Tag Archives: Preppy polo Ralph Lauren

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

Hello-Hello, happy new week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

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

Brooks Brothers

They promote the Summer at the Cape collections.

BrooksBrothers.com

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

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

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

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

Brooks Brothers & Tory Burch via All the Rage

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

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

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

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

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

Below, two shirts from Robert Graham.

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

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

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

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

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

The 2008 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Sales: Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, More!

Now, doesn’t Miss Muffy Martini know how to brighten a girl’s day?

She is so sweet to have bestowed this upon The Princess, gratiās, merci, gracias, thank you! Here are the rules of the A+ Blogger Award:

  1. You should pay it forward to 2 other bloggers and let them know they won
  2. You should give them a compliment
  3. You should thank your giver. Miss Muffy Martini, you are much too kind!
  4. You should post your award for the world to see!

TP is ever-so-excited to share this with Miss Jewish Girl in WASP’s Clothing, an amazing  writer whose blog touches on brilliance more than she realizes; and Miss I Pick Pretty, possessed of an oh-so-sharp legal mind evident from her delightfully witty posts!

If it is October it must be time for the annual Needless Markup Neiman Marcus Chistmas Book, that wacky collection of insane and imaginative holiday gifts one won’t find anywhere else. Like this:

Neiman Marcus courtesy photo

Neiman Marcus courtesy photo

Now this one starts at $1.3 million, but as we’re not planning a wedding it’s a non-starter. However, *if* there is a wedding in your future and you are thinking west coast, then the Luxury Wedding Experience at The Resort at Pelican Hill (Newport Beach) is something to consider.

“A personal engagement coach to take care of every detail, a couture wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses custom designed by Carolina Herrera, up to 40 private ocean-view guest villas and every detail exquisitely executed from the magical cake to the perfect flowers to the private celebrity entertainment at the reception.”

The life-sized LEGO Sculpture is also an option at only $60,000, but do keep in mind the extra shipping charges.

Does this sort of extravagance make sense in light of the current economic conditions?  Ginger Reeder, the Neiman Marcus spokeswoman for their Direct division, told Reuters:

“In the midst of all this dark and dreary news that’s got us all so sad and down, I’d like to think that somebody could open this book up and smile … I mean they’re fantasies. We’re not saying: ‘You’ve got to rush out and have yourself made in Legos.’ It’s like, wouldn’t that be fun?”

Frankly, TP couldn’t agree more. Besides, as with every Christmas Book from Neiman’s there are loads of far more down-to-earth and reasonable gifts.

Oh, you were wondering what to do for TP this year?

Neiman Marcus courtesy photo

Neiman Marcus courtesy photo

Yes, TP wants to make a fool of herself playing basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters. We realize it is $110,000, but honestly, you know we’ll appreciate it. (Heh-heh-heh.) If this is just a bit over the top there is the always-incredible array of jewelry, furs, clothing and accessories to select from. The Princess isn’t choosy. Well, she is choosy. But not insanely so!

In our ongoing presentation of ways everyone can save some of those trust fund $$$, here are a few more current “deals.”  Polo Ralph Lauren is wisely jumping in to the discounting frenzy with their Create Your Own line of merchandise.

Our favorites from this entire group have to be the infant pieces.

How cute are these kids? The Create Your Own Overall and the CYO Classic Polo shirt are simply precious.

And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the continued sales online and at their retail stores. Naturally Eddie Bauer doesn’t want to be left out of the fun.

And Vera Bradley has some marvelous items on sale.

What won’t you see at Vera Bradley as a markdown, but actually is until October 12th? The Riviera Blue collection, 25% off with coupon code RIVIERA25BLUE; this includes pieces like the Weekender.

And finally, word that Linens & Things will be closing all of their stores.

Reed Saxon/AP

Photo: Reed Saxon/AP

They will not bother trying to reorganize themselves, so the “Going Out of Business” sales appear to be underway at all of the stores.

Reed Saxon/AP

Phot: Reed Saxon/AP

We do hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

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

Tommy Hilfiger 2009 Sneak Peek, Ralph Lauren Exclusive Party, New Chicago Luxury Magazine

Is everyone ready for their weekend? The Princess is, and soon to be off to visit the Queen Mother for a little shopping and dining out at new places; a fun weekend is on the way for “the girls”!

One place we probably won’t be able to miss would be the enormous sale at Nordstrom! Good heavens, these additional ongoing sales at Nordies have us a bit befuddled; we had our internal clock set for the Anniversary Sale every year and then the Shoe Sale, but now we have the never-ending sale it seems. Not that we are complaining, for we are not; the change in policy for the company just means we have to pay more attention to our electronic inbox, that’s all. BTW, the banner above saying “33-60% OFF” is the link to the Nordstrom Sale and the banner below is a link to the Hilfiger sale.

Now we move back to Fashion Week for some of the fun and an early peek at a few lines much loved by preps everywhere: Ralph Lauren & Tommy Hilfiger. We start with Mr. Hilfiger’s line as there is just *so* much going on with the company: its move to exclusivity at Macy’s and the Hilfiger stores, the word the company will be selling shares of stock in a public offering, the launch of a new fragrance, Mr. Hilfiger’s home being put on the market at a mere $50 million, and the number of Hilfiger stores in progress, especially the flagship in New York opening on Black Friday!

Tommy Hilfiger Spring-Summer 2009 Collection

This post from a Wall Street Journal blog explains some of the happenings, especially this week:

“On Tuesday Mr. Hilfiger and a dozen motorcyclists roared down Broadway into in Herald Square where they landed at Macy’s in a flashy display to kick off “Tommy Week,” to herald Hilfiger’s now exclusive relationship with Macy’s. Macy’s will be the only U.S. department stores selling Hilfiger. (The brand continues to be carried at Hilfger’s own stores).”

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2009 Collection
Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2009 Collection

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2009 Collection

Now just in case you hadn’t heard, “Orange is the new red…” as Mr. Hilfiger said in an interview with WWD about his Spring 2009 Collection. We’re not convinced this is a good thing. TP has been quite fond of the red, white and blue color palette used for so many years.

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2009 Collection

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2009 Collection

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2009 Collection

From that same interview with WWD:

“It’s about relaxed American glamour — chic, wholesome, but sexy,” said Hilfiger before his show. His American girl was indeed chic, a tourist in Europe perhaps, her wardrobe packed with silky blouses, cropped loose trousers, and plenty of easy cocktail dresses (for the pool, there was a terrific backless maillot).”

As with seemingly every show this week, there were plenty of celebrities at the show, including John Mayer and Hilary Swank.

The Wall Street Journal has a great post on the “Heard on the Runway’ blog (that we completely adore!) with more insight into the company:

“What many guests probably didn’t realize was that Hilfiger’s design team based in Amsterdam has taken over designing most of its better merchandise sold in the label’s eponymous boutiques and all its merchandise sold across Europe. (Hilfiger still maintains a design team in New York.)”

Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for IMG

Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for IMG

Plenty of lovely looks, and far too many we didn’t post as we are trying to fly out the door! Here is one of the Menswear looks we love.

Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for IMG

Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for IMG

But first, the oh-so-exclusive party at the Ralph Lauren mansion on Wednesday. The gala was hosted by the incredible Lebron James.

Guests included both Lauren Bush and Dylan Lauren seen in the first photo and David Lauren, VP of the company, and yes, Ralph and Ricki Lauren’s son.

The Princess does have one question regarding longtime significant others Lauren Bush and David Lauren..if they were to actually marry, would her name then be Lauren Lauren? Just wondering…

Serena Williams was also a guest…

The party was a fundraiser with proceeds going to the Lebron James Family Foundation which helps single-parent families.

As promised we are sharing a few pieces from the Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection. Talk about a lush look that retains its understated elegance!

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

To be honest, TP would far prefer the Princess Consort appear in one of the looks above as opposed to the painful styles from Thom Browne witnessed in yesterday’s post.

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2009 Collection

We’ll share more and include the Women’s line when we are back from our little excursion.

We are sure that many of our favorite preps on the other side of the Big Lake will be pleased to see the launch of Michigan Avenue magazine on Monday. This one comes from Niche Media, who really have some wonderful titles in their portfolio, all of them with both firmly planted in the luxury market, including some we simply can’t live without.

Michigan Avenue Magazine

Michigan Avenue Magazine

We believe a number of our blogging friends will enjoy the glossy, a group of outstanding writers that include Third Coast Prep, Momx2, Tres Poshe Preppy, and now we have come to what we believe is politely referred to as a ‘senior moment,’ for we cannot remember if our dear Lipstick at the Mailbox is a transplanted southerner on the Third Coast or still in the south…? If there are other Chicagoland blogs we have missed, let us know and we will add you to this paragraph of the post! At any rate, this looks to be quite the magazine, and we can’t wait to see it.

Best wishes to everyone for a fabulous weekend!

Photo Credits: Scott Rudd

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Polo Ralph Lauren Offical Olympic Team Uniforms Sale & ‘It’s Just Not Done”

Thank. God. It’s. Friday. The Princess is clinging to a parapet here at the Palace, a tad frazzled from a whirlwind week consumed by too much travel and too little time with family. Sigh.

Perhaps news of a sale (imagine that, a sale on Labor Day weekend!) at Polo Ralph Lauren on their oh-so-popular Olympic Collection will prove to be a style-starter for you this holiday weekend. It appears all of the merchandise from both the Opening and Closing Ceremony Parade Uniform lines is marked down. This includes the Big and Tall sizes in Men’s, as well as the ‘Custom,’ polo shirts (which are not custom made, for heaven’s sake), cut closer to the body for a trimmer fit.

Styles like this Olympic Games Gold Medal Polo are available in Men’s, Women’s and Children’s sizing; below we show the Women’s version.

The men’s Custom Closing Ceremony Polo is now $99.99, originally selling for $125.

Should you be looking for a little treat for the Princess or young gentleman of the household, there is no shortage of Olympic apparel in those sizes from which to choose. The Girls Olympic Games Track Jacket might provide a delicious snuggle factor with the chill nights of Fall approaching; it is available in Sizes Small to Extra Large and comes in two colors.

It’s expected the markdowns, although at only about 20% they are not deep, will help move some of the merchandise. Naturally some of the line simply won’t sell and TP has her picks for those items most likely to hit the bargain bins at one’s local discounter of the TJ Maxx or Marshall’s variety.

For example, we don’t envision too many Moms successfully locating the Olympic Games Beret on the head of any young man in the Boys Size 2-7 and Boys 8-20 age groups. Actually, we don’t foresee any age group of either sex donning these of their own free will. The Princess was fond of the berets; they were a great look. However, the operative word in that sentence is “were” in our humble opinion.

Now a case could be made on behalf of the Olympic Games Sport Cap, a far more attractive proposition on a number of fronts if I am said Boy. (Or Girl, or anyone else.)

The style appeals to a much broader group and is much easier to wear. No peering about self-consciously and asking friends “Do I have this on right?” as many are wont to do when first wearing a Beret. Also, the price point is much more appealing for what most perceive as “dated” goods. Originally $20 for Boys 2-7 and 8-20, the Sport Cap is now $14.99; the Beret was $40, now $29.99, a substantial difference.

We do adore the sneakers (officially referred to as the Closing Ceremony USA Sneaker) on their own merits and hope to procure a pair for twinkletoes as soon as humanly possible. Below we show the Men’s sneaks.

At the very least, it never hurts to pop in and visit the folks at Polo Ralph Lauren for a few minutes; one never knows what may be discovered.

BTW, we had a request from the always-wonderful Momx2; she is seeking information on the dress Chelsea Clinton wore for her appearance at the Democratic convention Wednesday night.

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Unfortunately dear Mom, we are of no assistance whatsoever: we couldn’t locate anything! We did find out that Michelle Obama’s dress was by Thakoon Panichgul, and is part of the designer’s pre-spring 2009 collection, so obviously it isn’t available for purchase.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Mike Segar/Reuters

Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

If Thakoon’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he is one of the designers Target has doing a collection for them for its Go International initiative, similar to Cynthia Rowley’s earlier this spring or Rogan Gregory’s. The Thakoon line is due in Target stores in December. Momx2, we’ll keep trying on the Chelsea dress, which we also liked.

BTW, not that it’s TP’s decision to make, but for a campaign that has been somewhat ahead of the curve in its exploitation of technology, they need to grab the reins and create a Michelle Obama website. One all about Ms. Obama. Or separate and specific pages on the Obama site, not simply something one scrolls down to as part of the family page.

Now everybody knows it’s tennis time with the US Open continuing this weekend in Queens. What people may not be as familiar with are some of the following photos from the tourney, preceded by an installment of “It’s Just Not Done” which you may have already viewed on TV or in your local paper. It’s that notable in its poor sportsmanship.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

This is what was left of Eduardo Schwank’s tennis racket yesterday after his match with Dmitry Tursunov of Russia. TP understands (oh, how we understand!) personal frustration on the court, the green, the slope, wherever. But. There are standards of conduct. One does not resort to infantile displays of temper regardless of the arena. It’s just not done.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Now, that is reaching to return a shot! Jelena Jankovic of Serbia makes *every* effort in her match today against Zheng Jie of China. She may have been blinded by the red Adidas tennis shoes sported by Ms. Jie, seen below.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

US Olympic gold medal swimmer Aaron Peirsol dropped by yesterday, and did not look like a fish out of water, not at all.

On that note, we’re off for the weekend, but may be able to pop in briefly via modern technology. We hope so!

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Filed under It's Just Not Done, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Updates

Golden Boys, Sharapova Brings the Bling, Polo Ralph Lauren Wants You to Phone Home

Once again, it would seem the pictures best tell the stories. We start with the unprecedented.

Michael Phelps holds each of his 8 Gold Medals

Michael Phelps holds each of his 8 Gold Medals

What it’s like being Michael now…

Finding room to breath at the Speedo Athletes party…

Is that the Lacoste ‘Gator on Steroids on his hat?

And then we had the fierce factor out of the water, but no less potent. Rafael Nadal of Spain was all over the court with a ferocity that did not back down.

Here is TP’s favorite shot, a suddenly very grown-up looking Rafa consoling opponent Fernando Gonzales of Chile after the match and Nadal’s win, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

Of course, there is nothing like royalty attending your events to make you feel special. In this case, it is Queen Sofia of Spain.

Queen Sofia of Spain reacts

Queen Sofia of Spain at Men's Tennis Final (Former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch seated behind her)

The reaction from arch-rival Roger Federer was what one would expect, saying Nadal “totally deserves” the number one ranking, paying warm tribute to the Spaniard who takes over the number one tennis ranking on Monday, replacing Federer after 4-1/2 years.

“That’s what I expected and hoped for many years ago when I got to number one, that if ever somebody were to take it away from me, he would have to play an incredible tennis schedule, win the biggest tournaments, dominate the game basically, and then like this he can take number one. “I didn’t want it to happen that I would play completely bad and somebody would pick up number one in the world. So I think Rafa totally deserves it.”

And let’s not forget Team USA’s golden girls, Venus and Serena Williams, bringing home the gold in Women’s Doubles, beating Anabel Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain in the doubles final 6-2, 6-0. The sisters had some pretty good support from their fans.

The ladies really made short work of their opponents, looking outstanding in their pursuit of the win, and the Gold Medal. Congratulations to Venus Williams and Serena Williams!

Moving on to non-Olympic items, this has been covered many places and we keep intending to mention it ourselves, but between outside functions and Olympic events we simply didn’t have the time, so we apologize if it’s repetitive news. Here is the brief version: the smart marketing maneuvers at Polo Ralph Lauren continue at a rapid pace, most recently an announcement the company is moving into mobile, or “m-commerce.” In other words, we’ll soon be able to buy merchandise using our cell phone.

It all has to do with something called “QR” technology, that standing for Quick Response, a lovely idea, we are sure. Something to do with the box of computer-looking stuff, just like this one in the closeup, or in the ad just below. You can learn more about it in a story in “RL Magazine,” the online version.

Frankly, “Know the Code” sounds like some sort of Secret Squirrel Club hidden handshake or the government’s Disaster Preparedness Plans. Beyond that, all of the technospeak is a bit over TP’s head and really more the purview of The Princess Consort. Mobile shopping isn’t yet a critical need for The Princess, but should it become so, it’s nice to know that Ralph Lauren is leading the way in making it happen for us.

Injuries may have kept Maria Sharapova out of the Olympics and they’re also keeping her out of the US Open starting on the 25th, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t keeping other commitments. Come Wednesday Ms. Sharapova will be in New York unveiling five diamond-encrusted Canon PowerShot Elph cameras to hype her own Limited Edition version of the camera. (There’s that Limited Edition issue rearing its ugly self again…!) Yes, this is a *very* nouveau thing to do, and certainly nothing TP would condone (heh-heh-heh), however… those would be real diamonds, and real diamonds can be of assistance in these challenging economic times. For instance, if you are struggling paying the household staff, or pondering how to pay Missy’s first semester at Boston Latin… that sort of thing. Real-life emergencies.

The five cameras are part of a contest kicking off on Wednesday, “Canon Center Court” and running through October 20. And while we never (nevereverever) discuss the “M” word, it is suggested that each of the cameras is valued at about $12,000 each. If you should want to try to win one. More details will be available online at the Powershot.com site, presumably starting on August 20th.

BTW, speaking of mobile computing and such, you can also be in touch with the US Open through your cell phone via mobile alerts. Click here for details.

And we’ll be in touch tomorrow. ‘Night.

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Filed under Logos, Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Ralph Lauren Olympic Uniform Controversy: Polo Pony Logo the Issue (Size Does Matter.)

Hello sports and fashion fans, tis’ The Princess once again on this beautiful Tuesday. Actually, it is that oh-so-silly Princess, for having thought we would be able to spend most of this post reveling in celebratory and fun things, like the sweet joy of these boys’ accomplishments…

Team USA Gold Medalists, from left Jason Lezak, Mark Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones

Team USA Gold Medalists, from left Jason Lezak, Mark Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones

…as they they managed to upset France in the 4x100m freestyle relay, setting a new world record in the process. And perhaps the sweetest part of the victory for some was not just that we won, but who we beat along the way, for it is Alain Bernard, of the French team who is said to have made some statements that were well, they weren’t very sporting.

“The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for.”

Well. When it didn’t work out that way with the French Team ending up as Silver Medalists (certainly nothing to sneeze at, it *is* an Olympic medal, oui?) but behind Team USA who took the Gold, with Jason Lezak going head to head with Bernard on the last leg of the race. 32-year-old Jason Lezak, the ‘old man’ of Team USA swimmers, who trains himself.

Let the record show that while Mr. Bernard’s own teammates appeared too stunned to do much of anything in the immediate aftermath of the race, it was Michael Phelps who took the time to both congratulate and console the Frenchman. It should also be noted that it was Mr. Phelps who made the initial gesture of congratulation to each of the four French team members after the Medal ceremony concluded.

Michael Phelps, Team USA (L). Alain Bernard, France (R)

Michael Phelps, Team USA (L), Alain Bernard, France (R)

There was quite the little gathering of celebrities on hand at the Water Cube to watch the race, most from the world of business and politics. Bill Gates was in the stands, as was former Olympic Grand Pooh-Bah (Salt Lake City) / former Mass. Governor & Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. The First Family, including the Fan-in-Chief were on hand to cheer for Team USA Swimming:

The First Family Cheers on Team USA at the Water Cube 8.10.08

The First Family Cheers on Team USA at the Water Cube 8.10.08

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Okay, enough of the one thing everyone hypothetically came to Beijing to accomplish, the athletic competition. We’ll move on to something that is rapidly progressing beyond the hackneyed “tempest in Great Grandmother’s Teapot,” to the issue of the Ralph Lauren Polo pony logo on the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade uniforms.

To refresh or enlighten anyone’s knowledge of the increasingly sensitive issue, here is a shot of Charlotte Craig, Team USA Taekwondo in her Opening Ceremony Parade uniform. (If you need more photos of the Ralph Lauren designed uniforms, here is another post on them, or here is additional info in yet another post on the topic, which yes, we have covered to death.) The photo below effectively shows the pony under discussion.

Charlotte Craig, Team USA Taekwondo

Charlotte Craig, Team USA Taekwondo

As does this photo of Jason Kidd in the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations, with a little tighter shot that allows for a better comparison between its size and that of the USA/Olympic Rings logo topped by the USOC Wreaths.

Jason Kidd, Team USA Basketball

Jason Kidd, Team USA Basketball

At the least it helps provide put the two logos in context as compared to each other, the Polo pony in relationship to the Olympic Rings. Below, we see Brianna Glenn in a close shot of the Closing Ceremony Parade Uniform with the more robust emblematic Seal logo. (For lack of a name or description.)

Brianna Glenn (L)

Brianna Glenn (L)

In this photo (courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren) on the right on the two-shot montage we see the four athletes Deontay Wilder – Boxing, Brianna Glenn (did not qualify for Olympics, Track & Field), Joy Fahrenkrog – Archery, Giuseppe Lanzone – Rowing. As indicated these are the more casual Closing Ceremony uniforms. In fact, you can now purchase most, if not all, pieces the Team will be wearing, at the Polo Ralph Lauren site or through the USOC site.

https://thepreppyprincess.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/us-team-basketball_1.jpg

Evidently size matters. A great deal. To some people. Not all. To others it is clearly not even a topic of conversation. ‘What’s the problem?”

For those to whom this is an issue, the words being used to describe the Polo Pony logo include: “Ginormous,” “Supersized,” and “Huge.” Here is a sampling of a couple of online headlines on the topic, the first from the Huffington Post, the second from Gawker:

Ralph Lauren’s Olympics Uniforms: A Firestorm Of Controversy Ensues

~ Did Ralph Lauren Embarrass America? ~

The story from Gawker.com, ran yesterday:

“For starters, the damned Ralph Lauren Polo logo totally upstages the Olympic rings logo. It’s huge!”

Also, as shown in a picture after the jump, the uniforms look pretty cheap up close, probably because they were made as part of a rush job sent to Chinese “tailors” at the last minute.

Of course, if there were any embarrassment, technically Mr. Lauren didn’t ’cause it,’ the USOC created it by approving the logo itself, it’s placement and its size on every item of clothing or accessory to be worn by anyone in the US Delegation attending the Games in an official capacity.

Ralph Lauren Team USA Official Parade Uniform

Ralph Lauren Team USA Official Parade Uniform

The story then goes on to quote material on the same topic from the increasingly popular Project Rungay (that is not a typo) blog, so we’ll just quote directly from Project Rungay’s story:

“We’re not sure why so many people have been slamming these. They look fine to us, for what they are. A little cheap-looking, sure, but appropriate enough.

We’re not all that crazy about the caps (we honestly think baseball caps would have worked better) and it would have been nice to differentiate a little bit between the men and the women, but for the most part, it’s classic American sportswear, which makes it perfect for the venue – and, unlike a LOT of the looks we saw parading around the other night, it’s tasteful.”

As the NY Times noted in their fabulous Olympic blog ‘Rings‘:

“PARADE OF SLOVENLINESS If you thought Americans were talking a lot about the size of the Ralph Lauren logo on the U.S. Olympians’ outfits as they entered the Bird’s Nest during the opening ceremony in Beijing on Friday, it’s nothing compared with what people in other countries are saying about their respective teams’ clothes, demeanor and general appearance.”

Then we have Racked LA asking a question in addition to making a statement:

“Did logo inflation perturb your opening ceremony viewing experience?”

“Lest we forget that Ralph Lauren has created an entire Big Pony collection for men and women, in which the logo is absolutely ginormous! Over-sized at breast or back jean pocket, a logo festival! Which is to say it could’ve been worse in terms of brand promotion overwhelming team spirit.”

The folks over at American Politics Journal are not feeling a lot of love for the Lauren look. You may have discerned this from looking at their version of the logo on the blazers as seen below, perhaps more appropriately called the Pony logo on steroids after a some Photoshop work or another image editing program. Their headline to the story by Jeff Koopersmith is:

Ralph Lauren Humiliates America

American Politics Journal Image

“August 9, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Ralph Lauren, the emperor of hushed prep chic, shocked countless millions last night as the world watched the never-ending parade of athletes during the opening ceremonies of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Lauren – and most likely his son David – celebrated not the spirit of athletic competition but themselves and their brand, morphing our athletes into unpaid billboards for the “Polo™” pony and rider that has helped bring the Laurens great – and well deserved – riches.

What I find amazing is that Polo Ralph Lauren has already known for more than two years that upscale consumers are shying away from too-obviously logoed products…. So why did Polo Ralph Lauren go and embarrass us all by not just putting their logo on the clothes but putting in on SO BIG? The white Polo logo against the dark blue navy color of the jackets, because of its tactlessness seemed to a foot high and 6 inches wide on the breast pockets.”

To be fair to all involved Mr. Koopersmith makes several positive points about Ralph Lauren, his philanthropic efforts, etc., but the remainder of the article is fairly pointed. To read it in its entirety, just click here.

From Coutortoure,

“The Ralph Lauren uniforms for the American Olympic team are stirring up controversy because they look waspy and the logo is a little too big. If product placement and unabashed self-interest disguised as team spirit aren’t American, we don’t know what is.”

For another perspective, you may want to read WASP Nation: The U. S. Olympic Team Uniform, a fascinating post on the Style Snatcher blog. We excerpt a sample below.

“The other troubling point was the overt branding seen in the Lauren logo, which shared prominence with the Olympic rings and laurel. Was this a celebration of an athletic event or yet another chance at extended marketing? Who allows these things to occur? This transcended product placement and smacked of rah-rah commercialism.”

Regular blog readers know The Princess has a rare and progressive disease: logophobia. And they have exhibited rare patience and grace in tolerating such foaming at the mouth off-the-wall rants in never-ending post after post about the presence of logos, their size, their design, etc, etc., etc. And our thoughts on this particular issue? Two words. Too big. The Polo pony is simply too big. Frequent readers are also aware that we have 16+ years in television, in addition to expertise in marketing and branding. We get it. This could have been done in a smaller, more discreet way. If the size of the pony was a deal-breaker, than do the far more elegant tone-on-tone embroidery, if the idea truly was to celebrate an old school American look.

Because we can assure you, no ‘old money’ person would be caught dead in a golf shirt, polo shirt or any other piece of apparel with that symbol on it, let alone in that size at places like the Saddle and Cycle Club, or Burning Tree, or the Metropolitan Club, Winged Foot, River Oaks CC, or the Everglades Club. Wouldn’t happen. It’s a gross violation about everything that is old money, including the #1 Commandment: For God’s sake, don’t let anyone know you have it! Nope. This crowd would be at J.Press or Brooks or Murray’s, Patrick James, J. McLaughlin, Van Boven’s… you know the drill.

An embarrassment to America? We think not. An international  incident? Ah, no. A poor decision by the USOC in allowing ther logo to be that large? In our humble opinion, yes. Without question. But this is really not worth getting all lathered up about, folks, there are better ways to expend that energy than on this issue. 

BTW, if you are hopeful of a respite from the Polo pony logo on the Closing Ceremony uniforms, we are sorry to disappoint you, for it is equally large. The shirt below is from the Closing Ceremony group the Team USA members will be wearing.

Giuseppe Lanzone, Team USA Rowing
Giuseppe Lanzone, Team USA Rowing

Below we see Team USA Soccer players July 22nd preparing to leave for Beijing at the super-secret San Jose State University location selected by official. Christie Rampone, (l)eft, and Carli Lloyd are in the as yet to be publicly seen Official Ralph Lauren knit vests. According to a story in the San Jose Mercury News.

“The Olympic athletes are here, being “processed” for China, picking up their visas, posing for team photos and, perhaps most vital of all, being fitted by a battery of local tailors for the Ralph Lauren uniforms they will wear during the Games’ opening ceremonies Aug. 8.”

Team USA Soccer Christie Rampone, (L) & Carli Lloyd (R)

Team USA Soccer Christie Rampone, (L) & Carli Lloyd (R)

Here are the Ralph Lauren sketches for the Closing Ceremony Parade Uniforms.

Below we see Kate Markgraf of Team USA Soccer in the official Nike warm-up outfits that seem to be flying under the radar, don’t they?

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Here is a closer look at the Nike Beijing Village Jacket & pants also provided to the team, complete with the swoosh on the left chest. Proportionately, is it pretty close in size to the Polo pony?

Oddly, we haven’t heard much about this one yet, although part of the issue for some is that the Opening Ceremony is to be respected as a more solemn, formal occasion. Hhhhmm, perhaps more to follow.

Well TP has had enough of this dreary discussion haven’t you? The next post will be much more fun and frivolous.

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Filed under It's Just Not Done, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Olympics Special Issue: What are they Wearing? Plus New Ralph Lauren Olympic & “Create Your Own Flag Polo”

Hello-hello and happy Thursday to everyone! The Princess remains flabbergasted by the fact the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Summer Games are tomorrow. Barely 18 hours away. And the summer went where…..?

Because TP has bored you to tears previously shared photos and information ad nauseum about the Ralph Lauren uniforms for the Olympics…

… we thought it might be fun to peek at some of the other uniforms being worn. However, before we do anything else, there are some recent additions to the Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection online site that may appeal to you, including the new “Create Your Own Flag Polo.”

This process works almost identically to that used for simply ordering a standard “Create Your Own” product in any other group, be it an oxford shirt or a Men’s tie. Below are just a few of the flags offered; there are more than thirty that we counted available in this line.

Once again, these do not appear to be offered in Women’s sizes. Ahem. Apparently one must determine the closest approximation in a Men’s sizes, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. It’s somewhat challenging to “…Wear your pride in a style all your own..” if the shirt isn’t sized for the ‘fairer sex’ to start with. Harrumph. (Ooooh, did we just see Crankenstein Princess poking her nasty head out of her horrid little cave?!)

Another Ralph Lauren Olympics fashion update: it appears you can now purchase the same belt the US Team will wear with their uniforms for the Closing Ceremonies.

This is the red, white & blue striped grosgrain belt at Polo Ralph Lauren, and TP can’t actually tell if it is offered separately in both Men’s and Women’s sizing.

Recently introduced to the Ralph Lauren Men’s Olympic Games Collection is the Men’s Passport Polo, seen below. You can select from Japan, Russia, Great Britain or the United States for your shirt.

Our memory isn’t entirely clear, but we don’t believe we featured (or even mentioned) the Big Pony Flag Polo for Men in both the Slim and Classic fit; this is the one with the national flag on the back with the number ‘3’. One may select from several countries other than the USA, including two colors for England and one for the UK, Italy in both green and blue, Japan in Black, Korea in red, and others.

Now on to some uniforms. Let’s start with China’s outfits for the Opening Ceremonies. Oh my. Where does one start?

The uniforms were revealed last week, and met with an almost universally negative response; some of the harshest criticism coming from within China’s own borders. The colors mirror the country’s national colors; many are calling these the “tomato scrambled egg” uniform, referencing their likeness to the popular Chinese food dish. (See AP photo montage above.)

Yao Ming has been chosen as Flag Bearer for the host country, but still no word on who will light the torch. If Yao looks familiar, it’s because he plays in the NBA with the Houston Rockets. For those not familiar with Yao, this is a human being with an extraordinarily generous heart who has made substantial donations to multiple philanthropic endeavors. Most recently Yao gave a not-insignificant donation to assist with Chinese Earthquake relief. We are a bit confused because in the photo below Yao’s uniform is red with a white shirt, while in the other shots of the oh-so-bright uniforms the colors are obviously red with yellow. (Have you heard who has been selected as our flag bearer?)

Yao Ming, Chinese Flag Bearer

Yao Ming, Chinese Flag Bearer

Here are the USA Track & Field uniforms… how cool are these? Wow! As you can see from the swoosh, Nike is responsible for their creation, and they have that distinctive graphic look in a rich blue. Beneath, the Chinese Track and Field Team uniforms.

These days with the sneaker craze it’s simply not possible to talk about Olympic uniforms without looking at some of the shoes the athletes will be wearing. Behold the Nike Dunk Gyrizo Men’s BMX Shoe. Don’t tell anyone, especially not The Princess Consort, but we do lust after it. Ssshhh! Yes, I know it’s a little over the top, but the red, white and blue are appealing to my patriotic side. A shame it only comes in men’s sizes as best we can tell. Sigh.

