Tag Archives: Priscilla of Boston

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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More Lilly Pulitzer Furniture Pix, Priscilla & Marchesa’s New Bridal Line,

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday Thursday.

There are things happening all over the Preppy Planet today, and with apologies, we have a hodge-podge of bits & bytes. We begin with an update on that much-discussed Lilly Pulitzer Furniture collection.

Sophie Pyle Style blog

The company marketing the new line, HFI Brands, shared more from the collection at the spring furniture market in High Point.

Via Sophie Pyle Style

You can see some of the new Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa fabric line in the photos. Below, the Lauren chair.

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

Lee Jofa now says the fabrics should be in showrooms in June. (A reminder that the fabric will only be available to the interior design trade.)

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

Our thanks to the always-generous Sophie Pyle for sharing her wonderful photos.

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

The images show a broader color palette than what was seen at the fall market, we like the additional color schemes.

Via Sophie Pyle Style blog

To see all of Sophie’s images from spring market, click here. Or, visit the HFI Brands Facebook page and look at their album of photos.

The folks at Real Simple have discovered the line, they are fans of that Lilly shoe storage ottoman we have previously shared.

Via Christina Lee Design

The magazine’s May issue features a look at the ottoman, it will be priced at $599 once the line launches.

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Next, more news from Bridal Week, Women’s Wear Daily reports that Priscilla of Boston is partnering with Marchesa on a lower price-point collection. The new group launches in the 19 Priscilla stores this September, with prices beginning at $1,500.

Additionally, the Vera Wang collection at David’s Bridal is expanding to include bridesmaid dresses.

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

We promised to share a more styles from Bridal Week, below we have three stunners from Reem Acra.

PHOTOS: Jason Riffe/FashionWirePress.com

Oh gosh, look, they all have sleeves. Two more gowns from Reem Acra.

PHOTOS: Jason Riffe/FashionWirePress.com

Very pretty, all of them.

We also have a brief update on that “exclusive report” about Kate Middleton’s wedding gown being designed (we mention it here) by Sophie Cranston of Libélula, WWD shares the label’s response to the rumors.

“Libelula has a company policy of not commenting on any of the work they do for private clients, however due to the unprecedented media attention they would like to make the following statement: We are not designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. We, like everyone else, can’t wait to find out who is!”

Because The Consort is so concerned about the issue (cough-cough), he felt the need to set the record straight:

The Consort Responds

There you have it.

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Careening on to our next topic, a look at some of the new goodies from this spring’s Social Primer for Brooks Brothers reversible bowtie collection. Below, some of the ties as seen in the catalog.

Social Primer for Brooks Brothers

In addition to the fresh crop of ties, now there are key fobs in the line as well.

Social Primer

Those in (or near) Charleston can see the line’s designer, K. Cooper Ray, at the Charleston Billy Reid next Wednesday. Click here for more information on that event.

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We have a very quick mention on behalf of a friend, the Fresh Air Fund is looking for host families in the thirteen states the organization serves.

Fresh Air Fund

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We leave you with today’s “What Were They Thinking?”  Below, an image with a piece of fleece that Jo-Ann stores was selling at the top, and an authentic Coach handbag on the bottom.

Via The Cut

The two items are together illustrating a story about Coach suing Jo-Ann for trademark infringement, among other things, because of the similarity to the Coach logo in the fleece fabric design. In this instance we concur with Coach, the elongated O in the design is way-too-similar to the company’s distinctive logo. We wouldn’t want the image on fleece either, it makes visions of a Coach Snuggie painfully easy to imagine.

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Filed under Collaborations, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Royal Wedding, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

You Can Buy Princess Diana’s Famous Frock, Spring 2011 Bridal Gowns

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a combined Tuesday/Wednesday post here at the Planet.

We begin with news about one of Princess Diana’s most iconic gowns, this strapless black taffeta dress created by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel.

The gown was worn by a 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer for her first major appearance following news of her engagement to Prince Charles. Some found the design inappropriate. The dress criticism wasn’t as heated over the gown’s lines when seen on an upright Princess-to-be, as shown above.

It was this angle that really got tongues to tsk-tsk-tsking.

The UK’s Daily Mail has more:

“The gown – thought by teenage Diana to be the epitome of grown-up glamour, but one that left staid palace courtiers spluttering into their G&Ts – is set to fetch up to £50,000 when it comes up for auction in June.”

The infamous dress is not the only piece belonging to the late Princess being auctioned; 30 additional items from the Emanuel’s archives are also going under the hammer.  The lots are part of a June 8 sale at Kerry Taylor auctions, known for their textile and fashion design expertise.
Below we see the enormous tulle petticoat worn for the wedding rehearsal, as well as sketches of the wedding gown.

The auction valuations seen above seem low; we expect bidding to be much higher for these items.  To read more about the auction, click here for the Mail’s story.

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Speaking of weddings, we move back to the topic of wedding gowns as New York Bridal Week is just wrapping up.  We relish any opportunity to gaze upon wedding gowns, especially when created by some of the world’s greatest designers. Below, several exquisite gowns for Spring 2011 from Oscar de la Renta.

Here are two more beauties for 2011, these are from Christos.

The topic also segues into our recent conversation about contemporary wedding dress styles, and sleeves, or the lack thereof.  More specifically, we approach the ongoing debate over today’s designs and the seeming inability by many to confront a simple fact: not all women are possessed of a swanlike neck and décolletage flattered by today’s sleeveless styles.

Now, we’re not proposing young ladies be cloaked head to toe, or carrying the volume of material seen in this classic image.

But a spot of fabric can to a great deal to help out where the gene pool may have left off, so to speak. A good example of this is seen in the Christos gown on the left or the Melissa Sweet dress on the right. (Both styles are for Spring 2011.)

After all, not everyone is possessed of an elegant neckline, not to mention the upper arms, arguably one of the least attractive parts of the female body.

Princess Diana was not the only royal in sleeves on her wedding day, more recently married royalty also covered their shoulders.  Below we see Princess Marie of Denmark on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Joachim in May of 2008. Her gown was by a Swiss fashion house, Arasa Morelli.

Getty Images

In another 2008 royal wedding we see Italian actress Isabella Orsini following her marriage last September to Belgian Prince Edouard de la Ligne de la Tremoille in a sleeveless Gerald Watelet gown and lace jacket.

PHOTO: Life

Below, one of Oscar de la Renta’s more colorful creations for spring 2011.

George Chinsee/WWD

Sometimes the issue isn’t a bride’s neckline; it is the upper arms that present a challenge. Several of Mr. de la Renta’s ensembles leave plenty to the imagination, doing so in a more-than-elegant way.

To be clear, we are not opposed to the more revealing styles, we know many young brides who were simply stunning in gowns similar to these next two creations from Mr. de la Renta.

The placement of a wrap, a veil, a jacket can do a world of good. Below left, another Oscar de la Renta, and on the right, a Melissa Sweet gown.

Two shorter dresses from Priscilla of Boston collections that help disguise challenging body issues while also looking simply stunning.

For some a white or ivory gown isn’t the answer. In addition to those more standard colors, Vera Wang also offered gray and blush creations.

As previously mentioned, some of this week’s more glamorous gowns are not floor length. On the left, Jewel by Priscilla of Boston and on the right, an offering from Amsale, both of them breathtaking in their simplicity.

Also captivating, another Priscilla of Boston (L) and one more by Amsale (R).

Perhaps one of our favorite gowns was this treasure from Angel Sanchez

PHOTO: john Aquino/WWD

The other dress eliciting “ooohs” and “ahhhhs”, this Carolina Herrera concoction.

WWD

Such amazing creations, they are lush… and luscious.

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We have with a two quick bytes, the first an Adventure in Argyle via our electronic in-bin:

Paul Stuart

The colors look more like cotton candy on the beach than dreary men’s socks, but if interested in the latter, they can be found here.

The second item is a literary note, perhaps appealing to those fond of the Shopaholic books; the next installment is out this fall.

via Trashionista

Mini Shopaholic is slated for a September 16 release; more information may be located at Trashionista or Ms. Kinsella’s site.  Yours truly just finished one of the author’s books penned under her real name, Madeleine Wickham (Sophie Kinsella is a pseudonym Ms. Wickham uses.)  The Gatecrasher was thoroughly enjoyable; we highly recommend it if one is seeking lighter fare.

Besides, the pink and green cover art was irresistible.

Until next time, we hope your afternoon is bright and beautiful!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Vera Wang: George Chinsee/WWD
  • Oscar de la Renta: George Chinsee/WWD
  • Amsale: Kyle Ericksen/WWD
  • Christos: John Aquino/WWD

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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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