Tag Archives: anti prep

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.

9 Comments

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!

18 Comments

Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep

A Conversation With Lisa Birnbach

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednursday (Wednesday + Thursday) post, we are so swamped this shall have to count for two days.

Today we share our interview with the woman we call the Grand Pooh-bah of Prep, Lisa Birnbach, the author of True Prep.  Yesterday was the book’s official release date, and we still cannot believe she found time for an interview; some readers may recall Ms. Birnbach’s day started with an appearance on the Today show, and it only grew busier after that.

NBC Universal

To say we were flattered to even be on the interview list, let alone on the book’s first day, would transcend understatement. (We will share a little secret: at the last moment throwing on a strand of pearls seemed prudent, because after all, she *would* be able to tell through the telephone what we were wearing here at the Prepatorium, right down to the accessories.  Somehow. she. would. know.)

Ummm, not exactly. From the outset Ms. Birnbach was warm and witty, if anyone was wooden and stiff… well, yes. It was I. Me. Us. (Whomever, honestly Princess, get a grip!)

Sadly, our first question was truly tasteless, we asked the obvious, what (who) were you wearing on the Today show?  It turns out the ensemble was a combination of new and old, both the skirt and the blouse were Brooks Brothers (although we have to apologize for being a witless wonder right off the bat, one was Black Fleece and the other regular Brooks, but it appears we were quite incapable of properly noting which was which), and the shoes were older Manolos. (Because they are still perfectly good shoes.)

NBC Universal

Almost all of the jewelry was on loan from Verdura, including the Beehive Pendant Watch, not unlike the one shown below in a 2007 Christie’s catalog.

Via Christie's

Verdura is covered in Chapter 4, “I Just Found it in My Closet,” sure to be a favorite for most fans, as it covers the contemporary sartorial choices one confronts in clothing and accessories.  Ms. Birnbach explained a bit of the process for borrowing the jewelry, it is not something undertaken lightly.  As mentioned, not everything was on loan, the pinky ring worn by Ms. Birnbach was her own, marking the occasion of her son’s birth.

We only had one other matter to handle before getting into the meat of the interview, a minor issue we felt compelled to discuss before we could comfortably move into more intense conversation.

TP: “There is just one little thing I need to bring up before we move on, um…well….uh, it’s….ah, it’s just something that is very troubling, actually, it’s fairly traumatic, I think some people might classify it as bordering on tragic. I’m worried it might derail our whole conversation, but have to bring it up anway.”

LB: “Oh, really? What is it??”

TP: “The Top-Siders featured on the Today show this morning.”

LB: “The Top-Siders are tragic? How are the Top-Siders tragic?”

TP: “They’re metallic.”

(As a brief refresher, below we share a snippet from our post on the topic earlier this year:

“The women’s Original 2-Eye metallic boat shoe seen below is at Crew, offered in platinum.

J. Crew/Sperry Top-Sider

(TP has stepped away for the moment, she is struggling with the word ‘metallic’ adjacent to the words ‘boat shoe’.)”

There, enough of that tedious blather the background, now back to yesterday’s conversation.

Ms. Birnbach was gracious in responding to our angst about the shoes.

LB: “Susan, let’s talk about this, allright? I know what you’re saying, I really do. But the metallic Top-Siders are sort of like the bad boy in school. You remember? You knew he was not the guy for you, you absolutely knew he was not the guy, and you may even have been repelled by him, but at the same time, there was this attraction, something drawing you toward him. I think the Top-Siders are kind of like the bad boy.  I’m not saying you should get them. I’m just saying I’m open to new ideas.”

TP: “Oh. Okay.” (Heh, heh, heh.)

Of course that exchange was understood by both parties as being in jest. Fun. Funny. Entirely couched in humor, intended to be taken as such, and returned in the same vein.

And Ms. Birnbach is *very* funny, immediately grasping the enormity of a “Princess tragedies” on the level of a metallic Top-Sider. This was helpful, allowing us to feel safe bringing up the next crisis.

TP: Since we’ve dealt with the shoe, can we talk about the skull? Did you see the CBS Early Show Monday morning, that segment on hypothetical Preppy Fashion? They said ‘The new preppy icon is the skull.” What is up with that?!” (Insert a full blast of righteous indignation to achieve the proper sense of total outrage.)

