Tag Archives: Michelle Trachtenberg

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

Secret Sales at Luxury Retailers & Are Those Gossip Girls Underdressed?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Wednesday!

We start today with a look at a new phenomenon in online shopping, courtesy of several upscale retailers: the limited-time sale. It generally starts with an email like this:

Courtesy Neiman Marcus

The image above is from a Neimans email we received Monday; it is for the ‘midday dash’ at Neiman Marcus, a two-hour online-only sale.  At the appointed time this is what a savvy shopper will see at the Needless Markup Neiman Marcus site; the merchandise changes with each sale.


As described in a July story in the Times:

“Customers learn about the sale mere hours before it begins. This week’s “dash” featured a $697 Burberry handbag, marked down from $1,395. A Carmen Marc Valvo chiffon gown was $575, down from $1,150. And Cole Haan flats were $82, down from $165.”

By no means is Neimans the only luxury retailer trying new ways to prompt consumers to open (re-open?) those pocketbooks.  The following screen grab shows what one sees today after the most recent Saks ‘Fashion Fix’ sale ended.

Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

The Fashion Fix email explained “Today, the rush begins. Get Yours. Online Only.” and promoted 50% savings on top brands at Saks like Herve Leger, Alice and Olivia, Chloè, and more.

However, not all ‘secret sales’ are online only, as the Times story details:

“… the benefits of secret sales — whispered discounts and discreet price negotiations between customers and sales staff in the aisles of upscale chains. A time-worn strategy typically reserved for a store’s best customers, it has become more democratized as the recession drags on and retailers struggle to turn browsers into buyers.”

Nor do the higher-end stores want to tell everyone in the world about their discounted goods.

“The conventional wisdom is that the more consumers who know about a sale, the better for business. But that rule does not necessarily hold in luxury retailing.”

The Journal has also written about the relatively new practice; from their October story on Saks testing this method of selling:

“The realm of online “private sales” so far has been dominated by a small number of retail startups that specialize in the brief sales of discount designer apparel. Their Web sites, including Gilt.com, RueLaLa.com and HauteLook.com, have built a following with virally marketed, daily “members only” sales.”

Below, a recent Rue La La screen shows listings for that day’s ’boutiques’.

Courtesy Rue La La

AOL’s Daily Finance has more on how the designers’ perceive these sales:

“The sites are popular with designers, who’d rather have their goods sold there than hung in clearance racks at department stores. Designers know their brands are their currency and they are very wary about cheapening them; it’s a constant point of friction between designers and department stores. That’s why you’ll never find Hermès sold off-price.”

Back to Stephanie Rosenbloom’s story in the Times, with more on the psychology behind selling this way:

“Such discreet sales preserve a brand’s veneer of exclusivity and help create a sense of urgency by limiting the time customers have to score a deal. Additionally, secret sales enable stores to discount their merchandise deeply without angering regular customers who may have bought at full price.”

In many respects this doesn’t seem all that different from what many retailers have been doing online for some time, providing early notice to its better customers of special discounts, sale and promotional events. One issue that may be a concern is overexposure; below, another email received here at the Prepatorium from Neimans, this one touting the Last Call sale currently underway.

Courtesy Neiman Marcus

Some customers may start to feel inundated with ‘special sale’ notifications and promotions.  It’s no secret that we find J. Crew a repeat offender in this category, with the volume of email creating a perception that everything is always ‘on sale’, and if not currently ‘on sale’, it will be ‘on sale’ again very soon.

On the other hand, here at the Princess we have been told we should email customers on our mailing lists more frequently. We only send our newsletters to those requesting them, generally every four to five weeks.  We take your email address and privacy very seriously, and while desirous of offering special savings and sharing new merchandise with you, we want those occasions to remain ‘special’. (If not a subscriber and interested in receiving either our Preppy Planet or Lilly Pulitzer newsletters, just click here for our  home page, and look at the lower right-hand side of the page to sign up.)

BTW, if anyone needs invites to the ‘members only’ sites like those listed above, just email us (thepreppyplanet@gmail dot com) and we’ll get one on its way to you.


Also on the hit parade today, a follow-up to yesterday’s post showing a rather scantily clad Blake Lively attending the premiere of her new film. It is not unusual for Ms. Lively to be out and about in such apparel (or lack thereof), while Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester is generally deemed to be more conservatively clad.  Ummm… perhaps not so much any more.

PHOTO: Splash News

Ms. Meester is seen at last night’s American Eagle store opening party, where she performed several songs from her new album.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

Whiles these images may look fairly provocative, the actress’s photos in the December issue of GQ are far racier. The one we show below is the only image not carrying the dreaded NSFW caution.


We really were amazed at the other pictures.

Speaking of G2, there is word today that Michelle Trachtenberg is doing a jewelry line with Coach.  From the story in today’s WWD:

“Trachtenberg will apply her tough-girl meets sugary-sweet vibe to her first jewelry collection in collaboration with Coach under the accessories giant’s youthful and spirited Poppy line.”

The new line will launch next Spring.


We close with a special Pretty in Pink, French department store Printemps is all aglow for the holidays.

We loved shopping at this retailer when they entered the US market many years back (ultimately an unsuccessful endeavor), but we have not visited any located on the far side of the pond for years.

On that, may everyone enjoy an evening that is light, bright and filled with fun!


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings

Adventures in Argyle, Preppy Sales and Savings

Hello-Hello, greetings for another week!

We have several Sales and Savings to report today; some may be repetitious but we thought they bore a second run, beginning with Brooks Brothers.


Brooks has taken significant markdowns on many items, including several pieces that definitely qualify as Adventures in Argyle.

The Merino Argyle Cardigan is now $117.60 ($168), and on the right we have the Cashmere Argyle cardigan, now $208.60 (originally $298).  Both seemed to be available in almost all sizes as of this writing.


The Country Club Mini-Argyle crew sock is now $16 (originally $40) and the Cotton Argyle Anklet now $6 ($15); both are offered in a variety of colorways.


As The Consort has been heard to say: “You can’t go wrong with a good pair of socks from Brooks Brothers.”

Not on sale at Brooks, but definitely worthy of a mention, the St. Jude Collection, including the Brooksie ™ Bear.


Courtesy Brooks Brothers

The retailer is donating $5 from the sale of each bear to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There are several other items in this collection at Brooks Brothers, all with a portion of sales going to the hospital and research center.


Also offering a sizable selection of Sale merchandise, Lacoste; the hat originally ($45, now $24.99) and gloves (originally $40, now $27.99) shown below definitely qualify as Pretty in Pink.












Over at Bergdorf, their semi-annual sale is underway.


J. Crew continues their ‘holiday sale‘:


One item of note: Crew is also offering 20% off all orders of $150 or more; use promo code INSIDER at checkout. This is online only and ends Wednesday night (the 18th) at midnight.


Nautica has a solid selection of discounted merchandise in their online Sale section.  We simply adore the Girls Anchor Print Skirt is now $14.99, originally it sold at $30. We also like the Girls Signal Flag polo.


Two things we fell in love with: the Baby Anchor Print Hoodie (now $14.99) and the Baby Dreamer Sweater Coat (now $21.99)


The item that really sent us over the moon? The Infant Plaid Trim Onesie.


If that doesn’t qualify as Prepalicious we don’t know what will; it is off the charts on the Cute-o-meter. (It is also only $9.99.)


We have an update to the Jimmy Choo for H & M post from Friday: it was bedlam at most H&M stores when the collection went on sale Saturday.  In Vancouver shoppers camped outside the store.


Vancouver Sun

From a MarketWatch story:

“…the greater part of both Choo’s ladies’ and men’s collections sold out…. Even in Madrid, the epicenter of one of Europe’s most recession-battered economies, plenty of women and men could be seen toting glossy blue H&M bags Saturday afternoon.”

Below, Gossip Girl star Michelle Trachtenberg was among those shopping the H&M on Fifth this weekend.


Rob Loud/Getty Images

Speaking of Gossip Girl, many of Ms. Trachtenberg’s costars were seen at last night’s private screening of ‘The Private Lives of Pippa Lee‘.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Blake Lively was at the screening, along with Keanu Reeves, Julianne Moore, Robin Wright Penn, director Rebecca Miller and Zoe Kazan.


Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Many of the actress’s G2 costars were also in attendance, including Chace Crawford.


Jemal Countess/Getty Images

And real-life sweetheart Penn Badgley was on hand as well.


Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The film has a November 27 release date.


Filed under Argyle, Gossip Girl, nautical, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

Next Target Designer & Another Argyle Adventure

Hello-Hello and Happy Spring Fever! It is so fantabulous we are officially decreeing today as…..

… Prepalicious, the feeling is utter bliss here at the Prepatorium; we hope the same can be said for your corner of the globe.

We start with news of the next designer collaboration for Target. The Boutique will offer another jewelry line, this one in tandem with the oh-so-wonderful Anna Sheffield, perhaps better known to some readers as the designer of Bing-Bang jewelry.

Courtesy S. Varady/Hungry Elephant

Courtesy Anna Sheffield via Hungry Elephant/S. Varady

The Anna Sheffield for Target Collection launches August 30; it will be online and in stores through December 30.  Last year the designer teamed up with Urban Outfitters for a line. Below, a cuff currently in the Bing-Bang group.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Bing-Bang Courtesy Photo via WWD

Additionally, Miss Sheffield’s Hobo Bag was featured last year on Gossip Girl.


In addition to her own website, Ms. Sheffield’s work is available at Intermix, Shopbop and other retailers.

Speaking of Gossip Girl… we have a few updates for readers, starting with news that actress Leighton Meester has officially signed a record deal, with an album release expected this fall. We are more-than-tardy mentioning a fashion spread featuring Ms. Meester in the NY Times magazine.

Courtesy NY Times

PHOTO: Terry Richardson/NY Times

The Moment blog also has a story with the 23-year-old that fans may enjoy reading.

People has an interesting online update pegged to Monday’s return of Michele Trachtenberg’s character (Georgina Chapman) to the UES. One thing addressed in the story is what seems to be finds an incredibly high rate of intra-cast romantic relationships:

““I haven’t tasted or drank the love potion yet because I’m actually not dating anyone from the set,” Trachtenberg jokingly said. “But we all roll up with Red Bull in the morning, so maybe there is something in there.”

“With Ed Westwick dating Jessica Szohr, Leighton Meester meeting boyfriend Sebastian Stan on the set and lovebirds Blake Lively and Penn Badgley still going strong, Trachtenberg admits it’s usually only a matter of time before costars hook up.”

Of course.


Just to prove we retain our capacity to cope with late-breaking news, we offer the latest for your consideration:

PHOTO: Andrew Milligan/AP

PHOTO: Andrew Milligan/AP

There is more in this article from The Daily Mail. Oh, what exactly does this have to do with preppiness, other than the possibility that is a Burberry scarf? Nothing.  Not a thing, dolls, we apologize.

There you have it.


We have an interesting Argyle Update today, if only because of the individual sporting the argyle:

PHOTO: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

PHOTO: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Yesterday First Lady Michelle Obama was wearing another Junya Watanabe argyle cardigan. Does it look familiar? Readers may recall Mrs. Obama in another colorful sweater by the designer during the G2 trip to Europe in early April; if not, this post may be of assistance.


The designer is no stranger to argyle, it is one of the reasons we are drawn to his creations. Below, a vest from this spring’s Comme des Garcon collection for Colette.  But prepettes also know it’s not exactly Brooks Brothers standard issue.

Courtesy Junya Watanabe via Hypebeast

Courtesy Junya Watanabe via Hypebeast.com

Again the First Lady looks beautiful. We love the bright colors in her cardigan. However (you just knew this was coming) we are simply never going to adapt to daytime sequins despite intense counseling from the Fashion Herald and Wendy. We’re constitutionally incapable. It Just. Will. Not. Happen.


We close today with a look at some of Kenneth Paul Block’s amazing fashion illustrations. First, “Babe Paley in Mainbocher and Amanda Burden in Sarni

PHOTO: Courteasy Kenneth Paul Block via WWD

PHOTO: Courtesy Kenneth Paul Block via WWD

Next, Ungaro Dress, today’s Pretty in Pink:

"Ungaro Dress"

Courtesy Kenneth Paul Block via WWD

Mr. Block created magnificent drawings for W and WWD as the principle in-house illustrator for Fairchild Publications, frequently using members of the ‘jet set’ as subjects. Below, Jackie Kennedy Onassis in a Valentino jumpsuit.


Courtesy Kenneth Paul Block via WWD

The artist also did numerous illustrations for upscale retailers like Bonwit Teller, Bloomingdale’s  and Bergdorf’s. In March Mr. Block donated almost 1900 drawings to the MFA in Boston.  For a real treat, pop over to the Museum’s Textile and Fashion Arts Facebook page and gaze upon the fabulosity. One can also check out Drawing Art: The Fashion of Kenneth Paul Block at their local library or consider adding it to their personal library.

Mr. Block passed away last week; he was 84.


Filed under Argyle, Gossip Girl, Obama Fashion & Politics, Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink