Tag Archives: Katrina Bowden

Obama Buzz Crashes J. Crew Website, Mrs. Obama Wears Next Target Designer

Hello-hello!

Exciting news everyone, on the Lilly Pulitzer Stationery & Gift Collection due February 1! The Princess Consort has made a very few goodies from the group available on our site for pre-ordering.

What is a pre-order? It simply guarantees your items will be shipped as soon as the merchandise is in the door here at the Prepatorium, moving you up to the ‘head of the list’. It is similar to putting a ‘hold’ on merchandise to ensure its availability.

Lilly Pulitzer Latte-Da! Mugs

Lilly Pulitzer Latte-Da! Mugs

The oh-so-fun Latte-Da! mugs are already a favorite, and they are one of two items available now.  The other is the Mix and Match Stationery set in the Bee’s Knees pattern.

Lilly Pulitzer Mix & Match Stationery set

Lilly Pulitzer Mix & Match Stationery set

We spoke this afternoon with the wonderful folks handling Lilly’s stationery line, and they still anticipate shipping to us February 1.  Translated? We then hope to be shipping goods to you by the end of that week.

Okay… we start with follow-ups to our hasty posts on some of the Inaugural fashions seen on the First Family during recent events.

There is good news and bad news for preppy retailer J. Crew as a result of their products being showcased by all four of the Obamas this past week.  The good news is, of course, the favorable publicity for the J. Crew brand.  The bad news? The favorable publicity for the brand.

How so, you say? Below we offer Exhibit A for your perusal and consideration:

Yes, more of that problem; sadly, it has almost become ubiquitous. While pressure brought to bear on the site was created in part by these darling images….

Jae Hong/AP

PHOTO: Jae Hong/AP

… and these, of Sasha and Malia Obama in J. Crew’s Crewcuts line….

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

…the reality is that for many J. Crew loyalists this is simply MOTS (More of the Same) when it comes to the site’s inaccessibility.  Stories like this one in the Daily News drove even more traffic to the online store:

“Shoppers can pick up highlights from the custom-made outfits in the Fall 2009 line.

Party dresses from the pint-size preppie line run $158-$248 in sophisticated fabrics like silk taffeta and jacquard. Party shoes are $95-$128.”

To be fair, this kind of stress on almost any site would challenge their e-commerce operations.

But J. Crew customers are particularly sensitive to the problems because of the now lengthy history of the online store’s troubled performance, its less-than-reliable up times. And it almost always seems to occur when the retailer has specifically invited customers to come and shop at the site through aggressive email promotions:

One more cautionary word to those desirous of acquiring the J. Crew looks worn by the Obama girls, either yesterday (as seen above) or those worn Sunday at the “We are One” concert seen below.  J. Crew has now removed the red, white and blue congratulatory note to the Obamas on their home page, replacing it with a message explaining that:

“The pieces worn by Malia and Sasha Obama were designed exclusively for them – from the colors to the styles to the fabrics – and are currently not available.”

We presume this also applies to the Crewcuts Herbie Coats donned by the First Daughters (is that proper?) for Sunday’s concert.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

J. Crew did share these sketches of the Herbie coats with Celebrity Baby blog (?):

Courtesy Celebrity Baby Blog

Courtesy Celebrity Baby Blog

In today’s “Caucus” blog post about the fashion frenzy, the Times solicited reaction from J. Crew exec Jenna Lyons:

“It was an incredible honor to be part of history,” J. Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “We are grateful, let me say. We needed it and we’re thrilled to have it.”

BTW, President Obama also wore Crew for his Inauguration.  The President’s ivory silk bow tie was from the retailer, nicely complementing his Hart Schaffner Marx tuxedo. J. Crew does not currently make or sell silk bow ties in any color other than black, but may reconsider this at some point in the future.

We have had a few inquiries regarding the dress worn today by Mrs. Obama to a number of official functions.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

PHOTO: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

It is from none other than Tracy Feith, best known for his sun and surf-inspired designs.  As we first revealed in this post, Mr. Feith has been selected by Target for one of their GO INternational collaborative efforts.  His clothing lands in your local Boutique May 17.  We share his Inspiration board for the Target collection below.

Courtesy via WWD

PHOTO: Courtesy via WWD

For anyone interested in acquiring the look seen in yesterday’s post on the Isabel Toledo daywear worn by the First Lady…

pool

PHOTO: pool

… we have a little update: if you are fond of the ensemble, you will have an opportunity to add it to your walk-in come spring. At least that is what this story in the Daily News reports:

“A spring version of the dress – which will retail for around $1,500 – will hit Barney’s in March.”

We have been negligent in talking about the elegance of Dr. Jill Biden’s fashion choices throughout the festivities. Our thanks to Vicki for letting us know the  beautiful red gown worn by Ms. Biden for the Inaugural balls is a Reem Acra creation.

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

PHOTO: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

That same bright red was also seen during the swearing-in and parade in the off-the-rack Milly Fleurette coat.

“At the swearing-in ceremony, Biden went with an off-the-rack $360 Milly houndstooth roll-neck dress with a Fleurette coat.

Biden also didn’t cut any corners for the inaugural balls, buying a red strapless Reem Acra dress from a store—not the designer.”

And the boots seen on Ms. Biden during the swearing-in and parade?

Mitch Dumke/Reuters

PHOTO: Mitch Dumke/Reuters

They are from the Taryn line by Taryn Rose, known for their exceptional comfort and ease of wear. From Delaware Online:

“Kathy Savage, who owns the boutique… said the cushioned Taryn by Taryn Rose knee-high boots resemble leather, but are actually black nylon with black patent pull tabs and trim. The boots retail for $255.

“Jill loves a high heel, but they’re wonderfully comfortable,” Savage said. “Jill is not an extravagant person. She is conscious of everything she buys. She’s not frivolous at all.”

BTW, some reports have the cashmere overcoat worn by the President during the swearing in and parade coming from Brooks Brothers. When we find out we’ll let you know.

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Inaugural Fashion Update: Jason Wu for Michelle Obama, More Malia & Sasha in J. Crew

Hello again… and aren’t we wacky this evening, with back-to-back posts on party frocks in our Nation’s Capital?!

Many readers will already know this, but for those with an interest, the gown selected by First Lady Michelle Obama for this evening’s Inaugural Balls is by Jason Wu.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

PHOTO: Rick Wilking/Reuters

The 26-year-old designer created a lush one-shouldered gown that was a mastery of draping.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

PHOTO: Brian Snyder/Reuters

A close-up provides a better look at the intricate detailing Mr. Wu is known for; the dress is covered in Swarovski crystals.

Jason Reed/Reuters

PHOTO: Jason Reed/Reuters

The Taiwanese-born designer is no stranger to celebrities; one fan is Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester, seen in September at Wu’s runway show.

Patrick McMullen

PHOTO: Patrick McMullan

Earlier this year Mrs. Obama wore the designer for an interview with Barbara Walters:

George Burns/ABC News/AP

PHOTO: George Burns/ABC News/AP

Below, the dress as seen on the runway for the Spring 2009 collection.  The raw silk print dress retails for approximately $3150, according to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan at one of our favorite blogs, the WSJ’s Heard on the Runway.

Imaxtree

PHOTO: Imaxtree

And we have a second look at Ms. Meester in a Jason Wu creation:

Courtesy Coolspotters.com

Courtesy Coolspotters.com

And that dress on the runway:

Don Ashby

PHOTO: Don Ashby

Another celebrity fan of Mr. Wu is 30 Rock star Katrina Bowden, seen below in a photo with the designer in Teen Vogue.

PHOTO: Teen Vogue

Let us not forget the dashing figure cut by the President:

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

PHOTO: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

As we first reported in this post last year, the President donned a single-button notch-lapel tuxedo by Hart Schaffner Marx. The Gold Trumpeter Tuxedo retails for $950.

Hart Schaffner Marx

Hart Schaffner Marx

As described on the company’s website:

Gold Trumpeter elevates the luxury of the Hart Schaffner Marx brand. World class piece goods are used exclusively in all Gold Trumpeter garments. Trim details such as wing facing in the coat and a gripper waistband are the hallmarks of the Gold Trumpeter garment. The Gold Trumpeter garment is available in both the Classic and Collection fit.”

At Nordstrom it is called the Capital Collection Gold Trumpeter Tuxedo, retailing at $895.

We are still seeking information to bring you on the gown worn by Vice-President Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

PHOTO: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

And we have a little more on the J. Crew ensembles worn by Malia and Sasha Obama earlier today, courtesy of the media mavens at that preppy retailer. All of the details one are available in this snooze news release.

“The Obamas continued to show their support for J.Crew at this morning’s Swearing-In, where the girls wore full looks from crewcuts by J.Crew and the new First Lady accessorized her outfit with classic olive green leather gloves from J.Crew. Malia featured a deep periwinkle blue coat, while her equally chic sister wore a deep coral dress under her sweet guava coat, vivid orange scarf and glove set, each tied with a velvet ribbon belt around the waist.”

Click on the link above for the entire text of the release; it does include details on additional items from J. Crew and Crewcuts worn by the First Family over the celebratory weekend.  That includes the Herbie Coats Sasha and Malia wore to the We are One concert on Sunday. The subhead on the release?

“MALIA & SASHA OBAMA WEAR COMPLETE CREWCUTS BY J.CREW OUTFITS FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN HISTORY”

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

The release also advises us that:

“… the girls kept warm in crewcuts by J.Crew wool pique Herbie coats, detailed with grosgrain piping and charmeuse linings. Sasha wore an ivory style with hammered brass buttons, while Malia wore a dove grey double cloth style with horn buttons.”

Sunday’s concert was noted for A-level entertainers like Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and U2.

One of the best-kept secrets of the entire gala was the presence of several A-list bloggers, including Nautical by Nature and the Landlocked Mermaid.  Sources tell us they both elected to maintain a low-key presence in efforts to discourage autograph seekers and hangers-on.  (Ssshhh – more on their perspectives in a later post.)

Back to the cute coats: we do not think you will locate the coats on the retailer’s website. And any references to them on shopping search engines have either been taken down, or carry addendum indicating the coat is “no longer available.” We did locate one image of the coat; it does not fully match the images seen in the photos:

This shot offers a better angle:

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

Lest anyone be concerned the marketing minds at Crew are not seizing the moment:

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

BTW, the marketing minds over at Barney’s wasted no time in adapting their front page as well, maximizing their connection with a now-famous designer they have supported for years, Isabel Toledo.

Courtesy Barneys

Courtesy Barneys

We’ll close with one last photo we thought was too cute…

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

We’ll be back with more, including the Princess Consort’s take on Jason Wu’s preppy aesthetic, including some pretty in pink confections from the runway. No to mention the divine finds at the Market in Chicago.

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