LB: “The skull? No, no, no.  Just no.  The skull of course, is rugby.  And rugby and preps do go back. It’s the Jolly Roger pirate, it’s everywhere, Smathers and Branson have the pirate, all sorts of things have the pirate, the Jolly Roger is everywhere. But it isn’t the new preppy icon.”

Phew. Another close one.

For a sense of that CBS story, here is one line:

“After lying low in the nineties, preppy has once again reinvented itself, this time led by pop stars and gossip girls.”

Indeed.

During the interview we had a splendid talk about the breadth of choices available these days when looking at clothing and accessories, from relative newcomers like Smathers and Branson or Tucker Blair for needlepoint goodies, or Vineyard Vines, to old standbys like Brooks Brothers and Lilly Pulitzer.  The number of bright, gifted entrepreneurs now making things appealing to preps of all ages continues to grow.

The writer shared a story about her own preppy look from years ago when she had one of her very first jobs in the business, this one at the oh-so-liberal (the horror) Village Voice newspaper.  As might be expected, the style was très casual, everyone dressed down. Way, way down. What was a prep to do? Ms. Birnbach went wild, and purchased a Lacoste polo shirt. In black.

No one will be surprised to learn we had fun talking about the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame, we sensed unspoken approval of our existing members. For the uninitiated, this select group includes both humans (think Paris Hilton), as well as other entities (Abercrombie & Fitch) displaying gross negligence to standards of good taste, good manners, or basic decency .  The conversation moved on to the sorry state of what passes for “celebrity” these days.

“Doesn’t anybody miss the day when you actually had to accomplish something to be a celebrity? What is it that says being on a reality tv show makes someone a celebrity or authority on life?”

Amen.

We talked about the challenge of writing True Prep. It was not easy, the enormity of following an iconic book like The Original Preppy Handbook was more than daunting.

“It is scary to come out with this book, it really is.  The writing part itself, the sitting down and typing the words actually wasn’t the difficult part… it was the going through the day, trying to look at every single thing that could have changed in the last thirty years…that part was hard. I hope people have fun with it, I hope they enjoy it, I always worry.

We also chatted about what I perceive as the challenge of the upcoming book tour and other public appearances, almost everyone approaching with a “Why didn’t you include _____________________ in the chapter on preppy colleges?” Or, “I cannot believe you think that _______________ is preppy.”  Miss Birnbach explained that she is not saying absolutely, unequivocally, that a certain school, or community, or club, or sport, or item of clothing, or anything else is the “one and only.” Nor that it should be. And she also said she learns an awful lot when from questions and comments, she very much sees the process as a learning experience.

Again, we stress the fun factor, using the following as a brief example of the writing style:

On thrift:
Do keep repairing old appliances to try to extend their lives. Don’t store them on your front porch or driveway.”

It is very much like the witty irreverence found in TOPH back in 1980.

As far as we’re concerned herein lies the crux of the interview, as well as the new book, the old book, and the entire topic: this is not meant to be taken seriously now, nor was it ever intended to be.  A simple look at the book’s classification makes things clear.

humor, n.

  1. The quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness: could not see the humor of the situation.
  2. That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement: a writer skilled at crafting humor.

Both True Prep and its predecessor, TOPH (The Original Preppy Handbook) are meant to be humorous, one need look no further than the chapter and section titles: “Rehab: The New Boarding School,” “What Happened to Mummy’s Face?” and “Truly, Madly, Deeply Preppy: The Second Wedding.”

We didn’t have enough time to cover a few of our most whined-about issues favorite topics, like the documented increase in diagnosed cases of Logophobia, or the deplorable loss of civility accompanying all this new technology (need we even say the c— p—- words), nor were we able to get a verdict on things like Spanx, or an even bigger issue: the Snuggie. (What do you think of one for… oh, let’s say Groton, or perhaps Spence?)

In wrapping up the conversation Ms. Birnbach mentioned the possibility of another gabfest at some point in the future, something we would enjoy enormously. She is much more than fun, and bright, and sophisticated, she is simply a delight to spend time with.

