Tag Archives: Michelle Obama Inauguration dress

Inauguration Showcases All-American Prep Brands: Kate Spade, J. Crew, Reed Krakoff, Thom Browne & More

Hello-Hello, welcome to one of those quasi-holidays, here at the Prepatorium we are in the “of course it’s a work day” mode, but hope those with the day off are enjoying their time away from the workplace.

Today we talk Inauguration fashions, a politics-free look at what the First Family wore for official events in our nation’s Capital. We begin with the fashions seen on Mrs. Obama, Malia and Sasha at yesterday’s official swearing-in ceremony.

Via Mrs. O

Via Mrs. O

The First Lady wore Reed Krakoff, a custom silk dress in ultramarine blue with matching ultramarine cardigan. The designer is the longtime creative director at Coach and the brand’s president, he started his own womenswear line in 2010.  This image gives you a better look at Sasha Obama’s dress.

Official White House Facebook Page

Official White House Facebook Page

Mr. Krakoff spoke with Women’s Wear Daily:

He said he started working on the concept for the First Lady’s ultramarine abstract wash print silk shift more than three months ago. Krakoff has never met the First Lady but she wore one of his gowns to the Pritzker Awards ceremony last year.

He declined to elaborate about “the process” that went into the ultramarine shift dress out of respect to the White House. Krakoff did say the design idea stemmed from Michelle Obama’s sense of style more than the ceremony’s Blue Room location  – “the color of the room was a happy coincidence.”

Sasha wore the Mariposa Lace Dress in Plum from Plenty by Tracy Reese, the piece was made exclusively for Anthropologie.  The cotton/nylon frock has a navy underslip, it originally sold at $248 but is now on sale for $69.95.

Sasha Obama Tracy Reese Mariposa Dress

Mrs. Obama also wore Tracy Reese while volunteering for Saturday’s National Day of Service. I don’t yet know who designed the electric blue dress worn by Malia Obama at yesterday’s ceremony.

For this morning’s church service at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church the First Lady repeated the Reed Krakoff cardigan from yesterday atop a different dress.

Official White House Flickr

Official White House Flickr

For the church service and public swearing-in ceremonies at the Capitol Mrs. Obama wore a dress and coat by Thom Browne. Mr. Browne is a designer many Princess readers have heard about, among other things, he does the Black Fleece line for Brooks Brothers.  (He is also responsible for some of the wackiest runway shows in history, but we’ll stay away from that topic for the day.) This is not the first time the First Lady has worn Mr. Browne’s designs, she wore a dress by him for the third debate during the election.

Mrs. O

Mrs. O

More on how process of creating the ensemble via the On the Runway blog:

Mr. Browne designed the outfit specifically for Mrs. Obama after her office invited him to submit an idea several months ago, but he was not told in advance whether she would wear it. The coat and dress each have a fitted bodice and a slight flare below the waist.

The material is a jacquard weave based on the fabric used in men’s silk ties.  The fabric and lines of Mrs. Obama’s coat are similar to this dress from Mr. Browne’s pre-fall 2013 collection.

Thom Browne Facebook Page

Thom Browne Facebook Page

Mrs. Obama accessorized with J. Crew: the shoes she wore to church this morning were the low-heeled Valentina pump in the ‘aluminum’ color.

J. Crew 'Valentina' Pumps

J. Crew ‘Valentina’ Pumps

Crew also did her Portolano leather gloves (although Mrs. Obama’s color is no longer available) and the bejeweled belt worn atop her coat for the swearing-in portion of the day’s events was by J. Crew. She changed out of the Valentina shoes into Reed Krakoff boots for the Capitol Hill ceremony and parade. Mrs. Obama also wore earrings by Cathy Waterman.

Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert/White House Blog

Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert/White House Blog

The Obama girls were in brightly colored coats and scarves.

Via Mrs. O

Via Mrs. O

Malia Obama wore J. Crew, the label’s Double Cloth Lady Coat in plum.

J. Crew Double-cloth Lady Coat with Thinsulate®

J. Crew Double-cloth Lady Coat with Thinsulate®

The coat is an Italian wool and nylon blend, it features a high waist with inset waistband, rounded collar, on-seam pockets. With today’s nippy temps in Washington, perhaps the best part of the coat is its lining: Thinsulate®. It looked like her dress is Crew’s Teddie in Byzantine Blue.

J. Crew "Teddie" Dress

J. Crew “Teddie” Dress

The Teddie is a wool crepe with distinctive darts and shirring at the waist, three-quarter sleeves and an exposed back zipper. The dress is available at J. Crew as of this writing (5pm EST) in three colors, it is priced at $198.

Win McNamee/Pool

Win McNamee/Pool

Sasha wore a Kate Spade coat with a striped purple dress underneath. From what I could tell it appeared to be the label’s ‘Patrice’ coat and Carolyn dress. We show the Patrice in black at Neimans (where it is sold out) and the Carolyn in another colorway at Kate Spade. Both pieces showcase a fit and flare silhouette, the sleeveless dress is a silk/cotton blend while the coat is all wool.

Neiman Marcus/Kate Spade

Neiman Marcus/Kate Spade

Both girls were in flats.

It is amazing to see how the Obama girls have grown in four years, on the left we see them in 2009, on the right, today’s young ladies. Some may recall that both Obama girls wore Crewcuts for the first Inauguration.

Justin Karp Twitter Feed

Justin Karp Twitter Feed

Dr. Jill Biden was in Lela Rose, the designer’s Silk Bow Coat.

Pool photo by Win Mcnamee via The NY Times

Pool photo by Win McNamee via The NY Times

Eric Wilson from the Times has more:

Lela Rose…said Mrs. Biden came to her in an unexpected way. Mrs. Biden bought her dress at Neiman Marcus, and the store called Ms. Rose about a week and a half ago, looking for a matching coat.

“I wanted to create a coat that looked good with the dress without being exactly a matching look,” Ms. Rose said in a telephone interview from her home in Sullivan County, N.Y.

Here we see the coat in another color.

Lela Rose 'Silk Bow Coat'

Lela Rose ‘Silk Bow Coat’

The piece is lovely but not terribly warm, back to Eric Wilson’s post:

The coat is made of a shimmering silk and wool fabric, but, Ms. Rose said, “I’m sure she’s cold. The coat is not all that warm.”

A quasi-similar and much less expensive version of the coat is sold via HSN.

HSN

HSN

Keep in mind this is not the same as Jill Biden’s, it merely shows similar lines. When we say less expensive, we mean it: $14.98.

HSN

HSN

Be advised the piece is similar in design only, the quality cannot be anywhere near that of the coat worn by Jill Biden.

As for the man of the hour, President Obama was in the same Brooks Brothers coat he wore four years ago.

That’s it for today, we’ll have an update on the Inaugural Ball party frocks tomorrow!

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New Tommy Hilfiger, Sneak Peek at the K-Swiss Ads With You-Know-Who

Hello-Hello!

We apologize for the lack of a post yesterday, we spent the day lunching and cavorting about The Big City with The Queen Mother.  We were simply having too much fun, and TP did not return to the Prepatorium until very late!

We begin with news that Tommy Hilfiger has announced they are doing limited edition runs of two perfumes, Tommy Summer and Tommy Girl Summer.  According to Now Smell This, the scents will launch next month.

Courtesy Tommy Hilfiger

Courtesy Tommy Hilfiger

On a related note, the Hilfiger website shows an Additional 50% off All Markdowns, providing significant savings opportunities for those looking for fiscally friendly merchandise.

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

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Because a touch of Spring could brighten the day, we share a few images from the new Lacoste ad campaign:

Lacoste S/S 2009

Lacoste S/S 2009

Sadly, the core colors in this early collection are not the best for TP, sunny yellows, vibrant orange and coral hues.

Lacoste S/S 2009

Lacoste S/S 2009

If seeking more immediate gratification than the soon-to-be-released line, the preppy retailer is running their Clearance sale.  Bargains abound, like this Cotton Crewneck Sweater at $74.99, half of its original selling price.

Lacoste

Lacoste

This Girl’s V-Neck sweater is  $49.99, down from $85.

31s3rermdpl_sl500_

Lacoste

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A few follow-ups now to previous posts, starting with the Jason Wu Fur Collection, initially discussed here, where we mentioned that designer Jason Wu (of the Michelle Obama inaugural gown) said he was planning a “significant fur collection,” and we wondered how that was going to fly with PETA…? Well, it turns out they don’t have to get involved, as Mr. Wu told Women’s Wear Daily the fur collection is “on hold.”

