Tag Archives: Thom Browne Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Gwyneth is Selling Stuff on GOOP, And When Whales Go Bad

Hello-Hello, welcome to another wacky week here at the Prepatorium.

We begin today with something that mystifies us was a surprise, Gwyneth Paltrow is selling tee shirts.

Via GOOP.com

The tee only comes in white, it features grosgrain piping at the shoulder and side seams.

Via GOOP.com

The tee shirt is $90.

More from Racked:

Otherwise, it is just a plain ol’ white T-shirt that costs $90. As if Goop knew it was a boring and predictable choice, they tried to spruce up the product page with hot tips like, “This sophisticated embellishment to Kain’s trademark silhouette will wear well for day into night” and, “We like to wear ours untucked.”

This is not for those seeking a cotton tee, it is 100% modal (a form of rayon), and then there is the care of said tee, we go back to the product page:

Care instructions: Dry Clean or Machine Wash Cold Water, Dry Flat


The goop website recently underwent a major overhaul, one of the new features being introduced is an e-commerce element.  The tee is just the first of what apparently will be many products Ms. Paltrow is going to be marketing. When going to the site’s “About” page here is what one sees:

goop is a digital media and e-commerce company founded by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Each week, goop premieres one exclusive limited edition collaboration. Whether it’s a wardrobe staple, a home accessory, or a beauty must, we believe these are the curated essentials for you, your wardrobe and your home.

Knowing the immense following the actress enjoys, it’s likely she will do quite well in this arena.


Did you watch the Olympic Trials for the USA Gymnastics Team over the weekend?  It was a sea of red, white and blue when team members were announced.

USA Gymnastics Facebook

Gabby Douglas posted the highest two day score, earning an automatic place on the team.

USA Gymnastics Facebook

Below we see (left to right) team members Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross.

USA Gymnastics Facebook

It was a tough night for the 2008 Gold Medalist in the All-Around competition, Nastia Liukin, she took a tumble off the uneven bars during her routine, later announcing her retirement, using her Twitter feed to thank supporters

Nastia Liukin Twitter Feed

The athlete also shared this Instagram photo.


You can learn more at the USA Gymnastics website or Facebook page, the Games get underway with the Opening Ceremony July 27.


Finally today, visual demonstration of what we meant in the post title, “When Whales Go Bad”.

Thom Browne NY Facebook

Some readers may recognize the designer right away. For those unfamiliar with the outlandish apparel, we’re talking about someone we have excoriated relentlessly previously mentioned in this space, designer Thom Browne.  He also designs the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece collection.

His 2013 Resort collection for women showed similar patterns and motifs, but most pieces were done in a more subdued color palette, as shown at Moda Operandi.

Moda Operandi

From Moda Operandi:

For resort 2013, his classic shrunken shapes get a preppy twist with madras, pastels and a very deliberate play on the subculture’s current go-to animal prints (we aren’t talking leopard).

Little jackets stamped with whales that would bring all critter-wearing-preps in droves had they not been juxtaposed with their skeletal counterparts. That’s right: whale skeletons. It is fashion, after all.  Luckily, Thom Browne has a sense of humor that’s both dark and lovely — if the skeletons are too menacing, Browne’s collection also includes whale sequin appliques which are as striking as they are ironic.

The women’s Resort Collection is available for pre-order on Moda Operandi through midnight tonight, despite the nonsensical approach there are some exquisite pieces, you will need to look past some of the more outrageous designs.

Back to yesterday’s show, more from the On the Runway blog:

A Thom Browne show is a little like watching a long fuse crackle and burn toward a pile of dynamite — and then, pppfft, nothing. A dud.

On Sunday evening, in a palatial courtyard on the Left Bank, silver-painted models appeared in life-size Slinkies, each one covered in a skin of matte-silver fabric.

This photo from Mr. Browne’s Facebook page shows the silver slinkies:

Thom Browne Facebook

Back to Cathy Horyn:

The audience beamed as the models set off toward a square of grass, where shoes were arranged in a grid pattern. Each stepped into a pair. Then, on cue, their helical contraptions sank to the ground, revealing Mr. Browne’s short-pants suits in Easter-egg plaids, with whale and lobster motifs. The interest was very short-lived.

No one enjoys a good madras more than your faithful correspondent. And bright colors. And a critter or two.

Thom Browne Facebook

But in this case I’m thinking even the lobsters are a little mortified.

Thom Browne Facebook

Those feeling more positively about the collection will be able to purchase pieces starting this evening at 6pm, via Oki Ni.

With that we say “G’bye until next time!”


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

About Those Flash Sale Sites

Today’s post is a bit of a departure from our normal fare. For months we have chatted with friends about those ubiquitous flash sale sites, a phenomenon almost unheard of until the last several years. Usually we talk about upcoming sales, new or different sites, and how good the bargains are; lately the conversation has focused more on that last theme. I finally decided to explore the topic, hoping it will provide a modicum of entertainment, perhaps you can even share input and insight from your own experiences.

Just a few years ago those in search of discounted merchandise visited factory outlets, or off-price retailers like TJ Maxx and Ross Dress for Less.  Upscale department stores also offered their unsold inventory at outlet shops like Saks Fifth Avenue’s Off Fifth and Neiman’s Last Call. (In fact, the “luxury off-price” business model proved so successful many of the high-end outlets now have merchandise made exclusively for sale at their discount stores and they continue to open even more off-price stores.)

But then These Troubling Times arrived. When the Great Recession hit, stores were faced with enormous amounts of unsold merchandise that was discounted, then discounted again, and perhaps several more times. In many cases it still didn’t sell. This was particularly true for luxury retailers, they had racks overflowing with merchandise no one wanted, or could afford to buy.

More in this story from Reuters:

“The original flash sales model for the U.S. exploded during a time when there was this huge abundance of excess inventory,” said Steven Dennis, founder of SageBerry Consulting and a former executive at retailer Neiman Marcus.

Gilt is credited with launching the first flash sale site in the US, but others soon followed. And they continue to follow, as explained in this story from The Business of Fashion.

“Gilt’s success also spurred hundreds of other competitors to enter the flash sales market, from start-ups like Ideeli and Rue La La to strategic players like Amazon’s MyHabit and Nordstrom’s Hautelook.”

For those unfamiliar with the flash sale sites we share a brief primer. They are referred to as “members only sites,” a term generally excoriated occasionally questioned in this space, as most anyone with an email address can “join”.  Once signed up, daily emails are sent with a list of that day’s offerings, as well as a preview of upcoming sales.

Below, the Haute Look landing page.


Most sites require that you sign in before showing whatever sales they are offering, although not every site requires a log-in immediately. Here is another home page example from Zulily, a site specializing in merchandise for “Moms, Babies and Kids”.


Once past the sign-in page you see the specific sales in progress. A glance at Beyond The Rack’s sale events underway last Friday shows Burberry, Coach, and “limited edition pre-owned Chanel” among the offerings.

Beyond The Rack June 1, 2012

There are even “prep-centric” flash sale sites, like Five Mile.

FiveMile.com June 1, 2012

Brands offered by Five Mile are familiar to many a prep: Knot Belt Company, Southern Proper, Castaway, Salmon Cove, to name only a few.


Once you are signed in you can start doing your product perusal, always intriguing and generally a lot of fun. Should you want to purchase an item, things operate like any other e-commerce site. It is in order fulfillment that the process may be different: what you purchased may ship from any number of places. It could come directly from the original manufacturer, it may be shipped from the flash sale site’s warehouse, or from a third party. Sites are usually very good about posting estimated shipping dates, below we show examples gathered on Friday:

  • Editor’s Closet item description on a Chloe dress: “Ships same business day if ordered before 2pm EST”
  • Joss & Main French Laundry Pillow: “Expected Arrival Date: Between 07/18/2012 and 07/23/2012″
  • RueLaLa Vineyard Vines Men’s Polo: “Ships in 5-7 days”
  • Ideeli David Yurman Silver Ice Necklace: “Expected to ship between Jun 19 and Jun 25, 2012”

The broad range of delivery dates serves as a reminder shoppers need to pay attention to the fine print, especially if making a time-sensitive purchase like a gift, or something for a special occasion. One more caveat: popular brands, such as Lilly Pulitzer, sell out very (*very*) quickly. It is not unusual to see items marked as “sold out” less than a minute after an event has started.

The explosion in sites has been enormous, the marketplace is now crowded. Some of the larger companies like Gilt have expanded into new terrain with specialty shops like Gilt Taste.

Gilt Taste

There are offerings for almost any niche or interest or activity, from travel and tourism deals to artwork, daily deals and local bargains. An example of what one site is doing via CNN:

Home furnishings flash sale site One Kings Lane recently announced the addition of Vintage & Market Finds, where a selection of marked-down furniture, accessories and art are available for five days at a time as opposed to its usual 72-hour time frame and new items are added daily.

Another dilemma created by a crowded field? Consumers becoming overwhelmed by email offers landing in their electronic in-box around. A CNBC story from last week:

Email fatigue is one of the biggest challenges flash-sale sites face. Emails are the primary way of disseminating deals, but after a while web shoppers can tune out and unsubscribe. This was even more true as more flash-sale sites came on the scene and as active shoppers subscribed to more than one flash-sale site.

“It has gotten to be an incredibly crowded marketplace, and there is the risk that all these offers can overload consumers,” said Stephen Wyss, a partner in the retail and consumer practice at BDO.

With stores becoming far more savvy in what (and how much) merchandise they order, there has been a steep decline in the availability of all that bargain inventory, especially luxury brands. One outcome is the growth of themed sales, no longer grouping items just by brand or designer, but by theme. Merchandise may be grouped by season, like “Flirty Tops for Summer” or “Backyard BBQ Essentials”.

There are even manufactured sales, such as an event Gilt held the second week of May, a sale titled “Revenge: Emily’s Beach House,” playing off the popularity of the TV show.

Gilt. com 5/17/2012

Here is a portion of the sale description:

The Hamptons was Emily Thorne’s old neighborhood, until something happened that destroyed her family and their reputation. Years later, she has returned to right those wrongs.

While it’s a lot smaller than Grayson Estate next door, Emily’s beach house is no shack. It’s the epitome of laid-back yet luxurious East End style. This sale includes authentic props from the set of Revenge; the most well-known is the porch swing, originally built by Emily’s father. You’ll also find the pedestal table found on the patio, and a candlestick from the living room. We’ve complemented these props with accents, from artful dishware to sconce lights.

Another tactic, making deals to launch certain collections via one of the sites. As mentioned in Thursday’s post, the Trina Turk for Banana Republic collection was offered online at Gilt.com more than a full week before consumers can buy it at Banana Republic. (But the merchandise was not a bargains, pieces were sold at full price, the appeal being the chance to get items before anyone else.)


Retailers have fought back by jumping into the arena, doing their own flash sales. Below, a screen grab of an email I received from Neiman Marcus.

Neiman Marcus

Another example, Brooks Brothers did a limited time sale this weekend offering up to 75% off its Black Fleece line, the following image is from a Brooks Brothers email promoting the sale.

Brooks Brothers

It isn’t just upscale retailers taking part.


And some have moved their outlet stores online as well, J. Crew “opens” its online factory store during the weekend.

J. Crew

Another rapidly growing area is Facebook, many start-ups are offering flash sale sites on their fan pages, especially jewelry vendors. A photo of an item is shown, and the first shoppers who enter a comment saying they want the item are able to purchase it. Again, the sense of limited merchandise and a short time span prompts buying from those who don’t want to “let it get away,” or be “left out,” with actual financial transactions generally handled off-site.

We have been fortunate with many of the sites and made some *marvelous* purchases over the years, particularly back in the early days of the genre. Good products, great prices and solid service.  Later this week we’ll have Parts 2 & 3, looking at some of the more preppish brands sold on the sites, as well as an examination of just how good the deals really are these days… or not.


ADDENDUM: If interested in signing up for any of the sites, here are links to some where I have shopped *and* enjoyed a positive experience. Another interesting facet of the flash sale business model are the varying rewards offered for those referring customers, most offer merchandise credits of anywhere from $10 to $25 if someone uses your invitation link and also purchases something.


Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Sales & Savings

Brooks Brothers Spring 2012

Hello-Hello, happy middle of the week.

It’s the time of year where one holds fast to the knowledge that even if we see more snow, spring isn’t *that* far away. Naturally yours truly begins to think about spring fashions at this point,we thought it would be fun to take a peek at some of the offerings this season.

Brooks Brothers continues to offer its updated take on classic pieces.

Brooks Brothers

A number of styles were very attractive.

Brooks Brothers

Although the shorter, more cropped fit on sweaters has yet to resonate here at the Prepatorium, other items hold promise.

Brooks Brothers

The retailer’s Black Fleece collection features a number of pieces we liked.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

And some bright colors. Very. bright. colors.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

There are also enticing styles for the Young Miss at your palace.

Brooks Brothers

There seems to be a lot of green in fashion palettes this spring.

Brooks Brothers

The offerings in the Boy’s department look solid.

Brooks Brothers

These argyle sweaters will certainly work for the growing number of women who buy Boy’s XL sweaters.

Brooks Brothers

Accessories include new bags as well, some evocative of a man’s repp tie.

Brooks Brothers

There are also new totes, including madras and Liberty of London prints, the Liberty bags are reversible.

Brooks Brothers

The Liberty prints can also be found on women’s espadrilles.

Brooks Brothers

Over at Milly the patterns are equally fresh and vibrant, especially for the spring Girl’s collection.


The turquoise, navy and salmon is an appealing color combination.


The spring Sperry Top-siders that Michelle Smith designed are in stock, the navy Links print is probably my favorite.


These are available for both big and little misses.

It’s nice we have bright and bouncy images like these, here is the forecast for tomorrow night:


(You will hear no complaints from these quarters, it has been an exceptionally mild winter.)


Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

“Tiny, Preppy Frankensteins” or, When Pink & Green Is Not Preppy

Hello-Hello, and Happy Wednesday.

Today we are brief, focusing primarily on a topic we have chatted about before, it’s something that rolls around every 6 months or so. It has to do with Fashion Week and it’s more-than-silly. Any ideas yet? Could it be a certain menswear designer? Who also does the Black Fleece line for Brooks Brothers? Does this help?

Jacques Brinon/AP via Washington Post

Yes indeedy, it is time once again for the Princess to pounce, Thom Browne’s runway show closed out men’s fashion week in Paris.

Not everyone thought highly of the presentation, as seen in this story by Jeffrey Felner:

There comes a point when a designer pushes the envelope too far and sends out a collection that is so absurd and so outrageous that it might be called an insult to the intelligence of those in the audience and maybe even just a colossal waste of time.  Mr. Browne who has never been known for anything other than shock for shock value may have outdone himself this time.

Perhaps the nautical styles will be more appealing.

Thom Browne Facebook Page

Or not.

More from Mr. Felner’s story.

…this is not theater, this is not pushing the envelope, this is completely and patently absurd and which would have qualified for a circus side-show rather than a runway presentation.

Here is a different perspective from Maura Judkis in the Washington Post Style blog:

Browne, who is known for playing with the proportion on men’s suits, sent models lurching down the runway like tiny, preppy Frankensteins in oversized, shoulder-padded suits. The show called to mind several influences, among them Herman Munster, “Beetlejuice,” varsity football, WASPs, S&M and golf.

