Tag Archives: Herve Leger

Bohemian Prep? Hippie-Prep? Hello?

Hello-Hello, we are practically melting here at Princess InterGalactic HQ, today’s heat wave will have us close to 50°, before you know it we’ll be parading about in shorts and a tee.

No one will be surprised to see us return to Fashion Week in today’s post, we begin with a look at styles from the Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2011 collection for women.

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD.com

Once again Mr. Hilfiger surprised, the restraint shown in most of the designs is very attractive. From the WWD review:

“But what stood out more was how remarkably controlled and expensive everything looked. Hilfiger dug into men’s wear — mannish tailoring, heavy-duty utility wear and foulard prints — and blew them out into an array of Ivy League threads with a subtext of cool.”

Not everything works for us.

While leather isn’t our style, we know it appeals to many.

Expect to see a lot of ponchos and capes this fall.

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD.com

From a Style.com interview with the designer:

“We always want to be preppy,” Tommy Hilfiger said on the phone yesterday. “But we always want to make preppy fresh.”

Some reviews called this collection “bohemian-prep,” others say “hippy-prep” (?) and still others have additional terms. The designer’s menswear collection for fall was termed “indie-prep”.  We have long since given up on attempting to keep track of what iteration of hypothetical prep Mr. Hilfiger is using at any given time, we can only judge the styles as individual pieces through our own prism of what might work for us. (Frankly, we’re still staggered by the fact there are pieces by this designer we find appealing!)

Kyle Ericksen’s backstage photos for WWD provide another perspective on the styles.

The candid shots provide a better glimpse into a style’s wearability IOHO.

It is nice to see the pops of color among the muted tones for next fall and winter.  Again, our hat is off to Mr. Hilfiger, the collection makes us consider actually experimenting with one of his styles at some point in the future. (Gasp.)

As always with Mr. Hilfiger, the audience was sprinkled liberally with celebrities, including Claire Courtin-Clarins and Virginie Courtin-Clarins, granddaughters of the man who originally founded that cosmetic line, lower right we see Olivia Palermo.

Alice Bensi / GoRunway.com

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Michael Kors celebrated his label’s 30th anniversary with a stellar show.

Among the many celebrities in the front row for this event, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, on the right, Vogue Grand Pooh-bah Anna Wintour waits.

For a complete Kors recap with outstanding photos, visit the Quintesessence blog.

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A few quick hits, the first from Vera Wang:

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

Nothing from Vera really had a wow factor, nor did anything jump out at Hérve Léger.

Via PurseBlog.com

Two more tidbits and links:

Chris Moore/Karl Prouse via The NY Times

“It is back to the straight and narrow in New York Fashion Week. No more loose and sloppy casual clothes, easy sportswear or girlish frills.”

  • The Journal has a story about Jenna Lyons and J. Crew that includes this quote from Ms. Lyons, provoking a small “amen” here at the Prepatorium.

WSJ: What about the collection resulted in softer sales last fall?

Ms. Lyons: [The customer] was sick of ruffles and so were we. There are always cycles where things sort of ebb and flow and all of a sudden that thing that you loved you now hate and that thing that you hated you now love.”

Perhaps someone at Talbots will take note of the ruffle change as well.

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We are excited by some wonderful news about our friend and style blogger Skip Brooks at Alexander Grant. (Note the snappy bow tie.)

Courtesy Image

Skip is partnering with the Style Cooperative on a line of bow ties launching this March. We love the nautical influence in the blue and white version seen above and in the fabric close-up below.

We’re thinking that perhaps Skip didn’t spend all his time at Harvard with his nose to the law books. Just speculating mind you. (Heh, heh, heh.)

With that, g’bye until next time when we look at Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers’ fall collections.

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

We leave you with a peek at the Brooks Brothers new Fair Isle knit tie from next fall’s line.

 

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Thomas Iannaccone/WWD (Hilfiger runway)
  • Alice Bensi / GoRunway.com (Hilfiger front row)
  • Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images For IMG (Michael Kors front row)
  • Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times (Anna Wintour)

 

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

Gossip Girls at Fashion Week, Early Look: Liberty of London/Target Collaboration

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another wacky day at the Prepatorium!

Our focus today is Fashion Week.

Courtesy photo via WWD

Front and center at the Calvin Klein show yesterday, one of the Gossip Girl guys, Chace Crawford.  To the right of Mr. Crawford we see actors Ryan Phillippe and Kellan Lutz.

Another G2 star, Jessica Szohr was spotted in the front row at the Hervé Léger presentation; actress Melissa George is also seen in the picture.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

All of which brings us to the issue of fashion’s front row and the “M Word”, aka Money. Many years (many, many) years back we learned stars didn’t just appear at runway shows because they liked the designer and were able to acquire an invitation. Nay, nay fellow inhabitants of Planet Prep; the celebrities are paid to be there.

Cathy Horyn, fashion writer extraordinaire, has an outstanding column on the topic in Saturday’s Times.

“… once the exclusive domain of influential editors, retailers, socialites and celebrity friends of the designer. That fortress was breached long ago, about the time Paris Hilton and her Chihuahua showed up.”

Natch, we appreciated the reference to one of our original Anti-Preps, Ms. Hilton.  Rebecca Taylor’s front row included actresses Sophia Bush and Carmen Electra.

Brian Ach/Getty

Ms. Horyn’s article sheds light on other costs incurred by brands looking for what The Consort calls “warm props”:

“… the deals, trades and exclusive contracts — first-class airfare, hotel rooms for friends, per diems, designer boutique shopping sprees — that miraculously clear a path to the front row for a busy actress.”

Style site Fashionista ran a fascinating piece earlier this month, “How Much Brands Pay For Celebs to Sit in Their Front Rows“. Writer Lauren Sherman set out to determine what we’ll call ‘guesstimated rates’ for celebrities to appear at a show. Here are a few names from the Fashionista “A list”:

  • Rihanna ($100,000 or more)
  • Beyonce ($80,000-$100,000)
  • Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen ($80,000 each)

Several Gossip Girl stars are on the “B List”:

  • Blake Lively ($50,000)
  • Leighton Meester ($40,000)
  • Hillary Duff ($40,000)
  • Other Gossip Girl cast members ($25,000 a piece)

For some reason we are guessing Mr. Crawford draws more than the $25,000 number cited above for appearances by ‘other cast members’.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty

The actor is seen with musician Lee Pace and actor Jared Leto in the photo above.  To see the rest of Fashionista’s list, including where Paris Hilton ranks, click here.  The story mentions that Marc Jacobs and Carolina Herrera have “virtually banned celebrities from their front rows,” an interesting turn of events.

Ms. Horyn’s story in the Times also discusses rates, quoting a publicist in the business, Roger Padilha:

“… “If you see an A-list star at a show, that’s because she’s making $100,000 on the deal.”

And talked about this year’s most wanted stars:

“Last season, Ms. Lively, a Gossip Girl, was considered a good get. This week, according to Mr. Padilha, “Sandra Bullock is the get. Even more so than Anne Hathaway.”

Back in the olden daze these were the only kind of people designers wanted to see at their shows:

Bryan Bedder/Getty

That is Grace Coddington (L) and Anna Wintour from Vogue magazine at this morning’s Zac Posen show.

We continue with another quick Gossip Girl mention; we can’t resist sharing two looks from the Peter Som show, as it was dubbed “Bohemian for the Blair Waldorf set” by Women’s Wear Daily.

That seems an appropriate description.

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We now move on to the Lacoste show.

Reviews for the fall/winter styles were mixed. The Journal’s Heard on the Runway blog was favorable:

“All of the looks were infinitely wearable, suggesting that what Lacoste lacks in high fashion, it makes up for in saleability.”

That ‘saleability’ factor is not always seen as a positive to fashion editors; from the NY Times’ brief review:

“… as the show evolved into hot, strong color, Lacoste seemed to be trying too hard to be a “fashion” brand.

WWD was not complimentary in their review.

“In a rather lackluster show missing Lacoste’s usual verve and focus, there was layering, bright color blocking and sometimes an easy slouchy mood.”

Heard on the Runway’s writeup also explained the look seen on the female models:

“A highlight of the collection was the knit leggings that widened at the bottom to cover the high heels….  dubbed “longjohn [sic] leggings” and called them “his answer to sweatpants.”

“The look gave off something of a pants-cum-legwarmer appearance… a fresh take on what is becoming a staid trend….”

More from WWD:

“Still, designer Christophe Lemaire reminded his audience of the panache of seasons past with some chic little sweater dresses and terrific outerwear in double-faced wool or handknitted alpaca.”

Women’s Wear Daily also went backstage at Lacoste to look at what the trade paper called “smoldering eyes”.

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With the insanely high-heeled shoes continuing to dominate shows it is no surprise to see more models struggling to stay vertical. Below, Agyness Deyn took a tumble at the Haiti Relief benefit show.

Frazer Harrison/FFR/Getty

Actually the supermodel fell twice at the show.

The young woman handled the falls with aplomb.

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We close with a look at some of the designs from the Liberty of London and Target collaboration.

Courtesy photo via Oprah.com

Targét elected to release a few styles exclusively via the Oprah website, an interesting decision on the retailer’s part.  The infant’s dress will retail at $13, the Misses dress at $35.

Courtesy photo via Oprah.com

The hat is going to be priced at $13.

Courtesy photo via Oprah.com

The collection launches March 15.

Until next time, may all of your runways be trouble-free!

PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Peter Som/WWD:
  • Robert Mitra/WWD: Lacoste Runway
  • Couturture: Lacoste Runway
  • Kyle Ericksen/WWD:

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Secret Sales at Luxury Retailers & Are Those Gossip Girls Underdressed?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Wednesday!

We start today with a look at a new phenomenon in online shopping, courtesy of several upscale retailers: the limited-time sale. It generally starts with an email like this:

Courtesy Neiman Marcus

The image above is from a Neimans email we received Monday; it is for the ‘midday dash’ at Neiman Marcus, a two-hour online-only sale.  At the appointed time this is what a savvy shopper will see at the Needless Markup Neiman Marcus site; the merchandise changes with each sale.

secret_600

As described in a July story in the Times:

“Customers learn about the sale mere hours before it begins. This week’s “dash” featured a $697 Burberry handbag, marked down from $1,395. A Carmen Marc Valvo chiffon gown was $575, down from $1,150. And Cole Haan flats were $82, down from $165.”

By no means is Neimans the only luxury retailer trying new ways to prompt consumers to open (re-open?) those pocketbooks.  The following screen grab shows what one sees today after the most recent Saks ‘Fashion Fix’ sale ended.

Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

The Fashion Fix email explained “Today, the rush begins. Get Yours. Online Only.” and promoted 50% savings on top brands at Saks like Herve Leger, Alice and Olivia, Chloè, and more.

However, not all ‘secret sales’ are online only, as the Times story details:

“… the benefits of secret sales — whispered discounts and discreet price negotiations between customers and sales staff in the aisles of upscale chains. A time-worn strategy typically reserved for a store’s best customers, it has become more democratized as the recession drags on and retailers struggle to turn browsers into buyers.”

Nor do the higher-end stores want to tell everyone in the world about their discounted goods.

“The conventional wisdom is that the more consumers who know about a sale, the better for business. But that rule does not necessarily hold in luxury retailing.”

The Journal has also written about the relatively new practice; from their October story on Saks testing this method of selling:

“The realm of online “private sales” so far has been dominated by a small number of retail startups that specialize in the brief sales of discount designer apparel. Their Web sites, including Gilt.com, RueLaLa.com and HauteLook.com, have built a following with virally marketed, daily “members only” sales.”

Below, a recent Rue La La screen shows listings for that day’s ’boutiques’.

Courtesy Rue La La

AOL’s Daily Finance has more on how the designers’ perceive these sales:

“The sites are popular with designers, who’d rather have their goods sold there than hung in clearance racks at department stores. Designers know their brands are their currency and they are very wary about cheapening them; it’s a constant point of friction between designers and department stores. That’s why you’ll never find Hermès sold off-price.”

Back to Stephanie Rosenbloom’s story in the Times, with more on the psychology behind selling this way:

“Such discreet sales preserve a brand’s veneer of exclusivity and help create a sense of urgency by limiting the time customers have to score a deal. Additionally, secret sales enable stores to discount their merchandise deeply without angering regular customers who may have bought at full price.”

In many respects this doesn’t seem all that different from what many retailers have been doing online for some time, providing early notice to its better customers of special discounts, sale and promotional events. One issue that may be a concern is overexposure; below, another email received here at the Prepatorium from Neimans, this one touting the Last Call sale currently underway.

Courtesy Neiman Marcus

Some customers may start to feel inundated with ‘special sale’ notifications and promotions.  It’s no secret that we find J. Crew a repeat offender in this category, with the volume of email creating a perception that everything is always ‘on sale’, and if not currently ‘on sale’, it will be ‘on sale’ again very soon.

On the other hand, here at the Princess we have been told we should email customers on our mailing lists more frequently. We only send our newsletters to those requesting them, generally every four to five weeks.  We take your email address and privacy very seriously, and while desirous of offering special savings and sharing new merchandise with you, we want those occasions to remain ‘special’. (If not a subscriber and interested in receiving either our Preppy Planet or Lilly Pulitzer newsletters, just click here for our  home page, and look at the lower right-hand side of the page to sign up.)

BTW, if anyone needs invites to the ‘members only’ sites like those listed above, just email us (thepreppyplanet@gmail dot com) and we’ll get one on its way to you.

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Also on the hit parade today, a follow-up to yesterday’s post showing a rather scantily clad Blake Lively attending the premiere of her new film. It is not unusual for Ms. Lively to be out and about in such apparel (or lack thereof), while Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester is generally deemed to be more conservatively clad.  Ummm… perhaps not so much any more.

PHOTO: Splash News

Ms. Meester is seen at last night’s American Eagle store opening party, where she performed several songs from her new album.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

Whiles these images may look fairly provocative, the actress’s photos in the December issue of GQ are far racier. The one we show below is the only image not carrying the dreaded NSFW caution.

GQ

We really were amazed at the other pictures.

Speaking of G2, there is word today that Michelle Trachtenberg is doing a jewelry line with Coach.  From the story in today’s WWD:

“Trachtenberg will apply her tough-girl meets sugary-sweet vibe to her first jewelry collection in collaboration with Coach under the accessories giant’s youthful and spirited Poppy line.”

The new line will launch next Spring.

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We close with a special Pretty in Pink, French department store Printemps is all aglow for the holidays.

We loved shopping at this retailer when they entered the US market many years back (ultimately an unsuccessful endeavor), but we have not visited any located on the far side of the pond for years.

On that, may everyone enjoy an evening that is light, bright and filled with fun!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings

Lacoste Black Label, Lush @ Brooks Bros & When Anti-Preps Gather…

Hello-Hello!

We continue Fashion Week coverage, starting today with the Brooks Brothers presentation of their Fall 2009 Collection. Like many others, this is not a runway show, but an event at the Madison Avenue store.

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

The styles are displayed in tableaus, as seen above. We like the rich gray and lush purple, it is very striking.  The review in yesterday’s WWD mentions plenty of cashmere, in twinsets and coats.

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

In an interesting partnership with Wilson, the official NFL football maker, Brooks will debut a new briefcase and duffle crafted of vintage leather from Wilson. And they will retail a limited edition co-branded football made of this same material; the football is just visible in the photo below.

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

The review also talks about changes in the Black Fleece line from designer Thom Browne:

“The women’s wear has lightened up. “We’re softening the girl,” Browne said, noting there are “more skirts and dresses” offered this time. “The collection is a lot more feminine, from the shapes of the skirts to the looseness of the knits.”

We are intrigued to see the Men’s full-length beaver overcoat Mr. Browne has created. All in all it appears to be a nicely done collection that is eminently wearable.

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Thought we’d sweeten your day with a few tidbits we haven’t posted yet, including the debut jewelry collection from Liberty of London.

Photo by WWD Staff

Photo by WWD Staff

The line will be available at Barneys.

We also share a few images from the Lacoste Fall 2009 Men’s collection, we ran out of time when posting the Women’s collection on Saturday.

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

As the WWD staff put it in their review of the line:

“Christophe Lemaire’s newly named Black collection for Lacoste offered plenty of comfort. In men’s wear, Lemaire showed the strongest conviction with his milky-colored, fine-knit suits, but sweaters…. held the most appeal.”

Another look:

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

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We have another frightening instance of multiple AntiPreps being located in the same place.

At. The. Same. Time.

Behold, the Tracy Reese runway show yesterday:

Amy Sussman/Getty

PHOTO: Amy Sussman/Getty

Between Ms. Kardashian and Paris Hilton is Nicky Hilton, singer Kellie Pickler is on the far right. Quote of the Day award clearly goes to Ms. Hilton, as seen in an interview with E! News this weekend:

“There’s nobody in the world like me. I think every decade has an iconic blonde, like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana and, right now, I’m that icon.”

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We bring you an update on a favorite brand for TPC (The Princess Consort), Hart Schaffner Marx.  In this January post we detailed the firm’s bankruptcy filing, but there was good news on Friday from a Federal judge, allowing a line of credit to be extended so the menswear manufacturer can keep operating.  It also appears creditor are showing patience with HartMarx as it works to dig out of the financial mess.

Hart Schaffner Marx

Hart Schaffner Marx

President Barack Obama owns several of the Hart Schaffner Marx Golden Trumpeter suits; it was also a tuxedo from the line that he wore to the Inauguration Balls.  Speaking of Presidential fashion, one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s favorite designers was at Fashion Week.

Maria Pinto did not do a runway show, but rather, held appointments to show her Fall looks. Below, the one we found most appealing:

Kristen Somody Whalen

PHOTO: Kristen Somody Whalen

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It would not be Fashion Week without seeing models struggling in the insane shoes they must now wear. These shots are from Sunday’s Hervé Léger by Max Azria show:

84806597preview84806910preview1

The model on the right was wearing these:

Getty

PHOTO: Getty

One designer, Maria Cornejo, is vocal in her thoughts on the heels and the spills taken by models; she spoke with NY magazine:

“That’s just sad, you know? It’s boys dressing women. I’m sorry — they don’t have to wear the —– shoes…

What could I possibly add to that comment?  Except, perhaps this:

Here is one for the “When Pink Goes Wrong” category, the high-heel sneaker.

Photo by WWD Staff

Photo by WWD Staff

This one is the result of a Puma – Sergio Rossi collaboration.  Not that that should be anything about which to brag…

Ta-Ta for now.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Updates