Tag Archives: preppy weddings

Goodbye To An Iconic Preppy Brand

Welcome to a Thursday. We feel as though we should have Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” playing in the background as we write, for today’s post brings news about the death of another storied brand, Priscilla of Boston. Here is what visitors to the website will see today:

Priscilla of Boston

When Women’s Wear Daily broke the news yesterday afternoon some might have expected the internet to explode with Facebook posts and Twitter updates. That was not the case, probably an indicator of the company’s lack of relevance to many of today’s modern brides. To be sure, not everyone is on Twitter and/or Facebook, but a very high percentage of young ladies Priscilla needed to attract as customers do use those online networks.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, it truly was the first, and in some cases only call one made after one’s engagement was announced.  Pure and simple, one went to Priscilla for a gown. Beginning and end of discussion. When yours truly set out with TQM on our hunt for the perfect gown Priscilla was our first stop. (Sadly, we did not have a positive experience, our gown came from Montaldo’s, another firm no longer in existence.)

Many notable names wore Priscilla gowns, among them several Presidential daughters. Below we see Luci Baines Johnson on her wedding day in August of 1966.

by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The design featured a nine foot Watteau train, so named because it falls from the shoulders, not the waist. Here is a better look at the dress.

LIFE Magazine

On a side note, we can’t resist sharing this photo of the Ms. Johnson’s bridesmaids, talk about some pink!

LIFE Magazine

Julie Nixon Eisenhower also wore Priscilla, her wedding took place just before her father was sworn into office.

Via Couture Allure

And Tricia Nixon selected a dress from Priscilla for her 1971 wedding to Ed Cox, the designer was John Burbridge, the company’s senior designer at the time. The fact the gown was sleeveless was *quite* the topic of conversation at the time, many considered the style much too informal for a wedding at the White House.

Via Simple Weddings

The company was founded in the 1940’s by Priscilla Kidder, below she is shown with a hand-embroidered ribbon that was actually sewn into Tricia Nixon’s hem, it says “Gown by Priscilla of Boston for the White House Wedding of Tricia Nixon to Edward Finch Cox” .

Harry Benson for LIFE Magazine via Couture Allure

Ms. Kidder designed the gowns for Grace Kelly’s bridesmaids.

One didn’t see too many sequins on gowns from Priscilla “back in the day,” but there was an abundance of hand-embroidery and exquisite lace. Sophisticated elegance was Priscilla’s hallmark, the company very much catered to an upper-crust clientele.  Here is a vintage Priscilla gown.

Via Dressing Vintage

A look at the details.

Via Dressing Vintage

Ms. Kidder sold the business in 1993, it has had multiple owners since then, most recently David’s Bridal.

Below, some more recent Priscilla dresses.

Via Women's Wear Daily

A bridesmaid dress.

Priscilla of Boston

Another contemporary wedding gown, this one from 2008.

Priscilla of Boston

Recently Priscilla tried marketing more aggressively, with promotions like an online contest (shown below) and a Facebook page.

Via Priscilla of Boston

More contemporary styles.

InStyle

So what brought about the end? That is a good question, we can only presume it was declining business in an industry that continues to consolidate into bigger conglomerates.

The company’s 19 stores will close December 31, and the following labels discontinued: Priscilla of Boston, Platinum by Priscilla of Boston, The Dress by Priscilla of Boston, Jewel by Priscilla of Boston, Melissa Sweet, Reverie by Melissa Sweet, and the Vineyard Collection (the Vineyard line was the more moderately priced group). No need for those who have ordered dresses to be concerned however, the company says current customers will receive their dresses.

Sniff. Does anyone have a tissue?

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Filed under preppy

Preppy Style In The Home, & Ralph Lauren Tears Up Over Dylan’s Wedding Dress

We hope you are enjoying a delightful Thursday, with any luck you are avoiding the Midwest monsoon that has now planted itself on the east coast. However, a glance at the television or a newspaper or one’s computer screen reminds us we really have nothing to complain about.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Not one thing.

On a brighter note, we look at a portion of yesterday’s Ralph Lauren interview on Oprah.

George Burns/Harpo Productions/AP

From The Show Tracker blog:

“The show was practically moving in its ode to striving, to these two exceedingly rare cases of American mobility: the Bronx-bred son of immigrant Ashkenazi Jews, whose artist father painted houses to support his family, and an African American woman born poor in Mississippi and raised poor in Milwaukee.”

Perhaps the most touching moment was hearing the designer talk about making his daughter’s wedding gown. Dylan Lauren is marrying financier Paul Arrouet in June; her father designed the dress, but it wasn’t easy.

Harpo Productions

Mr. Lauren said…

“I had to do something that was better than ever before. I mean I have to—it’s the only daughter I have, beautiful girl—I want to just give her something that she’ll really treasure, give her something that would be really amazing. I want her to feel fantastic.”

After seeing initial sketches, mother of the bride Ricky Lauren told him the dress wasn’t right: “Ralph, that’s not Dylan”.  Below we see Ms. Lauren with her fiancée, Paul Arrouet.

Via The Examiner

But it seems everyone is thrilled with the finished product. Dylan Lauren says the dress is stunning.

‘I told my fianceé, “I may sleep in it. I might wear it the next day,”‘ she added. ‘It’s really beautiful. I know that every bit of his energy and heart went into making sure that I liked it.’

As soon as there are photos of the gown available we’ll have them right here. If you would like to see the clip about the gown, click here.
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Speaking about preppish styling and weddings brings us to our next tidbit, Preppy Wedding products at Bridefinds. From the story:

If “The Preppy Handbook” is the only book you can’t live without, it’s time to take it to the next, next level.

The piece suggests all manner of things that will hypothetically help one achieve a prep aesthetic for the big day. Below left, a 4-Piece Set for your young MOTH (Man of the House) from Dillard’s, and on the right, Kate Spade’s Seersucker Jenny Ann Clutch.

Dillard's (L) and Kate Spade (R)

Bride Finds bills the post as the “Preppy Wedding Handbook,” and while there are a few interesting items shown, that title far oversells the story.

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There is another online photo series about “preppy style” and interior design.

Designers Guild for Benz via HGTV

The post by Cassandra LaVelle (of Coco + Kelley) is on the HGTV site.

“No longer just for the country club set, preppy style enters the home with classic patterns, bright colors and the essential navy and white stripes. Discover how to add a little prep to your favorite room.

Patrick Cline for Lonny Magazine

Below left we see another room via Lonny magazine, and on the right, decor by Tobi Fairley Interior Design.

Patrick Cline for Lonny / Tobi Fairley Interiors

As described in the story:

The fastest way to add a little “prep” to your style is definitely with a bit of trim. Designer Tobi Fairley adds white piping to the dining chairs and black trim to the lattice-print drapes for some classic preppy details.

Click here for the entire post, it is a good read.

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While looking for an item on the Dior site today we stumbled upon some simply darling Dior looks for young ladies.

Baby Dior

Saks has many of the styles in stock, as does Neimans.

Baby Dior

Regular readers know we cannot resist most designer duds for the little ones, despite our frequent outbursts and tirades occasional mention of the frivolous nature of such things.

Baby Dior

Here on the Preppy Planet we see merit in both upscale pieces and the more practical offerings from your local Targét.

We leave you with another reason to smile.

Jacques de Marthon/AFP/Getty

The French Open is underway.

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

Oh, That Bridal Biz & Poolside Preppy

Hello and happy Tuesday, the sun is shining here at the Prepatorium, it is a gorgeous winter day.

We have all manner of new bits and bytes today, we shall dive right in with a topic generating significant online buzz, Urban Outfitters‘ decision to get into the bridal business.

Kyle Ericksen/Women's Wear Daily

Women’s Wear Daily has a sneak peek at the line, here is a bit of Sharon Edelson’s story (an FYI, the name of the new line is not misspelled):

“There’s not a single Cinderella-style wedding gown in the Bhldn collection.

Bhldn, Urban Outfitters Inc.’s newest retail concept, is the firm’s attempt to put its unique, slightly off-kilter stamp on the bridal business.”

Bhldn delves into territory already explored (quite successfully) by J. Crew’s Wedding collection and freestanding boutique. There will be an online component as well as physical Bhldn stores, the e-commerce site is scheduled to be live on February 14.

Kyle Ericksen/Women's Wear Daily

Like Crew, Bhldn plans on carrying more than gowns and accessories, they want to be known for “special occasion dresses”. The company ultimately expects the website to expand beyond e-commerce, back to Ms. Edelson’s article:

“The Web site will eventually become a clearing house for services such as photography, catering and florists. “I can see us getting involved with event planning, helping with the look and feel of a wedding,” Norris said. “We’re not going to be like J.Lo’s [character] in ‘The Wedding Planner.’”

“We’ve taken DNA from Anthropologie,” Norris said. “I kind of think of Bhldn as the sophisticated older sister.”

And the name? We are guessing it is “beholden” sans vowels, for reasons our little pea brain is quite incapable of grasping.

As the WWD story notes, weddings continue to be big business, many other retailers are getting into the business or expanding existing lines; The Limited has launched an online-only Weddings & Events boutique.

The Limited

And Vera Wang has entered the mass-marketing venue with the Vera Wang White collection for David’s Bridal.

Vera Wang/David's Bridal

As the Times’ T Magazine explains:

“It’s official, ladies: You can now get married in Vera Wang for less than $1,500. Although the price may scream ABS by Allen Schwartz, design-wise, White, is all Vera.”

More from the White collection.

David's Bridal

Our final wedding note involves True Prep’s bestselling author, Lisa Birnbach.

Fashionable Bride

Fashionable Bride has a delightful piece on “preppy weddings” with insight from Ms. Birnbach.  The post is done in a Q&A format, and the first question asks about basic dos and don’ts:

Lisa Birnbach: ‘First, no rhinestones or crystals on the invitations. Ever. And it’s very nice to use engraving or letterpress.'”

One of the fun facts discovered in the piece by Kelly Skahan was a tidbit about seersucker wedding gowns from designer Michelle Roth.

Michelle Roth

Above we see Ms. Roth’s Zoe at the Ball dress in blue and white cotton seersucker.  Other versions include Zoe by the Bay, below left, and Zoe in the Country, with a crochet top and seersucker skirt. All are a bit foofy for our taste, but the notion of using seersucker for a bridal gown is one we like.

One gown from Ms. Roth that we fell in love with – the Maya.

Something about silk organza and polka dots just invokes images of sunshine and happy smiles.

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Next, an early peek at yet another collaboration, this one from Trina Turk and Alice Supply. The new collection is showcased at She Finds, in a piece describing the designer as “the queen of California poolside preppy,” an appellation we like. Below, a coordinating ice bucket and glass.

Domestic tasks would have to be more fun with the pretty Dust Brush and Dust Pan from the upcoming line.

We don’t yet know when the collection will be available, click here to see all of the photos at She Finds.

A few fast notes on Ms. Turk’s more standard wares for spring and summer – we found lots to like.

The designer’s bright geometrics are always fun, frequently pieces employ classic lines ensuring longterm wearability.

We are also partial to Ms. Turk’s accessories and home goods, particularly her rugs and pillows.

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We leave you with two quick Pretty in Pink items. The first involves the soon-to-launch Lilly Pulitzer Home Furnishings collection from HFI Brands.

Although the line will be available only to the trade (interior designers, decorators), you can now email furniture inquiries directly to the Pink Palace, just click here.

PHOTO: Patricia Sheridan via Louisville Courier-Press

(For more on the 200+ piece line, here is a link to one of our more involved posts on the topic.)

The other item is from the folks at Nantucket Noose, perfect for spring’s rainy days.

Nantucket Noose

The Island Hopper Boots come in other colors if the pink and green is a little too bright (is that possible?), the boots showcase a  beach permit near the top.

Until next time, g’bye!

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Filed under Collaborations, nautical, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, True Prep & TOPH

Sixteen Years Ago Today…..

Sixteen years ago today…..

It has been the best.  The. Very. Best.

And so much more.

In fact, we both feel the state of Matrimony deserves the Seal of Prepaliciousness.

We are extremely grateful, as we have been more than blessed.

There you have it.

(Oh, as we discussed this briefly yesterday, yes, there were sleeves on the dress.)

Lest we turn weepy and sentimental, we close with a wish your weekend is just a scintilla as happy as these sixteen years have been, for that would make you very happy indeed.

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Filed under Friday Fun, Prepalicious

Francis New York Sneak Peek & Priscilla of Boston Wants to Hear From You

Hello-Hello!

We dive right in with a look at next spring’s collection from Francis; some readers know how much TP adores this line by designer Christian Francis Roth.

For example, while black is not generally considered a staple of the preppy wardrobe, we love this look:

Courtesy Francis NY

Courtesy Francis New York

Although these are next spring’s styles, we would love wearing them to celebrate New Year’s Eve or other festive occasions!

Our friend Wendy does divine jewelry. (Hayden Panettiere was wearing a Wendy ring for her recent Letterman appearance.)

Wendy is also buddies with Mr. Roth, so she has all kinds of behind-the-scenes insight and photos.

Francis New York

Francis New York

The picture above shows model Karol Marie being styled during the shoot; Wendy helped put scads of photos on the Francis New York Facebook page.  She also gets to try on lots of darling styles before they are even photographed!  (Wendy is the dark-haired doll in the photo below.)

Courtes The Coveted blog

Courtesy The Coveted blog

Back to the S/S 2010 collection, we like the skirt in this next look:

Francis New York

Francis New York

You can actually see the talented designer in this next photo.

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You know we are silly for seersucker here at the Prepatorium.

In just about any form or format.

Another look we like, this is one we would love to be wearing this next summer.

For more behind-the-scenes fun pop over and visit The Coveted, or stop in at Wendy’s blog, they’re both oodles of fun.

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Most Princess readers are familiar with Priscilla of Boston.

Courtesy Priscilla of Boston

Courtesy Priscilla of Boston

(In the interest of full disclosure, it was one of only two stops we made when searching for our gown.)

Now the company is entering the social media world, asking “How does Priscilla of Boston inspire you?”

The classic purveyor of bridal gowns and accessories is holding a contest, requesting entrants create collages using Priscilla items, answering the question in a visual manner.

Courtesy Priscilla of Boston

Courtesy Priscilla of Boston

Some entries are busy, others are clean and less cluttered.

Courtesy Priscilla of Boston

Courtesy Priscilla of Boston

Some may recognize the technology used in the contest as being similar to that used on popular sites Polyvore and Kaboodle. (We admit to using both, we can’t help it.) At any rate, it really is fun to look at all of the Priscilla  entries, maybe even a little addictive.

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Two more quick notes, starting with news of a launch date for the much-anticipated Edward men’s collection debuting at the Odin boutiques: November 1. We know this one holds a lot of appeal for the younger set.

PHOTO: Pari Dukovic/WWD

PHOTO: Pari Dukovic/WWD

The line is a collaboration between the boutique owners and Duckie Brown designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox.

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Also, The Consort has been working insane hours, typing his little fingers off in an effort to get all manner of new inventory online at the Princess. We will limit ourselves to the new Luggage Tags from the good folks at Boatman Geller.

BGLT19903Anchor-1BGLT17951navymadrasBGLTLadybugsRepeat

These are ideal for a little one’s backpack, your computer case, the duffel taken to the gym, almost anything.

BGLT17944monkeyBGLT17955repptieBGLT18905blklab

He is the best.  Sigh.

Thank you for coming to visit dollfaces, may everyone awaken to a bright and sunny day tomorrow!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

How Are Those Tiffany Eyeglasses Selling? + a Martha No Go

About a month ago The Princess expressed her Logophobic horror at the new Tiffany eyeglasses, in particular her dismay at the size of the Tiffany logo on the eyewear.

Tiffany Glasses ad

Return to Tiffany Glasses

Tiffany Atlas Aviator Sunglasses

The Princess then went on what we understand is referred to as a ‘rant,’ shrieking about Tiffany’s cheapening of what was once a fabled brand with its introduction of more and more and more logoed items. (We share a few examples below for those who might have missed the original post, starting with the Tiffany Notes Pendant so you might hang the Tiffany store name and address about your neck, and the Tiffany Notes Charm serving the same purpose on your wrist.)

Tiffany NotesTiffany Notes Charm

For other examples of the logoed up trinkets, here is the previous post we refer to above. Now to answer the question posed in the title of today’s post, “How Are Those Tiffany Eyeglasses Selling?” in a word, great. Sales of the new eyeglasses are doing quite well, thank you, described as ‘strong’ for the first quarter of this year. It would appear The Princess had best get used to seeing the Tiffany eyewear, and cease and desist from future whining. An interesting sidenote: sales at the Tiffany mothership (the Fifth Avenue NYC store) are up a whopping 16%!

Now, should you be looking for some extremely cool sunglasses that won’t have you carrying about an advertisement for someone else the size of Mt. Everest on either side of your head, we share a few photos of our new fave, Radley. Many of you may think of handbags or leather when you hear the Radley name, but they have wisely branched out with a sunglass line we think is simply luscious! Below we show the Amini model in tortoiseshell and brown leather, followed by the UDot model and then the Metoma pair.

Radley Amini Sunglasses

Radley UDot Sunglasses

Radley Metoma sunGlasses

Since we have been discussing heritage jewelers, those creating the heirlooms passed on from generation to generation, we should mention that another jeweler to ‘preppy families’ for an eon, Cartier, is also reporting strong sales. And who says love doesn’t conquer all? Cartier says bridal business at there Manhattan store is doing quite well, especially the Love and Trinity collections. Below, a Diamond Trinity Ring, followed by two of their Love Collection rings.

Cartier Trinity Ring

Cartier Love RingCartier Love Ring

As mentioned in the sunglass conversation, many of us know and adore the Radley lines of luggage and handbags, most a bit more distinctive than what everyone else is using, and most almost always showing that welcome touch of whimsy that TP finds so delightful. Here we share a few pieces from the Radley’s other lines. The first is the medium suitcase from their Poppies Luggage collection, *very* easy for the driver or houseman to spot when he heads over to get your things at luggage pick-up.

Radley Poppies Medium Suitcase

For all Radley luggage, you can simply click here. The small leather goods are outstanding, like this Medium Purse wallet.

Radley Medium Stab Stitch walletRadley Medium StabStitch Wallet

Perhaps the classic elegance of the Var tote handbag in soft, supple black leather is more your style, while yours truly enjoys the Circle Patch Duffle bag for weekends at the cottage.

Radley black ToteRadley Circle Patch Duffle bag

And in the “This Just In” department, word from the UK that Martha Stewart has been denied entry to that country.

No  Marths jpg

The Daily Telegraph reports the UK Border Agency notified the 66-year-old media and lifestyle tycoon sometime in the past several days that she is just, well, so not welcome because of her 2004 criminal convictions for lying to federal agents. Ouch. There’s no mention of these events in Ms. Stewart’s blog posting for today, or for yesterday, both datelined from the Detroit area where she has been meeting with auto execs and doing promotional events.

Martha at WJBK

One additional note before we close… because The Princess was so gauche as to impose the reportage of personal family business whilst falling asleep at this keyboard (quite literally I’m afraid, bobbing head and all) in the oh-so-wee hours of this morning, we provide a small update on that business: we are happy to report the family pet has actually returned home from her trip to the veterinarian. For those not enduring the imposition of our personal pet traumas, we did not believe that Tilly, the family dog, would make it through the day. She seems to have rebounded somewhat, although we believe the betrayal of her elderly body to now be accelerating with a speed we had not anticipated. (Her actual age is unknown; she is a rescue dog, abandoned and abused prior to her rescue by a Bulldog Rescue Organization.)

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Filed under Logos, preppy lifestyle, Updates