Tag Archives: Ralph Lauren

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

Ralph Lauren & Brooks Brothers Expand Collections, Kennedy Mini-Series Finds a Home

Hello-Hello, happy, sunny day!

When composing the portion of yesterday’s post about the storm we presumed that would be the extent of our dealings with the matter.  Silly Princess.  The abundance of amazing images prompts just a bit more coverage, with thanks to our treasured readers for your gracious tolerance of our tedious fascination mild interest in the topic.

First, a photo from New Hampshire that gives new meaning to “Park & Ride”.

AP via The Telegraph

The interior of just one of the hundreds of vehicles left on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago Tuesday night.

AP via The Telegraph

Lower Manhattan Wednesday.

AP via The Telegraph

How significant portions of I-70 in Missouri looked on Tuesday and parts of Wednesday.

EPA via The Telegraph

One of our favorites is the “Free Snow – Shovel All You Want” sign in Massachusetts.

Via The Telegraph

Okay, we have had enough of the folderol, we move on.

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Our next item on the agenda, Brooks Brothers’ expansion of its Home Collection.

The growth of the line was noted in this story in Home Accents Today. The group now includes a broad selection of lampshades.

Brooks Brothers

Very much in keeping with the Brooks image and product line, the shades invoke visions of pinstripe suits, button downs and silk repp ties.  Below, Cotton Oxford Pleated Chandelier shades.

The Table Top category has been expanded as well; below we show a piece from the company’s partnership with the National Audubon Society, a beautiful Dessert Platter.

Brooks Brothers

In the Help Me Understand category we do have a few entrants, including the Asanoha Plate.

Brooks Brothers

The plate is more than attractive, with an appealing design. Nor do we have any quarrel with the necessity for The Consort the staff to wash the plate by hand, after all it is hand-painted. Our confusion stems from the logo; why would anyone want to display the retailer’s Golden Fleece on their dishes?

The pillow selection remains much the same as when the group was launched,the Striped Pillow collection is still very stylish.

Brooks Brothers

We spotted one addition to this group.

Brooks Brothers

For our thoughts on this item, just scroll back up and re-read the Help Me Understand section.  Overall we find lots to like in the expanded line, it is a stellar representation of the brand’s classic heritage. While not personally looking for gray flannel lampshades, we do think there are many places they will be simply perfect. (If desirous of more background on the collection, click here for one of our more in-depth posts on the topic.)

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Our other fashion morsel involves expansion for Ralph Lauren.  In a story about the designer’s fall preview, WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) explains:

“New this season is a distinct denim collection under the Black Label Denim moniker, as well as an expanded accessories assortment that covers shoes, leather goods and watches.

Here are some of George Chinsee’s photos that accompany the story.

Back to Jean Palmiere’s story:

“The new Black Label Denim component is designed to provide a “sexy, hip weekend look” for the customer who is comfortable in the label’s more-tailored offering. “It’s all aimed at that guy and takes him from formalwear to jeans.” Coated cargo pants and jeans with both skinny and wide legs were blended with cashmere sweaters and leather jackets.

Lauren said he decided to offer this collection after standing inside his Madison Avenue store and seeing all the women coming in to shop wearing jeans. “I realized we don’t have high-quality, high-fit denim,” he said. “So we did it for men and women. I wanted to make it a full business on a high level.”

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We have an update on an earlier story, the highly controversial “Kennedys” mini-series, the Hollywood Reporter has more:

“The controversial miniseries will world premiere on April 3 on the ReelzChannel, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.”

 

Via Reelz Channel

We anticipate this will start viewers scrambling as they try to sort out where the network is on their cable and satellite systems, if it is carried at all.  Click here to visit the Reelz website.

With that, goodbye until next time, we hope your day is sunny and bright!

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Filed under Help Me Understand, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

J. Crew Spring 2011 Preview, Gala at Ralph Lauren

Hello-Hello, and welcome to an almost-weekend, isn’t it awful we’re thinking that and it’s only midday?

The crush of business mandates a shorter-than-normal post today, so we jump right in with a very quick glance at J. Crew‘s Spring 2011 Collections, previewed last night for the media.

Via Shawn Punch/Examiner.com

On an up note, there are lots of bright, bold colors. On a less-than-up note, there seems to be an abundance of sequins and other not-so-preptastic embellishments.

Glamour has images of the line (above), as does Habitually Chic (below).

Here is a closer look at the sequin cutout piece above.

Via Thread NY/NBC

We think it unlikely many of our cherished readers will be making mad plans to purchase the piece shown above.

Via Thread NY/NBC

The next two styles come via Jim Shi’s Plixi photo feed.

This may surprise you, but the studded sweater above isn’t destined for the walk-in. We leave the topic for now with these two images from Habitually Chic.

Women’s Wear Daily (subscription) has a look at the men’s line today; we expect they’ll have photos from the womenswear up Monday and we’ll share them with you.

To see more images from the women’s collection for next spring we suggest the Examiner story, Glamour, or Habitually Chic. For more on the men’s line, we recommend Selectism or Bold on the Street.  To view the Thread NY “Behind the Scenes with Jenna Lyons” story, click here.

Ms. Lyons’ influence is evident throughout the spring collection; below, the executive attending this week’s Accessories Excellence awards.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for ACE Awards

We expect to have better shots of the women’s Spring 2011 collection next Monday.

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A quick social note, the new Ralph Lauren women’s shop was the setting for last night’s big do celebrating Gloria Vanderbilt’s new book.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt” was published this week; WWD has more on the party.

“Suitably, Lauren’s first major party there — to celebrate Gloria Vanderbilt and the new book — felt a lot like the salon gatherings of the days of yore, drawing a mix of people from fashion, Hollywood, society and politics.

Also attending, Lauren Bush, as well as Andrew Lauren.

Ms. Vanderbilt’s son, newscaster Anderson Cooper was on hand, as well as actress Uma Thurman.

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A final note, we are excited to share the most recent addition to our Preppy Paper line,

The Dittie Notepads are from our friends at Donovan Designs, above we show varying Madras Plaid designs, but there are loads to choose from, some are preprinted, like the Lunch Box Notes and Note to School pads.

Others are blank, like the Flower Notepads and the Diamond Notepads.


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Is Prep Dead? (More Importantly, How Did We Miss This?)

Hello-Hello, is everyone ready for a weekend?

We thought it was time for another True Prep update, the volume of media surrounding the book is significant, including multiple declarations that ‘prep is dead’; in at least one instance responsibility for this hypothetical occurrence is linked directly to the book.

We begin with this headline from a September NPR story:

We haven’t heard the entire NPR story, but did read what is posted online and were unable to decipher exactly how the book’s existence translated into a sign that prep was dead.  The NPR story does carry a lengthy quote from this story in The Atlantic:

As always, the Atlantic review is very well done, essentially positing that ‘prep’ has  been absorbed by a larger, international class.  From the piece by Benjamin Schwarz:

“Whereas OPH was crammed with fine-grained analysis— defining, say, the subtle distinctions between Brooks Brothers (mainstream), J. Press (old guard), and Paul Stuart (urbane)—True Prep’s analysis seems vague and flabby. Whereas OPH’s preppies belonged to a distinct and inward-looking subculture, the preppies of True Prep, defined largely by what they buy and wear, are in many ways indistinguishable from fancily educated professionals.”

The writer doesn’t fault the skill set of authors Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, looking instead at the consumption habits of the era, particularly those of the conspicuous kind.

“Cracked heirlooms, threadbare antique rugs, sturdy L.L. Bean boots, duct-taped Blucher moccasins, and workhorse Volvo station wagons defined OPH’s aesthetic. True Prep’s preppies, armed with BlackBerrys and iPods, wear Verdura jewelry and Prada and vintage Gucci loafers, tote Goyard and Tory Burch bags, and adorn their desks with tchotchkes from Smythson (a firm whose success, Ian Jack notes in The Guardian, has been built “on selling baubles to the impressionable rich”).

It’s no secret we whined struggled with some of the brands featured in True Prep. (For Ms. Birnbach’s comments regarding the J. Crew metallic Top-siders at J. Crew, simply click here.) We have been vocal about the volume of J. Crew & Burberry products showcased in the book.  Frequent readers know the tragic truth: TP and The Consort are two boring, old-school preps.  Our style is basically no style.

However, we do take issue with this claim from a column in the Journal, the headline reads “Preppy Pitfall: All That Madras, Not Enough Effort.” It is the subhead that is irksome:

Did Lisa Birnbach’s original ‘Handbook’ drive people lazy?”

Eric Felten cites TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) as a factor.

“One simply mustn’t try too hard. A key principle of what Ms. Birnbach called the Preppy Value System was Effortlessness: “If life is a country club, then all functions should be free from strain.”

The notion that Ms. Birnbach is responsible for the work ethic of a generation is ludicrous.

“Unless you actually have a fat trust fund to underwrite your nonchalance, an aversion to effort is hardly a strategy for success. Which may explain some of our national woes.”

We like Ms. Birnbach; she is talented, witty and loads of fun, but while wielding significant influence, she is not quite so powerful as to be responsible for this:

“Over the last couple of decades we’ve seen the contempt for effort spread far beyond the original preppy demographic. Now it’s commonplace for middle-class kids to go to college and behave as though they are scions of the gentry—abjuring studies and indulging in the bottomless kegger that a recent book dubbed “The Five Year Party.”

Blaming These Challenging Times on any single author just doesn’t work for us.

Next on the review list, AOL’s Daily Finance offers this:

Bruce Watson’s story takes a more reasoned approach:

“…she attached a philosophical component to the look, explicitly wedding the preppy style to a hodgepodge of social values, including traditionalism, thrift, and brand loyalty. In Birnbach’s analysis, preppies buy Brooks Brothers and Orvis because these companies have been in business for over a hundred years and have proven reliability.”

As the monolithic 1980’s preppy culture has fractured into a variety of brands and styles, from Gossip Girl to hip-hop Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren to Vineyard Vines, it’s worth wondering if this explosion of prep may also signal its demise.”

Mr. Watson points to the efforts at updating the fashions offered by some of the stalwarts, like LL Bean’s Signature and Black Fleece at Brooks Brothers, a necessity if such establishments are to compete against trendier, “hipper” (ahem) offerings at retailers like J. Crew. Unfortunately the writer misses an important point in this portion of his story:
“In True Prep, however, conversation positively drips with references to the signs of wealth, as Birnbach instructs readers: “Your car wasn’t in the shop; your Mercedes was getting fixed. You didn’t wear shoes; you wore Manolos.”
The book isn’t instructing readers to converse in this fashion. To the contrary, this specific segment laments the way people speak these days, bemoaning the ostentation and name-dropping and label flashing.  Melanie Spencer’s story in the Austin Statesman illustrates this distinction with a quote from the author:
“”People are oft misbehaving and name-dropping and talking about money,” she says. “It is vulgar. It’s becoming normal. I’m here to help correct. Something as benign as ‘Sex in the City’ sort of sanctioned gross materialism. Instead of saying, ‘Oh, my shoes hurt,’ it’s, ‘My Manolos hurt.’ You are sending all kinds of messages. You can say ‘My car is in the shop.’ You don’t have to say, ‘My Jaguar is in the shop.’ It would be so refreshing for people to go back to those basics.”

We had to laugh aloud at this part of the story, it seems not everyone in Austin was fond of the prep aesthetic. (Gasp!)

“”Preppy fashion was the lowest point in the history of women’s attire,” says longtime Austinite, style and design writer and Austin Monthly Home editor Helen Thompson.”
Oops.  Hopefully Melanie, I Pick Pretty and other notable Austin denizens won’t tell Ms. Thompson next time we visit.
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Enough of the deep thinking, we have an eye-popping Pretty in Pink & Green to share:
The Argyle Pullover is available at Elegant Baby, and there is also a version in blues if looking for something a little more sedate.
With that, we are off to enjoy the weekend, and hope you are able to do the same!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH