Tag Archives: Kate Middleton dress designer

Princess Prep Founder Chats Royal Wedding & Miss Middleton

We are fortunate enough to share another post from our Royal Correspondent, Queen Bee Swain.

Recently, the Queen Bee had the immense pleasure of asking Royal Expert Jerramy Fine a few questions about Kate Middleton as we now are only single-digits away from THE Wedding.  Jerramy is an outright expert on the Royals; as author of Some Day My Prince Will Come, True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess she chronicles her lifelong quest to meet and wed Peter Philips, the eldest grandson of Queen Elizabeth (Princess Anne’s son).

 

The journey took her from the fields of Colorado to the East Coast and twice to London, at one point even studying at the London School of Economics.  The memoir is an unrivaled story of a woman’s relentless quest for what she believes to be her birthright and dream; for more please read my interview with her about the book here.

Since writing the book, she has founded Princess Prep, a camp-of-sorts where young ladies learn all about being a princess, from etiquette lessons to philanthropic outings, this is the dream camp of elementary-school-aged young ladies everywhere.

Via The Huffington Post

(For more on Princess Prep click here.) Without further ado, here is Jerramy’s dish on all things Royal Wedding and Kate Middleton.

QBS: How are you going to be celebrating the wedding on April 29th?

JF: I plan to mark the occasion with something simple and elegant. Because this a formal occasion where email invites would not suffice, I posted paper wedding invitations and inscribed the following: “By the Queen’s Command, I invite xxxx to view the wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton at 11am at (the address of my flat) on Friday, 29th April 2011 and afterwards for a champagne reception. RSVP.”

The dress code is what I’m describing as “Westminster Abbey Chic.”  This means if you wouldn’t wear it to witness the royal marriage vows at Westminster Abbey, don’t wear it to my party.

Guests will be greeted with trays of morning mimosas and for food I’m creating a stylish buffet of mini sandwiches (no crusts!), warm scones with jam and clotted cream, and bowls of fresh strawberries. As a final touch, I will invite guests to make a donation to the favourite charities of the royal newlyweds, as they have requested this be done in lieu of wedding gifts.

QBS: Have you ever met Kate Middleton?  Any friends who have?

JF: The only person I know who’s met Kate Middleton is a colourist at Richard Ward.

Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images (L), Chris Jackson/AP (Center & Right)

QBS: What is something in terms of protocol/etiquette that would come as a surprise for Kate either on the day of her wedding or in the near future as she kicks off her role in The Firm, despite how well turned out she always is?
JF: I’m certain Kate has been well trained in every nuance of royal protocol. Something tells me this girl is never going to be caught enacting even the slightest faux pas.

QBS: What is something in terms of protocol/etiquette that would surprise us?
JF: When Kate Middleton marries Prince William she will not become Princess Catherine. Her formal title will be HRH Princess William of Wales.

QBS: Which tiara do you think that she will be wearing?

JF: My personal favourite is the The Cambridge Lover’s Knot, which Princess Diana received from the Queen as a wedding gift in 1981. This may be too flashy for Kate and perhaps too painfully reminiscent of William’s mother – but I’m holding out for it all the same!

Via Mastoloni.com

QBS: Any last piece of knowledge that you have as an expat living in London on Kate that we otherwise wouldn’t hear?!
JF: I’m really hoping Kate would opt for Philipa Leppley wedding dress, but I have insider information that she’ll be wearing Bruce Oldfield with her hair half up. (And although I truly loved Diana’s puffy confection of ivory taffeta, I suspect she’ll choose something sleeker – yet not overly modern. And as bare shoulders are not even allowed at Royal Ascot, I really hope Kate will shun the strapless trend, and don something with sleeves!)

Our thanks to both Ms. Fine and the Queen Bee!

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Filed under preppy, Royal Wedding

More Lilly Pulitzer Furniture Pix, Priscilla & Marchesa’s New Bridal Line,

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday Thursday.

There are things happening all over the Preppy Planet today, and with apologies, we have a hodge-podge of bits & bytes. We begin with an update on that much-discussed Lilly Pulitzer Furniture collection.

Sophie Pyle Style blog

The company marketing the new line, HFI Brands, shared more from the collection at the spring furniture market in High Point.

Via Sophie Pyle Style

You can see some of the new Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa fabric line in the photos. Below, the Lauren chair.

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

Lee Jofa now says the fabrics should be in showrooms in June. (A reminder that the fabric will only be available to the interior design trade.)

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

Our thanks to the always-generous Sophie Pyle for sharing her wonderful photos.

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

The images show a broader color palette than what was seen at the fall market, we like the additional color schemes.

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

To see all of Sophie’s images from spring market, click here. Or, visit the HFI Brands Facebook page and look at their album of photos.

The folks at Real Simple have discovered the line, they are fans of that Lilly shoe storage ottoman we have previously shared.

Via Christina Lee Design

The magazine’s May issue features a look at the ottoman, it will be priced at $599 once the line launches.

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Next, more news from Bridal Week, Women’s Wear Daily reports that Priscilla of Boston is partnering with Marchesa on a lower price-point collection. The new group launches in the 19 Priscilla stores this September, with prices beginning at $1,500.

Additionally, the Vera Wang collection at David’s Bridal is expanding to include bridesmaid dresses.

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

We promised to share a more styles from Bridal Week, below we have three stunners from Reem Acra.

PHOTOS: Jason Riffe/FashionWirePress.com

Oh gosh, look, they all have sleeves. Two more gowns from Reem Acra.

PHOTOS: Jason Riffe/FashionWirePress.com

Very pretty, all of them.

We also have a brief update on that “exclusive report” about Kate Middleton’s wedding gown being designed (we mention it here) by Sophie Cranston of Libélula, WWD shares the label’s response to the rumors.

“Libelula has a company policy of not commenting on any of the work they do for private clients, however due to the unprecedented media attention they would like to make the following statement: We are not designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. We, like everyone else, can’t wait to find out who is!”

Because The Consort is so concerned about the issue (cough-cough), he felt the need to set the record straight:

The Consort Responds

There you have it.

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Careening on to our next topic, a look at some of the new goodies from this spring’s Social Primer for Brooks Brothers reversible bowtie collection. Below, some of the ties as seen in the catalog.

Social Primer for Brooks Brothers

In addition to the fresh crop of ties, now there are key fobs in the line as well.

Social Primer

Those in (or near) Charleston can see the line’s designer, K. Cooper Ray, at the Charleston Billy Reid next Wednesday. Click here for more information on that event.

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We have a very quick mention on behalf of a friend, the Fresh Air Fund is looking for host families in the thirteen states the organization serves.

Fresh Air Fund

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We leave you with today’s “What Were They Thinking?”  Below, an image with a piece of fleece that Jo-Ann stores was selling at the top, and an authentic Coach handbag on the bottom.

Via The Cut

The two items are together illustrating a story about Coach suing Jo-Ann for trademark infringement, among other things, because of the similarity to the Coach logo in the fleece fabric design. In this instance we concur with Coach, the elongated O in the design is way-too-similar to the company’s distinctive logo. We wouldn’t want the image on fleece either, it makes visions of a Coach Snuggie painfully easy to imagine.

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Filed under Collaborations, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Royal Wedding, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Dressing for Dinner with Tory, Vuitton’s Creatures, Has Kate Designed her own Dress?!?

Hello-Hello, welcome to a new week.

We begin with a little party-hopping, Tory Burch was honored at last week’s “Dinner with a Designer” gala, put on by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).

John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD.com

We were intrigued by what the folks at The Fashion Lovers said about how guests were dressed:

“In a night where everyone dressed a little too casual for my taste, it was nice to see some stars dressed up a bit.”

Below, Haillee Steinfeld (l) and Eva Amurri (r), both wearing Tory Burch.

John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD

Other stars on hand, Teresa Palmer, Michelle Monaghan and Kristin Davis, all three ladies are also dressed in pieces by the designer.

PHOTOS: John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD.com

We’re guessing singer Eliza Doolittle may be one of those underdressed individuals being referenced in the quote above.

John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD

It is difficult to grasp why anyone would arrive at a party attired this way.

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A few very brief updates on the Kate Middleton wedding dress front, the rumors and speculation are now flying at a fast and furious clip.

  • Over the weekend Yvonne Yorke wrote “exclusively!” in a HuffPo post that the designer is Sophie Cranston of Libélula, some readers may recognize the Dulwich coat from that label as worn earlier this year by Miss Middleton.

    FAME via The Huffington Post

  • One peril of suddenly achieving notoriety on a global scale, the traffic can crash your website.

Via Libélula

  • The Daily Mail then breathlessly reported another version of the story:

“Kate designs her own dress: It’s ivory satin and lace with pearl buttons a 10ft train and a ‘nod’ to Lady Diana”

We’re guessing that before we hit publish on this post there will be many more headlines on the topic, it is all becoming very entertaining to watch from afar. (For our two cents on the designer’s wedding gowns, click here to visit sister site What Kate Wore.)

One other note, this one on a footwear line favored by Kate Middleton that we also happen to like, Women’s Wear Daily reports that LK Bennett is entering the US market.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

The line will be available this fall at Bloomingdale’s and other upscale shops, as well as two LK Bennett boutiques.

Again, not everyone is interested in the event and all of the hoopla surrounding it. In fact, Page Six reports that NBC is scaling back some of its coverage of the event:

“NBC Universal has cut a number of pretaped segments from its “aggressive and comprehensive coverage” of the royal wedding because insiders fear Prince William and Kate Middleton are “too boring,” according to sources.

“But sources told us worries over viewer fatigue resulted in a decision to cut up to half of the pretaped footage. “They’re allotting fewer resources to it because they’re afraid it’s not going to rate well,” said one.”

According to the paper NBC denies they are cutting back on coverage.

Last week we mentioned a gift popular among those not-quite-so-interested in the goings-on:

Via Sorry But...

We have good news for stateside readers interested in the mugs, they are now available internationally.

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We also have quick word about what is being called a “True Prep” sale at online “members only” site Gilt Groupe. The sale is described this way:

“A preppy look is always spot-on for spring—think elegant lawn parties and trips around the Cape—and in this sale you’ll find pieces that go way beyond basic polo. Stock up on buttoned-up basics like cute cardigans and madras dresses, plus an array of pants, skirts, and trenches.”

Below, some of the images accompanying the promotional information (we don’t recognize *any* of the three styles shown).

Via Gilt.com

Frequent readers know we are more-than-underwhelmed by promotion touting the “members-only” aspect of the flash-sale sites, as anyone can join. (If in need of an invitation just click here.)

However, Gilt has previously offered decent discounts, so it is likely we’ll take a peek at what is offered; the sale opens (in a virtual sense) online at midnight tonight (12:01am Tuesday to be more precise).  Gilt is also offering $5.95 shipping on all orders through the 21st, nothing to scoff at IOHO. (They are currently running a Shoshanna sale, another line we are rather fond of here at The Prepatorium.)

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We leave you with a few amazing creations from Louis Vuitton.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

The ‘creatures’ are all made of small Vuitton leather goods, created at the company’s request by UK artist Billie Achilleos.  Above and below, the “Grasshopper.”

Via "If Its Hip Its Here"

The Chameleon.

Via If Its Hip Its Here

The armadillo.

Via If Its Hip Its Here

A very different use for the usual offerings from the luxury leather goods company.

Goodbye until next time!

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Filed under It's Just Not Done, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Royal Wedding

More Bridal Week, 3 Gowns for Kate Middleton? Also, Nautical Totes

Happy bright and shiny day, we do hope you have sunny skies wherever you may be.

We’ve loads to chat about so we shall get going immediately with more styles from Bridal Week.  We begin with a gorgeous look from Carolina Herrera on the left, the gown on the right is by Romona Keveza.

Remember, the designs being shown are for Spring 2012, so you won’t be seeing them at your local bridal shop for some time to come.  Next, an utterly stunning Monique Lhuillier (l), as well as a beautiful Reem Acra (r).

All of these dresses were part of a story in Women’s Wear Daily (subscription req’d.) about…drum roll please…. sleeves on wedding gowns! From that story:

“From barely there cap versions for traditional types to floaty caftan numbers — worn over a bikini, no less — for offbeat beach brides, sleeves are emerging as a major bridal trend for spring 2012.”

Be still, my beating heart. (For those wondering about the insane level of rejoicing, we have a mild obsession issue with the dearth of gown options available for those with less-than-stellar upper arms and shoulders; additionally we’re feeling validated by *the* fashion trade publication echoing the same sentiment we shared in this space on Tuesday. Oh my!)

The gown on the left is from the fab design minds at Fancy New York (we love those two and their retro designs), on the right we see a very foofy Vera Wang creation.

Your trusty scribe never ceases to be astonished at the number of stunning gowns shown at Bridal Weeks.  We hope to share more styles when we have a tad more time available! (Dear Delusional Princess, about that ‘more time’ thing, this is going to happen…how? Is the Time Fairy making an unscheduled visit to The Prepatorium ? Is she bringing some magic pixie dust to help you stretch the hours? Hello?)

One other note about wedding gowns before we leave the topic: the latest word is that Kate Middleton is having not one, not two, but three wedding gowns made. From a story in The Telegraph:

In terms of royal decoys, it would be right up there with the plot of the Prisoner of Zenda. Kate Middleton, if rumours sweeping the fashion world are to be believed, has commissioned not one but three designs for her wedding dress to make sure no-one can second guess what she will be wearing on April 29.”

“Sources close to Miss Middleton have repeatedly refused to comment on speculation about the identity of the designer, but one thing they are happy to confirm is that the future princess is absolutely determined that the dress design will remain top secret until the big day.”

Hmmmm.

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We move now to a congratulatory note for our friend Sarah in Grosse Pointe (MI), proprietress of The Village Palm, the latest addition to the list of Lilly Pulitzer Signature stores. Tomorrow is the store’s official gala, and for anyone who might be anywhere near the Pointes tomorrow, the store is doing a very special event:

Village Palm

The immensely talented Paige Smith, Lilly print designer extraordinaire, will be at the store painting custom prints!  Below we show a wall that Paige personally painted did at the Lilly store in Ardmore, PA.

Paige Smith Patterns blog

Paige created some of this spring’s most popular prints, including First Impression (top) and Calendar Girl (bottom).

The Let Them Eat Cake design from Paige was recently featured on the Lilly Blog, click here to read more.

Lilly Pulitzer Blog

Paige was also showcased by her alma mater, SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) in a story with another Lilly print designer, Paige is seen on the left in the photo below.

Via SCAD

To read the SCAD story about Paige, click here. To visit Paige’s delightful blog, click here.  To visit The Village Palm on Facebook, click here.

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We also have several delightful totes we stumbled on, all with a nautical influence.  We found the Milly Sailboat Canvas Totes at Net-a-Porter.

Milly via Net-a-Porter

They do look durable with those reinforced corners, the anchor charm is also cute.

Milly via Net-a-Porter

Also at Net-a-Porter, the Anya Hindmarch Boat Bags.

Anya Hindmarch via Net-a-Porter

Our last bag is actually isn’t technically a tote, but it’s so darn cute we simply had to share it.

Radley London

That is the Port of Call bag from a princess fave, Radley London. The bag features Radley out on his boat under blue skies, it looks like smooth sailing for the handsome pooch.

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We leave you with two images from the tsunami in Japan.  Below left you see people clinging to an antenna and to a handrail atop a building that was actually the roof of the Government Disaster Readiness Centre.

Shinichi Sato/AP Photo/Kyodo News via The Telegraph

On the right you see what – and who – survived.  It turns out the tsunami hit more than 100 sites previously designated as ‘safe havens,’ evacuation points where people were supposed to go in case of an emergency.

We’ll see you next time, hopefully tomorrow.

 

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • John Aquino/WWD
  • Steve Eichner/WWD
  • George Chinsee/WWD
  • Kyle Ericksen/WWD
  • Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Royal Wedding

Official Royal Wedding Website Announced & “A Dress for Diana”

Hello-Hello, and happy Tuesday!

We begin with some rather fascinating news from Clarence House, released via Twitter:

Via Twitter

Yeppers, an Official Royal Wedding website has been launched.  Here is a look at the Home Page for the site:

From The Royal Wedding

The announcement itself demonstrates the way the Monarchy has embraced social media:

“The website will bring together all of the official social media around the event, including the Clarence House and Buckingham Palace Flickr account, Twitter (@Clarence House), The Royal Channel on YouTube and the British Monarchy Facebook page, providing direct easy access to all channels of communication. Subject to further planning work, the website may feature a live web stream broadcast of the wedding itself.”

There are tabs with information on the service, the procession, the reception and more.

The site has one detail that is more-than-relevant to our post today:

“…on the day itself the site will be the first place to view information such as the details of Miss Middleton’s wedding dress.

It is all very wise on the part of the monarchy, an outstanding way to dispense, and control, wedding news.

Next, a wonderful post from our very own Royal Correspondent, Queen Bee Swain.

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A Dress for Kate – A Dress for Diana – David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Kate Middleton clearly won last week with her first three official (and triumphant) appearances, at the military base in Anglesey, Wales, the 600th Anniversary kick-off of St. Andrews University in Scotland and at the signing of the condolences book for the victims of the Earthquake in New Zealand in London.  With a calendar that is yet to be announced of her next appearance, we appearingly must come down to earth again until she re-emerges.  (More on those appearances here.)

Via British Monarch Flickr Page

Without new footage of her latest comings and goings, the focus is certainly due to shift back to The Dress.  At this time, the designer is still yet unknown and it is said by reliable sources that it is being made inside Buckingham Palace as to be under the tightest security before April 29th.  Meanwhile, Princess Diana’s wedding dress was recently on the Today Show, appearing after a few months in Grand Rapids, MI and on exhibit in Kansas City through April, beginning this Friday.

Via Better World Books

This might be the most perfect segue ever to the book that the Emanuels (couple David and Elizabeth were the atelier who designed and made Princess Diana’s wedding dress) book titled “A Dress for Diana.”  This book is part memoir, part operations management case study; they reflect upon the very start of their business (not too soon before Princess Diana burst onto the scene), to when they first met Diana, to the process of creating one of the most photographed dresses of all time, to the run-down on the wedding day and tie it all up with the aftermath of the Big Day.  The book was put together in 2006 from the immense amount of papers, documents, photographs and bric-a-brac the Emanuels catalogued throughout the Dress process.

Via CocoPerez.com

The Emanuels and Princess Diana first crossed paths when British Vogue called their shop for a few items for a photoshoot.  They sent them over, not thinking much more than they had a chance of having a piece appear in the magazine.  Little did they know that Princess Diana’s older sisters worked for Vogue and were clandestinely amassing a selection for her Official Portrait as Princess in Waiting.  She spied the top, loved it and asked for the designer’s information.  From there, she rang the Emanuels to discuss the possibility of them designing The Dress.

From the get-go, you are lead through the expansive and imperative role and meaning of the creation and symbolism the Dress stood for.  Influences and inspiration were drawn from other Royal brides, portraiture of generations of family members and the Empire past, present and future.  Materials used, from the lace, to silk, to seed pearls to the flowers in the arrangements were too all be British- liaising and procuring these wares was a job in and of itself.  To top it all off were the security, protocol, media and deadline pressures and issues.

Via UPI

The Dress and the Blouse weren’t the only pieces Diana wore by the Emanuels.  As seen above with Prince Charles and her Sereness, Princess Grace (a few months before her own untimely death), was the dress the Emanuels designed that turned who the media had dubbed Shy Di into the English Rose of a Force that Princess Diana was in the fashion world.  Diana would continue to work with the Emanuels throughout the rest of her life to commission various pieces.

Via Wales Online

I spied this book when dropping a slew of old books off at the used book store a few years ago and continually find myself picking it up; the curatorial and operations management pieces of the creation of the Dress are ceaselessly fascinating and always draw me back to take a quiet look at how it all came to be.  Definitely worth scooping up on Amazon.com or requesting at your local library as we ride out the remaining fifty-some days until April 29th.

The Queen Bee, kHm

NOTE: More on the book is also available at Elizabeth Emanuel’s website.

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Royal Engagement Photos, Sales & Savings

Hello-Hello, it is wonderful to be back blogging again, this week has been simply insane with work at the Princess and volunteer commitments. We couldn’t be more grateful for the Consort’s ease in stepping up to share his wit and wisdom with all of you. :)

We begin with a look at the official engagement photos of Kate Middleton and Prince William, something most readers may well have seen already. There are two pictures, here is the more relaxed setting.

Mario Testino

The Prince is wearing a Turnbull & Asser shirt, and it turns out he actually borrowed the sweater he is wearing from photographer Mario Testino, as the pictures were being shot.  Nor is Miss Middleton’s blouse fresh off the rack, more about that in a moment.  But first, here is the more formal photograph.

Mario Testino/Courtesy Photo by Reiss via NYMag

On the right you see the dress worn by Miss Middleton, it is the “Nannette” style by Reiss, a company we hadn’t previously heard of until this week.  Here is more from the company’s blog:

“The Nannette dress that Kate is wearing comes as part of our core dress offering that we are renowned for. While this particular style is not currently available, there will be a version coming out mid January as part of our SS11 collection.”

Miss Middleton is wearing white topaz earrings by Links of London. If we’re not mistaken, it looks like she chose the Hope Egg Earrings.

Links of London

They make a lovely symbol, representing “hope and new life”.

Perhaps the most charming part of the engagement photo story comes via The Telegraph:

“Middleton insisted on dressing herself for the shoot – despite several assistants being on hand with a selection of designer clothes to style her – and chose a cream, silk blouse from high street chain Whistles for one of the portraits. The £95 blouse is over two years old, having featured in the retailer’s autumn/winter 2008 collection.”

The bride to be also did her own makeup.

When the big day comes next April most discussion will be about The Dress.  As they have done previously when it comes to high profile gowns, Women’s Wear Daily asked designers to come up with sketches showing what they might create if asked by the bride to design her gown.

First, a Gucci design that we found attractive.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

J. Crew’s design offers a scooped back.

Courtesy J. Crew via WWD

Next, a sketch from Elizabeth Emanuel, best known for designing Princess Diana’s frothy wedding gown.

Courtesy Elizabeth Emanuel via WWD

Below left we see a Badgley Mischka gown, and on the right, a Jason Wu design.

The Tommy Hilfiger design is seen below left, and the sketch, below right, Lela Rose.

There are loads more sketches to look at, click here to see them all.  We’re guessing our Royal Correspondent, the Queen Bee herself will have some insight on the dress at some point down the road.

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Another noteworthy engagement we learned about courtesy of Miss Coterie Books, that of Lauren Bush and David Lauren.

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for UNICEF

Above the couple is seen at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball last month.  Apparently Mr. Lauren proposed to Miss Bush last Friday at the Met, which happens to be where they went on their first date. Of course, Mr. Lauren is designer Ralph Lauren’s son, while Miss Bush is the niece of former President George Walker Bush, granddaughter of President George Bush.

Miss Bush is also known for her philanthropic work via the Project FEED bags, although now there are things other than bags sold to raise funds for those in need. Below left, Plumpy the FEED 5 Bear, and on the right, the FEED USA Lunch Tote.

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We leave you with several Sales & Savings opportunities, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive look, merely markdowns at a few shops we are aware of; we start with J. Crew.  Generally the retailer’s online factory outlet is open only Friday-Sunday, but it will be open (in a virtual sense) through the 20th.

Additionally Crew is taking 30% off all Factory prices and off ‘regular’ sale merchandise, use promo code MUSTHAVE at checkout to receive the discount.

Tory Burch has started its winter sale, promising savings “up to 50%’.

Neiman Marcus is taking an additional 30% off all regular and sale-priced cashmere through the 18th.

Talbots has taken markdowns on a sizable amount of fall/winter merchandise, and is also doing 40% off all full-priced accessories through midnight tonight.  Use promo code PRESENT to receive the discount.

A number of Lilly stores are offering excellent deals right now, check with your local shop to see what kind of fiscally friendly price points are available.

A final item of note today, the always delightful Preppy Southern Princess is doing a fun little contest; one lucky winner will receive one of our Lilly Pulitzer photo albums.

With that, we say g’bye until next time, we are off to supervise The Consort the elves here at The Prepatorium as they get all of those orders out the door.

 

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings

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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