Tag Archives: topsiders

A Conversation With Lisa Birnbach

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednursday (Wednesday + Thursday) post, we are so swamped this shall have to count for two days.

Today we share our interview with the woman we call the Grand Pooh-bah of Prep, Lisa Birnbach, the author of True Prep.  Yesterday was the book’s official release date, and we still cannot believe she found time for an interview; some readers may recall Ms. Birnbach’s day started with an appearance on the Today show, and it only grew busier after that.

NBC Universal

To say we were flattered to even be on the interview list, let alone on the book’s first day, would transcend understatement. (We will share a little secret: at the last moment throwing on a strand of pearls seemed prudent, because after all, she *would* be able to tell through the telephone what we were wearing here at the Prepatorium, right down to the accessories.  Somehow. she. would. know.)

Ummm, not exactly. From the outset Ms. Birnbach was warm and witty, if anyone was wooden and stiff… well, yes. It was I. Me. Us. (Whomever, honestly Princess, get a grip!)

Sadly, our first question was truly tasteless, we asked the obvious, what (who) were you wearing on the Today show?  It turns out the ensemble was a combination of new and old, both the skirt and the blouse were Brooks Brothers (although we have to apologize for being a witless wonder right off the bat, one was Black Fleece and the other regular Brooks, but it appears we were quite incapable of properly noting which was which), and the shoes were older Manolos. (Because they are still perfectly good shoes.)

NBC Universal

Almost all of the jewelry was on loan from Verdura, including the Beehive Pendant Watch, not unlike the one shown below in a 2007 Christie’s catalog.

Via Christie's

Verdura is covered in Chapter 4, “I Just Found it in My Closet,” sure to be a favorite for most fans, as it covers the contemporary sartorial choices one confronts in clothing and accessories.  Ms. Birnbach explained a bit of the process for borrowing the jewelry, it is not something undertaken lightly.  As mentioned, not everything was on loan, the pinky ring worn by Ms. Birnbach was her own, marking the occasion of her son’s birth.

We only had one other matter to handle before getting into the meat of the interview, a minor issue we felt compelled to discuss before we could comfortably move into more intense conversation.

TP: “There is just one little thing I need to bring up before we move on, um…well….uh, it’s….ah, it’s just something that is very troubling, actually, it’s fairly traumatic, I think some people might classify it as bordering on tragic. I’m worried it might derail our whole conversation, but have to bring it up anway.”

LB: “Oh, really? What is it??”

TP: “The Top-Siders featured on the Today show this morning.”

LB: “The Top-Siders are tragic? How are the Top-Siders tragic?”

TP: “They’re metallic.”

(As a brief refresher, below we share a snippet from our post on the topic earlier this year:

“The women’s Original 2-Eye metallic boat shoe seen below is at Crew, offered in platinum.

J. Crew/Sperry Top-Sider

(TP has stepped away for the moment, she is struggling with the word ‘metallic’ adjacent to the words ‘boat shoe’.)”

There, enough of that tedious blather the background, now back to yesterday’s conversation.

Ms. Birnbach was gracious in responding to our angst about the shoes.

LB: “Susan, let’s talk about this, allright? I know what you’re saying, I really do. But the metallic Top-Siders are sort of like the bad boy in school. You remember? You knew he was not the guy for you, you absolutely knew he was not the guy, and you may even have been repelled by him, but at the same time, there was this attraction, something drawing you toward him. I think the Top-Siders are kind of like the bad boy.  I’m not saying you should get them. I’m just saying I’m open to new ideas.”

TP: “Oh. Okay.” (Heh, heh, heh.)

Of course that exchange was understood by both parties as being in jest. Fun. Funny. Entirely couched in humor, intended to be taken as such, and returned in the same vein.

And Ms. Birnbach is *very* funny, immediately grasping the enormity of a “Princess tragedies” on the level of a metallic Top-Sider. This was helpful, allowing us to feel safe bringing up the next crisis.

TP: Since we’ve dealt with the shoe, can we talk about the skull? Did you see the CBS Early Show Monday morning, that segment on hypothetical Preppy Fashion? They said ‘The new preppy icon is the skull.” What is up with that?!” (Insert a full blast of righteous indignation to achieve the proper sense of total outrage.)

LB: “The skull? No, no, no.  Just no.  The skull of course, is rugby.  And rugby and preps do go back. It’s the Jolly Roger pirate, it’s everywhere, Smathers and Branson have the pirate, all sorts of things have the pirate, the Jolly Roger is everywhere. But it isn’t the new preppy icon.”

Phew. Another close one.

For a sense of that CBS story, here is one line:

“After lying low in the nineties, preppy has once again reinvented itself, this time led by pop stars and gossip girls.”

Indeed.

During the interview we had a splendid talk about the breadth of choices available these days when looking at clothing and accessories, from relative newcomers like Smathers and Branson or Tucker Blair for needlepoint goodies, or Vineyard Vines, to old standbys like Brooks Brothers and Lilly Pulitzer.  The number of bright, gifted entrepreneurs now making things appealing to preps of all ages continues to grow.

The writer shared a story about her own preppy look from years ago when she had one of her very first jobs in the business, this one at the oh-so-liberal (the horror) Village Voice newspaper.  As might be expected, the style was très casual, everyone dressed down. Way, way down. What was a prep to do? Ms. Birnbach went wild, and purchased a Lacoste polo shirt. In black.

No one will be surprised to learn we had fun talking about the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame, we sensed unspoken approval of our existing members. For the uninitiated, this select group includes both humans (think Paris Hilton), as well as other entities (Abercrombie & Fitch) displaying gross negligence to standards of good taste, good manners, or basic decency .  The conversation moved on to the sorry state of what passes for “celebrity” these days.

“Doesn’t anybody miss the day when you actually had to accomplish something to be a celebrity? What is it that says being on a reality tv show makes someone a celebrity or authority on life?”

Amen.

We talked about the challenge of writing True Prep. It was not easy, the enormity of following an iconic book like The Original Preppy Handbook was more than daunting.

“It is scary to come out with this book, it really is.  The writing part itself, the sitting down and typing the words actually wasn’t the difficult part… it was the going through the day, trying to look at every single thing that could have changed in the last thirty years…that part was hard. I hope people have fun with it, I hope they enjoy it, I always worry.

We also chatted about what I perceive as the challenge of the upcoming book tour and other public appearances, almost everyone approaching with a “Why didn’t you include _____________________ in the chapter on preppy colleges?” Or, “I cannot believe you think that _______________ is preppy.”  Miss Birnbach explained that she is not saying absolutely, unequivocally, that a certain school, or community, or club, or sport, or item of clothing, or anything else is the “one and only.” Nor that it should be. And she also said she learns an awful lot when from questions and comments, she very much sees the process as a learning experience.

Again, we stress the fun factor, using the following as a brief example of the writing style:

On thrift:
Do keep repairing old appliances to try to extend their lives. Don’t store them on your front porch or driveway.”

It is very much like the witty irreverence found in TOPH back in 1980.

As far as we’re concerned herein lies the crux of the interview, as well as the new book, the old book, and the entire topic: this is not meant to be taken seriously now, nor was it ever intended to be.  A simple look at the book’s classification makes things clear.

humor, n.

  1. The quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness: could not see the humor of the situation.
  2. That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement: a writer skilled at crafting humor.

Both True Prep and its predecessor, TOPH (The Original Preppy Handbook) are meant to be humorous, one need look no further than the chapter and section titles: “Rehab: The New Boarding School,” “What Happened to Mummy’s Face?” and “Truly, Madly, Deeply Preppy: The Second Wedding.”

We didn’t have enough time to cover a few of our most whined-about issues favorite topics, like the documented increase in diagnosed cases of Logophobia, or the deplorable loss of civility accompanying all this new technology (need we even say the c— p—- words), nor were we able to get a verdict on things like Spanx, or an even bigger issue: the Snuggie. (What do you think of one for… oh, let’s say Groton, or perhaps Spence?)

In wrapping up the conversation Ms. Birnbach mentioned the possibility of another gabfest at some point in the future, something we would enjoy enormously. She is much more than fun, and bright, and sophisticated, she is simply a delight to spend time with.

Perhaps the best way to understand Ms. Birnbach is through her simple post last night on the True Prep Facebook page, an example of very few words saying quite a bit.

“I hope all of you enjoy the book. I’m under a lot of pressure to make you happy. I’m a giver, but I’m only one slightly used preppy woman. Hoping you all have a great DAY ONE. xLisa

One quick note before leaving, if there are questions you might have for Lisa, do leave them in a comment; we’ll gather them up in a bit and put them aside for a future (cross your fingers) conversation with Ms. Birnbach in the next few months.  Again, our thanks to Lisa Birnbach, and also to Sara at Random House, they made things fun.

Until next time, g’bye!

16 Comments

Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH

True Prep Update & Book Tour Details

Hello-Hello,

Welcome to a Monday, once again marked by more than a little madness here at the Prepatorium.  Today’s big news involves this:

Random House

Our initial copy of True Prep arrived Friday, along with the press kit; to say we were excited would be an understatement.  We have been busy scanning the book, looking at all of the great illustrations and photos and going through the marketing materials.

One of the more notable items in the kit, the dates and locations for the book tour: this is not your standard book tour, not by a long shot. The majority of functions are not at bookstores, but at fun, fashionable prep locales, like LL Bean in Boston and at Tyson’s, Vineyard Vines in Greenwich and Georgetown, multiple Cole-Haan stores, and J. McLaughlin’s Charleston store. There are many book stores as well, including Powell’s in Portland, a fabulous establishment we have enjoyed visiting on many occasions.

The tour officially kicks off in a major way at Bloomie’s, as part of Fashion’s Night Out (FNO is briefly discussed here) on September 10, and then moves on.  The schedule shows multiple appearances at Brooks Brothers in particular; this makes sense as we have word there is a Brooks Brothers/True Prep item that customers will be able to purchase in the not-too-distant future.  (There is a strong possibility you will also see the item at the Princess, it is in stock, but the crush of business has prevented the Consort the IT Department from getting it up on the site.)

Another preppy icon, Sperry, figures heavily in True Prep promotion, with tour stops at several new Sperry retail stores: Kansas City, Dallas and Westchester. Sperry is also co-hosting events at several Nordstrom stores; can you say “merchandising opportunity”?

Also well-represented on the calendar, Lilly Pulitzer, with functions slated for the Pink Magnolia in St. Louis, and the KOP (King of Prussia) Mother Ship store, in all of its remodeled splendor.

Via The Love List

Jenn over at the always-delightful Love List has more pictures of the fabulous re-do at the store, just click here.

One other site sure to be a hit, the “For the Love of Lilly” exhibit at the Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History is the location for a True Prep event.

Via the Sun-Sentinel

One of the major contributors to that exhibit is the very talented Kristina from Lotus and Lilly, she has more about it on her blog.  The nearby Lilly store in Boca Raton will host Ms. Birnbach for a visit, near the end of the tour in December.  Other retailers hosting events include the always-stylish Stubbs & Wootton, and jeweler Verdura.

The material in the press kit indicates savvy marketing minds at work, with outstanding venues for the book tour, and word of solid merchandise tie-ins. (Although the stops are heavily concentrated on both coasts and in Florida, a few more in The Great Midwest would make us smile.) Methinks there will be several fun co-branded products with this one, not limited to the upcoming jewelry piece at Brooks and the Princess.

Our initial reaction to Ms. Birnbach’s latest offering is very positive, True Prep is similar in tone and tenor to The Original Preppy Handbook. We presume the light treatment of the topic is what most readers are looking for; the same irreverence that made TOPH such a hit is present in abundance, with lots of tongue-in-cheek comments and witty asides. We enjoyed our quick glance through the book, and look forward to settling in with it for a dedicated read, cover to cover. We hope to have our review posted at some point this week.

One other note before we scram-a-rama, because we somehow have multiple copies of the Original Preppy Handbook, we’re thinking a giveaway offering one of each might be in order.  Does that make sense?

Until next time, g’bye!

20 Comments

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

And The Winner Is… “Gossip Girls Haunt the Hamptons”

Hello-Hello, welcome to an insanely busy day here at the Prepatorium!  (There is a positive side to the mayhem, you have a mercifully brief post with far less insipid nattering on insightful commentary from these quarters!)

We said we would share the Top Ten posts here on the blog when we reached our millionth blog view. Here they are:

ThePreppyPrincess.wordpress.com

That number one post, Gossip Girls Hit the Hamptons, dates all the way back to June of 2008 and featured the cast shooting on location.

JustJared.Buzznet.com

We used the photo full size of Ed Westwick to make a point, here is a bit of the original post:

“We have never, ever, actually known a human being who would get off the train attired like this. You are in a suit, or you are in khakis and a blazer, or you are wearing jeans and a button down, you know the routine. Three argyles all at once and spectators and the shorts…? No. Not even close.”

The three argyle items are the sweater, socks and tie.  The post also included actor Chace Crawford in a swarm (gaggle? herd?) of teenage girls.

Chace Crawford Gossip Girl 2008 Hamptons

JustJared.Buzznet.com

The rest of the cast is also seen in that particular post. Season four is confirmed, the next location shoot for the cast and crew is Paris.

The rest of the list seems to make sense… Olympic Uniforms from Polo Ralph Lauren, Sperry & J. Crew, various perceptions and interpretations of the preppy aesthetic.  Hhhmmm. (But Gossip Girl in the Hamptons as the most popular post…? Yikes.)

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Before leaving you, we have some Sales and Savings we simply must share, it is that time of year as we approach a holiday weekend. Here we go:

  • 40% off entire purchase at Brooks Brothers factory stores tomorrow (Thursday, 5/27/10) through the 31st
  • Kate Spade offers an additional 25% off all Sale merchandise now through June 1st and free ground shipping on all orders
  • Elaine Turner is offering 33% off through Memorial Day; use promo code MEMORIAL33
  • Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale for women and children is underway now
  • Gucci is allowing customers to reserve items online from their sale that starts June 1; click here for details
  • J. Crew’s Summer Sale is underway, we cannot offer any insight on markdowns
  • Lacoste is promoting up to 70% off at their outlet stores
  • The sale at Saks offers up to 60% off original prices (apparently one should disregard the graphic they show promoting “30-40% off”)
  • This one is just in from our friend at the oh-so-chic Beladora Jewelry: use discount code BHB to receive 10% off your purchase at Beladora, or 5% off your purchase of the fab vintage jewels offered at Beladora 2. (The divine image below is from Beladora 2.)

Beladora2.com

We know there are more that have come into the electronic in-bin, but we are so behind schedule we can’t list them all, please accept our apology.

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We leave you with these Pretty in Pink pillows from Thred, part of their Tropical Preppy collection.

Holli at Thred is more than talented, we adore her creative pillows.

With that, may everyone stay cool, stay safe and stay happy!

10 Comments

Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

A Brit Goes Prep on the Upper East Side & West Coast Preppies

Hello-Hello, and Happy Tuesday!

Today we ponder: is it time to create a new post category, something along the lines of “Preppy is Back“? Perhaps so, especially in light of this fall’s release of True Prep, the sequel to TOPH (The Original Preppy Handbook), an event adding to the topic’s popularity. (For more on the September release of True Prep click here or here; to learn about the fashion and accessories brands making an appearance in the upcoming book, click here.)

We begin with a little something from the far side of the pond in today’s London Times: “Slacks and the City: Trying out the Preppy Lifestyle“. Here is the subhead:

“As a new handbook marks a resurgence of the preppy lifestyle, our man in New York tries adopting the clean-cut collegiate look”

Tim Teeman’s story offers his British audience this description of male and female preppies:

“A truly preppy male works in finance or the law, wears polo shirts, nautical clothing, seersucker suits and Croakies (fashionable straps to keep your sunglasses on) and hangs out in frat-style drinking houses that preppies call “Irish bars”. The female works in or adjacent to charities, design, fashion or the arts, also wears nautical clothing, dons fitted pale pink rugby shirts with neat jacket, jeans and pumps, and holds Charlotte from Sex and the City as her icon.”

The writer undergoes a preppish style transformation. Two photos accompany the piece, along the lines of “before prep” and “after prep”.

As far as what Mr. Teeman dons to acquire his new look, we’ll only say it involves J. Press and J. Crew; we recommend reading the story in full for all of the wardrobe details. We did love the way he described reactions to his new look:

“New Yorkers are not fazed by challenging fashion but the glances on the subway are definitely pitying, at worst hostile. Once I’m on the Upper East Side things should improve but they don’t, because my preppiness is already fraying.”

We very much enjoyed this one.

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Another preppy feature in a mainstream media outlet comes via Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.

Mark Boster & Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times

The paper featured a delightful piece by Adam Tschorn, one of TP’s favorite writers. “A field guide to L.A. preppies” is a wonderful read, here is a snippet:

“When “The Official Preppy Handbook” was published in 1980, it didn’t just give the West Coast the short end of the lacrosse stick, it practically smacked the City of Angels upside the head with the milky white sole of a Sperry Top-Sider.”

There’s a visual for you – Muffy Martini’s ancestors raging through the streets brandishing their lax sticks and headbands at the offenders. The horror.

Mr. Tschorn’s story mentions several lesser-known brands discussed in this space, including Band of Outsiders (although we have been more prone to chatting up the Boy by Band of Outsiders line, the women’s arm of the company), and Trovata, along with more well-known lines like Polo Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers.

Per usual, Mr. Tschorn does another stellar job with his topic, the link is well worth a visit.

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We want to say ‘thank you’ to our friend Skip over at the Alexander Grant blog; as part of a series of posts he asked us to come up with style ideas for his real life Preppy Princess.

We were only too happy to waste take a little time to endlessly graze oodles of fun websites to studiously dedicate ourselves to this cause. Indeed.

With that, goodbye until next time!

4 Comments

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

Preppy is Back. Again. Also, Brands You’ll See in True Prep

Hello-Hello, happy new week!

We must begin with an enormous “Thank You” to everyone who left such kind and lovely comments following Friday’s post, not to mention the Tweets and Facebook comments.  There is no adequate way to explain how touched we were by the sentiments, it made our day extra special.

Today we have breaking news just in to the Prepatorium: there is another preppy resurgence! Oh my!

Umm… not exactly. We apologize for our poor step into hyperbole, we were unable to resist the temptation. The not-breaking-news comes via our friends on the far side of the pond.  In yet another look at ‘preppy style’ this story from Sunday’s Independent asks: “Are you Ready to get Preppy?” with the following as a subheadline:

“After 30 years in the doldrums, the relaxed East Coast look is back – along with a new handbook to help you wear it with elan”

The story is pegged to this fall’s release of “True Prep” from Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, a topic covered previously in this space. Here is the story’s opening paragraph from writer Susie Mesure:

“Can’t tell your Top-Siders from your Sebagos? Unsure how high to roll your chinos? After some preppy shopping primers? Well, unfurrow your brows and raise a gin and tonic because help is at hand from a new book out this autumn that will exploit the current clamour for East Coast style.”

We doubt Princess readers are struggling with the issues mentioned above, but we could be wrong.  The photo accompanying the story shows looks from the spring 2010 Ralph Lauren collection (our post on the collection may be found here.)

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

If given a choice of designers to illustrate the Independent story, we lean more toward these Brook Brothers promotional pieces…

Brooks Brothers

They promote the Summer at the Cape collections.

BrooksBrothers.com

An editor from Gentleman’s Quarterly is quoted in the Independent story:

“Robert Johnson, associate editor of the fashion magazine GQ, said: “Preppy is back. Every season, particularly summer, there is always a nod to classic Americana but preppy is a big trend this year.” He partly attributed its popularity to the fact that people are “bored” with denim.”

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

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One of our favorite blogs, All the Rage, also previews the upcoming book in this piece by Adam Tschorn.  This photo collage is used to illustrate his story.

Brooks Brothers & Tory Burch via All the Rage

Mr. Tschorn (aka ‘Cuffy’) offers the perspective of someone who actually attended prep school.  In today’s post his interview with Ms. Birnbach offers insight on what brands readers can expect to see in the upcoming book:

“…familiar favorites are revisited. Among them are Lacoste, Sperry Top-Sider, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren. “I was very, very stingy with [Ralph] in 1980. I think he’s referred to maybe once,” she said. “But this time he gets a lot of play.”

She said that some additions are labels that actually pre-date the first book, including Burberry, Barbour, Hermès, Verdura, Kenneth Jay Lane, Hunter Wellies, and J.M. Weston (“They have these beautiful loafers from France,” she explains).”

Many brands included in the upcoming volume did not even exist when TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) was published. More from Mr. Tschorn’s story with Lisa Birnbach:

““We’ve got Vineyard Vines – they started in 1998, and of course J. Crew — which wasn’t around then either [it launched in 1983 as a mail-order company]. And we’ve got some Kenneth Cole [1982] and a little bit of Robert Graham [2001].”

Below, two shirts from Robert Graham.

Ms. Birnbach also chats at length about Tory Burch in the story.  We recommend popping over for a read, it is a fun piece.

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Perhaps the most amazing thing we’ve seen yet on the book was in today’s Book Bench from the New Yorker site.  In a post titled, “Prep is Dead, Long Live Prep” Meredith Blake mentions yours truly (prompting a most unPrincess-like shriek):

“While the original handbook advised that “you should appear in print only three times in your life—upon birth, marriage, and death,” today’s prep is virtually screaming for a little attention; the wasp mystique, it seems, has faded. Like everything else, we can blame it on the Internet, where there’s a thriving community of bloggers dedicated to all things prep-related. At the pink-and-green themed The Preppy Princess, Susan Kelly defends her love for Lilly Pulitzer, while Melissa Morris’s May December has such an impassioned following that its author was the subject of a profile in the newspaper of record. There’s also The Trad, a slightly more idiosyncratic blog dedicated to classic American-made garments.”

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We conclude all this blather with a cautionary note: it is likely we shall encounter an increasing volume in the mainstream media about the preppy aesthetic being raised from the dead (ahem), in sync with the calendar’s movement toward True Prep’s September release date.
And with visions of books dancing in our head we say, g’bye!

18 Comments

Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH, When Preppy Goes Wrong

Down to the Sea & Other Friday Fun

Happy, Happy, Happy Friday! Is it simply glorious where you are? Hopefully that is the case, spring has sprung in a major way here at the Prepatorium. The sun and gentle breezes are beckoning, and our resistance to stepping outside is waning. Rapidly.

Therefore today’s post is short, touching briefly on a few morsels that may hold appeal.  We begin with word of a fun post over at Refinery 29, “All Aboard for a Fresh Take on Nautical“.

Photo Montage by Refinery29.com

The story features all sorts of pieces with nautical influences, with some items coming from brands many readers enjoy, like Sperry and J. Crew, to others not commonly showcased in this space, such as Wren and Pixie Market.

Montage by Refinery29.com

We very much enjoyed their take on the look.

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Next is a post we mentioned yesterday on our Facebook page, from online style magazine Fashionista.  The story’s title provides the focus: “Who Does Preppy Classics Best? Lands’ End Canvas vs. L.L. Bean Signature?’

Author Lauren Sherman compares and contrasts several elements from each brand, a timely topic with LL Bean Signature officially launching over this week.

Fashionista.com

While not terribly in-depth, the story does make an interesting read.

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We close with a few images in our “Friday Fun” category. The first is of a delightful customer heading out the door with her Lilly Market Bags.

Thank you Brittnee!

Our thanks to Brittnee for sharing with all of us!

The second image is today’s Pretty in Pink, without a doubt, an item we originally learned about via our friend Bumby at the Preppy Chronicles.

Courtesy Photo via Luxist

This would be a new Fiat 500C, not the first Fiat in pink, but it is the first convertible in our favorite shade.

On that fun vision, we leave you with a reminder about our amazing Spring Fling Thing, and a hope that your weekend is utterly divine. You deserve it.

9 Comments

Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

The Mad Men Barbie Collection, “Future Prep”

Hello-Hello, happy rainy day! Yes, we are so gaga over the warmer weather we are happy about the rain, it is so much nicer than the snow!

We start with absolutely delightful news: the folks at Mattel have made our favorite Mad Men characters into Barbie dolls. As the Guardian put it:

“It is a move that would have the male denizens of Sterling Cooper reaching for their whiskey and cigarettes. Don Draper, a symbol of pre-sexual revolution male values from the hit TV show Mad Men, is to be made into a Barbie doll.”

Courtesy Photo via NYTimes.com

We think Joan Holloway and Betty Draper look simply smashing, their hair and makeup are captured perfectly, although Joan is nowhere near as curvaceous as on the show.

Unfortunately Don Draper and Roger Sterling aren’t as easy to depict, especially their clothing, an element key to the show’s success and cult following. Their suits just don’t translate well, they are not as well-tailored. Here is a comparison:

But then, these are merely 11-inch dolls, oui?

More on the wardrobe selections from amc’s Mad Men blog:

“Don Draper wears his classic, polished red-lined suit and comes accessorized with a hat, overcoat and brief case; Betty Draper’s classic look is captured with unparalleled detail, from her faux pearl necklace to her pumps; Joan Holloway looks chic in a purple skirt suit and perfectly styled coif with her staple accessory – a pen necklace; and Roger Sterling is looking dapper in his monogrammed shirt.”

Stuart Elliott’s column in today’s Times is excellent, loaded with interesting background on the Mattel deal and addressing almost every question that sprang to mind, including these:

“The dolls come with period accessories like hats, overcoats, pearls and padded undergarments, but no cigarettes, ashtrays, martini glasses or cocktail shakers.”

The dolls launch in July at a retail of $74.95, they will be available at the Barbie Collector site. (We apologize to our Facebook and Twitter friends for repeating this item, as we did Tweet and put the photo up on the Princess FB fan page as soon as we heard about the dolls, we simply couldn’t wait.)

We’re thinking a few bloggy friends may contemplate bringing Don home. So to speak. (You know who you are.)

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We have a few quick SOTTs (Signs of the Times) to share:

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We are intrigued by a line from across the pond, Polistas.

Courtesy Polistas

Described by Luxist as “… the first true polo lifestyle brand made for polo players by polo players…”, the company is now launching a Polo Dress.

Courtesy Polistas via Luxist

We enjoyed bouncing about the Polistas website.

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We close with a few more looks from Paris Fashion Week, beginning with the Balenciaga fall collection, characterized by at least one trade magazine as “future prep”.

We are guessing the crewneck sweaters from designer Nicolas Ghesquiere contributed significantly to this appellation.

While there was some lovely pink and green in the collection we wouldn’t exactly refer to it as preppish. But doesn’t it look pretty, like candy, or Easter eggs?

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We close with a bit of retail bliss:

Jason Squires/Getty Images for Sperry

Remember when we chatted about Sperry opening retail stores in select locations?  The Kansas City store celebrated its grand opening on Saturday and the liquid refreshments look dreamy.

Jason Squires/Getty Images for Sperry

The clothes are also easy on the eyes, as is the footwear.

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If interested in the company’s 75th Anniversary CVOs seen above right, they are now available online.  We initially stumbled on the party pix while gathering the info for today’s Pretty in Pink, the Seasonal Bahama.

Sperry Top-sider

We shall pray to the retail Pooh-bahs for a Sperry store in our corner of the globe someday.

Until next time dollfaces, grins and giggles!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Balenciaga: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

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