Nike Dunk Gyrizo Men's BMX Shoe

Next we move on to the Team USA Basketball look.

US Men's Olympic Basketball Team

US Men's Olympic Basketball Team

This next shot doesn’t show us uniforms, but it does show the the US Women’s Olympic Basketball Team finish their huddle before practice Thursday in Beijing.

USA Women's Basketball Team

USA Women's Basketball Team

Here is a quick shot of the Australian Team’s Opening Ceremonies style with what appear to be classic lines, and heels for the women. Of course, heel height (or lack thereof) is always a topic for chatter during the evening whilst watching the Parade of Athletes.

Australian Uniforms

Below we have a shot of Team USA as they enter the Flag Raising Ceremony yesterday. Now despite all of the minders and ministrations and memos and scurrying about it seems someone participated in an event carrying an item clearly not from one of the major sponsors. Oh no! Did we all spot the errant Burberry bag? It appears to be what we call a messenger bag, possibly the Men’s Haymarket Messenger, if we’re not mistaken.

DANGER AHEAD – FAIR WARNING – PRINCESS SOAP BOX ALERT – FAIR WARNING – DANGER AHEAD

Stand back.

This is the part in those TV medical dramas where the paddles are applied to the victim’s chest and a matinee idol scans the room, then bellows authoritatively “Clear!”

The Princess is discreetly sharing that sentiment shrieking that very word now: C – L – E – A – R!

At the very least have Nanny remove the children from the room, then consider having that conversation with the teenagers about the hazards of speaking loudly in public. About political issues. And be advised The Princess is about to engage in the unthinkable here, at least it would be unthinkable at any social gathering we hosted, and that is how we view our little online get-togethers.

But honestly, things seem a wee bit out of control. We can natter on about uniforms and fashions and heels and colors and all of that; you know and I know it is intended to be nothing more than nonsensical fun.

However…if anyone still wants to criticize some members of the American cycling team for wearing their masks getting off the airplane, they might want to take a look at this shot from an ESPN reporter, taken Thursday, Beijing time:

ESPN Smog Photo Thursday

ESPN Smog Photo Thursday

Yet what did US officials do? It seems they helped the cyclists decide the air was not as bad as they thought it was and they Did. Not. Need. Those. Masks. Presumably that would make the apologizing for wearing them all the easier. Here’s a portion of the story’s coverage in the Times:

They were the first athletes at these Summer Games seen wearing masks publicly to combat the effects of pollution, and the sight of them drew considerable attention and criticism from United States Olympic officials.

This must be the USOC’s version of a wardrobe malfunction, or worse.

Granted, Tuesday’s air pollution was not as bad as it was in the photos of Thursday’s air seen here. TP asks the question: how bad is it supposed to be? We looked for a non-biased view in the matter and  selected a UK viewpoint from the Times (of London) in an online story yesterday about Tuesday’s incident. This is as best TP can calculate the International Dateline! (Oh where is The Consort when he is *really* needed? On the back nine, that is where.)

Four US Olympic cyclists who caused an outcry when they arrived at Beijing airport wearing smog masks have today apologised to Games organisers.

As the Chinese capital remains shrouded in smog today, Jim Scherr, the chief executive of the US Olympic Committee, revealed that the four had said sorry.

“It probably wasn’t the most opportune time for these athletes to wear these masks,” he said, adding they had written an apology to Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG).

Here is another photo of the air quality from ESPN’s Arty Berko:

Here is a statement from an official with the Beijing Organizing Committee:

“We have all along said that it is not necessary for the athletes to wear masks because the air quality in Beijing has improved,” Sun said. “We have to explain that looks can be deceiving, and that it looks like fog, but actually the air quality is good.”

You know, I always feel so much better when someone else helps me grasp this sort of thing. TP is truly beginning to feel like she’d best have Cook mix up a Prozac Latte. (On the rocks. With one of those little umbrellas.) More from the NY Times.

“They told us that the Chinese were mad and that this is a politically charged issue, but we didn’t mean to offend anybody,” Friedman said. “When they handed us these masks, they never said, ‘Here they are, but don’t wear them.’ ”

If you really want to get your blood boiling, go to the USA Cycling home page to read the Statement from U.S. Cyclists Michael Friedman, Sarah Hammer, Bobby Lea and Jennie Reed. Seriously.

For a great perspective on an “average Joe” exercising in the air seen above, check Will Pavia’s story in the Times of London.

This is the Princess Consort stepping in to restore some semblance of order to this situation. It is rare to see The Princess so exercised. I happen to have a close chum marching in the Opening Ceremony Parade and I’ll get some back-channel information from him. Until then, I must apply a cold compress to my lovely bride’s forehead. Enough for now.

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