Tag Archives: Ralph Lauren

That Ivy Style Exhibit

Hello-Hello, happy middle of the week to everyone.

Today’s schedule mandates brevity, so we’ll keep the post to one topic. It is a subject I should have written about months ago, hopefully it isn’t tedious for too many readers.

Hickey Freeman Blog

Hickey Freeman Blog

We’re talking about the Ivy Style exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, unfortunately it closed in January. More from the Museum’s show notes.

“Ivy style” is one of the most enduring and recognizable sartorial modes in the world. It began as the “Ivy League Look” on the quads and in the libraries of elite, all-male, American universities, and consists of a small repertoire of classic items, such as Shetland tweed jackets and Oxford button-down shirts, plus the more casual madras shorts and khaki pants.

Yours truly is beyond chagrined at not having written about this sooner, at the very least before the exhibition closed, arrggh. Several pieces from the show: left to right, a Brooks blazer with 1923 Princeton insignia, another with Princeton’s 1919 insignia, and a 1916 Yale emblazoned blazer.

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

More from Hickey Freeman’s blog:

Many forget that the “Ivy style” as we know it began as a more formal way of dress on campuses like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which eventually spread beyond those all-male universities. In blue blazers with gold buttons, madras prints, bowties and pocket squares, the exhibit proves this iconic way of dressing continues to influence today’s designers.

Three more pieces from the exhibition, a classic raccoon coat, a Chipp madras jacket and linen suit, correctly described by Art Info as Ivy staples.

ArtInfo.com

ArtInfo.com

Art Info’s story includes perspective from the Museum’s deputy director:

While the Ivy look is pretty democratic these days, with everyone from H&M to Hermes turning out brass button peacoats and embroidered smoking slippers, this wasn’t always the case. “If you look at pre-World War II images, you’re talking about more of an elitist group of people, people with more money who could send their children to college” Mears said.
More recent looks.
Via StyleSight

Via StyleSight

From The Journal’s review of the show:
Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Arrow, Hathaway and Gant—these are Ivy eternals. Chipp, an offshoot of J. Press, would expand and popularize the “Go to Hell” look, a mix of bright colors normally considered outside the masculine palette—coral, yellow, mint—and constituting a casual smack at the status quo.
Below, one of the tableaux from the exhibition via the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton '60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton ’60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Back to The Journal piece by Laura Jacobs:

Ivy-style clothes need not come at great expense; they need not be new; but they must hit the ineffable balance between carefree, careless and correct. I have never forgotten the scorn of a young man commenting on Nantucket Reds that weren’t bought at Murray’s in Nantucket. They would never fade to the proper shade of shrimp pink and so they were impostors—”not our sort of people” pants. Getting the uniform wrong locks you out of the tribe.

Below left, items circa the twenties, on the right, an Arrow shirt signed by Harvard’s 1933 Football Team.

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

From Women’s Wear Daily’s story:

Ivy League style permeates nearly every fiber of American fashion, and a new exhibition at The Museum at FIT delves into its history.

It explores the “decline and resurgence” of Ivy League fashion and the rise of the preppy movement.

George Chinsee/Women's Wear Daily

George Chinsee/Women’s Wear Daily

The WWD article quotes Town & Country’s G. Bruce Boyer, he was a collaborator on the show:

Boyer said the show is “very timely,” since “every Italian brand today is trying to do the authentic Brooks Brothers button-down. And look at Thom Browne and Michael Bastian — they take great traditional looks and make them hip and contemporary.”

I didn’t realize the origins of the polo coat, more from the exhibit microsite:

Many garments have been derived from the game of polo, including this camel hair overcoat that was originally used as a “wait” coat by British polo players during “chukkas” (the term for polo’s periods of play). In design, it was at first little more than a heavy bathrobe type wrap coat, but when British polo teams began making regular visits to the U.S. in the 1920s, it was modified and became popular on elite college campuses.

Ivy Style Microsite

Ivy Style Microsite

Details magazine offered this:

While traditional J. Press and Brooks Brothers gear features prominently in the exhibit, it’s fun to see styles loosen up and evolve over the years, from the formal evening ensembles of the 1920s to the preppy sweater-and-shorts combos of the fifties and sixties.

Details

Details

Even though I missed seeing the exhibit in person, there is a wonderful book of essays accompanying the exhibition, edited by Ms. Mears.

Yale University Press

Yale University Press

More on the book from its publisher, Yale University Press:

Ivy Style celebrates both high-profile proponents of the style—including the Duke of Windsor, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Miles Davis—who made the look their own, and designers such as Ralph Lauren, J. McLaughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Bastian, and Thom Browne, who have made it resonate with new generations of style enthusiasts.

Ivy Style is also available at Amazon and other outlets.

One of the best parts of the exhibit is the way curators drew upon the blogging community, several of my favorite blogs were involved in a variety of ways. Christian Chensvold over at the Ivy Style blog has an essay in the book discussed above, he has several stellar posts on the show. One offers a delightful video walk-through of the exhibit hosted by Richard Press.

Muffy Aldrich of Daily Prep renown is another author I admire tremendously and love reading, she donated items for use in the exhibit. I think you’ll enjoy this April post showing preps for the show. TDP was also featured in a Symposium affiliated with Ivy Style, for a real treat spend some time on this post, the entire slide show about Muffy’s blog is viewable.

John Tinseth writes The Trad, always enjoyable and a place where I have lurked for years, he was part of the Symposium as well. In this post you can see loads of photos from the exhibit, including the vintage dorm room shown below.

The Trad

The Trad

Dusty at Maxminimus is yet one more writer I regard with great admiration, he was also part of the Symposium and this post details that experience brilliantly.

The show may have closed in January, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy it virtually via some of the links included above.

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One more tidbit, anyone interested in a new personalized phone case might want to visit the always-wonderful Nautical by Nature blog. We’re just tickled to be sponsoring a giveaway for one of our Preppy Planet custom cases.

Nautical by Nature

Nautical by Nature

Even if you don’t need a case, pop in and say ‘hey’ to Kate, she is the bee’s knees.

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

Martha Stewart at Penney’s Might Not Be A “Good Thing” & “New Preppy Style”

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Tuesday.

Today we offer a few Bits and Bytes, beginning with a follow-up to a story we shared in February, “Now, Now, Now, Can’t We All Play Nice?” Some may recall the brouhaha, it involves Martha Stewart’s announcement she was selling part of her company to JC Penney, who would then sell Martha’s merchandise in its stores. The only problem?

Macy’s.com

Macy’s sells the brand in its stores, they have for years.  Executives at Macy’s were understandably upset, not only had they made a huge investment in Martha Stewart, they were apparently blindsided by the news she was jumping ship and going to a competitor.  As you might imagine, things went downhill in an hurry: Macy’s sued Martha in January for breach of contract, Ms. Stewart countersued in February, and everyone landed in court last Friday.

The judge in that hearing ruled in favor of Macy’s, issuing a preliminary injunction against Martha Stewart. More from Women’s Wear Daily:

A New York State judge granted Macy’s a preliminary injunction, barring the home goods firm from selling Martha Stewart-branded bedding, bath, kitchen textiles, dinnerware and cookware in Penney’s stores. That shuts Penney’s out of some of the brand’s key categories for now.

Macy’s says they will continue selling Martha Stewart products until 2018. And what does Penney’s plan to do? They say they will still open the planned Martha Stewart mini stores inside its stores beginning next year.  For the average customer things appear to be normal, there is still plenty of Martha for sale at Macy’s, below we show a screen grab taken this morning from the retailer’s website.

Macy’s.com

But the drama isn’t over. The injunction wasn’t the end of the line, merely a step along the path to a full trial; that is scheduled for November.

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Our other tidbit today involves a look at “new preppy style” (cough-cough) via MSN for Her (?), a UK site.  More from “Get Ready for the New Preppy“:

The Preppy Handbook gets a re-write for autumn with bold checks, vintage lines and heritage styling. Here’s how to make the look work for you…

The preppy look is one of the easiest trends to re-create, whether you choose prim blouses and pencil skirts, polo shirts and cargo pants or masculine tailoring in tweeds and brogues.

One of the suggestions: Peter Pan collars.

Preppy style is about neat collars, tucked-in shirts and conservative lines and this autumn the Peter Pan collar gives the school girl look a new sophisticated edge.  Wear on a simple dress like Emma Stone, (or) with smart tailoring like Alexa Chung…

Via MSN UK Style

Other tips include looking at Ralph Lauren, especially pieces influenced by English heritage style, that makes sense for a site in the UK. Other ideas offered: tweeds, tartan, and the varsity look.

