Hello-Hello, and welcome to another day of wackiness here at the Prepatorium.
We begin with a glance at “Our Generation’s Preppiest Writers,” at least as listed by Flavorwire. The list includes several names our treasured readers will recognize, like Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, and American Wife.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) is included.
Also on the list, Jonathan Dee, perhaps best known for The Privileges, a book we just never seem to get to, it remains near the top of our list.
Several selections make perfect sense, while others are conspicuous by their absence, we would think that the list might include Tad Friend (Cheerful Money), Bill Buckley, Hobson Brown, Lisa Birnbach, unless the latter three are not considered of this generation….?
At any rate, this brings us to our True Prep updates. With the book officially on sale for a full two weeks now, there are scads more reviews and news stories, and party pix seem to be popping up everywhere. We shall invoke the ‘brevity is a virtue’ sentiment, sharing some of these as quickly as possible.
We start with a picture from the Georgetown Vineyard Vines stop on the book tour, our friend Wendy still has her Preppy Bear from the 1980s!
A better look at Wendy’s bear, we are mortified to admit we definitely remember when these were introduced!
- Loads of photos from the Brooks Brothers party are now available for viewing and/or tagging over at Guest of a Guest.
- Not everyone is enjoying the book; in her story for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writer Katie Holten shares her disdain.
“…this slim novelty “guidebook” is supposed to be the tongue-in-cheek update for our texting times. Unfortunately, it offers few laughs or insight into prepdom today, nor does it make a case for why anyone — even Muffy — would care.”
That seems a bit stern, we thought there were smirks and giggles aplenty in the book, yet must also acknowledge that for some the book is a disappointment. A follow-up simply cannot recreate the impact of the Original (TOPH), and while much is lighthearted and humorous, there are also moments of awkwardness. We are enjoying the divergent reactions to the book, but also worry about those uncomfortable sharing criticism of the new book, for it is the healthy debate on the topic that we relish.
- Back to our bullet points, in this column, Molly Young at The Economist’s ‘More Intelligent Life’ blog doesn’t concur with Ms. Holten’s opinion.
“True Prep” is frivolous, but comprehensively, amusingly and intelligently so. All too few books fit that description. Like its predecessor, this is a fond and inventive satire for the ages.”
- In a story many readers have already heard about, NPR poses the question: “Did Sleaze Bring Preppy Back?” Simon Doonan, Barney’s fashion pooh-bah (among many responsibilities and skills Mr. Doonan has), is asked about the trend; his response follows.
“I think there’s a renewed interest in preppy. And I think it’s probably a function of how slutty and trashy everything got in the last few years, like the “Real Housewives of Orange County” or the “Jersey Shore.” There’s this super porno chic that sort of dominated much of pop culture. And it’s natural that there’s this sort of conservative reaction to that and that people might rediscover the sort of simple WASP-y elegance of preppy style.”
Thank you Mr. Doonan, thank you.
“Most Americans have not heard of Jack Wills, but that is something the British sportswear retailer intends to change.”
Below, several ensembles from the retailer.
Labeled as a special report (we’re not sure why), Katie Wiseman’s story offers an introduction to the brand.
“For autumn, Jack Wills is stocking women’s wear like tweed riding jackets starting at $379, soft cotton Henley shirts and gathered skirts, while the men’s line ranges from flannel shirts starting at $69 to Fair Isle and fisherman sweaters. It also has home accessories, eyewear, fragrances and limited-edition items like an equestrian jacket selling at $449.”
The piece also inquires about the wisdom of any retailer expanding in These Difficult Times. These may well be two of the items referenced above.
We first chatted about the US expansion here, back in April, noting the stores opening in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, two über- prep locales.
The brand markets to a younger, more collegiate crowd; much of its merchandise has become logo-heavy, one could be forgiven if mistaking it for something by Abercrombie or Hollister, a comparison that riles company executives.
“There are the inevitable comparisons to Abercrombie & Fitch, something the Jack Wills executives loathe — and some industry experts dispute.
While definitely not a brand with a long and storied pedigree, Wills still offers some excellent pieces, although they are few and very far between.
There is speculation that one of our favorite brands, J. McLaughlin, may be for sale. In another story that was temporarily lost in the Fashion Week shuffle, WWD reports about the company’s ongoing expansion… and perhaps more.
“Don’t be fooled by the laid-back, prepped-out, country club aura of the brand — J. McLaughlin is a business on the move.
“The McLaughlins’ elevated profile and pumped-up store program is raising speculation about selling the business or seeking outside investment to further the growth.”
Below, our favorite dress from the retailer (as of today, this changes frequently), and on the right, a cardigan we are fond of, the Seville.
The firm also introduced a limited edition line for the Tiny Prep at your palace this summer.
We also have a look at this year’s Ryder Cup uniforms for Team USA. (Disregard the red arrows, an editing error on our part.)
The Saturday look is seen above left; the charcoal gray on the right is for Sunday’s matches. A snippet of reaction to the styles from Golf.com:
“… we are not sure how well these clothes work on, say, a Dustin Johnson. Preppy crests and soul patches are not a natural match. It will also be interesting to see how shaggy-haired Ricky Fowler, a motocross enthusiast when he is not on the links, looks in a purple Perry Como cardigan and dark pinstripe trousers. These clothes are a bit fuddy-duddy for him.”
The Opening Ceremony uniform is more formal, while the rain jackets look standard issue.
The uniforms are by Peter Millar, an upscale firm specializing in golf apparel and accessories. The Cup gets underway October 1 in Wales.
We leave you with news from the folks at Oxford University Press, publishers of the Oxford Dictionary, among other things. Are you ready for new additions to the Dictionary?
BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.
TTYL abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.
unfriend v. [with obj.] informal remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site: she broke up with her boyfriend, but she hasn’t unfriended him.
The OUP Blog also lists the many new phrases added to the list, here is a sampling.
my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.
the new black a color that is currently so popular that it rivals the traditional status of black as the most reliably fashionable color: brown is the new black this season.
Finally, we have the new meanings for old words; a few favorites:
channel emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channeling Nicole Kidman.
cougar informal an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.
friend noun – a contact associated with a social networking website.
verb – add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.
hate (hate on) informal express strong dislike for; criticize or abuse: I can’t hate on them for trying something new.
– a posting made on the social networking site Twitter: he started posting ‘tweets’ via his cell phone to let his parents know he was safe.
– make a posting on the social networking site Twitter.
Until next time, may your day be splendid!