Wednesday Keep Aplomb and Carry On

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This week on Ask Brini, Elaine asks:
"Does the term 'when in Rome, do as the Romans' apply to my upcoming holiday to Italy? I've always considered myself a classic attired girl: however the Italians seem to have the "edge" on "style" Any suggestions for the ultimate wardrobe 'musts'?"

Dear Elaine:

When it comes to traveling, I like to do it in style - this is doubly important when going someplace where the local women exhibit great fashion sense, like Italy. I accomplish that with a simple formula that allows me to look great and still travel light. It starts with a suit. Add two blouses - one casual, one dressy, a body suit for wearing on the plane (stays tucked, doesn't right up), a pair of pants and a sweater for chilly evenings and you're all set with about 7 garments that will mix and match into about 10 outfits. Add a coordinating dress and you're well heeled with room in your luggage to spare! This wardrobe is primarily for warm weather locations, but the formula can be easily adapted for cooler destinations.

More travel and packing tips can be found in my book, Brini Maxwell's Guide to Gracious Living, which is available on the Shop page of my website,

Why didn't you think of that?


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Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.

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The Brini Maxwell Show

The pilot for the original show was produced in 1996. The show debuted on Manhattan Neighborhood Network on January 1, 1998, and aired for 5 years featuring tips, recipes, entertaining ideas, craft projects, home renovation and interior design schemes. It was produced by Sander's production company V.R.U.S.P. Inc. and directed by Sander's mother, Mary Jane Wells.

In 2001 Sander was contacted by Amy Briamonte, east coast director of development for west coast based Termite Art Productions (now Creative Differences Productions). Briamonte and Sander developed a pitch for the show for the Bravo network and received an order for a pilot. The pilot was produced in the summer of 2002 for a show titled Charming, Needs Work. The premise for the show was Maxwell lived in an apartment that she redecorated every week. After Bravo passed on the show Briamonte, Sander and Termite Art pitched it to Stephen Schwartz and Heather Moran, newly named VP's of programming for the Style network. The pitch resulted in an order for a 13-episode season.

The first season of The Brini Maxwell Show for the Style network was taped in the summer of 2003 with studio production taking place on the main stage at Unitel Studios on west 57th St. in New York City. Location shoots for the season were taped over a period of 6 months in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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