Tag Archives: Hermes

A Big Year for Hermès

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday! We’re all adither today, lots going on this weekend, a bit of travel, time with siblings and TQM, hopefully you are looking at a fun weekend as well.

We are brief today, and eager for a touch of Friday Fun, so we begin with something that has long been of interest to many readers, the classic Hermès bag.  The Daily Mail ran a fascinating story last week, “How a Hermès handbag is made: Photographs reveal French fashion house’s design secrets“.

Via RueLaLa

A spot of background from the story:

And now as the French fashion house celebrates its 175th birthday, its design secrets have been unveiled for the first time.

A series of photographs taken inside the famous Paris workshops showcase the craftsmanship required to create one of its bags, some of which cost in excess of £10,000.

The piece is loaded with great photos from Park & Cube.

via The Daily Mail

While we’re not sure this is “the first time” there have been photos from inside the atelier, the pictures from Park & Cube *are* fascinating.

Via Park & Cube

The photos reveal the level of detail in each bag.

Via Park & Cube

The amount of handwork that sets Hermès apart from many others is also evident.

Via Park & Cube

Work on ‘Constance’ bags was underway during the tour when these photos were taken.

Via Park & Cube

And where does the finished product go after work in the atelier is done?

Via Park & Cube

Right into the protective cover of one of those distinctive bags.

It really is a big year for Hermès, as this story in yesterday’s Telegraph reports:

“2012 is a special year for Hermès, Britain and London,” Hermes’ UK and Ireland managing director Thierry Outin told the gathered press at the launch of Leather Forever – an exhibition celebrating the heritage of the French luxury leather label…

The story is about the ‘Leather Forever‘ exhibit celebrating 175 years of Hermès, the London show opened to the public this week.

“Leather Forever”

One of the more interesting things in the Telegraph story addresses the scarcity of the Birkin bag.

“People ask us, is it a strategy?”, Outin tells me in answer to the age-old question about why their iconic Birkin and Kelly handbags are in such short supply. “But no, it simply takes so long to train our artisans. Plus, we like to keep our workshops ‘human-sized’. We like to know the names of every artisan, that to us is very important.”

One of the most amazing items in the show:

Hermès via The Telegraph

The pièce de résistance of the show lurks behind a thick curtain of curling leather spaghetti strands – a room displaying fantastical treasures from Hermès’ bespoke service, including a black patent calfskin wheelbarrow commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for Wallis Simpson in 1947, and a multi-coloured winged saddle (above).

Wow. Just, wow.

In honor of the 175th anniversary and accompanying exhibit the company will also do an online auction with Christies, four one-of-a-kind versions of its PasseGuide bag, the bag that most honors its equestrian heritage.

Christie’s & Hermès

The four bags are a tribute to the United Kingdom and Ireland, representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The auction for these begins Monday, the 14th; proceeds will go to the Royal Academy of Arts, where the exhibit is being shown.

For a great story on the company, it’s heritage and its future, the Telegraph has an outstanding piece.

‘Leather Forever’

Talk about some eye candy!


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

That Hermès Bag Auction & Bobbi Brown Makeup/Lilly Pulitzer Parfum at Tuesday Morning

Hello-Hello, happy week-after-Christmas!

Today we have a few bits and bytes we thought you might enjoy, the first is about Hermès.  In a recent Journal story by columnist Ralph Gardner, the writer explains how grateful he is that his wife hasn’t ever asked for a “$10,000 Hermès Birkin or Kelly handbag for Christmas”.

I can’t say I spend a lot of time thinking about handbags, though I’m aware that a certain caliber of lady who lunches would feel naked without the correct designer bag.

Mr. Gardner’s story centered on a recent auction of Hermès bags, below we see a woman examining some of the items that were to be auctioned.

Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

We were intrigued by geographic preferences for certain colors in the handbags, geography seems to play a part:

“”New York is a little more subdued—browns and blacks,” Mr. Rubinger said. “Whereas in Beverly Hills there’s a slight preference for bright oranges, bright pinks.”

“In Dallas,” Ms. Guzman added, “they tend to collect more multiples. Everyone down there has a closet full. They don’t just use them; they decorate with them.”

Mr. Rubinger recalled the case of the Judith Leiber collector in Dallas. “The client had a dinner party,” he recalled. “Instead of flowers as the centerpieces, she had Leibers.”

As far as the auction goes, a new record was set, this Birkin sold for $203,150 to an anonymous bidder who lives in the Dallas area.

The rare bag is made of crocodile skins, it’s accented with gold and diamond detailing. The sale was at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, to see all of the bags auctioned, click here.


Also today, word about a few ‘beauty bargains’ from an unexpected source.  While researching a future post on mall appliance prices at those flash sale sites I stumbled across this:

Bobbi Brown at Tuesday Morning

If it is difficult to see, those are three Bobbi Brown makeup items, including the Bobbi Brown EYES Pastel eyeshadow palette at $39.99.

Bobbi Brown EYE Shadow Palette at Tuesday Morning

Doing a quick price check we found it at QVC for $60, elsewhere ranging from $45 to $60.  If memory serves me correctly, this is past season, but as someone who uses Bobbi Brown on a daily basis, this very much looked like a bargain. As you can see, there are two other Bobbi Brown items on sale at Tuesday Morning.

The other brand that struck us by surprise at the deep discounter, Lilly Pulitzer.

Lilly Pulitzer Parfum at Tuesday Morning

Parfum spray in Squeeze, Wink, and Beachy are available at $19.99. A quick price check on these shows them at Drugstore.com for $34 (with shipping included), and The Perfume Spot at $29.99.

So what do you think…are these good deals?

With that we say goodbye until next time!


Filed under preppy

Grand Openings and Wacky Costumes

Hello-Hello, what a glorious Friday it has become, these are the days you dream of if residing in The Great Midwest.  Today we have a few news Bits and Bytes, the majority with a retail overtone, we’ll cap that off with a touch of Friday Fun.

We begin with a glance at Wednesday night’s party at the just-opened Brooks Brothers in Georgetown. This one included a good number of notables, as one might expect in the Capitol. Below left, DJ Benjamin Chang with Fox News anchor Ed Henry, on the right, Self magazine’s DC Editor Marc Adelman with his little one. (Although Brooks does not offer infant sizes, the photo serves as a good reminder that really, it’s never too early.)

Photos: REVAMP.com

Naturally The Consort was impressed by this.


The store is on M Street in space previously occupied by Smith & Hawken as well as part of a Pottery Barn, if the memory cells are at all functional today.

Hillary Leeb/The Georgetown Dish

In addition to our fondness for the apparel and accessories at Brooks, we enjoyed seeing some of the furniture showcased in the new digs.

Photos: REVAMP.com

Nothing like a little custom made madras to make me smile.

The party also served as a fundraiser, the Trust for the National Mall was the beneficiary, almost $5000 was raised for that very good cause.


Also today:

  • LL Bean’s new King of Prussia store opened last weekend, it is the venerable retailer’s 15th shop, located not too far from the Lilly KOP store.

Gene Walsh/Times Herald Staff

  • Marimekko, the Finnish design firm offering amazing textiles (and so much more), has opened its New York flagship.

T Magazine/The New York Times

  • While not a store opening, we have to applaud the folks at Hermès, for the ‘family reunion’ they hosted this week. Women’s Wear Daily reports the upscale firm closed all of its US stores Sunday, Monday & Tuesday so they could fly all 515 employees to a party and recognition ceremony, a very cool (and savvy) thing to do.


We close today with a look at some of the year’s more bizarre Halloween costumes. The initial idea came via a story in Guest of a Guest; it showcased the ‘Roadkill’ costume, noting that “We can all agree that being run over by a car and disemboweled is every kid’s dream.” The only thing we can offer is the thought “Especially because that’s how all mothers want to envision their child.”

Kids "Road Kill" costume from Halloween Costumes

From its description on the Halloween Costumes website:

“Scrape your child off the side of the road and turn him into real road kill with this funny costume!”

This one can be yours for $48.99.

Here’s one we discovered while idly wasting time when doing research for the post, the Baby Billion Dollar Costume. Originally I thought this was a commentary on the high cost of bringing up a child, until I read the description: “Now your toddler can get in on the family gangster action with this Billion Dollar baby costume!”

Via HalloweenCostumes.com

Fully acknowledging our terminally unhip life, is there something we have missed about “family gangster action”?

Finally, there is this: your infant as roast turkey.

Martha Stewart

More than ideal for inclusion in both our Help Me Understand and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up categories, we pondered the possibility this was what we used to call a ‘sight gag,’ perhaps someone having fun with Photoshop.  Wrong.


Very wrong.

Martha Stewart

Of course, if you prefer baking over roasting, there’s always this.

Martha Stewart

May your weekend be sunny and bright!


Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Hermès & Cartier Do the Discount Dance Again


We have an interesting topic today, the appearance of very high-end luxury goods (yes, some things are more “luxurious” than others) on discount sites. Today’s Luxury Daily carries an interesting story about merchandise from Hermès, Cartier and Botkier being sold on discounter Bluefly’s site.

Below we see two Cartier scarves from Bluefly, “retail value $220, Bluefly price $154, you save 30%!”


Via Bluefly


This is not an entirely new phenomenon. In fact, a June 2009 post in this very space was titled “Tiffany & Cartier for Sale at…Bluefly?!” In most instances, these were limited-time and/or “invitation only’ events; the ad seen below is for one such promotion offering Cartier watches.  But from what we can gather, it seems this may become a standard practice moving forward.

Via Bluefly.com

Hermès has been offered previously at Bluefly, and just last week it was sold at Rue Lala.  Your trusty scribe finds the practice disconcerting, especially following month after month after month of record-breaking sales and profits for Hermès, landing this one in the “Help Me Understand” category.  Why do it? Are you introducing products to customers not previously exposed to the brand? If so, are they really customers you want to acquire?

Now, will you be able to purchase the custom scarf sold only at the remodeled flagship store on Bluefly (below)? Of course not.


But is this how Hermès wants its storied image to be marketed? From a Sale Bite post last week: “Hermés + Hanky Panky at Rue La La”:

Via SaleBite

From the story in Luxury Daily:

“… if consumers notice that a brand is lowering its standards so that more people can buy it, it could take away from the brand’s prestige.”

How would you prefer your image be perceived? Oozing the understated elegance and refined vision showcased in the Madison Avenue store?

Hermès Courtesy Image

Or as a bargain hawker at Bluefly?


The argument that prices for these goods are so high it can’t possibly hurt the brand are wrong.  From Rachel Lamb’s story:

““You can’t really go back to charging full price once you have a discount,” Ms. Ries said. “Sometimes, it’s as addictive for the company as much as for the consumer.”

Is this up there with discovering our Orrefors crystal or Movado watch at CostCo?  Hardly. It far transcends that little hissy fit disturbance, for we rank Cartier and Hermès in the upper tier of the luxury scale.  This seems like a bad idea all around.


One more tidbit today, also about a storied company, Haspel, the go-to brand for seersucker.

Haspel via Neiman Marcus

The Neiman Marcus blog recently had a story on the firm, and it makes for a good read, we liked this story about the founder demonstrating the value and wearability of the fabric:

“…wore his Haspel suit into the Atlantic Ocean during a trade show conference.  He then walked up onto the beach, took off his clothes (wearing his boxers, thank goodness), and hung up his suit to dry.  Later that evening, he took that same suit, put it on again, and wore it to the evening’s party.  Needless to say, he made his point.”

The other fascinating part of the post involved this:

Haspel via Neiman Marcus blog

We had nary a clue Haspel did madras. That is news we are happy to hear!

G’bye until next time. 🙂


Filed under Help Me Understand, Preppy Fashion, Sales & Savings

J. Crew’s “Glamorous Prep” (Ahem) for Fall, Hermès on the Beach

Hello-Hello, thank heaven it is Thursday!

As always by this day of the week, it seems we have accumulated many little bits of information we think you might enjoy, so we begin right away, today’s first topic is J. Crew’s Fall collection.  Yes, we know, spring has yet to arrive in many parts of the globe, including here at The Prepatorium, and most of us have minimal interest in looking at fall clothing. However, we feel an obligation to share at least some of the line in our never-ending efforts to keep you apprised of notable events on Planet Prep.

The Crew presentation was Tuesday, accompanied by cocktails and canapés.

J. Crew Courtesy Photo via FashionEtc.

Fashionista refers to it as “glamorous prep”.

For fall, Jenna Lyons, Marissa Webb, and the rest of the J.Crew women’s collection team chose a decidedly preppy look. “Of course they did!” you might say. But it was prep in the way we like to think of it: buttoned up with a bit of quirk and glamor for good measure. There were geeky platform loafers in lavender satin, sky blue cropped trousers, and a fit and flare trench that is sure to become a wardrobe staple for many.”

Courtesy Photos via FabSugar Australia

From FabSugar Australia:

“The US brand’s styling is always on the money, and the Winter line up was no exception with buttoned up blouses providing a preppy base for snappy layering, head to toe tonal ensembles, and a clever mash-up of leopard print, brocade, chambray and sequins. In short, we’ll have one of everything!”

More styles.

J. Crew Courtesy Photos

From WWD’s review:

“The silhouettes were classic, with tailored full-leg trousers and cigarette pants worn with a cashmere V-neck or a vest and simple white shirt. Webb punched up neutrals with bold magenta, green and sherbet orange, often putting the brights on the bottoms for a change.”

Courtesy Image via FashionEtc.

From Refinery 29’s review:

From flares to ankle grazers, we are loving all the deep purple and pink pants that are mixed with jewel- and neutral-toned tops and sweater. Mid-length to long flowing skirts and a maxi sequined dress in a cranberry color that is just to-die-for round out this collection of luxe-looking items that will be staples in every girl’s wardrobe. Even the most notorious lady in black won’t be able to resist these bold hues!

Hmmmm. There some items with tremendous potential, the silk brocade pants lower right could be smashing for the holidays with the right top and accessories.

Courtesy Photos

But then there are things we don’t understand, like the slouchy (comfy looking) chinos in the second photo, and this is ignorance on our part, but how do those differ from mom jeans? (No snark, we genuinely don’t know the difference.) Below, another look via HuffPo.

Via Huffington Post

Below left, the rose and red dress looks like it may be in a satin fabric, a lush and pretty feel for the holidays.  But does anyone else think it looks totally like it belongs at Talbots?

Courtesy Photos

To see all of the images, pop over to Fashionista or Fashionologie.


We dedicate our next portion of the post to the inimitable Summer is a Verb, she is fond of (perhaps more appropriately referred to as a connoisseur?) the classic and coveted Hermès bracelets.


To say we are also fond of the bangles would be an understatement, we do love the bright enamel coloring and designs.  Here is why we dedicated this portion of the post to Miss Summer is a Verb, for she really needs to be on hand for the next one of these:

Jason Loucas/The Australian

This year the Hermès Australia Beach party featured bangles big enough to walk through!

Via Style Me Romy

Now may be the time to start wangling for an invite to next year’s beach bash.


We leave you with two quick notes, the first merely an update on a sister publication that is finally launched, What Kate Wore, where, as time permits, we shall attempt to offer coverage of Miss Middleton’s sartorial selections.


WKW is also on Facebook, as well as Twitter and Tumblr.  However, all that folderol is merely an amusement. Our first love is, and always shall be, The Preppy Princess. 🙂


Much more importantly, our second closing item involves marking the significance of the day, it is a date on the calendar we wait for with impatience.  Every year it finally arrives and we sit with big silly smiles, gazing at the television.

Opening Day

The day brings optimism and hopes that this will be The Year. There is magic in the air.



Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Royal Wedding

When Preppy is Helpful & Making New Hermès Old

Well now. If that isn’t white stuff spewing forth from the skies, whimper-whimper-whine-whine-snarl-hiss-boo-hiss.

Lest we wallow in meteorological misery, we move on to a new topic, sharing a question being asked by several writers today: “When is preppy helpful?” The question was posed in several stories about a new clothing line, 46664 Apparel.

Via Associated Press

Those recognizing that sequence of numbers won’t be surprised to read the line is being launched by 46664, Nelson Mandela’s charity originally focused exclusively on AIDs, but now addressing all manner of humanitarian issues. When sentenced to life in prison he was the 466th prisoner at the facility, that is how the number originated.  Profits from the new line will be used for the charity, thus the media comments that preppy can be helpful. Obviously we don’t care what particular style is referenced as being “helpful,”  be it punk, prep or goth, as long as that help is forthcoming.

Here are two looks for women.

Via 46664 Apparel

The global brand will offer a broad variety of ladies and menswear, with merchandise available beginning this August.  In addition to funds being raised for the non-profit, a significant ancillary benefit will be work for South Africa’s challenged fiber and manufacturing industries.

Via 46664 Apparel

While US media is focused on the brand’s ‘preppy’ styles (in part because the early photos showed styles of that ilk), the reality is there will be all manner of items, including shirts modeled after those worn by Mr. Mandela.

46664 Via BBC News

(One note, if trying to access the 46664 website, be patient, it is significantly overloaded.) Here is a better look at the new brand’s logo.

Via Fibre2Fashion

An update on Mr. Mandela, he remains under 24-hour medical care at his home in Johannesburg as he continues to recover from a serious respiratory infection.


Next today, a look at the resourceful way Hermès is upcycling discards and other items from its production facility. Meet “Petit h“:

Hermès via ECouterre

The capsule collection gives those discarded and defective items a new lease on life, for more on the “little h” capsule collection we visit the site’s page:

“…a nod to capital H Hermes we pronounce “little h” – h favors the invention and production of objects of all kinds. All different, functional, unusual and unpredictable … Poetic, offbeat, free. Like a small jazz ensemble called to work alongside his improvisations of the great symphony orchestra Hermes, h has its own tempo…”

Below, several pieces from the group, including scarves (L) that didn’t make the cut, and leather pieces put to work.

We love the innovation, accompanied as always, by the Hermès touch of whimsy. Below, the logo for the collection.

Via Quintessence

The collection will be available in Japan in May, then New York and Beverly Hills this fall.  For more, visit Ecouterre or Quintessence, both of whom reported the story well before your faithful servant learned about it.


For our final item we must thank our dear friend Julie, as we had nary a clue about an important milestone for one of our favorite Mad Men.

Via Matchbook Magazine Tumblr

Yes, the always dashing (well, usually) Don Draper Jon Hamm celebrates a birthday today, the actor is turning 40.

So in honor of any opportunity to put up pictures of attractive men our friends who appreciate Mr. Hamm’s bedroom eyes acting skills, there you are.

Until next time, we hope the sun is shining on you.


Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion