Tag Archives: Sperry Top-siders

A New Heel Height? We’re In. (Version 2.0)

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday. There is white matter falling from the sky and yours truly is perilously close to becoming Little Miss CrankyPants about the weather.  Harrumph.

We soldier on with a post we are completely flummoxed about, one that is shown as being in draft mode. Yet apparently it has been published at some point, somehow, as a dear friend has discussed it with The Consort, so confusion reigns here at the Prepatorium.  Please forgive the tedium if you have already seen this, my addled brain is beyond baffled at this point. (But if you do remember seeing the not-ready-for-primetime-post in all its ghastly horror of rampant typos, misspellings and other signs pointing to an illiterate Princess, don’t be shy about letting us know, it would be appreciated to the nth degree!)

Moving on.

Today we share news that made us smile when first reading it a few weekends back: according to an article in the Journal, we may be seeing the return of more sensible heel heights.

The age of the relatively sensible heel—about 3½ inches and under—is upon us. “After so many seasons of aggressive platform shoes, these new single-sole, lower-heel silhouettes are a palate cleanser,” said Anamaria Pimentel, accessories director for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

The piece, titled “Sweet and Low-Down Heels,” is written by Meenal Mistry, gives one hope we might finally be able to bid adieu to styles like these.

Refinery 29

Refinery 29

More from the story:

Even without punky hardware, low heels—despite their associations with more staid looks—have developed a cool cachet, simply by zigging while other shoes zag.

Obviously there’s many a flat we’re fond of, these are just a few from Tory Burch.

ToryBurch.com

ToryBurch.com

But the new trend isn’t limited to flats, far from it. There are kitten heels and chunky heels, like these from Stuart Weitzman, as seen at Zappos.

Stuart Weitzman

Nor does it mean goodbye to all platforms, below we show Stuart Weitzman’s Platswoon, a 3-1/2″ heel on a 1/2″ platform, making these more than manageable.

Stuart Weitzman Platswoon

The story does have some good reminders about switching to the lower height.

Switching to a lower heel partly requires a perception shift: The eye has to become accustomed to a different proportion. More concretely, the adjustment can mean hemming your trousers so they don’t drag, or opting for slimmer silhouettes that are still flattering without the boost of an extra 3 or 4 inches.

There are some darling little kitten heels this spring, like Manolo Blahnik’s Lisane Bow, as well as cute Manolo sandals, below right we see the Carolyne.

Manolo Blahnik at Neiman Marcus

Manolo Blahnik at Neiman Marcus

Not that we don’t love the venerable “Reva” by Tory Burch in a variety of finishes.

ToryBurch.com

ToryBurch.com

Or the vast array of Belgians available.

Belgians #1

Belgian Shoes

It’s just that it is nice to have options that fit between these:

Sperry

Sperry

And these, as seen on Eva Longoria.

Just Jared

Just Jared

More like these from Kate Spade. On the left we show the Paloma (heel height 3.5″) and the Karolina (heel is also 3.5″).

Kate Spade Paloma & Karolina

Kate Spade Paloma & Karolina

Or these from Gianvito Rossi and Valentino.

Gianvito Rossi & Valentino shoes via the Wall Street Journal

Gianvito Rossi & Valentino shoes via the Wall Street Journal

Or these by Jimmy Choo; on the left we see the Baxen Peeptoe Wedge, on the right, the Nova Glittered Platform Slingback.

Jimmy Choo at Neiman Marcus

Jimmy Choo at Neiman Marcus

I’m happy to see what I call “silly shoes” fading in popularity; I’ve long thought that when someone is struggling to walk in ridiculously high heels it detracts from the clothing and the person wearing the clothing. But then, I’ve been known to embrace my inner frump (heh-heh-heh), so clearly I’m not one to dispense style advice. 🙂

You can read the story in its entirety here.

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Le Boutique Targét: No Longer Cool? Also, Prep-Friendly Flash Sales This Week

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday here at The Prepatorium.  Is everyone melting all aglow in the beastly warm temps?

Via BrandChannel.com

We begin with a question raised in today’s Journal; the paper asks if the store has become “More Target Than Tar-zhay?

A series of recent stumbles at Target Corp. has some retail experts questioning whether the cheap-chic discounter is losing its cachet.

The chain that made it trendy to shop for low-priced designer clothing and mod lamps while picking up detergent and toothpaste has been struggling to gain back its pre-recession sales strength.”

The story goes on to detail struggles the retailer is having getting customers to buy clothing and home items, two categories that not only provide higher profits, they helped set Le Boutique Targét apart from Walmart and other discount stores.   More from Ann Zimmerman’s story:

Some of Target’s struggles may also owe to the changing competitive landscape. Kohl’s Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. in recent years have taken a page from the Target playbook, adding low-price designer clothes from Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and others.

We chat about Target with some frequency in this space, and have been vocal about quality concerns related to the company’s designer collaborations. We have also said the retailer still doesn’t seem to have recovered from Isaac Mizrahi’s departure, he had a very deft design sense that translated well for Target’s demographic. To be sure, there are still fun, fashionable items, like the Merona Rain Boots shown below.

Target.com

But the boots are not an original design, to say they are “derivative” of popular classics would be an understatement. There’s no question the collaborations have been very interesting to watch, but when it comes to the bread-and-butter styles the retailer needs to offer every day, the confident, whimsical touch seems to have disappeared. Back to the article:

“In the past year, middle and upper-end retailers bounced back while Target lagged behind. “Macy’s is winning in apparel and Bed Bath & Beyond has picked up a lot of market share,” said Ms. Shapira. Home furnishings are “doing very poorly at Target. In a world that no longer has Linens ‘N Things, you would think Target would have picked up some market share.” (Linens ‘N Things closed its stores in 2008 but exists online.)”

This makes us wonder, are you still popping in to shop at Target? Have you decreased your visits, perhaps transferred spending to other stores? Or is everything much the same?

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We have a few more retail-related tidbits, beginning with tough news for Talbots, the company’s stock was down yesterday by 40%. Women’s Wear Daily has more:

“…the company said sales and traffic have continued to “trend negative” so far in the second quarter, when it expects continuing high levels of promotion and markdown activity.”

“Increased promotional activity” is marketing speak for price cuts, while that can mean great savings for those looking for bargains at the struggling retailer, long-term it doesn’t bode well for the brand. This is how the Talbots’ home page looks today, obviously a promotion is underway:

Talbots.com

If you visit Talbots’ Facebook page you will see a broad range of customer comments on the ‘wall,’ many of them referencing quality concerns as well as design and/or style issues. Recognizing that human nature dictates negative comments will outweigh the positive, the Facebook wall still presents a capsule look at a troubled brand, we hope Talbots is able to turn things around.

Our other ‘shopping business’ headline involves Lilly Pulitzer’s new owner, Oxford Industries, that company also reported financial results this week. Those numbers were very good, exceeding already-positive expectations. Much of the increase came from solid sales at Tommy Bahama (also owned by Oxford), but Lilly Pulitzer contributed to the growth as well, here is more from WWD:

The company credited the sales growth to trendy spring and summer product, as well as to a burgeoning effort to expand the brand’s consumer base through digital and social media efforts.

Speaking of Lilly, many fans are headed to the Warehouse Sale that starts tomorrow in Pennsylvania; if not able to make that event, online discounter RueLaLa is doing another Lilly flash sale beginning at 11am (EDT) on Friday.

RueLaLa.com

For those not familiar with RueLaLa, the firm offers online-only sales; the invitation only (cough-cough) events run for a limited time, usually three days. A word of caution however, popular pieces can be gone within 2 -3 minutes once a sale opens.  (If in need of an invitation, just click here.)

