Tag Archives: First Lady Laura Bush

Michelle Obama (in Maria Pinto) & Laura Bush

Hello everybody — does anyone recognize the lovely lady in this photo?

Tina Fineberg/AP

PHOTO: Tina Fineberg/AP

Does this picture help?

Alfred Eisenstaedt, Time-Life/Getty Images

PHOTO: Alfred Eisenstaedt, Time-Life/Getty Images

The iconic photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square is from V-J day in 1945.  Up top,  90-year-old Edith Shain is being held by actor Nick Mayo from the cast of South Pacific; she is one of several women who claim to be the nurse in the photo.  Ms. Shain is in the city to serve as Grand Marshal in tomorrow’s New York City Veterans Day parade.

Playbill

Courtesy: Playbill

The show is on TP’s list of Top 5 Broadway musicals, and the Queen Mother simply raves about Mario Lanza signing “Younger Than Springtime.”

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Monday we saw the coral dress Maria Pinto hoped Michelle Obama would be wearing in Chicago on election night, as discussed in this post. The future First Lady wore it for today’s visit by the Obamas to the White House to see President and Mrs. Bush.

The dress was originally described by the designer to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan for a piece in the Journal’sHeard on the Runway‘ blog:

“… a coral-red silk crepe sheath with three-quarter sleeves, an empire waist and a high neckline with a burst of sunray pleats emanating from the collar, is a piece that Ms. Obama bought a few months ago but hasn’t worn to an event yet….”

Getty Images

Getty Images

Above, Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama in the residential portion of the White House. And what about the designer for the gown the next First Lady will wear to all those Inaugural Balls the night of January 20th?  We still have no confirmation on the Cassandra Bromfield rumor, and as Ms. Pinto shared more recently with Ms. Tan:

“‘Barack gave me this huge hug and said, ‘You’re coming to D.C. with us!” says Ms. Pinto, whose brightly colored, tailored sheaths were spotted on Michelle Obama on the campaign trail.

As for whether she’ll to go Washington, D.C., the Chicago-based designer, who has seen sales spike 45% in the last 12 months, says there’s no question. “Hell, yeah!” she says. “I’m going anywhere they want me to go.”’

BTW, we do want to compliment Ms. Tan on her many ‘firsts’ on this continuing story; she knows her stuff.  Not a surprise, considering she was senior fashion writer for In Style magazine before moving to the Journal.

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We seem to have a new term coined by our friends at Saks in their effort to help ease us through these challenging times. It is ‘Chic-onomics 101’ or more accurately, at least in our vernacular: Investment Bags. (And it appears from this that Saks isn’t the first to use this term, not by a long shot.)

A reminder: the Saks sale now online is available at all the stores as of tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 11.

More later!


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Filed under Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy

Cindy McCain Fashion, People Magazine Palin-McCain Cover Shoot, Prince William Stolen Photos

Hello-hello… here we are again, smack dab in the middle of another political convention. For one more night TP and The Princess Consort will find themselves tuned to CSPAN to follow the goings-on in St. Paul, turning to the network started by Brian Lamb, if and when we can no longer cope with the network and cable commentary.

Has anyone else watched the ongoing spats and on-air fights between Keith Olbermann (below with flag) and Chris Matthews and occasionally Joe Scarborough on MSNBC? Here’s one description of such an incident via the Los Angeles Times of just one nasty encounter.

Photo by Peter Yang for Rolling Stone
Photo by Peter Yang for Rolling Stone

“Take, for example, the Matthews Meltdown. Discussing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech on Tuesday, MSNBC host Chris Matthews lost it after colleague Keith Olbermann seemed to mock him with a hand gesture that suggested Matthews was talking too much. Hair askew, looking as if he had spent the night on a bench in a bus station, Matthews shed TV’s normal protocol and retorted: “I can do the same to you!” and defended his Hillary spiel: “That’s what I thought, all right? And I said it.”

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

This conjures images of Sister Mary Hand Grenade hovering at the front of the room in front of the black board with the ruler in her hand. If we could all play nice in the sandbox TP would find it all so much more watchable. BTW, in case you didn’t know, Mr. Olbermann is quite the original preppy, growing up in Westchester, attending Hackley and Cornell.

Above, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on the air during the Democratic Convention in Denver last week. Below, a quick glance at a meeting Wednesday afternoon of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, First Lady Laura Bush and possible First Lady Cindy McCain.

TP has been fielding questions about Cindy McCain’s style, her favorite designers, etc., and frankly, we feel quite inadequate to the task. We can provide some background information and photographs to help illuminate the topic, but really, there are many sources vastly superior to our little blog.

We commence our feeble attempts by showing both Laura Bush and Cindy McCain in designs by Oscar de la Renta as they approach the dais for their opening remarks at the Republican Convention.  Ms. Bush is said to have been in heels by Stuart Weitzman, her only accessory a pair of pearl stud earrings.

Below, a closer look at the two women onstage, Ms. Bush in a knit suit and Ms. McCain in a silk dress with the collar turned up, a move many ‘fashion commentators’ criticized. (TP felt it was somewhat overly dramatic because of the collar’s size.)

Tonight, a lush turquoise suit, with a double-breasted jacket reminiscent of some of the 40’s swing tops.

Also this evening, Alaska Governor & vice=presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a dark grey suit, being greeted by Henry Kissinger.

Below we see Ms. McCain at the convention in a deep coral-colored suit that appears to be a raw silk or silk shantung, and on the right, another dress, in this case a more pastel tone.

In almost every instance one can note the two pins worn by Ms. McCain on a daily basis; they spell the words “NAVY” and “USMC”. Below, the white Chanel J-12 wristwatch frequently seen on Ms. McCain’s wrist is visible.

It is such an important part of the Chanel brand, the company has a special microsite for the watch. Below left an undated photo, and on the right a shot of Ms. McCain and Todd Palin, as they enter the “One Heart, One World” luncheon today, an event honoring Ms. McCain’s humanitarian work.

Above on the right one can also see the constantly-in-use bone or taupe pumps worn by Cindy McCain throughout the campaign. Below we see the vivid blue dress worn on the day Sarah Palin was announced as the vice-presidential choice by Senator McCain.

TP thought this a beautiful color, but the additional flounced or ruffled detailing on the front added little to the dress, actually moving it into her “Frou-Frou Danger Zone.”

Ms. McCain is also known to be a fan of Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors.

Michael Kors website

Michael Kors website

As evidenced in the photos, Ms. McCain favors bright colors and frequently wears suits as opposed to dresses, although of late we are seeing more dresses; rarely is she seen in patterns, or florals. Below, seated with the family of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The four-strand pearl necklace worn all week is visible in many of the photos, including those below.

The rich green dress featured Grecian style draping on the back, a style TP finds more appealing in evening gowns, and a self-tied bow at the front waistline. In more casual surroundings it is clear Ms. McCain is more than comfortable in a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt.

While often seen with her hair up, sometimes in elaborate coiffed styles, Ms. McCain is often seen with it down, or loosely pulled back in a ponytail.

Ms. McCain’s wardrobe must also suit her frequent overseas trips (often without her husband and also without media), for her volunteer work with Operation Smile and CARE.  She also started the American Voluntary Medical Team, her own nonprofit humanitarian agency, which sent medical teams to disaster or war-torn areas around the world.

Cropped sweaters, or shrugs are also favored by the always-on-the-go mother, wife, and philanthropist.

The lower two photographs are from today’s walk-through for the presumptive candidate; the pink cast is for a wrist sprain. Of course, there is always the magazine cover shoot, requested by more publications than one knew existed. Here we see a People magazine cover shoot with both the McCains and the Palins.

Most of these candid shots are from daughter Meghan McCain’s campaign blog. Here is the one TP absolutely adores, little Piper Palin with baby brother Trig.

At some later point perhaps we can look more in-depth at more of the leading political candidates and/or spouses and their individual styles.

Next……

…quite the to-do over photographs of a royal kind. A man is free on bail on the other side of the pond, following an early-morning raid earlier this week by Scotland Yard. This all involves the memory card to a camera that was stolen from Kate Middleton’s younger sister, Pippa, seen below with sister Kate. (That is Kate above, with Prince William.)

Kate & Pippa Middleton

Kate & Pippa Middleton

Why the worry about the photos on the memory card? Because Kate Middleton is Prince William’s longtime girlfriend, and the photos were of the couple on their recent holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique. The suspect was actually trapped with the assistance of The Daily Sun, when he tried to sell them the card with 40 photos of the two relaxing on vacation. His asking price? £50,000, or about $85,000.

Tomorrow…? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see what trouble we can stir up.

PHOTO CREDITS: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, REUTERS/Mike Segar, AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, REUTERS/Brian Snyder, Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Filed under Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

“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.

‘Night.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Thom Browne’s White House Eyebrow Raiser, Preppy Bobby Jones 75% Off!, J. Crew ‘Final’ Sale & Free Shipping Code

It’s no secret to most readers The Princess struggles with Black Fleece designer Thom Browne’s hemlines, in particular the high-water-line pants. Especially said pants. To help you understand our lack of understanding, below we show a look from Browne’s 2008 Black Fleece for Brooks Brothers line.

However, Brooks is pleased enough with Mr. Browne and the Black Fleece line (to which he is a major contributor) that they are expanding it and giving it a stand-alone shop. But TP isn’t the only one not in sync with the higher hemlines, as evidenced by the crowd at Monday’s White House gathering honoring American Design, hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.

Thom Browne, a two-time Fashion finalist, was honored just to be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “It’s always nice coming to the White House,” he said. Browne’s signature high-water pants drew more than a few curious glances, including those from several military guards.

Many have noted the trend toward shorter hemlines for men, including the Wall Street Journal. Like The Princess, The Journal is not exactly out in front of fashion trends, but they do pay attention, as shown by their recent online article by Ray A. Smith, “A Short Story: The Rise of Floods,” examining the hemline phenomenon. Fun reading for everyone that also fleshes out Mr. Browne’s philosophy, oddly not worlds apart from ours it seems.

One stop that is truly a must if you are still seeking a few pieces to fill out your summertime wardrobe is the sale event at the Bobby Jones Clubhouse Collection. At prices even The Princess found to be remarkable, this is just what the Wardrobe Doctor ordered to round out the summer selections you face every time you walk into the walk-in. Even if you simply want to scan the upscale items at bargain price points rarely encountered on this particular line, it is worth the time investment on your part.

Since we have been showcasing argyle, let’s look at the Bobby Jones Argyle Zip Front Sweater, available in this creamy colorway as well as a navy that just radiates understated elegance. This is available in a broad range of sizes, unusual for a piece that originally retailed at $265 and is now only $66.

Another basic at a price point that seems to be screaming “Buy me…buy me!” is the Solid Pique Classic Polo, shown below in ‘Reef’ but also available in ‘Calypso’ and ‘Key Lime.’ This classic is now only $26, down from $105.

The Grosgrain Trimmed Sport Cardigan is not a clearance item, so it is ‘only 50% off’ the original price and now $125, a classic embellished with our favorite ribbon.

Naturally the Preppy Plaid Skinny Pant (now $56, originally $225) would fit right in for a quick drink at the Club after a round with friends. If something fresh is needed to wear while actually playing that round of golf, the Preppy Plaid Skort at just $48 is a deal that one just can’t ignore!

Pair either with the Fleur-De-Lis 3-Button Polo in either the navy shown or red, now $23 (buy both at that price!); it appears to be available in a wide range of sizes. Now you know The Princess will be partial to the sunny Patchwork Printed Skort, and at $75 (from $150) it’s a bright and vibrant piece our walk-in wants!

And finally, the Society Cable V Neck Sweater is an item we just can’t seem to pass up, especially with the variety of colors offered! Our love of sweaters is rapidly hitting a point that could alarm The Princess Consort, always indulgent but now simply mystified by the “sweater thing.” Sigh.

When stopping by Bobby Jones, don’t forget to look at the Men‘s Sale, replete with equally remarkable prices, especially on some of their cashmere pieces.

Also, a little note in our Inbox reminded us it is time for J. Crew’s “Final sale”. At least until the Final-Final Sale… or whatnot. And remember, to receive Free Shipping on orders of $100 or more, enter the code SHOPNOW at checkout. As always, The Princess is trying to do her best for your pocketbook. 🙂

What cuter pair of shorts for your little girl than the Crittermania chino bermuda in either white or aquamarine? Originally $42, now $19.99 and just darling in our feeble-minded opinion.

Of course, she knows there’s one thing she must do: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. That is easy to accomplish with the ever-so-classic Print Headband at $5.99, accenting her preppy Argyle Sweater just perfectly.

Of course there are pages upon pages of treats and treasures for the young man of the house, for Daddy and for Mommy, including one of TP’s alltime favorite shoes, the Jack Purcell Patchwork Sneakers (for Mom).

There’s no better note to leave things on than Jack Purcell, so we’ll just say ‘Bye until tomorrow, and happy hunting!

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