Category Archives: 2008 Beijing Olympics

It’s Official: Michael Phelps Book on the Way, & Debbie Phelps is Down with Chico’s

Well, if it isn’t Tuesday already. How did that happen? Sigh. Well it’s gonna’ be a rock ‘n roll rest of the week for The Princess, so fasten your seat belts, this could be a bumpy ride! Whoo-hoo!

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

We start with an update about everyone’s man of the moment at the games, at least for some: he *does* have a book deal. ‘Built to Succeed’ is due to hit store shelves in December, just in time for the holidays. According to the folks publishing it, the book will focus in part on Mr. Phelps’ life growing up with an attention-deficit disorder in a single-parent home, while the superstar swimmer has said he plans to write about his life training leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games.

Then comes word today about a possible challenge against French Olympic champion and notorious ‘trash talker’ (that is the term, correct?) Alain Bernard, next year at the World Championships in Rome, in the 100 meter freestyle. (You know that The Princess simply had to include that little tidbit!) This, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. Oh, and the London Games in 2012? Mr. Phelps has has said he plans on chasing more Gold medals in four more years.

Now in post-Olympic fashion news (how’s that for a non-existent news category?), an update to our earlier story about Michael Phelps’ mother, Debbie Phelps, and her Beijing wardrobe. You may remember that Ms. Phelps is a Principal at a middle school in Baltimore.

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Our post mentioned that much of what Debbie Phelps was wearing at the Summer Olympics was from Chico’s, a midline clothing retailer targeting the Baby Boomer demographic. One of the things we mentioned in the article was that Chico’s execs were very clear they had no ‘sponsorship arrangement’ of any kind with Ms. Phelps. In fact, the most they did apparently was send her a $100 gift card and wishes of good luck prior to her departure for Beijing.

How things can change….here’s what you now see when landing on the Chico’s home page.

Click on that photo link and you are taken to this page….

In fact, there are now three pages in the Debbie Phelps Collection, up a page from yesterday’s two; the boost in the ‘Collection’s’ volume clearly comes via the addition of many jewelry pieces worn by Ms. Phelps. Many of the items are marked by where they were worn, as in “As seen in USA Today” or “As seen on Good Morning America.” Below we show just a few.

Believe it or not, as of this writing, there is still no formal arrangement between the retailer and Ms. Phelps, who even wore one of their jackets for a Johnson & Johnson commercial shoot of a spot that aired on Sunday night. Chico’s President Michele Cloutier told USAToday:

“Customers have been coming in and asking for what she’s wearing,” she says. “They’re saying, ‘I want that jacket,’ and they can describe it perfectly.”

“She completely articulates who we are as a brand,”

If the retailer and Ms. Phelps do come up with an arrangement, we’ll let you know.

There were some other Olympic tidbits/oddities we had not heard about, discovered in our meandering about the internet on a lazy morning. Like Angel Valodia Matos, a Tae Kwon Do entrant from Cuba. Upon hearing the Referee’s decision that he was disqualified from his match, Matos kicked the referee in the face. The World Taekwondo Federation has banned Matos life.

Matt Dunham/AP

Photo Credit: Matt Dunham/AP

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

What follows are great shots of what can happen when one mascot tries to help another mascot….oh my!

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

And how about American Idol adding a fourth judge?

Copyright 2008 Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Photo: Copyright 2008 Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Yes, they are. Actually, they have, as Ryan Seacrest announced on his radio show yesterday. The judge is the beautiful songwriter Kara DioGuardi. A story on the Fox news site has more information:

“DioGuardi’s songs have been recorded by artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana and Pink.

“We had originally intended for ‘American Idol’ to have four judges,” said “Idol” Executive Producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”

And the other judges? According to USMagazine, Paula Abdul had the following reaction:

On Phoenix’s 104.7 KISS FM Johnjay & Rich radio show Monday, she said she was excited but added, “I am concerned about the audience and acceptance. Time will tell. We’ll see.”

Asked if she, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell have sat down with DioGuardi to test their chemistry, Abdul replied, “Nope,” and laughed.

When queried about her reaction to the news, The Princess refused to comment. Hhhhmm.

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Updates

U.S. Open and Convention Styles, La Wintour and Martha do Queens, People Magazine Covers

Hello-hello and happy late Monday evening, at least here on the east coast it is ‘late’ at 9pm EDT, what we used to refer to as ‘civilized time’ back when we lived on the west coast. BTW, that term makes absolutely no one happy, is meant to offend no one, but manages to upset just about everyone, so we don’t use it very often for precisely those reasons.

Are you ready for some tennis? We most assuredly are, much more eager to partake of this than politics, we must admit. We’ll start with the weekend’s runup to the US Open, the annual Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and here are a few quick hits of the happenings. What fun to see US Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Cullen Jones with Ana Ivanovic on the left (photo by Jennifer Pottheiser) and then the one that has us wishing we were a fly on the grandstand… or something like that, Rafa and Roger, just a couple of guys on the job. Chatting. About guy stuff. You know.

Jennifer Pottheiser

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

And how about those immense, oversized tennis balls they had for the event? They looked very cool.

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Lott

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Rob Loud/Getty

And parties, oh yes, there have been parties! On the left a photo from Heineken’s Player Party; it wouldn’t be the Open without pictures of Maria, even if she isn’t playing. Or even staying.

La Sharapova has let it be known that she would like (very much so if you please) to attend the Vera Wang and the Peter Som shows at Fashion Week. And the houses would be insane not to invite her, she is stunning and generates great publicity. But no, she had no intention of attending, or watching, or anything really to do with the Open. As she told the NY Observer, “To be honest, the day I got injured was the day that I was like, I’m not even sure who’s playing.” To be honest, if that was how we earned our living, we’re not sure how interested we would be either, although we might make an effort to be a tad more diplomatic in letting people know of our diminished interest.

Then there was the Nike store opening party in Soho, attracting athletes, entertainers, sports stars of the non-athletic nature, Hollywood types, you name it and they might have been there. (And even if they weren’t, they may still say they were.) It had to be fun just to see Spike Lee and Roger Federer almost looking like buddies. BTW, Spike said he would be at the Open almost every day, but at last sighting he was in Denver at The Convention, but then, there is a lot of Open left to be played.

Patrick McMullan

Photo: Patrick McMullan

On the left, Roger & Serena at the Nike store opening party. Originally scheduled to open on 8.8.08 to coincide with the Olympics getting underway, that didn’t happen, nor did it seem to matter.

This is not just your run of the mill Nike store, but a Nike Sportswear store, and evidently there is a big difference. According to the media info from Nike, “The stand-alone shop will be the only location globally to carry the complete NSW collection and seasonal 21 Mercer products.” (The store is on Mercer Street.) That sounds quite impressive.

There were other parties in the city over the weekend. Men’s Vogue did the cool thing and hosted a fundraiser for James Blake to benefit the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund. Below left, Blake and Jay Fielden, the Arts Editor at Men’s Vogue’s, and below right, musician John Mayer, trying on watches at the party. Perhaps he can find one telling him it’s time to take his meds…yes? (Good idea? Or bad, bad Princess?)

Everything did get going today, and yes, there was tennis played. But tonight was the more formal kickoff with Mayor Bloomberg and lots of festivities as it is the 40th Anniversary of the Open.

And yes, Anna and Martha were in the house, Forest Whitaker was at the podium….

And when everything was kicked off by Mayor Bloomberg, one thing TP loved was the beauty shot that shows the Unisphere. You see, we have special memories of that Unisphere… we were very, very little, but we have special memories of that beautiful globe.

Much as there are so many other great players and matches, and yesofcourse we are going to watch as many as we can, it comes down to one thing: Roger and Rafa. The preppy vs. the Pirate. We loved the way Will Leitch (whom we absolutely adore) wrote about the whole thing in a post on the Magazine’s website:

“He beat Federer in the French Open for the third straight year, won that Wimbledon, took over his No. 1 world ranking, and, for good measure, won a gold medal in Beijing. Meanwhile, Federer was looking more mortal than ever. Not only was Nadal beating him on a non-clay court (finally): Federer lost to James-freaking-Blake in the Olympics.

Theoretically speaking, if there were ever a time to remind the world that he’s Roger Federer, dammit, this would be it; Wimbledon has the tradition, but the U.S. Open is where stars are made.”

Okay…enough tennis and now onto the next topic….

Gary Caskey/UPI/Landov
Photo: Gary Caskey/UPI/Landov

Our email just ‘pinged’ indicating something new just hit the electronic in-box. It turns out to be an “urgent,” or ‘news alert’ from Women’s Wear Daily on what Michelle Obama will be wearing tonight when she addresses the convention, and word is that it will be Maria Pinto again, the Chicago-based designer Ms. Obama has favored previously.

According to WWD, the word is that The Dress, and yes, we think it deserves to be in caps as a proper title of something, will be:

“Pinto said the dress Obama is planning to wear is a turquoise blue, three-quarter-sleeve sheath-like, fitted, Fifties-inspired style in double-faced wool. But, as like any woman, Obama could change her mind at the last minute.”

You may recognize the first high-profile Pinto dress worn by Ms. Obama from June 3, the night the Senator claimed victory in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Jason Reed/Reuters
Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters

And one of our favorite quotes from Michelle Obama?

“I have some high-end stuff – I work with a great designer in Chicago, Maria Pinto – but I got this dress at this store that it’s all black and white stuff … You put a little pin on it and you’ve got something going on.”

That kind of showed TP something when it came to the potential First Lady and where her head is when it comes to fashion. Not everyone needs to be as relentlessly obsessed even moderately interested, as we are. Here are a couple more Pinto pixs, things we love from the designer’s Fall 08 Accessory line, both pieces far more suited to a winter Bridal event than anything TP would be wearing, but so lovely we had to share them.

Now since we’re all (well, okay, not all) thinking conventions and politics, we thought we would update things for everyone who’s been awake at night wondering how Angelina Jolie is leaning, compliments of a story for Daily Variety:

“In June, when Entertainment Weekly asked her whether she talked politics with Clint Eastwood, a longtime Republican, on the set of the upcoming movie, “The Changeling,” she said, “Actually, we don’t disagree as much as you’d think. I think people assume I’m a Democrat. But I’m registered independent and I’m still undecided. So I’m looking at McCain as well as Obama.”

Moloshok/Landov; Kempin/FilmMagic; Reed/Landov
Photos: Moloshok/Landov; Kempin/FilmMagic; Reed/Landov

Jolie’s father, Jon Voight, has endorsed McCain and recently wrote an op-ed for the Washington Times highly critical of Obama.

Wilshire & Washington
Courtesy: Wilshire & Washington

Reports tonight from various sources that two mega-acts will be rocking and rolling in Denver come Thursday night for Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the convention. The Rocky Mountain News reports:

“The Jersey boys are coming, and we ain’t talking about Frankie Valli. The Boss and Bon Jovi are ready to perform.

Multiple sources confirmed to the Rocky that Jon Bon Jovi will fly in to perform two acoustic songs before Sen. Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday. After the speech, Bruce Springsteen (photo at left) will close out the night, presumably solo acoustic (E Street Band member Nils Lofgren told the Rocky last week that the band wouldn’t be with Springsteen in Denver).”

The Princess called Denver home for more than 17 years, and has sources *but everywhere* telling her all about the goings-on, the galas and get-togethers, the parties and premieres, the meetings-made- to-look-like-parties and the security. Oh my. The. Security. Ohmygoodnessitiseverywheresecurity.

And she thought she had dealt with security. You know, the White House type, the military type, the Papal visit type, the run of the mill disaster type. Not. At. All. A few years out of the business and it is really quite a far more serious and in many respects, a somewhat ugly business now, where the worst must be thought of everyone in order to protect the someones and the everyones. We aren’t sorry to be out of that fray and watching it from home for a change, we must admit.

It’s time for a little update on the People cover featuring Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their twins. The Princess mistakenly thought perhaps people were bored to tears by all the Brad and Angelina baby hoo-hah and media circus, and might elect not to invest in the magazine’s ‘Special Double Issue‘ featuring the twins or the Hello magazine issue, should you be on the other side of the pond. Silly, silly Princess. What was she thinking?!

It turns out this was the biggest seller in seven years, the fourth biggest seller of all time! So there, Miss Princess! Only issues covering Sept. 11th, Princess Diana’s death and John F. Kennedy Jr.’s death sold more at the newsstand. It’s interesting that death seems to push us toward purchasing People magazine. I wonder if it does the same for other newsweeklies, or other ‘celebrity/personality driven’ titles?

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Updates

Does Fashion Rock?

Well, if it isn’t really and truly a change of seasons – it simply can’t be ignored any longer. Fall fashion magazines have started clogging the mailbox; the poor postal carriers must be simply smothered under the weight of them all!

Before anything else, The Princess has a pout. It’s about this, the annual Fashion Rocks supplement accompanying many of your Conde Nast September magazines, like Vogue, Lucky, Wired, and many more.

Well, actually, now it’s two things we’re feeling a bit peevish about because we discovered the second problem while looking for the page number to point out the first problem, which is an *enormous* typo. And we would tell you what page said typo is on, except there are no page numbers in the magazine. No page numbers. Not in the Table of Contents. Not on the pages. None. Nary a number. So now we are up to three irritants and trending down if we were to be asked. We apologize for being disturbed by the lack of page numbers, it really is just too linear of us, isn’t it? (Don’t even think about answering that one.)

So now we’re back to the 2nd issue which was originally the first (and only) one: the typo. Lacking a page number, we can only say that it is in the first paragraph of the first story of the first person they profile, who also happens to be the superstar on the cover of the publication, Justin Timberlake. Could we not have gotten this much correct? (The sentence in the story reads “I don’t how it works…” when TP thinks it is meant to read “I don’t know how it works…”)

We now get to the third problem, which is fairly simple: the Fashion Rocks website says “Stay Tuned.” It is essentially inactive other than cycling through a lot of previous photos of earlier concerts. This is a huge event with a concert at Radio City Music Hall with performances confirmed from the following: Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Fergie, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Duffy, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Lil Wayne, Chris Cornell, OneRepublic, Pussycat Dolls, Solange Knowles and Timbaland, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name but a few.