There are actually several more prep-friendly events this week at RueLaLa, including a Sperry sale that starts at 11am tomorrow (Thursday, 6/9), as well as a sale of Bill’s Khakis and Atlantis WeatherGear.

Via RueLaLa

The Consort has a keen interest in the Bill’s sale, we’re guessing he will be firmly planted in front of his desktop at 11am tomorrow,  that’s when the sale gets underway.  In addition to the Lilly sale Friday, there is also a sale on Preppy Plates.  Because this could be confusing, we’ll recap the RueLaLa sales:

  • Thursday sales: Sperry Top-siders, Bill’s Khakis, Atlantis WeatherGear
  • Friday sales: Lilly Pulitzer, St. John swimwear and Preppy Plates

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A quick note about a new line of ties and scarves from a company called Figs. We mention them not only because they make handcrafted goods of very high quality right here in the USA…

Figs

We also mention them because of their philanthropic policies: for every tie or scarf sold a uniform is donated to a schoolchild in Kenya or Tanzania.  From a post in Valet:

“The brand’s founder, Heather Hasson, is an avid traveler and was in Africa a few years ago when she learned that many kids there weren’t able to attend school simply due to a lack of funds needed to purchase a requisite uniform.”

We first learned about the brand over at our friend Madeleine’s blog, Ms. Hasson is her cousin.  Click here to read more at Madeleine’s blog or here to see the Valet post in its entirety.

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For those seeking a little something for Father’s Day, we offer two random ideas, the first we fell upon while searching for something else entirely at Jack Spade.

The company offers several accessories with a nautical touch, including a business card holder and passport case in the firm’s embossed anchor pattern.

The second idea is one that The Consort and I love, Baseball Cufflinks created from an official MLB baseball that was used in an actual major league game.

J. Peterman

We found them at J. Peterman, at $150 they are not inexpensive, but they do look nifty.

Goodbye until next time!

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Filed under Collaborations, Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Green is Good, Spring Sperry, Your Own Royal Wedding

Happy Thursday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Paul Beaty/AP Photo

For those wondering what is going on in the photo above, that is the Chicago River dyed green for the holiday. It really must be seen in person to be fully appreciated, but it does give us an opportunity to say “hello” to several of our friends in that area, including Third Coast Prep, Daisy JD, Just Another Preppy Shopaholic (formerly Preppy Little Dress), Tippy L and many other friends.

Below left, a scene from the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sydney, Australia, and on the right, a promotional event in Las Vegas that kicked off earlier this week.

Now you know why The Consort refers to it as the official start of what he calls Silly Season.

Indeed.

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Next, quick looks at a few spring lines, beginning with these shots from Gap Outlet.

Hudson Cuneo/Sandbox Studio for Gap Outlet

They are actually images going on posters at Gap Outlet stores this spring.

Hudson Cuneo/Sandbox Studio for Gap Outlet

Regular Gap stores also have fresh new styles this spring for children, the navy jumper is cute as can be, as is the ruffled bathing suit.

More spring looks for children by upscale UK retailer Hackett.

Hackett

These styles are from Hackett’s Little Briton collection.

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Also new for spring, some of the boots at Sperry. Below we see the Pelican Rain Boot for girls.

But the new styles aren’t limited to the younger set, the women’s Bahama returns in multiple colors and patterns.

There is even a raffia version. (The patent is troublesome.)

But then we fell upon something far more difficult to digest:

Sequins. On a pair of Sperrys. Oh, the horror.

However… we thought about weddings we have attended where the bride slipped into her Topsiders after the ceremony, and knew these would have been a welcome alternative for at least one of the young ladies, she would have adored these for that one day.

The women’s Santa Rosa at Sperry remains appealing, especially for those more fashionable than your trusty scribe.

We get goofy when seeing a nautical print or seersucker.

The women’s Bluefish is appealing.

But our heart will always be with the Original Boat Shoe.

