Hello-Hello and welcome to a weekend. Was this one a long time arriving for anyone else…?
We are brief today, just two tidbits to ponder, beginning with one we shared on Facebook (apologies for the repetition) earlier this week. A story in The Times this Monday piqued our interest: “Pledge Prep” examines the growing industry getting girls ready for rush week.
In the South, where sororities have long been a momentous rite of passage, the road to sisterhood is long and not so clearly marked.
Abigail Sullivan Moore’s story introduces us to Rushbiddies, a service put together by two savvy women capitalizing on the concerns of those wanting to do well during recruitment. Or perhaps their mothers. Or both. At any rate, more from the piece:
About 50 mothers and their “chicks,” as the Biddies affectionately call them, attended one of their two-day workshops in April ($100 a couple), complete with mock rush party, wardrobe hints and paperwork prep.
And there is a mound of it. The smart rushee, the Biddies advise, will have a résumé stressing community service, leadership, academics and teamwork, letters of recommendation from alumnae of each chapter, preferably on the campus in question, and reference letters.
Below, members of Alpha Delta Pi at freshman orientation at George Washington University.
We liked this description of rush week from another consultant cited in the story.
“Sorority recruitment is like no other experience that you will ever have for the rest of your life,” says Sunday Tollefson, author of “Rush Right: Reveal Your Best You During Sorority Recruitment.” “It’s like speed dating meets interviewing meets beauty pageant meets upscale academic summer camp, complete with a counselor.”
The Greek presence at the private women’s college yours truly attended was almost non-existent, it played almost no part in student life. However, TQM (The Queen Mother) was a founding member of the ΔΔΔ chapter at a Great Midwestern University, and oodles of friends did attend schools where this is critical, so we know a teeny bit about the apprehension and anxiety, the stress and strain surrounding recruitment.
But is is so bad this is necessary? Back to the Times story:
Ms. von Sperling offers a Friday-to-Sunday intensive, for $8,000. One day is devoted to carrying yourself properly and the art of conversation. Treat rush, she says, as you would a job interview. Avoid politics and religion. “I teach them how to make interesting small talk: what you saw at the cinema, a trip to Europe. I don’t know too many 20-year-olds who are having a debate about economics.” Another day is for getting physically ready — hair, makeup and wardrobe. Ms. von Sperling organizes “outfits down to accessories, completely strategized.” Just in case a client forgets, outfits are photographed and placed in a style file.
$8000?!? Paying someone to keep track of your clothing…? Methinks not. Harrumph.
Also today, a topic that is perilously close to the “we don’t go there” zone. But because we have long written about uniforms worn by Team USA at the Olympics, we thought we had an obligation to follow up on our original post showing the Opening Ceremony styles team members will be wearing in London a week from today, Friday the 27th. (Official start time is 4pm EDT, but I don’t believe NBC starts until 7 or 7:30pm EDT, it’s a classic “check your local listings” situation.)
There has been plenty of controversy surrounding the styles, understandably so.
The biggest to-do surrounded the fact the Ralph Lauren uniforms were made in China, not the USA. To be honest, I don’t believe Ralph Lauren has manufactured its Olympic apparel in the USA since at least the 2002 Games. I am unclear as to why this has touched a nerve in 2012 but wasn’t an issue in 2010, 2008, etc., those were also election years. (I am not defending the practice, far from it, merely mystified as to why the hullabaloo this go-round.)
After the immense hue and cry was was resolved with pledge from the company garments will be US-made for the 2014 Winter Games, focus moved to the other issue. That would be the size of the Polo logo on the pieces.
Let’s start with the Big Pony logo. This oversized version of the Polo Ralph Lauren logo is emblazoned on the left breasts of the just-revealed London Olympic uniforms for our U.S. athletes. A mite commercial, anyone?
In fact, the Big Pony dwarfs the American flag and Olympic rings that are emblazoned on the right breast. That is one giant pony.
Except those huge logos—a Big-Gulp-sized version of the demur small Polo pony—void all claims to classicism or elegance.
A quick Google reveals that Giorgio Armani’s uniforms for Italy’s athletes, and Stella McCartney’s designs for Britain’s are not awash in commercial logos. Our Big Ponies, though, will outshine the stars and stripes. Oh say can you see?
Below, a closer look at one of the Ceremony Blazers.
Here is perspective from a trade publication serving an entirely different industry, Media Post’s TV Blog:
With Ralph Lauren defusing some of the issue with the 2014 promise, hopefully there will be an uprising over a less important, but unfortunately too visible matter: Ralph Lauren’s Olympic designs. The over-commercialization of the Olympics continues and it’s hard not to look at Ralph Lauren as a personification.
The size of its iconic Polo logo on the U.S. uniforms – and other clothing to be worn at the Games, some of which was shown first on the “Today” show months ago — is gaudy.
From The Daily:
Oh, say can you see … the giant Ralph Lauren logo on Team USA’s uniforms?
And then there’s the issue of the Ralph Lauren “Polo Pony” logo, which is prominent throughout the collection, at times larger than the American flag and or Team USA crest. Polo isn’t even an Olympic event.
Of course, things can always be worse, we could be wearing the styles Spain will sport.
One company taking the high road is NBC, their on-camera looks for men are being done by classic clothier Hickey Freeman. (Some of the NBC women are wearing Doncaster, we hope to have more on that later.) This is what we’ll see on Bob Costas, Matt Lauer and the rest of the gentlemen; the pieces were made in the USA at the firm’s Rochester, N.Y. factory.
Our favorite part? The understated “HF” and NBC Peacock logos in the crest, both smaller than either the UK or American flags. There’s a lesson in that for David Lauren.