Tag Archives: curtis sittenfeld

Friday Fun: Ralph Lauren Spring 2012 & The New Gossip Girl Collection

Hello-Hello, is everyone ready for a touch of Friday Fun?

Hopefully you answered “yes,” as we dive right in with a look at the spring 2012 styles from Ralph Lauren.

John Aquino/WWD

It was a show filled with lush and lovely confections, drenched with a Daisy Buchanan sensibility that was updated for today.

Wire Image via Fashionologie

The palette of pastel hues was made more vibrant by the other color used throughout the show, white: bright, glittering, shimmering, silvery white was everywhere the pastels weren’t.

John Aquino/WWD

It could almost have been an iteration for Bridal Week, understandable as Mr. Lauren has spent no small amount of time designing wedding gowns for his daughter Dylan and daughter-in-law Lauren Bush Lauren, both were married recently in Ralph Lauren gowns.

More on this from the Women’s Wear Daily review:

He also may have recalled his glorious all-white collection of 10 years ago, which he designed before, but showed after, 9/11, its gentility somehow so right for the moment. Either way or neither, the mostly white and silver gowns — Jean Harlow satins, floral metallics, crystal encrustations — dazzled.

Wire Image via Fashionologie

From Fashion Wire Daily:

“Defiantly pure in its slim silhouette and shiny new colors, and elegantly staged on a white marble catwalk, Lauren’s latest collection was the best expression of a key trend in this season of shows – an aching for ladylike grace.”

Again we see that word, “ladylike,” it did permeate the runway.

John Aquino/WWD

And ladylike works just fine for us.

Wire Image via Fashionologie

A closer look at some of the pieces.

Getty m

The pearls add just the right touch of twenties decadence.

Getty Images

And a few more details.


To see the collection in its entirety click here for a visit to Fashionologie. Below, Mr. Lauren is congratulated by his wife Ricky, daughter Dylan and son Andrew.

Richard Drew/AP Photo


Next, news about that much-rumored Gossip Girl clothing line, it seems such a thing really is happening. Women’s Wear Daily reports:

“The collection, priced from $80 to $200 retail, includes embellished tops, bottoms, novelty sweaters, outerwear and draped chiffon dresses with touches of leather, pleats and prints, inspired by characters including Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf.

A look from the upcoming line.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

According to WWD handbags and other accessories will be added to the collection at some point in the future.

Courtesy Photos via FabSugar

Those interested will be able to shop the line shortly at Neiman Marcus, Saks and Kitson. The timing is ideal, the show’s new season debuts on the 26th.


We leave you with a sure sign the apocalypse is nigh:

The New York Times

That’s right, author Curtis Sittenfeld has joined Facebook. The author of “Prep” and other novels explains why she finally did it in this delightful essay from the Times.

Until next time, may your weekend by filled with fun!


Filed under Friday Fun, Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

The Nation’s Preppiest Writers, True Prep Updates, Fashion Notes

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another day of wackiness here at the Prepatorium.

We begin with a glance at “Our Generation’s Preppiest Writers,” at least as listed by Flavorwire. The list includes several names our treasured readers will recognize, like Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, and American Wife.

Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) is included.

Also on the list, Jonathan Dee, perhaps best known for The Privileges, a book we just never seem to get to, it remains near the top of our list.

Several selections make perfect sense, while others are conspicuous by their absence, we would think that the list might include Tad Friend (Cheerful Money), Bill Buckley, Hobson Brown, Lisa Birnbach, unless the latter three are not considered of this generation….?

At any rate, this brings us to our True Prep updates. With the book officially on sale for a full two weeks now, there are scads more reviews and news stories, and party pix seem to be popping up everywhere. We shall invoke the ‘brevity is a virtue’ sentiment, sharing some of these as quickly as possible.

We start with a picture from the Georgetown Vineyard Vines stop on the book tour, our friend Wendy still has her Preppy Bear from the 1980s!

Via True Prep Facebook site

A better look at Wendy’s bear, we are mortified to admit we definitely remember when these were introduced!

Via Wendy

“…this slim novelty “guidebook” is supposed to be the tongue-in-cheek update for our texting times. Unfortunately, it offers few laughs or insight into prepdom today, nor does it make a case for why anyone — even Muffy — would care.”

That seems a bit stern, we thought there were smirks and giggles aplenty in the book, yet must also acknowledge that for some the book is a disappointment. A follow-up simply cannot recreate the impact of the Original (TOPH), and while much is lighthearted and humorous, there are also moments of awkwardness. We are enjoying the divergent reactions to the book, but also worry about those uncomfortable sharing criticism of the new book, for it is the healthy debate on the topic that we relish.

“True Prep” is frivolous, but comprehensively, amusingly and intelligently so. All too few books fit that description. Like its predecessor, this is a fond and inventive satire for the ages.”

  • In a story many readers have already heard about, NPR poses the question: “Did Sleaze Bring Preppy Back?” Simon Doonan, Barney’s fashion pooh-bah (among many responsibilities and skills Mr. Doonan has), is asked about the trend; his response follows.

“I think there’s a renewed interest in preppy. And I think it’s probably a function of how slutty and trashy everything got in the last few years, like the “Real Housewives of Orange County” or the “Jersey Shore.” There’s this super porno chic that sort of dominated much of pop culture. And it’s natural that there’s this sort of conservative reaction to that and that people might rediscover the sort of simple WASP-y elegance of preppy style.”

Thank you Mr. Doonan, thank you.


Next, a couple of tidbits to share, including a Times story last week on British retailer Jack Wills.

“Most Americans have not heard of Jack Wills, but that is something the British sportswear retailer intends to change.”

Below, several ensembles from the retailer.

Labeled as a special report (we’re not sure why), Katie Wiseman’s story offers an introduction to the brand.

“For autumn, Jack Wills is stocking women’s wear like tweed riding jackets starting at $379, soft cotton Henley shirts and gathered skirts, while the men’s line ranges from flannel shirts starting at $69 to Fair Isle and fisherman sweaters. It also has home accessories, eyewear, fragrances and limited-edition items like an equestrian jacket selling at $449.”

The piece also inquires about the wisdom of any retailer expanding in These Difficult Times.  These may well be two of the items referenced above.

We first chatted about the US expansion here, back in April, noting the stores opening in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, two über- prep locales.

The brand markets to a younger, more collegiate crowd; much of its merchandise has become logo-heavy, one could be forgiven if mistaking it for something by Abercrombie or Hollister, a comparison that riles company executives.

“There are the inevitable comparisons to Abercrombie & Fitch, something the Jack Wills executives loathe — and some industry experts dispute.

While definitely not a brand with a long and storied pedigree, Wills still offers some excellent pieces, although they are few and very far between.


There is speculation that one of our favorite brands, J. McLaughlin, may be for sale. In another story that was temporarily lost in the Fashion Week shuffle, WWD reports about the company’s ongoing expansion… and perhaps more.

“Don’t be fooled by the laid-back, prepped-out, country club aura of the brand — J. McLaughlin is a business on the move.

“The McLaughlins’ elevated profile and pumped-up store program is raising speculation about selling the business or seeking outside investment to further the growth.”

Below, our favorite dress from the retailer (as of today, this changes frequently), and on the right, a cardigan we are fond of, the Seville.

The firm also introduced a limited edition line for the Tiny Prep at your palace this summer.

J. McLaughlin


We also have a look at this year’s Ryder Cup uniforms for Team USA. (Disregard the red arrows, an editing error on our part.)


The Saturday look is seen above left; the charcoal gray on the right is for Sunday’s matches.  A snippet of reaction to the styles from Golf.com:

“… we are not sure how well these clothes work on, say, a Dustin Johnson. Preppy crests and soul patches are not a natural match. It will also be interesting to see how shaggy-haired Ricky Fowler, a motocross enthusiast when he is not on the links, looks in a purple Perry Como cardigan and dark pinstripe trousers. These clothes are a bit fuddy-duddy for him.”

The Opening Ceremony uniform is more formal, while the rain jackets look standard issue.

