Tag Archives: Alex Carleton

Rustic Prep: LL Bean Signature for Fall, & Alex Carleton on “Preppy Style Coming Back”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Wednesday!

We have to decree our love of technology this week. This afternoon I was able to watch a presentation from LL Bean Signature’s Creative Director, Alex Carleton, while staying right here at the Prepatorium.

Courtesy LL Bean

For a goofy old fuddy-duddy like yours truly, this is rather amazing. Here is a screenshot of the webinar (if that is how one refers to it..?).

Courtesy LL Bean Signature

We recognize this kind of technology is more-than-old-news to many of our treasured readers, but being able to watch Mr. Carleton as he discussed the Fall/Winter Collection was nothing short of amazing. (Keep in mind, you’re dealing with someone who spent 17 years in television *never* understanding how they make the pictures fly through the air.)

Courtesy LL Bean Signature

Mr. Carleton started the session by sharing some of his inspiration for this fall’s collection.

Courtesy LL Bean

As shown on the inspiration board, “Rustic Prep” and “New England Style” are important influences.  The designer talked about his vision for the line, discussing the color palette and detailing fabrics and materials used for the new season.

We originally shared some of the new pieces in this post, but were excited to learn more about the styles and fabrics.  One of the notable points was the variety of textiles used; there is a lot of rich texture this fall, including tweed, knits, and mohair.  Below, one of this year’s Mohair Sweaters paired with a Tweed Skirt, and on the right, a Knit Dress, reminiscent of the 70’s Isleboro Sweater dress. The model is also wearing one of the men’s Field Watches as an accessory.

Mr. Carleton also talked about the challenges of taking a line originally created as a menswear brand to be worn while duck hunting and making it appropriate for today’s fashion-conscious woman. Below, the Flannel Shirt and Skinny Jean, and the Ruffled Top.

Below we show the Alpaca Cable Sweater and Blanket Skirt, along with a Turtleneck we adore.

Some of the most interesting comments came during the Q & A portion of the presentation; Mr. Carleton has spoken about personalities that influence and inspire, among them Katherine Hepburn, Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, John Updike and John Cheever, and when asked about associating a celebrity (or celebrities) with the Signature line, he spoke at length about Bean’s humble beginnings and commitment to maintaining that humility.

Our favorite line from Mr. Carleton’s response:

“… LL Bean’s history is not flashy and not celebrity focused…. not needing or desiring a celebrity face…”

Hallelujah to that sentiment.

We move on to a few looks for your MOTH (Man of the House).

We like the Intarsia Sweater and the Men’s Flannel Shirt.

For more on the Menswear styles, pop over and visit Skip at Alexander Grant, he actually went to a Signature trunk show at the Mother Ship in Maine, and has marvelous photos.

Several pieces come in styles for both men and women, like the Tweed Coat.

Also available for both ladies and gentlemen, the Tartan Plaid pant, we show it in the navy and green colorway. On the right, one of our favorite ensembles showcases the vintage fisherman print on the shirt.

Back to inquiries from participants; a question was asked about recent media coverage of “preppy style,” referencing next week’s release of the classic Take Ivy reprint (explained here), and September’s new book from Original Preppy Handbook writer Lisa Birnbach (explained here and here).  There was also an allusion to Guy Trebay’s “Prep, Forward and Back” story in the Times, covered in this post. The designer’s response made perfect sense:

“People are definitely excited about preppy style, traditional clothes, traditional brands. Fashion is cyclical, we’re in this cycle and right now people are feeling (positively) about traditional ideas… in love with history and looking at fashion not being created in a vacuum, things that bring us back… a sense of nostalgia, a lot of people are feeling really good about preppy style.”

Mr. Carleton was clear about ‘preppy style’ being popular again, or statements that “preppy style is back”:

“It never went away. There is this media zeitgeist happening… a lot of people paying attention to it because of the media zeitgeist… it never went away.”

Indeed.

The LL Bean Signature Fall Collection is available next week.

2 Comments

Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

LL Bean Signature Line Sneak Peek

Hello-Hello and Happy Wednesday!

How is everyone doing? Here at the Prepatorium we are clawing our way back to health (a tad overly dramatic, don’t you think?!) but the absentee rate at several local school districts is at 30 – 32%. Ouch.

We start with a look at a new collection from one of our faves, LL Bean.

Courtesy LL Bean via WWD

Courtesy LL Bean via WWD

The company’s new Signature line was revealed to fashion writers last week.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

We have more details from this story in WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.):

“…200-piece collection, split evenly between men’s and women’s, is clearly indebted to Bean’s past but the line marches into new territory with items like relaxed cotton suits and washed oxford dress shirts for him, and wrap dresses and sandal cork wedges for her.”

The company is engaged in a number of initiatives to broaden their appeal; some readers may recall this August post chatting about the return of Bean’s classic Norwegian sweater.  Here are more looks from the new collection:

llbean6llbean5

More from the WWD story:

“Carleton pulled in diverse bits of Americana, from the Forties, via Hepburn-style denim pants and jacket, to the early Eighties, by way of bleached plaid shirts and ringer polos. The influence of WASP casual also abounds in the oxford cloth dress shirt, madras blazer, sun-bleached knits, and leather moccasins.”

We have previously talked up award-winning designer Alex Carleton, occasionally featuring pieces from his Rogues Gallery line; Mr. Carleton was hired by Bean to oversee this collection. Below, styles from Rogues Gallery demonstrates why he was the perfect choice for the Signature line.

vt01_rovt05_ro

He also designed for LL Bean before moving on to create the Rogues Gallery line.  Simply put, Mr. Carleton gets it – the lifestyle, the look, the legitimacy we all demand.  Below we see Mr. Carleton and a model at the press debut of the collection.

Courtesy GQ

Courtesy GQ

A number of looks for women:

Photo via Style List

Photo via Style List

The reaction from Style.com:

“Fittingly, the look ran from rugged (plaid button-downs, khakis) to more feminine (ditsy floral shirts, preppy striped knits, a little madras dress). There were also great accessories in leather carryalls, oversize totes, and cute macramé belts with tortoise buckles.”

Glam’s take on the new line:

“…a line of easy breezy separates that college prepsters and beach bound fashionistas will be coveting…”

This one has the potential for the Official Seal of Prepaliciousness.  The collection officially launches in March, you may want to bookmark this site for future reference.

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

Reclining while recovering has allowed us to spend more time than usual browsing that unholy pile our carefully curated collection of magazines. While doing so yesterday we fell upon this photo in Elle.  Recognizing every single reader may have long ago seen (or perhaps posted) this image, we still felt compelled to share the pink and green fun.

Courtesy Elle.com

Photo: Thomas Whiteside/Elle

We have word a few Sales & Savings opportunities, beginning with the J. Crew Fall Sale.

Lord and Taylor is offering their version of Friends and Family.

NYT_FF_01

Use promo code FRIENDS at checkout to receive 25% off most merchandise.

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

Recently we mentioned the newest version of the Armani phone; in the interest of equal time here is the new Dior phone.  If planning on one of these for a stocking stuffer you will need to make choices: color, plating and the recipient’s preference for sapphires or diamonds.

Courtesy Dior

Courtesy Dior

Don’t dawdle, they become available in December and it is possible they will go quickly.  Indeed.

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

We close with these images accompanying Refinery 29’s story on four-legged beasts taking jobs away from human models – oh no!

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Opening Ceremony is using these furry style stars to market the outstanding bow ties created by Alexander Olchs. Below, a few more looks at the dogs…. ummm, we mean the ties.

pop_7044_AO02pop_7044_AO04

It’s all about the ties. Absolutely it is.

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Silly Tilly was feeling somewhat left out. We explained we knew there would be scads of opportunities in her future once she is out of her collar.

That made her feel much better and she returned to her normal state.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

She does love her sleep. (She loves her blue binky and burrows into it before sleeping. It is like watching a big blue mushroom move about the floor. She  is truly an amazing creature.)

Until next time dollfaces, may you and those you love stay healthy!



17 Comments

Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

A Classic Returns to LL Bean: is it “Preppy 2.0”?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a wacky Monday here at the Prepatorium! We hope the sun is bright and shining on your corner of the globe.

We begin with a look at the return of a classic LL Bean sweater, better known  as “The Norwegian“.  Remember this?

Courtesy LL Bean

Courtesy LL Bean

The photo is from this year’s Fall/Winter catalog. Here is a better look at the sweater compliments of the sharp dressers at Valet Magazine:

Courtesy ValetMag.com

Courtesy ValetMag.com

If you noticed in the photo above, the image of the sweater immortalized in The Preppy Handbook is also shown. But back to Valet’s take on the topic:

Filson. Brooks Brothers. Sperry. There’s a slew of trad brands partnering with young, hip designers and offering subversive takes on classics. But for L.L. Bean, they’re simply digging into the company’s rich archive and reissuing iconic pieces—hold the irony.”

Bean has done a superb job marketing this, with the upcoming return receiving quite a bit of play recently in the blogosphere.  In reality, this has been reported since May, when news was released about the sweater returning to the LL Bean lineup. And Valet’s thoughts about the sweater sent to them for review?

“…happy to report that Norwegian Sweater version 2.0 is good. Like, really good.”

The Norwegian will be available in November, selling for $129.

(And we won’t say a word about anyone here at the Palace having once owned such an item only to have had a spouse  remove it under  cover of darkness determine it would do more good keeping someone less fortunate warm. Nope.  TP would never be so cruel and shortsighted.)

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

Next, a quick look at some upcoming items from the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary Collection.  Below, the Anniversary Tartan products.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

We love that bright pink plaid so much we’ll declare this group as officially rating a Pretty in Pink designation, accompanied of course, by all of our standard Logophobia advisories.

The actual anniversary is November 1, and according to the WWD story on the upcoming event there will be quite a few products released:

• Limited edition Asics sneakers.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

• New products from Hello Kitty’s ongoing collaboration with the California-based streetwear label Tokidoki, known for its quirky Japanese-inspired anime illustrations.

Courtesy photo via WWD

Courtesy photo via WWD

• A series of Judith Leiber-designed items based on retro Hello Kitty designs.

Of course, in no way does Hello Kitty display a prep aesthetic, but the designs are so darn cute, and almost always have pink somewhere in the motif, sometimes we can’t help but be drawn to them.

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

Also featuring pink (but more frequently red) and also wildly popular: all things Twilight.

twilight

Including a new line of cosmetics:

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

According to our trusty Women’s Wear Daily, the beauty products will showcase two separate lines, the first aimed at younger fans:

“Volturi Twilight, named for a ruling vampire clan in the “Twilight” series, is aimed largely at teens and is launching the middle of next month at Hot Topic, Torrid and Ulta.”

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Above, body shimmer from the Volturi group; prices for the Volturi items are to by $9 to $19.  And for the older crowd? The article explains that merchandise will be a little pricier, $18 to $34:

“Luna Twilight, a play on the moon themes in “Twilight,” is targeting older girls and teenagers’ mothers and is launching in the middle of next month at Nordstrom and Dillard’s.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

True fans are no doubt already aware one can purchase Twilight Venom Lip Plumper & Shine at Sephora.

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

The final product announcement we share involves a brand we adore, Ferragamo. Unfortunately we are not feeling favorably about this one, it just doesn’t seem like a natural fit.

Courtesy Ferragamo via WWD

Courtesy Ferragamo via WWD

Your thoughts? Should the upscale shoe company stick to what it knows best, or do you believe this might be a good way for the firm to extend the brand?

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

And finally, don’t forget, tonight on David Letterman:

The September Issue

The September Issue

Yes, it is Le Wintour (Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor, aka ‘Nuclear Wintour’, etc.) promoting The September Issue tonight on CBS.  The documentary opens in New York this Friday; caustic columnist Maureen Dowd wrote about it this weekend in the Times:

“Just like Miranda Priestly, who dismissed her assistant with a cold “That’s all,” Anna frostily murmurs “That’s it? There’s nothing else?” as she surveys photos and clothes and prods a staffer: “It’s Vogue, O.K.? Please, let’s lift it.””

By all means. Perhaps we should cease the “Because life is better with a bow” credo and go for “Let’s lift it.”

Indeed.


15 Comments

Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

Westchester WASPs Declining? Also, Classic Preppy Style and Argyle Update

Monday’s Journal News has a fascinating story “Westchester WASPs on decline, still prized,” one that is being printed out and hand carried to a few relatives who will find it more than intriguing. The publication covers the lower Hudson Valley, essentially Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

The story starts out this way:

“Fifty years ago, it was easy to tell who was on top.

The men wore suits from Brooks Brothers or J. Press, the women white gloves and pearls, and places like Westchester County were their natural habitat.”

It goes on…

“… it seems now more than ever the WASP has left its central position on the historical stage, even in places like Westchester and Putnam counties.

It may be time to send in a final thank-you note for all the memories.”

The story quotes author Susan Cheever at length; here is a brief excerpt:

“Preppy style is one of the few things this country has managed to export in fashion. You could argue that style is an echo of WASP elitism, and it’s huge in Japan and Europe,” said Cheever, 65. “The clothing also connotes a certain kind of ethic, the old preppy ethic. But it’s interesting to see what gets passed along with the clothing, and what doesn’t.”

Speaking of J. Press, they do have an inordinate amount of marked down merchandise available, like the Blackwatch button down, as well as the Madras shirt.

.

And now we have an argyle update, as we follow up on the sweaters posted a few weeks back.  We stumbled across this Fred Perry Short Sleeve Argyle Sweater at Nordstrom whilst grazing the online pastures in search of a few holiday treasures to buy and hide away for TPC (The Princess Consort).

Unfortunately this one felt a little…well, a little “nerdy,” if that is the appropriate term we hear the younger generation use today? We also stumbled across these Perlina pumps (lower left) in a chocolate and pink combination at Zappos.  Lower rght, the Juicy Couture Margot slipper, which didn’t make us ga-ga either.

.

Below, the Volcom Prepster argyle sweater for Men.

Volcom 'Prepster'

Volcom

It isn’t working for us, but then, Volcom isn’t exactly created with folks like TP in mind. It is more of a surfing, skateboarding brand, and while many of you no doubt envision The Princess barreling down the drive on a skateboard, that isn’t our M.O.  At any rate, what we really wanted to share was this, from the always-fabulous Rich over at Down the Line Tennis:

Down the Line

PHOTO: Down the Line

On the left we see the USA’s own Andy Roddick, and on the right in the photo Russian ace Nikolay Davydenko. Age 27. No, it isn’t his grandfather or even his father. Amazing what a little argyle can do for a guy. BTW, while visiting Rich, look for the feature on Rafael Nadal as fashion plate while receiving a major award Friday.

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

PHOTO: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Next, a story from the Times you might enjoy, a piece on classic clothing entitled, The Fashion Report of 1920. Written by Guy Trebay, who frequently covers fashion and style for the paper, it really is a gem.  Kim France, editor of Lucky magazine is quoted:

“There are all these great standbys that don’t really have anything to do with the lifestyle we lead here in New York and are totally underappreciated,” she added, referring to things like Red Wing engineer boots, Aran sweaters, Barbour jackets, Sperry Top-Siders, Woolrich jackets, Alden cordovan loafers and Pendleton shirts.”

Gregg Scaffidi for the NY TImes

PHOTO: Greg Scaffidi for the NY TImes

The photo above features a flannel-lined wool shirt by Woolrich, white Hanes T-shirt, Carhartt pants and Hunter Wellington boots.  The column continues:

“Versions of this stuff are popping up everywhere from Ralph Lauren to Rag & Bone to the neo-traditionalist collections Alex Carleton designs under the Rogues Gallery label, Mr. Fielden said. Anonymous, eminently functional and reasonably priced, the clothes seem perfectly attuned to times like these. That they are cool besides seems to derive not from any sartorial irony or nostalgia for the manual labor fast vanishing from the American landscape or even from a conservative cultural atmosphere. It is more simple than that. They do the job.”

Issac Turner

PHOTO: Issac Turner

Above, a photo of the Rogues Gallery store in Portland. Maine. You may read more about this wonderful establishment here.

And finally, for today’s Pretty in Pink photo, we share the darling Pretty Pink Princess Sky King Trike at Vivre. Created by Airflow Collectibles, it is too cute. Perhaps the only thing cuter from Airflow is the Princess Pedal Car, complete with chrome accents and a running board!

Happy almost-here Monday!

5 Comments

Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion