Paula Abdul was at this week’s Chances R Designs Runway Show at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence. The former “American Idol” judge, who’s been spending a lot of time in the Ocean State because she’s dating Rhode Island businessman John Caprio , was hanging with her pals Christina Pierce (of the Christina K. Pierce Fashion Agency on Newbury Street) and Toni Lyn Spaziano , the designer of Chances R Designs. . . . We’re told Lord Julian Fellowes , the English actor and writer who created the PBS series “Downton Abbey” and also wrote the screenplay for “Gosford Park,” will be honored at the Nov. 3 Edith Wharton gala at the Harvard Club of Boston. This year marks the 150th birthday of the “Ethan Frome” author, who lived in Lenox. (Earlier this summer, former first lady Laura Bush was in Wellesley for a Wharton celebration.) Fellowes, a longtime Wharton admirer, will receive the Edith Wharton 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, joining past recipients Martin Scorsese, Eudora Welty, and Alice Munro .