Tag Archives: anti prep

Brooks Brothers Goes For The Younger Set and Those Grace Kelly Barbie Dolls

Welcome to another new week here at the Prepatorium, bright, beautiful and sunny, simply splendiferous.

We begin today with news about a new endeavor for Brooks Brothers, a new type of focusing on a younger demographic, WWD has the story.

Brooks Brothers will open a new concept store in the Flatiron District of New York City later this fall to cater to college students and young professionals.

Brooks Brothers

Customers needn’t worry about the retailer moving away from its core customer however, the quote below is from a senior officer at Brooks.

“This is not an effort to compete with all the young, trendy retailers out there. We are still very much taking our Brooks Brothers heritage and translating it for a younger consumer.”

This isn’t going to be the only store targeting a younger demographic, the company will open another just like it in Georgetown, on M Street. (The old Smith & Hawken/Pottery Barn space.)  More from David Lipke’s story:

“You won’t find a shirt-and-tie wall here,” said Lou Amendola, Brooks Bros.’ chief merchandising officer. “It’s a lot less formal than a traditional Brooks Bros. store.

Another image from the fall catalog.

Courtesy Photo via Women's Wear Daily

Perhaps one of the best ways to visualize the distinction between “regular Brooks” and “campus Brooks” might be in considering what is available for video inside the stores: the Madison Avenue flagship shows CNBC, the new store will have WiFi and old video games.

The story also notes that Brooks is looking at a children’s only store on the UES, when the renovation of the Madison Avenue store is completed next month the second floor will be dedicated to the women’s and children’s merchandise.  As always, these are fun to watch, with any luck we’ll have an opportunity to visit one of the new shops at some point in the not too distant future.

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We have news of yet another collaboration, the news also comes via WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), the trade publication took a look at the upcoming Jonathan Adler and Lacoste partnership in this story.  Mr. Adler’s needlepoint pillows have been featured frequently in this space, we are fond of his design aesthetic and heaven knows, we love our needlepoint.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

A June GQ blog post offers insight in to why Mr. Adler was interested in working with Lacoste:

Jonathan Adler: I have been rocking LACOSTE since I was 10, so I’m a long time fan and an addicted user. When LACOSTE approached me about this collaboration I was excited and inspired. I am very lucky to have a career that allows me to express myself in a myriad of ways, but the downside is that I rarely get truly excited. When LACOSTE approached me, I felt like a child hearing the ice cream truck coming around.

A look at the Special Edition polo shirt from the collection, it will come in a number of colors and be packaged in a special needlepoint case.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

The Special Edition polo will retail at $150 (it must be a very lovely case), a Limited Edition version will have actual needlepoint on the shirt, that will set collectors back $250. Those shirts will be available online and at Lacoste shops in November, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are also expected to offer them.
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With apologies to our Facebook friends for a slightly repetitive posting, we wanted to share photos of the Grace Kelly Barbie dolls. Below, the “To Catch a Thief” doll, one of three versions showcasing iconic looks.

Via Barbie Collector

The doll shown above was released in June, it sells for about $35. The most recently released doll isn’t in the same price range, it is more of an investment. (Cough-cough.)

Via Barbie Collector

The Grace Kelly Bride Barbie is $175, it was released earlier this month. The level of detail looks very nice on this particular doll.

Barbie Collector

The third doll in the series is the Romance Doll, it will be released in October.

Barbie Collector

There are two ways of dressing this one, it will include a navy ensemble.

Barbie Collector

I wonder what the percentage is of adult women buying these as opposed to little girls eager to add them to their collection…?

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Finally, we couldn’t let an Anti-Prep’s weekend activities pass without at least noting the events. In our own snarkish way of course, via comments made on Twitter.

Via Twitter

Another one shared by the Huffington Post.

Via Huffington Post

And a final Tweet on the topic.

Via Huffington Post

Indeed.

