Tag Archives: Matthew Settle

Damsels in Distress and “A Song of Preppy”

Hello-Hello, welcome to a post on something generating a bit of chatter, Whit Stillman’s new film.

First, some background for those saying “Whit who?”.  Many will recognize Mr. Stillman’s work, he wrote and directed the 1990 film Metropolitan.

Criterion Collection via IMDB

A refresher on that movie from Alessandra Stanley’s Times review, it also offers some insight into the indie filmmaker’s oeuvre:

Gauzily set in Park Avenue apartments and debutante balls sometime in the recent past, the movie follows a tightly-knit group of young men and women who assemble, in black tie and evening dress, at ”afterparties,” usually to contemplate their fate as a caste.

”The common image of divorce and decadent behavior being prevalent among New York social types is not really accurate,” Charles, the group’s moralist, played by Taylor Nichols, says. He adds, thoughtfully, ”That’s more Southampton.”

That was the first of a ‘preppy trilogy,’ it was followed with Barcelona in 1994 and The Last Days of Disco with Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale in 1998.


Mr. Stillman now returns with a new film, Damsels in Distress.

Sony Pictures

The Times recently profiled the writer/director and his new film in “Whit Stillman and the Song of Preppy,” the story shares this about the plot:

Damsels in Distress” follows four college girls, Heather, Lily, Rose and Violet, as they grapple with problems ranging from love troubles to toxic frat-house odors and suicide attempts by education majors who insist on throwing themselves off two-story buildings. (“If they can’t even destroy themselves, how are they going to teach America’s youth?” Rose asks.)

Last Monday there was a screening of the movie in Tribeca, this story in The Times has more:

…screening at the Tribeca Grand felt as much like a boarding school graduation as a play for publicity by the Cinema Society, the evening’s host. But then, when the creator of a film credits his godfather, an Ivy League professor, for coining the term WASP, what else to expect?

At the screening we see (left to right) Megalyn Echikunwoke, Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Carrie MacLemore, Analeigh Tipton and Billy Magnussen.

Erin Baiano for The New York Times

Back to Bob Morris’s story about the screening:

Even the corporate sponsors were old-school: Town & Country magazine and Brooks Brothers. And the very young and adorable cast seemed to be on their very best behavior as they arrived, walking stiffly as if in charm school or the Easter Parade.

Below, we see Patrick Fugit and Megalyn Echikunwoke at the party following the screening.

Nicholas Hunt / PatrickMcMullan.com via Interview Magazine

Also in attendance, actors Billy Magnussen and Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford.

Nicholas Hunt / PatrickMcMullan.com via Interview Magazine

Others from the Gossip Girl cast included Kelly Rutherford and Matthew Settle, on the right we see Ryan Metcalf and Adam Brody.

Nicholas Hunt/Patrick McMullan.com via Interview

Here we see Mr. Stillman at work on the set.

Sony Pictures via Indie Wire

Chip Brown’s Song of Preppy article is an excellent read, nicely synthesizing the filmmaker’s background and its impact on his work.

Stillman remains as adept at confounding expectations as he was in 1969, when, a Harvard freshman, he escorted a debutante to the Junior Assemblies ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York with a Students for a Democratic Society button tucked under the lapel of his white-tie-and-tails.

… wry self-deprecation is one of the hallmarks of the well-bred WASP, and Stillman is a museum-quality specimen. Even in unbuttoned Los Angeles, Stillman adheres to the preppy uniform of loafers, jacket and tie.

To read Mr. Brown’s entire profile on Mr. Stillman, click here.  We’ll also have more tomorrow or Monday, including a Preppie Style Guide from the Harvard grad.


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

The Wedding Gown Ralph Lauren Created for Lauren Bush

Hello-Hello, welcome to a sparkling new week, albeit a shortened one for many.

We begin with an update to this summer’s post about the marriage of Lauren Bush to David Lauren, pictures of the exquisite wedding gown designed by her father-in-law, Ralph Lauren, are in this month’s issue of Vogue.

Mark Seliger/Vogue

From the story accompanying the photos:

Lauren, 27, and David, 39, were married over the Labor Day weekend at his family’s 17,000-acre Double RL ranch in Ridgway, Colorado, before some 200 guests—intimate by fashion-industry social standards.

Mark Seliger/Vogue

For anyone needing a refresher (it took yours truly a nano-second to recall the lineage), the bride is the daughter of Neil and Sharon Bush. Neither President George H.W. and Barbara Bush were able to attend because of the altitude (Mr. Lauren’s ranch is at 9000 feet) but the bride’s uncle and aunt, President George Bush and Laura Bush, were on hand.

More on how the gown was created from that Vogue story:

She and Ralph had a few casual conversations at family meals and holiday weekends about what sort of dress she’d like. In late June they met at the Ralph Lauren studio for their first official design meeting. “I walked in, and there were these beautiful illustrations of the looks we’d discussed with my face on them,” she recalls. “It was like a dream come true.”

The silhouette was an elegant blend of old and new, a Victorian influence is obvious when initially looking at the gown. Only when seen from another angle does the open back offer the very contemporary sense created by Mr. Lauren.  Ms. Lauren wore cowboy boots, her bridesmaids were in vintage prairie skirts and white linen shirts.

Mark Seliger/Vogue

It sounds like a lovely weekend, to read the entire story click here.


Also today, a brief glance at this weekend’s big do celebrating the 100th episode of Gossip Girl.

Getty Images

Above, some of those Gossip Guys, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford. A point of curiosity: are there any photographs in existence taken when Mr. Westwick is not posing? Next, two of the show’s stars, Leighton Meester and Kelly Rutherford.

Getty Images

Below we see Matthew Settle (evidently a fan of Thom Browne’s shrunken styles) and actress JoAnna Garcia Swisher.  (No comment on the fit of Ms. Swisher’s….scrap of fabric…dress.)


Many were eager to see what Blake Lively would wear to the party, she was in a Marchesa dress from the spring 2012 collection.

Via Red Carpet Fashion Awards

Red Carpet Fashion Awards did not think highly of Ms. Lively’s party frock:

The best place for this embroidered fringed dress is the ice rink at the Winter Olympics or ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

This dress is doing nothing for her and I’m bewildered that she selected it.

I’ve looked at every single picture to find something positive to say about this look, but I have no words.

Ouch. (Not that we disagree, it is a rather ghastly frock.)


Finally, a delightful holiday collection from a brand we have vilified and relentlessly railed against occasionally questioned, Tommy Hilfiger.

Tommy Hilfiger

You may have already seen some of the ads from the print campaign, here are two pieces we liked.

Tommy Hilfiger

There are some darling accessory and gift items in the group.

By the way, if shopping online today, everything is 30% off, use promo code THANKS30.

With that we say g’bye until next time.


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

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

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

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

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

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

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

Below, socialites Blair Husain and Sara Peters.

Steve Eichner/WWD

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

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

Peter Kramer/AP

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

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

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

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

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

Steve Eichner/WWD

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

Steve Eichner/WWD

Steve Eichner/WWD

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

Patrick McMullan via Huffington Post

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


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

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

Roger Neves via Oprah.com

Via HighSnobette.com

With that we say g’bye until next time!


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