Tag Archives: Democratic convention

“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

Polo Ralph Lauren Offical Olympic Team Uniforms Sale & ‘It’s Just Not Done”

Thank. God. It’s. Friday. The Princess is clinging to a parapet here at the Palace, a tad frazzled from a whirlwind week consumed by too much travel and too little time with family. Sigh.

Perhaps news of a sale (imagine that, a sale on Labor Day weekend!) at Polo Ralph Lauren on their oh-so-popular Olympic Collection will prove to be a style-starter for you this holiday weekend. It appears all of the merchandise from both the Opening and Closing Ceremony Parade Uniform lines is marked down. This includes the Big and Tall sizes in Men’s, as well as the ‘Custom,’ polo shirts (which are not custom made, for heaven’s sake), cut closer to the body for a trimmer fit.

Styles like this Olympic Games Gold Medal Polo are available in Men’s, Women’s and Children’s sizing; below we show the Women’s version.

The men’s Custom Closing Ceremony Polo is now $99.99, originally selling for $125.

Should you be looking for a little treat for the Princess or young gentleman of the household, there is no shortage of Olympic apparel in those sizes from which to choose. The Girls Olympic Games Track Jacket might provide a delicious snuggle factor with the chill nights of Fall approaching; it is available in Sizes Small to Extra Large and comes in two colors.

It’s expected the markdowns, although at only about 20% they are not deep, will help move some of the merchandise. Naturally some of the line simply won’t sell and TP has her picks for those items most likely to hit the bargain bins at one’s local discounter of the TJ Maxx or Marshall’s variety.

For example, we don’t envision too many Moms successfully locating the Olympic Games Beret on the head of any young man in the Boys Size 2-7 and Boys 8-20 age groups. Actually, we don’t foresee any age group of either sex donning these of their own free will. The Princess was fond of the berets; they were a great look. However, the operative word in that sentence is “were” in our humble opinion.

Now a case could be made on behalf of the Olympic Games Sport Cap, a far more attractive proposition on a number of fronts if I am said Boy. (Or Girl, or anyone else.)

The style appeals to a much broader group and is much easier to wear. No peering about self-consciously and asking friends “Do I have this on right?” as many are wont to do when first wearing a Beret. Also, the price point is much more appealing for what most perceive as “dated” goods. Originally $20 for Boys 2-7 and 8-20, the Sport Cap is now $14.99; the Beret was $40, now $29.99, a substantial difference.

We do adore the sneakers (officially referred to as the Closing Ceremony USA Sneaker) on their own merits and hope to procure a pair for twinkletoes as soon as humanly possible. Below we show the Men’s sneaks.

At the very least, it never hurts to pop in and visit the folks at Polo Ralph Lauren for a few minutes; one never knows what may be discovered.

BTW, we had a request from the always-wonderful Momx2; she is seeking information on the dress Chelsea Clinton wore for her appearance at the Democratic convention Wednesday night.

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Unfortunately dear Mom, we are of no assistance whatsoever: we couldn’t locate anything! We did find out that Michelle Obama’s dress was by Thakoon Panichgul, and is part of the designer’s pre-spring 2009 collection, so obviously it isn’t available for purchase.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Mike Segar/Reuters

Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

If Thakoon’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he is one of the designers Target has doing a collection for them for its Go International initiative, similar to Cynthia Rowley’s earlier this spring or Rogan Gregory’s. The Thakoon line is due in Target stores in December. Momx2, we’ll keep trying on the Chelsea dress, which we also liked.

BTW, not that it’s TP’s decision to make, but for a campaign that has been somewhat ahead of the curve in its exploitation of technology, they need to grab the reins and create a Michelle Obama website. One all about Ms. Obama. Or separate and specific pages on the Obama site, not simply something one scrolls down to as part of the family page.

Now everybody knows it’s tennis time with the US Open continuing this weekend in Queens. What people may not be as familiar with are some of the following photos from the tourney, preceded by an installment of “It’s Just Not Done” which you may have already viewed on TV or in your local paper. It’s that notable in its poor sportsmanship.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

This is what was left of Eduardo Schwank’s tennis racket yesterday after his match with Dmitry Tursunov of Russia. TP understands (oh, how we understand!) personal frustration on the court, the green, the slope, wherever. But. There are standards of conduct. One does not resort to infantile displays of temper regardless of the arena. It’s just not done.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Now, that is reaching to return a shot! Jelena Jankovic of Serbia makes *every* effort in her match today against Zheng Jie of China. She may have been blinded by the red Adidas tennis shoes sported by Ms. Jie, seen below.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

US Olympic gold medal swimmer Aaron Peirsol dropped by yesterday, and did not look like a fish out of water, not at all.

On that note, we’re off for the weekend, but may be able to pop in briefly via modern technology. We hope so!


Filed under It's Just Not Done, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Updates

Inside Story on the Candidate’s Suit, Bobbi Brown’s Plans in Denver & Other Style Stars

This just in to Princess HQ from a source deep inside Hart Schaffner & Marx: details on at least one well-tailored suit we can expect to see on The Presumptive Nominee as the race for the Presidency intensifies. And the word is we’re talking about one of those wonderful worsted wool 2-button suits from Hart Schaffner and Marx. The color? Why, it’s navy blue. You know, the navy blue that is oh-so-friendly-to-TV-cameras? Precisely that color. It would make perfect sense for Senator Obama to go with HSM; they are an American company and their headquarters are still in Chicago unless we’re mistaken.


Now, we were told only that such a suit is being made and, that after many canceled appointments for fittings apparently things worked out in such a fashion that the Hart Schaffner Marx tailoring folks were able to connect with the Senator, perhaps as a result of the candidate finally being home in Chicago. No retail stores were involved, this was handled strictly between the Senator’s staff and the people at Hart Schaffner and Marx.

Here is an example only of the basic Hart Schaffner Marx Navy Worsted Suit in the 2-Button style as shown on their web site. And loathe as we are to discuss anything to do with the ‘M’ word, as it is simply so uncouth, we accept that the question will be asked and rather than making things difficult for everyone, it is easier to say the suit shown in the photo below retails today at $695.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, The Princess Consort has more than one version of the HSM 2-button suit like the one shown, one in the navy and another in the charcoal pin stripe. TP thinks there are more, quite a few more in fact than just the two cited, he vehemently denies it, and we’ll leave it at that. However, both do agree one would do well to have at least one (if not several) of these in the walk-in, as they are simply divine, of superb quality and outstanding craftsmanship. And, as you already know the cost, you can see that they are *extremely* economical.

Now is it the model shown above that is being tailored for the Senator? We have absolutely no idea. There is one other Navy Blue suit on the Hart Schaffner Marx website, and it is a 2-button worsted wool, but it is a style we presume to be a summer weight, as it is on sale. It was also $695 but is now $486.50, quite an opportunity should you be in the market! The case is easily made that if this were to be worn in Illinois, oh say…today, that summer weight is ideal. Or that if one were considering wearing it in a place like, oh, Denver next week, their climate is summer-like, quite warm indeed, and a suit of this weight would be more than acceptable, it would be stylish. (But one can’t be too stylish you know, that’s not good either.)

So there you have all that TP can currently share about the inner machinations of one of America’s finest tailored clothing houses, and their role in helping a Presidential candidate look his best. As soon as we receive any updates, we promise to let you know. (The Princess can almost hear it now, “….I come to you today….in a suit made right here in America… in my home state of Illinois…made by American men and women… working men and women…”)

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown will also be in Denver, serving as a delegate with the New Jersey delegation. Ms. Brown hosted two fundraisers for the presumptive nominee and was asked by NJ Gov. John Corzine to serve as part of the delegation. In a story reported by WWD online, Ms. Brown shares more about of her thoughts about the Senator:

“I was an early Barack supporter and I’ve done Michelle’s makeup,” said Brown in a telephone interview from her Montclair, N.J., home, adding that her oldest son will be a page at the convention. “Barack is incredibly smart and he is the guy who will make the changes that need to be made.”

WWD also reports that in addition to providing Bobbi Brown samples to every Democratic delegate when they check into their rooms, all delegates are invited to the Bobbi Brown counter at the Nordstrom at Park Meadows shopping center. TP can attest to Park Meadows being a fine locale for cosmetics, Nordies, or just about any little thing you might need. It isn’t exactly close to all the happenings downtown, but then, everybody needs a break from the convention every now and again.


  • Sen. Obama: REUTERS/Jim Young
  • Suits: HSM
  • Bobbi Brown: Courtesy photo

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