Royal Wedding Gown “Favourite” & J. Crew’s Billion Dollar Deal

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a somewhat frenzied Tuesday here at the Prepatorium.

The day started off with news that a date and location have been selected for next year’s big do: Kate Middleton and Prince William will marry on Friday April 29 of next year, the ceremony is slated for Westminster Abbey. The news prompted us to veer off our planned course, so we might update this story.

Anglophiles will recall that the Queen and Queen Mother were both married here; it was also where Princess Diana’s funeral was held.

Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the other location in consideration for next spring’s event.

Getty Images

Generating perhaps more buzz than this news, word that the Church of England has suspended a bishop who referred to the young couple as “shallow celebrities”.  The Telegraph has more:

“In comments posted online he also claimed the Royal Family was full of “broken marriages and philanderers” and expressed disappointment that the wedding would cost the public “an arm and a leg”.

As it turns out, the Royal Family (with contributions by the Middleton family as well) is handling almost all of the expenses associated with the event, the one bill the taxpayers will have to foot is for security.

Conversation continues (there’s a surprise) about possible designers for Ms. Middleton’s wedding gown.  The leading contender, at least as far as British bookmakers go, is Phillipa Leply.

One shouldn’t laugh off the oddsmakers, this is serious business in some circles. Princess Diana’s designer, Elizabeth Emanuel,  was the odds-on favorite, correctly so as it turned out.  Below, more gowns by Ms. Lepley.

It is tacitly expected that Miss Middleton will select a British fashion house; Phillipa Lepley was born in the UK and her shop is in the oh-so-chic Chelsea part of London.

While many have suggested Issa (the company making that electric blue dress worn by the bride for the engagement announcement) may be chosen; the company is headquartered in London, but Daniella Issa Helayel was born in Brazil.  Is the distinction between being born in the UK and based in the country that important? It very well could be, especially when attempting to make a politically correct decision.

Two more designs by Ms. Lepley. Again, note the presence again of covered shoulders on both gowns.

Clearly, an “appropriate” (code for circumspect, modest) gown is required.  Below, two real-life brides in gowns by Ms. Lepley, actress/tv presenter Davina McCall (l) and tv presenter Ulrika Jonsson (r).

Other designers mentioned include Stella McCartney and Amanda Wakeley.  Below, two bridal designs from this fall’s collection by Ms. Wakeley.

People magazine has jumped into the conversation with a feature asking wedding designers to create looks for the bride.

Courtesy Monique Lhuillier via People

We weren’t gaga over either of the Reem Acra sketches, they are too skimpy for serious consideration.

Ben de Lisi is a British designer we weren’t familiar with; we like both of his designs.

Click here to see the rest of the designs submitted to the magazine.

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Also today, J. Crew is officially launching its new 769 line, at least according to yesterday’s story in Elle.

Douglas Friedman/Elle

Above, a photo from the party celebrating the 769 debut, hosted by Crew executive Jenna Lyons.

“With jacquard skirts ($395), sequined harem pants ($650), tuxedo jackets ($595), and bejeweled cashmere cardigans ($245), the idea is to rethink formalwear by mixing glittery separates with utilitarian staples.”

The reason we waffle on the 769 “launch” can be seen in this post from back in May, showing 769 items on sale at the company’s Weddings store in the city. Evidently this is a soft rollout of the line to other locations in addition to the Bridal shop.

In other J. Crew updates, blockbuster news today for those that follow the company’s behind the scenes operations, the company has been sold.  From BrandChannel:

“Another tony luxury brand has changed hands, with today’s $3 billion acquisition of J. Crew by a consortium of private equity firms. Yes, the house that Mickey Drexler built and Jenna Lyons designed, now has a new landlord.”

What will this mean to the average shopper? Not a lot, unless drastic changes are planned, and at this point that seems unlikely. What will impact your pocketbook when shopping at Crew is the other news released today, that of the company’s continued lackluster performance, the Journal has more:

“J. Crew has recently begun to show signs of sales weakness amid a lack of fashion hits, discounting by competitors and efforts to elevate the price of some of its merchandise to luxury status.

Translation: more markdowns.

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That last tidbit about Crew and discounted merchandise reminds us of one final thought: we are receiving inquiries about our annual Black Friday post, showcasing bargains with a preppy slant.  We will have a 2010 edition, out late tomorrow or early Thursday.

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • REUTERS/Eddie Keogh: Kate Middleton photo
  • REUTERS/David Moir: Prince William
  • REUTERS/Paul Hackett: Westminster Abbey

6 Comments

Filed under preppy

6 responses to “Royal Wedding Gown “Favourite” & J. Crew’s Billion Dollar Deal

  1. The Lepley gowns are gorgeous. Miss Middleton is going to make a beautiful bride.
    On another topic, at a recent event I sat next to one of the big guys from the firm that bought J.Crew. He spent most of the event texting on his blackberry….probably about the J.Crew!

  2. I have told two people in the last two days that you are the go-to-gal when it comes to all things Royal wedding and I see I am so right about that. Love your Royal coverage.
    I hope that the sale and the low sales of JCrew makes them lose some of the sequins and ruffles. A gal can dream.;-)
    Happy Thanksgiving, lovely Princess.xoxo

  3. My favorite is the last Lenely dress. Reminds me of a certain Herrera dress:).

  4. Thank you for the Black Friday post! Wow. Interesting J. Crew news for sure. Happy Thanksgiving, Miss Princess!! xoxo

  5. Jen

    I love Phillipa Lepley’s gowns. I hope she doesn’t choose something that looks like a giant meringue. Should be fun to watch all the coverage over the next 100 days or so.
    Hope you have a wonderful turkey day!

  6. Confirmation that Jcrew and I will remain broken up. LL Bean is my lover these days.

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