Of course, the Cutest Shoe award has to go to the Baby Bluefish Prewalker.

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With apologies to those who may have seen us mention this on our FB page, it seems we have no self-restraint whatsoever when it comes to “Knit Your Own ______” books. Behold, the Royal Wedding as envisioned by Fiona Goble.

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding Fiona Goble

As one might expect, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding provides the patterns and instructions to create your own royal wedding party. If all goes well, here is how the happy couple should look when you are done, along with William’s best man, Prince Harry.

The Queen looks happy, perhaps because of the presence of one of her beloved Corgis.

It looks like there are a number of fun projects in the book from what we have seen online, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding will be released on the 29th of this month.

Our bizarre obsession interest in that book comes on the heels of our fascination with Knit Your Own Dog, already available for purchase online and in some stores.

Knit Your Own Dog

We thought the dachsund was so darling we pestered alerted Muffy Martini.

Knit Your Own Dog

We mentioned the cute bulldog to Tilly.

Knit Your Own Dog

And need to tell La Belette Rouge about the Westie pattern, her darling Lily would want to know.

Knit Your Own Dog

Do we knit? No. Never have, although The Queen Mother is quite the whiz with a knitting needle. We just find all of these to be irresistible.

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We have a serious note from our friend Belle at the Beverly Hills Branche blog. She works at a divine jewelry emporium on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Beladora, with the most incredible estate jewelry. That company, as well as Beladora II (carrying pieces at lower price points) are donating a portion of all sales in March to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund. We think the world of Belle and wanted to pass along this information.

Besides, we seize any excuse to go ogle some of the lovelies, like this vintage Clock & Compass charm.

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We leave you with our favorite Irish Blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Goodbye until next time!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images
  • David Becker/Getty Images

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Royal Wedding

Lisa Birnbach Wishes She Was Betty Draper Sometimes

Hello-Hello, what a delightful Tuesday it has turned out to be, we hope yours is the same, filled with sunshine and lots of laughter.

It seems like a good time for an update on True Prep, there have been oodles of articles on the book, as well as loads of parties and book signing events, like this one at the Sperry Top-sider store in Kansas City.

Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

And this one at the Lilly Mother Ship store in King of Prussia.

Michael S. Wirtz/Philadelphia Inquirer

There has also been a significant amount of news coverage for many of the goings-on as well. We adore the way this Palm Beach Daily News story begins:

“In the beginning, there was pink and there was green. They mixed, quietly, beyond the fray of fashion magazines and designer mandates.”

Fortunately, the always-gracious Lisa Birnbach us fit into her more-than-busy schedule, we were able to catch up for a chat about the book’s progress and reader reactions.  We started out discussing the book’s popularity, something the author calls “humbling,” sharing that she has been “… surprised at how many people show up at things!”

She has also been taken aback by the intense affection people still have for The Official Preppy Handbook, saying she didn’t realize how much it meant to people, let alone the impact some readers say it had on their lives.

“The number of ‘you’ve changed my life’ stories people are telling me is amazing, I never expected that.”

Reading about the antics of preps getting together in other parts of the country is always fun, below we see two of our faves, Hopsy (aka Monograms & Manicures/Kappa Prep) as well as Miss Tickled Pink & Green at the Dallas event in October.

Photo via Kappa Prep

Discussion about the “commercialization of prep” as it relates to the book prompted us to ask Ms. Birnbach about products and brands heavily showcased in the new book and/or at events on the book tour.
“Is there some sort of quid pro quo with Brooks Brothers? Absolutely not. Not at all, there’s no cash exchanged for events being held at their stores, no. It’s very simple how this all happened, we were very late calling merchants to provide things to photograph for the book, and when I called Brooks brothers they decided they really wanted to get involved.”
The conversation digressed (at length) with chatter about some of the natty Brooks apparel Ms. Birnbach has been sporting at B2 book functions.  Your trusty correspondent has been a little gaga about several dresses worn by the author, especially the one seen below left in Adam Tschorn’s photo.  We think it is the Black Fleece Silk Button Back Dress shown below right. (For more on the Brooks Brothers launch party, click here.)
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Back to that nasty and oh-so-not-done conversation about True Prep and merchandising, there are products being marketed for which Ms. Birnbach does receive some compensation. The licensing agreement with Vineyard Vines is a good example of such an arrangement.

Vineyard Vines

The collection includes a True Prep Polo, a tie and Beach Bag.
We then moved on to the next topic, asking Ms. Birnbach about reader reactions to the book.
“Some people want more rules, there are people who are really not happy about the inclusiveness, this is the area that seems to provide the most controversy.  I don’t think it’s nice, it’s not appropriate.”
As an FYI, the harshest criticism the author can level at someone or something is that it “isn’t nice.”  And when discussing the “too inclusive” crowd, she is understandably emphatic.
“They are old school and they don’t like the way the world is shaping up, and the worst thing is, they spew and use new media and its anonymity to post their rage online, where they can say anything and be safe from other points of view. We have to draw a line in the sand.”
It is at this point where both Ms. Birnbach and TP commiserate about “how things used to be”.
“Life was much more pleasant, I did have to dress up to fly, I miss the soft-spoken courtesy in the world I grew up in. Now my kids know more about plastic surgery and violence and other things that I never knew about at that age.”

“But then, we didn’t have access to so many things that we do now as far as careers and other things go… am I grateful for the opportunities I have had because of the way the world has changed? Of course I am, there is a part of me that is very pro First Amendment, and very independent as a woman, but there is a part of me that wishes for that world where we were polite, and people were admired for actually accomplishing something… sometimes it all makes me wish I was Betty Draper.”

Makeover by The Consort

Amen to that sentiment.

One nice thing about the book parties has to be the food, where else would one see Sperry cupcakes? (Thank you for the photo Miss Wendy!)

Wendy's Picture

And since we are talking about cupcakes we simply had to share these darling pink whales from the big party celebrating Vineyard Vines’ grand opening of its new store in Palm Beach Gardens.

Vineyard Vines Blog

We’ll have a look at some of the reviews for True Prep later this week.

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A quick note geared more toward the MOTH (Man of the House) in your life, the first involving a Princess fave, Bill’s Khakis.  In honor of its twentieth year in business, Bill’s is launching a special pair of khakis, the Camerton Twills.

Bill’s Khakis

A portion of proceeds will benefit the USO, another reason we adore Bill’s.  Our thanks to The Trad for the tip.

On that note we say g’bye until next time!

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

Tommy Hilfiger, Milly, Gant & Surfing Dogs

Hello-Hello, Happy Monday!

We didn’t get to post pix from all of last week’s shows at Fashion Week (the New York version) and we’re already well into London Fashion Week as we speak…yikes!

So it is time to play catch-up, recognizing many readers may have already seen some (if not all) of these styles. We begin with a brand that we always approach with trepidation; Tommy Hilfiger. (We fear one day we shall be attacked by a giant “TH” logo.) Below, the first two looks down the runway.

Classic lines in primary colors dominated the show.

Mr. Hilfiger is celebrating a notable anniversary, the company he founded is now 25 years old.

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Many of the styles were surprisingly attractive, certain to be stunning on those in the twenty-something age range. As noted by WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) in its review:

“…his spring collection was a shiny, happy ode to the genre that made him famous: preppy.”

Mr. Hilfiger packed the front row with celebrities; below Jennifer Lopez and actor Bradley Cooper.

PRNewsFoto/The Tommy Hilfiger Group

In his review, Eric Wilson at the Times wrote:

“This was a collection full of Nantucket red chinos and trench coats, ruffle dresses made of grosgrain ribbon and seersucker blazers. Very country club, yes, but it was awfully difficult to put your finger on what the twist was.”

A closer look at some of the accessories.

One columnist made note of the shoes, predicting the most sought-after next spring will be something akin to a “Sperry Top-Sider” on a platform.  (Ahem.)

Eric Thayer/Reuters

Other celebrities on hand for the show and/or the party following it, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and Jessica Szohr of Gossip Girl.

As mentioned in our post on the Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 collection, it is an unusual Fashion Week indeed when we find ourselves more favorably impressed by Mr. Hilfiger’s work, and underwhelmed by Mr. Lauren’s creations.

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Another line we were unable to get to until now, Milly by Michelle Smith.

PHOTOS: George Chinsee/WWD

This collection also used lots of primary colors, bright florals and geometric prints.

PHOTOS: George Chinsee/WWD

Frequent readers know we are fond of this brand, but the dresses above aren’t up to Ms. Smith’s usual deft touch; the placement of the abstract shapes is unlikely to flattering any size or shape.  Below, from opposite ends of the fashion spectrum, two of our favorite looks.

PHOTOS: George Chinsee/WWD

Chic, elegant and easy on the eyes.  In her story on the collection, Elizabeth Holmes from The Journal writes:

“If the name Michelle Smith isn’t synonymous with Blair Waldorf, it should be. The designer behind Milly knows the young uptown girl’s style from her headband to her heel, and showed that again with her latest collection, which must be bound for the “Gossip Girl” wardrobe department.”

Three more looks we love.

PHOTOS: George Chinsee/WWD

A closer look at some of the accessories for next spring, oversized handbags and chunky jewelry.

Some of the celebrities spotted at the Milly show included Tinsley Mortimer, as well as newscaster Natalie Morales, seen on the right with Michelle Smith, the designer.

This collection offered lots to like.

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Some may recall our recent post on the new womenswear collection by Michael Bastian for prep classic Gant.  We shared some styles in that post, but thought we would post a few more, these from the line’s formal Fashion Week presentation.

Courtesy Images via WWD

Most looks seem appealing, particularly for the younger set.

Courtesy Images via WWD

This shot includes some of the mens’ styles, we particularly like the novelty oxford on the far right.

Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images

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We close with something out of the ordinary, but something we think might put a smile on your face.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

This weekend the dogs were in the drink as part of the annual Surf Dog competition.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

From the Surf City website:

“The Surf Dog Contest includes Small, Medium, Large and Tandem Dog/Human Heats.  Other events include Best in Show Costume Contest, K9 Kayak, Hot Diggity Dog Expo, a 2-mile Woofin’ Walk and more!”

Tilly says her eyes might bug out too if she were on a surfboard.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

And then there is always the problem with wave poaching.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

It helps to have friends on board.

Mark Ralston/AFP/getty

The event isn’t just fun, it is also a fundraiser for several organizations helping dogs in need; the event page has more. Back to the waves, fierce determination seemed to be the order of the day.

Barry Bland via The Sun

For others, quiet dignity ruled.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

And sometimes you just need to know when to get out of the water.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

To see a slew of photos from the big do, click here.  How does this relate to anything preppy? It doesn’t. But sometimes smiles are more important than labels and today is one of those days here at the Prepatorium.

Until next time, we hope your Monday is sunny and bright!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Tommy Hilfiger: John Aquino/WWD
  • Tommy Hilfiger: Getty Images via Fashionologie
  • Tommy Hilfiger: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty
  • Tommy Hilfiger: Michael Loccisano/Getty
  • Milly: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG
  • Milly: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Fashion Week: Trina Turk, True Prep Party at Brooks Brothers

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday!

We have more Fashion Week goings-on to share, beginning with last night’s bash, the Brooks Brothers True Prep party.

Via True Prep Facebook

The festivities were at the Brooks mother ship on Madison, above, one of the theme windows.  The gala drew a big crowd,  as explained by Los Angeles Times writer Adam Tschorn in his blog post on the event:

“…the night’s stack of books had dwindled from 400 to just three in less than an hour, according to our madras-clad mole.”

Authors Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd were on hand, madly signing books and looking well, preppish in Mr. Tschorn’s photos.

PHOTOS: Adam Tschorn

Again, he describes the scene:

“The enthusiastic crowd took the opportunity to don its preppiest threads. As we arrived a a clutch of young girls in pink Lilly Pulitzer patterns spilled out the door, and, once amid the sea of Sperry Top-Siders, all-over embroidered trousers and navy-blue blazers made us feel like we’d fallen into our own version of “The Hot Tub Time Machine.”

For those recognizing Mr. Tschorn’s name, we have previously quoted from his stories in the Times, as well as his blog posts; he does a splendid job covering fashion and culture. It sounds like the True Prep special edition at Brooks Brothers (previously mentioned in this post) was quite the popular item. To read Mr. Tschorn’s piece in its entirety click here; it will make you smile.

The scene is likely to be similar this evening at the Vineyard Vines party in Georgetown.  That function gets underway at 6pm, showcasing not only the book and Ms. Birnbach, but also six new True Prep products.  We have previously shown the Vines tie featuring the book cover’s Golden Retriever, Henry; that pattern is also used on the new Vines True Prep tote.

NBC/Universal

Look for a fleece vest and several other co-branded items.

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Back to Fashion Week runway shows, a speedy glance at a label we love, Mulberry. We rarely feature apparel, generally we’re gushing chatting about the company’s handbags; here are a few styles from WWD’s brief review.

Any company willing to put a pooch in a picture or two will grab our attention; the photos are all by Pasha Antonov via WWD.

Nothing to make us gaga, but some lovely prints and stellar bags.

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Showing for the first time  in New York, a Princess fave, Trina Turk.  Some pieces were simply outstanding, with vibrant prints in rich, saturated colors.

This also held true for the menswear, making us wonder if this is what a marriage of Lilly Pulitzer and Loudmouth Golf might produce…?

As always, Ms. Turk presents some solid basics as well as pieces for fun and sun.

From the Women’s Wear Daily review:

“Trina Turk celebrated her 15th anniversary with her first New York presentation, offering pop prints and retro-infused wares with a Palm Springs attitude, including one-shoulder dresses in various lengths, airy knits and crisp shorts.”

We do enjoy much of Ms. Turk’s work, especially her home furnishings and accessories line.

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In keeping with our tradition of tracking those former faux-prep school students, we have a few Gossip Girl updates.  More accurately, out and about mentions.

Chris Trotman/Getty Images for ATP

Above we see US Open champ Rafa Nadal with Blake Lively backstage at the Regis and Kelly show yesterday.  The actress then headed to Boston to promote the opening of her film, “The Town”. Also at the Fenway Park showing of the film, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.

What an amazing place to see a film!

With that, it is g’bye until next time, when we look at the runway shows taking place today, Ralph Lauren and Tory Burch, among others.

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Brian Snyder/REUTERS
  • Bryce Vickmark/REUTERS

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

Lilly Wedding Gown Update, True prep & “I Don’t Wanna Be A Preppy”

Hello-Hello, welcome to a soggy Thursday here in The Great Midwest.  Frankly, we have absolutely nothing to complain about.

NOAA

We are especially grateful our princely sibling who hails from Boston is here on holiday, but our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the hurricane.

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There is so much going on, today’s post is essentially a compendium of things happening on the Preppy Planet, from True Prep to Lilly Pulitzer wedding gowns.

We begin with a little something from the book section in today’s USA Today, “Cool fall authors: Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd“.

Todd Plitt, USA Today

Bob Minzesheimer managed to get a variety of fun facts and tidbits into the story profiling True Prep authors Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, including how they met (can you say Facebook?!) and this:

Birnbach on preppies and money: “It’s not about the money. That’s what people misunderstand. It’s about a confidence level and good manners and sense of traditional style. That’s why our chapter on fashion is called ‘I Just Found It in My Closet.’ ” (She still wears her father’s tennis sweater and her grandmother’s pearls.)

Separately, the paper’s book column also carries a brief mention about True Prep (in addition to celebrity biographer Andrew Morton’s latest on Angeline Jolie, oh my!).

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Perhaps the longest review on the book we’ve seen thus far is from Michael Oppenheimer in Slate, “Muffy Adores Synchilla“.  Mr. Oppenheimer begins hi story with a look back at TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook), author Lisa Birnbach’s initial foray into the topic, and offers a reminder to readers:

“Her message was, Don’t be intimidated by prep, because it is mostly an aesthetic—a grand aesthetic, in fact, and easily copied!”

Mr. Oppenheimer likes many things about the soon to be released book:

True Prep does get a lot right in updating the original. For example, it’s absolutely true that the biggest innovation is prep style is “fleece” fibers, like the ones in Patagonia clothing. Prep clothing used to be defined by natural fibers, but now the ultimate prep material is a synthetic. Bull’s-eye, I say.”

But he isn’t crazy about parts of the volume:

“….the new book tells us that yoga is now preppy. So is apple pudding. And the lemon. “The Preppy Mix Tape” includes Thelma Houston and Laura Branigan (but apparently not Dave Matthews, who is the entire soundtrack on some prep-school campuses). Burberry is preppy, the authors say—well, maybe, although these days it is probably too high-fashion to be preppy. But Prada shoes? I must dissent.”

We particularly enjoyed Mr. Oppenhiemer’s take on what is necessary for “…prep to live on,” and recommend the review for those interested in the topic.

One last note from the folks over at Fashion Windows, in “Take Ivy, True Prep and Sperry Top-Siders: Kindred Spirits“.

Via FashionWindows

“Two books and a pair of shoes make an unlikely triad. But, when you talk about preppy style, they are interchangeably linked.”

The post, while brief, is a good read.

For those interested in staying on top of things related to the book, the True Prep Facebook page is a good place to start.

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For those who enjoyed our post on the new Lilly Pulitzer Bridal Collection, the entire 2011 line is now up at Designer Bridal.

Perhaps the site’s best feature is the ability to zoom in on the dresses, that level of detail helps one appreciate the work going in to each gown.

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Our last prepified item? An interesting post over at The Stir: “Forget Santa Sweaters- Let’s Have a Preppy Party!

Jason Rich via Kiel James Patrick

The post seems a trifle… well, negative. We rather liked the party’s theme, “From Boat Shoes to Blazers,” it was quite the big do in Newport last week. The festivities were hosted by our pal, Kiel James Patrick, along with Bonobos, Vineyard Vines, the Pink Pineapple and Fred of Unabashedly Prep.

We very much liked Sarah’s Lilly dress (R) in this fall’s Koi pattern, and Hannah (L), is always darling.

Via Kiel James Patrick

Knowing Kiel, those pants seemed almost tame! We have to disagree with the way The Stir captioned this photo.

Jason Rich via Kiel James Patrick

“Madras. It’s not just for pants. (But it should be.)” We love a riotous madras jacket hanging in the closet.  As we tweeted this morning in response to comment about the Stir story, “condemnant quod non intellegunt”.  (They condemn because they do not understand.) Rather than get our whiskers in a wad we’ll simply suggest popping over to Kiel’s site to see all of the party pix, it looks like it was loads of fun.

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We close with something that made both The Consort and the entire staff here at the Prepatorium smile:

Via Hubpages

New to us, the record was first released in 1981; apparently there were only 200 copies pressed, making it quite rare.  While on our Facebook page this morning we discovered there is actually a FB page for fans or collectors of the record.  Amazing. The rumor is that Lady Gaga is searching for a copy because she wants to re-record the song.

With that, we sign off until next time!

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