It is the Fifth Annual concert, but the first time with all the hoopla of three network news anchors formally announcing plans for it back in July. Now, there is an AOL site that has loads of pictures and information, should that pique your interest. The Princess merely thought a website for a fundraiser of this magnitude would be a bit more well, active or something, wouldn’t it? If you would like your social secretary to pencil this in, the concert is on CBS on Tuesday, September 9th. (It is actually taped on the 5th.) Proceeds from this year’s concert will benefit Stand Up To Cancer.

Now that TP has that little tirade episode behind her, let’s talk fashion magazines, shall we? All is not hunky-dory for at least for more than a few of them when it comes to the all-important September Fashion issues. For openers, Vogue’s September issue with Keira Knightley on its cover is down by about 50 advertising pages from last year, a rather stunning development.

Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan and W are among those magazines losing traction on the advertising side of the business. On the other hand, it turns out that Elle actually boosted its advertising $$$ by a good percentage; it features Jessica Simpson on the cover.

What’s Elle doing the others aren’t? TP thinks it may have something to do with the cover girl selections. Last month’s cover showcased Mariah Carey, before that Mary-Kate Olsen, and the month prior to that it was singing star Rihanna.

Unless we’re misreading things, they seem to be trending toward a *much* younger demo. Vanity Fair and their slight shrinkage? Well, we don’t know about everyone else, but here at the Prepatorium, the increasingly strident attacks on so many different things and people have become tiresome. Perhaps we’re poor citizens, but we’re just tired of all the yelling.

One way publishers try to goose sales a little can be with different covers, like the two Bazaar used for their September blowout, both with Tyra Banks.

We received the blue issue in our mailbox. Some designers actually spent more on magazine advertising this year than they did last year. One of those doing so is Oscar de la Renta, one of TP’s favorites. Below we show two looks from his 2009 Bridal line.

That provides the perfect opportunity to showcase what has to be one of the most scenic locales for a fundraiser TP has ever seen. Ever. Seen.

We’re talking about Oscar de la Renta’s 8th Annual benefit for the League to Save Lake Tahoe. One arrives by boat for the party, in what appears to be a classic Chris Craft or perhaps a Century. Regardless of make, it is TDF. Totally. (TP was used to the family Century, but realizes the majority were Chris Craft.)

Is there a better locale for a fashion show that you have attended? If so you simply must tell us about it so we can share that info with the rest of the class.

We leave with something from a line TP currently doesn’t have in her walk-in, and it will probably stay that way, but we definitely applaud any new designers willing to take on the fashionistas with something new. So, how about this for the ultimate in ‘lighting things up”?

‘Rhyme and Reason” is a design firm using light as a material to enliven white knitwear and “…create transformative fashion.” Besides, one can alway multi-purpose their clothing in ways previously unexplored.

“When not being worn, the pieces double in function as lamps, avoiding the fate of hanging neglected in a closet.”

As always, our thanks to Luxuo.com for their eye.

And then there’s Miss Little Bow Prep, oh she of the chic taste and fast fingers, typing up a storm of preppy goodness and culturally broadening blogdom. MLBP has been exceptionally generous in bestowing upon us a Diamond Award…whoo-hoo! The rules of the Award state that one must acknowledge on their blog they are a recipient of it and then tag seven others with the Award and link to their blogs. So here we go:

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Updates

The Michael Phelps Sports Illustrated Cover & Are Those 8 Gold Medals Helping Chicos Sales?

The Princess apologizes for showing so much ‘Beefcake’ these last two days, but it can’t be helped if we are to do the public service of supplying readers with the most current fashion and lifestyle news. And there you have it:

The most current news of some kind, we are not completely clear what kind it is, other than the photographic sort. But evidently these covers of sporting magazines are quite a topic of discussion following major sporting events. Of course, there isn’t a precedent for an athlete winning 8 Gold Medals at an Olympics. The closest of course, was Mark Spitz.

But that photo of Mr. Spitz up above on the left didn’t make the cover. Mr. Spitz was on three different SI covers as best we can count, while Mr. Phelps has already been on five. Below we share another example, but that’s all. We can’t have people thinking this blog is nothing but a flesh factory! To see the other covers of Mr. Phelps and those of Mr. Spitz, or any other SI cover, just click here.

It never ceases to amaze the Princess how powerful the impact of a Gold Medal athlete can be, for things completely unrelated to the accomplishments of the athlete. Consider for a moment the clothing worn by Debbie Phelps, mother to one record-breaking, mind-bending Team USA swimmer.

Did you pay much attention to it? Wonder where it came from? Where you could buy it? (Neither did we.)

We were too busy marveling at an amazing Mother who piloted her son through a life spent chasing a dream, and then helping him in its ongoing management following his success at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

But someone paid enough attention to find out where Michael’s Mom *did* purchase her apparel, and apparently all, or a good portion of her Beijing wardrobe is from Chico’s. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are generally put in the same group that includes Talbots, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, and a few more catering to women a bit beyond their teens or early twenties. The company also owns White House | Black Market and Soma Intimates.

According to reports from a number of sources, Debbie Phelps shopped at a Chico’s store in a Baltimore suburb before leaving for Beijing. However, there isn’t any ‘sponsorship’ arrangement between the retailer and Ms. Phelps according to a recent Forbes story online.

There is no official sponsorship deal between Debbie and Chico’s. “Fortunately for us, she just likes the brand,” says Bob Atkinson, vice president of investor relations at the women’s specialty retailer.

That doesn’t mean Michael Phelps’ success in the pool and the reflected scrutiny of his mother hasn’t been good for business. Another Chico’s executive shared her thoughts with Access Hollywood:

“Ever since Debbie first wore Chico’s in Beijing, our phone lines have been ringing off the hook. Women everywhere want to know how to get Debbie Phelps’ look!” Michele Cloutier, Chico’s Brand President, said in a statement released exclusively to Access Hollywood.

It turns out that Debbie Phelps will be filming a commercial for Johnson’s Baby division tomorrow; the company named her their “Mom of the Olympic Games”. She is already active outside of her many roles as a middle school Principal in Baltimore and Mom of three; she is the national spokesperson for a Facebook group called ADHD Moms. The group can be found on Facebook.

Access Hollywood also managed to find out that Mr. Phelps will be on a cereal box, actually two cereal boxes: Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Those hit store shelves in September, and heaven only knows what deluge of Michael merchandise we’ll see before then. (Just another reason to have Cook make up an extra batch of Scotcheroos!)

Mr. Phelps has not enjoyed much down time following that last appearance on the podium. His list of sponsors is already lengthy, including Omega watches, Visa, and Hilton Hotels. Now that the competition part of his Beijing stay is completed, many have expectations of Mr. Phelps. For example, yesterday it was the Speedo Athlete Media Day.

And having been to, and around, so many of these type functions for years, TP can assure you it is not all fun and games, despite appearances.

It can be very tedious indeed. And as Mr. Phelps was estimated to be earning between $3 million to $5 million a year through his endorsements *before* Beijing, at that level you know the sponsors must be taken care of.

Michael Phelps (2nd R), Ryan Lochte (2nd L) and Australian swimmers Eamon Sullivan (L) and Grant Hackett (R)

Michael Phelps (2nd R), Ryan Lochte (2nd L) and Australian swimmers Eamon Sullivan (L) and Grant Hackett (R)

Enough of the Speedo shenanigans or we’ll be back to the Beefcake and we won’t sink to that level.

In fact, at this point it is rather enough of all the swimming and things and we’re off to a League function! We hope you enjoy a splendid evening!

(BTW, the photo credit for this most recent SI cover goes to Simon Bruty.)

NOTE: We have corrected Mrs. Phelps’ title, which was originally and mistakenly published as ‘teacher.’ This redacted version of the post now accurately reflects her professional status as a middle school Principal. Our thanks to Becs’ Bohemia for enlightening us on this one!

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Rafael Nadal as Beefcake? Oh My! New Stores for Tory Burch & the Vines, J Crew Sale Gets Better!

NOTE: The Princess must apologize, for she thought this post was published yesterday (Monday) and it was not. She is shamed and chagrined. Silly Princess. Our bad.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well hello-hello everyone, and isn’t it a delightful Monday? A perfect August day marred only by the fact summer is drawing to a close, however desperately yours truly lives in denial of that reality.

We should have expected this I imagine, the Rafael Nadal and tennis fashion fascination, along with the Rafa is ‘hot’ as I believe it is said in today’s lingo? But you must remember The Princess is from a somewhat different era: members of the opposite sex are gentlemen (or nothing at all) and we most assuredly never referred to them as “Beefcake.” (Gasp!) Having said all that, TP has come to the conclusion that in an effort to be better connected to her customers at The Preppy Princess, not to mention her readers here at the blog, it’s time she learns all about Beefcake. (Double Gasp!)

At the very least we must force ourselves to become acquainted with the topic in terms of how it relates to tennis fashions, as that is something near and dear to our heart and a topic covered with some frequency on this blog. This week’s issue of New York has a fascinating story entitled The Beefcake in the BackCourt, written by the wonderful Ben Williams with a subhead that reads: “Another way in which ripped, raffish Rafael Nadal and his cardigan-wearing Swiss rival aren’t anything alike.”

And there is this:

TP is aghast. Horrified. Her face is aflame with a fuchsia color that would make the best Lilly Pulitzer print look washed out by comparison. She must make plans to go to confession as soon as she finishes this post. She simply cannot believe the photo on the right with Rafa looking so… ah…, looking so…, well, we’ll just say he looks rather intense. (Heh-heh-heh.)

The story is a splendid read, including the opening paragraph:

Take your time. It’s okay. That photo of Rafael Nadal on the back cover of this magazine is undeniably … what’s a polite way to put it? Arresting. The mussed locks curled just so above the shoulders. The biceps curved like a particularly ripe aubergine. The shadows playing across the deeply grooved abs. All demand extended scrutiny.”

When you’re done, ask yourself this: Would Roger Federer ever pose for a photo like that?

The pirate look Mr. Nadal wears so well was evident in at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

As was Mr. Federer’s more buttoned-up look.

The Princess must say reading about ‘ripped’ Mr. Nadal’s additional attributes made for an enlightening morning, albeit somewhat shocking. We’ll do our best to recover. Just knowing we could share it with you makes it all that more memorable! BTW, if there is anyone who can dish on the tennis fashion topic, Rich over at Down the Line Tennis is always on top of things.

We haven’t mentioned a number of store openings lately and wanted to cover just a few because they are of interest and/or more than timely. For openers, the Tory Burch store in San Francisco opens today on upscale Maiden Lane, a fab location. Here are a couple of the fall looks:

We aren’t wild about either one, but in the spirit of full disclosure TP has never done well with earth tones. They are very attractive to be sure, just not for us. The same can’t be said of the Hope Hooded Cardigan, very much for us, as it looks ever-so-snuggly. We acknowledge it’s not a bright and brilliant color, but when it comes to hoodies and their snuggle factor, color somehow ceases to be an issue for us!

A note on a name to watch: Katherine Fleming with news today she is launching her own line of handbags. At this point you are saying “This is all fine and lovely TP, and we’re quite Ms. Fleming is a wonderful human being and a great American, but why do we care about her handbags?!” Because fellow prep-heads, she is the designer responsible for much of the Tory Burch accessory line, as explained in this morning’s WWD story about her collection:

“…most recently Tory Burch, where she launched the brand’s accessories and was design director of accessories.”

Well, that definitely puts her on TP’s radar! Also opening a new store, but not until mid-November, is Vineyard Vines. They’ll be taking over the old Talbot’s Mens store in the Back Bay, and if there isn’t a lesson from the retailing Gods in that little scenario, wow. And that reminds us, you don’t want to miss out on the V2 Sale which is going full steam ahead.

We can’t pass up treasures like the Overboard Skirt, still available in a good range of sizes, or the Girls Boot Striped Polo, good to go in 3 great colors.

A decent amount of merchandise remains in the Mens and Boys sale areas as well as the Women’s and Girls, should this be of interest to anyone looking to snag a few things before the season is over.

Which brings us to one more preppy sale of note, the J Crew sale. Their merchandise is now an Extra 30% off, customers just need to use the code EXTRA30 at checkout. What could be easier than that?

We’ll chat more later. Happy hunting!

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Brooks Brothers for NBC, Sneak Peek at Lilly Pulitzer Perfume

Well if Friday hasn’t finally made its presence known at long last, at least that is the case here at Intergalactic Headquarters for the Preppy Princess. The prospect of some quiet time looks particularly appealing this weekend, although we’re not quite sure why this is the case.

But before we do anything else, we want to stop again and gaze for just a moment at the wonderfulness that was last evening’s gymnastics at the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing.

Nastia Liukin Team USA

Nastia Liukin Team USA

Shawn Johnson (Photo credit AFP/Getty)

Shawn Johnson, Team USA

Yang Yilin of China

Yang Yilin of China

Did it not seem as if they all had the ability to not just fly and spin and churn through mid-air, but now they have the capacity to stop time for a nano-second as they hang, suspended, by nothing but their skill, in the middle of nothing. And everything.

And then the waiting…..

And the waiting….

And even more waiting, perhaps especially difficult for such close, close friends…

Shawn Johnson (R) & Nastia Liukin embrace as Valeri Liukin looks on

Shawn Johnson (R) & Nastia Liukin embrace as Valeri Liukin looks on

And even harder for a Father and a Coach who was also an Olympic Gold medalist in gymnastics not so many years ago…

Valeri Liukin embraces daughter Nastia

Valeri Liukin embraces daughter Nastia

And then finally news of a Gold Medal 16 years, multiple citizenships and continents in the making. “Wow” does not begin to describe the magic these girls made in China last night.

Nastia Liukin, Team USA embraces her Father & Coach Valeri

Nastia Liukin, Team USA embraces her Father & Coach Valeri

Nastia Liukin (C), Shawn Johnson (R), Team USA & China's Yilin Yang (L)

Nastia Liukin (C), Shawn Johnson (R), Team USA & China

And afterwards, the stress, strain, aches and pains all rolled up into one day finally show just a little bit.

Nastia Liukin, Gold Medalist

Nastia Liukin, Gold Medalist

Silver medalist Shawn Johnson Team USA after Medal Ceremony

Silver medalist Shawn Johnson Team USA after Medal Ceremony

Good gravy… TP would be a gelatinous mass of nothingness on the floor. We did love that Miss Liukin’s mother finds it too stressful to watch and is most definitely *not* in the arena, requiring a phone call from Nastia as soon as results are known.

Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin Calls Mom

Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin Calls Mom

Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin (L), and Silver Medalist Shawn Johnson (R)

Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin (L), & Silver Medalist Shawn Johnson (R)

All too fun to watch and much too late for someone at our advanced age! And to think that Michael Phelp’s race isn’t until 10:10pm tonight Princess Time!

Speaking of beautiful, how lovely does this look? Yes, there was *finally* weather favorable to sailing today.

US in Star Class Competition

USA in Star Class Competition

Johnny Lovell, Charlie Ogletree Team USA in Tornado Class Sailing Competition

Johnny Lovell, Charlie Ogletree Team USA in Tornado Class Sailing Competition

+++++++++++++OTHER NEWS+++++++++++++++

Behold the new uniforms for the ubiquitous NBC pages, classic in style, created by Brooks Brothers. The Princess was amazed to read the uniforms were selected by viewers in an online poll.

Brooks Brothers NBC Page Uniforms

Brooks Brothers NBC Page Uniforms

We were also surprised to learn that former pages include Ted Koppel and Regis Philbin, who looks back fondly on his days in that position:

“I have very vivid memories of my page uniform,” Philbin told The Post. “I had just traded in my naval officer’s uniform – I was a lieutenant JG – for my page uniform, so I basically swapped one outfit for the other.

“And I thought the page uniform was pretty sharp. We used to have an inspection every day.”

Mr. Philbin says he likes the new grey plaid look. Not everyone is crazy about it, but TP likes them; the pages look more professional. And for the first time in NBC history, female pages can choose between a skirt and slacks. (Be still my beating heart.) We’re confident you find the new style superior to the outfit worn by these NBC ‘Guidettes’ as they surround an NBC Page in this 1960s photo. Personally, we favor the knee socks on the Guidettes.

NBC Page & 'Guidettes' circa the 60s

NBC Page & 'Guidettes'

BTW, did everyone receive this in their virtual inbox today from Brooks Brothers?

Not a bad look, is it?

Look what we found! Pictures of a pink furniture collection that was auctioned off last fall for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Initially when we saw the photo we thought it was dollhouse furniture, miniature replicas of classic pieces. MOMA has sold some of those mini-chairs for years and they are simply divine. But these are all full-size, quite real and that is pink leather you are looking at!

The collection included the classic Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen, just below….

Arne Jacobsen's Swan Chair

the Eames Chair, Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair and the Florence Knoll Bench seen below.

Florence Knoll Bench

Florence Knoll Bench

Florence Knoll Bench

Über-modern DWR (Design Within Reach) partnered with each company to make the auctions happen. That must have been a very cool endeavor, and loads of fun for a good cause, as all of the auctions were fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Of course, to find that one place besides DWR with the real deal, actual pieces from the fifties and sixties stop by our friends at MassModern and see what they have in stock, you never know what treasures you may discover!

And now word that Mrs. Fields has field Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Honestly. That just crossed our desk so we typed it like an automotan, in some sleeplike robotic fashion! Well, we’ll just leave it there as a warning to Cook that her weekly output in that department is going to be increased. Significantly. And it just can’t happen as we’re not prepared to deal with life sans these.

On a much brighter, and far more fun note (albeit entirely selfish), word today that Lilly Pulitzer is launching her new fragrance line. That is a lush and luscious look, isn’t it?

Lilly Pulitzer Fragrance Collection

Lilly Pulitzer Fragrance Collection

We can’t get too excited yet, as they don’t hit retailers until November. There are three different scents all launching at the same time, apparently an industry version of “That simply isn’t done” sort of thing, something TP found quite interesting. The three different scents are described in today’s WWD article:

Wink, a flirty floral named for one of Pulitzer’s favorite sayings (“wear pink and make the boys wink”); Squeeze, a reference to the juice stands at which Pulitzer began selling her first shifts to friends like Jackie Kennedy, and Beachy, inspired by Palm Beach.

Well, it all sounds like great fun to us and something to look forward to; naturally TP will keep you informed of any updates as soon as they happen. We’re off to a function… we hope you are about to embark on a splendid weekend!

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Phelps Inspires Team USA, Federer Match, Serena & Venus Williams, I “Love” Michael Phelps T-Shirt

Hello and Happy Thursday….! Wow! First of all, a spoiler alert to protect anyone who hasn’t seen the outcomes of today’s tennis matches.

SPOILER ALERT

***The next portion of today’s post features photos and RESULTS from Tennis matches played today, Thursday, 8.14.08 ***

We don’t know where or if anyone can watch tennis from the Beijing Summer Games but just in case, we wanted to do our goofy little alert. We do apologize for the way this rather loud graphic message intrudes upon our serene and placid piece of the web. (Okaaaaay, when did The Princess decide to go all calm and caper-free?)

But you can imagine our amazement when we strolled in after a day of meetings for PreppyPrincess.com and we saw things like this on our desktop!

Roger Federer vs. James Blake

Roger Federer vs. James Blake

Which also translated in to seeing things like this:

Teams USA's James Blake after defeating Roger Federer

James Blake, USA

The upset of the current #1 player in the world by #8 ranked James Blake of the USA shocked the tennis world. It also has some wondering if the toll of being #1 for the last 4-1/2 years has finally caught up with Roger Federer. This is not to detract from Mr. Blake’s achievement today in the Olympic Tennis Quarterfinals. After all, this is someone who has only won one set in the 8 matches he has previously played against the champion.

Roger Federer, Switzerland vs. James Blake, USA

Roger Federer, Switzerland vs. James Blake, USA

It only took Mr. Blake two sets to dispense with Mr. Federer, but this does not include nearly 3-1/2 hours rain delay. Mr. Blake described his thoughts on scoring a major win against Mr. Federer:

“In a lot of the other matches, it has been a point here or there,” Blake said. “That’s why he was No. 1 in the world—he played those points better than everyone. Today I played them well.”

Indeed he did. The loss does underscore Mr. Federer’s lack of a win at any major this year, with only the US Open left to redeem himself. For more on this entire saga, you may want to read the excellent story about Mr. Federer’s current malaise by Selena Roberts on the CNN/SI site.

Her description of post-match responses from both players is poignant:

It was a life-affirming win for Blake, who kissed the American flag sewn into his shirt after the last point. It was devastating for Federer, who hurried off the court, slipping by tennis officials with red eyes.

Ms. Roberts goes on to ask a question many have pondered, especially since the epic battle at Wimbledon between Mr. Federer and Rafael Nadal.

…leaving Federer visibly discombobulated. He talked to himself, challenged calls he was obviously wrong about and seemed mad at his suddenly slow feet.

Who was this cranky man?”

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

“It’s a lack of practice; I haven’t had time to practice whatsoever since February,” Federer conceded after losing to Blake for the first time in their nine matches. “I blame myself the most.”

Perhaps the more rousing story is hearing what contributed to Mr. Blake’s drive:

“Just sitting there watching this morning, watching Michael Phelps set a world record, it was something that was special to me because it made me realise how many people are inspired by him, and that I’m now in the position to have that opportunity, to go out there and get a medal for my country.

“Today was hopefully the first step towards that.”

Roger Federer, Switzerland Congratulates James Blake, USA

Roger Federer, Switzerland Congratulates James Blake, USA

James Blake, USA and Roger Federer, Switzerland

James Blake, USA and Roger Federer, Switzerland

Congratulations to our James Blake, a remarkable talent with a remarkable story. Woo-hoo! The Women’s quarterfinals were not kind to Team USA’s players. Serena Williams lost her match to Elena Dementieva of Russia, and China’s Li Na beat Venus Williams in a very late-running match.

Serena Williams, USA vs. Elena Dementieva of Russia

Serena Williams, USA vs. Elena Dementieva of Russia

Venus Williams, USA vs. Li Na, China

Venus Williams, USA vs. Li Na, China

If you like the way Michael Phelps inspired James Blake and are feeling lots of love for him, you can always go through his website to get videos on swimming, like Michael Phelps-Beneath the Surface:

or cute tee-shirts like this one:

There are even posters to adorn the walls of one of the children’s rooms, if you allow that sort of thing.

BTW, tennis fashionistas can now shop a goodly collection of clothing, hats and all sorts of other things at the official US Open online site, including tees and hoodies like these.

Now that site does not include the Polo Ralph Lauren US Open Collection, now available at the Polo site. That site has been fairly well filled out with items like the US Open Court Hat, US Open Metallic Tote, or the US Open Metallic Big Pony Tee

Big Pony Tank Dress

Polo Ralph Lauren US Open Court Hat

Polo Ralph Lauren US Open Court Hat

US Open Medium Logo Tote

US Open Medium Logo Tote

A rather patriotic red, white and blue look up above, isn’t it? We’ll show more of the Ralph Lauren US Open fashions in the next week.

Here is something fun for those who like the quirky side of life, compliments of WowOWow. If you want a glance at the contents of Miss Manners’ icebox, or want to see what is next to the Snickers bar in Liz Smith’s fridge…

then you simply must pop over to wOw Scenes: Our Refrigerators. Here’s a little tease from TV Anchor/Reporter Cynthia McFadden:

(The lady at the checkout counter the other day did ask me if I ran a day care center. Excessive? I like to think merely prepared …)

We don’t know about you, but we’re simply dying to go peek at Judith Martin’s (Miss Manners), aren’t you? Besides, they have a fabulous story about Madonna turning 50!

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy Fashion, Updates