“Tiny, preppy Frankensteins.” Somehow that phrase is troubling.

Maybe if we take a look at some of the pink and green in the collection we’ll see something to like.

Thom Browne Facebook Page

Maybe not.

The WaPo blog points out that “preppy patterns adorned Browne’s oversized suits.”

Thom Browne FB Page/Jacques Brinon/AP via The Washington Post

Technically, there are some motifs one might find at actual prep retailers. Here is what really had me howling, a caption from one of the photos accompanying the Washington Post blog:

Browne was also inspired by S&M culture. Here, a model walks the runway in a preppy-patterned studded bondage hood.

Seeing the words “preppy-patterned studded bondage hood” made my eyes bleed, while I was simultaneously reaching for the whiskey bottle for a quick nip to kill the pain antacids.

The Times review of mens’ fashion week included this about the show.

Everybody had a laugh at Thom Browne’s “Jocks and Punks” show, with mounds and mounds of shoulder padding that nearly ate the models’ heads.

We do love a little argyle every now and again, perhaps a spot of that will diminish our critical reaction.

Jacques Brinon/AP via The Washington Post

Then again, it might not.

Back to Mr. Felner’s story in the Examiner:

As far as I am concerned, this is a collection that should be mocked and held up as an example of what is wrong with fashion today.  20 and 30 something editors and fashion victims who declare this as fabulous deserve to be fired and magazines that show this as editorial deserve to be boycotted by the fashion cognoscenti.”

Delphine Achard/Women's Wear Daily

I doubt “silly” was meant in a complimentary or lighthearted way in WWD‘s review:

In yet another silly show, the American fashion prankster paraded two breeds of tough guy: the S&M punk and the bulked-up American sportsman.

To be fair, yours truly is absolutely the last person on the planet Mr. Browne would target as a potential customer, we’re not at all the person he is designing for, nor is The Consort, far from it. But this one was just so ridiculously overdone I couldn’t resist sharing it with our treasured readers, after all, we have suffered through more than one collection by Mr. Browne together.

There is a related story that is very funny, a reporter for The Mirror (UK) decided to do his own version of the look for a story on how appealing the styles would be in London.

Purely in the interest of scientific research, I created my own monstrous version of the outfits seen at Thom Browne’s Paris Fashion Week show– all oversized shoulder pads like something from 60s TV show The Munsters.

The Mirror UK

He looks very chic, no?

The Mirror UK

You can read Steve Myall’s story and see more photos by clicking here.

One other quick note: in our preview of new and cool things coming to the Princess we shared a new bracelet Kiel James Patrick designed exclusively for the Preppy Princess. It is from Kiel’s just-launched Triton Collection.

Kiel James Patrick Exclusive Preppy Princess Bracelet

We promised to let people know the price and availability; they bracelets are $38, we expect to start shipping them around the 8th of February. You can pre-order yours by clicking here.

G’bye until next time!


Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

A DVF Flash Mob…? Also, a Cute Menswear Move and ‘Preppy Goes Pop’

Hello, it is another gorgeous day here at the Prepatorium, bright and beautiful, the kind of day that makes one want to play hooky.

We begin with something fun, a Diane von Furstenberg flash mob. While a gaggle of women in DVF wrap dresses isn’t what comes to mind when you hear the words “flash mob,” we can promise that “It’s twue, it’s twue”!

Franck Mura via Women's Wear Daily

Those saying, “Isn’t that the Seine in the background?” win today’s gold star in geography, today’s event was staged just across the river from the Eiffel Tower.

Franck Mura via Women's Wear Daily

This afternoon’s mass dance in Paris was part of a marketing maneuver to launch the designer’s new scent, “Diane“. In addition to the perfume, body lotion, etc., there is actually a Diane Fragrance Wrap Dress.

Diane Fragrance Wrap Dress

Dance mobs have been staged in several locations, including several in the city during New York Fashion Week.

Franck Mura via Women's Wear Daily


Our next item is beyond darling, and it comes from an unlikely source, a men’s clothing line. Take a look at these stickers from Gant Rugger.

Via Fashion Week Daily

Clearly peaking the Cute-o-Meter in the red zone, they were designed by a university student in Moscow, each piece represents an item in the label’s fall line.

Via Gant Rugger

The menswear firm is showcasing the stickers and men wearing the pieces depicted at its online site.

Via Gant Rugger

Gant Rugger deserves a tip of the hat, rarely do we see this level of creativity and ingenuity (not to mention risk-taking) in a marketing effort for a men’s label. No doubt the company knows how much the stickers will appeal to ladies, a savvy move considering women do much of the primary shopping for menswear.


Speaking of fall menswear, The Financial Times recently carried a fascinating piece titled Preppy Goes Pop.

Blame it on Thom Browne, whose twisted prepster went mainstream(ish) when Brooks Brothers signed him up to design their Black Fleece line, which this season offered white silk lapel tuxes with black scout shorts. But from Wall Street to Madison Avenue preppie bow-ties replaced ties, and dickies were paired unexpectedly with plaid shirts, casual waistcoats and jeans.

The story ran back in September, it focused only on menswear. From the article:

Though Michael Bastian said his collection was based on James Dean, a mid-western farmboy-turned-icon of cool, his moss green suede loafers, window pane suits and horizontal rugby stripe tops felt instead like the kind of clothes the Kennedys would have worn in Hyannis Port.

Click here to see the piece in its entirety, it makes for a good read.


We leave you today with a look at something dubbed A Preppy Hillside Palace.

Windemere Realty via Curbed.com

That is how this particular real estate listing was described by the good folks at Curbed, the site tracking neighborhood news and real estate. ((No, that isn’t a photo of our little palace. Sigh.) More from the Curbed story:

Seattle might be more commonly associated with flannel-clad grunge rockers than bow-tied blue bloods, but if this estate in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is anything to go on, there’s a more straight-laced side to the city.

To learn more about the “five-bedroom, 8.5-bath mansion…seven fireplaces, two offices, an elevator, a terraced lawn, stone patio, and dazzling water views” at the house, click here for Curbed‘s entire post.

Until next, may everything be well at your palace.


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

Tommy Hilfiger & Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Spring 2012

Yesterday we promised a look at more Fashion Week by designers with a preppish aesthetic, we’ll jump right in with this weekend’s Tommy Hilfiger show.

Robert Mitra/WWD

From WWD’s review (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription required):

With the preppy circuit a hallowed seedbed of loud color and louder pattern, one might expect its sartorial guru, Tommy Hilfiger, to blend right in this season. Yes and no. The engaging show he presented on Sunday night felt perfect for the moment, yet stood out on the strength of Hilfiger’s approach to patterns.

Ummm, “hallowed seedbed”? Anyone? Bueller?

We always enjoy the bright pops of color one sees more of in the spring collections, the pieces below are fun while also offering a touch of whimsical sophistication.

Robert Mitra/WWD

More from the Women’s Wear Daily story:

Rather than outsize florals, he chose magnified men’s wear checks and subtle shirting stripes. As expressions of the Pop motif, the former came bright (orange and blue; pink and green) in Modworthy cuts, and were shown in matchy-matched ways that looked charmingly contrived — swimsuit matching skirt, matching bag matching shoes.

Some of those menswear fabrics can be seen in the styles shown below:

Robert Mitra/WWD

The pieces above are lovely, especially the soft pink-peach on the far right. As some industry insiders expected, it seems there is a return to more ladylike styles, no complaints about that from these quarters.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Back to the the story in WWD:

However one feels about the military-combat staple prettied up in pink and blue (it resonated awkward on the 9/11 anniversary), it went on too long.

Catwalking via NY Times

We concur with the sentiments on the camo, there were many more looks we haven’t shown, it simply didn’t fit with the rest of the collection, and it all started to look the same.

As for the voluminous Mondrian-inspired caftans, preppy girls don’t want to look fat, either. But these played like mere afterthoughts to an overall engaging collection.

Catwalking via NY Times

From Vogue UK‘s review:

Tommy Hilfiger’s show last night focused on the fusion of preppy and pop, paying homage to the Sixties – a recurrent theme of the season, though the ensembles here were more amped up Ali McGraw in Love Story, than Mod-style sharp and bold.

Long the undisputed king of youth-driven sportswear, the Hilfiger of late is compelling, playing around with the classics and fine-tuning the brand’s new-found high-end prep signature.

Finally, several of the swimwear styles.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Among the celebrities on hand for the show, Malin Akerman, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and actress Abbie Cornish.

Getty Images

It wouldn’t be Fashion Week if we didn’t share at least a look or two from that wild and wacky guy, Thom Browne. (Yes, of the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece fame.) Below we share several styles from Monday’s runway show.

Getty Images

From Newstimes:

The designer presented his spring collection Monday in the hallowed halls of the New York Public Library. But this was no study hall. It wasn’t a typical fashion show, either

Below we show several looks from this fall’s Black Fleece collection. (Mr. Browne’s collection is entirely separate, the similarities are visible however.)

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Which brings us to our Black Fleece preview for spring 2012. Again we return to Women’s Wear Daily:
In a word, preppy. For spring, Thom Browne did away with some of the more severe silhouettes he typically favors and instead showed the kind of clothes his bosses at Brooks Brothers are well-versed in.

John Aquino/WWD

Seersucker, plaid, lace and grey flannel, it was all here.  More from WWD‘s review:
For women, Browne honed in on bright pink, green and yellow designs with a Sixties touch, which is a departure for the label. He also put together contrasting seersuckers, and added details such as three pockets on a lace dress.

John Aquino/WWD

We very much liked almost everything we saw for the ladies, the bias-cut silk dress on the far right is something we would love to see on, it looks like a slice of understated elegance on a hangar.

John Aquino/WWD

A final note on next spring’s Black Fleece collection from Women’s Wear Daily:

Browne’s uberprep moment doesn’t mean he turned his back entirely on some of his earlier designs. Black Fleece’s hallmark red, white and blue blazer was still there, this time in a silk rep tie fabric.

John Aquino/WWD

That makes for two design surprises today, frequent readers know we have been less than positive about many of Mr. Hilfiger’s previous collections, as well as Mr. Browne’s, we find ourselves embracing many pieces in both collections.

Not quite as extensive a look at Fashion Week as we had hoped, but the best we can do today! We’ll be back on Friday with more Fashion Week along with a few other little tidbits.


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Brooks Brothers & Kate Spade Fall 2011 & “Swaddler of the Preppy Classes”


We wrap up the majority of our Fall Fashion Week coverage with a look at two lines we love. We begin with the Brooks Brothers presentation for next fall.

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

There are some wonderful looks.  From the Women’s Wear Daily review (subscription required):

“Brooks Brothers wants to embrace another generation of shoppers and it’s quite evident in the fall collection…. refining the classics across men’s, women’s and children’s wear to broaden the audience without taking a 180-degree fashion turn.”

Part of the presentation was set against the backdrop of an autumn tailgate party.

(Love that argyle sweater.) Other pieces were styled in a clubby library atmosphere.

Our friend Christian at Ivy Style was on hand for the showing and has a outstanding look at the line.

Courtesy Ivy Style

A women’s shirt and sweater from the group.

Courtesy Ivy Style

From the retailer’s still-new Fleece line for children.

More styles for the Young Miss or Master of your palace.

Many of the accessories exude the timeless elegance Brooks is known for.

Black Fleece also continues its far “hipper” and trendier styles.

Via Black Fleece Facebook Page

The palette is primarily gray, brown and black.

Although there are a few spots of color.

Overall it looks like a splendid collection, there is a great deal we like. However… (cue the tedious whining) regular readers won’t be surprised to know that we will always take issue with this sort of thing:

Courtesy Ivy Style

It is just so unnecessary, particularly for a company with Brooks’ heritage and pedigree, and especially so when considering the quality of this collection. (Insert sad shake of the head here.)


Next on our Fashion Week update agenda, Kate Spade for Fall.

Via ShopStyle

The bright colors that are such a signature for this line were evident from the start.  We are presuming the hemlines on both suits will be dropped by several inches once the skirts go into production.

PHOTOS: Kevin Tachman/WWD

Shoes sure to evoke cries of “Those are daaaaaarling!” could be seen in abundance.

Via ShopStyle.com

As always, the accessories looked superb.

Via ShopStyle.com

There were pieces in more muted tones.

PHOTOS: Kevin Tachman/WWD

And there are party styles, something this retailer does so well.

PHOTOS: Kevin Tachman/WWD

No one will be surprised that today’s Pretty in Pink comes via the company’s fall presentation.

PHOTOS: Kevin Tachman/WWD

More angles.

Some fabulous photos come via the Audrey Hepburn Complex blog.

Via Audrey Hepburn Complex

Audrey Hepburn Complex is also where we found some great detail shots.

We aren’t the only ones who love this retailer, here is a snippet from today’s WWD story about the woes that Liz Claiborne continues to face and Kate Spade’s role in the company’s future:

“…often painful effort to reinvent Liz Claiborne Inc. has produced a series of businesses that are bleeding money and struggling through turnarounds, and one breakout star that just might be the company’s saving grace: Kate Spade.”

And one more tidbit from Evan Hughes’ story about the company, with a quote from the CEO:

““Kate Spade can no longer be viewed as too small to matter for our company,” McComb told WWD. “The business is very profitable and strong across all channels, all product categories and in all geographies.”

He described it as a “very Web-savvy” brand striving to connect retail and e-commerce.”

We concur wholeheartedly with the assessment of Spade’s web prowess.

BTW, Kate Spade and Tretorn are on sale next week at discounting site RueLaLa, both sales begin on Monday.  (If anyone is in need of an invitation, just click here.)


A few quick hits from lines we simply don’t have the time to review, beginning with the Marc by Marc Jacobs show.

Kathy Willens/AP via The Guardian

Mr. Jacobs created so many divine styles, we highly recommend looking at them over at Fashionologie or Style.com

Carolina Herrera staged a beautiful show.

Via The NY Times.com

Again, so much to see, so little time, visit Vogue or StyleList to see much more from the show.


We leave you with a headline from The Observer that made us both chuckle:

Swaddler of the Preppy Classes Picks Flagship

Of course the ensuing conversation went something like this:

TC: Ummm, are you swaddled?

TPP: Evidently not, and from all appearances, neither are you.  Oh, the horror.

The story is about the new Lacoste flagship store, here is a teeny bit from the story just so you don’t think we made this up:

“Popped colors and lavender pants are already the uniform of choice on upper Fifth Avenue. It seems only fitting that preppy designer Lacoste has chosen 608 Fifth Avenue for its national flagship.”

(Do you think they meant “popped” collars?)

Because we are chatting about Lacoste & because we need to revel in spring fashions as opposed to fall (desperately so), here are a few images of the spring Lacoste children’s collection.


The entire group is shown on the company’s Facebook page.


One more scenic shot.


We hope we haven’t disappointed anyone by not having the Ralph Lauren fall collection in today’s post, we will carry that in Monday’s column. Tomorrow we have a special treat, an update from our Royal Correspondent, Queen Bee Swain.

Until next time, may the sun be shining on your corner of the globe!


Filed under Argyle, Friday Fun, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings