Tag Archives: Beijing olympics

The Shocking Pink Chair, Michael’s Million Dollar Donation, Thom Browne & the NY Times

This is one we simply couldn’t resist when we saw it online at the Boutique’s website. The Princess wasn’t looking for a chair, let alone a flaming fuchsia chair, but we somehow stumbled onto it whilst searching for a new Isaac Mizrahi Collection at Target.

The Pod chair in Hot Pink is available online; TP doesn’t know if one can purchase it in stores or not. Target is suggesting this zany lamp as a coordinating piece, but we don’t believe it works well in the Palace, so we shall have to pass on its unique design.

Have a tiny prep in the household who might enjoy this delightful little pink chair? This pint-sized piece of pink puffery is only $19.99 as of this writing, and it looks ever-so-cute. (“When all else fails, alliterate…”, from the film ‘Network’.)

If you are still looking for pink furniture, Target also offers the pink Cloud Chair & Ottoman. (Ouch.) Of course, there is always the Bungie Low-Back Chair in pink and black. A side note here: The Princess really feels compelled to share her impressions of the Cloud Chair. From our limited online perspective it looks like faux fur that may prove…ah…that may prove…um, may prove…yes, it could be difficult for the household staff to keep clean. What with the dog’s hair and all. We’re just looking out for your staff.

We take a moment now to revisit noted designer Thom Browne. (Regular readers have been subjected to enjoyed TP’s thoughts on Mr. Brown’s ‘look’ in previous posts.) It would seem his standalone menswear store has enjoyed a visit from the Times’ “Critical Shopper” columnist Mike Albo. Perhaps enjoyed isn’t the appropriate adjective; we’ll say ‘experienced a visit,’ that might be better.

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Mr. Albo has also done Critical Shopper columns on the new Rogan store (click here for more) and the Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue (click here for more of that column) at 44th. The photo above is from the February 2007 Brooks Brothers column.

How did Mr. Albo find his visit to Mr. Browne’s emporium, or more accurately Mr. Browne’s designs?

  • “Across from the gray-hued garments, for example, was a selection of jaunty sweaters. A $3,500 thick cardigan was striped in navy blue and red, and a V-neck tennis sweater for $2,875 looked as if it had been ripped off Jay Gatsby’s dead body.”

(Mr. Browne is seen in his own design above left.)

Mr. Albo is not without humor. In describing a brightly hued overcoat he says,

“Past the three-way mirror was a rack of hilarious outerwear, including an overcoat in a queasily cheery yellow plaid for $4,500 that no one should buy unless he is an exhibitionist looking for a more eye-catching cover-up before exposing himself on the subway platform.”

The entire column is not all pokes and jabs at Mr. Browne’s design aesthetic, who also designs the Black Fleece line for Brooks Brothers. It also makes numerous complimentary points, at one point describing the suits as “light and good-natured, not dogmatic and snobby.” Mr. Albo refers to formalwear as “…beautiful…successfully blended Mr. Browne’s traditional and experimental sides.”

Here at the Prepatorium we simply adore the Critical Shopper; previous columns covered Tory Burch, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Steven Alan. (Note: these links are to the individual designer pages, not the Times columns.)

it is always fun to read another individual’s perceptions of the brand and/or the physical stores selling that designer’s apparel and accessories. Stop by the Times and read this Critical Shopper column, or better yet, peruse some of the back columns, including the previously mentioned Steven Alan review.

Many a preppy is familiar with Steven Alan; we were nudged to pop into the online shop when reminded by the Shopper’s column on the store. We feel compelled to let you know they have several of their men’s “basics” on sale, including the Hidden Button shirt, a classic.

Additionally, many of the Reverse Seam shirts are marked down along with other styles. On the Women’s side, TP is ecstatic to see the Dieppa Restropo Black Patent Lace-ups, although these treasures are not on sale. Of course not.

And while not for us, we do find the Hope Shirt to be absolutely adorable, perfect for someone perhaps a tad younger than TP.

Many of the Kids’ styles are on sale, and while adorable, they are also out of season, to be expected at this time of year. Below, the Girls Camisole Dress.

And ladies, after seeing a quick peek of the Spring 2009 line, we think you will find it more than appealing.

An update now on über-athlete Michael Phelps that many of you are likely to have already heard: he is donating his $1,000,000 bonus from Speedo to his charitable program. (You know, that little check promised if he won all eight Gold Medals.) You can see him below, receiving the symbolic check from the head of Warnaco, owners of the Speedo brand.

