Tag Archives: Jenna Lyons

An Inside Look at J. Crew & Its CEO

Hello-Hello, happy mid-week. In reality it is a bit beyond that, as Friday is a half-day at many places of business.

We thought readers might be interested in a television program airing tomorrow night on CNBC.

CNBC

J. Crew & The Man Who Dressed America” is an hour-long special focused on Crew’s CEO Mickey Drexler.

CNBC

The show airs on CNBC at 10pm:

J.Crew has transformed from a once-flailing, lackluster brand to a fashion force. Leading J.Crew is CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler, known for his intuitive sense of what the public craves and his ability to lift troubled companies to new heights.

J. Crew Collection

Back to the news release:

Since taking over J.Crew in 2003, Drexler has successfully introduced designer quality clothing for the masses — driving the company’s revenues up 170 percent.

J. Crew

Those fond of the retailer, along with those interested in the fashion industry, are sure to enjoy this one. One of the segments is a behind the scenes look at putting together a J. Crew catalog. (Click here for a preview of the segment.)

CNBC

From a review of the show in North Jersey:

J. Crew is one of America’s most ubiquitous brands. Step into any mall and you’ll likely see one of the stores. It’s associated with words like “preppy,” “classic” and “all-American,” a place where you can buy button-down shirts in myriad colors and a pair of jeans fit for work or play.

CNBC delves into the inner workings of Drexler’s intense and borderline obsessive involvement in the company…

Jenna Lyons is featured throughout the documentary, including a segment on the Fall 2012 collection. (Click here for a preview of the segment.)

CNBC

More from North Jersey’s story:

The hour-long special delves into everything from Drexler’s days growing up in the Bronx (he still eats lunch with his childhood friends) to his intensely hands-on style of management (he installed a loudspeaker system in J. Crew’s New York City headquarters and often spouts words of wisdom through its halls).

Boston.com has their own reason people should watch the program:

….you can see the always unnerving collected Vogue editor Anna Wintour dish about J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler on CNBC’s “J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America.” It’s no visit with Stephen Colbert, but Wintour does offer some good tidbits on Drexler.

The company continues to evolve, energy has recently been redirected back to basics like its popular ballet flats.

J. Crew

We’ve been tediously repetitive candid in this space about concerns the retailer drifted away from its roots in efforts to reach a more “fashion forward” clientele. I’m looking forward to watching the special,it’s likely we’ll be able to tell form the interviews if the focus will remain close to Crew’s lineage or not.

A quick Sales & Savings note: Crew’s Memorial Day Sale offers an additional 30% off sale merchandise with the code LOVEIT. (With apologies, I have no idea why this is blinking, or how to make it stop.)

J. Crew

(My inability to make that stop blinking is arguably today’s greatest failure.)

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One other tidbit today, word of a new company with prep leanings (at least new to us), Chicago Belt.

Chicago Belt

The Prepatorium is located in The Great Midwest and we love learning about things reflecting our roots. The company features grosgrain ribbon belts made in the USA, including this one showcasing the Great Lakes.

Chicago Belt Company

An added bonus? 10% of sales from this belt goes to the Shedd Aquarium (one of our favorite places to visit) and its “Keep the Lake Great” program. Our thanks to Great Lakes Prep for the tip on this one!

Thanks for popping in, g’bye until next time!

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Is Pendleton….Hip? Also, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons Profiled Everywhere

Well now, didn’t yesterday turn out to be more than a little wacky? With all that shakin’ going on and Hurricane Irene looming, we take a moment to send good thoughts to everyone impacted, batten down the hatches.

We move on to chatter about a company we have long been fond of, Pendleton; it’s one of those brands many of us grew up with, representative of what many refer to as ‘pure prep’.  It is still a name we think of every now and then, the memory jarred by a decades-old skirt hanging in the winter closet, or a neatly folded sweater stashed away until colder temps return. We also enjoy popping into our local Pendleton boutique, the quality of the clothing is one reason we harbor such positive feelings about the company, everything is very well made.

But let’s be honest, when you hear ‘Pendleton,’ is this what you think of?

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Would you be surprised to learn these are also part of the fall collection?

Pendleton

Above left is the company’s Soho skirt and on the right, its Consuela Short Skirt.

Last week one of our favorite columnists at The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece asking the question “Can Pendleton conquer the hipster class?” More from Times fashion critic Booth Moore:

For many, the brand is associated with career clothes and mom jeans, with Indian blankets and plaid shirts worn by the Beach Boys.

Pendleton via The LA Times

The picture is from 1963, it was used on the cover of the band’s “Surfer Girl” album. In a recent story Mr. Moore delves into Pendleton’s history and future, with a detailed look at the brand’s upcoming Portland Collection.

But Pendleton has been working to attract a new generation of contemporary customers for the last few years… Now Pendleton Woolen Mills, Oregon’s 102-year-old, dyed-in-the-wool blanket brand, is continuing its move into the boutique fashion business by tapping into the indie cool of Portland…

Styles from the Portland Collection.

Courtesy Photos

More styles.

Courtesy Photos

Back to Booth Moore’s article:

“The clothes nod to the season’s western trend, but in a quirky, alterno kind of way. The Pendleton jacquards, done in black and white, read more graphic and modern than Santa Fe style circa 1990. And the famous plaids aren’t outdoorsy so much as they are nerd-chic.”

Clearly, your trusty correspondent is unlikely to be found in pieces from the new line; we applaud Pendleton’s efforts to evolve the brand while remaining true to its core audience. As Mr. Moore’s story points out, they aren’t alone in this kind of endeavor.

Pendleton, headquartered in downtown Portland, follows several other American heritage brands in looking to the past to forge the future (Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Woolrich Woolen Mills).

An image from the firm’s website shows a reference to its storied past with the ‘Right Then, Right Now’ graphics.

Pendleton

We have previously looked at Pendleton’s evolution, including this post in 2009 previewing its collaboration with the oh-so-hip Opening Ceremony.

The Portland Collection launches right after Labor Day and will even be available at some Anthropologie stores.

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Also today, word of some unhappy J. Crew customers in Canada. The retailer opened its first store there last week and pricing differences between the two countries has upset shoppers. From a story in the Globe and Mail:

“For online customers, taxes and duties raised the final price for orders in some cases by as much as 50 per cent compared with the U.S. site they previously ordered from.”

One challenge facing anyone opening new markets: technology that simply wasn’t around fifteen years ago, making pricing information available to anyone.  Back to the story:

“…the quick and angry response from customers to J. Crew’s hiking of domestic prices underscores its customers’ familiarity with its products and prices, and the easy access to its e-commerce site to make fast price comparisons.

Here is more in a story titled Why is J. Crew charging us so much?:

“The disparity is particularly noticeable online, where the final prices on J. Crew’s Canadian site are as much as 40 per cent higher than on its U.S. site once taxes and shipping are added.

For example, the U.S. price for a pair of Café Capri plaid wool pants is $138 while the Canadian price is $160, a difference of 15 per cent. Once shipping and taxes are added, the U.S. price is $159, while the Canadian price is $223, a difference of 40 per cent.”

Below we show two pair of the Café Capri pants, in Plaid and in Houndstooth, both are priced at the amount mentioned above, $138.

J. Crew Café Capri pants

In all fairness, most retailers entering the Canadian market charge higher prices, it is more expensive to do business in that country for a variety of reasons: higher taxes, additional fees, fewer (if any) distribution points, etc.  More from the Globe’s story by Marina Strauss:

Other retailers have felt consumers’ wrath about higher prices in Canada compared with the U.S. Last spring, a study found that Canadian prices were 20-per-cent higher than those of the same products in the United States, while two years earlier the spread was less than 7 per cent.

Crew is also launching online shopping in the UK soon, its experiment selling through Net-a-Porter has been so positive a dedicated website is in the works, more from The Telegraph:

“Admirers of Michelle Obama’s colourful style will be happy to hear that J.Crew, her go-to retailer for affordable and stylish additions to her wardrobe (and that of her two daughters), is to launch in the UK at the end of the summer.

Although yet to be confirmed, prices are likely to come a little bit higher than in the US due to import duty, as reflected in their offering on Net-a-Porter.”

There have been several recent profiles of Crew’s CEO Jenna Lyons including a Q&A format in the National Post and New York magazine’s in-depth piece, it goes back to Ms. Lyon’s early days with the company

J.Crew was a small company in 1990, when Lyons went in for an interview. The brand styled itself as an energetic all-American label that was neither Talbots nor Ralph Lauren nor L.L. Bean. “J.Crew was the life that you could have,” Lyons says. “It was about hanging out. There was no price of entry. You might have a house in Maine on the beach, but you didn’t have a yacht and twelve horses.”

Below we see Ms. Lyons at work.

Martine Fougeron for New York magazine

More from Molly Young’s article.

Where feathers and sequins meet J.Crew is largely a matter of styling, and though Lyons dislikes the word preppy, her choices always invoke the core prep values of ease, cleanliness, and conservatism. If her company has always prized a kind of sartorial comfort—nothing too tight, too short, too synthetic—then Lyons, with her bare face and occasional bralessness, is what happens when comfort meets chic.

I very much enjoyed the story, click here to read the entire piece.

We leave you with this image from the just launched Lulu Frost for J. Crew collection.

Lulu Frost for J. Crew

The collection is now available in stores and online, princes run from $45 to $135.

Until next time. have a splendid day!

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Is There A Change at J. Crew?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a new week here at the Prepatorium, we appreciate you stopping in for a visit.

We begin today with an update on J. Crew, a brand we haven’t spent much time chatting about recently.  Canada’s Globe and Mail took a look at the company in advance of its first Canadian store opening.  J. Crew Primping for its Canadian Debut examines some of the retailer’s recent business decisions, this initial portion references CEO Mickey Drexler.

Customers were complaining that his stores no longer carried the “cafe Capri” women’s cropped pants. The shelves were stocked with too many ruffled tops and mini-skirts, and too few classics such as Italian cashmere sweaters, ballet flats and knee-length pencil skirts.

Mr. Drexler felt the pain. The missteps caused J. Crew Group Inc. to stumble financially. Today….he feels the pressure to once again generate the fashion hits for which he is famous.”

We selected a few examples relative to what the story discusses, beginning with Crew’s Schoolboy Madras Blazer, an item more in keeping with what customers would consider the brand’s heritage.  Although the shrunken cut may fit too snugly, at least the garment harkens back to the brand’s ‘preppy roots.’  On the other hand, while a pencil skirt is always in style, efforts to ‘update’ the look don’t work in the ‘Pleated Pencil Skirt‘ seen lower right, the detail at the hip is unlikely to flatter anyone bigger than a Size 2. (As a sometimes Size 4 we figure we’re allowed to grip about such things.)

Back to the Globe & Mail’s story:

J. Crew’s recent fashion errors underline Mr. Drexler’s strengths and challenges. He knew quickly last summer that some of the new younger styles weren’t working, and that the stores were under-stocked on classics.

More pieces probably unpopular with “old style” core customers include things like an Heirloom Lace Vest originally priced at $295, and a $150 Sequin Sweatshirt (now $99), garments that are simply not going to work for many. 

More from the story:

We skewed a little younger than we should have – a little more trendy,” Mr. Drexler….said in an interview…“We ran out of a lot of our best-sellers. When you don’t have enough of the best, you skew too young – you have a tough time. It happened. Right now it’s kind of fixed.”

Other items in the too trendy category would likely include the Mona Shirtdress (left) and the $995 Plumage Skirt, covered in feathers, now on sale for $599.

We thought the company did a decent job maintaining a core of perfectly acceptable pieces, much like the Cotton Dress shown below.

To be fair, we never encountered any difficulty finding basic cashmere pieces, like the sweater below.

Via J. Crew

But then we didn’t look very often, at least not in the last several years. Once a core customer is turned off by a brand’s offerings they are not as likely to pay casual visits to the retailer, either in person or online. There are too many other choices available in the marketplace, the retailing landscape too crowded.

One of the more interesting things about the story is the way Mr. Drexler is referenced throughout the piece, here is one example essentially saying the company is dependent upon his talents:

“Drexler is human and obviously made some mistakes last year,” said Mark Cohen, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York and a former CEO of Sears Canada. “The good news about a one-man band is that, when in tune, the melody is awfully sweet. But when it’s off-key, the music is awful.

There is no reference to J. Crew’s President and Creative Director, Jenna Lyons.  However, it is possible the appeal she holds for many of the firm’s customers in the US won’t carry across the border until people are more familiar with J. Crew’s offerings.

In efforts to better engage customers the company has embraced social media, growing the content on its website in addition to using Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. For example, as in previous seasons, the fall lookbook is now available online.

Via J. Crew Tumblr

Here are three looks from the Fall 2011 line.

Via J. Crew

We do hope J. Crew is able to right the ship, for years the company did *many* things very well. More from this fall’s line.

Via J. Crew

What do you think, is the company getting back to styles you are more comfortable with?

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We leave you with a bright and fun image, actually a fundraiser for the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

National Aquarium

The limited-edition Lilly Pulitzer scarf is a fundraiser for the Aquarium, available now at the Aquarium’s gift shop. Here is a better look at the detail in the pattern.

National Aquarium

For an *outstanding* post on the topic, visit Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore.

Until next time, g’bye!

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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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Royal Wedding Gown “Favourite” & J. Crew’s Billion Dollar Deal

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a somewhat frenzied Tuesday here at the Prepatorium.

The day started off with news that a date and location have been selected for next year’s big do: Kate Middleton and Prince William will marry on Friday April 29 of next year, the ceremony is slated for Westminster Abbey. The news prompted us to veer off our planned course, so we might update this story.

Anglophiles will recall that the Queen and Queen Mother were both married here; it was also where Princess Diana’s funeral was held.

Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the other location in consideration for next spring’s event.

Getty Images

Generating perhaps more buzz than this news, word that the Church of England has suspended a bishop who referred to the young couple as “shallow celebrities”.  The Telegraph has more:

“In comments posted online he also claimed the Royal Family was full of “broken marriages and philanderers” and expressed disappointment that the wedding would cost the public “an arm and a leg”.

As it turns out, the Royal Family (with contributions by the Middleton family as well) is handling almost all of the expenses associated with the event, the one bill the taxpayers will have to foot is for security.

Conversation continues (there’s a surprise) about possible designers for Ms. Middleton’s wedding gown.  The leading contender, at least as far as British bookmakers go, is Phillipa Leply.

One shouldn’t laugh off the oddsmakers, this is serious business in some circles. Princess Diana’s designer, Elizabeth Emanuel,  was the odds-on favorite, correctly so as it turned out.  Below, more gowns by Ms. Lepley.

It is tacitly expected that Miss Middleton will select a British fashion house; Phillipa Lepley was born in the UK and her shop is in the oh-so-chic Chelsea part of London.

While many have suggested Issa (the company making that electric blue dress worn by the bride for the engagement announcement) may be chosen; the company is headquartered in London, but Daniella Issa Helayel was born in Brazil.  Is the distinction between being born in the UK and based in the country that important? It very well could be, especially when attempting to make a politically correct decision.

Two more designs by Ms. Lepley. Again, note the presence again of covered shoulders on both gowns.

Clearly, an “appropriate” (code for circumspect, modest) gown is required.  Below, two real-life brides in gowns by Ms. Lepley, actress/tv presenter Davina McCall (l) and tv presenter Ulrika Jonsson (r).

Other designers mentioned include Stella McCartney and Amanda Wakeley.  Below, two bridal designs from this fall’s collection by Ms. Wakeley.

People magazine has jumped into the conversation with a feature asking wedding designers to create looks for the bride.

Courtesy Monique Lhuillier via People

We weren’t gaga over either of the Reem Acra sketches, they are too skimpy for serious consideration.

Ben de Lisi is a British designer we weren’t familiar with; we like both of his designs.

Click here to see the rest of the designs submitted to the magazine.

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Also today, J. Crew is officially launching its new 769 line, at least according to yesterday’s story in Elle.

Douglas Friedman/Elle

Above, a photo from the party celebrating the 769 debut, hosted by Crew executive Jenna Lyons.

“With jacquard skirts ($395), sequined harem pants ($650), tuxedo jackets ($595), and bejeweled cashmere cardigans ($245), the idea is to rethink formalwear by mixing glittery separates with utilitarian staples.”

The reason we waffle on the 769 “launch” can be seen in this post from back in May, showing 769 items on sale at the company’s Weddings store in the city. Evidently this is a soft rollout of the line to other locations in addition to the Bridal shop.

In other J. Crew updates, blockbuster news today for those that follow the company’s behind the scenes operations, the company has been sold.  From BrandChannel:

“Another tony luxury brand has changed hands, with today’s $3 billion acquisition of J. Crew by a consortium of private equity firms. Yes, the house that Mickey Drexler built and Jenna Lyons designed, now has a new landlord.”

What will this mean to the average shopper? Not a lot, unless drastic changes are planned, and at this point that seems unlikely. What will impact your pocketbook when shopping at Crew is the other news released today, that of the company’s continued lackluster performance, the Journal has more:

“J. Crew has recently begun to show signs of sales weakness amid a lack of fashion hits, discounting by competitors and efforts to elevate the price of some of its merchandise to luxury status.

Translation: more markdowns.

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That last tidbit about Crew and discounted merchandise reminds us of one final thought: we are receiving inquiries about our annual Black Friday post, showcasing bargains with a preppy slant.  We will have a 2010 edition, out late tomorrow or early Thursday.

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • REUTERS/Eddie Keogh: Kate Middleton photo
  • REUTERS/David Moir: Prince William
  • REUTERS/Paul Hackett: Westminster Abbey

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Ann Taylor & J. Crew for Spring 2011

It is a grand start to a new week, we are grateful to be blessed with another spot of Indian summer, and wish our friends experiencing the snow this morning could share the same!

Gazing out across the lawn moat at the delightful vistas makes it even more difficult to think about fashion for next spring, but that is what we have on tap today.  Below, a look at Ann Taylor for next spring.

Courtesy Images via Nitrolicious

Here are more styles via WWD.

Steve Eichner/WWD

The palette showcases a lot of neutrals.

From the brief review in Women’s Wear Daily

“… hit upon the current trends, including “the new neutrals” — olive and khaki, as well as leopard, which is now considered a heritage motif and will be reinterpreted every season — a black-and-white series of tailored pieces and blouses, and finally, a more casual group of stripes and florals.”

Steve Eichner/WWD

The always-on-top-of-things Nitrolicious has images of the entire line.

The looks are strong, most with Ann Taylor’s clean lines.

Courtesy Image via Nitrolicious

We can see why some find the retailer’s inventory similar to that found at Talbots.

Courtesy Image via Nitrolicious

Pop over to Nitrolicious if interested in seeing the full lookbook.

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Friday we promised to share better images of next spring’s J. Crew collection as soon as they were available, so here we go.

This group also offers lots of neutrals.

From Style’s review of the collection.

“The crisp white shorts suit at the beginning of the lineup… was notably devoid of the brooches and boutonnieres that decorated last season’s tailoring, and it looked smarter for it.”

Below, three of our least favorite ensembles, although we suspect the one-shouldered dress on the far left may be far more attractive in person.

More pops of color.

Back to the Style review:

“A tee, button-down, and paper bag-waist shorts combo came in three different shades of hot pink, and an acid yellow gingham shirt was paired with a straw-colored vest and a blush-toned maxi skirt.”

And what did Style say bout TP’s least-favorite look, seen below left?

“The studded cotton sweater worn with chartreuse duchesse satin evening shorts is destined to be an editor favorite…”

On the right, the one top we truly covet.

There are sure to be more serviceable pieces than it may initially appear; the lace overlay jacket on the left and the canvas skirt are two such items.

But then there are these…

The collection again showcases Jenna Lyons’ influence and direction, not a plus IOHO, but a style many shoppers seem to favor.

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Also, an update on the Lanvin loves H&M collection we chatted about here. US and Canadian shoppers get a crack at the line on November 20, three days before the rest of the world, Luxuo has a look at the full range of merchandise for women and men.

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We have something new added to the shop we think readers might enjoy:

PreppyPrincess.com

The Personalized Phone cases come from the stylish folks at Clairebella, and they are offered for a variety of phones, including the iPhone 3 and 4, as well as the BlackBerry Bold and Curve models.

PreppyPrincess.com

The variety of patterns and colors offered is healthy, providing lots of ways to prettify your phone!  (We know there is  huge demand for Droid cases as well, and are working to see what the possibility is for covers to fit that model as well.)

With that good news we must fly out the door!


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J. Crew Spring 2011 Preview, Gala at Ralph Lauren

Hello-Hello, and welcome to an almost-weekend, isn’t it awful we’re thinking that and it’s only midday?

The crush of business mandates a shorter-than-normal post today, so we jump right in with a very quick glance at J. Crew‘s Spring 2011 Collections, previewed last night for the media.

Via Shawn Punch/Examiner.com

On an up note, there are lots of bright, bold colors. On a less-than-up note, there seems to be an abundance of sequins and other not-so-preptastic embellishments.

Glamour has images of the line (above), as does Habitually Chic (below).

Here is a closer look at the sequin cutout piece above.

Via Thread NY/NBC

We think it unlikely many of our cherished readers will be making mad plans to purchase the piece shown above.

Via Thread NY/NBC

The next two styles come via Jim Shi’s Plixi photo feed.

This may surprise you, but the studded sweater above isn’t destined for the walk-in. We leave the topic for now with these two images from Habitually Chic.

Women’s Wear Daily (subscription) has a look at the men’s line today; we expect they’ll have photos from the womenswear up Monday and we’ll share them with you.

To see more images from the women’s collection for next spring we suggest the Examiner story, Glamour, or Habitually Chic. For more on the men’s line, we recommend Selectism or Bold on the Street.  To view the Thread NY “Behind the Scenes with Jenna Lyons” story, click here.

Ms. Lyons’ influence is evident throughout the spring collection; below, the executive attending this week’s Accessories Excellence awards.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for ACE Awards

We expect to have better shots of the women’s Spring 2011 collection next Monday.

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A quick social note, the new Ralph Lauren women’s shop was the setting for last night’s big do celebrating Gloria Vanderbilt’s new book.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt” was published this week; WWD has more on the party.

“Suitably, Lauren’s first major party there — to celebrate Gloria Vanderbilt and the new book — felt a lot like the salon gatherings of the days of yore, drawing a mix of people from fashion, Hollywood, society and politics.

Also attending, Lauren Bush, as well as Andrew Lauren.

Ms. Vanderbilt’s son, newscaster Anderson Cooper was on hand, as well as actress Uma Thurman.

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A final note, we are excited to share the most recent addition to our Preppy Paper line,

The Dittie Notepads are from our friends at Donovan Designs, above we show varying Madras Plaid designs, but there are loads to choose from, some are preprinted, like the Lunch Box Notes and Note to School pads.

Others are blank, like the Flower Notepads and the Diamond Notepads.


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