Tag Archives: preppy womens clothing

J. Crew Seems to be Moving Away From “Preppy”

Hello-Hello!

We’re having something of a “major Monday” here in the corner condo at Princess InterGalactic HQ.  We can only thank the Consort the IT Department for their assistance and resolution of a major operator-error-induced-meltdown few minor foo-foos with the desktop. As a result of today’s lesson in patience, the post is brief.

We begin with great good news for one of our favorites, Kiel James Patrick, he of the fabulous bracelets, headbands and earrings.

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Kiel shared a big announcement on Friday: he has signed a deal to create custom KJP products for several Ivies. More specially, exclusive KJP designs will be offered at the Harvard, Dartmouth and Yale campus stores. How cool is this news?!?  Better yet, Kiel is one of the world’s all-time nice human beings, Friday’s announcement shows that good things happen to good people.

Besides, he’s kinda’ cute. (But don’t tell him I said so.)

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Next, word that Tory Burch is going to be adding eyewear to her offerings.

For more background on the story, click here to read the designer’s blog, featuring the trade magazine story seen in the images above.

No one will be surprised to read that while we like the Wraparound frame sunglasses, the logo would be a deal killer. To take a look at other eyewear styles Ms. Burch currently has available online, click here.

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Also today, J. Crew fans might enjoy an interview Style has with Jenna Lyons. We found this particular portion of the interview fascinating:

“Preppy” style is often mentioned in the same breath as J.Crew. Is today’s preppy different from yesterday’s?
I have a hard time with the word “preppy.” To me, it’s a way of styling. Classic things mixed a certain way—especially special color combinations—look very preppy. We still have the same pieces: polo shirts, khakis, a great classic blazer, a beautiful white shirt.

Below, the wool Schoolboy Blazer and Stripe 3/4-quarter sleeve shirt. (Of the three “classic shirts” shown on the retailer’s website only one offers long sleeves.)

Back to the designer’s thoughts on ‘preppy’:

“But what we’ve been trying to do is change the way things are presented.  Maybe that little cargo jacket that we would have shown ten years ago with a polo shirt we’re now showing with a little sequin top and high heels.

Or perhaps the Sequin Chino shorts:

Call us crazy, but we’re not seeing these at the club for cocktails after the 18th hole. But then, the retailer isn’t proposing these styles for that type of activity; this portion of the quote better explains why not:

“And the thing about preppy is it can be alienating to some people. It’s very coastal and it leaves out a lot of Americans who aren’t yachting or going to the beach club.

They shorts are not for us, but then, we aren’t the brand’s target demo.This makes perfect sense when paired with recent and current Crew merchandise.  The company wants to be inclusive, continuing its path toward trendier, younger shoppers.  And to be fair, the credo has worked exceptionally well in recent years; despite These Difficult Times, the firm is very healthy.

But we need your thoughts: does J. Crew work for you? Is the company’s direction one you find appealing? Or are you still fond of some things, but finding yourself back at Brooks Brothers or J. McLaughlin for many basics? Do tell, expiring minds are dying to know.

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Next, a look at some of the limited edition bottles Kiehl’s had created to recognize Earth Day.

Courtesy Kiehl's

Among those designing bottles, actress Julianne Moore and artist Jeff Koon. The bottles are now available at Kiehl’s online and in stores.

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A reminder on our great Spring Fling Thing:

Enter to win these and other goodies in our contest, we are drawing five winners! And we have one more element to entries as the result of a great idea accompanying an entry: all active military automatically receive two entries, just be sure to let us know your status.

Until next time dollfaces, may your Mondays be bright and beautiful!

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

The Official Preppy Handbook Returns as “True Prep”

Hello-Hello, and Happy Thursday! With any luck at all you are enjoying a warm and sunny day filled with promise and thoughts of good things to come.

We are doing a one-thought-Thursday, focusing on news about TOPH:

Official Preppy Handbook fans and followers are sure to be elated by news that author Lisa Birnbach is coming out with a new version of that classic volume.

Courtesy Photo

The publisher’s notes detail the book’s direction much better than we can:

True Prep looks at how the old guard of natural-fiber-loving, dog-worshipping, G&T-soaked preppies adapts to the new order of the Internet, cell phones, rehab, political correctness, reality TV and . . . polar fleece.”

Clearly the update has merit, offering serious possibilities. How shall the notion of ladies playing on the men’s course be handled? What about the errant child wanting a tattoo? (The horror!) We expect Ms. Birnbach and co-author Chip Kidd will provide us with an entertaining perspective on the perils a prep faces in the new millenium.

We have long wondered if there would be an update to the original, as it seemed an idea begging to be done. And when we saw this blog site we had hope.

Alas, the “Official Updated Preppy Handbook” blog hasn’t been updated since last December and the total number of posts comes in at a scant 12.

Via idp05

We must be candid in our thoughts on the original: it is something we loved reading, we still have a copy here at the prepatorium. We adore the writing style, the goofy (but spot-on) illustrations, the fact the entire topic is approached from a tongue-in-cheek perspective. We consider it a classic. However (and this is where some may find us heretical), it is not our bible.

We don’t have a lifestyle bible. We simply are what we are. We were fortunate to grow up in circumstances similar to those depicted in the book, but we never made, nor do we now make conscious decisions to ‘dress preppy’.  When it comes to apparel we wear Brooks Brothers or LL Bean or Lilly because it is what’s in the closet, mixed in among the Target tees and polos found at an outlet mall.  We merely seek that which is classic, stylish and of good quality and we guess most readers are of a similar mind.

Back to the fun stuff, here is more from the publisher:

• Wardrobe: Recent prep brands we are forced to recognize. How to tell Casual Friday from, say, Saturday.
• Money: We never talk about it.
• Food: Does the Food Network mean we’re going to have to cook? Bake? Now you’re going too far.
• Scandals: Poor Mrs. Astor. When Mummy’s plastic surgery goes terribly wrong. Rehab and the slammer: the new prep schools.
• We’re outta here: When to name something after yourself, and when not. The right obituary. What to do with your dogs if you predecease them.
• NO TEXTING AT THE TABLE, PLEASE.

You know TP is simply *dying* to hear about those ‘prep brands we are forced to recognize‘.  We can’t wait to see how those pesky and persistent logos are treated by Ms. Birnbach. The subject opens a whole new world of possibilities, don’t you think? Who do you think belongs on the list of brands to be recognized and who do you should be placed in the Fashion No-No column?

Do tell, expiring minds are dying to know!

Smiles to all of our cherished readers, we do appreciate you visiting!

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

LL Bean Signature Line Sneak Peek

Hello-Hello and Happy Wednesday!

How is everyone doing? Here at the Prepatorium we are clawing our way back to health (a tad overly dramatic, don’t you think?!) but the absentee rate at several local school districts is at 30 – 32%. Ouch.

We start with a look at a new collection from one of our faves, LL Bean.

Courtesy LL Bean via WWD

Courtesy LL Bean via WWD

The company’s new Signature line was revealed to fashion writers last week.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

We have more details from this story in WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.):

“…200-piece collection, split evenly between men’s and women’s, is clearly indebted to Bean’s past but the line marches into new territory with items like relaxed cotton suits and washed oxford dress shirts for him, and wrap dresses and sandal cork wedges for her.”

The company is engaged in a number of initiatives to broaden their appeal; some readers may recall this August post chatting about the return of Bean’s classic Norwegian sweater.  Here are more looks from the new collection:

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More from the WWD story:

“Carleton pulled in diverse bits of Americana, from the Forties, via Hepburn-style denim pants and jacket, to the early Eighties, by way of bleached plaid shirts and ringer polos. The influence of WASP casual also abounds in the oxford cloth dress shirt, madras blazer, sun-bleached knits, and leather moccasins.”

We have previously talked up award-winning designer Alex Carleton, occasionally featuring pieces from his Rogues Gallery line; Mr. Carleton was hired by Bean to oversee this collection. Below, styles from Rogues Gallery demonstrates why he was the perfect choice for the Signature line.

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He also designed for LL Bean before moving on to create the Rogues Gallery line.  Simply put, Mr. Carleton gets it – the lifestyle, the look, the legitimacy we all demand.  Below we see Mr. Carleton and a model at the press debut of the collection.

Courtesy GQ

Courtesy GQ

A number of looks for women:

Photo via Style List

Photo via Style List

The reaction from Style.com:

“Fittingly, the look ran from rugged (plaid button-downs, khakis) to more feminine (ditsy floral shirts, preppy striped knits, a little madras dress). There were also great accessories in leather carryalls, oversize totes, and cute macramé belts with tortoise buckles.”

Glam’s take on the new line:

“…a line of easy breezy separates that college prepsters and beach bound fashionistas will be coveting…”

This one has the potential for the Official Seal of Prepaliciousness.  The collection officially launches in March, you may want to bookmark this site for future reference.

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Reclining while recovering has allowed us to spend more time than usual browsing that unholy pile our carefully curated collection of magazines. While doing so yesterday we fell upon this photo in Elle.  Recognizing every single reader may have long ago seen (or perhaps posted) this image, we still felt compelled to share the pink and green fun.

Courtesy Elle.com

Photo: Thomas Whiteside/Elle

We have word a few Sales & Savings opportunities, beginning with the J. Crew Fall Sale.

Lord and Taylor is offering their version of Friends and Family.

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Use promo code FRIENDS at checkout to receive 25% off most merchandise.

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Recently we mentioned the newest version of the Armani phone; in the interest of equal time here is the new Dior phone.  If planning on one of these for a stocking stuffer you will need to make choices: color, plating and the recipient’s preference for sapphires or diamonds.

Courtesy Dior

Courtesy Dior

Don’t dawdle, they become available in December and it is possible they will go quickly.  Indeed.

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We close with these images accompanying Refinery 29’s story on four-legged beasts taking jobs away from human models – oh no!

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Opening Ceremony is using these furry style stars to market the outstanding bow ties created by Alexander Olchs. Below, a few more looks at the dogs…. ummm, we mean the ties.

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It’s all about the ties. Absolutely it is.

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Courtesy Opening Ceremony via Refinery 29

Silly Tilly was feeling somewhat left out. We explained we knew there would be scads of opportunities in her future once she is out of her collar.

That made her feel much better and she returned to her normal state.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

She does love her sleep. (She loves her blue binky and burrows into it before sleeping. It is like watching a big blue mushroom move about the floor. She  is truly an amazing creature.)

Until next time dollfaces, may you and those you love stay healthy!



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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

Brooks Brothers + Mad Men = Limited Edition Suit

Hello-Hello and happy Thursday!

We are attempting to get things back to normal here at Princess InterGalactic HQ following yesterday’s little hiccup. That incident is going to require more time and attention (there are many items no longer as frozen as they once were), thus we shall be brief today.

How are we all feeling about a Don Draperish suit for the man of the house? It seems there will soon be an opportunity to acquire one: Brooks Brothers and Mad Men costume director Janie Bryant have collaborated on a men’s suit.  WWD describes the look as “…inspired by Draper and the other well-dressed cads at fictional ad firm Sterling Cooper”.  We don’t know about you, but ‘cad’ is one of our alltime favorite words.

The limited edition suit will be available online and at 10 Brooks Brothers stores beginning October 19 through the show’s final episode November 8, but one can’t speculate how long the inventory will last, as only 250 of the Brooks suits have been made. Fans may recall that Ms. Bryant is an Emmy winner for her direction of the show’s costumes, we really are quite intrigued, and eager to see this creation.

As we’re talking about the Drapers, how did everyone like Betty’s updo for her romantic dinner with Don during their “Roman Holiday”?

Carin Baer/AMC-TV

Carin Baer/AMC-TV

We also liked the earrings Betty wore, oh-so-60s!

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Our next tidbit is also related to a television show, but in this case the focus is on an actress from the show, Kelly Rutherford of Gossip Girl. Monday’s Droolicious post is titled “Kelly Rutherford and Hermes Go Preppy“:

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Droolicious

From the story:

“Well aren’t they a preppy site? Gossip Girl mom Kelly Rutherford was spotted in Manhattan strolling with her almost three year old son Hermes. With her tan Hermes handbag (the other Hermes), tweed coat and LL Bean boat bag, Kelly totally goes for that collegiate look. And for son Hermes? He pulls his own preppiness and rides in a plaid detailed Maclaren stroller.”

‘Pulls his own preppiness’ is a phrase we’ve not heard previously.

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It’s time for a big thumbs-up to the young men at the helm of Smathers and Branson, Peter Smathers Carter and Austin Branson. The two made Inc. magazine’s “30 Under 30” list of young entrepreneurs.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

It is likely their products are more recognizeable than their faces, with gems like the Pink & White Houndstooth Coin Purse, today’s Pretty in Pink.

Of course that is but one example of their fabulous needlepoint merchandise, many might find their traditional needlepoint belts to be more familiar.

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We do adore their products.

With that we say g’bye until next time, may your afternoon and evening be calm and soothing.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

“The Preppiest Brand”? “Sly Twist on Preppy Style”? Do Tell.

Hello-Hello and welcome to a soggy Tuesday; one that we hope brings some flooding relief to our friends in the Southeast.

We start by sharing the delightful  a “Thank You” to the ever-so-generous Miss a. from the Coterie Blog. We were lucky enough to win her fabulous giveaway of this stunning scarf from the folks at Chick Downtown.

ChickDowntown.com

ChickDowntown.com

This is most definitely today’s Pretty in Pink, we just love the name of this particular color, ‘ confetti’. This treasure is a wonderful linen blend, fun and floaty. Thank you Miss Coterie, for doing such a fun giveaway!

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Next, a look at Fashion Week topic yet to be covered, a company referred to as the ‘preppiest brand’ going by the Times, although that is not a title we would confer upon Band Of Outsiders. Below, a photo from their presentation at Fashion Week.

Courtesy

Courtesy

We adore the little boat floating in the water. The women’s line is named “Boy”.

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

We have mentioned the company’s work before, including their ongoing collaboration with Sperry Top-Siders. Below, this fall’s acclaimed Grey Flannel Boat Shoe:

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All of their Sperry shoes may be seen here.

Back to their Spring 2010 collection: In their story, the WSJ’s On the Runway wrote:

“… its aesthetic seem inspired by how the cool kids in prep school wore their clothes, preppy attired a little more affected than the straight arrows.”

band-of-outsiders35band-of-outsiders36

The Village Voice review talked about the company’s founder, former talent agent Scott Sternberg:

“..is beloved by a young, stylish set not just for his sly twist on preppy style, but also for his smart, elaborate movie-set presentations.”

band-of-outsiders38band-of-outsiders34

The LA Times review also references prep fashion:

“The women’s collection had touches of nautical/outdoorsy whimsy too, with a drawstring tank dress in a Liberty sailboat print, skirts in a ropes and knots print.”

band-of-outsiders10band-of-outsiders41

Some may be surprised to learn TP is a fan of the line; while we do not own any pieces, we like the clean, tailored lines and lack of fussiness. But the preppiest brand going? We think not.

However, we don’t see the need to bestow that kind of superlative on any one designer or company, it simply isn’t necessary. We merely enjoy reading the different takes on the ‘preppy aesthetic’, they are always entertaining, if inaccurate. Nor should this be perceived as a negative for the brand, as everyone’s take on the style is unique, influenced by many factors. It is a line we most assuredly would recommend to a younger friend or family member looking to move beyond the offerings from Brooks Brothers, Talbots and the like.

Before leaving this topic, we must share from another collaborative effort Band of Outsiders participates in, with none other than Manolo Blahnik.

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These are available by special order through Manolo Blahnik.

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One more quick note, The Luxury Institute released a survey recently about luxury brands; there are some intriguing factoids included in the results, although none are surprising. Here are a few details from a WWD story:

“… 48 percent said luxury products are too accessible and are no longer exclusive; 40 percent believed luxury brands are becoming a commodity, and 52 percent said luxury brands that also sell products for mass consumers are no longer luxury brands.”

Hhhhmmm, thoughts to ponder.  How do you feel ladies, do you care one way or another if others are carrying your handbag? Or perhaps you bump into an acquaintance at the club wearing your shoes? As always, we’re simply *dying* to know.

NOTE: Band of Outsiders apparel photos by Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

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Filed under nautical, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink

Taylor Swift says “Kanye Who?” Also, Target’s Next Designer Revealed, Ralph Lauren Fashion Week

Hello-Hello and Happy Friday!

We hope to make it a little happier for Miss Pink Tutu, our lucky winner in the Great Preppy Plate and Platter Giveaway! Miss Tutu indicated in her comment she favored the Damask, but we don’t know if it is Boatman’s Geller’s Madison Plate, or perhaps Preppy Plates brand Hot Pink Patter, the Lime Plate, or maybe another style?

BGP349P06A02blkdamaskPRPLHotPinkDamaskPlatterPRPSihouettesLime

Drop us an email Miss Tutu and let us know your selection, as well as how you would like your plate or platter personalized. (This really is Friday Fun to the nth degree, we *love* giving things away!)

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This just in! (Gasp – breaking news here at the Prepatorium!) The word is out that the next designer collaboration for Targèt will be with Jean Paul Gaultier, perhaps best known for his cone-shaped bustier Madonna wore on tour. As reported in Women’s Wear Daily, Target has no details on when the collection will launch, what price points will be, or how many pieces will be in the line.

“Gaultier is known for edgy street fashion interpretations, a Parisian panache, over-the-edge couture, generating lots of media and groupie followings.”

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Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Our second tidbit is old news for those who follow us on Twitter (you can follow TP here if so inclined) as we tweeted the sad news a couple of times yesterday: In what can only be called a SOTT (Sign Of The Times),  Prescriptives cosmetics is being closed.

There are a number of contributing factors but the overarching concern is the continued underperformance of the brand.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

The line is owned by Estee Lauder (it was originally launched by Ronald Lauder 30 years ago), and we don’t know a timetable for the shutdown. We have already heard  from a number of current customers who tell us they are making plans to stock up.

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Fashion Week continues apace, as most everything was wrapping up with last night’s Tommy Hilfiger show. We’ll cover some the Hilfiger collection for Spring 2010 in our next post, but thought Friday Fun mandates we share some celebrity sightings and front-row attendees at yesterday’s shows.

First, recording star Taylor Swift at the Hilfiger show in what we’ll call her “Kanye Who?” look.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

After all, looking good is the best revenge. While Miss Swift is far beyond stooping to vengeful behavior, one can’t help but think about that when seeing her in such a stunning dress.

This next photo of the young star (yes, that is Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl to her right, our left, and yes, he’s underdressed once again in yet another tee-shirt, no threat however to James Dean or Marlon Brando) reminds us of an incredibly rigid rule a lesson taught at an early age: ladies cross their ankles, not their knees.  Of course.

PHOTO: Diane Bondareff/AP

PHOTO: Diane Bondareff/AP

Also at the Hilfiger show Betty Draper, January Jones of Mad Men.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

Here is Ms. Jones with Mr. Hilfiger, better showing the Pretty in Pink sheath she is wearing.

PHOTO: Diane Bondareff/AP

PHOTO: Diane Bondareff/AP

We cannot wait to see who she is wearing for Sunday’s Emmy Awards.

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And now we cover today’s primary topic, the Ralph Lauren show at Fashion Week.  We start with the front row, Janet Jackson is seen below with Dylan Lauren.

Rob Loud/Getty

Rob Loud/Getty

Onto the main attraction: the clothing and accessories.

/WWD

/WWD

As described in the Journal’s Heard On The Runway blog (must reading for TP):

“When the going gets tough, the tough get back to honest American working clothes. That’s means jean jackets, striped cotton shirts and pink floral sundresses.”

Fernanda Calfat/Getty

Fernanda Calfat/Getty

Some of the denim looks were outstanding, although we recall owning a pair of overalls quite a. long. time. ago.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Robert Mitra/WWD

The references to Steinbeck’s dust bowl were everywhere, with some reviewers even titling their stories “The Grapes of Ralph”.

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Here is a taste of the WWD review on Mr. Lauren’s Spring 2010 Collection:

“Certainly there is something wonderful about Lauren’s unabashed romanticism. In an industry rampant with cynicism, he’s proud to be American and believes deeply, as his show notes reminded, in this country’s “resilient spirit.”

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More from WWD:

“…. he made some risky choices; It’s unlikely many designer customers will aspire to shredded jeans and faded shirts, no matter how perfectly arranged the decay. As for their feminine counterparts, floral house- and sundresses, charmers for sure, but late-to-the-party kind of frocks that have flooded the contemporary market for some time.”

We found some of the tailored styles more appealing…

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… and a number of the party frocks divine.

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Despite our love of sheer overlays, other looks just didn’t seem to have the right proportions, the skirts overly full.

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The look below prompts us to recommend a visit to the High WASP for her views on high-end shorts.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Robert Mitra/WWD

Some touches were absolutely exquisite.

ralph-lauren-backstage24USA-FASHION/

One of our favorite fashion writers, Cathy Horyn at the Times, was not as positive about the show as many other journalists:

“I wondered, looking at the collection—which was weak by Mr. Lauren’s usual standards—what the discussions in his studio were about such a theme. Can hard times and their associated misery ever be an acceptable theme for a fashion show?”

Clearly the designer’s execution of his theme did not sit well with Ms. Horyn.

Kyle Ericksen/WWD

Kyle Ericksen/WWD

More from Ms. Horyn’s blog post:

“And if the clothes don’t really attempt to explore legitimate modes of American dress, and instead remain on the surface—a little faded and ripped denim with rhinestone sandals—isn’t that somehow worse?”

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Courtesy First Post

Most of the handbags shown were of the casual, western look Mr. Lauren favors.

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Below, the designer and his wife, Ricky, upon completion of the show.

Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for IMG

Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for IMG

For more photos, click here. We are curious to hear from readers about the show… two thumbs up? Down? No thumbs at all? Do tell, TP is dying to hear your reaction. After all dolls, sharing is caring.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Fernanda Calfat/Getty

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink, Sign of the Times

Brooks Brothers Sneak Peek & Maritime Prep?

Hello-Hello!

Before we jump right back into the fun and frenzy that is Fashion Week, a quick look at the styles seen on a few of the celebrities we frequently track here at the Prepatorium. Below, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday.

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

Costar Chace Crawford gets more than a little edgy for this fashion shoot in Wonderland magazine.

PHOTO: ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI/Wonderland Magazine

Alexi Lubomirski/Wonderland Magazine

The looks seen in the magazine spread are really quite a departure from Mr. Crawford’s clean-cut appearance in G2. (That shot above is ideal for “Excedrin Headache #273, and the spitting image of how we’re feeling at the moment, read on to understand the cause of our exploding brain.)

Alexi Lum

Alexi Lubomirski/Wonderland Magazine

Blake Lively helps us segue to the topic of Fashion Week; below, she is seen at the Diane von Furstenberg show.

Bryan Bedder/Getty

Bryan Bedder/Getty

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In yesterday’s post we looked at the insanity of Thom Browne’s Spring 2010 Collection, and Monday we did the Lacoste Collection. This brings us to the Brook Brothers offerings for next spring.

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/Los Angeles Times

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/Los Angeles Times

The line is full of promise, with regatta stripes, madras and the classic combination of all-American red, white and blue.

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

From reading the LA Times review it would seem this collection has something to set every little prepster’s heart aflutter:

“…the storied American clothier  jaunting off to the Hamptons… Palm Beach (in a Lily Pulitzer-worthy color scheme and motifs that included embroidered pink seahorses and green palm trees), San Francisco… the back nine (martini glass and golf flag embroidery) and the backyard.”

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

We found a statement from the retailer’s CEO astonishing in this WWD review (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.):

““This is the first time everything is wearable,” Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and chief executive officer of Brooks Bros., said of the Thom Browne-designed Black Fleece. “Even the statement pieces.”

It is here that we stray deeply into Help Me Understand territory. Because we are incapable of grasping the concept of previous collections being sanctioned if they included clothes that were not wearable.

TP is confused, positively addled by this notion. As fine as their apparel and accessories are, Brooks Brothers is not engaged in the business of haute couture. The firm designs, manufactures and markets Ready To Wear.  Ready. To. Wear.  Why would any responsible businessperson allow valuable resources to be expended in the creation of merchandise that was anything but wearable?!?

Ohmyohmyohmy, TP is more-than-flummoxed. (We’re thinking we might need to take serious action, joining hands across the internet to sing kumbaya or something, honestly, this may be the only way to keep us from burning our 1978 navy men’s B2 polo in effigy, using this fall’s catalogs as an accelerant.) Thoughts dollfaces? What’s a Princess to do to combat such insanity?

Rather than wallow in this confused state we’ll turn our attention back to the company’s 2010 Collection as seen at the firm’s flagship store this week. Nautical things tend to cheer us up, as the inimitable Nautical by Nature knows.  More from the LA Times:

“The predominant nautical/beachy theme pulling into port all over town this week was also in evidence, including patchwork madras, jackets with white accent stripes that recall naval uniforms and a Black Fleece collection tailor-made for Fleet Week, complete with a tone-on-tone all-over anchor embroidery on seersucker pieces…..”

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/LA Times

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/LA Times

The jury is out on the oversized nautical print; we like it on the skirt, but in men’s separates or suiting? We think not – it looks seriously wrong on the inner leg of the trousers seen above.

However, much more works with the collection than in previous years, and we have hopes B-squared will lead the recovery in this sector of the retail market.

On a different ‘maritime fashion’ note, we offer this from an AP story about another menswear collection:

“Think Ivy League yacht club on a stevedore’s budget.
John Bartlett calls it “Maritime/Prep” and presented it as his spring 2010 line for Liz Claiborne.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

In photos from the presentation we see lots to like, but did not notice loads of nautically inclined pieces. It does appear there are many casual alternatives to Brooks or J. Press or other retailers.

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We close with a few looks from the Dennis Basso show, because we need some cheering up after the Brooks Brothers debacle. Also because they are just yummy!

What better way to perk up an afternoon than a little pouf in a party frock?

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

The word ‘confection’ comes to mind.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

These lift one’s spirits considerably, making it impossible to be a Grumpenstein.

PHOTO:

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

So we close with a smile for each and every reader, grateful for  your kind tolerance of our little tirades. We promise to be a happier Princess tomorrow.

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