Tag Archives: Gwen Stefani

Simply Amazing Tennis, & Fashion Week’s Bad Boy?

Hello-Hello, happy sunny day to everyone!

We are still gaga over last night’s US Open final between Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer.

PHOTO: Clive Brunskill/Getty

PHOTO: Clive Brunskill/Getty

The match took five sets, the first time that has happened since 1999. On hand to watch, Anna Wintour (back left), fresh from the Carolina Herrera show at Fashion Week, Gavin Rossdale (C) singer Gwen Stefani (R) and Roger Federer’s wife, Mirka Vavrinec (center front).

PHOTO: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

PHOTO: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

It was amazing tennis.  Congratulations to Mr. del Potro; we expect to see more of this young man in the future.

Call us crazy, but we expect he just might land on a few more magazine covers.

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In yesterday’s post we promised a peek at the new Tommy Hilfiger mega-store on Fifth Avenue that opened Monday.

PHOTO: Lauren Fleishman/Kyle Ericksen

PHOTO: Lauren Fleishman/Kyle Ericksen

The designer told Women’s Wear Daily (subscription required) about some of the special products this particular store will carry:

“Also unique to the location is Tommy Hilfiger Fifth Avenue Pink Collection — pink women’s outerwear, knitwear, dresses, hats, scarves, gloves, watches, belts, and gifts, and select pink men’s knitwear and ties. Additional special products for men focus on plaids.”

PHOTO:

The decor features vintage pieces and themes, many purchased from eBay and others from the Brimfield Antique Show & Flea Market. (A spot of bliss, truly.)

Lauren Fleishman/Kyle Ericksen

Lauren Fleishman/Kyle Ericksen

While not generally Hilfiger fans here at the Prepatorium (the brand is much too new to the scene, and it does not market truly classic preppy goods, particularly when considering the logo-splashed merchandise), we do occasionally find things we enjoy, and hope the store surpasses all expectations for Mr. Hilfiger and company.

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Now to Fashion Week and a look at TP’s favoriter designer (ummm, not exactly), Thom Browne, perhaps best known to this audience for his Brooks Brothers Black Fleece collection.

Frequent readers may remember some of our ranting and raving commentary in posts about Mr. Browne’s more ridiculous, attention-seeking, and completely unwearable flamboyant designs.

The designer’s styles for his Spring 2010 Collection are equally outrageous.

PHOTO: John Aquino

PHOTO: John Aquino

We’ll let the professionals speak today, beginning with Ray A. Smith at the Journal:

“He’s done dropped-crotch trousers before, but never dropped this low — almost to the floor so that pants look like dresses. He’s done polka dots before, but never this big — one ensemble even had the polka-dot holes hollowed out.”

PHOTO: John Aquino

PHOTO: John Aquino

The Journal story continues:

“Lenses of visor sunglasses were used to decorate bucket hats — in some cases the hats were pulled over the model’s head with the lenses being implanted where holes were cut out so they could see. It was a very disturbing deep-sea diver look.

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

And then this in the Journal piece:

“An editor from a fashion magazine laughed out loud at one point during the proceedings, and who could blame him.”

However, Mr. Smith makes the point in his story that perhaps Thom Browne is enjoying the last laugh.

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

Nor was WWD’s review of the Collection kind.

“And the kitchen-sink styling only strengthened the final analysis: The clothes were ridiculous. What else can you conclude about a neoprene mini-skort? Or a polka-dotted halter romper? Add the lipstick, and it’s officially a drag show.”

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

Now, this may surprise you, but The Consort is unlikely to be sporting this to next summer’s formal events.

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

More from the WWD review:

To be influential in men’s wear is to innovate and surprise while still meeting the formal requirements of the medium, of the body, of a life. Browne knows it because he exerted that kind of power once, with his iconic cropped suit. It’s an elusive accomplishment, let alone to repeat. But to make unwearable art that takes no account of the wearer’s dignity is only dodging the challenge.”

Ouch.

While a few pieces harkened back to an old-school look with their prep school details, they do not qualify as preppy. Far from it.

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

To see all of the Spring 2010 styles from Thom Browne, click here.  And our final thought on the topic we share this commentary from one of our daily reads, The Choosy Beggar:

Courtesy The Choosy Beggar

Courtesy The Choosy Beggar

From their brief post:

If you hadn’t heard, it’s New York Fashion Week, which means two things: Plenty of posing, and more confusion for an already disillusioned male consumer. Thanks, Thom Browne. (Browne’s S/S ’10 Dumb Donald look pictured above.)

There you have it.

Thanks for popping in, we’ll be back tomorrow with more fun and frolicking around Fashion Week, including a peek at the line some call “the preppiest thing going”!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, When Preppy Goes Wrong

Sexy Preppy? Plus the Lilly Pulitzer & LeSportsac Line!

Hello-Hello and Happy Wednesday!

We begin with a look at a style term we generally consider an oxymoron: sexy preppy.  Think back to those growing-up years, was appearing “sexy” something Mummy or Daddy aspired to? An achievement looked upon favorably, on a par with shooting in the low 70’s at this year’s club outing? A priority upon the fashion landscape at your palace?  We think not.  And it certainly was not a topic of conversation, heaven forbid.

Now, before we get our whiskers in a wad, be advised the Princess is not suggesting that those adhering to a preppish style aesthetic are not “sexy”.  Rather, we make a distinction in how one arrives at attaining such a look.  For preps this comes as a byproduct of pursuing classic lines in well-made garments; the result is an understated elegance. This far transcends any of-the-moment styles frequently revealing much-too-much and leaving nothing to the imagination.  The style is accented by a carefree touch of the whimsical, and it never takes itself too seriously.

Having now bored everyone to tears said all this, we were intrigued by a story in the Calgary Herald last week, “The Prepster with a subhead “Local Designer Embraces Preppiness And Makes It His Own With Edgy Designs”.

Cheryl Gorski/Lucire Magazine via Fashion Ledge
Cheryl Gorski/Lucire Magazine via Fashion Ledge

The story focuses on the KaaDiki menswear line, seen above and in the photo below.

Courtesy
Courtesy Photo via Canada.com

The story describes the line this way:

“Featuring plenty of red, white and blue–he loves bright colours– his button-down shirts have preppy crests, zip-up sweaters are form-fitting and blazers are elegant yet funky.”

While the apparel exhibits preppish traits, we must be annoying and point out the phrase “preppy crests” belongs on our ever-lengthening list of fashion oxymorons. Honestly. The family crest is rarely (if ever) seen these days, far more a re-invention of designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, and most assuredly not seen on a woven shirt.

Courtesy Photo via Canada.com
Courtesy Photo via Canada.com

Designer Haithem Elkadiki describes his style in the story:

“I’m obsessed with the preppy thing, always. But preppy can be boring, so it’s taking the whole idea and mixing it with sex appeal.”

As mentioned, there is much to like in the line, and the young designer is more than appealing, passionate about his work. But we don’t think there is any peril The Consort will be seen sporting KaaDiki at Princess InterGalactic HQ.

Were you raised in a tradition favoring a  “sexy” look (ahem), or did the family favor things more like those found at LL Bean and Brooks Brothers?

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Our next little newsflash is almost a week old and most readers are probably already aware of the news, but you know what we used to say all those years we worked in TV: “If it’s news, it’s news to us!” (Heh-heh-heh.)

At any rate, we were tickled to learn via WWD that one of our favorite designers has announced a new collaborative effort: Lilly Pulitzer is partnering with LeSportsac on a line of bags for Spring 2010, whoo-hoo!

There are three different Lilly prints being used for the Sportsac pieces, including ‘Hip Hop Hooray,’ seen below.

Via Nitrolicious.com
Via Nitrolicious.com

According to the WWD story:

“The three prints — cobranded specifically for the collaboration — center on endangered species such as Florida panthers (other “animals of the Everglades” are also featured).”

Below, what we believe to be the ‘Purrrfect Patch‘ design:

Via Nitrolicious.com
Via Nitrolicious.com

The joint effort is nothing new for the company; previous collaborations have showcased designers like Stella McCartney, Diane von Furstenberg, and Jonathan Adler, among others. Next, more loveliness in the ‘She’s a Piston’ print.

Via Nitrolicious.com
Via Nitrolicious.com

This one is so luscious we are making it today’s Pretty in Pink. Our thanks to the always-on-top-of-things Nitrolicious for the photos, as well as information on the upcoming Lilly Loves Green campaign and the three LeSportsac prints:

“… a yearlong initiative generating support and awareness for all the green things Lilly loves (the ocean, the animals, and the planet) – the three co-branded prints center around endangered species, specifically Florida panthers, butterflies, and animals of the Everglades, generating environmental awareness in colorful fashionable style.”

We have had more than one LeSportsac on hand almost since the company’s inception thirty-five years ago and can’t wait to see these in person. There will clearly be more than one “must have” in the collection, they all look like loads of fun.

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We share a tidbit we think the lovely Muffy Martini will consider good news, word that Montblanc is expanding their footprint in Beverly Hills. Friday’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) shares the interior of the firm’s larger star on Rodeo Drive.

mont-blanc2

One of our favorite topics of conversation often arises when discussions of one’s favorite writing instruments. Below, the Paso Doble pen from Montblanc.

Courtesy Montblanc

We didn’t realize Montblanc was making eyewear – are we hopelessly behind the times with this realization?

Courtesy Montblanc

Above, the Montblanc Amalfi sunglasses.

On this note we say G’bye until tomorrow, may your afternoon be fabulous!

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink

Lacoste Home Collection, Greek Life at one Ivy League Campus, Gwen Stefani Does Uniforms!

As the Princess and the Princess Consort are heading away from the Palace for an extended weekend, and the household staff doesn’t do posts, this one is a bit of what we used to call an “evergreen’ in the broadcasting industry, meaning it was always ‘green’ or good to go, not dated in anyway.

So we’ll start with a little update on Lacoste’s plans for its Home Collection, which is expanding on its still fairly new collection.  The growth is being driven by Philippe Lacoste, yes, son of company founder René Lacoste.

Some readers may be familiar with the two collections: the Club Collection with a more upscale emphasis and the Casual collection using brighter, more vibrant colors and featuring lower price points.  Above, the Cocoon bedding collection, and below we show the Madras Bedding Collection, both at Belk’s.

Trade journal Home Textiles Today reports Lacoste will start putting things like the single-unit golf and tennis towels in gift packaging and marketing them to golf clubs, spas, pro shops, etc. Additionally the Bath line which initially only included towels and rugs will expand to things like robes and gift items for the beach.

And perhaps most importantly for those of us disinclined to spend oodles of time at the local department store when considering bedding (and even less when traveling, preferring to peruse apparel and accessories if one is shopping), there will be a dedicated Lacoste Home website, a serious need as of this writing.

Moving on, those curious about Greek life in Hanover need only look at the Dartmouth Review for some insight. A couple of different articles talk about sorority/fraternity life on campus, albeit not in an entirely objective fashion. Monday’s “The Greeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Pen-Portraits of College Social Life” is rather entertaining, with fascinating commentary; some will provoke fond feelings of recognition for the traits attributed to specific organizations while other comments may cause irritation if they are not in sync with one’s personal perspective.


The Princess is using the Tri-Delt’s garb only because The Queen Mother was a charter member ‘back in the day’ at a MajorMidwesternUniversity (yes, that is all one word) and this mention will bring a smile to her face. BR as we see it. (Bloggage Perogative.) At any rate, Greek Life: A Freshman Girl’s Take by Katherine J. Murray is also enlightening, although probably not heart-warming for parents curious about Bitsy or Corbin’s first year on campus:

“My fridge was loaded with Jell-O shots and an oversized bottle of Malibu Rum. Wearing our very deadliest outfits, my new floor-mates and I assembled in my room to pre-game to the tune of “I Kissed a Girl.”’

Let’s all remain calm, it is merely one person’s experience, correct? Indeed.

How is this for a closing note? Word that pop star turned designer Gwen Stefani will be designing the uniforms you will see female bartenders wearing when you are having a cocktail at W Hotel’s upscale Gerber bars. The bars’ name comes from Rande Gerber, described as a ‘nightlife entrepreneur” on the Gerber Group’s website. Here is a glance at a sketch for the uniforms.

They will be made in a knit jersey, and they are black, not really evident in the sketches, probably because that color would not have shown the seam detailing on the dresses. Ms. Stefani, founder of the L.A.M.B. label says she wanted to uniforms to be “…sexy and comfortable…” no small feat for any creation. We don’t know your reaction, but we are holding our breath in anticipation of the men’s uniforms.

Until we next meet…

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

It’s Official: Michael Phelps Book on the Way, & Debbie Phelps is Down with Chico’s

Well, if it isn’t Tuesday already. How did that happen? Sigh. Well it’s gonna’ be a rock ‘n roll rest of the week for The Princess, so fasten your seat belts, this could be a bumpy ride! Whoo-hoo!

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

We start with an update about everyone’s man of the moment at the games, at least for some: he *does* have a book deal. ‘Built to Succeed’ is due to hit store shelves in December, just in time for the holidays. According to the folks publishing it, the book will focus in part on Mr. Phelps’ life growing up with an attention-deficit disorder in a single-parent home, while the superstar swimmer has said he plans to write about his life training leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games.

Then comes word today about a possible challenge against French Olympic champion and notorious ‘trash talker’ (that is the term, correct?) Alain Bernard, next year at the World Championships in Rome, in the 100 meter freestyle. (You know that The Princess simply had to include that little tidbit!) This, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. Oh, and the London Games in 2012? Mr. Phelps has has said he plans on chasing more Gold medals in four more years.

Now in post-Olympic fashion news (how’s that for a non-existent news category?), an update to our earlier story about Michael Phelps’ mother, Debbie Phelps, and her Beijing wardrobe. You may remember that Ms. Phelps is a Principal at a middle school in Baltimore.

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Our post mentioned that much of what Debbie Phelps was wearing at the Summer Olympics was from Chico’s, a midline clothing retailer targeting the Baby Boomer demographic. One of the things we mentioned in the article was that Chico’s execs were very clear they had no ‘sponsorship arrangement’ of any kind with Ms. Phelps. In fact, the most they did apparently was send her a $100 gift card and wishes of good luck prior to her departure for Beijing.

How things can change….here’s what you now see when landing on the Chico’s home page.

Click on that photo link and you are taken to this page….

In fact, there are now three pages in the Debbie Phelps Collection, up a page from yesterday’s two; the boost in the ‘Collection’s’ volume clearly comes via the addition of many jewelry pieces worn by Ms. Phelps. Many of the items are marked by where they were worn, as in “As seen in USA Today” or “As seen on Good Morning America.” Below we show just a few.

Believe it or not, as of this writing, there is still no formal arrangement between the retailer and Ms. Phelps, who even wore one of their jackets for a Johnson & Johnson commercial shoot of a spot that aired on Sunday night. Chico’s President Michele Cloutier told USAToday:

“Customers have been coming in and asking for what she’s wearing,” she says. “They’re saying, ‘I want that jacket,’ and they can describe it perfectly.”

“She completely articulates who we are as a brand,”

If the retailer and Ms. Phelps do come up with an arrangement, we’ll let you know.

There were some other Olympic tidbits/oddities we had not heard about, discovered in our meandering about the internet on a lazy morning. Like Angel Valodia Matos, a Tae Kwon Do entrant from Cuba. Upon hearing the Referee’s decision that he was disqualified from his match, Matos kicked the referee in the face. The World Taekwondo Federation has banned Matos life.

Matt Dunham/AP

Photo Credit: Matt Dunham/AP

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

What follows are great shots of what can happen when one mascot tries to help another mascot….oh my!

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

And how about American Idol adding a fourth judge?

Copyright 2008 Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Photo: Copyright 2008 Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Yes, they are. Actually, they have, as Ryan Seacrest announced on his radio show yesterday. The judge is the beautiful songwriter Kara DioGuardi. A story on the Fox news site has more information:

“DioGuardi’s songs have been recorded by artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana and Pink.

“We had originally intended for ‘American Idol’ to have four judges,” said “Idol” Executive Producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”

And the other judges? According to USMagazine, Paula Abdul had the following reaction:

On Phoenix’s 104.7 KISS FM Johnjay & Rich radio show Monday, she said she was excited but added, “I am concerned about the audience and acceptance. Time will tell. We’ll see.”

Asked if she, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell have sat down with DioGuardi to test their chemistry, Abdul replied, “Nope,” and laughed.

When queried about her reaction to the news, The Princess refused to comment. Hhhhmm.

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Updates