Tag Archives: Kenneth Jay Lane

Preppy is Back. Again. Also, Brands You’ll See in True Prep

Hello-Hello, happy new week!

We must begin with an enormous “Thank You” to everyone who left such kind and lovely comments following Friday’s post, not to mention the Tweets and Facebook comments.  There is no adequate way to explain how touched we were by the sentiments, it made our day extra special.

Today we have breaking news just in to the Prepatorium: there is another preppy resurgence! Oh my!

Umm… not exactly. We apologize for our poor step into hyperbole, we were unable to resist the temptation. The not-breaking-news comes via our friends on the far side of the pond.  In yet another look at ‘preppy style’ this story from Sunday’s Independent asks: “Are you Ready to get Preppy?” with the following as a subheadline:

“After 30 years in the doldrums, the relaxed East Coast look is back – along with a new handbook to help you wear it with elan”

The story is pegged to this fall’s release of “True Prep” from Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, a topic covered previously in this space. Here is the story’s opening paragraph from writer Susie Mesure:

“Can’t tell your Top-Siders from your Sebagos? Unsure how high to roll your chinos? After some preppy shopping primers? Well, unfurrow your brows and raise a gin and tonic because help is at hand from a new book out this autumn that will exploit the current clamour for East Coast style.”

We doubt Princess readers are struggling with the issues mentioned above, but we could be wrong.  The photo accompanying the story shows looks from the spring 2010 Ralph Lauren collection (our post on the collection may be found here.)

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

If given a choice of designers to illustrate the Independent story, we lean more toward these Brook Brothers promotional pieces…

Brooks Brothers

They promote the Summer at the Cape collections.

BrooksBrothers.com

An editor from Gentleman’s Quarterly is quoted in the Independent story:

“Robert Johnson, associate editor of the fashion magazine GQ, said: “Preppy is back. Every season, particularly summer, there is always a nod to classic Americana but preppy is a big trend this year.” He partly attributed its popularity to the fact that people are “bored” with denim.”

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One of our favorite blogs, All the Rage, also previews the upcoming book in this piece by Adam Tschorn.  This photo collage is used to illustrate his story.

Brooks Brothers & Tory Burch via All the Rage

Mr. Tschorn (aka ‘Cuffy’) offers the perspective of someone who actually attended prep school.  In today’s post his interview with Ms. Birnbach offers insight on what brands readers can expect to see in the upcoming book:

“…familiar favorites are revisited. Among them are Lacoste, Sperry Top-Sider, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren. “I was very, very stingy with [Ralph] in 1980. I think he’s referred to maybe once,” she said. “But this time he gets a lot of play.”

She said that some additions are labels that actually pre-date the first book, including Burberry, Barbour, Hermès, Verdura, Kenneth Jay Lane, Hunter Wellies, and J.M. Weston (“They have these beautiful loafers from France,” she explains).”

Many brands included in the upcoming volume did not even exist when TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) was published. More from Mr. Tschorn’s story with Lisa Birnbach:

““We’ve got Vineyard Vines – they started in 1998, and of course J. Crew — which wasn’t around then either [it launched in 1983 as a mail-order company]. And we’ve got some Kenneth Cole [1982] and a little bit of Robert Graham [2001].”

Below, two shirts from Robert Graham.

Ms. Birnbach also chats at length about Tory Burch in the story.  We recommend popping over for a read, it is a fun piece.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Perhaps the most amazing thing we’ve seen yet on the book was in today’s Book Bench from the New Yorker site.  In a post titled, “Prep is Dead, Long Live Prep” Meredith Blake mentions yours truly (prompting a most unPrincess-like shriek):

“While the original handbook advised that “you should appear in print only three times in your life—upon birth, marriage, and death,” today’s prep is virtually screaming for a little attention; the wasp mystique, it seems, has faded. Like everything else, we can blame it on the Internet, where there’s a thriving community of bloggers dedicated to all things prep-related. At the pink-and-green themed The Preppy Princess, Susan Kelly defends her love for Lilly Pulitzer, while Melissa Morris’s May December has such an impassioned following that its author was the subject of a profile in the newspaper of record. There’s also The Trad, a slightly more idiosyncratic blog dedicated to classic American-made garments.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
We conclude all this blather with a cautionary note: it is likely we shall encounter an increasing volume in the mainstream media about the preppy aesthetic being raised from the dead (ahem), in sync with the calendar’s movement toward True Prep’s September release date.
And with visions of books dancing in our head we say, g’bye!

18 Comments

Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH, When Preppy Goes Wrong

“Penny Pinchers Go Preppy” & More Preppy Sales

Hello-Hello! Isn’t this turning into a busy week!

It is because of the slightly-controlled-chaos here at the Prepatorium that today’s post shall offer more pictures than prose, a circumstance we know you find heartbreaking. (Tee-hee.)

In today’s SOTTs (Sign of the Times) we refer to an excellent story on ‘preppy style’ from late last year. Yes, we somehow missed this one. We don’t know how this happened. We promise we shall never, ever let it happen again. Never. (Heh-heh. Silly Princess.)

The story, “Penny-Pinchers Go Preppy in Economic Downturn,” looks at how well retailers specializing in traditional clothing are faring.

“As trepidation over the economy takes hold of personal budgets and weighs on the minds of consumers, the timeless ethos of preppy has taken hold of the retail apparel sector…”

Prep style stalwart Brooks Brothers is mentioned, as are several other brands readers will recognize.  Anne Szustek’s story is a good read, found on a site new to us that we enjoy, Finding Dulcinea.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We have a few more nautical items we simply can’t resist posting, beginning with the Ship-Shape Area Rug from one of our favorite places for gifts and other goodies, and for window shopping (in a cyber sort of way), Blue Barnacles.

Blue Barnacles

BlueBarnacles.com

There are pages and pages of just rugs in themes we all adore. There are bright and cheery themes like the Nautical Flags, as well as more sophisticated motifs, as seen in the Moray style.

bo117_11240moray-sapphire

If seeking something a tad more casual in dinnerware for the cottage, the Code Flags melamine is an outstanding selection.

There are scads of tableware designs from beach-inspired to nautically inclined to everything in between! We leave Blue Barnacles with a peek at the Sailboat Bookends.

Of course, if looking for a nautical gift that is monogrammed or personalized, here at the Princess we can help you with goodies like the Anchors & Nautical Flags plate!

PreppyPrincess.com

Or the Anchor Stripes Platter, also loads of fun, an excellent wedding gift at $40.

Obviously the Boatman Geller Anchor notecards are a great fit, as are the Whitney English notecards.

bgfo18388anchorrepeatstat400wewc575013orangenautical

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lots of store openings this last week, including the new J. Crew in Malibu. It’s official name is J.Crew-at-the-Beach, and it is not your average Crew. There are custom surfboards, and it’s a little different: no Men’s merchandise, and a ‘shop in a shop’ concept allowing special merchandise to be showcased. The new store is actually located in the Lumber Yard, brand spanking new outdoor mall. We shall count on Muffy Martini for a review the next time she heads to the beach!

Other retail-related openings? The new Barneys in Chicago (enormous from what we hear), Roberto Cavalli in Bal Harbour, and Palm Beach Garden’s Lilly Pulitzer.  For a amazing account of the Lilly opening, you simply must toddle over to visit Miss Janice; she has the most captivating photos. (Pssst – you do not want to miss her shots of the dressing rooms!)

And though technically open since last fall, Kenneth Jay Lane ‘officially’ celebrates his new store at the Plaza this Thursday. (You know, the somewhat challenged retail area at the Plaza….?)

kenneth_jay_lane_ring

kenneth_jay_lane_cuff

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We have a few sale reminders readers may find helpful; it seems every little bit helps in these challenging times, yes? We begin with Kate Spade now offering an Additional 20% Off Sale merchandise.

This is online only, and runs through April 24.  L&T is doing their Friends and Family event, with an “Extra 25% Off Almost Everything”.

The online promo code to use is FRIENDS. Also, J. Crew is running their Spring Sale.

And the folks at Bergdorf Goodman are also taking markdowns.

sales04

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In closing we share a quote from a story in Sunday’s WaPo about singing sensation and internet superstar Susan Boyle. It seemed appropriate as a “Quote of the Day”:

“We’re all tired of 23-year-old models trying to sing on TV. Susan is a 47-year-old spinster who, by God, can sing,” said Michael Nicolson, 64, the bingo caller at the community center where Boyle has volunteered.”

Any readers unfamiliar with Ms. Boyle, click here and do stay for all 7 minutes; you’ll be glad you did.

On that fun note, may your days be filled with sunshine and smiles!

11 Comments

Filed under nautical, Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, preppy stationery, Sign of the Times

Kristin Davis Collection, More Politics and Fashion: White House Goes Pink!

Hello and happy-happy to everyone! We can use a little happy, don’t you think?
Ktisten Davis Collection at Belk

Kristin Davis Collection at Belk

Above, Sex and the City star Kristin Davis looks very happy in a still from the promotional campaign for her new line of clothing at Belk. Below, Ms. Davis watches the first public showing of the line.

kd

The line made its debut at the end of September; by now, all of the stores should be fully stocked, along with the website. (As an aside, Belk has overhauled the site and it is vastly improved with loads more stock!) The Charlotte newspaper has a good story on the line, with solid background and details.

“The line is a reflection of her ‘Sex and the City’ character, Charlotte Ross, as well as her Southern roots, with a prim, preppy look.”

We couldn’t locate either this specific handbag or shoe online but there are a number of Kristin Davis handbags here, as well as several pair of shoes from the collection here.

.

It promises to be another wicked week on Planet Politics; this week the final Presidential Debate is held at Hofstra University on Long Island.  There continues to be lots of commentary on the styles worn by all of the candidates and their spouses, with the strongest focus remaining on Cindy McCain, Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin.

Ms. Palin’s eyeglasses continue to be one of the most-discussed topics in this forum, otherwise known as Kazuo Kawasaki frame model 704. The illustration below by Peter Arkle demonstrates why TP so loves the Times (New York); this article takes a look at those glasses, in depth.

Peter Arkle Illustration, Photos by Getty

Peter Arkle Illustration, Photos by Getty

.

Has anyone read the new (and unauthorized) Michelle Obama biography simply called “Michelle: A Biographyby Washington Post Magazine writer Liza Mundy?

From Time’s review of the book today:

“Michelle is an unauthorized biography — Mundy’s experience interviewing the Obamas occurred in 2007 in the course of reporting for an article — and it’s obvious. The sympathetic, at times fawning, book relies heavily on sources several circles outward from those who actually know Michelle. The end result is a book that reveals little about Michelle Obama not already in the public domain.”

We did not realize it was released last week and have added it to the already much-too-long-list of books we want to read.  We shall never catch up. Sigh. If you are on the site and want to read an interesting piece by Curtis Sittenfeld on “What Michelle Obama Brings to the White House.” Yes, that Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Amerian Wife. (Be advised, Ms. Sittenfeld is not non-partisan and has been clear about her pro-Obama sentiments.)

Lest we become too serious about things, let us make a note about one of our more infamous Anti-Preps, Paris Hilton. Harper’s Bazaar has a rather brilliant piece with Ms. Hilton as President in the November issue, complete with the White House in a color we can all get behind:

Bazaar

Bazaar November 2008

When asked about the people she would appoint to her cabinet Ms. Hilton had this response:

“I won’t have a cabinet; I will have a closet. A giant walk-in closet with all styles of advisers, like Michael Kors, Kanye West, Diane von Furstenberg, Naughty by Nature, Stephen Hawking, Madonna, Karl Lagerfeld, and, of course, Tinkerbell.”

In both photos Ms. Hilton wears Kenneth Jay Lane necklaces, and the oversized brooch below is Chanel.

Harper's Bazaar November, 2008

Harper's Bazaar November 2008

Here’s a wish that everyone enjoys a simply splendid week!

4 Comments

Filed under Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy Fashion, The AntiPrep