It was just yesterday we shared a number of “When Pink Goes Bad” incidents of a most heinous nature.  Egregious because they were all men’s suits! In pink. (If you need photographic evidence of this, click here.) Perhaps we’d best get used to the idea, as there is now word we should expect to see more:

“Spring wardrobe memo to men: Think pink. And orange, lilac and cobalt blue, while you’re at it.”

That comes via this story at The Journal (WSJ) Online by Ray Smith, and it is accompanied by a slide show of some of the bright fashions for men.  Below, another photo from the Calvin Klein show:

Dan Lecca

PHOTO: Dan Lecca

And this next look is from upscale London clothiers Bamford & Sons:

Courtesy Bamford via WSJ Online

Bamford & Sons via WSJ Online

Our final follow-up takes us back to this post about Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick being selected as a face for the K-Swiss Classic shoe.  Those ads have now been revealed:

Courtesy K-Swiss via People

Courtesy K-Swiss via People

Is this what one calls a “brooding” look?

Courtesy K-Swiss via People

Courtesy K-Swiss via People

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In honor of TQM (the Queen Mother) we share the following photo, for no reason other than it has a very high cool factor:

Courtesy Selectism

Courtesy Crooked Brains via Selectism

It is the facade to a parking lot in Kansas City, of all things!  Appropriately, it surrounds a portion of the parking area at the Kansas City Public Library; the books depicted were selected for their representation of the city.  We were alerted to the parking lot decor by this post at one of our favorite reads, the Selectism blog.  For more photos of this facade and another in Wales, pop over to Crooked Brains.

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And we close with another Pretty in Pink, sharing this treasure from Lulu Guinness, whom we absolutely adore.

Lulu Guiness

Lulu Guinness

The Bow Purse in Fuchsia is simply TDF, without question.  Especially since we are all about the bow here at the Prepatorium.

We hope you all enjoy a splendid day!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Sign of the Times

An Anti-Prep Does Scrapbooking. Also, Mad Men Clothing For Our Very Own?

G’day everyone, we hope it is going swimmingly wherever you may be.

We are very excited here in the Corner Condo at Princess InterGalactic HQ: we spoke with the Lilly Pulitzer Stationery folks yesterday and everything is on track for them to ship our order this coming Monday! That means we will have things in house by Thursday or Friday – we can start shipping to you by the end of next week!  Whoo-hoo!

Because of that good news and because the Princess Consort has been working amazing hours to get some of the Lilly on the site, we thought we’d share a few more items. We start with the Beverage Napkins with Fun Sayings:

Lilly Pulitzer at PreppyPrincess.com

Lilly Pulitzer at PreppyPrincess.com

The Lilly words of wisdom include “Only count the happy hours,” a philosophy we can live by, and at $5 for a package of 20 napkins, a price we can smile at!

Frenzied parents can appreciate the wisdom of having Lilly’s My Activity Book on hand for little ones:

Lilly P

Lilly Pulitzer Activity Book at PreppyPrincess.com

These have 65 pages of activity sheets, stickers, 8 non-toxic jumbo sharpened pencils and an elastic closure.  The books will be $18, and they look just perfect for keeping the Young Miss and Master of your household entertained.

A reminder these items and some of our other Lilly merchandise is up on the Princess website for pre-ordering.  With everything shipping Monday (Feb. 1st) we expect our first shipment here by the 4th or 5th. Pre-ordering means your order gets out the door first when the Lilly merchandise arrives here. Pre-orders are at the top of the list and will be turned around on the same day we receive the merchandise from Lilly.

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On to our quasi-prep news headling, beginning with a story that was really quite a shock to the system: Word that the original Anti-Prep, Paris Hilton, is going into scrapbooking.

Ben Tsui/Splash News

PHOTO: Ben Tsui/Splash News

Paris Hilton, the Creativity Collection™ is described as “a multi-faceted line of fashion crafting kits from some of the most popular craft segments including scrapbooking, jewelry making and fabric embellishment.”

This has left us speechless. Not to do your thinking for you, but allow us to do your thinking for you: we are presuming you probably prefer we not start affixing crystals and other sparkly embellishment to your preppy placemats, towels and other items.  Is this a good guess?

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From our “You Can’t Make this Stuff Up” files, news today that the PETA ad for Sunday’s Super Bowl has been rejected by NBC; it is considered too sexually explicit for air.  How could a spot from this activist group involve sex, you wonder? We did too. Apparently because the ad features woman having relations. With vegetables.  Seriously.

PETA has their version of the story:

“After we submitted our proposed Super Bowl ad, which features a comely crop of models demonstrating their fondness for fresh produce, NBC nixed the ad, saying it “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” No joke, this is straight from NBC—so stop fondling your fruit salad right now and read the list of shots NBC requested we cut before they’d reconsider:”

The group then lists some of the banned shots, not seen above, because we’re not listing them. One of their examples? “…rubbing —– region with pumpkin….” and the rest are far more explicit. And insane. But that’s just us. So there you have it.

On a related note, we *are* curious what PETA will have to say about Inaugural gown designer Jason Wu, creator of the party frock Michelle Obama wore last week.  In statements made by the  designer last week he did say he is “…working on a significant fur collection.”

For any readers still interested in behind-the-scenes details about J. Crew working on designs for Sasha and Malia Obama, the Telegraph has another story on the topic.

“Although the team never communicated directly with Mrs. Obama over the wardrobe created for the inauguration celebrations, says Lyons, they wanted to wish them well. “We tucked little notes in the coat pockets saying, ‘Congratulations, we love you guys!’ “

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The increasingly popular Mad Men continues to leave its mark on the fashion world.  Today we have news there may be a Mad Men clothing line in the works from the show’s costume designer, Janie Bryant. In an interview with Glamour, Ms. Bryant hedges a bit when asked specifically about future projects, and fashionistas have translated this response into meaning “possible/probable clothing line.”

Courtesy amc-tv/Everett Collection

Courtesy amc-tv/Everett Collection

One of the more interesting parts of the articles delves into sources of inspiration for Ms. Bryant when designing for “Betty Draper,” played by the incredible January Jones.

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) & Betty Draper (January Jones) in Episode 6

Betty Draper

The designer reveals in the story that her inspiration comes from Grace Kelly, as well as from her own grandmother.

Photo Courtesy amc-tv

Photo Courtesy amc-tv

Glamour.com writer Tracey Lomrantz is so fond of the show’s look, she named the Betty Draper character as one of her 9 Best Dressed TV Characters Of All Time.

Courtesy amc-tv

Courtesy amc-tv

Also making that Best Dressed list, Blair Waldorf’s character from the hit show Gossip Girl.

Courtesy the CW

Courtesy the CW

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And in the “It Could be Worse, this Could Be You” category, a shot from yesterday’s Chanel Couture show.

Imaxtree

PHOTOS: Imaxtree

Our thanks to Grazia and The Cut for the background on this.

A SOTT (Sign of the times) note to fans of Domino magazine that just crossed: the magazine is being shut down. WWD just sent an urgent with that sad news.

Now, in order to be sure we leave you with a smile, we end on an up note, the Big Fish Boys Sailboat Tee-shirt at one of our favorites, Best Dressed Child.

Best Dressed Child

Best Dressed Child

If that doesn’t bring thoughts of spring to you, how about the Girls Lilly Preppy Palooza Polly shirt?

Best Dressed Child

Best Dressed Child

Until next time, smiles to everyone!

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy stationery, Sign of the Times, The AntiPrep

Love that Lilly, and Michelle Obama in $500,000+ Diamonds

Hello-Hello everybody, and welcome to the almost-weekend!

We promised more Lilly Pulitzer Stationery goodies, so here we go! First, the Note Card Books in Patchtastic and Lillywood:

Lilly Pulitzer Note Card Books at PreppyPrincess.com

Lilly Pulitzer Note Card Books at PreppyPrincess.com

At only $15 for each Set of 10 Note Cards (2 each of 5 different patterns) and envelopes, these are already a favorite here at the Prepatorium.  And they haven’t even arrived yet!

Also due in around the 4th or 5th of February, these bright and cheery Large Notebooks in Animal Crackers (L) and Cabanarama (R):

Lilly Pulitzer Notebooks at PreppyPrincess.com

Lilly Pulitzer Notebooks at PreppyPrincess.com

The Large Notebooks are about 9″ x 12″ with an inside pocket; they will be $16.

At 6″ x 8″ the Mini-Notebooks are perfect for tossing in the tote.  They also have an inside pocket, and will run $14.  Below, the Mini-Notebooks in Mumsie and Bee’s Knees Patch:

Lilly Pulitzer Mini-Notebooks at PreppyPrincess.com

Lilly Pulitzer Mini-Notebooks at PreppyPrincess.com

A reminder that the Princess Consort has been typing his little fingers to the bone, making sure some of the Lilly merchandise is up on the Princess website for pre-ordering.  The Lilly folks say they are shipping February 1st; we expect our first shipment being here by the 4th or 5th of February. Pre-ordering means your order gets out the door first when the Lilly merchandise arrives here. Pre-orders are at the top of the list and will be turned around on the same day we receive the merchandise from Lilly.

We also said we would share some sneak peeks from the market. Here is a glance at two new patterns from Scout that we went ga-ga over, starting with the Poolside Stripe:

Available 2/15/09

Available 2/15/09

Stripes Away is another new pattern we will be getting in mid-February.

Available 2.15.09 PreppyPrincess.com

Available 2.15.09 PreppyPrincess.com

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On the topic of Inaugural fashion, the LA Times raises a question about the propriety of a First Lady borrowing jewelry, in relation to these $17,000 Loree Rodkin earrings.

LoreeRodkin.com

Michelle Obama wore the sparklers to Sunday’s concert.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

(Frankly, TP is far more fascinated by the Narciso Rodriguez ensemble in camel and black, really quite elegant IOHO.)  The paper’s All the Rage blog cites rules about borrowed apparel and accessories set up when Ronald Reagan was President in the 1980s, and Mrs. Reagan was chided for her frequent borrowing of designer clothes.

“Michelle Obama wore $17,000 diamond chandelier earrings designed by Loree Rodkin to the “We Are One” concert on Sunday — not a gift from her husband, but borrowed from a Chicago retailer. The next morning, dispatches were dutifully sent out from the publicist for Rodkin to let the press know whom to credit for her ear candy. How very red carpet.”

Yikes… that seems a little cranky, no? We presume All the Rage would apply the same question to Tuesday night’s jewelry, a healthy 77.6 carats in diamonds, again, borrowed from Loree Rodkin. (Mrs. Obama is seen with U.S. Army Sgt. Margaret H. Herrera following her dance with President Obama.)

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

PHOTO: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

The Arizona Republic has a little more information on the bling (that is the proper term…yes?) in this story:

“Curious about costs, we called Moody Blues boutique in Scottsdale, which carries Loree Rodkin jewelry. There, a chain necklace with a cross pendant covered in an estimated 3 carats of diamonds is $21,000, says Catie Cerutti, store manager.

We’d hate to draw any cost-per-carat conclusions based on that, but . . . oh, who are we kidding. Our math shows that Obama could have been wearing $543,200 worth of diamonds.”

There you have it.

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Now, if you are interested in sporting a knock-off of the First Lady’s Jason Wu gown, eDressMe has one available. Really.

eDressMe.com

eDressMe.com

We have an answer to our question Is Jason Wu Preppy?, asked in this post: absolutely.  Without question. According to Eric Wilson’s story in today’s Times, he attended Loomis, a not-very-well-know Connecticut boarding school.

We credit the Consort for the sharp eye on this – he is such a Fashionisto. (The male version of Fashionista…hello?)

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And in our “The Princess wasn’t Born Yesterday” category, we pose a question: is it possible that the “Marvelous Malia” and “Sweet Sasha” dolls pictured below have absolutely no connection whatsoever to the little girls who just moved into the White House?!

Scott Olson/Getty

PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty

That’s what the folks at Ty say; they just released the dolls for sale, and controversy  about the TyGirlz dolls is growing. An Associated Press story explains the “coincidence”:

“The Oak Brook-based company chose the names because ‘they are beautiful names,’ not because of any resemblance to Malia and Sasha Obama, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen.”

“‘There’s nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls,’ Lundeen said. ‘It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls.

Oh.  Silly Princess.

However – let it be said that at least the moronic company (really, this is PR Debacle 101 level stuff) put a little madras on the dolls’ cuffs and one pair of sneakers.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

PHOTO: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Do enjoy your Saturday and Sunday!

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy stationery

J. Crew Obama Sketches, Jason Wu – Preppy? And, Ralph Lauren Debuts Watches

Greetings and salutations on a drab and dreary day here in the Great Midwest.  However, as we said to ourselves this morning, “Whine not Princess, as the temperature is above freezing for the first time in nearly three weeks.” Indeed.

J. Crew continues to update its website related to their winning looks for the First Family. (In case you missed our many posts on the topic, click here or here for a sampling.) Today’s home page provided insight into the design process, with a reproduction of their inspiration board for the Obama designs.

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

We always enjoy seeing the final pieces alongside the sketches….

sasha_cv_20090122173617malia_cv_20090122173905

Jim Young/Reuters

PHOTO: Jim Young/Reuters

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In this story from Cheryl Lu-Lien Tang at the WSJ’s fabulous Heard on the Runway blog, we learn a little more about Malia and Sasha’s individual styles from J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons:

“Malia, she likes pleats and pared-down things and is not a huge fan of sparkles, but little Sasha loves bright colors and sparkly things,” says Ms. Lyons, who says her team submitted 20 sketches based on the details they received.

That same WSJ blog story indicates that an opportunity to acquire an almost-identical look for your Young Miss should arrive in about six months:

“… (the company) plans this fall to introduce coats in its Crewcuts by J.Crew line that are similar to the ones Malia and Sasha wore on Tuesday.

“They’ll be versions of them but not the exact coat, in that color, with those buttons,” Ms. Lyons says. “Malia and Sasha will not go to school next year and see the girl next to them wearing the same coat.”

Not all was fabulous for J. Crew however, as noted in this story in the Times’ Bits blog:

“By Tuesday afternoon, the Web page on J. Crew’s site that features women’s gloves had crashed. By Wednesday morning, the whole women’s section of the site had crashed. Later in the day, the entire site was down, with a note that said, “Stay tuned…Sorry, we’re experiencing some technical difficulties right now (even the best sites aren’t perfect). Check back with us in a little while.”

Another look we saw on the J. Crew homepage:

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

Those reading Tuesday’s post about Michelle Obama selecting a Jason Wu gown for the Inaugural balls may remember we closed with this line:

“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.”

And TPC is feeling validated this afternoon, yes he is. We give you part of a story at today’s Arizona Central, titled Who is Jason Wu, writing:

“Whimsical and feminine at times, but he loves preppy and East Coast vibes, too. His spring collection is filled with bright ethereal gowns, ladylike shift dresses and menswear-inspired trousers and long shorts.”

Courtesy Jason Wu

Courtesy Jason Wu

We adore the pink look shown above, as well as this dress:

Courtesy Jason Wu

Courtesy Jason Wu

We just have to share a few more:

Courtesy Jason Wu

Courtesy Jason Wu


Courtesy Jason Wu

Courtesy Jason Wu

We do love almost everything Mr. Wu shows in this collection – what do you think?

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A note for students or afficionadas of interior design, especially those intrigued by White House decor: today’s All the Best is a must-read. Ronda has done an outstanding job sharing inside information and photos on designers like Dorothy Draper and Sister Parish (to name a few) and their work with varying First Families.  Just seeing the photo of the Kennedy family in front of the Christmas tree in 1962 is worth the visit, not to mention the image of Babe Paley at the Eisenhower Inaugural Ball!

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One more quick item almost lost in the Inaugural shuffle: Ralph Lauren unveiled the company’s new luxury watch line this week in Switzerland.

The company plans three different collections, with the first launching in April of this year. Price points will range from approximately $8800 – $25,000 according to a Bloomberg story.  The initial group is designed with the retailer’s iconic equestrian theme in mind.

Courtesy Luxist.com

Courtesy Luxist.com

Ariel Adams at Luxist has a wonderful piece on the line loaded with fascinating tidbits:

“These are no mere fashion watches as can be seen from their unveiling at which occurred at the luxury watch show SIHH 2009.”

For more, click here.

We’ll be back shortly!

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A PREPPY INAUGURATION: Malia, Sasha & Michelle Obama in J. Crew (& Jimmy Choo!)

Hello-Hello…we just flew in the door 7:55pm EST… gasp… and logged in to check on today’s Inaugural

Please accept our apologies for being TARP (no, not that TARP, it means for The Absent Roaming Princess), our time at Market in Chicago stretched beyond our plans. But you will be ever-so-pleased that it did, for we spent oodles of time gazing at the loveliness that is the Lilly Pulitzer Spring accessory line, to name just one cause of our prolonged absence.

But let us move on to a topic that matters: today’s Inaugural fashions! We were on the phone with The Queen Mother when our first photos of the Obama girls came up on the computer screen; she was subjected to a shriek, “OMG, how darling are they????!!!!!!” Really, can we talk about the bows? Everywhere? It was definitely cute overload, and we just love every inch of what they had on.

In case you wanted another glance….

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

In this next photo one can see how Sasha Obama’s pink and orange contrast beautifully with Malia’s royal blue. (Above, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Jenna Bush.)

This story in Newsday gives more specifics on the girls’ outfits:

“Malia went for a double-breasted, deep periwinkle coat, while younger sis Sasha shone in a guava pink coat, contrasting orange scarf and gloves, with just the hint of a coral dress peeking from the below her hem. Both coats were tied with velvet ribbons, echoing the tie on Mom’s sparkly coat.”

Rick Wilking/Reuters

PHOTO: Rick Wilking/Reuters

The Obama girls were both in Crewcuts, from one of Michelle Obama’s favorite fashion outlets, J. Crew.  That same Newsday story sheds more light on how the selections were made:

“According to the company, Michelle and the girls had an opportunity to choose what they liked. “We wanted to offer a collection …that would let their own personalities show through,” said Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew.”

One word of caution however: do NOT look for these pieces online or at your local J. Crew. The looks are from the Fall 2009 collection, and they are somewhat modified from what will be available to Jane and John Q. Public.  First Lady Michelle Obama did her part for J. Crew, wearing a pair of their leather gloves for the morning.

Next, the Isabel Toledo dress and matching coat:

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

As described on The Caucus blog at the Times,

“…the coat and dress were made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth and lined in French silk. “I wanted to pick a very optimistic color, that had sunshine,” she said. “I wanted her to feel charmed, and in that way would charm everybody.”

Pool

PHOTO: Pool

As detailed in WWD’s initial story on the ensemble with reaction from the designer’s spouse:

“The soon-to-be First Lady did not tip her hand in any way. “We had no idea. We hoped she would wear something because she has bought Isabel’s clothes before. We never know what’s going to happen,” he said.

“It’s just another shock, but a great shock.”‘

Our favorite quote from the Toledos?

“We’re all grateful for this opportunity, and we don’t even have a PR person!”

Keep in mind, Ms. Toledo lost her job with Anne Klein earlier this year

And on Mrs. Obama’s feet? The Jimmy Choo Glacier pump, as seen below at DSW.

Jimmy Choo 'Glacier' Pump

Jimmy Choo 'Glacier' Pump

Readers thinking “Hhhmmm….hasn’t Mrs. Obama worn Isabel Toledo before?” get a pink and green star! As seen in this post in June of last year…

michelleobama5

..the look was an elegant tunic and palazzo pants. The occasion was a fundraiser on behalf of her husband put on by fashion industry leaders like the Anna Wintour and Calvin Klein.  In TP’s ever-so-humble opinion, the Toledo sheath and coat were just gorgeous, simply stunning on Mrs. Obama.  To our uneducated eyes however, the look was better suited to a semi-formal evening function.

So load up those poison pens angry people; we adore the design, love the color, and think both combined for a radiant First Lady.  We merely think the look better suited to a different occasion.  We are surprised at the volume of negative comments on the shape (or lack thereof apparently) of the coat, it seemed entirely in keeping with the refined flow of the dress underneath.

BTW, today’s pieces are not the only J. Crew fashions worn by the First Family during the festivities of the last several days. More on that in our next post…we’re off to see tonight’s gown for the Inaugural Balls! (We’re hearing Jason Wu… stand by formore!)

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Next Target Home Designer (Fab!), Another Gossip Girl Cover

Happy Thursday everyone, we hope today is going swimmingly for you!

We are still aglow about the Lilly Pulitzer Stationery & Gift line we announced we will be carrying in just about two weeks, but other news abounds on the Preppy Planet that we simply must share with you! (Just take a glance at our first and/or second Lilly post if you missed the news yesterday.)

We start with word on Target’s next designer for their home collection: the Orla Kierly Collection for Target will land at your local Tarszay beginning February 1.

Courtesy Racked

TP predicts this collection will be as popular as last year’s Cynthia Rowley group at the Boutique, possibly more so.  It may not resonate as much with those favoring a strictly preppy aesthetic; the colors are more muted than the brights we adore, and the designs do not carry motifs associated with a ‘prep style.’ On the other hand, the lines are very clean; one won’t see a lot of ‘frou frou’ or fussiness with this designer.

The fabulous folks at the Decor8 blog have loads of great images of the Kiely Collection for Target in this post.  For those not as familiar with the company, we share a few looks from their apparel offerings. Below, the Sparkle Cashmere Sweater:

Orly Kiely

Orly Kiely

Some may recognize the more well-known ‘stem’ prints on their bags, totes and other items. Below, the Small Stem Large Tote:

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Believe it or not, another Gossip Girl star has landed the cover of fashion magazine. In this case it is a big deal for one Blake Lively, as she is the February cover for Vogue.

Mario Testino for Vogue

Mario Testino for Vogue

In the accompanying feature story Ms. Lively covers all sorts of ground, including topics show-related and fashion-related.

Also in G2 news, some readers may remember our post about a Gossip Girl spinoff; word now that the new show is moving forward. The details are in this story on Us Magazine’s website:

“The new CW pilot will center on a teenage version of Lily van der Woodsen (played by Kelly Rutherford) in Los Angeles in the 1980s.”

“Used to being a ‘have,’ attending a wealthy Montecito boarding school and living the high life, Lily is now forced into being a ‘have not,’ living deep in the Valley she once made fun of, and going to public school,” a Warner Bros. statement read.”

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Speaking of “cover girls,” we were delighted to open our T&C Special Issue on Wonder Women and see Diane von Furstenberg!

Town & Country

Town & Country

The special issue comes packaged with the Town & Country Weddings spring issue.  And since we are speaking of Ms. von Furstenberg, we feel compelled to advise you there is an astounding sale on some of the goodies in her online store!   (See our next item, for it also involves this designer!)

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Designers who participated in the last year’s Runway to Change fundraising efforts for President-elect Obama are now offering Inaugural items.  Below, the Obama Love Inaugural Tote Bag by Diane von Furstenberg:

Obama Love by Diane von Furstenberg

Obama Love by Diane von Furstenberg

Along with this design from Tory Burch:

Tory Burch - Runway to Change

Tory Burch - Runway to Change

Not for TP, but certainly appealing for others, to be sure.

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Are the fashion and retail arenas still rife with what call SOTTs? (Signs of the Times.) Yes. Indubitably. However we elected to stay more upbeat today and avoid dwelling on the Neiman Marcus layoffs, Goody’s bankruptcy filing, or the Gottschalks bankruptcy.

Instead, we’ll share a tidbit about Curtis Sittenfeld, considered one of the more ‘preppy writers’ on the American literary landscape.  The author of “Prep and “American Wife” started an online novella yesterday. As explained on the Slate site, where the novella is running:

“In anticipation of the inauguration, Slate asked Curtis Sittenfeld, whose 2008 novel American Wife chronicled the personal side of politics, to write an original inauguration novella. It will run in five parts, starting today and concluding Tuesday.”

Entitled “All Along, This Was What Was Supposed to Happen: an Inauguration Novella,” the first installment is subtitled “Yes, We Did” and the second, “Got Hope?” How very interesting.

And lest anyone think we forgot, we have nothing new to report on an Inaugural Gown or a daytime look for Michelle Obama.  We did see sketches of designs for Malia and Sasha Obama from the upscale children’s line Bonpoint in a story that ran in WWD this past Monday (the 12th), but were highly suspicious when reading it.

Among other things the story said “the White House stylist” approached the French firm. For openers, we expect the family will be in apparel from American companies. And “the White House stylist” ???  That would be an addition to the staff list we do not expect to see filled.  FYI, the story has been pulled from the Women’s Wear Daily website.

Anywho, we’re out the door. After all, it is a tropical -1 outside, but the sun is brightly shining.  And you know what we always say: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

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