No prepster’s wardrobe would be complete without a varsity jacket and college scarf. For authentic pieces it’s worth scouring charity and vintage shops.

MSN UK Style

A jacket or scarf from one’s own school? Sure, always fun and classic. From some other establishment one has no affiliation with? Probably not. Because there is no fuddy-duddy like an old fuddy-duddy.

The story does a good job pointing out the benefits of vintage finds:

‘Fifties style was dominated by Christian Dior,’ says Angela. ‘He dispensed with the utility look and introduced a new silhouette of the tiny waist and a full skirt accessorised by a wide belt. Then came pencil skirts and cigarette pants teamed with off the shoulder tops.’

To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

Goodbye until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Is Pendleton….Hip? Also, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons Profiled Everywhere

Well now, didn’t yesterday turn out to be more than a little wacky? With all that shakin’ going on and Hurricane Irene looming, we take a moment to send good thoughts to everyone impacted, batten down the hatches.

We move on to chatter about a company we have long been fond of, Pendleton; it’s one of those brands many of us grew up with, representative of what many refer to as ‘pure prep’.  It is still a name we think of every now and then, the memory jarred by a decades-old skirt hanging in the winter closet, or a neatly folded sweater stashed away until colder temps return. We also enjoy popping into our local Pendleton boutique, the quality of the clothing is one reason we harbor such positive feelings about the company, everything is very well made.

But let’s be honest, when you hear ‘Pendleton,’ is this what you think of?

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Would you be surprised to learn these are also part of the fall collection?

Pendleton

Above left is the company’s Soho skirt and on the right, its Consuela Short Skirt.

Last week one of our favorite columnists at The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece asking the question “Can Pendleton conquer the hipster class?” More from Times fashion critic Booth Moore:

For many, the brand is associated with career clothes and mom jeans, with Indian blankets and plaid shirts worn by the Beach Boys.

Pendleton via The LA Times

The picture is from 1963, it was used on the cover of the band’s “Surfer Girl” album. In a recent story Mr. Moore delves into Pendleton’s history and future, with a detailed look at the brand’s upcoming Portland Collection.

But Pendleton has been working to attract a new generation of contemporary customers for the last few years… Now Pendleton Woolen Mills, Oregon’s 102-year-old, dyed-in-the-wool blanket brand, is continuing its move into the boutique fashion business by tapping into the indie cool of Portland…

Styles from the Portland Collection.

Courtesy Photos

More styles.

Courtesy Photos

Back to Booth Moore’s article:

“The clothes nod to the season’s western trend, but in a quirky, alterno kind of way. The Pendleton jacquards, done in black and white, read more graphic and modern than Santa Fe style circa 1990. And the famous plaids aren’t outdoorsy so much as they are nerd-chic.”

Clearly, your trusty correspondent is unlikely to be found in pieces from the new line; we applaud Pendleton’s efforts to evolve the brand while remaining true to its core audience. As Mr. Moore’s story points out, they aren’t alone in this kind of endeavor.

Pendleton, headquartered in downtown Portland, follows several other American heritage brands in looking to the past to forge the future (Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Woolrich Woolen Mills).

An image from the firm’s website shows a reference to its storied past with the ‘Right Then, Right Now’ graphics.

Pendleton

We have previously looked at Pendleton’s evolution, including this post in 2009 previewing its collaboration with the oh-so-hip Opening Ceremony.

The Portland Collection launches right after Labor Day and will even be available at some Anthropologie stores.

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Also today, word of some unhappy J. Crew customers in Canada. The retailer opened its first store there last week and pricing differences between the two countries has upset shoppers. From a story in the Globe and Mail:

“For online customers, taxes and duties raised the final price for orders in some cases by as much as 50 per cent compared with the U.S. site they previously ordered from.”

One challenge facing anyone opening new markets: technology that simply wasn’t around fifteen years ago, making pricing information available to anyone.  Back to the story:

“…the quick and angry response from customers to J. Crew’s hiking of domestic prices underscores its customers’ familiarity with its products and prices, and the easy access to its e-commerce site to make fast price comparisons.

Here is more in a story titled Why is J. Crew charging us so much?:

“The disparity is particularly noticeable online, where the final prices on J. Crew’s Canadian site are as much as 40 per cent higher than on its U.S. site once taxes and shipping are added.

