Tag Archives: Michael Phelps

The Consort Goes All Olympic-manic & Here’s A Tip…

Hello-Hello, everyone.  The Consort skipping merrily mikeside while my beloved bride, The Princess, recovers from a long night of long-form skating viewing.  Let’s careen through some random thoughts, shall we?

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

I’m not much on ice skates.  The Princess has “mad skills” (as the kids nowadays like to say) but I’m basically a functioning idiot on skates.  Can’t turn, skate backwards or stop once I get moving.  But I appreciate the astounding exhibition of power and grace the men demonstrated in Vancouver.   Gold medalist Evan Lysacek of the United States, silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko of Russia and bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan treated the world to the equivalent of a staredown on ice.  The controlled power in the leaps, the dazzling footwork and restrained costumes added up to a delightful night of viewing.  Performance under pressure is always something wonderful to behold.

One of the challenges facing the Olympic venues is the warm weather.  Is melting snow why this guy showed up?

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Always good to see Michael Phelps in the house.  I imagine he’d be something to see going downhill on the bobsled run.  He’d probably medal at that, too.

While we’re going downhill… Thom Browne unleashed his vision on Fashion Week in NYC.  Let’s look at some of the highlights, shall we?

(Courtesy: The Fashionisto)

This might surprise you but I like his salute to Elton John’s 1970’s look.  The pillbox hat works well and carrying a groundhog tops off the outfit.   You’ll have to agree Mr. Browne’s spin on outerwear is breathtaking.  Or makes you choke a little bit.

(Courtesy: The Fashionisto)

I can’t resist the urge to tell this guy that there are raccoons crawling up his dress.  He’s probably aware of that and is handling the situation very well.  Remember that “performance under pressure” we discussed earlier?  Well, here you go.

(Courtesy: The Fashionisto)

Now I really like this look.  The shades of gray look lush and flow together so well.  I’m serious.  Look at the lines on that coat.  Okay, the hat and muff are a bit over the top for me but those are accessories.  Mr. Browne is an artist of immense talent.  We need people with vision who are unafraid to take risks.  I think he’s great.  You won’t be seeing me in his designs but that’s probably a good thing for many reasons.

Rather than comment on the Tiger Woods controlled media propaganda event news conference I will let you fill in your own punch line.  There is no shortage.

So on that open-ended thought I will say good-bye for now.  The Princess will be back next time with another look at Fashion Week and Vancouver events.  I remind you to treat your waitperson right because they’re working hard for you tonight.  I’ll leave you with words of wisdom from a Motown giant who had some issues of his own.

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Filed under Posts by the Princess Consort, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Winter Olympics 2010

Sperry + J. Crew = Topsiders (Top-Siders)

Hello and Happy New Week!

We have spent most of the day driving halfway across the state and back, so we shall do some quick headlines, starting with an update on one of the Royals we enjoy watching, England’s Princess Eugenie. It seems she has been a little rambunctious.

In fact, one recent headline reads:

Watch out Harry! Princess Eugenie’s about to steal your hellraising crown

Focus Pictures

PHOTO: Focus Pictures

It seems the Princess (one of Sarah Ferguson’s daughters) paid a visit to what we shall call a ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ recently; the Daily Mail is just one of many papers reporting the antics in this story:

“…rocking down to the (misleadingly named) SophistiCats Gentlemen’s Club, a strip-dancing joint where men pay £20 for a girl to twist suggestively in front of them, as Eugenie did last week….

“It was 4am — an hour before the bar closes — when Eugenie and her friends turned up…. when Eugenie and her friends turned up and started tucking into a £165 bottle of Bollinger.”

“She then bustled over to the podium where girls in G-strings were working the poles and asked if she could have a go.”

Not surprisingly, there was no comment forthcoming from either Scotland Yard or the Duchess of York.  In the ‘Good News for the Princess’ category, the young lady did pass her driving test last week. Back to the ‘Bad News’ side of things: we are declaring a “When Pink Goes Bad” alert on the pink eyelashes the Princess is sporting in the photo above.  (We’re betting that Europa Fox has the inside scoop on this story.)