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Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Preppy People, The AntiPrep

That New Preppy Style Book & When Anti-Preps Attack…Each Other

Hello-Hello, happy Thursday, it is another glorious day here at The Prepatorium, hopefully the sun is shining wherever you may be. (Unless you are in Texas, where we would wish a nice, steady moderate rainfall for you. TUWBVB, I Pick Pretty, Hopsy, all of you, we feel your pain.)

We begin today with an update on something we have chatted about previously, the upcoming release of Preppy: Cutivating Ivy Style.

Rizzoli

WWD carried a story about the book today; photos from the upcoming publication are shown, including this image of men from Deerfield‘s class of 1961.

Private Collection photo via WWD

(Can we talk about all of that fabulous madras?!)

The book remains on track for an October 4 release, David Lipke’s story is titled The Progression of Preppy Style, an apt description.

“The book, out in October, is a scholarly exploration of the roots of preppy style, enlivened with a treasure trove of historic photos and illustrations. The photos of boarding school students from decades past are particularly fascinating, as they show how consistent the look has been, even to this day.

Another image from the book, one that many readers will recognize, a still from the film Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw.

Photofest via WWD

More from Mr. Lipke’s review:

President Kennedy’s influence on preppy-dom is recounted, as are the contributions of other pillars of prep, such as Katharine Hepburn in her tweed skirts, Grace Kelly in her cashmere twinsets and Howard Hughes in his golf knickers. Edward, Prince of Wales, is of major import for many reasons, key among them that he popularized sporting clothes as casualwear and insisted on unstructured designs with minimal linings.

Getty Images & Rizzoli via WWD

The writers are Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle, the duo co-authored “Tartan: Romancing the Plaid” back in 2007.

“Preppy isn’t just a way of dressing, it’s a culture and a language,” explained Banks, in a navy Lacoste shirt and red chinos. “It’s all about nuance.”

There is also a look at different interpretations of the style, below we see an image from the immensely popular blog Street Etiquette, the site did a piece last year on the “Black Ivy“.

Courtesy of Street Etiquette

On a related note, The Times has a story today with the founders of Street Etiquette, Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs. There is an accompanying photo essay, “The New Dandies: Prep Fashion With a Twist”.  From the story, “Pushing the Boundaries of Black Style“:

“Instead, this generation emphasizes the basics: great fabrics, aggressive tailoring, thoughtful accessorizing. It’s a return to style as a source of dignity, a theme that has run through generations of black American style, from Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance to the civil rights era to the mixed messages of the hip-hop era.”

Back to the book, more from the WWD story:

“Modern-day designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have transformed preppy style with their own versions of the campus classics.

“Ralph Lauren made preppy lusher and more desirable,” said La Chapelle. “Every generation has its own interpretation of preppy.”

An advertising image from the 1997 Polo by Ralph Lauren collection is included.

Courtesy Polo by Ralph Lauren via WWD

We look forward to reading this one, it is available for pre-ordering through Amazon.  Rizzoli is also publishing Ralph Lauren’s eponymous book in October.

Via Rizzoli

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Speaking of Mr. Lauren, Women’s Wear Daily also had a brief preview of his spring 2012 mens’ collections:

“The flagship Polo collection continues to speak to the “diehard preppy,” Lauren said, with natural-shoulder three-button jackets with wider lapels and traditional patterns of herringbones, gabardines or plaids.

John Aquino/WWD

The trade publication noted there is a “country-club grouping with seersucker and patchwork patterns”.

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Finally today, something for our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category. The story is about something we used to call ‘reverse compensation’ when working in tv; it refers to a practice that became common in the 1990s when local tv stations had to start paying the networks to be affiliates. In the former business model the networks paid stations to be affiliated with them.

At any rate, you can probably imagine where this is going: yesterday’s carefully timed publicity stunt news that über-AntiPrep retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has offered to pay another AntiPrep to *stop* wearing its clothing.  Really.

Elisabetta Villa /Getty Images via MSNBC

From an Abercrombie publicity release news release, evidently referencing someone referred to as “The Situation” from Jersey Shore. (The entire cast of this program have been declared AntiPreps.)

 “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.”

The Times has a story on the topic, including these side-by-side photos of Abercrombie bags and Mr. Situation.

Benoit Tessier/Reuters (L) Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images (R) via The NY Times

Two things come to mind:

  1. “Hello Pot? This is Kettle calling”.
  2. They deserve each other.

On that note, goodbye until next time!

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Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Preppy Back to School? & Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Welcome to a one-topic Tuesday, it is another insanely busy day, so brevity guides our post.

Once again it is that time of year, when parents and children alike ponder the available back to school offerings. One can almost hear the conversations at local department stores:

  • “No, you will not be wearing that to school this year.”
  • “I don’t care what Olivia and Chapin are wearing the first day, I am not buying that.”
  • “Well, then I guess you will be the only one at school wearing _________ .” (Fill in the blank.)
  • “I said no and I meant no.”
  •   “What do you mean everybody wears that? Name one person in ‘everybody’.”
  • “No daughter/son/other of mine is wearing that. Put it back on the rack.”

It is also the season for media stories heralding “preppy” back to school styles.  The following is from a Bloomberg story entitled “Gossip Girl Couture is Back to School Boon“.

“Sears… also is featuring preppy fashions over casual wear, pushing back-to-school gear from MTV star Audrina Patridge and reality socialite Kim Kardashian.”

Because nothing says ‘preppy’ like the new Kardashian Kollection at Sears.

Kardashian Kollection at Sears.com

More from the Bloomberg story, still referencing Sears.

“The department store, which is offering $38 polo shirts and $30 Dockers pants, introduced a “Varsity Prep” line.”

A few offerings from the Varsity Prep collection.

Sears "Varsity Prep"

The line is for young men, not teenage girls or ‘tweens’ as they are now called. (Ahem.) Three more items are shown below.

Sears "Varsity Prep" Collection

Many pieces in the collection look fairly standard, polo shirts, tees and the like. But some are far removed from what readers would refer to as ‘preppy,’ that sleeveless t-shirt on the right is one such item, while the sweatshirt in the middle looks like it could have come right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch store. (Another Anti-Prep.)

The good news in the Bloomberg article is that many of the shoppers interviewed say they plan to move away from the jeans and tennis shoes look.

“Angela Ricci is shopping for lacy tops, ruffled skirts and floral dresses to wear when she begins her senior year of high school in Pittsburgh. One thing she won’t be buying: jeans.

“I want to show a new kind of style and make a better impression,” said Ricci, 17. “I think that my generation is inspired to dress up a little more.”

That might seem like a good thing to many moms, but there is one caveat, the impact on your pocketbook.

“Teens like Ricci are following the example of television shows such as “Gossip Girl” — in which actress Blake Lively prances to class in couture — as they head to stores to stock up for the new school year. Retailers, stung by slowing sales growth and record cotton costs, are obliging with blouses and dresses that sell for higher prices.”

The story makes for an interesting read, click here if you would like to read it in its entirety.

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Staying with the back to school topic, the new Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection is now available online.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

In case the graphic above doesn’t show the schools currently part of the new line, here is a better image.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Much of it looks like what we expected, sweaters and ties emblazoned with the school crest, like these from Stanford. (Where a tiny piece from my heart remains.)

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Or these from Notre Dame. (A sliver of TQM’s heart lies among the shamrocks at this university.)

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

The ties are silk, made in the USA, they are $79.50. The polo shirts are classic Brooks, 100% cotton with the school crest on the sleeve, they are $69.50. These two are from the Boston College group of merchandise.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

The element that is baffling? The school name or initials on the dress shirts, as shown below right.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

We can’t think of one Princeton (or Yale or BC or Stanford or Notre Dame or…well, you get the drift) graduate who would ever feel it necessary to wear something like this:

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

A dress shirt with your school name on the cuff? Once again we quote Nancy Reagan: “just say no.”

This clearly goes in the “Help Me Understand” category, as we are completely mystified by this aspect of an otherwise fine collection. We prevailed upon a friend for his opinion; here’s what Bumby of the Preppy Chronicles (also Princeton, class of ’87), had to offer:

“The only advantage of having the name of your school tattooed on your cuff: After the police, put you in the back of the car they know where to drop you off.”

Perhaps Christian at Ivy Style or Alexander Grant can pop in and provide a little elucidation on the topic, as yours truly is beyond baffled.  (Speaking of Christian, the topic of Friday’s post is related, looking at club ties and where one should/shouldn’t wear them. The comments are what really make the post sing, fascinating, all of them.)

Thank you for coming to visit!

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Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion

Finally, An Answer to the ‘Lauren Lauren’ Issue

Hello-Hello, welcome to an absolutely gorgeous day here at the Prepatorium.

We have loads of little bits and bytes to share, beginning with one of our very favorite summer events, Oscar de la Renta’s annual Ladies of the Lake party. Women’s Wear Daily has the story.

Drew Altizer/WWD

Guests are ferried to the party by boat, the function is a fundraiser for the League to Save Lake Tahoe.  A fashion show accompanies the luncheon, Mr. de la Renta’s 2012 resort collection was shown, it is the designer’s 11th year of involvement with the event.

Can you envision a lovelier spot for such a delightful celebration?

Drew Altizer/WWD

Guests looked bright and summery in myriad of styles, including designs from the host (L) and Kate Spade (R).

Drew Altizer/WWD

Because your faithful correspondent remains partial to the classic wooden boats of her youth, stunning Chris-Craft and Century vessels, we share a look at this Thunderbird creation ferrying guests to the party in 2008.

Women's Wear Daily

Bliss.

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Next, an item that qualifies in a couple of categories, certainly it is an Anti-Prep update as it involves the individual known as ‘Snooki.’

Michele Cross/MTV

But it is also a “Help Me Understand,” perhaps even a sign the end is nigh, look at this headline from MediaPost: “Ratings Extraordinary For “Jersey Shore’s” Worry-Free TV”. Here is more from the MediaPost article.

There is a remarkable Situation brewing with MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” Forget about cable, the addictive series is now posting ratings that place it among the highest-rated series in all of TV. It’s beating the likes of “Survivor” and “Modern Family” in the ratings networks generally care most about.

Clearly there is something we are not comprehending about the show. Do you watch? What is it we’re missing?

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Our next tidbit proves we aren’t afraid to tackle the tough topics. Nay-nay, not us, we’ll take any risk and dig deep to get you the facts, gathering information that makes it easier for you to sleep at night.  Here is the proof of those unceasing efforts, an answer to the question hotly debated for many months in this very space:

Lauren Bush & David Lauren To Marry In September, Bride Will Become Lauren Bush Lauren

That headline comes via the Huffington Post in a story about the couple’s upcoming wedding.  That story cites a Page Six piece yesterday on this weekend’s party for the couple.

Lauren Bush and David Lauren celebrated their engagement in style at the Water Mill estate of Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney. FEED Projects founder Bush and Lauren, son of Ralph Lauren, were toasted by party guests — beautifully decked out according to the white dress code — including Ralph, Ricky, Dylan and Andrew Lauren, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Amanda Hearst, Lauren’s siblings Ashley and Pierce Bush, Nacho Figueras and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. Lauren’s proud mom, Sharon Bush, wished the couple “many grandchildren.” The September wedding will be at the Lauren ranch in Telluride

Below we show Miss Bush in June with some of her FEED Project bags, her company works in partnership with the UN’s World Food Programme.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

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Finally today, a ‘heads-up’ about an approaching Sales and Savings opportunity.  This Friday flash sale site Rue La La will feature discounts on Lilly Pulitzer clothing.

Via Rue Lala

For those unfamiliar with Rue La La, it is one of those ubiquitous ‘members only’ sites (ahem) offering discounted merchandise for limited periods of time.  In this case the sale begins Friday at 11am EDT, 8am PDT.  (If in need of an invitation, just click here.) As always with these, it is good to be prepared to shop *the moment* the sale starts, things do sell out very quickly.

Goodby until next time!

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Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, The AntiPrep

An Anti-Prep Bigger than the Royals? Prepalicious Sales & Savings, Friday Fun

Hello-Hello, and happy weekend to everyone.

Because of the holiday weekend we are brief, and primarily focused on lighter fare, Monday’s post is always solemn enough.

We begin with several tidbits of note:

  • Sadly, this morning marked the end for Elaine’s, an Upper East Side mainstay for decades. Elaine Kaufman ran the restaurant for more than 40 years, until her death late last year. Even if you never actually went to Elaine’s, you may well have seen its interior, Woody Allen’s Manhattan was filmed at the legendary spot.
  • There is an abundance of rumors that Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively is seeing the newly-single Leo DiCaprio. (Oh my!)

FAME photo via The Blemish

More from Fox News:

“DiCaprio also happens to be on the rebound. He just split with 25-year-old Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli, and they’re known to be on-and-off.”

Hunter/RHS

  •  Our final tidbit involves one of the original Anti-Preps, Kim Kardashian. It is actually more of a “Help Me Understand,” as  we are genuinely befuddled, this CBS News headline explains the subject of our dismay.

Kim Kardashian will out-do the royal wedding, sister says

Seth Browarnik/startraksphoto.com via E! Online

Here is more from an E Online! story by Marc Malkin:

“It’s going to be royal wedding number two,” sister Khloé told me earlier today while promoting the new season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. “I could only imagine Kim having the hugest wedding.”

Little the varying family members have done is surprising, but in this instance we admit to being taken aback, and must ask those more knowledgeable about the cast of characters: really?? Really truly??

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We move on now to our weekend roundup of fiscally friendly Sales & Savings opportunities:

  • Talbots is offering an additional 25% off already-reduced sale and clearance merchandise.
  • Polo Ralph Lauren is promoting an extra 25% off “select already-reduced styles”
  • At Polo Ralph Lauren outlet stores the offer includes savings of “25% on select styles” plus an additional 20% off  your entire purchase

PLR

  • Be cognizant of what the promotional literature for the J. Crew Factory “sale” is offering, which is nothing other than the existing discounts. We aren’t saying there aren’t fiscally friendly prices, but prices are as marked, there is no additional discount being taken.

J. Crew

Nordstrom

  • Lacoste outlet stores offer 25% off everything in the store.

Lacoste Outlet Stores

  • Brooks Brothers Factory stores are offering 40% off your entire purchase
  • Ann Taylor is promoting an extra 40% off already-reduced styles, use promo code EXTRA40 at checkout
  • At Ann Taylor Loft the deal is even better, 50% off already-reduced merchandise entire purchase
  • Saks, Neimans and Barneys all have varying discounts and sales meriting a look; at Bloomies it is the Big Brown Bag sale

Bloomingdale's

Happy Hunting.

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In the Friday Fun portion of our post, a few trinkets that caught our attention; first, the Barbie Dream House Ring.

Via nOir Jewelry

We first saw the ring mentioned at The Fashion Planner blog and just found it fascinating, so we popped over to Jewelry nOir,  where the ring is sold, for a closer look. While not something we would wear, for some reason the ring is intriguing.

Our other fun item is a favorite here at The Prepatorium, it’s Fleet Week in the city.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

That’s the USS New York passing in front of the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, when events honoring our Marine and Navy corps kick off.  You’ll always find me partial to sailors, my father was a WWII USN officer.  Below, the USS Iwo Jima heads up the Hudson.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

God love our troops…

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

And everyone who supports them.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Here’s the USS New York (rear), which was built from steel recovered from the World Trade center attacks, as it goes past the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum.

Kathy Willens/AP Photo

May your weekend be safe and happy. If still thinking about a way to observe the holiday, here are some ideas from the National World War II Museum.

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Filed under Friday Fun, Gossip Girl, Help Me Understand, Preppy clothing & brands, Royal Wedding, Sales & Savings

Brooks Brothers Spring Preview

Hello, happy Wednesday!

Just when we needed a little bright and sunny pick-me-up, we fell upon this at Brooks Brothers (in a cyber manner of speaking):

Brooks Brothers

The company’s Spring Preview is now online.

Brooks Brothers

Men’s designs are also shown.

Brooks Brothers

Many looks were shown in our ‘sneak peek’ at the line back in September, for that post, click here.  A few more men’s styles.

Brooks Brothers

Here are more photos from that September post.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

We were particularly intrigued by the heavy nautical influence seen throughout the collection.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

The seafaring motif is also evident in the children’s styles.

Brooks Brothers

We like many pieces already shown in this year’s Resort Collection, including the Girl’s Striped Sailor Dress and the Boy’s Embroidered Swim Trunks, both items available now.

One quick aside, like so many other shops, Brooks is doing its semi-annual clearance (including goods for the Young Man & Miss at your palace) and there are some amazing savings, especially on Black Fleece.

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In other news (ahem, there’s a loose interpretation of that word), yet another update on one of our original Anti-Preps. It seems that the Kardashians have a rather large clothing line launching at Sears.  More from Women’s Wear Daily:

“The seemingly ubiquitous reality television sisters, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, are set to unveil merchandise on a bigger retail stage when the Kardashian Kollection launches exclusively at 400 Sears doors in August…”

“The Kardashian Kollection is the latest in a Kardashian fashion and beauty empire that started with the Kardashians by Bebe line, which finishes with resort 2011. Among other things, Kim and mother Kris Jenner are spokeswomen for Skechers’ Shape-ups; the sisters front an apparel line sold on QVC called K-Dash; Kim Kardashian has a namesake perfume and is the face of FusionBeauty’s lip plumpers…”

We giggled when reading a friend’s comment on the upcoming launch: “They are Paris Hilton with boobs.”  Ms. Hilton is yet another of our original Anti-Preps.

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We have a couple of quick links for Lilly lovers to enjoy, the first is a story in Lonny magazine’s latest issue, “Pulitzer Prize“.

Lonny Magazine

The story focuses on just how the design team comes up with all of the different patterns and pieces for the multiple collections and pieces. Fashion Director Janie Schoenborn is featured, as are many others, and it is a delightful read.

Lonny Magazine

The second link is to a piece in The Daily Basics on the Lilly spring line of home goods at Garnet Hill, with loads of fodder for our Pretty in Pink and Green list!

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Our final photo symbolizes our sympathy for all of our friends coping with the insane amounts of snow, some of it in the strangest of places.

Tiffany

The Mittens Charm may be found at Tiffany.

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, The AntiPrep

“Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?” & Bestselling Author Pamela Keogh

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday. This seemed like a long week, was it that way for anyone else?

We have a special treat today, a visit with bestselling author Pamela Keogh, most recently noted for writing this outstanding book.

Gotham Books

Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn? Timeless Lessons On Love, Power and Style is simply wonderful, far deeper than one may initially think.  Some Princess readers are already familiar with Ms. Keogh for many of her previous works, including Audrey Style and Jackie Style.

Audrey Style @ amazonJackie Style at Amazon

The author was kind enough to fit us into her busy schedule for an interview, so we move back to her latest work with a snippet from the publisher’s description of the new book:

“Any woman who has aspired to Marilyn’s sultry allure or Jackie’s unstoppable elegance (or who wants to balance sexy and serious) will love these entertaining lessons on channeling your inner Jackie or Marilyn in any situation, from throwing a dinner party to penning a love note.”

The volume begins with a quiz (more on this shortly) and then moves into more detailed looks at everything from how the two cultural icons approached fashion and personal style, to interpersonal relationships.  The book isn’t limited to comparing and contrasting the two women, there are also surprising tidbits, e.g., we had nary a clue that Jackie Kennedy Onassis donated money to help fund the Ms. magazine launch in the early 1970s, or that Marilyn Monroe was a big fan of the hand-written note.

Ms. Keogh is more than well-suited for the task, as she is herself attended Vassar like the former First Lady.  In addition to chatting about the book, we asked the author how she felt the two women would handle today’s electronic and technological intrusions into every facet of one’s life.

“Jackie would have loved Facebook for the JFK Library, and would have used it to keep in touch while also keeping everyone at bay. And she would have shopped, absolutely, at sites like Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Chanel. But her email address would be like the nuclear code, probably three people would have had her email address.

“They both had somewhat addictive personalities, Marilyn would lose a lot of stuff, probably leave her phone in the back of a cab. She would use Facebook to stay in touch with her fans, she had an obsessive need for publicity, Facebook would have been perfect for that.”

The two women are transcendent in stature and continue to influence today’s culture; we asked Ms. Keogh how she thought they would fit into a society obsessed with celebrities. (The talented author’s response even referenced one of our original Anti-Preps!)

“Their attractiveness came from their accomplishments.  They were both very dignified women, they would *not* have done reality shows. Neither one of them would have done endorsements of things, unless maybe Marilyn Monroe was asking people to donate to something like the ASPCA.

They both also had mystique and you don’t have mystique when you’re followed around by TV cameras. [Marilyn] wasn’t like Kim Kardashian.”

One of the nicest things about the book has to be the exquisite illustrations by Meg Hess.

If the style looks familiar, it may be because Ms. Hess has also done covers for all of Candace Bushnell’s books, among other commissions.

We also spoke of designers the women might favor should they still be with us today. Ms. Keogh believes Jackie Kennedy Onassis would still be sporting Oscar de la Renta, perhaps Ralph Rucci, others creating classic, good-looking fashions.  She thinks Marilyn Monroe would be wearing Alexander McQueen were she twenty years old today, but in reality, probably more dignified labels like Valentino.  As with other assertions made during our conversation, her observations in this arena were spot-on.

The conversation on fashion delved into the issue of sizing and how we perceive ourselves relevant to that topic:

“American women get so obsessed with a number on a scale. A number is a number, it doesn’t give you beauty, or humor, or grace.”

Ms. Keogh again spoke of a vital element woven throughout the lives of both women, something sadly missing from the resumes of many or today’s most idolized individuals:

“What holds us to them is what they did, their grace and style, the way they kept going in spite of what was going on in their lives, their indomitable spirit.”

We can only offer an amen to that sentiment. Perhaps the most amazing thing we learned in our conversation with the author is that prior to her death Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent hour after hour in front of her fireplace, burning correspondence, piles of it. That is one way to ensure that private matters remain just that.

Back to the quiz mentioned above, Vanity Fair carried a copy of the questions – here is a small sample.

1. DURING TIMES OF STRESS, YOU …

a) go for a walk on the beach.

b) meditate.

c) pour gin in your tea.

9. IN YOUR OPINION, MONEY IS …

a) everything.

b) no, we mean it—everything.

c) not that important—as long as you have a roof over your head and Veuve Clicquot in the fridge, you’re cool.

Click here for the quiz and you can start exploring which woman you most closely resemble.

Gotham Books

We are excited to offer one of our treasured readers an autographed copy of Pamela Keogh’s book, via a special giveaway. For one entry leave a comment saying which woman you think you are most similar to. For a second and/or third chance to win, become a fan of the Preppy Princess FB page (if already a fan just let us know that) and/or the Jackie or Marilyn FB page, and for more entries follow us on Twitter, or follow Pamela on Twitter.

We want to extend an enormous “Thank You” to Pamela, for she is not only talented and gracious, but also delightful, much more fun than one might expect from such an esteemed writer.

With that we say g’bye until next time, and hope everyone enjoys a splendid weekend!

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