Business Wire

Photo: Getty Images/Warnaco

The Michael Phelps Foundation’s “Dream, Plan, Reach” program is going to focus on teaching more children to swim as well as instilling self-confidence in them. Phelps phans can see their hero on Oprah’s season-opener next Monday, along with 149 other Olympic athletes. The 8-time Olympic Gold Medalist was mobbed in Chicago when he arrived to tape the Oprah show.

AP/M. Spencer Green

AP/M. Spencer Green

Below you see Phelps helping a girl learn to swim at a Visa Grant for Early Swimming Program discussion at the McBurney YMCA in New York on Aug. 28th

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Mr. Phelps has been a busy man. In addition to the many public appearances he is called upon to make, he has also purchased a 4000+ square foot apartment on Baltimore’s rejuvenated and renovated waterfront. The apartment has a stunning view, a Jacuzzi and many other accoutrements.

Good for him, he certainly has worked hard enough.

And one more update related to the Phelps family, with news that Debbie Phelps has actually signed a formal one-year agreement with Chico’s clothing. The deal calls for Ms. Phelps, who is a school principal in Baltimore (among many, many other responsibilities that can only have multiplied recently), to promote the company’s merchandise. In exchange Chico’s provides apparel, accessories, as they reportedly did for her appearance on that same Oprah Winfrey show. (You may want to take a glance at the Debbie Phelps Collection, recently supplemented with far more items than previously contained in the group.)


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

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.


***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

Pictures of New Target Collection + Just When You Thought it Was Safe…Wimbledon Fashion Fracas Escalates

Happy-Happy Sunday everyone!

We start off with a few early photographs of pieces from the Richard Chai for Target Collection due in stores August.

Chai for Target #1

Chai for Target #3
Chai #4

Our thanks to Nylon magazine for these. It will be fascinating to see them in person, and also to read Nylon’s in-depth piece on Chai. They look fun, don’t they?

Wimbledon 2008

For a substantial portion of our readers this time of year means not only transferring life from city to coast, it also means increased time out of doors on the golf course, the tennis court, the open sea, the Great Lakes, wherever, whenever – you name it, we’re there. The opportunities are endless and we want to go charging into all of them, eyes and arms wide open.

However, on rare and isolated occasions you will find some of us huddled inside, regardless of the weather outside. We are approaching one such occasion: the Wimbledon semi-finals, depending on the match-ups, and the finals. And lest you think we are hopeless relics of another age, we are aware of devices that record the goings-on on the little screen and even if we did know how to Tivo-ize the matches and watch them at a time that wouldn’t intrude upon beach time, tee time, you-know-the-drill-time, trust us, we might. But you see, when taking into consideration the time difference and well, accounting for the little interruptions wrought upon slumber by one’s advancing years, there is every chance we may see some of this in real time.

Wimbledon Aerial

All of this a very long-winded way of saying how much we enjoy Wimbledon. And also nudging ourselves that we promised to follow-up Tuesday’s post in which we mentioned Roger Federer’s creamy cardigan, the one worn onto the court prior to his first and second round matches.

2008 Wimbledon roger federer sweater #1

There were a few inquiries and/or comments about the cardie as they are called in other parts of the world, but my goodness, not nearly so many as we had about Ms. Sharapova’s Tennis Tuxedo. Lordy, did that cause a few folks to reach for their blood pressure meds! And just when you thought it was safe… well, more about the tennisnondress that didn’t belong anywhere near Wimbledon in just a sec, but first, the details on St. Fed’s sweater.

Preppy Cardigan on Federer at Wimbledon 2008

As you no doubt noticed, it did have that swooshy gold Nike embellishment, but you won’t find it at Nike.com, unless something has changed. The Gatsby-esque sweater is a cashmere and linen blend, which must be an absolute dream to have on. Despite the herringbone pattern that gave it a heavier look, we bet it is über breathable. Only 230 of these treasures have been created, representing the 230 weeks Mr. Federer ranked as the #1 tennis player in the Galaxy. It would appear what we have is a limited edition sweater. For the curious, the five gold buttons symbolize the Swiss superstar’s five consecutive Wimbledon titles. The Princess is not entirely clear on how these sublime sweaters will be sold, although we fully expect some to be used as gifts for high-end corporate sponsor types and others to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to one of Mr. Federer’s charities or perhaps another cause yet to be named. There are also reports some may be available at the NikeTown in London, others at the Nike shop that practically sits on Centre Court, but TP is unable to substantiate that info. When we learn more, we’ll let you know.

Maria Sharapova Tennis Tuxedo Wimbledon

Now back to the story that will not die! In TV News parlance, the preceding wasted verbiage joining two adjacent segments of a television newscast together is often referred to as the “toss.” 

You sly dog…. you recognize the term. You know this. Why, you have seen it happen! Night after night! As when the anchor ‘tosses’ it to the Weather Bunny who tosses it to back to the News Units who may or may not ‘toss’ to the break and then we’ll ‘bump back in’ to the segment with a wide shot of the news anchors who will then toss nicely (we hope, and we can only hope you see, for if we are in the booth producing this nightmare and not out on the desk reading the hits, then we have no control over what The Talent does and sometimes as you may have also seen, The Talent is not nice to each other and therefore they don’t ‘toss nicely), we hope to the Sports Dude… and if SportsDude does the Sports in the precise time allotted, then perhaps tonight’s newscast will end precisely on time, as expected. You know, at the time viewers, station management and countless others expect it to end. Yourself included, so that you might catch the beginning of Leno, or Nightline, or whatever, but you do sort of expect it to end at the proper time, yes? Indeed. Thus, one of the problems with The Toss and The Talent, but we simply won’t go there today. No.

Maria Sharapova Wimbledon 08 tennis tuxedo

The above then (well, the above that was above the above), that was an elongated (long-winded too), version of ‘a toss,’ so ‘long’ in fact, we would have ‘gotten out late’ of the newscast, or ‘gone long.’ But since that old clock isn’t tickety-tocking in my ear, let’s chat up that Tennis Tuxedo that really wasn’t. It is a very cool look in some respects, not our preference for Wimbledon, too reminiscent of a waitress’s uniform (seriously, we finally figured out what was bugging us), but still a stylish look cool for another purpose but most definitely not a Tuxedo, Tennis or otherwise. Still, the Tennis Tuxedo was the look of choice for Maria Sharapova.

But it was not a look Alla Kudryavtseva cared for at all, an unfortunate turn of events for Ms. Sharapova, as Kudryavtseva was her Wimbledon opponent Friday. Ms. Kudryavtseva claims it was her substantial distaste for the headline-grabbing Tennis Tuxedo that provided motivation for her to trounce Sharapova on the court, eliminating her from competition.

Kudryavtsevas Bio PIc

As described in yesterday’s post, the comments were somewhat nastier than portrayed here, but at least we thought that was the end of it. Until we learn today of Nike Senior Designer Colleen Sandieson’s reaction to all of this.

“I was quite shocked when I heard she had been saying this about the outfit. I didn’t think it was very sporting. The outfit is 100 per cent functional for tennis, although it has a glamorous look.

“I shouldn’t say too much about it in case it starts trouble.

“Both girls are Russian and there will be a fierce competition there.

“I have seen Kudryavtseva’s outfit and without going into it too much, I would describe it as understated.”

It may not be sporting, but my, it could well sell a few more Tuxedo tops. If I am at the Nike Mothership, I am thinking it is possible, nay, likely this little controversy might sell just a few more garments. Just a few more. It was one thing to have known with certainty that Ms. Sharapova’s attire would generate conversation, consternation, perhaps even some controversy. But really, can’t you see the Nike marketing folks getting over their sadness at the Sharapova loss in a big hurry while listening to the post-match news conference with Ms. Kudryavtseva? ‘Nuff said.

We also promised to let you know what attire had ‘prima ballerinas and ‘fashion folks chatting it up together.’ Here it is:

Urszula Radwanska Wimbledon

Urszula Radwanska of Poland in a skirt some found reminiscent of a tutu, with its multiple layers of material. We *wish* we could say who the designer is, but despite the gold swooshyness, we can’t find anymore information on the skirt. When we do learn something, we will advise of that information.

Clarification: Knowing some readers may have a concern that The Princess must be perilously close to an attack of Logophobia as a result of all the golden swooshyness we have witnessed of late, rest easy. Somehow in our genetic makeup the appearance of small (ahem) courtside logos is not the irritant it can be on ‘street clothes.’ We don’t know why this is the case, but we are ever-so-grateful for the good fortune. We’re sure you are as well, for we know you couldn’t possibly bear another hysterical diatribe to listen to our mewling about the topic.

One final item in what must be a rotten week for Ms. Sharapova: the Grand Pooh-bahs at the Russian Olympic Team have said ‘Nyet” to her request/offer to carry the flag during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Not because of what she has or hasn’t worn at Wimbledon, or how she did or didn’t play, but apparently because they don’t think standing around for 3-4 hours in the hot weather will do Maria, or her game, any good.

Just so we end our missive on an up note and send us all into the next week smiling, news of a wedding to share. And this one is also tennis related! (There’s that little toss thing… okay. We stop now.)

Chris Evert and Greg Norman were married yesterday in the Bahamas. The couple (both of whom are 53, if you can believe that!) exchanged vows in a sunset ceremony; all three of her children participated as did Norman’s son Gregory.

Chris Evert - Greg Norman Wedding


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Updates