BTW, the always fun Shoe Blog shared the new Eugenie heels from Christian Louboutin.

Eugenie by Christian Louboutin

Eugenie by Christian Louboutin

As we are speaking of footwear, Brooks Brothers is doing their Women’s Shoe Clearance, with styles now 75%  off the original selling price.

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Our next headline needs little explanation; it also typifies the “picture telling a thousand stories” axiom:

News of the World (UK)

PHOTO: News of the World (UK)

Why do we have a sinking feeling this photo (which Mr. Phelps has verified as authentic) is already plastered on a batch of tee-shirts somewhere?

The superstar athlete has also issued an apology:

“I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”

The IOC and two of the swimmer’s sponsors have expressed their support for Mr. Phelps, including Omega, who said they consider the issue a private matter and a “non-issue.”  What do you think? Does Michael Phelps have to adhere to a stricter code than other twenty-somethings, or is this a private event that the media is blowing out of proportion?

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We jump back to the topic of shoes with our next tidbit.  For one fond of both Sperry and J. Crew, this should be a godsend: those two companies getting together to collaborate on the ultimate pair of Topsiders. There are two different styles: the Men’s Broken-in Original Suede Sperry Top-Siders® in Dark Wood

and the Men’s Broken-In Khaki; both retail at $98.

All styles are lined in J. Crew’s cotton Chambray, and all have been given a broken-in look. There is also this Original nubuck chukka Sperry Top-Siders® in Espresso; this style is $125.

As described on Crew’s website:

“The original boat shoe is back and better than ever. We custom-colored each pair (in collaboration with Sperry, of course) and lined them in our famous cotton chambray—details you won’t find anywhere else.”

If you can just give us a moment here we shall dig out our photos of the Women’s version of the Top-siders.  Give us just a sec…ummm… hold on, we’re still looking…. uhhhh, well, we can’t find them. Why can’t we find them? Because they are not available in Women’s.  Oops. That’s why we said above the collaboration “should be a godsend.” Our thanks to Hypebeast for the original information on this one.

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Someone leaked a memo from the Bank of England to WWD and it’s fascinating, as it contains directives as to how female employees should dress for work.  From this story in WWD:

“Look professional, not fashionable; be careful with perfume; always wear a heel of some sort — maximum 2 inches; always wear some sort of makeup — even if it’s just lipstick.” Shoes and skirt must be the same color. No-no’s include ankle chains — “professional, but not the one you want to be associated with;” white high heels; overstuffed handbags; an overload of rings, and double-pierced ears.”

And we thought our wardrobe tilted a bit toward the stodgy!

Until next time!


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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sign of the Times, The AntiPrep

Vineyard Vines Friends & Family, More Black Friday: J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Banana Republic

Hello-Hello… we do hope everyone enjoyed a simply splendid weekend!

TP is a little crazed and dazed; here at the Prepatorium the holiday frenzy seems to have commenced earlier than usual!

Let’s start by updating current and expected markdowns, sales & other discounts at retailers specializing in merchandise that tends toward a preppy aesthetic.

We’ll start with the Vineyard Vines, “Friends & Family shopping event” that provides “25% off Your Purchase,” now through midnight tomorrow night (Tuesday, 11.25.08).  The promo code online or by phone is FRIENDS2008.  If shopping in person, take along a copy of this email notice:

There is a really cute Toddler Puffer Vest:

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Next, Banana Republic is already doing their “Dressed in Holiday Style” sale online and in stores. The sale runs through Monday, December 1st; we consider this the retailer’s Black Friday sale.

And BR does have a little Wool-blend peacoat the Princess is rather fond of:

The coat comes in a variety of colors and is now $118; originally it sold at $198.

Black Friday at the Banana Republic Factory Stores offers a substantial opportunity for those with the patience and sanity to cope with the crowds: 40% off everything in the store.  Many of the factory stores open at midnight; check your local store to confirm shopping opportunities.

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We do have a new J. Crew discount offer.

Now through 11.29.08

Now through 11.29.08

Spend $150 and take 20% off, spend $200 and take 25% off, spend $250 and save 30% off. The promo code on this one is TURKEY. BTW, if you missed our original J. Crew Black Friday post, just click here.

Also, don’t forget, the “take an additional 20% off sale prices” deal ends tonight. TP is guessing that somehow, someway, we’ll see this back *before* the end of next weekend or another incarnation of the offer. Definitely something on Cyber Monday.

If shopping online, the promo code is EXTRA 20.

Neiman Marcus is offering what are truly amazing markdowns for that establishment, certainly  this early in the season.

For example, the  Cole-Haan Air Genie ballerinas are now only $80 from an original price of $175.  Delman’s Quilted Suede Ballerina flats are $117, from $315.

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Don’t overlook the markdowns on your favorite brands in apparel and accessories. Below left, from Lacoste we show the Trucker hat, originally $57, now $35. (This is the Lacoste hat Michael Phelps is frequently seen sporting.) And lots of children’s items are also on sale; the Lacoste Zip Sweater that was $95 is now $57.

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One of TP’s favorites, Garnet Hill, is starting their Thanksgiving Sale and Clearance now.

Temptation is difficult to resist when it comes to the winter theme Hable pillow covers by Hable, now $34 each. The Painted Wood picture frames are also swell and almost 50% off their original price of $36, now $19.

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Arguably today’s “most bang for your buck” item is the cashmere offered at Garnet Hill. Women’s Cashmere V-neck Pullovers are $64, down from $128, as are the Crewneck Cashmere Sweaters.

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TP can assure readers that unless something has gone horribly awry, these are excellent additions to one’s walk-in, of good quality and ever-so-snuggly.

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If you like the apron with bright pink circles and/or the Preppy Stripe note cards and would love to have both absolutely free, be sure and leave a comment to this post telling us one thing you are thankful for. Anything at all. Someone’s name even – that’s it! And you’re entered in the Great Preppy Giveaway!

Yesterday we mentioned we would showcase a few items of note in the Vickie’s Secret fashion show.  Should this be declared preppy lingerie?

Alexander Tamargo/Getty

PHOTO: Alexander Tamargo/Getty

Perhaps our wonderful Nautical by Nature can advise us on the next look… Miss Kate, does it  qualify as officially nautical in your educated estimation?

Jeffrey M. Boan/AP

PHOTO: Jeffrey M. Boan/AP

BTW, the models look absolutely stunning. The show airs on CBS December 3 at 10 o’clock.

We’ll be back!

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Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Lilly Jubilee Update, Scratch ‘n Sniff the Sexiest Man Alive. Seriously.

Hello-Hello and Happy Friday!

Both TP and TSU (the Spousal Unit, aka The Princess Consort) are due at a relatively high-profile volunteer/charitable function tonight, so we are going to be speedy.

By far the nicest part of opening the Preppy Princess store is meeting so many warm and wonderful people online, many of them through this goofy blog.  One of our newer friends is the way-too-cool Miss Cassoulet Cafe, and not just because she has bestowed upon us the Superior Scribbler award! Oh my! Her extraordinary stories and writing skills make it a must for TP and we are guessing you will enjoy stopping by as well.

Merci,  La Cassoulet Cafe

Merci, La Cassoulet Cafe

Although Miss Cassoulet is a wonderful read, we were a little concerned by her comment following our post, A Tiffany Christmas, as it indicates she may believe us to be possessed of a fashionable perspective.  A stylish eye. An on-trend outlook.

We don’t know how to break the news that TP is not only deficient in this arena, some consider her staid (translated: bore-ing), challenged (translated: puh-thetic) and much too preppy (translated: apparel & accessories so bright they glow in the dark) style to be more than a little challenged.  So the young and chic set must pop over to Miss Cassoulet‘s Cafe and advise her on the boots.

Now, there are Award Rules attached to this lovely event:

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog

Here are six fabulous blogs we always look forward to reading, places we think you will enjoy visiting:

  • Lipstick at the Mailbox is an outstanding writer, with perspective we always appreciate;
  • Landlocked Mermaid shares wisdom, recipes and more when she isn’t doing her incredible commute!
  • We are always ready for a Piece of Coconut Cake, especially when it is the sugar-free, lo-cal and high-fun version provided by Miss Coco.
  • Witty, erudite and lots of fun describe Misadventures of a Newlywed, and she has started selling some more-than-fun goodies online!
  • Tickled Pink and Green is forever brightening our day with her preppy style tips and great reading list;
  • From tutus to the tooth fairy, Momx2 shares snippets of life we love to read.

Merci beaucoup Miss Cassoulet!

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Whatever you do, don’t forget to leave a comment on something for which you are grateful so you are entered in the Great Giveaway! That’s all it takes to be entered to win *very* cool prizes from the Preppy Princess shop, like the Perfect Circle Apron with matching gloves, and a set of our Trey’s Stripes notecards, that will be personalized just for you!

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Has everyone heard who People’s Sexiest Man in the Galaxy is?

Courtesy People Magazine

Courtesy People Magazine

What you may not have know about yet is People’s special scratch ‘n sniff version of the annual issue. The always-sharp Dylan Stableford at Folio Magazine asks:

“Ever wonder what Michael Phelps smells like?”

In his story about People’s scented pages he tells us:

“The magazine, which hits newsstands on Friday, includes a section dubbed “Sexy Scents” with “scratch-n-sniff” photos of Gossip Girl actor Chace Crawford Ed Westwick, film actor Taye Diggs, Law & Order star Chris Meloni and U.S. Olympic Team swimmer Michael Phelps—each of whom “describe the fragrance that makes them feel their sexiest.”

Even allowing for a rather rugged week, Mr. Westwick’s ‘scentiments’ on ‘essential oils’ are simply beyond our grasp. BTW, Mr. Phelps ranks in the Top 10.

Lance Staedler/People Magazine

PHOTO: Lance Staedler/People Magazine

If you would like to read more without us spoiling things, just click here.

NOTE: Mr. Stableford’s story refers to Chace Crawford, however, we *think* he means Ed Westwick who is prominently featured in the photos on People’s site. We are double-checking this, if anyone knows definitively, please let us know!

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Please forgive us as we make an executive decision: we are revisiting our distaste for discussing or mentioning the “M word” here at the Palace. It appears the financial markets aren’t going to be self-correcting, or be corrected by outside influences for that matter, at least not in the near future. Therefore we acknowledge we have to adjust our standards and display a little more flexibility in our perspective when dealing with this issue. Indeed.

So here is an item related to one’s bank balance: this story in yesterday’s Journal discloses that despite recent interest cuts, many of the credit card companies are charging users higher rates and increased fees. From the story:

“Banks had already been tightening the screws on people with less-than-perfect credit in recent months. Now, even customers who pay their bills on time will find it more expensive to carry a balance.”

While we are extremely grateful this is not an issue for us at this point in time, we are simply staggered that the same companies who just escaped closer regulatory scrutiny and penalties are now back to their old habits.  TP recognizes that for many in these trying times; their MonsterCard is not being used for luxuries, but for life’s necessities like food, medicine, gasoline.

“The bank will also start charging a new $10 monthly service fee to some cardholders who have been carrying large balances for at least two years, while raising their monthly minimum payments…”

Are we deranged? Or is this what the companies should be doing? And remember, TP is a capitalist with a capital ‘C’, we are not opposed to growing companies and profits, but there is also a principle of ethics involved here.

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For today’s Pretty in Pink we share information on the Lilly Pulitzer anniversary contest.  The Jubilee Jet Setter contest looks like loads of fun, and the Perfectly Pink passport is too cute.

Also recently added to the oh-so-improved Lilly website, the two 50th Anniversary Jubilee prints.  In both Bananarama

Bananarama

Lilly Pulitzer Bananarama

… as well as Lagoon Blooms

Lagoon Blooms

Lilly Pulitzer Lagoon Blooms

…something is hidden.  As explained on the company’s website

“We have added 50th and/or JUBILEE in every print. Just like you ‘look for the Lilly’ in every print, these JUBILEE Prints will be selling on ebay in 50 years as THE Lilly prints to have.”

Oh.  Actually, we did not toddle over to our local Lilly recently hoping to purchase something we could use, save, and sell on eBay. Honestly.

Oh well, that doesn’t detract from all the the fun things we *did* see at Lilly!

Happy weekend!

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink

Maria Sharapova & Gymnast Nastia Liukin Front Row, Anna Wintour & Sarah Jessica Parker Throw a Party

Well, it is a Friday.

And that means NY Fashion Week is kicking off, with more parties, functions and events that any human can possibly attend. And that’s before we even talk about the actual runway shows! TP is not at all disappointed to be passing on the big do this time around, and if pushed, would acknowledge a slight sense of relief at this fact. PreppyPrincess.com is consuming all our time and energies when we aren’t fulfilling social, charitable or familial obligations, which is as it should be.

Above we have a couple of advance sketches from designers, including a ‘nature-inspired sleeveless dress’ from Tracy Reese, and an enchanting floral halter “diary dress” designed by Wenlan Chia for Twinkle. The latter link is a delightful little site full of surprises and information in addition to the fabulous clothes, incuding the 2008 Holiday Collection. If interested, there is a great blog or running commentary that even has pictures of the models they selected for their show, some fun behind-the-scenes stuff for Fashionistas.

And should you fancy Tracy Reese, there is a quite substantial sale underway if you care to shop online. For example, the Flared Skirt with Pockets in Marine is discounted 60%, as is the Large Tote in its vivid turquoise and green tones (and lots of other goodies!).

While celebrities have always been a part of Fashion Week, this year there will be even more athletes and sports celebrities also in attendance. Tennis star Maria Sharapova invited Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin to attend the Peter Som show with her, something the teenage gymnast is very excited about. But that isn’t the only show for Nastia; she is also going to Isaac Mizrahi and Cole Haan. Below, Ms. Sharapova at the Valentino Couture show in Paris this July.

Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images

Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images

Here, a photo of Nastia in Beijing, wearing all of the medals she won at the Summer Games, followed by a promotional partnership benefiting the Susan G. Komen Fund.

The talented teen has been hyper-busy since returning from the Beijing Summer Games, inking sponsorship deals, making appearances and trying to relax. She is already working with Vanilla Star Jeans to launch Nastia Liukin Gold tops and bottoms in time for the holiday selling period, and hopes to do some designing herself. She is signed with Cover Girl Cosmetics, Adidas, AT&T, and a host of other companies. The Texas superstar is slated for an appearance of Gossip Girl. And then there is the Wheaties box….

One reason the Vanilla Star Folks are pleased to be partnering with the gymnast is explained in a MediaPost story:

“…Liukin embodies the brand’s “anti-jean” philosophy by opposing the trend of exploiting young teens’ bodies in its ads. “We always try to find personalities that our core Vanilla Star customer is attracted to and will set a good example…”

The company’s slogans are “Smart girls rock,” and “Live the dream.” And don’t we find that refreshing, albeit somewhat ironic, as the Fashion Week celebration of the “You can never be too thin…” philosophy gets underway.

Below we simply had to include what is arguably TP’s alltime favorite photo of Miss Liukin, taken at the Liukin’s training facility in northern Texas before the Games. We love the sensation of floating, weighlessness, as it appears she is simply suspended in air, all symmetry and lines, grace and strength, captured in this one shot.

As far as runway shows go, one of the first this weekend is Lacoste, at 10am Saturday, in the tents at Bryant Park seen below. Others we have an interest in are Carolina Herrera on Monday morning, the edgy Z Zegna and Ports 1961 are both Monday afternoon, Monique Lhuillier Tuesday morning, Milly and Oscar de la Renta both next Wednesday, plus Ralph Lauren on Friday morning. And that’s a very disciplined and highly edited list from the Princess!

Above, a shot of the tents in Bryant Park as preparations turn into realities, with shows starting today. Unfortunately the area stands to get as much as 4-6″ of rain from Hurricane Hannah, and that could be a challenge. Here’s something of a hot ticket, depending upon one’s political persuasion and capacity to donate their way into the party….

The Runway to Change party is Tuesday night, co-hosted by Le Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker; it will be held at desinger Charles Nolan’s studio. There is a *long* list of “Participating Designers” on the invitation, including Beyonce, Vera Wang, Russell Simmons, Zac Posen, Jay-Z, Juicy Couture, Isaac Mizrahi, and many more.

For those who are interested, don’t forget that Monday’s season opener for Oprah features 150 Olympic athletes and others, including Debbie Phelps accompanying Michael Phelps. Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots:

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Above we see Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic gold medalists in volleyball, arriving at Millenium Park for the shoot. Below, the family that fights together stay together…or something like that, here are Steve, Mark and Diana Lopez, Olympic taekwondo medalists, followed by members of our Gymnastics team, also all medalists.

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

May everyone enjoy an absolutely divine weekend free of stress and nasty weather!

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Filed under preppy

The Shocking Pink Chair, Michael’s Million Dollar Donation, Thom Browne & the NY Times

This is one we simply couldn’t resist when we saw it online at the Boutique’s website. The Princess wasn’t looking for a chair, let alone a flaming fuchsia chair, but we somehow stumbled onto it whilst searching for a new Isaac Mizrahi Collection at Target.

The Pod chair in Hot Pink is available online; TP doesn’t know if one can purchase it in stores or not. Target is suggesting this zany lamp as a coordinating piece, but we don’t believe it works well in the Palace, so we shall have to pass on its unique design.

Have a tiny prep in the household who might enjoy this delightful little pink chair? This pint-sized piece of pink puffery is only $19.99 as of this writing, and it looks ever-so-cute. (“When all else fails, alliterate…”, from the film ‘Network’.)

If you are still looking for pink furniture, Target also offers the pink Cloud Chair & Ottoman. (Ouch.) Of course, there is always the Bungie Low-Back Chair in pink and black. A side note here: The Princess really feels compelled to share her impressions of the Cloud Chair. From our limited online perspective it looks like faux fur that may prove…ah…that may prove…um, may prove…yes, it could be difficult for the household staff to keep clean. What with the dog’s hair and all. We’re just looking out for your staff.

We take a moment now to revisit noted designer Thom Browne. (Regular readers have been subjected to enjoyed TP’s thoughts on Mr. Brown’s ‘look’ in previous posts.) It would seem his standalone menswear store has enjoyed a visit from the Times’ “Critical Shopper” columnist Mike Albo. Perhaps enjoyed isn’t the appropriate adjective; we’ll say ‘experienced a visit,’ that might be better.

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Mr. Albo has also done Critical Shopper columns on the new Rogan store (click here for more) and the Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue (click here for more of that column) at 44th. The photo above is from the February 2007 Brooks Brothers column.

How did Mr. Albo find his visit to Mr. Browne’s emporium, or more accurately Mr. Browne’s designs?

  • “Across from the gray-hued garments, for example, was a selection of jaunty sweaters. A $3,500 thick cardigan was striped in navy blue and red, and a V-neck tennis sweater for $2,875 looked as if it had been ripped off Jay Gatsby’s dead body.”

(Mr. Browne is seen in his own design above left.)

Mr. Albo is not without humor. In describing a brightly hued overcoat he says,

“Past the three-way mirror was a rack of hilarious outerwear, including an overcoat in a queasily cheery yellow plaid for $4,500 that no one should buy unless he is an exhibitionist looking for a more eye-catching cover-up before exposing himself on the subway platform.”

The entire column is not all pokes and jabs at Mr. Browne’s design aesthetic, who also designs the Black Fleece line for Brooks Brothers. It also makes numerous complimentary points, at one point describing the suits as “light and good-natured, not dogmatic and snobby.” Mr. Albo refers to formalwear as “…beautiful…successfully blended Mr. Browne’s traditional and experimental sides.”

Here at the Prepatorium we simply adore the Critical Shopper; previous columns covered Tory Burch, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Steven Alan. (Note: these links are to the individual designer pages, not the Times columns.)

it is always fun to read another individual’s perceptions of the brand and/or the physical stores selling that designer’s apparel and accessories. Stop by the Times and read this Critical Shopper column, or better yet, peruse some of the back columns, including the previously mentioned Steven Alan review.

Many a preppy is familiar with Steven Alan; we were nudged to pop into the online shop when reminded by the Shopper’s column on the store. We feel compelled to let you know they have several of their men’s “basics” on sale, including the Hidden Button shirt, a classic.

Additionally, many of the Reverse Seam shirts are marked down along with other styles. On the Women’s side, TP is ecstatic to see the Dieppa Restropo Black Patent Lace-ups, although these treasures are not on sale. Of course not.

And while not for us, we do find the Hope Shirt to be absolutely adorable, perfect for someone perhaps a tad younger than TP.

Many of the Kids’ styles are on sale, and while adorable, they are also out of season, to be expected at this time of year. Below, the Girls Camisole Dress.

And ladies, after seeing a quick peek of the Spring 2009 line, we think you will find it more than appealing.

An update now on über-athlete Michael Phelps that many of you are likely to have already heard: he is donating his $1,000,000 bonus from Speedo to his charitable program. (You know, that little check promised if he won all eight Gold Medals.) You can see him below, receiving the symbolic check from the head of Warnaco, owners of the Speedo brand.

Business Wire

Photo: Getty Images/Warnaco

The Michael Phelps Foundation’s “Dream, Plan, Reach” program is going to focus on teaching more children to swim as well as instilling self-confidence in them. Phelps phans can see their hero on Oprah’s season-opener next Monday, along with 149 other Olympic athletes. The 8-time Olympic Gold Medalist was mobbed in Chicago when he arrived to tape the Oprah show.

AP/M. Spencer Green

AP/M. Spencer Green

Below you see Phelps helping a girl learn to swim at a Visa Grant for Early Swimming Program discussion at the McBurney YMCA in New York on Aug. 28th

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Mr. Phelps has been a busy man. In addition to the many public appearances he is called upon to make, he has also purchased a 4000+ square foot apartment on Baltimore’s rejuvenated and renovated waterfront. The apartment has a stunning view, a Jacuzzi and many other accoutrements.

Good for him, he certainly has worked hard enough.

And one more update related to the Phelps family, with news that Debbie Phelps has actually signed a formal one-year agreement with Chico’s clothing. The deal calls for Ms. Phelps, who is a school principal in Baltimore (among many, many other responsibilities that can only have multiplied recently), to promote the company’s merchandise. In exchange Chico’s provides apparel, accessories, as they reportedly did for her appearance on that same Oprah Winfrey show. (You may want to take a glance at the Debbie Phelps Collection, recently supplemented with far more items than previously contained in the group.)

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Updates

It’s Official: Michael Phelps Book on the Way, & Debbie Phelps is Down with Chico’s

Well, if it isn’t Tuesday already. How did that happen? Sigh. Well it’s gonna’ be a rock ‘n roll rest of the week for The Princess, so fasten your seat belts, this could be a bumpy ride! Whoo-hoo!

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

We start with an update about everyone’s man of the moment at the games, at least for some: he *does* have a book deal. ‘Built to Succeed’ is due to hit store shelves in December, just in time for the holidays. According to the folks publishing it, the book will focus in part on Mr. Phelps’ life growing up with an attention-deficit disorder in a single-parent home, while the superstar swimmer has said he plans to write about his life training leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games.

Then comes word today about a possible challenge against French Olympic champion and notorious ‘trash talker’ (that is the term, correct?) Alain Bernard, next year at the World Championships in Rome, in the 100 meter freestyle. (You know that The Princess simply had to include that little tidbit!) This, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. Oh, and the London Games in 2012? Mr. Phelps has has said he plans on chasing more Gold medals in four more years.

Now in post-Olympic fashion news (how’s that for a non-existent news category?), an update to our earlier story about Michael Phelps’ mother, Debbie Phelps, and her Beijing wardrobe. You may remember that Ms. Phelps is a Principal at a middle school in Baltimore.

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Our post mentioned that much of what Debbie Phelps was wearing at the Summer Olympics was from Chico’s, a midline clothing retailer targeting the Baby Boomer demographic. One of the things we mentioned in the article was that Chico’s execs were very clear they had no ‘sponsorship arrangement’ of any kind with Ms. Phelps. In fact, the most they did apparently was send her a $100 gift card and wishes of good luck prior to her departure for Beijing.

How things can change….here’s what you now see when landing on the Chico’s home page.

Click on that photo link and you are taken to this page….

In fact, there are now three pages in the Debbie Phelps Collection, up a page from yesterday’s two; the boost in the ‘Collection’s’ volume clearly comes via the addition of many jewelry pieces worn by Ms. Phelps. Many of the items are marked by where they were worn, as in “As seen in USA Today” or “As seen on Good Morning America.” Below we show just a few.

Believe it or not, as of this writing, there is still no formal arrangement between the retailer and Ms. Phelps, who even wore one of their jackets for a Johnson & Johnson commercial shoot of a spot that aired on Sunday night. Chico’s President Michele Cloutier told USAToday:

“Customers have been coming in and asking for what she’s wearing,” she says. “They’re saying, ‘I want that jacket,’ and they can describe it perfectly.”

“She completely articulates who we are as a brand,”

If the retailer and Ms. Phelps do come up with an arrangement, we’ll let you know.

There were some other Olympic tidbits/oddities we had not heard about, discovered in our meandering about the internet on a lazy morning. Like Angel Valodia Matos, a Tae Kwon Do entrant from Cuba. Upon hearing the Referee’s decision that he was disqualified from his match, Matos kicked the referee in the face. The World Taekwondo Federation has banned Matos life.

Matt Dunham/AP

Photo Credit: Matt Dunham/AP

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

What follows are great shots of what can happen when one mascot tries to help another mascot….oh my!

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

And how about American Idol adding a fourth judge?

Copyright 2008 Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Photo: Copyright 2008 Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Yes, they are. Actually, they have, as Ryan Seacrest announced on his radio show yesterday. The judge is the beautiful songwriter Kara DioGuardi. A story on the Fox news site has more information:

“DioGuardi’s songs have been recorded by artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana and Pink.

“We had originally intended for ‘American Idol’ to have four judges,” said “Idol” Executive Producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”

And the other judges? According to USMagazine, Paula Abdul had the following reaction:

On Phoenix’s 104.7 KISS FM Johnjay & Rich radio show Monday, she said she was excited but added, “I am concerned about the audience and acceptance. Time will tell. We’ll see.”

Asked if she, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell have sat down with DioGuardi to test their chemistry, Abdul replied, “Nope,” and laughed.

When queried about her reaction to the news, The Princess refused to comment. Hhhhmm.

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Updates