Tag Archives: Black Fleece

Lisa Birnbach Wishes She Was Betty Draper Sometimes

Hello-Hello, what a delightful Tuesday it has turned out to be, we hope yours is the same, filled with sunshine and lots of laughter.

It seems like a good time for an update on True Prep, there have been oodles of articles on the book, as well as loads of parties and book signing events, like this one at the Sperry Top-sider store in Kansas City.

Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

And this one at the Lilly Mother Ship store in King of Prussia.

Michael S. Wirtz/Philadelphia Inquirer

There has also been a significant amount of news coverage for many of the goings-on as well. We adore the way this Palm Beach Daily News story begins:

“In the beginning, there was pink and there was green. They mixed, quietly, beyond the fray of fashion magazines and designer mandates.”

Fortunately, the always-gracious Lisa Birnbach us fit into her more-than-busy schedule, we were able to catch up for a chat about the book’s progress and reader reactions.  We started out discussing the book’s popularity, something the author calls “humbling,” sharing that she has been “… surprised at how many people show up at things!”

She has also been taken aback by the intense affection people still have for The Official Preppy Handbook, saying she didn’t realize how much it meant to people, let alone the impact some readers say it had on their lives.

“The number of ‘you’ve changed my life’ stories people are telling me is amazing, I never expected that.”

Reading about the antics of preps getting together in other parts of the country is always fun, below we see two of our faves, Hopsy (aka Monograms & Manicures/Kappa Prep) as well as Miss Tickled Pink & Green at the Dallas event in October.

Photo via Kappa Prep

Discussion about the “commercialization of prep” as it relates to the book prompted us to ask Ms. Birnbach about products and brands heavily showcased in the new book and/or at events on the book tour.
“Is there some sort of quid pro quo with Brooks Brothers? Absolutely not. Not at all, there’s no cash exchanged for events being held at their stores, no. It’s very simple how this all happened, we were very late calling merchants to provide things to photograph for the book, and when I called Brooks brothers they decided they really wanted to get involved.”
The conversation digressed (at length) with chatter about some of the natty Brooks apparel Ms. Birnbach has been sporting at B2 book functions.  Your trusty correspondent has been a little gaga about several dresses worn by the author, especially the one seen below left in Adam Tschorn’s photo.  We think it is the Black Fleece Silk Button Back Dress shown below right. (For more on the Brooks Brothers launch party, click here.)
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Back to that nasty and oh-so-not-done conversation about True Prep and merchandising, there are products being marketed for which Ms. Birnbach does receive some compensation. The licensing agreement with Vineyard Vines is a good example of such an arrangement.

Vineyard Vines

The collection includes a True Prep Polo, a tie and Beach Bag.
We then moved on to the next topic, asking Ms. Birnbach about reader reactions to the book.
“Some people want more rules, there are people who are really not happy about the inclusiveness, this is the area that seems to provide the most controversy.  I don’t think it’s nice, it’s not appropriate.”
As an FYI, the harshest criticism the author can level at someone or something is that it “isn’t nice.”  And when discussing the “too inclusive” crowd, she is understandably emphatic.
“They are old school and they don’t like the way the world is shaping up, and the worst thing is, they spew and use new media and its anonymity to post their rage online, where they can say anything and be safe from other points of view. We have to draw a line in the sand.”
It is at this point where both Ms. Birnbach and TP commiserate about “how things used to be”.
“Life was much more pleasant, I did have to dress up to fly, I miss the soft-spoken courtesy in the world I grew up in. Now my kids know more about plastic surgery and violence and other things that I never knew about at that age.”

“But then, we didn’t have access to so many things that we do now as far as careers and other things go… am I grateful for the opportunities I have had because of the way the world has changed? Of course I am, there is a part of me that is very pro First Amendment, and very independent as a woman, but there is a part of me that wishes for that world where we were polite, and people were admired for actually accomplishing something… sometimes it all makes me wish I was Betty Draper.”

Makeover by The Consort

Amen to that sentiment.

One nice thing about the book parties has to be the food, where else would one see Sperry cupcakes? (Thank you for the photo Miss Wendy!)

Wendy's Picture

And since we are talking about cupcakes we simply had to share these darling pink whales from the big party celebrating Vineyard Vines’ grand opening of its new store in Palm Beach Gardens.

Vineyard Vines Blog

We’ll have a look at some of the reviews for True Prep later this week.

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A quick note geared more toward the MOTH (Man of the House) in your life, the first involving a Princess fave, Bill’s Khakis.  In honor of its twentieth year in business, Bill’s is launching a special pair of khakis, the Camerton Twills.

Bill’s Khakis

A portion of proceeds will benefit the USO, another reason we adore Bill’s.  Our thanks to The Trad for the tip.

On that note we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, True Prep & TOPH

Fashion Week: Brooks Brothers

Hello-Hello!

Welcome to another wacky day here at the Prepatorium, it is one-topic Tuesday, we have a look at Brooks Brothers for spring, along with some changes for this season. Below, some of next spring’s nautically influenced styles.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

Like many other firms, Brooks does not do a runway presentation during Fashion Week, instead opting for a static presentation.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Readers may recall Brooks’ recent ventures into new venues, including collaborative partnerships with outside entities, like Levi’s (more in this post), and the Social Primer Bow Tie collection (click here for more on this endeavor), steps into new venues with items like the Mad Men suit (more here), as well as continued expansion of the Black Fleece label, with the opening of standalone Black Fleece stores on both coasts.

Brooks Brothers

Women’s Wear Daily reports that online Black Fleece operations will soon be separated from the Brooks Brothers website; the launch of BlackFleece.com is expected some time in October.  More from the spring 2011 collection, we believe the following looks are Black Fleece styles by Thom Browne.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

A few Black Fleece items we thought looked lovely, in the photo on the left we adore the dress with its darling bow at the neckline, and the blouse/skirt combination in the photo on the right (we’re presuming the top isn’t as sheer as it looks).

The black and tan group is particularly striking, although it is unlikely the men’s styles will make an appearance here in the Corner Condo; a little ‘too-too’ for The Consort.

Another group.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

And one more group from what we believe are Black Fleece pieces.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

Some accessories that are very Thom Browne, his signature stripes lead us in that direction.

We move on to another specialty line, the recently announced collection to be marketed under the ‘St. Andrews Links Exclusively for Brooks Brothers’ label.

Brooks announced the partnership back in March, this is the first opportunity we have had to see any of the pieces from the new group. The long-term St. Andrews agreement names Brooks Brothers as a worldwide partner, and looking at the rather sparse offerings in the Country Club offerings online, we have put in an inquiry to see if the St. Andrews merchandise will replace the Country Club collection.

Back to spring styles in regular (non golf or Black Fleece) merchandise; we like the primary colors.

Not to mention the madras….

While not fond of the logoed sweatshirt, we do like the apparel in the next two images, as well as the code flags suitcase.

The suitcase bears a striking resemblance to one of our Preppy Pillows, the Regatta model.

PreppyPrincess.com

More nautical flair.

Classic Brooks Brothers styling was evident throughout the presentation.

As well as updated style for the new children’s Fleece line.

This may be the most promising seasonal preview we recall seeing for quite some time.  Jean Palmierei’s story in WWD also noted the addition of three new Black Fleece fragrances, slated for a November launch.

“…there will be three separate bottles, called Red, White and Blue, which are signature colors of the collection.”

Robert Mitra/WWD

We are back tomorrow, with more grins and giggles!

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Filed under Collaborations, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

More Lacoste Outlet Stores, Hermès, Chace Crawford – Lonely Heart

Hello-Hello, isn’t it fab that Friday is upon us?  Although we are guessing some snow-impacted parents are not exactly rejoicing after multiple unplanned days with the offspring.

Lots of little bits and bytes to share today, we begin with news of the Jimmy Choo tennis shoes/sneakers/plimsets/trainers/what-nots.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

For those seeking a Choo for their workouts, these are available in May; there are 8 different styles with pricepoints starting at $625.

And we also have an early look at advertising for Jimmy Choo 24/7, the new collection by Choo now available at Saks as well as Nordstrom.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

The 24/7 line is comprised of best-selling styles, many re-engineered (our word) to make them more wearable.

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Fashion Week is off and running, getting fully underway yesterday despite impact from the insane snow and the sad death of designer Alexander McQueenWomen’s Wear Daily has a story on designers getting ready for the big week.

Tory Burch preps for her show, which is early (for the fashion world) next Wednesday, at 9am.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni

And the master, Oscar de la Renta.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra

Below left we see Tommy Hilfiger with two of his models and Thom Browne of Brooks Brothers Black Fleece.  Mr. Hilfiger closes out the event Thursday at 8pm.

Other designers of note:

  • Milly shows next Wednesday afternoon
  • The two Ralph Lauren shows are Thursday at 10 and 11am
  • Lacoste is tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 10am

WWD also previews the Lacoste fall collection, they interviewed the firm’s new CEO, Steven Birkhold.  We can expect to see more advertising from the retailer, Mr. Birkhold plans to double the company’s advertising budget.

The story also explains plans to expand the number of Lacoste outlet stores:

“…opening new outlet stores to de-emphasize markdowns in full-price doors…”

Below, styles from the Lacoste Fall collection:

PHOTO: John Aquino

We are looking forward to seeing images from the Lacoste show tomorrow.

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For those wondering how tough it can be at Fashion Week, below, the crush of photographers at BCBG demonstrates the  BCBG Max Azria show yesterday.

PHOTO: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Here are a few looks from that show.

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Also showing earlier this week, John Bartlett (Harvard, ’85) showed his first women’s collection in years.

As described in the WWD review:

“Bartlett… had his woman dressed for a riding party at an English country manor: Tapered trousers, snug vests and plaid button-downs dominated, cut narrow and lending a tomboyish appeal.”

We liked much of what the designer sent down the runway.

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Manhattanite Minnie Mortimer showed a limited collection earlier in the week as well.

Described by WWD as “pure East Coast prep” with “boarding school blazers, bloomers and dresses cut from comfy PJ-like cottons and men’s wear plaids.”

Ms. Mortimer’s designs hold appeal for us, we have spent more than a little time looking at her online shop!

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Earlier this week we mentioned that Hermès was opening its first mens’-only store. That happened Tuesday as scheduled; we couldn’t resist sharing this photo of the giant tie adorning the store.

Hermès

The Consort would sooner amputate below the wrist than wear the classic Clipper watches by Hermès…

Hermès Clipper Watch

… personally, we would not be offended should we find the Cape Cod watch on our jewelry tray one morning.

Hermès

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For today’s Pretty in Pink we show Anthropologie’s Essential Tunic.

Anthropologie

And we also must share one of our faves from Kate Spade, the designer’s Barrow Street Anabel.

A closing Valentine’s weekend note: evidently Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford is without a date for the holiday, at least according to this story on an internet gossip site.

“”I don’t really have any Valentine’s Day plans,” Chace tells Zap2it.”

Frazer Harrison/Getty

We’re guessing a few of our readers might be willing to help the young man out of his predicament.

On that note, we’re off until next time, hoping everyone enjoys a prepalicious weekend!

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

Brooks Brothers Sneak Peek & Maritime Prep?

Hello-Hello!

Before we jump right back into the fun and frenzy that is Fashion Week, a quick look at the styles seen on a few of the celebrities we frequently track here at the Prepatorium. Below, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday.

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

Costar Chace Crawford gets more than a little edgy for this fashion shoot in Wonderland magazine.

PHOTO: ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI/Wonderland Magazine

Alexi Lubomirski/Wonderland Magazine

The looks seen in the magazine spread are really quite a departure from Mr. Crawford’s clean-cut appearance in G2. (That shot above is ideal for “Excedrin Headache #273, and the spitting image of how we’re feeling at the moment, read on to understand the cause of our exploding brain.)

Alexi Lum

Alexi Lubomirski/Wonderland Magazine

Blake Lively helps us segue to the topic of Fashion Week; below, she is seen at the Diane von Furstenberg show.

Bryan Bedder/Getty

Bryan Bedder/Getty

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In yesterday’s post we looked at the insanity of Thom Browne’s Spring 2010 Collection, and Monday we did the Lacoste Collection. This brings us to the Brook Brothers offerings for next spring.

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/Los Angeles Times

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/Los Angeles Times

The line is full of promise, with regatta stripes, madras and the classic combination of all-American red, white and blue.

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

From reading the LA Times review it would seem this collection has something to set every little prepster’s heart aflutter:

“…the storied American clothier  jaunting off to the Hamptons… Palm Beach (in a Lily Pulitzer-worthy color scheme and motifs that included embroidered pink seahorses and green palm trees), San Francisco… the back nine (martini glass and golf flag embroidery) and the backyard.”

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

We found a statement from the retailer’s CEO astonishing in this WWD review (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.):

““This is the first time everything is wearable,” Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and chief executive officer of Brooks Bros., said of the Thom Browne-designed Black Fleece. “Even the statement pieces.”

It is here that we stray deeply into Help Me Understand territory. Because we are incapable of grasping the concept of previous collections being sanctioned if they included clothes that were not wearable.

TP is confused, positively addled by this notion. As fine as their apparel and accessories are, Brooks Brothers is not engaged in the business of haute couture. The firm designs, manufactures and markets Ready To Wear.  Ready. To. Wear.  Why would any responsible businessperson allow valuable resources to be expended in the creation of merchandise that was anything but wearable?!?

Ohmyohmyohmy, TP is more-than-flummoxed. (We’re thinking we might need to take serious action, joining hands across the internet to sing kumbaya or something, honestly, this may be the only way to keep us from burning our 1978 navy men’s B2 polo in effigy, using this fall’s catalogs as an accelerant.) Thoughts dollfaces? What’s a Princess to do to combat such insanity?

Rather than wallow in this confused state we’ll turn our attention back to the company’s 2010 Collection as seen at the firm’s flagship store this week. Nautical things tend to cheer us up, as the inimitable Nautical by Nature knows.  More from the LA Times:

“The predominant nautical/beachy theme pulling into port all over town this week was also in evidence, including patchwork madras, jackets with white accent stripes that recall naval uniforms and a Black Fleece collection tailor-made for Fleet Week, complete with a tone-on-tone all-over anchor embroidery on seersucker pieces…..”

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/LA Times

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/LA Times

The jury is out on the oversized nautical print; we like it on the skirt, but in men’s separates or suiting? We think not – it looks seriously wrong on the inner leg of the trousers seen above.

However, much more works with the collection than in previous years, and we have hopes B-squared will lead the recovery in this sector of the retail market.

On a different ‘maritime fashion’ note, we offer this from an AP story about another menswear collection:

“Think Ivy League yacht club on a stevedore’s budget.
John Bartlett calls it “Maritime/Prep” and presented it as his spring 2010 line for Liz Claiborne.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

In photos from the presentation we see lots to like, but did not notice loads of nautically inclined pieces. It does appear there are many casual alternatives to Brooks or J. Press or other retailers.

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We close with a few looks from the Dennis Basso show, because we need some cheering up after the Brooks Brothers debacle. Also because they are just yummy!

What better way to perk up an afternoon than a little pouf in a party frock?

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

The word ‘confection’ comes to mind.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

These lift one’s spirits considerably, making it impossible to be a Grumpenstein.

PHOTO:

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

So we close with a smile for each and every reader, grateful for  your kind tolerance of our little tirades. We promise to be a happier Princess tomorrow.

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Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, When Preppy Goes Wrong