Tag Archives: Princess Diana wedding gown

Princess Diana’s Wedding Gown Scrapbook Auction & Savile Row Under Seige

Today we have a number of quick Bits and Bytes to share, beginning with an auction item from an event that seems long ago and far away.

PFC Auctions

We’re talking about an amazing scrapbook created by one of Diana’s dress designers, Elizabeth Emanuel.

PFC Auctions via The Morton Report

The not-your-average-scrapbook is crafted of handmade paper, its cover shows Princess Diana (still Lady Diana Spencer at that point) on the steps of St. Paul’s, heading into the Cathedral.

PFC Auctions via The Morton Report

Inside there are sketches of bridesmaid dresses, a fabric swatch, and lace sample used for the wedding gown.

PFC Auctions via The Morton Report

The item will be auctioned online by PFC Auctions, bidding starts tomorrow at £2000, roughly $3400 at today’s exchange rates. You can read more about the auction in the Morton Report’s story, or visit PFC Auctions.

One item in the PFC Auctions sale that truly mystifies your trusty scribe: the lot featuring a Slice of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Wedding Cake.

PFC Auctions

Here’s more from the Lot Description:

A slice of cake was presented to each of the 650 close friends and family who attended the afternoon reception at Buckingham Palace.

Accompanied by the 16 page Order of Service from Westminster Abbey which includes the vows, hymns, prayers and Blessing from the Wedding.

Believed to be the first piece of William and Kate’s wedding cake to appear at auction.

My very favorite part of the description?

In fine condition.

What would you think determines ‘fine condition’ for a piece of cake more than a year old….? We’re thinking it must have been kept in the freezer, that’s what TP & The Consort did with ours, bringing it out on our First Anniversary.

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Also today, a quick update about another happening on the far side of the pond, this one a protest on, of all places, Savile Row. Note the apparel worn by the folks with the picket signs, for this is not what one generally thinks of as average picket line attire.

PHOTO: Stephanie Wolff

Yes, many a protester is in a three-piece suit, perfectly proper attire if the cause being debated is keeping that-retailer-that-shan’t-be-named Abercrombie & Fitch away from the hallowed tailoring grounds. For those unfamiliar with the area and its heritage, a little background via The Guardian: :

The Row is the heartland of English bespoke tailoring, source of the most beautifully crafted suits in the world. It was here that tailors made the uniform worn by Horatio Nelson when he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar; it was here that Edward VII invented the dinner jacket.

We learn more about the protest in Gawker’s story:

…”swathes of immaculately dressed chaps and chapettes” descended on No. 3 Savile Row, former home to the legendary Apple Studio, where they engaged in a peaceful protest of Abercrombie & Fitch’s imminent soiling of the celebrated shopping street with a new children’s clothing store.

This may surprise some readers, but historically TP has not been seen on picket lines for, or against, things. However, in 7th or 8th grade I did partake (actually I was the lone participant) in a silent protest, having the temerity to wear pants to school. (Back in the Dark Ages young ladies at my school did not wear anything other skirts and dresses, no further discussion merited or allowed.) One could look at my rebellious stance as both a success and a failure: short-term I failed and was sent home shamefaced to change into a skirt; longterm it was something of a success because school administrators relented, allowing girls to wear pants. On Fridays. (Obviously no jeans or denim, don’t even go there.) Thus the tale of my non-picket-line protest, remotely related (cough-cough) to the topic under discussion.

But we digress, back to the topic at hand, we tend to concur with The Guardian on this one, not just because we loathe what Abercrombie has become, but because some traditions need to remain just that: traditional. From The Guardian’s story:

You can go to practically any street in any city in Britain and buy the sorts of clothes peddled by Abercrombie & Fitch. You cannot, however, go to any street in the country to get a bespoke suit, and this is why the trade should remain where it is – so that when the time eventually comes that we can afford Savile Row’s prices, we know where to go.

What reverence has Abercrombie & Fitch for the tradition or heritage of Savile Row? It is only interested in the street’s iconic status on the tourist map.

We can’t replace this….

The Culture Concept

With this.

City Pages

There is actually an online Save Savile Row petition, the page addresses an element of the debate that has nothing to do with tailoring per se, but everything to do with the controversy:

There is also the issue of abercrombie & fitch’s habit of pumping foul-smelling cheap cologne out of its doors to entice gullible tourists in: this will affect not only the look of Savile Row but the smell.

We’re not the only ones who would find it abhorrent, we’re guessing Mr. Grant, seen here in a bespoke Kilgour suit, would concur with the sentiment that some things need to remain true to their heritage.

Via The Culture Concept

Indeed.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Royal Wedding

A Different Crew Clothing, Gwyneth for Coach, Wedding Preps

Hello-Hello, happy Tuesday, we’re so glad you popped in for a visit, we don’t say that nearly enough. Thank you reading our goofy blog.

Today we begin with a look at something new, at least for us, Crew Clothing.

Crew Clothing

The company is based in the UK.

Crew Clothing UK

Crew carries loads of fascinating styles, the good news is that they ship to the US.

Crew Clothing

A number of their basics look appealing.

Crew Clothing UK

A bit of background on the retailer via Think Local UK:

“Crew started life way back in 1993 when Alistair Parker-Swift found himself running a successful windsurfing company in Devon during the summer, and spending his winters in France as part of England’s ski team.

The brand’s roots are thoroughly planted in the UK coastline, celebrating heritage and history with classic designs.”

To say I am fond of the Gerty Plimsolls (sneakers) would be the understatement of the decade.

Crew Clothing UK

The company offers a jacket favored by those inspired by the so-called Gossip Girl look, theirs is the Rowley Blazer.

Crew Clothing Company

But anyone seeking upscale dresses and business suits will have to look elsewhere, Crew’s designs are targeted to a casual, outdoor lifestyle. The company also carries a full range of menswear.

Crew Clothing Company

The Consort is more-than-fond of his sweatshirts; on a frequent basis rare occasions yours truly has swiped borrowed one or two.

Crew Clothing Company

These look like they have a high snuggle factor, we like that. :)

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We have a few quick updates, beginning with word that über-prep Gwyneth Paltrow is the new brand ambassador for Coach.  The job comes at a propitious time, the company is planning a significant media blitz starting in September, they are celebrating the firm’s 70th Anniversary.  Women’s Wear Daily broke the story:

““I grew up in New York City and I’ve always thought of Coach as the quintessential New York brand,” Paltrow said. “I’ll never forget getting my first Coach bag.”

Something else we stumbled upon, new treasures from Nautical Luxuries, a Princess favorite. Below, the Signal Flags Custom Initial Bracelet:

Nautical Luxuries

If seeking a more dramatic look, the Code Flag Link Bracelets a different style statement altogether.

Nautical Luxuries

If looking for the perfect thank you gift after a week on your friend’s boat, perhaps the Custom Nautical Scarf will fit the bill, these are handpainted to order, you can select up to 20 flags (letters).

Nautical Luxuries

A more understated look is found with the Tiny Rope Anchor Earrings from a fabulous shop, Giles and Brother.

Giles & Brother

Giles & Brother offers other treasures, including the Luck Love and Hope necklace (L) and the Nautilus necklace .

Sadly, we can waste while away more time looking at nautically inclined treasures than we care to admit.

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It’s no secret that we enjoy gazing at chapeaux here at The Prepatorium and Easter Sunday presents prime viewing opportunities; the Royals are top-notch in this department.

Pool Photo by Oli Scarff/AP

From left to right: Princess Eugenie, Sophie Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice, Prince Andrew, Tim Lawrence, the Duke of York, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Princess Ann.  Below, a better view of the styles worn by Princess Beatrice (L) and Princess Eugenie (R).

Getty Images / Reuters

Both young ladies are sure to be all dolled up come Friday.

Speaking of Friday, the media has descended en masse for the continuing overkill coverage; we are reveling in every minute, although our schedule has kept those minutes to a minimum.  Below, a seaman at HMS Collingwood naval base is photographed; the Royal Navy and Royal Marines will be part of the 1,000+ military personnel lining  the route from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

At times like this one is forced to take photos of other people taking photos. (We are not being scornful, having directed many others to do the same during our years in the vast wasteland business.)

Getty Images

We’ve not had time to watch much coverage on television, but presume there have been many wide shots of the media village and other facilities created for the wedding.  The work put into building adequate structures and technical capabilities has been immense.

Kieran Doherty/Reuters

The Times has an excellent article about the British celebrities US networks are using in their coverage of the wedding.

“Because every network will be sharing the same camera feeds of the royal wedding on Friday morning, they have competed fiercely to sign up on-air talent in an attempt to make their hours and hours (and hours) of coverage stand out.”

Via The New York Times

A few bullet points, all from Brian Stelter’s story in the Times:

  • ABC’s biggest booking was probably Ms. Nicholl, whose book “William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls” was published a week before the wedding date was announced.
  • ABC’s other contributors will include Tina Brown, the Newsweek and Daily Beast editor; one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids, India Hicks; and a former press secretary for Prince William, Colleen Harris.
  • Mr. Morgan, who is British, said what he wants out of his guests on “Piers Morgan Tonight,” his 9 p.m. show on CNN, are personal stories and anecdotes. He said he would be recalling a private lunch he had with Princess Diana and Prince William when the prince was 13 years old.

We sympathize with anyone covering the event, working with pool feeds creates daunting challenges in terms of distinguishing yourself from competitors.  Perhaps the best way a network might differentiate itself from the pack would be to invoke a “less is more” philosophy, minimizing the amount of chatter, allowing the pictures and natural sound to tell a good part of the story.

The Guardian also has a splendid article, talking about the plethora of “royal experts” and some of the alleged “inside information” being bandied about, including one outrageous rumor that Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, would be speaking at this wedding (the ‘Katie’ mentioned below references Ms. Nicholl):

“And so to Katie’s most recent dispatch, which goes big on the fact that “William’s uncle, Charles Spencer … will have no formal role” in the wedding service – though he “had been expected to deliver an address”. Had been expected by whom, you might wonder? Meth addicts? People without access to media since 1986?”

BBC presenter Huw Edwards offers excellent insight on covering the wedding, here are a few tidbits from his post:

  • The homework is essential.
  • There will be a mountain of paper but most of that will not be accessible when we’re on air.
  • Let’s just say it’s a good memory test.

An FYI for readers, you can download the most recent media briefing released by Clarence House, complete with lists of invitees, the seating arrangements at the Abbey, and a very (v-e-r-y)  precise schedule detailing exactly who is supposed to be where at what time. Just click here to go to the Official Royal Wedding website.

Below, in preparation of the event an Irish Guardsman is measured last week for his uniform.  Guards soldiers just back from Afghanistan are preparing for ceremonial duties, Prince William is the Colonel of the Irish Guards.

Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Regardless of who is doing the commentary, one must admit no one does pomp and pageantry better than our friends across the sea.

Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty

Anyone tasked with working on preparations will tell you it is all in the details.

Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty

Tilly was intrigued by Conmael, an Irish Wolfhound and mascot for the unit.

Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images

We leave you with a few images from the last royal wedding receiving this kind of attention.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Via Elite Choice

Via Breakfast with Fashion

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Official Royal Wedding Website Announced & “A Dress for Diana”

Hello-Hello, and happy Tuesday!

We begin with some rather fascinating news from Clarence House, released via Twitter:

Via Twitter

Yeppers, an Official Royal Wedding website has been launched.  Here is a look at the Home Page for the site:

From The Royal Wedding

The announcement itself demonstrates the way the Monarchy has embraced social media:

“The website will bring together all of the official social media around the event, including the Clarence House and Buckingham Palace Flickr account, Twitter (@Clarence House), The Royal Channel on YouTube and the British Monarchy Facebook page, providing direct easy access to all channels of communication. Subject to further planning work, the website may feature a live web stream broadcast of the wedding itself.”

There are tabs with information on the service, the procession, the reception and more.

The site has one detail that is more-than-relevant to our post today:

“…on the day itself the site will be the first place to view information such as the details of Miss Middleton’s wedding dress.

It is all very wise on the part of the monarchy, an outstanding way to dispense, and control, wedding news.

Next, a wonderful post from our very own Royal Correspondent, Queen Bee Swain.

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A Dress for Kate – A Dress for Diana – David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Kate Middleton clearly won last week with her first three official (and triumphant) appearances, at the military base in Anglesey, Wales, the 600th Anniversary kick-off of St. Andrews University in Scotland and at the signing of the condolences book for the victims of the Earthquake in New Zealand in London.  With a calendar that is yet to be announced of her next appearance, we appearingly must come down to earth again until she re-emerges.  (More on those appearances here.)

Via British Monarch Flickr Page

Without new footage of her latest comings and goings, the focus is certainly due to shift back to The Dress.  At this time, the designer is still yet unknown and it is said by reliable sources that it is being made inside Buckingham Palace as to be under the tightest security before April 29th.  Meanwhile, Princess Diana’s wedding dress was recently on the Today Show, appearing after a few months in Grand Rapids, MI and on exhibit in Kansas City through April, beginning this Friday.

Via Better World Books

This might be the most perfect segue ever to the book that the Emanuels (couple David and Elizabeth were the atelier who designed and made Princess Diana’s wedding dress) book titled “A Dress for Diana.”  This book is part memoir, part operations management case study; they reflect upon the very start of their business (not too soon before Princess Diana burst onto the scene), to when they first met Diana, to the process of creating one of the most photographed dresses of all time, to the run-down on the wedding day and tie it all up with the aftermath of the Big Day.  The book was put together in 2006 from the immense amount of papers, documents, photographs and bric-a-brac the Emanuels catalogued throughout the Dress process.

Via CocoPerez.com

The Emanuels and Princess Diana first crossed paths when British Vogue called their shop for a few items for a photoshoot.  They sent them over, not thinking much more than they had a chance of having a piece appear in the magazine.  Little did they know that Princess Diana’s older sisters worked for Vogue and were clandestinely amassing a selection for her Official Portrait as Princess in Waiting.  She spied the top, loved it and asked for the designer’s information.  From there, she rang the Emanuels to discuss the possibility of them designing The Dress.

From the get-go, you are lead through the expansive and imperative role and meaning of the creation and symbolism the Dress stood for.  Influences and inspiration were drawn from other Royal brides, portraiture of generations of family members and the Empire past, present and future.  Materials used, from the lace, to silk, to seed pearls to the flowers in the arrangements were too all be British- liaising and procuring these wares was a job in and of itself.  To top it all off were the security, protocol, media and deadline pressures and issues.

Via UPI

The Dress and the Blouse weren’t the only pieces Diana wore by the Emanuels.  As seen above with Prince Charles and her Sereness, Princess Grace (a few months before her own untimely death), was the dress the Emanuels designed that turned who the media had dubbed Shy Di into the English Rose of a Force that Princess Diana was in the fashion world.  Diana would continue to work with the Emanuels throughout the rest of her life to commission various pieces.

Via Wales Online

I spied this book when dropping a slew of old books off at the used book store a few years ago and continually find myself picking it up; the curatorial and operations management pieces of the creation of the Dress are ceaselessly fascinating and always draw me back to take a quiet look at how it all came to be.  Definitely worth scooping up on Amazon.com or requesting at your local library as we ride out the remaining fifty-some days until April 29th.

The Queen Bee, kHm

NOTE: More on the book is also available at Elizabeth Emanuel’s website.

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