Tag Archives: Janie Schoenborn

When the Dress Code is ‘Lilly or Louder’, Tretorn at J. Crew

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a very busy Tuesday, we are off to a volunteer function almost all afternoon, so today’s post is brief.

Many readers may have already read or heard about last week’s big bash at the American Museum of Natural History, we’re more than a little late reporting on the festivities.  If it doesn’t sound familiar, we offer a visual clue:

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

It was the annual spring dance, and Lilly Pulitzer sponsored the event. The party was much brighter than most black tie events, compliments of a dress code that said “Lilly or Louder”. Below, the retailer’s design director, Janie Schoenborn, wore Pandamonium.

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

Below, socialites Blair Husain and Sara Peters.

Steve Eichner/WWD

Below we see Tinsley Mortimer in what we’ll call “modified Lilly,” as she explained to Women’s Wear Daily:

“I shortened it to make it cuter,” said Mortimer. “I took a pair of scissors to it right before I left the house.”

Peter Kramer/AP

Lilly pooh-bah Jim Bradbeer and his wife Carol were colorfully clad.

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

On the not-so-Lilly list, actress Michelle Trachtenberg (L) and model Coco Rocha.

The event’s Honorary Chair did not wear Lilly, actress Claire Danes was in Zac Posen.

Actors Sebastian Stan and Matthew Settle (of Gossip Girl).

Steve Eichner/WWD

One of the best parts of any function Lilly is involved with has to be having the chance to watch the amazingly talented artists from the Lilly Mother Ship in action.

Steve Eichner/WWD

Steve Eichner/WWD

Below, the über-talented Paige Smith works on a floral canvas.

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

It sounds like an delightful time, you can read more about it here at the Lilly blog.


Loads of bits and bytes today, here are a few quick links:

  • This story hypothetically lists the “10 Preppiest Colleges,” at least according to the Huffington Post; the comments are as entertaining as the story IOHO.
  • J. Crew’s design guru Jenna Lyons will be featured on tomorrow’s (Wednesday, 4/21) Oprah show; the topic is Dream Jobs. (Click here for a teeny bit more info.)  Below, Ms. Lyons in her office.

Roger Neves via Oprah.com

Via HighSnobette.com

With that we say g’bye until next time!


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Not Your Granny’s Talbots & Lilly in Lavender… ?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a very green (and pink, natch) St. Patrick’s Day here at the Prepatorium!

It’s another busy day, we start with something that is not green, but lavender.  Actually, it’s chatter about a myriad of colors in this AP story on flowers as inspiration for fashion designers. We hear from several of our favorite brands in the story, including Lilly design director Janie Schoenborn. And while many of us think of these colors when hearing the words ‘Lilly Pulitzer’…

… the color discussed in the story is lavender, or orchid.

“Coming from a long line of gardeners – her father has a degree in landscape design, mom has a traditional English garden and Aunt Molly’s specialty is tropicals – Schoenborn is trying to keep up the tradition with lilacs and syringas.

So far, she hasn’t done a lilac print for Lilly Pulitzer, but a shade of lavender was just added to the label’s palette so it probably won’t be long until she tries one.”

Here is the Shere Wrap in lavender.

Lilly Pulitzer

While the color may not exactly pop in this photo, we’re guessing any upcoming lilac prints will be more than pretty. But then, we have always liked this color.  The story explains that spring is a “floral bonanza” at Lilly, no surprise for most readers. What might we expect to see in the future?

“We don’t always do an exact replica of a flower. Right now we have an abstract orchid. There’s a Queen Anne’s lace that we hadn’t done but will have for summer. … We don’t discriminate against any flowers, but we like ‘pretty’ so no cactuses, but we’ll even do lemon and lime blossoms.”

We are fond of the Jungle Orchid print, to name only one Lilly pattern with a touch of lavender.


The story also offers the floral perspective of Michael Smaldone, creative director at Talbots‘:

“”I’m a pink guy, but my favourite flower is an orange poppy,” says Smaldone. “I love how they’re both wild – with ugly leaves and hairy stems – and have a beautiful delicate flower.”

Below we see the Floral Bouquet Pencil Skirt (L) and the Peonies Print Skirt.

More about Mr. Smaldone’s designs at Talbots:

“He turned to a brush-stroke floral print for Talbots’ spring line, though, because he thought that approach was very optimistic – something the fashion world needs right now.

Two more florals from Talbots, the Linen Sundress in Cherry Blossom (L) and a Silk Dress (R) with a flower we cannot identify.

We expect the feature story will land in many local newspaper style and magazine sections within the next week, but if eager to read it now, we found it on the Winnipeg Free Press site.


As we are speaking of Talbots, we thought a quick glance at the retailer’s fall line might be intriguing, albeit in an abstract way.

Kyle Ericksen/WWD

Mr. Smaldone’s perspective is also cited in this WWD story on the company:

““The brand lost its relevance,” said Smaldone…”

We are guessing many readers concur with that sentiment. But we admit being taken aback to see the store described as “your grandmother’s Talbots,” by the company’s chief marketing officer, Lori Wagner.  (We were merely off by a generation, presuming the retailer was thinking more along the “not your mother’s Talbots” line.) Below we show more pieces from the fall collection.

Kyle Ericksen/WWD

Described as ‘country club chic’, the collection is also said to be more on trend without being offensive:

“… as much as Talbots wants to take a more stylish stance, it does not want to alienate its loyal customer base, which Wagner describes as fortysomething women who are partial to American sportswear.”

This is one of those times when one hopes for the best while remaining somewhat skeptical, a result of the company’s not-so-distant forays into bizarre styles and shoddy quality. We have been more than pleased with recent purchases and are happy to see Talbots charting a healthier course.


Also today, good news for those fond of Sperry Top-sider and needlepoint accessory firm Tucker Blair.  Those two companies are collaborating on special-edition products to help promote Sperry’s new retail stores. From today’s story in WWD:

Tucker Blair will produce special-edition needlepoint belts for Sperry’s seven stores that are rolling out this year, including logo and Jolly Roger patterns.

A very savvy marketing move IOHO.  (Is it just us, or do we need to make a ‘collaborations’ category for all of these goings-on?)


We close with a tease for tomorrow’s post, simply saying it involves our biggest giveaway ever (multiple winners, oh my!) with goodies like this…


And this:


Oh yes indeedy, this one will be fun.

On that happy note, we leave you with a picture of our girl out and about in the Princessmobile last week, enjoying the notion of spring and days spent lounging in the sun.


Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Next Year’s Hot Color & Lilly’s Take On It

Hello-Hello, and welcome to the corner condo here at the Prepatorium, where the wind is howling! We hope everyone is safe and warm, protected from the elements.

We start today with word on THE color for next year, at least according to the experts at Pantone.

Courtesy Pantone

Officially know as Pantone #15-5519, more generally referred to as ‘turquoise’ by most of us common folk. Every year the design minds at this color brain trust select a specific color (some may recall Pantone selected mimosa yellow as the color for 2009) as the ‘it’ shade for the coming year. The news release from Pantone explains more:

“…inviting, luminous hue… Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world.”

Courtesy Pantone via WWD

In their story on the color pick, the Los Angeles Times spoke with Janie Schoenborn, design director at Lilly Pulitzer.

“It puts everyone in the same state of mind — on vacation,”

We like that perspective. We also like turquoise pieces from Lilly, in a solid like the Casey V-neck (L) or a print, as with the Elsa (R).

More from Ms. Schoenborn in the Times story:

“Turquoise for us is a really big color. A lot of times it’s transporting, whether you’re actually going to a resort destination or not.”

Lilly’s Checking In print exemplifies this sentiment.

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

A philosophy also easily seen in the packaging for Lilly’s Beachy eau de parfum.

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

Look how closely the colors in the Pantone beach image are replicated in the Lilly Sea and Be Seen tote.

The color conveys images that are peaceful and serene, yet also cheery, whether in the Loco Patch pattern on a paper napkin, or the now sold-out Recess backpack.

The designers at Lilly Pulitzer are not alone in their appreciation of the color; nouveau-prep designer/retailer Tommy Hilfiger chimes in:

“”The women in my life wear it on vacation and it looks great with a suntan at the beach,” Hilfiger says.”

However, Mr. Hilfiger does not think it is a color for everyone:

“I love it for women and I strongly dislike it for men. … If men are to wear blue, they should wear light blue or dark blue.”

Call us crazy, but the Tommy Hilfiger sweater in ‘saba blue’ looks amazingly like turquoise.

Tommy Hilfiger

Turquoise fans can also be found outside of the fashion industry:

Sur la Table

More from that Times story:

“Cookware maker Le Creuset reports its shade known as Caribbean is increasingly popular….

Customers are using turquoise in both light, coastal-vibe settings and darker, more urban spaces with wood and stainless steel.”

With a final thought on the color:

“Lilly Pulitzer’s Schoenborn calls it a “buy now, wear anywhere color” because in cooler months it pairs with black and navy, and in the spring and summer it can be worn with white or coral.”

We show the turquoise/navy combination below, the Murfee Scarf is seen atop a navy tee.

For a plethora of products in this hue, pop over and visit Erin at Everything Turquoise, guaranteed to perk up your day.


A few other items of note:

  • One of our favorite footwear designers is expanding into handbags. Stuart Weitzman will be launch a line of handbags next summer, below, a sample.

Courtesy Stuart Weitzman via WWD.com

  • Today is the deadline for ordering the wonderful new Photo Clipsheets from Whitney English, our brand new item that lets you personalize a stack of note sheets with one of your favorite photos.

Also, a reminder the image you select doesn’t have to be a human being, as demonstrated by The Consort’s selections below:

On these cheery images we say g’bye until next time!


Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy stationery