Hell-Hello, welcome back to reality. Sigh. (Truth be told, we are happy campers indeed, the reality is that for us the work week is something to be enjoyed, not endured, so you shan’t hear any complaints from these quarters, we are blessed to do what we love, and love what we do.)
We begin today with an update on True Prep, did everyone see author Lisa Birnbach on the Today show this morning?
The appearance marked the official release of the new book, an expanded, updated partner to The Original Preppy Handbook, aka TOPH. The segment kicked off with a look back at Ms. Birnbach’s appearance on the show thirty years ago, when the person hosting the segment was….
Yeppers, that would be Tom Brokaw. (How about the Madras skirt, we love that.)
There was also a look at updated preppy fashion during the segment, including new styles from the just-launched Brooks Brothers Fleece line for the young Masters and Misses at your house, as well as looks from Lilly Pulitzer.
Of course, if interested in purchasing the book, we still have a few copies available, with one cautionary note: Random House has already had to order a second printing, but those books won’t be available until at least the end of September.
We are also down to only two copies of prep classic Take Ivy, that has also had to go into a second printing. (Did we get crazy lucky with our first two books for the store, or what?)
Next, we have to say we love the fab madras jacket Ms. Birnbach is sporting in her on-camera interview with the Borders. This is very similar to one yours truly has, although ours is ancient. Seriously old. But we love it and haul it out every summer.
Today’s Pretty in Pink actually features Ms. Birnbach, she was looking at Lilly Pulitzer styles for possible inclusion in the Today show fashion segment.
BTW, we were fortunate enough to spend some time on the phone with Ms. Birnbach this morning, and we’ll share part of that extended interview in tomorrow’s post. (Let’s just say that her thoughts about possible additions to the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame are entertaining.)
Next, several quick updates on all manner of things preppy, beginning with a story in (of all places) the Financial Times. In “A Hipper Preppy Look is Back in Fashion” the writer posits that students aren’t the only people going back to school this time of year. “…fashion is too.”
“Take the long list of preppy brands enjoying success: British-owned Jack Wills recently launched three East Coast stores in the US; Boden is set to join the fray this autumn with Johnnie B, a new preppy tween line; Gant and Tommy Hilfiger, both forebears of the look, are revisiting their waspy roots with updated fashion twists; and LL Bean has put itself back on the map with a range of archive-inspired designs, following in the footsteps of Brooks Brothers, which has experienced a renaissance thanks to new collections from men’s wear luminary Thom Browne.
The story quotes Barneys‘ creative director and author Simon Doonan, offering his philosophy on the style’s popularity.
“It’s a nice antidote to the slutty porno-chic which is the dominant trend in our culture,” he says. “Maybe people are craving a bit of wholesome Americana to counteract the [MTV Reality show] Jersey Shore situation, and The Situation.”
Thank you a thousand times Mr. Doonan, thank you.
More from the FT story.
“Preppy’s previous old-fashioned jolly-hockey-sticks dowdiness is being replaced with a new, hipper image.
The styling in many preppy brand campaigns is taking an eclectic approach with old-fashioned tweed jackets being worn over baggy ripped jeans; traditional fits and trouser lengths are being played around with to give a new fashion edge.“It’s being subverted. There is the patrician privilege aspect, but there’s also a flirty, kinky side,” says Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, a trends prediction agency.”
While not concurring with the notion of ‘kinky preppy’ (gasp!), we do think you will find the story interesting.
Speaking of Brooks Brothers, we stumbled into a sale over the weekend with amazing prices on a limited number of Black Fleece items. The sale was at another ubiquitous off-price ‘invitation only’ site, Gilt.com.
The pieces included a Black Fleece Chesterfield coat originally priced at $1000 for $249 (L), as well as a $950 Black Fleece Cotton Dress priced at $69.
It’s probably a good thing we didn’t notice the sale until after just about everything was sold out; the B2 pooh-bahs can’t be thrilled to sell pieces at 75% off. Ouch. The sale ended this morning at 9am. (If in need of an invite for future sales, just click here.)
Back to our primary topic, True Prep’s official release. There are any number of news stories related to the book and author Lisa Birnbach, we have a brief sampling of a few more:
- The Houston Chronicle’s Bookish Blog asks “Are You a True Prep?“
- Yesterday’s NY Post carried “Prep Rally – Thirty years later, plaid madras, popped-collars and loafers have become mainstream as a classic book gets updated”
- Jezebel asks “Are We Really Ready For Preppy Nostalgia?”
- Slate carried a great story from June Thomas, “Saved by Corduroy – How the Original Preppy Handbook Changed my Life.“
- The delightful Life of a Suburban Princess alerted us to “Prepster style stages a comeback” in the Toronto Star. The story is accompanied by a slide show offering the writer’s take on contemporary preppy styles.
We must admit to some most unflattering conduct here at the prepatorium, we’re quite proud today’s post didn’t engage in yet another annoying whineathon lots of chatter mentioning that for many of us, the style isn’t “back,” it never went away.
For those interested in staying on top of all things True Prep, the Facebook page is a good place to start, and if you enjoy Twitter (as we do), you can also find Lisa Birnbach tweeting. Click here for the entire Today Show segment, give the video player a few moments to load.
With that we say g’bye until next time!