On one end, there are the matters of the world that affect us all; on the other end, there are the manners of everyday life that shape who we are. In Matters & Manners, the blog by Daniel Cappello, issues of politics meet issues of etiquette. From fashion to finance, from the obvious to the obscure, here are the musings from a life of many ventures.

Entries in Allison Aston (2)


Lilies of the Valley

Patricia Lansing on the cover of July Quest

Ever since the 19th century, when Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, and
Whitneys erected estates across Long Island’s North Shore, Locust Valley has enjoyed a quietly rich history. Today its splendor and understated elegance continue to live on—not just in its enveloping natural beauty, but in the beautiful women who embody the spirit of the community. For the recent July issue of Quest, I asked one of Locust Valley’s leading ladies, Allison Aston, for access to her family’s home and friends for one gorgeous, sun-filled summer day. Her gracious reply—and general graciousness—made the following portfolio, photographed by Ben Fink Shapiro, possible.

Mettrie Lari with her children, Isabelle and George

Allison Aston and Valerie Aston

Meg Braff (left); Sarah Power and Nitika Moran

Nitika Moran, Allison Aston, Michelle Cuddeback, Kimberly Berens, Mettrie Lari, Patricia Lansing, Valerie Aston, Pia Murphy, Sarah Power, and Amos Nevin

Muffie Potter Aston, Patricia Lansing


Dressing For New York

For the March issue of Quest—the annual Spring Style Issue—I decided to depart from a traditional fashion photo shoot and focused instead on several New York women who have influential careers, with an eye to their unique senses of fashion. Together with the photographer Hannah Thomson, I documented eight vibrant women of substance and style in their natural work environments, following a day in the life of some of Manhattan’s leading women. From a breakfast meeting at Monkey Bar to the hallways of Condé Nast, from the center of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center to an evening charity gala at The Plaza Hotel, this portrait series offers glimpses of iconic New York women in iconic New York settings. While the fashion is at the fore, this series is more about the women behind the clothes than the clothes themselves.

In “Dressing For New York: Eight Women of Substance and Style,” Hannah and I have captured the following women whose careers, charity causes, and fashions are enviable in equal measure.

Allison Marianna Aston: President, Allison Aston Communications. A onetime brand ambassador for David Yurman and Roger Vivier, Aston founded her own public-relations and marketing firm in 2010. She is an active committee and board member of New Yorkers for Children, ASPCA, and the Whitney Museum, among others. Photographed here at Monkey Bar in a black linen blazer and shorts and white Swiss dot tie blouse by Veronica Beard.


Punch Hutton: Deputy Editor, Vanity Fair Magazine. Hutton, who plans and edits the Fanfair and Fairground sections of Vanity Fair, was recently named Deputy Editor. When not keeping her finger on the pulse of American culture for Vanity Fair, she co-chairs the New York Public Library’s Cubs Program and Family Benefit, and this summer will be launching a collection of shift dresses called, naturally, PUNCH. Photographed here at the Vanity Fair offices in a dress by Carolina Herrera and Roger Vivier’s Belle de Nuit pumps.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff: Director of Fashion, Lincoln Center. When, in 2010, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York relocated from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center, Wolkoff was tapped to be the first-ever fashion director of Lincoln Center. As if her fashion plate weren’t full enough, she’s also committed to several charities, including the Food Allergy Initiative, Baby Buggy, and the Central Park Conservancy. Photographed here in her Lincoln Center office in a shirt by Derek Lam, pants and belt by Michael Kors, Lanvin necklace, Hermès cuff, and Bruce Winston Gems ring.


Eliza Osborne: Vice President of Client and Business Development, and Auctioneer, Sotheby’s. In addition to fostering client relationships and expanding business, Osborne also serves Sotheby’s as an auctioneer—and mostly for charity. Last year, she led almost thirty auctions and helped to raise over $32 million for charities, including the Robin Hood Foundation, the Africa Foundation, and the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Photographed here at the Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters in a dress by Loro Piana, earrings by Buccellati, and Miu Miu heels.

Justine Durrett: Director, David Zwirner Gallery. The Swiss-born, multi-lingual, Ivy-educated Durrett knows no borders in the world—or in the world of art, for that matter. She builds collections for private clients and museum curators alike, coordinates international art fairs, oversees the gallery’s sales department, and manages a selection of the gallery’s artists herself. Photographed here in the offices of the David Zwirner Gallery on 19th Street in a Richard Ruiz dress.

Celerie Kemble: Interior Designer, Kemble Interiors, Inc. As one of the most decorated designers around, Kemble is as in-demand as she is au courant. When not dividing her time between uptown and downtown projects in New York, Kemble can be found with global clients from the Middle East to islands of the Carribbean. Photographed here in her Manhattan offices in a dress by Lela Rose, Sergio Rossi heels, and a vintage wood-and-gold serpent bracelet (thought to be Bulgari).

Lauren Bush: CEO, Creative Director, and Co-Founder, FEED Projects. Bush, an honorary spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), launched FEED Projects after visiting WFP food-aid operations around the world. She designed a burlap-and-cotton bag that, in its first year of sales, fed more than 37,500 children. Today, FEED Projects raises millions of dollars for hunger and education programs through the sale of FEED bags, bears, t-shirts, and accessories. Photographed here at the New York FEED Projects office in a dress by Ralph Lauren.

Hilary Geary Ross: Mother, wife (of Wilbur Ross), author (of the forthcoming New York, New York), Quest and New York Social Diary columnist, and philanthropist. A fixture in both Manhattan and Palm Beach, Ross is the president of the board of the Blenheim Foundation and serves on the board of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Photographed here on the grand staircase at The Plaza Hotel in Naeem Khan’s palm frond green beaded gown and Snowflake diamond necklace and bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels.