Tag Archives: Tiffany Christmas

More Trouble for Talbots, Those Pretty Department Store Windows

Hello-Hello, happy start of a new week to everyone!

We begin with an update on Talbots. The news is not stellar. Here is more from Reuters:

(Reuters) – Women’s clothing retailer Talbots Inc expects a challenging holiday season as big discounts, which have so far failed to boost sales, are expected to continue to hurt its margins.

Talbots’ ran discounts of 70 percent — bigger than most peers — as it tries to clear out its uninspiring clothes. But even with the low prices, the retailer has not been able to entice shoppers.

Having unsubscribed from the company’s email list (way too much email) and not stopping in any stores lately meant I had no idea discounts were so deep, or worse yet, they didn’t seem to help move merchandise. Additionally, I hadn’t visited Talbots’ Facebook page for some time, so the following Boston Herald story was very much a surprise:

Over the past week, customers flocked to Talbots’ Facebook page to complain and commiserate with tales of suddenly “out-of-stock” items and that “dreaded unavailable email.”

Talbots repeatedly posted responses — “Ladies we are very sorry for your frustration” — and promised to make things right.

Today I popped in to read some of the FB posts. It was brutal. Scrolling through a week’s worth of posts was troubling; not only do they reference the inventory management problems outlined above in the Herald story, there are also multiple posts about poor customer service. Everyone is going to encounter an unhappy sales associate or telephone customer service rep having a bad day, no doubt about it. But what I was reading appears to transcend that “it’s to be expected” level.

A “Sale on Sale” items continues online and in store, with an additional 40% discount on already marked-down merchandise.


One need only look at the merchandise mix to see the company has lost its way.  Somehow the vision of a store selling tailored separates like these… (we show the Boiled Wool Jacket and the Jackie Fit Swing Jacket below)…

Talbots 'Boiled Wool Jacket' & 'Jackie Fit Jacket'

Doesn’t mesh with a store selling these crimes against fabric pieces. (We show a Merino Bat Wing Sweater, the One Shoulder Dress and Ava Illusion Top.)


More from Reuters on the plan for Talbots moving forward:

On Thursday, the Hingham, Massachusetts-based retailer outlined plans to make its operations leaner — including pulling out its national advertising and television campaigns and cutting jobs by 9 percent — which are expected to save the company about $50 million annually.

One area the retailer plans to expand? Its outlet store business. Women’s Wear Daily’s article quotes company CEO, Trudy Sullivan:

The company ended the quarter with 39 outlets and expects to open four more in the fourth quarter. “Over the long term, we believe this business has the potential to grow to approximately 80 to 100 stores,” the ceo told analysts.

The Journal reports the company is looking for Ms. Sullivan’s successor.  As of this morning there is news Ms. Sullivan will be leaving the company. Women’s Wear Daily has the story:

Ailing specialty chain The Talbots Inc. has begun to look a successor for president and chief executive officer Trudy Sullivan.

To ensure a smooth transition, Sullivan, 60, plans to retire once a replacement has been found.

Women's Wear Daily Staff Photo

It’s unfortunate, but the reality is also unfortunate, there have been problems at the retailer for years.  More from WWD:

“It has been a tough run, and there has been speculation for the last few months that Sullivan might exit or be forced out.”

Memo to new CEO: Umm, those ruffles? You know, the ones affixed to almost every item of clothing in the store? (Exhibit A is below, we show all five short sleeved items in the clearance category.  Each and every top in this group has some sort of ruffle.) Anyway, when someone brings up “the R word,” just say no.


As always, we hope the brand can find a way to consolidate its losses, repair the damage and return to a robust performance.


On a more upbeat note, we share a peek at some of those amazing decorated department store windows around the world. We begin with one of Bergdorf‘s windows, Vanity Fair has a fab feature on the topic.

Justin Bishop/Vanity Fair

Here is a closer look, I love the detail, right down to the opera length gloves.

Justin Bishop/Vanity Fair

Bergdorf has lions in Mad Men style apparel, as well as creations made entirely from paper, as seen on the right.

Justin Bishop/Vanity Fair

At Barney’s the windows have a Lady Gaga theme, the store is amid an enormous collaborative effort with the entertainer.

Justin Bishop/Vanity Fair

On the far side of the pond in London Harrod’s windows are done with Swarovski crystals.

Luke White/Vanity Fair

The windows at Printemps in Paris were done in collaboration with Chanel and Mr. Lagerfeld.

Courtesy Printemps via Vanity Fair

The detail work on all of the windows around the world is simply amazing, here is a better look at Mr. Lagerfeld.

Courtesy Printemps via Vanity Fair

We leave you with at Tiffany’s decor from the outside (L) and one of the windows with its sleigh of boxes in the company’s signature robin’s egg blue (R).

Kelly Stuart/Elle

On that note, g’bye until next time!


Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands

Color it Pink and Green

Hello-Hello, happy beginning of a new week!

The gray and gloomy skies here in The Great Midwest prompted us to look for something a little brighter. It seems like a good time to share a few more pink and green gift ideas, some specific to the holidaze, but many ideal any time of the year.  We start with what has to be the first one of these we’ve seen: behold the 2GB Personalized Hard Drive.

Ida Claire

It is from those fab folks at Ida Claire (is there anything we *don’t* want at this shop?) and is wallet-friendly at $24.50. available in other colors and styles as well.

At Kate Spade we found the Camelia Avenue Posey Vase in both pink and green ($30).

Also at Kate Spade, the iPhone 4 Cover in pink ($35) and the Hard Shell iPhone 4 Cover in green ($40).

From Fortunoff’s brand spanking new jewelry site, we show the Pink Butterfly Pendant pendant ($30) or the Pink Heart Bracelet ($50).

If looking for something to perk up the decor, perhaps the Pink Lady Apple ($375) will work; the Bunny on Cabbage Leaf Chip and Dip set ($94) is memorable as well. Both items are from Scully & Scully.

When it’s time to add some pink and green to the tree, Gump’s can help: the Raspberry Cupcake Ornament ($15) and Snail Ornament ($35) add a vivid touch.

Kimono Sachet Trios make nice stocking stuffers ($38), while the Peacock Pajamas ($98.99 on sale) are destined for lots of wear, these items are also from Gump’s.

At Cambria Cove the Square Tiffin Box Set is available in a number of colors (not-exactly-but-almost-pink-and-green-kinda’-sorta’), making a nice alternative to a lunch bag ($30.99 on sale).

For your MOTH (Man of the House) or anyone else meriting a serious GTH tie, Lilly Pulitzer has the Men’s Silk Four-in-Hand in a variety of hues, including the two shown below.

The Glass Ornaments ($48) from Lilly definitely qualify as merry and bright.

Jewelry can be a good gift, and Lilly’s Behind the Hedge Cuff ($68) makes a bold style statement.

Another jewelry possibility (although a bit pricier) is the Tiffany Christmas Tree Charm Pendant in platinum with diamonds and pink sapphires ($2050), or the Sterling and Pink Picture Frame ($425).

Other options at Tiffany include the Purse Pen ($125), a classic in pink lacquer, or the Dragonfly Charm ($975) in 18k white gold.

As one might suspect, we have an avalanche of excellent selection of pink and green goodies at The Princess, including the Cabanarama Lunch Bag ($13) from Scout and eco-friendly Market Totes ($9.50), these are only a few of the colors offered.

Crate and Barrel’s Set of 12 Multi-Ornaments is mostly pink ($31.96 on sale) and it’s the perfect time of year for the Magenta Thermal Jug ($19.95 on sale), also available in other colors.

The Trendy Tree has a variety of pink and green goodies, below we show the Polka Dot Balls in styrofoam ($7.99 for the set of two) and the Cupcake Ornament Set ($11.25 for the set of two).

There is no shortage of ideas at Brooks Brothers, including the Seersucker Bucket Hat ($17.40 on sale) or the Silk Cashmere Cardigan ($118).

Angela Moore still has a nice selection of ornaments, not to mention oodles of other things in this color combination.

The selection of artisan-made treasures at Uno Alla Volta remains substantial, including one item we love, the Pink Flying Pig Paperweight ($58) in blown glass. The Christmas Tree Paperweight makes a timely accent.

The Fused Glass Earrings ($48) at Uno Alla Volta come in both Green and a deep Pink .

The Green Silk Chrysanthemum Scarf ($89) is hand-painted, as is the Pink Cosmos Scarf, both are also from Uno Alla Volta.

Burke Decor’s Set of Champagne Glasses ($24) and the Tea Light Holders are offered in many more colorways than those seen here.

In the blog about her new endeavor, Monograms off Madison, Alyssa Tierney shares lots of goodies; most recently she chats about something entirely new to us seen below left, “Bloemboxes,” such a clever idea! When scanning a recent Coastal Living we also read about these boiled wool Fish Stocking Ornaments ($17.50) at Seaside Inspired.

Another item at a fiscally-friendly price point, the Posh and Preppy Tissue Case ($6) from Sew Gracious makes a darling, one-of-a-kind gift, and the Wool Felt Ornament ($16) from etsy seller Posie and Me does the same.

Not many put pink and green together as beautifully, or as successfully as Fifi Flowers, the Hot Pink Shoes acrylic painting ($100) is sure to brighten any setting and the Tied Up in Red Ribbon cards ($14 for a set of eight) make a splendid gift.

We have had a Fifi original for some time now, and love it even more than when we acquired it.

This is beginning to seem like an awful lot of pink and green, our tired, beady little eyes are beginning to cross. That must be our cue to say “Thank you for popping in, and g’bye until next time!”


Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, preppy, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

A Tiffany Christmas + A Sneak Peek: McQueen at Target

Hello-Hello! Is everyone ready for something a little holiday-oriented?

How about the ultimate Pink & Green Preppy Christmas Plate? These are new here at the Prepatorium, and just fabulous! Talk about a great gift, and the selection is outstanding!!



One of the things we are most excited about? The new line also includes trays, platters and more! This Christmas Plaid pattern is available as either a 10″ x 14″ platter or a 9″ x 14″ tray, exactly what we have been looking for here at the Prepatorium.



Oh, this is just too fun!

Now we move on to offerings that are a trifle more upscale.  We are long overdue in taking a peek at some of the holiday offerings from Tiffany.  Anyone receiving the catalog knows what a huge push they have been making with their charms.


And some of them are just darling:

The Purse Charm is fun with its pink enameling and little diamonds. We like the Fifth Avenue store charm because it doesn’t scream “Tiffany” at anyone, although it would be way down our list in terms of desirability.

The Candy Cane charm is perky…

And even comes in Tiffany Blue, as does the Ice Skate charm.

tiffanybluecandycanecharm tiffanycharm72

The Ballet Slipper charm is in platinum with a diamond,while the Tiffany Shopping Bag charm comes in sterling and platinum.



We don’t remember seeing this before, do you?

The Tiffany Wrap in cashmere and silk appears to be be super-snuggly, something TP could become accustomed to wearing. The T-Clip Pen makes an outstanding gift, although what we *really* want is the return of the Pink Purse pen, below right.


Although we will probably always have a soft sport for the basic Tiffany Blue Purse Pen.

Tiffany’s ornaments are always popular gifts and stocking stuffers; the Star Ornament is lovely while the Gingerbread Man adds a whimsical touch to any tree.

Of course The Princess is partial to the Ice Skate Ornament, and we are betting Miss Little Bow Prep is as well!

There is no shortage of ornaments, including the new Polka Dot porcelain styles.
Tiffany has done a nice job providing a broad spectrum of goodies – enjoy!


Also today, a quick look at the Alexander McQueen collection due in March 2009 at Target.  The group is closest in spirit to his McQ line; singer Leila Moss from band The Duke Spirit is something of a muse for the designer, and her image is featured in some of the pieces.  Below, Ms. Moss in pieces from the collaboration: a cotton jersey T-shirt, cotton/spandex denim pants by McQ Alexander McQueen for Target.  (The boots are by Guillotine Hinfray.)
Alexander McQueen for Target

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

A recent story in WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription required) discussed the collection…

“The collection has a muted color palette of black, white, gray and tan with accents of cobalt blue and bright pink. Studs and mesh give items an edge. There are studded jeans, shorts and denim jackets with asymmetrical closures, short tuxedo jackets and matching shorts….”
Along with price points for the merchandise:
“Nor does McQueen see any irony in the fact that his gowns cost thousands of dollars while his clothing for Target, which operates 1,658 stores in 48 states, will be priced under $129.99. That’s because McQueen knows what it’s like when money is tight.”

Below, Ms. Moss in a cotton mesh dress and rayon tank from McQ Alexander McQueen for Target. (The shoes are Christian Louboutin.)

Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD


Filed under preppy