Perhaps the best way to understand Ms. Birnbach is through her simple post last night on the True Prep Facebook page, an example of very few words saying quite a bit.

“I hope all of you enjoy the book. I’m under a lot of pressure to make you happy. I’m a giver, but I’m only one slightly used preppy woman. Hoping you all have a great DAY ONE. xLisa

One quick note before leaving, if there are questions you might have for Lisa, do leave them in a comment; we’ll gather them up in a bit and put them aside for a future (cross your fingers) conversation with Ms. Birnbach in the next few months.  Again, our thanks to Lisa Birnbach, and also to Sara at Random House, they made things fun.

Until next time, g’bye!

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH

True Prep Tuesday

Hell-Hello, welcome back to reality. Sigh. (Truth be told, we are happy campers indeed, the reality is that for us the work week is something to be enjoyed, not endured, so you shan’t hear any complaints from these quarters, we are blessed to do what we love, and love what we do.)

We begin today with an update on True Prep, did everyone see author Lisa Birnbach on the Today show this morning?

NBC/Universal

The appearance marked the official release of the new book, an expanded, updated partner to The Original Preppy Handbook, aka TOPH.  The segment kicked off with a look back at Ms. Birnbach’s appearance on the show thirty years ago, when the person hosting the segment was….

NBC Universal

Yeppers, that would be Tom Brokaw. (How about the Madras skirt, we love that.)

There was also a look at updated preppy fashion during the segment, including new styles from the just-launched Brooks Brothers Fleece line for the young Masters and Misses at your house, as well as looks from Lilly Pulitzer.

NBC Universal

Of course, if interested in purchasing the book, we still have a few copies available, with one cautionary note: Random House has already had to order a second printing, but those books won’t be available until at least the end of September.

We are also down to only two copies of prep classic Take Ivy, that has also had to go into a second printing. (Did we get crazy lucky with our first two books for the store, or what?)

Next, we have to say we love the fab madras jacket Ms. Birnbach is sporting in her on-camera interview with the Borders. This is very similar to one yours truly has, although ours is ancient. Seriously old. But we love it and haul it out every summer.

Via Borders.com

Today’s Pretty in Pink actually features Ms. Birnbach, she was looking at Lilly Pulitzer styles for possible inclusion in the Today show fashion segment.

Via True Prep Facebook

BTW, we were fortunate enough to spend some time on the phone with Ms. Birnbach this morning, and we’ll share part of that extended interview in tomorrow’s post. (Let’s just say that her thoughts about possible additions to the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame are entertaining.)

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Next, several quick updates on all manner of things preppy, beginning with a story in (of all places) the Financial Times. In “A Hipper Preppy Look is Back in Fashion” the writer posits that students aren’t the only people going back to school this time of year. “…fashion is too.”

“Take the long list of preppy brands enjoying success: British-owned Jack Wills recently launched three East Coast stores in the US; Boden is set to join the fray this autumn with Johnnie B, a new preppy tween line; Gant and Tommy Hilfiger, both forebears of the look, are revisiting their waspy roots with updated fashion twists; and LL Bean has put itself back on the map with a range of archive-inspired designs, following in the footsteps of Brooks Brothers, which has experienced a renaissance thanks to new collections from men’s wear luminary Thom Browne.

The story quotes Barneys‘ creative director and author Simon Doonan, offering his philosophy on the style’s popularity.

“It’s a nice antidote to the slutty porno-chic which is the dominant trend in our culture,” he says. “Maybe people are craving a bit of wholesome Americana to counteract the [MTV Reality show] Jersey Shore situation, and The Situation.”

Thank you a thousand times Mr. Doonan, thank you.

More from the FT story.

“Preppy’s previous old-fashioned jolly-hockey-sticks dowdiness is being replaced with a new, hipper image.

The styling in many preppy brand campaigns is taking an eclectic approach with old-fashioned tweed jackets being worn over baggy ripped jeans; traditional fits and trouser lengths are being played around with to give a new fashion edge.“It’s being subverted. There is the patrician privilege aspect, but there’s also a flirty, kinky side,” says Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, a trends prediction agency.”

While not concurring with the notion of ‘kinky preppy’ (gasp!), we do think you will find the story interesting.

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Speaking of Brooks Brothers, we stumbled into a sale over the weekend with amazing prices on a limited number of Black Fleece items.  The sale was at another ubiquitous off-price ‘invitation only’ site, Gilt.com.

Gilt Groupe

The pieces included a Black Fleece Chesterfield coat originally priced at $1000 for $249 (L), as well as a $950 Black Fleece Cotton Dress priced at $69.

It’s probably a good thing we didn’t notice the sale until after just about everything was sold out; the B2 pooh-bahs can’t be thrilled to sell pieces at 75% off. Ouch. The sale ended this morning at 9am. (If in need of an invite for future sales, just click here.)

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Back to our primary topic, True Prep’s official release. There are any number of news stories related to the book and author Lisa Birnbach, we have a brief sampling of a few more:

We must admit to some most unflattering conduct here at the prepatorium, we’re quite proud today’s post didn’t engage in yet another annoying whineathon lots of chatter mentioning that for many of us, the style isn’t “back,” it never went away.

For those interested in staying on top of all things True Prep, the Facebook page is a good place to start, and if you enjoy Twitter (as we do), you can also find Lisa Birnbach tweetingClick here for the entire Today Show segment, give the video player a few moments to load.

With that we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH

When Logos Go Bad & Hamptons Habitats

Hello-Hello!

We are brief today, in large part because The Consort and I the Princess Elves must deal with this:

Princess InterGalactic HQ

That is but a portion of the 300+ pounds of Lilly Pulitzer Fall 2010 goodies, along with ribbon belts, preppy totes and other treasures the UPS man dropped off today.  Sadly, Tilly doesn’t quite seem… well… she doesn’t appear to be engaged with the task at hand.

"Where's my biscuit?"

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We begin with a follow-up to a previous post about the topic of a hypothetical decline in the popularity of designer logos; today’s story comes via the Telegraph, on the far side of the pond.  We offer the following from the paper’s story, “Designer logos are a fashion no-go“:

“Handbags and accessories with large logos are being removed from designers’ collections to be replaced with more subtle designs as part of a move for “antibling” fashion.”

The Telegraph story uses an image featuring one of our original AntiPreps, below we see Paris Hilton with her Louis Vuitton handbag and bathing suit in 2006 and on the right, a new bag from Louis Vuitton.

REX Features via The Telegraph

The story is pegged to a quote from the CEO of Vuitton’s parent company suggesting logos are shrinking and/or disappearing. (That quote was mentioned briefly in this post.)

“His admission was an extraordinary turning point in the top-tier designer industry, where design labels have made billions of pounds by having accessories with big logos showcased by rappers, footballers’ wives and socialites.”

Below, Farandole Strass rings by Vuitton.

In the story, the Telegraph’s fashion director is quoted:

“This really began the day Daniella Westbrook was pictured head to toe in the Burberry check. The shift has been taking place for some time.”

Below, Ms. Westbrook in the ensemble under discussion.

PHOTO: MrPaparazzi.com via The Sun

To be sure, this….

Chanel

is a vast improvement over this.

Chanel

The subject seems to be gaining traction, another UK paper had a story on the topic today; The Mail’s story is titled, “Stealth wealth: Why the label to have this season is no label at all as consumers turn their back on logo-heavy designers”.  That story also uses a photo of another member of the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame, “Snooki” and her Gucci handbag.

PHOTO: Xposure via The Daily Mail

Clearly we are intrigued to see how this plays out, do let us know your thoughts on the topic, and what you are seeing in your corner of the globe. We are guessing this isn’t exactly your vision of the ideal decor for your domicile.

)

ModerneKunst.no

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One other quick note we meant to include yesterday, spotted when perusing Vanity Fair; the magazine has a pretty feature, “Behind the Hamptons Hedges“. The piece showcases eight individuals who spend significant time in the area, like polo player Nic Roldan….
Alix Smith/Vanity Fair

… and Dylan Lauren, photographed at the Dylan’s Candy Bar in East Hampton.

Alix Smith/Vanity Fair

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We’re off to have a little talk with Tilly about her work ethic.

We’ll see you next time, probably Monday!

17 Comments

Filed under It's Just Not Done, Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Logos, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy stationery, The AntiPrep, Tilly