For example, the U.S. price for a pair of Café Capri plaid wool pants is $138 while the Canadian price is $160, a difference of 15 per cent. Once shipping and taxes are added, the U.S. price is $159, while the Canadian price is $223, a difference of 40 per cent.”

Below we show two pair of the Café Capri pants, in Plaid and in Houndstooth, both are priced at the amount mentioned above, $138.

J. Crew Café Capri pants

In all fairness, most retailers entering the Canadian market charge higher prices, it is more expensive to do business in that country for a variety of reasons: higher taxes, additional fees, fewer (if any) distribution points, etc.  More from the Globe’s story by Marina Strauss:

Other retailers have felt consumers’ wrath about higher prices in Canada compared with the U.S. Last spring, a study found that Canadian prices were 20-per-cent higher than those of the same products in the United States, while two years earlier the spread was less than 7 per cent.

Crew is also launching online shopping in the UK soon, its experiment selling through Net-a-Porter has been so positive a dedicated website is in the works, more from The Telegraph:

“Admirers of Michelle Obama’s colourful style will be happy to hear that J.Crew, her go-to retailer for affordable and stylish additions to her wardrobe (and that of her two daughters), is to launch in the UK at the end of the summer.

Although yet to be confirmed, prices are likely to come a little bit higher than in the US due to import duty, as reflected in their offering on Net-a-Porter.”

There have been several recent profiles of Crew’s CEO Jenna Lyons including a Q&A format in the National Post and New York magazine’s in-depth piece, it goes back to Ms. Lyon’s early days with the company

J.Crew was a small company in 1990, when Lyons went in for an interview. The brand styled itself as an energetic all-American label that was neither Talbots nor Ralph Lauren nor L.L. Bean. “J.Crew was the life that you could have,” Lyons says. “It was about hanging out. There was no price of entry. You might have a house in Maine on the beach, but you didn’t have a yacht and twelve horses.”

Below we see Ms. Lyons at work.

Martine Fougeron for New York magazine

More from Molly Young’s article.

Where feathers and sequins meet J.Crew is largely a matter of styling, and though Lyons dislikes the word preppy, her choices always invoke the core prep values of ease, cleanliness, and conservatism. If her company has always prized a kind of sartorial comfort—nothing too tight, too short, too synthetic—then Lyons, with her bare face and occasional bralessness, is what happens when comfort meets chic.

I very much enjoyed the story, click here to read the entire piece.

We leave you with this image from the just launched Lulu Frost for J. Crew collection.

Lulu Frost for J. Crew

The collection is now available in stores and online, princes run from $45 to $135.

Until next time. have a splendid day!

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A Busy Week for the Ralph Lauren Clan, An Unexpected Royal Wedding Dress Reaction

Hello-Hello, please forgive the lack of a post yesterday, things have been crazy-busy here at the Prepatorium.

We begin today with an update on someone we don’t follow in-depth, Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar notoriety.

Photo via Lifeguard Press

There is a significant amount of buzz surrounding the entrepreneur’s activities of late, not all of it limited to her popular candy stores. Some of it involves the launch of her new Stationery and Gifts line with our friends at Lifeguard Press.  Above she is seen at the official début of the new collection yesterday, wearing one of the Candy Bar Tiaras.

Ms. Lauren is also going to be featured on the cover of the May 23 Forbes.

Courtesy Forbes

From that story:

“When your dad is worth $5.8 billion, it’s not like you need to work for a living. But Dylan Lauren, 36, daughter of fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, devotes round-the-clock energy to her ten-year-old retail sweets business, Dylan’s Candy Bar.”

Some pieces from the new stationery collection are available now, like tableware for parties, pens, and sticker sets.

Dylan's Candy Bar at Lifeguard Press

Future additions to the line include agendas, scented iPhone cases and candles.

Ms. Lauren continues to work on expanding her original candy store business as she looks at other endeavors:

“The Manhattan flagship just got a liquor license and opened a redesigned upstairs space to serve candy-themed cocktails as well as pizza, cupcakes and ice cream. There’s talk of a children’s book and a TV show.

To see the entire Forbes story, click here.

In related news, expect to see Dylan, as well as the other Lauren kids on Oprah tomorrow, part of a show featuring Oprah’s interview with their father, Ralph Lauren.

Photos via Styleite.com

As portrayed in USA Today, the “queen of daytime is taking on the king of the runway.” (Cough-cough.)  Here is more from the paper’s story:

“As part of her élite eight — those last eight shows — Oprah Winfrey is sitting down Wednesday with the famously press-shy Ralph Lauren, who is giving his first TV interview in nearly 20 years, according to Harpo, and opening up his RRL Ranch outside Telluride, Colo., also a TV first.”

It is common knowledge within the industry Mr. Lauren is not at all fond of television interviews, tomorrow’s show is likely to do a huge number. (Translation: the show should have big ratings.)

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We bring you a quick look at a line we weren’t aware of until today, Regatta.

Regatta

The company’s runway show at Philippine Fashion Week caught our attention, the pieces are from the Holiday 2011 collection.

Via Regatta Facebook Page

Clearly derivative of sailing and beachside motifs, the line was intriguing.

Via Regatta Facebook Page

The downside is that we don’t see any locations where Regatta is sold in the US, so we can’t speak to the quality of the clothing. (A caveat if thinking about looking for the company’s wares online, this is not the same as the UK’s Regatta, a much older firm whose quality we can attest to.)

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A note for royal readers, expect to see author Andrew Morton simply everywhere as he hits the promotion circuit for his new book, “William & Catherine: Their Story“.

Borders.com

Mr. Morton is perhaps best known for his books on Princess Diana.

From his biography:

“He became an overnight sensation with the publication of his groundbreaking 1992 biography revealing the secret world of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.”

Although the book was published just three days after the wedding, the serious publicity only started yesterday, with appearances on morning shows, with lots more on the schedule.  The timing coincides with the launch of Mr. Morton’s new website, The Morton Report. To read excerpts from the new book, click here.

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We leave you with a “Help Me understand,” for your devoted correspondent is confused and we just know you can provide insight. Our question involves a surprising reaction to the Kate Middleton wedding gown, it seems a burgeoning number of fashion stories feature similar headlines, “________________ dresses like Kate Middleton at ______________” whatever event.  A case in point, Penelope Cruz and the Givenchy dress worn for the UK première of the latest Pirates film.

Photos: Courtesy Givenchy/Getty Images/AP

From The Daily Mail:

Very Kate Middleton! Penelope Cruz wears white lace to Pirates London premiere

“It had been said that Kate Middleton’s wedding dress would influence bridalwear for years to come.

But it seems her Alexander McQueen lace gown is influencing more than that, as Penelope Cruz showed when she arrived at the premiere of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in London last night wearing a full-length white lace dress”

Really? Are we supposed to believe that Penelope Cruz and/or her stylist saw the Sarah Burton/Alexander McQueen wedding gown and said “Oh, I must have something like Kate Middleton’s dress to wear in two weeks for the UK opening”?! We think not. (Unfortunately this is not one of Ms. Cruz’s best looks, she is generally in something much more flattering.)
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Our final note (so we don’t leave you thinking we are a Crankenstein), some of our favorite new pillows, perfect for the sailor in your family.

Cottage Coastal Store

One would also make a splendid hostess gift for your next visit to a friend’s cottage. On that happy thought we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Help Me Understand, nautical, preppy, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, Royal Wedding

Signs of Panic for Monaco Wedding? A “Preppy Revival” & Kate Middleton’s Prep Look (Again)

Hello-Hello, and happy Monday.

There is an abundance of news to share, we begin with a story about the upcoming wedding of Monaco’s Prince Albert to Charlene Wittstock, seen below heading into Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William.

Chris Jackson/Getty Image

The Sunday Times (London) carried a story titled “Alarm Bells Ring for Albert’s Wedding”.

With only two months to go before the 53-year-old Albert exchanges vows with Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer from South Africa, invitations have yet to be sent out. “Albert and Charlene” wedding memorabilia is not yet ready. Nor is the commemorative postage stamp or a “Princess Charlene” rose that was supposed to have been created by now.”

With all due respect to the Principality, the lack of a commemorative stamp or hybrid floral component hardly seems catastrophic.  However, one would think those invitations need to get in the mail fairly soon. And there are other issues we hadn’t thought about. Back to Matthew Campbell’s article:

“Another worry is that Albert could end up being embarrassed by the mothers of his illegitimate children.”
Perhaps the most glaring part of that sentence was “mothers,” as in plural? Multiple offspring? Recognizing much of the world finds the American perspective on monogamy and children born out-of-wedlock to be provincial, we remain convinced Albert’s mother, Princess Grace would not be thrilled at the situation.  More on the offspring from Mr. Campbell:

“Nicole Coste, a former Togolese air hostess and mother of Alexandre, 7, has a record of turning up uninvited at Monaco’s red carpet events and is said to have been signed up by German media to give an account of Albert’s big day.

It is not known whether Albert’s 19-year-old Californian daughter, Jazmin, and her mother are on the guest list. They may turn up anyway, furious at the rejection.”

Below we see the couple awarding Rafael Nadal the winner’s cup at last month’s Monte Carlo Masters tournament.

Claude Paris/AP Photo

The event does sound as though it has the potential to get a bit off the track (understatement of the week), at the very least an interesting case study for those studying such things. One last portion of the story:

“Displaying signs of panic, the palace protocol chief in charge of the wedding has sent for reinforcements, hiring two experienced French wedding planners. It is hoped, at least, that the date, time and venues of festivities will not be subject to further changes…”

To read the entire story click here to visit a forum with the entire post (the Times is available by subscription only). There is an official wedding website for the media.

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Several stories referencing the prep aesthetic have surfaced in the last several days, below we share part of a story from Savannah Now, sister site to the Savannah Morning News.  From an “An Ode to Mommy Fashion“:

“There is also the preppy mom of uniformed preparatory school children. Her uniform is collared shirts and conservative solids and plaids.

Old-school brands like Brooks Brothers, Lilly Pulitzer and Ralph Lauren are returning this preppy look to popularity. Does your mom delight in her latest look from Lilly? Does she casually toss her sweater over her shoulders while watching your tennis match? Yes, preppy mom is back!”

The piece is illustrated with a vintage Time magazine cover.

Time Inc. via Savannah Now

If that doesn’t evoke wistful thoughts of another time, a more civil and genteel time, I don’t know what will.

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Next, a story looking at “The Preppy Revival in Fashion

“It’s been patronised by icons from Grace Kelly and Jackie Onassis to Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow but, give or take the odd overnight fad (the choppy “Rachel” haircut in the 1990s for example), it’s never dominated fashion.

Now it appears that Alexa Chung’s white cuffs were the tip of the iceberg. The global preppy movement currently bubbling under the fashion radar is not going to be merely a “revival”.

Writer Julia Robson’s story ran in The National (UAE), offering an international perspective.

“New preppy, though, is more glamorous and distances itself from campus and vintage looks. Think everyone’s new favourite fashionista Kate Middleton – who never looks anything but exquisite in her pared-down, impeccably ironed clothes – and you are good to go.

New preppy isn’t about Charlotte Olympia clunky platforms or Hervé Leger cleavage dresses. It’s classic Burberry raincoats, neatly pressed cream silk blouses and dainty hats all the way. It involves quality labels, conservative styles, not wearing too much make-up or tampering with natural hair colour (though brunette home hair-dye is seeing off its rival, blonde).”

Ms. Robson wisely distinguishes between classics and fads.

“Amazingly, by preserving… fundamental preppy stalwarts such as classic raincoats, brands like Ralph Lauren and Burberry look fresher than ever. The fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is particularly enjoying a fashion “moment”.

Not surprisingly, Prep World, Mr. Hilfiger’s collaborative collection with Lisa Birnbach, is mentioned, as is the quirky “Meet the Hilfigers” campaign.

Craig McDean via Design Scene

Click here for the entire story, it makes for a good read.

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Speaking of Mr.Hilfiger, add his name to the list of designers who would like to dress Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge.  From Vogue UK:

“”Catherine has a very classic yet modern style,” Hilfiger told us. “I would love to dress her and I think she already has the makings of the perfect preppy!”

That list of designers is lengthy indeed.

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We leave you with a few images from the weekend’s events.

Al Bello/Getty Images

Mornings at a racetrack are indescribable, stripped of the frou-frou accompanying the actual race. This is especially so at marquee events.

Al Bello/Getty Images

As always, the hats were delightful.

John Sommers II/Reuters

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The more whimsical chapeaux are also fun.

Jeff Haynes/Reuters

It was an amazing race.

Travis Lindquist/Getty Images

Hopefully Animal Kingdom had a little treat with his dinner. 🙂

Garry Jones/AP

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

A Tale of Two Stories, Bridal Party Designer Revealed, Tonight’s Royal Gala

Today’s post is a challenge.

We can’t simply revel in fun and frivolity while ignoring the other news of the day.

Dusty Compton/The Tuscaloosa News/AP

Having personal experience with tornadoes when covering news, we can only say that written descriptions are inadequate.

International Business Times/AP Photo

Above, images from Tuscaloosa last night.

The atmosphere after a tornadic event is beyond explanation, well beyond weird or eerie or any other term I can think of.  The best I can say is it is quiet.  There is an odd silence and the air itself feels funny. Below, north of Centreville, Alabama last night.

Tony Laubach/TornadoesKick.com

People come slowly out of whatever shelter remains, asking “Is it gone? Is it over?”

Gary Cosby, Jr./The Decatur Daily/AP

A few will come out running, racing to find those they love.

Bernard Troncale/Birmingham News/AP

Or those they don’t know at all.

Jeff Roberts/AP Photo/Birmingham News

When the event comes at night one is even more unsteady, there is no sound, no light, no nothing. Only the sound of generators, once they kick in, for those that have them.

Jeff Roberts/Birmingham News/AP

Daylight brings painful realities.

Jeff Roberts/Birmingham News/AP

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this disaster.

Dave Martin/AP Photo

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We move on to events across the pond, where it is has been a day filled with last-minute rehearsals, comings and goings, smiles and glad-handing, and this evening’s gala for the out-of-town royals.

The day started with one more walk-through at Westminster Abbey; Prince Harry and Kate Middleton were on hand but Prince William did not participate.

Enigma via The Daily Mail

Young attendants took part in the rehearsal as well, below we see 8-year-old Tom Pettifer, one of the page boys, and Lady Louise Windsor, aged 7, she is the daughter of The Earl and Countess of Wessex (aka Prince Edward and his wife Sophie).

Roland Hoskins/The Daily Mail

We do know the young ladies will be wearing dresses by Nicki Macfarlane, below we see designs from the designer’s 2010/2011 collections.  (Be advised if thinking about checking this site, it seems to be melting down from the increased traffic.)

Nicki MacFarlane Courtesy Image

Ms. Macfarlane has done bespoke dresses for some time, only recently did she start offering RTW (ready to wear) designs. Below, another look at Young Master Pettifer and Miss Windsor.

Eddie Mulholland/The Telegraph

We see Pippa Middleton below, holding the hand of Grace van Cutsem, on the right William (Billy) Lowther-Pinkerton heads into the rehearsal.

Roland Hoskins

We don’t know if the third young bridesmaid, Eliza Lopes, was at this morning’s run-through or not. We show her below in images from an earlier post on the wedding party.

Via The Daily Mail

In addition to hearing about the wedding party’s attire, we are learning what some of the more notable guests will be wearing.  Prince Harry’s guest, Chelsy Davy, will be in two dresses by Alberta Ferretti, for the wedding she will wear aqua with a matching jacket, and for tomorrow night’s party at the palace, a midnight blue one-shouldered design.

Courtesy Alberta Ferretti

The Duchess of Cornwall will wear a creation by Anna Valentine, the designer of the dress for her marriage to Prince Charles.

Getty Images

The Duchess was out and about this afternoon, greeting those camped out on the mall.

Getty Images

Throughout the day the bride, her family and others involved in tomorrow’s events have been smiling, looking quite relaxed.

WENN.com

John Nguyen

This evening the family is safely ensconced at their hotel, below the Middleton ladies arrive at the Goring, left to right, Pippa, Carole, and Kate.

Chris Eads/Reuters

Perhaps one of the most important items brought into the hotel today:

Rex Features via The Telegraph

A sewing machine. Brilliant.

Oh, the groom? He did a walkabout this evening, greeting those gathered on the processional route.

AP Television News

While the Middletons are settled in at The Goring, others are at the Mandarin Oriental for tonight’s big dinner.  The Queen was in periwinkle blue, on the right we see Prince Charles and Camilla.

Prince Edward and Sophie, she looked lovely in red.

Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty

We have a slight concern about the frock Princess Beatrice selected, parts of it look awfully… shiny. Perhaps this is merely an unfortunate camera angle.

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Others at the gala, Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, on the right we see Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Getty Images

A favorite with the fashion crowd, Princess Letizia is seen in an elegant grey sleeveless gown, husband Prince Felipe is seen on the left, Queen Sofia is on the right.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Another look at Princess Letizia’s gown, simply stunning.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

We leave you with two things today, the first, another photo from the couple’s shoot with Mario Testino.

Mario Testino

That is the image on the official program.(You can look at the program here.)

The other is the music you will when all is said and done, and the couple turns, and heads up the aisle and out of the abbey.  

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ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty

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Bohemian Prep? Hippie-Prep? Hello?

Hello-Hello, we are practically melting here at Princess InterGalactic HQ, today’s heat wave will have us close to 50°, before you know it we’ll be parading about in shorts and a tee.

No one will be surprised to see us return to Fashion Week in today’s post, we begin with a look at styles from the Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2011 collection for women.

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD.com

Once again Mr. Hilfiger surprised, the restraint shown in most of the designs is very attractive. From the WWD review:

“But what stood out more was how remarkably controlled and expensive everything looked. Hilfiger dug into men’s wear — mannish tailoring, heavy-duty utility wear and foulard prints — and blew them out into an array of Ivy League threads with a subtext of cool.”

Not everything works for us.

While leather isn’t our style, we know it appeals to many.

Expect to see a lot of ponchos and capes this fall.

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD.com

From a Style.com interview with the designer:

“We always want to be preppy,” Tommy Hilfiger said on the phone yesterday. “But we always want to make preppy fresh.”

Some reviews called this collection “bohemian-prep,” others say “hippy-prep” (?) and still others have additional terms. The designer’s menswear collection for fall was termed “indie-prep”.  We have long since given up on attempting to keep track of what iteration of hypothetical prep Mr. Hilfiger is using at any given time, we can only judge the styles as individual pieces through our own prism of what might work for us. (Frankly, we’re still staggered by the fact there are pieces by this designer we find appealing!)

Kyle Ericksen’s backstage photos for WWD provide another perspective on the styles.

The candid shots provide a better glimpse into a style’s wearability IOHO.

It is nice to see the pops of color among the muted tones for next fall and winter.  Again, our hat is off to Mr. Hilfiger, the collection makes us consider actually experimenting with one of his styles at some point in the future. (Gasp.)

As always with Mr. Hilfiger, the audience was sprinkled liberally with celebrities, including Claire Courtin-Clarins and Virginie Courtin-Clarins, granddaughters of the man who originally founded that cosmetic line, lower right we see Olivia Palermo.

Alice Bensi / GoRunway.com

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Michael Kors celebrated his label’s 30th anniversary with a stellar show.

Among the many celebrities in the front row for this event, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, on the right, Vogue Grand Pooh-bah Anna Wintour waits.

For a complete Kors recap with outstanding photos, visit the Quintesessence blog.

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A few quick hits, the first from Vera Wang:

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

Nothing from Vera really had a wow factor, nor did anything jump out at Hérve Léger.

Via PurseBlog.com

Two more tidbits and links:

Chris Moore/Karl Prouse via The NY Times

“It is back to the straight and narrow in New York Fashion Week. No more loose and sloppy casual clothes, easy sportswear or girlish frills.”

  • The Journal has a story about Jenna Lyons and J. Crew that includes this quote from Ms. Lyons, provoking a small “amen” here at the Prepatorium.

WSJ: What about the collection resulted in softer sales last fall?

Ms. Lyons: [The customer] was sick of ruffles and so were we. There are always cycles where things sort of ebb and flow and all of a sudden that thing that you loved you now hate and that thing that you hated you now love.”

Perhaps someone at Talbots will take note of the ruffle change as well.

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We are excited by some wonderful news about our friend and style blogger Skip Brooks at Alexander Grant. (Note the snappy bow tie.)

Courtesy Image

Skip is partnering with the Style Cooperative on a line of bow ties launching this March. We love the nautical influence in the blue and white version seen above and in the fabric close-up below.

We’re thinking that perhaps Skip didn’t spend all his time at Harvard with his nose to the law books. Just speculating mind you. (Heh, heh, heh.)

With that, g’bye until next time when we look at Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers’ fall collections.

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

We leave you with a peek at the Brooks Brothers new Fair Isle knit tie from next fall’s line.

 

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Thomas Iannaccone/WWD (Hilfiger runway)
  • Alice Bensi / GoRunway.com (Hilfiger front row)
  • Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images For IMG (Michael Kors front row)
  • Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times (Anna Wintour)

 

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