When Preppy Goes Bad, Parisian Style

Today we share the rather odd tale of a French fashion label frequently referred to as preppy, a party with Pippa (Middleton) and some very bad press.

The brand is Vicomte A., founded by a Frenchman, the Vicomte Arthur de Soultrait. Below, a photo from the Vicomte’s Facebook page.

Arthur de Soultrait Facebook Page

(Full disclosure: yours truly finds the shirt wonderful.)

Vicomte A. styles have the clean, crisp lines many associate with a prep aesthetic.

Via Vicomte A.

Marketing is aimed at the leisure class. Mr. de Soultrait knows this market well, born into the aristocracy, he was raised around the pursuits of fellow aristocrats: yachting, horses, and polo matches.

Vicomte A. via Topgrain UK

Founded in 2004, the company’s logo incorporates a regal touch.

Vicomte Arthur de Soultrait Facebook Page

More on the crown from an interview with Mr. de Soultrait via this story:

Vicomte is a title in French aristocracy – a small yet rare title to hold….the brand has been taken as a shortened version of my title of Vicomte Arthur. Consequently, the crown above the brand name is also representative of the crown of a Vicomte.

Vicomte A. collections have names like “Deauville Yacht Club” and “Urban Traveler”.

Via Vicomte A.

Appropriately, the company has a store on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

Vicomte A.

There are boutiques throughout much of the world. In addition to the free-standing Palm Beach store, Vicomte A. merchandise is carried in a broad variety of US boutiques.

Now to that party we mentioned, one that would normally go by unnoticed, receiving little or no media coverage but for the attendance of one guest: Pippa Middleton. Below, a party photo from the Vicomte A. Facebook page, the Vicomte is seated on the ‘throne,’ Ms. Middleton is in the hot pink and gold.

Vicomte A. Facebook Page

Ms. Middleton has been friends with Mr de Soultrait for some time, below we see an undated photo of the two in a more sedate setting.

Arthur de Soultrait Facebook page

The gala was to celebrate the Vicomte’s birthday, more from The Daily Mail story, no one describes scenes like this quite the way they do:

Accompanied by three of the French capital’s most eligible bachelors, the 28-year-old, dressed as a risqué French courtier, unleashes her best moves on the dance floor among a heaving mêlée of cavorting dwarves, burlesque strippers bursting out of giant cakes and aristocratic French men wearing dog leads.

(For some reason ‘heaving melee’ truly resonates.) Below, we see the guest of honor in the center of this photo.

Vicomte A. Facebook Page

A bit of background, the Middleton family made its fortunes from a company called Party Pieces, selling mail order party supplies and Pippa still does some work there, in addition to writing her book on throwing successful parties, “Celebrate,” due out this fall.  Obviously, these aren’t the sort of parties she is expected to write about.

Vicomte A. Facebook Page

A Daily Beast story is titled “Pippa Middleton’s Party Tips: Bondage Gear, Dwarves, Strippers and Fancy Dress“:
The stack of photos will not make for very happy viewing at the palace today. First off there is the general impression of privileged debauchery, with a powerful overall air of entitled arrogance…..
Politically correct this was not.

Vicomte A. Facebook Page

There is no shortage of party pix on the company’s Facebook page, 472 in one album alone.

Vicomte A. Facebook

Then there are the dwarves. Having novelty dwarves at a wild party is an old custom among some shock-seeking impressarios, but it doesn’t get any more tasteful as the years pass by. Let’s put it this way: going to a party where small people have been hired to walk around as a freak show, for people to laugh at, is unlikely to feature as a top tip in Pippa’s forthcoming party book.

Via Vicomte A. Facebook

The brand isn’t one we were familiar with previously, nor is it one we’ll be adding to the walk-in.

Vicomte A.

At the risk of being as vulgar as the party itself, we must note this is not one you can put in the ‘nouveau gauche’ category, far from it, the de Soultrait lineage goes back centuries. No claims of ‘new money and no taste’ to support these activities, nay-nay. Am I the only one who thinks Mr. de Soultrait and friends are ideal for reality TV, “The Real Comtes of Burgundy?” or some such program? (The Consort’s reaction to that notion: “Wouldn’t that be a bit highbrow for this crowd?” Ouch.)


Filed under Help Me Understand, It's Just Not Done, preppy, Preppy Fashion

5 responses to “When Preppy Goes Bad, Parisian Style

  1. His marketing lifestyle campaign is so appealing, unlike the “reality” lifestyle also shown. Oh well…….can’t win ’em all right? I still find the line attractive.

  2. Bboss

    Sigh! Perhaps the French could do with another Revolution!

  3. Merry

    It may be because I have the old American value of individualism, and am Californian to the boot, but I tend to respect new money more than old. New money earned what they got while old families just inherited it. There is, of course, nothing wrong with inheriting money, but the parents of these rich kids need to make them work and learn to value their money and become less dependent of it. I do not scorn old money, but I really do think the nouveau riche sometimes are more respectable and realistic

  4. Merry

    Unfortunately, I do love that line

  5. JW

    Frankly, I think he ought to have whatever kinds of parties he wants, as long as no crimes are committed. With respect to Pippa getting photographed with a pal who waved a gun about, I feel a little sorry for the girl; her sister married into British royalty, but Pippa didn’t. She may not have wanted the level of attention she’s getting just because her sister is now a duchess.

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