudens’ pergola. The fuschia-colored stucco wall is crowned with casts of the Parthenon frieze. Right: Mimicking the natural-hued shadows of this unique birch alley, Olivia and Diana are wearing their butterfly gowns from local designer Krista Larson.
DETAILS, LEFT: Nellis teal lace mini dress ($58) and arrowhead necklace ($29) from Pretty Little Things, with Steve Madden sheer coverup ($29) and Stuart Weitzman gold leather ankle strap pumps ($169), both from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets. Black and gold chandelier necklace and earrings ($22) from Charming Charlie at the Pheasant Lane Mall and gold scarab ring from Lilise Designer Resale
DETAILS, RIGHT: On standing model: Krista Larson silk organza satchel slip in black butterfly ($391) and extreme spring skirt ($409). Pretty Little Things silk threaded choker ($10) with Miranda’s on Main’s Suellen sun hat ($58). Michael Kors nude and flower applique sandals from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets ($39). On seated model: Krista Larson short pastry slip in black butterfly ($451) paired with polka dot petticoat skirt ($365) and eyelet cotton flower vest ($365). Fly London wedge heel sneakers ($179) and UNOde50 dragonfly necklace ($275), both available for purchase at Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co.
Diana’s regal ensemble with hand-embroidered details recalls “Gone with the Wind.” She stands by the Atrium’s stately columns.
DETAILS: Entro lace Victorian top ($40) from Lady Pickwick’s, with Pretty Little Things’ pink lace crop top cami ($42). Miranda’s On Main, Audrey sun hat ($52) and Elisa J metallic gold skirt ($178), layered with Krista Larson’s silk taffeta embroidered box pleat skirt ($558) and vintage skirt ($411) in silk. Snakeskin wedge heel by Gentle Souls ($195) available at Garnet Hill and Pink Collection. Watch ($21), bracelets ($16, $10) and collar necklace ($20) from Charming Charlie at the Pheasant Lane Mall
Left: Diana’s ensemble, with luxurious hand-embroidered details, recalls times past. Right: Under the pergola Saint-Gaudens designed after a trip to Italy
Diana daydreams in Emerson Fry’s organic cotton butterfly caftan. It’s hand-printed with low-impact ink, designed in New Hampshire and made sustainably in Rajasthan, India.
DETAILS, LEFT: Karl Lagerfeld suit jacket ($79), Cirana blue peek-a-boo ruffle sleeve top, ($49), white lace short ($29), Michael Kors gold chain belt ($19) and BCBG black and white pump ($27), all at Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets. Gold stud earrings ($22) from Lady Pickwick’s, Blue Sky tortoise and gemstone statement necklace ($42) and Rain woven chain cuff ($28) from Miranda’s On Main and JW Hulme legacy handbag ($295) from Bliss Boutiques.
DETAILS, RIGHT: Emerson Fry organic cotton caftan ($178) and Krista Larson gold embroidered linen billowy coat ($418), with Palm Beach blue and white beaded sandals ($84) and pearl and gold stone pendant necklace ($100) from Lady Pickwick’s. Black and gold pendant necklace ($98) from Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co. Beaded rope necklaces ($10, $15) from Charming Charlie at the Pheasant Lane Mall. The blue and white rucksack indigo bag ($65) is from Susana’s Sewing Studio and the Inouitoosh gold star maps scarf ($150) is from Bliss Boutiques.
Left: This look is inspired by Saint-Gaudens’ ethereal statue, Amor Caritas. Reflections from the glassy Atrium pool cast dancing glimpses of Olivia’s richly toned layered skirts. Right: Like a butterfly attracted to the sweet aroma of the apple blossoms, Olivia’s silk organza butterfly ensemble brings to mind “Alice in Wonderland.”
DETAILS, LEFT: Karl Lagerfeld lace shirt with Peter Pan collar and tie ($49) and Monica kitten heel ($99) by Coach from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets, with Cemi Ceri silk taffeta floral print A-line skirt ($42), Yumi floral cardigan ($96) from Lady Pickwick’s and Pretty Little Things’ tulle midi skirt ($68). Leather and lace belt ($25) from Charming Charlie at the Pheasant Lane Mall. Tweedy clutch from Miranda’s On Main ($48)
DETAILS, RIGHT: Butterfly flowing asymmetrical sheer tunic top ($110) from Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co. with Krista Larson’s silk cottage skirt in colorful butterfly print ($545) and striped petticoat skirt in radish ($365). Stuart Weitzman black and colored speckled stiletto ($169) from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at the Merrimack Premium Outlets
Categories: Features