The uniforms are by Peter Millar, an upscale firm specializing in golf apparel and accessories. The Cup gets underway October 1 in Wales.


We leave you with news from the folks at Oxford University Press, publishers of the Oxford Dictionary, among other things. Are you ready for new additions to the Dictionary?

BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

TTYL abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.

unfriend v. [with obj.] informal remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site: she broke up with her boyfriend, but she hasn’t unfriended him.

The OUP Blog also lists the many new phrases added to the list, here is a sampling.

my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.

the new black a color that is currently so popular that it rivals the traditional status of black as the most reliably fashionable color: brown is the new black this season.

Finally, we have the new meanings for old words; a few favorites:

channel emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channeling Nicole Kidman.
cougar informal an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

friend noun – a contact associated with a social networking website.
verb – add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.

hate (hate on) informal express strong dislike for; criticize or abuse: I can’t hate on them for trying something new.

– a posting made on the social networking site Twitter: he started posting ‘tweets’ via his cell phone to let his parents know he was safe.
– make a posting on the social networking site Twitter.

Please don’t hate on us for feeling the need to occasionally Tweet and share things on our Facebook page, we do hope you will friend us. (Dopey Princess.)

Until next time, may your day be splendid!


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

Next Target Home Designer (Fab!), Another Gossip Girl Cover

Happy Thursday everyone, we hope today is going swimmingly for you!

We are still aglow about the Lilly Pulitzer Stationery & Gift line we announced we will be carrying in just about two weeks, but other news abounds on the Preppy Planet that we simply must share with you! (Just take a glance at our first and/or second Lilly post if you missed the news yesterday.)

We start with word on Target’s next designer for their home collection: the Orla Kierly Collection for Target will land at your local Tarszay beginning February 1.

Courtesy Racked

TP predicts this collection will be as popular as last year’s Cynthia Rowley group at the Boutique, possibly more so.  It may not resonate as much with those favoring a strictly preppy aesthetic; the colors are more muted than the brights we adore, and the designs do not carry motifs associated with a ‘prep style.’ On the other hand, the lines are very clean; one won’t see a lot of ‘frou frou’ or fussiness with this designer.

The fabulous folks at the Decor8 blog have loads of great images of the Kiely Collection for Target in this post.  For those not as familiar with the company, we share a few looks from their apparel offerings. Below, the Sparkle Cashmere Sweater:

Orly Kiely

Orly Kiely

Some may recognize the more well-known ‘stem’ prints on their bags, totes and other items. Below, the Small Stem Large Tote:


Believe it or not, another Gossip Girl star has landed the cover of fashion magazine. In this case it is a big deal for one Blake Lively, as she is the February cover for Vogue.

Mario Testino for Vogue

Mario Testino for Vogue

In the accompanying feature story Ms. Lively covers all sorts of ground, including topics show-related and fashion-related.

Also in G2 news, some readers may remember our post about a Gossip Girl spinoff; word now that the new show is moving forward. The details are in this story on Us Magazine’s website:

“The new CW pilot will center on a teenage version of Lily van der Woodsen (played by Kelly Rutherford) in Los Angeles in the 1980s.”

“Used to being a ‘have,’ attending a wealthy Montecito boarding school and living the high life, Lily is now forced into being a ‘have not,’ living deep in the Valley she once made fun of, and going to public school,” a Warner Bros. statement read.”


Speaking of “cover girls,” we were delighted to open our T&C Special Issue on Wonder Women and see Diane von Furstenberg!

Town & Country

Town & Country

The special issue comes packaged with the Town & Country Weddings spring issue.  And since we are speaking of Ms. von Furstenberg, we feel compelled to advise you there is an astounding sale on some of the goodies in her online store!   (See our next item, for it also involves this designer!)


Designers who participated in the last year’s Runway to Change fundraising efforts for President-elect Obama are now offering Inaugural items.  Below, the Obama Love Inaugural Tote Bag by Diane von Furstenberg:

Obama Love by Diane von Furstenberg

Obama Love by Diane von Furstenberg

Along with this design from Tory Burch:

Tory Burch - Runway to Change

Tory Burch - Runway to Change

Not for TP, but certainly appealing for others, to be sure.


Are the fashion and retail arenas still rife with what call SOTTs? (Signs of the Times.) Yes. Indubitably. However we elected to stay more upbeat today and avoid dwelling on the Neiman Marcus layoffs, Goody’s bankruptcy filing, or the Gottschalks bankruptcy.

Instead, we’ll share a tidbit about Curtis Sittenfeld, considered one of the more ‘preppy writers’ on the American literary landscape.  The author of “Prep and “American Wife” started an online novella yesterday. As explained on the Slate site, where the novella is running:

“In anticipation of the inauguration, Slate asked Curtis Sittenfeld, whose 2008 novel American Wife chronicled the personal side of politics, to write an original inauguration novella. It will run in five parts, starting today and concluding Tuesday.”

Entitled “All Along, This Was What Was Supposed to Happen: an Inauguration Novella,” the first installment is subtitled “Yes, We Did” and the second, “Got Hope?” How very interesting.

And lest anyone think we forgot, we have nothing new to report on an Inaugural Gown or a daytime look for Michelle Obama.  We did see sketches of designs for Malia and Sasha Obama from the upscale children’s line Bonpoint in a story that ran in WWD this past Monday (the 12th), but were highly suspicious when reading it.

Among other things the story said “the White House stylist” approached the French firm. For openers, we expect the family will be in apparel from American companies. And “the White House stylist” ???  That would be an addition to the staff list we do not expect to see filled.  FYI, the story has been pulled from the Women’s Wear Daily website.

Anywho, we’re out the door. After all, it is a tropical -1 outside, but the sun is brightly shining.  And you know what we always say: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy Fashion

“Prep” Author’s Book About to Hit, Gossip Girls Have Fashion Week Plans!

h Happy Monday…! What an absolutely luscious Labor Day weekend it has been! But of course, that is only in the Great Midwest; naturally our thoughts and prayers and donations go south to those experiencing a far different weekend.

It wouldn’t be a complete summer if people weren’t getting all worked up about a new book. This year it seems “American Wife: A Novel” by preppy author Curtis Sittenfeld seems to be the target of increasingly heated discussions.

The high-pitched chatter is understandable. The book’s initial release is tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/2), timed perfectly to coincide with the Republican Convention. Focused on a ‘fictitious’ First Lady, the primary character’s background is strikingly similar to First Lady Laura Bush. Jan Hoffman at the NY Times condenses the pertinent details far better than TP ever could in her story about the book from:

“Set in Wisconsin rather than Texas, the novel is about Alice Blackwell, a quiet, perceptive woman who is marred and marked by extraordinary circumstance. When Alice was 17, she ran a stop sign, killing a popular high school boy. As a 31-year-old school librarian, she married the coarse, rakish, heavy-drinking son of a rich Republican family. He buys a baseball team, sobers up, is elected governor and even, for heaven’s sakes, president of the United States.”

In the Times’ actual book review, writer Michiko Kakutani also describes the similarities :

“In writing this book Ms. Sittenfeld — who wrote a 2004 Salon.com essay in which she touted Mrs. Bush as “a true role model” who “takes her responsibilities seriously” while maintaining “a life separate from her husband” — has changed just enough details to avoid accusations that she has completely plagiarized the first lady’s curriculum vitae.”

Wondering about the author’s political leanings? The review includes a condensed version, quoting from that Salon.com essay, which was entitled ‘Why I Love Laura Bush‘:

“…a staunch enough liberal that I take would-be epithets such as ‘flaming,’ ‘knee-jerk’ and ‘bleeding heart’ as compliments,” and a registered Democrat who regards Why I love Laura Bush’s policies as misguided at best “and at worst evil….”

Indeed. At issue (among other things) are the ‘steamy’ sex scenes contained within the 514 pages of American Wife, which MSNBC.com said were “too graphic to reprint.” We won’t attempt to recount the book’s many sins or assets (or a combination of both) depending upon one’s perspective.

Some may remember Ms. Sittenfeld’s other novels, including “Prep,” published in 2005 to much critical acclaim, followed by “The Man of my Dreams.” (Full disclosure: TP struggled through Prep, encountering difficulty connecting to both the characters and the storyline. Clearly we need remedial assistance on some level.)

The writer attended Groton, and graduated from Stanford University.


Dilip Vishwanat for The New York Times

Photo: Dilip Vishwanat for The New York Times

Should one plan to be in or near our nation’s capital on September 9 and have a desire to see Ms. Sittenfeld in person, have your social secretary pencil in Politics and Prose (Georgetown, on Connecticut at Nebraska) for 7pmish.

In the midst of the feeding frenzy over the Gossip Girls script leak

PhotO Courtey Gawker.com

Photo Courtey Gawker.com

…and no, TP is not about to reveal the contents of the ‘leaked’ script, nor where the plot goes in the fifth episode because it just wouldn’t be proper.  However, if every semblance of self-control has evaporated and one simply *must* know, then this link to Gawker.com’s story may provide the answers you seek. In honor of the new season we thought we might mention one stop we know that Gossip Girl stars Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Taylor Momsen plan to make during Fashion Week.

Word is they’ll be going to Abigail Lorick’s show this Thursday, September 4, which makes sense as it is the clothing used for the fictitious clothing line owned by Eleanor Waldorf on the show.

Getty Images for IMG

Phot: Getty Images

This will be the first time Ms. Lorick has shown a Collection at Fashion Week. The designer, a former Ford model herself, describes her customer in part this way:

“The Lorick Lady silently speaks stories of Classical and Contemporary Charm…”

There are some wonderful looks on the Lorick website; below we show two from the Fall 2008 Collection.

One could describe pieces in the Collection as having a ‘preppy aesthetic’ if so inclined. It will be fun to see the Lorick show and then see it repeated as part of an actual episode. It was quite amazing to watch this evening’s episode with its ‘White Party’ scenes (including Tinsley Mortimer’s appearance). The party is the scene that essentially no one showed up to be in when an open casting call was held somewhere in Southampton back in June. Remember?

“We were told to come “dressed upscale and camera ready,” which had us a little nervous as to whether we’d be up to the competition — but then … there wasn’t any. The massive line of Gucci-clad teenage girls never materialized. Instead, the line maxed out at just four people (including us) and none of us were teenagers. We were amazed. How could only four people want to be on the BEST SHOW EVER?”

That is from the delightful story by Lauren Le Vine in New York Magazine about the event…. or non-event as it turned out to be.

Oh, one more quick pic (which we’ll justify by saying the show *is* about a preppy school) from the weekend, Chace Crawford at the U.S. Open, an outstanding choice for weekend relaxation.

Things quieted down here at the Prepatorium and we were able to finish reading a few magazines from the absolutely immense stacks scattered about the place. It’s awful, and we know many of you are buried under the same towering piles of Fall Fashion reads, upcoming auction catalogs from Sotheby’s and Christies, other literature, and ephemera!

Speaking of auctions, there is a rather fabulous Jewelry Auction at Sotheby’s New York in September, and while we are not in any kind of acquisition mode, browsing the catalog is always loads of fun. We were particularly intrigued by a Pearl Necklace and Bracelet lot, above left, and thought we fancied a pair of black and white diamond rings, but upon closer inspection determined they are just not Princess. If you aren’t a subscriber to the catalogs, you can almost always view them online; really a marvelous and inexpensive way to entertain oneself for an hour or two.

BTW, if one of the things you were reading of late was the Town and Country sister publication, Town and Country Travel, well, ‘late’ would be the operative word, RIP. For those not familiar with T&C Travel, (or for for those like TP who tends to lose track of it occasionally), it was a quarterly that the Hearst folks once thought might become a stand-alone magazine. Word came late last week that the most recent issue is the last, Hearst Magazines has opted to close it permanently.

That is a shame, we rather enjoyed that particular view of the world. Sigh.



Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion