Tag Archives: Tory Burch

Preppy: The Next Big Thing For Spring. (Cough-Cough.)

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday. (I don’t know about you, but we’re ready for a touch of weekend here in the Corner Condo at Princess InterPlanetary HQ.)

If it’s almost spring, then it follows that retailers are breaking out the preppy style references in their advertising and marketing campaigns, we thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you. The first comes via Nordstorm, with thanks to our friend Cindy for alerting us to the communiqué, showcasing “Prep Cool“.

Nordstrom

“Prep Club Accessories, Swimwear & Resortwear” showcases a variety of merchandise one might expect to see, from Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Milly….

Nordstrom

To Dooney & Bourke, Kate Spade,and Longchamp.

Nordstrom

There were a few brands included in the “Prep Club” group (for some reason the promotional groupings were referred to as both Prep Cool and Prep Club, we’ve nary a clue why) I don’t always/usually associate with a prep aesthetic: from left to right, McQ Alexander McQueen, Cara Accessories and AK Anne Klein.

Nordstrom

We move on to a Macy’s campaign, “Preppy Handbook” (ahem), with “The Four Fundamentals You Need Now”.

Today’s prep-wear is feminine, expertly tailored and effortlessly chic (think: 1960s socialites vacationing in Palm Beach). And, it’s the next big thing for Spring. Want to incorporate this work to play look into your wardrobe? We’ll show you four essentials you need to look pretty in prep – and exactly how to wear them.

Macy's

Among those four fundamentals, “Kaleidoscope Florals and Bold Stripes” shown below, there are some darling shirts.

Macy's

Macy’s reports that another essential is “Femme Madras,” one is admonished to “Rework this classic preppy plaid with a shrunken schoolboy blazer or tailored shorts.”

Another “Preppy Academy Must Have” is the colored trench.

Macy's

There’s one more “Fundmental,” we’ll let you discover it in your own time, click here to see the rest of the Macy’s post.

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One item not mentioned in either of the marketing campaigns that we do consider a basic: seersucker.

American Digs

While that might look like something perfect for this weekend, it’s not, at least not for you. It’s for these fine friends.

American Digs

These are the work of American Digs, proudly Made in the USA, and $34.

When Tilly heard I was putting them in as today’s Friday Fun she reminded me of something that is a bit of a sore point, we promised her a replacement for this.

Silly Tilly

Her Yale sweatshirt has seen better days. (Heh, heh, heh.) Somehow I’m not seeing the seersucker on her, are you? Sadly, the words “seersucker” and “Tilly” in the same sentence bring visions of material stretched tautly, beyond its original design, buttons straining and popping off randomly, and sounds of seams ripping as fabric shreds.

With that we say goodbye until next time, may your weekend be warm and wonderful!

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Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Tilly

Ralph Lauren’s New Wimbledon Uniforms & Tory’s New Digs

Welcome to a Monday, what a busy weekend it turned out to be!

In a sure sign that summer is here, Wimbledon officially got underway today, prompting our look at the new uniforms from Polo Ralph Lauren.

Courtesy Photos

The retailer continues its alliance with the All England Club, the new styles celebrate the event’s 125th Anniversary.  This is the first time the uniforms have been redesigned since Polo Ralph Lauren first made a deal with the Club in 2006, the firm has been doing uniforms for linesmen, umpires and ball boys/girls since that time.

Below, a Line Judge in uniform this morning.

Ben Stansall/AFP

Of course the pieces are available for sale at PRL stores and online, although we do not see that always-popular blazer available anywhere.

Via Ralph Lauren

The polo shirt showcases the special anniversary patch and overall the look is crisp and clean, nicely done.  Notwithstanding Ralph Lauren logos the size of canned hams (and larger).

Via Polo Ralph Lauren

There are also items like the men’s Classic-Fit Poplin shirt at PRL online.

The Ralph Lauren site has an interesting piece on the history of Wimbledon, with nifty background on the ball boys/girls, the average age is 15. Here is more:

Service is paid—a princely sum of €130-€160 (about $209-$258) for the thirteen-day period—and rigorous tests (fitness and written) and training must be completed before selection.

Some items offered for sale only appear to be available at the Wimbledon Shop, like the Logo Tee-shirt at $62.67.

This is where we have to ask for your kind assistance, as the shirt above has us simply baffled. Why on earth would the Ralph Lauren initials be larger than the word Wimbledon?? This clearly belongs in the “Help Me Understand” category, your faithful scribe is more-than-confused about that imagery, do weigh in with your wisdom and insight.

The rain did make an appearance.

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

One last Wimbledon item created just for the 125th Anniversary: special bottles of Lanson champagne. We’ll make them today’s Pretty in Pink.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Next, an update for those fond of Tory Burch, her new store under construction on Madison is getting some special decor… on the outside.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

Women’s Wear Daily has more from Ms. Burch on the importance of the new store:

“It’s a big deal for the company, and for me personally,” Burch said of the Madison Avenue location. “Having a presence uptown was very important for us

The shop is slated to open in September, that vibrant artwork on the store’s exterior was done in collaboration with street artist James De La Vega.

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We leave you with images of fairy tales re-created in another medium: balloons.

Larry Moss/Newsteam via The Daily Mail

Above we see Jack in the Beanstalk as crafted by a gentleman named Larry Moss.  Below, Rapunzel as envisioned by the artist.

Larry Moss/Newsteam via The Daily Mail

Amazing.

With that we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Help Me Understand, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Oh, Those Party Frocks! And Prep World New York

Hello-Hello, it seems we might be back to “normal,” although ascertaining just what ‘normal’ is continues to evolve.

At the very least we return to more normal blather and bloviations topics, beginning with last night’s Met Ball. Considered by many as the fashion world’s Oscars, the night brings out the A-list.  As Hilary Alexander wrote in The Telegraph:

“In terms of style, effort, money and glamour, this red carpet mother of all fashion-fests, orchestrated by Anna Wintour for the last 13 years, outshines them all.

It was an occasion for the well dressed and the merely wealthy.”

Below we see Ms Wintour (yes, that is The André in all his regal splendor to her right) in a stunning Chanel couture gown. On the right she is with her daughter, Bee Shaffer, who wore Balenciaga.

Getty Images

The formal name for the event is the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala.  This year’s event coincides with tomorrow’s opening of the highly anticipated Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty show.

Met Photos via WWD

As one might imagine, coming on the heels of the royal wedding and the two Sarah Burton McQueen wedding gowns, the atmosphere was electric. Below, the woman of the hour, Ms. Burton.

AP/Getty Images

Sarah Jessica Parker was in vintage McQueen.

AP Photos

Hamish Bowles was in McQueen.

Via

For those not familiar with the Costume Institute, it is part of the Met, housing more than 75,000 costumes and accessories.  Below, part of the Lauren clan, left to right we see Dylan Lauren, David Lauren and Lauren Bush.

Getty Images

Jessica Alba also wore Ralph Lauren, she was radiant.

Getty Images

There were some figure-hugging creations; below left, Fergie in a Marchesa gown more reminiscent of a wedding dress, on the right we see Beyonce in Emilio Pucci with her husband, Jay-Z.

Getty Images

How snug was Beyonce’s dress? She was unable to climb the stairs in it,

Getty Images

The lights are blinding, Renée Zellweger is silhouetted below.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty

Some of our favorite faux-prepsters from Gossip Girl were on hand, Leighton Meester was in Louis Vuitton, Blake Lively in Grecian-inspired Chanel and Jessica Szohr in… in.. umm, we have lost our notes, eek!

AP/Getty/WWD

The level of detailing on these gowns is extraordinary.

AP/Getty/WWD

Below, Dakota and Elle Fanning, both wore Valentino.

Getty Images

Perhaps our favorite gown of the evening was Ashley Greene’s, custom Donna Karan.

Getty Images

It was exquisite.

Last night the first menswear from Tory Burch debuted, seen on Kanye West; the designer was in vintage Jean Patou that was gorgeous.

Mike Segar/Reuters

Tommy Hilfiger his wife, Dee,and Jessica Stam wore Hilfiger.

Reuters

It is a busy week for Mr. Hilfiger, the designer’s collaborative line with Lisa Birnbach, Prep World, launches its first pop-up store in the US.

Prep World/Tommy Hilfiger

As covered in this post, the first pop-up store was in Paris. The temporary stores are designed to look like a beachside cottage in the Hamptons, below we show the model store.

Courtesy Image

And here is the real deal under construction in the Meatpacking district, originally scheduled to open the 28th of April, now looking like it will be ready for a Thursday opening.

The capsule collection features an array of products, many of them appealing.

 

Some of the merchandise is available online.

For more background on the line, click here. If interested in seeing the Paris Prep World, click here.

Apologies for the brevity today, but we must race out the door!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Kristin Somody Whalen/WWD
  • Steve Eichner/WWD

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Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, preppy

Dressing for Dinner with Tory, Vuitton’s Creatures, Has Kate Designed her own Dress?!?

Hello-Hello, welcome to a new week.

We begin with a little party-hopping, Tory Burch was honored at last week’s “Dinner with a Designer” gala, put on by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).

John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD.com

We were intrigued by what the folks at The Fashion Lovers said about how guests were dressed:

“In a night where everyone dressed a little too casual for my taste, it was nice to see some stars dressed up a bit.”

Below, Haillee Steinfeld (l) and Eva Amurri (r), both wearing Tory Burch.

John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD

Other stars on hand, Teresa Palmer, Michelle Monaghan and Kristin Davis, all three ladies are also dressed in pieces by the designer.

PHOTOS: John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD.com

We’re guessing singer Eliza Doolittle may be one of those underdressed individuals being referenced in the quote above.

John Shearer/Getty Images via WWD

It is difficult to grasp why anyone would arrive at a party attired this way.

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A few very brief updates on the Kate Middleton wedding dress front, the rumors and speculation are now flying at a fast and furious clip.

  • Over the weekend Yvonne Yorke wrote “exclusively!” in a HuffPo post that the designer is Sophie Cranston of Libélula, some readers may recognize the Dulwich coat from that label as worn earlier this year by Miss Middleton.

    FAME via The Huffington Post

  • One peril of suddenly achieving notoriety on a global scale, the traffic can crash your website.

Via Libélula

  • The Daily Mail then breathlessly reported another version of the story:

“Kate designs her own dress: It’s ivory satin and lace with pearl buttons a 10ft train and a ‘nod’ to Lady Diana”

We’re guessing that before we hit publish on this post there will be many more headlines on the topic, it is all becoming very entertaining to watch from afar. (For our two cents on the designer’s wedding gowns, click here to visit sister site What Kate Wore.)

One other note, this one on a footwear line favored by Kate Middleton that we also happen to like, Women’s Wear Daily reports that LK Bennett is entering the US market.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

The line will be available this fall at Bloomingdale’s and other upscale shops, as well as two LK Bennett boutiques.

Again, not everyone is interested in the event and all of the hoopla surrounding it. In fact, Page Six reports that NBC is scaling back some of its coverage of the event:

“NBC Universal has cut a number of pretaped segments from its “aggressive and comprehensive coverage” of the royal wedding because insiders fear Prince William and Kate Middleton are “too boring,” according to sources.

“But sources told us worries over viewer fatigue resulted in a decision to cut up to half of the pretaped footage. “They’re allotting fewer resources to it because they’re afraid it’s not going to rate well,” said one.”

According to the paper NBC denies they are cutting back on coverage.

Last week we mentioned a gift popular among those not-quite-so-interested in the goings-on:

Via Sorry But...

We have good news for stateside readers interested in the mugs, they are now available internationally.

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We also have quick word about what is being called a “True Prep” sale at online “members only” site Gilt Groupe. The sale is described this way:

“A preppy look is always spot-on for spring—think elegant lawn parties and trips around the Cape—and in this sale you’ll find pieces that go way beyond basic polo. Stock up on buttoned-up basics like cute cardigans and madras dresses, plus an array of pants, skirts, and trenches.”

Below, some of the images accompanying the promotional information (we don’t recognize *any* of the three styles shown).

Via Gilt.com

Frequent readers know we are more-than-underwhelmed by promotion touting the “members-only” aspect of the flash-sale sites, as anyone can join. (If in need of an invitation just click here.)

However, Gilt has previously offered decent discounts, so it is likely we’ll take a peek at what is offered; the sale opens (in a virtual sense) online at midnight tonight (12:01am Tuesday to be more precise).  Gilt is also offering $5.95 shipping on all orders through the 21st, nothing to scoff at IOHO. (They are currently running a Shoshanna sale, another line we are rather fond of here at The Prepatorium.)

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We leave you with a few amazing creations from Louis Vuitton.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

The ‘creatures’ are all made of small Vuitton leather goods, created at the company’s request by UK artist Billie Achilleos.  Above and below, the “Grasshopper.”

Via "If Its Hip Its Here"

The Chameleon.

Via If Its Hip Its Here

The armadillo.

Via If Its Hip Its Here

A very different use for the usual offerings from the luxury leather goods company.

Goodbye until next time!

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Filed under It's Just Not Done, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Royal Wedding

Is Prep Dead? (More Importantly, How Did We Miss This?)

Hello-Hello, is everyone ready for a weekend?

We thought it was time for another True Prep update, the volume of media surrounding the book is significant, including multiple declarations that ‘prep is dead’; in at least one instance responsibility for this hypothetical occurrence is linked directly to the book.

We begin with this headline from a September NPR story:

We haven’t heard the entire NPR story, but did read what is posted online and were unable to decipher exactly how the book’s existence translated into a sign that prep was dead.  The NPR story does carry a lengthy quote from this story in The Atlantic:

As always, the Atlantic review is very well done, essentially positing that ‘prep’ has  been absorbed by a larger, international class.  From the piece by Benjamin Schwarz:

“Whereas OPH was crammed with fine-grained analysis— defining, say, the subtle distinctions between Brooks Brothers (mainstream), J. Press (old guard), and Paul Stuart (urbane)—True Prep’s analysis seems vague and flabby. Whereas OPH’s preppies belonged to a distinct and inward-looking subculture, the preppies of True Prep, defined largely by what they buy and wear, are in many ways indistinguishable from fancily educated professionals.”

The writer doesn’t fault the skill set of authors Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, looking instead at the consumption habits of the era, particularly those of the conspicuous kind.

“Cracked heirlooms, threadbare antique rugs, sturdy L.L. Bean boots, duct-taped Blucher moccasins, and workhorse Volvo station wagons defined OPH’s aesthetic. True Prep’s preppies, armed with BlackBerrys and iPods, wear Verdura jewelry and Prada and vintage Gucci loafers, tote Goyard and Tory Burch bags, and adorn their desks with tchotchkes from Smythson (a firm whose success, Ian Jack notes in The Guardian, has been built “on selling baubles to the impressionable rich”).

It’s no secret we whined struggled with some of the brands featured in True Prep. (For Ms. Birnbach’s comments regarding the J. Crew metallic Top-siders at J. Crew, simply click here.) We have been vocal about the volume of J. Crew & Burberry products showcased in the book.  Frequent readers know the tragic truth: TP and The Consort are two boring, old-school preps.  Our style is basically no style.

However, we do take issue with this claim from a column in the Journal, the headline reads “Preppy Pitfall: All That Madras, Not Enough Effort.” It is the subhead that is irksome:

Did Lisa Birnbach’s original ‘Handbook’ drive people lazy?”

Eric Felten cites TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) as a factor.

“One simply mustn’t try too hard. A key principle of what Ms. Birnbach called the Preppy Value System was Effortlessness: “If life is a country club, then all functions should be free from strain.”

The notion that Ms. Birnbach is responsible for the work ethic of a generation is ludicrous.

“Unless you actually have a fat trust fund to underwrite your nonchalance, an aversion to effort is hardly a strategy for success. Which may explain some of our national woes.”

We like Ms. Birnbach; she is talented, witty and loads of fun, but while wielding significant influence, she is not quite so powerful as to be responsible for this:

“Over the last couple of decades we’ve seen the contempt for effort spread far beyond the original preppy demographic. Now it’s commonplace for middle-class kids to go to college and behave as though they are scions of the gentry—abjuring studies and indulging in the bottomless kegger that a recent book dubbed “The Five Year Party.”

Blaming These Challenging Times on any single author just doesn’t work for us.

Next on the review list, AOL’s Daily Finance offers this:

Bruce Watson’s story takes a more reasoned approach:

“…she attached a philosophical component to the look, explicitly wedding the preppy style to a hodgepodge of social values, including traditionalism, thrift, and brand loyalty. In Birnbach’s analysis, preppies buy Brooks Brothers and Orvis because these companies have been in business for over a hundred years and have proven reliability.”

As the monolithic 1980’s preppy culture has fractured into a variety of brands and styles, from Gossip Girl to hip-hop Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren to Vineyard Vines, it’s worth wondering if this explosion of prep may also signal its demise.”

Mr. Watson points to the efforts at updating the fashions offered by some of the stalwarts, like LL Bean’s Signature and Black Fleece at Brooks Brothers, a necessity if such establishments are to compete against trendier, “hipper” (ahem) offerings at retailers like J. Crew. Unfortunately the writer misses an important point in this portion of his story:
“In True Prep, however, conversation positively drips with references to the signs of wealth, as Birnbach instructs readers: “Your car wasn’t in the shop; your Mercedes was getting fixed. You didn’t wear shoes; you wore Manolos.”
The book isn’t instructing readers to converse in this fashion. To the contrary, this specific segment laments the way people speak these days, bemoaning the ostentation and name-dropping and label flashing.  Melanie Spencer’s story in the Austin Statesman illustrates this distinction with a quote from the author:
“”People are oft misbehaving and name-dropping and talking about money,” she says. “It is vulgar. It’s becoming normal. I’m here to help correct. Something as benign as ‘Sex in the City’ sort of sanctioned gross materialism. Instead of saying, ‘Oh, my shoes hurt,’ it’s, ‘My Manolos hurt.’ You are sending all kinds of messages. You can say ‘My car is in the shop.’ You don’t have to say, ‘My Jaguar is in the shop.’ It would be so refreshing for people to go back to those basics.”

We had to laugh aloud at this part of the story, it seems not everyone in Austin was fond of the prep aesthetic. (Gasp!)

“”Preppy fashion was the lowest point in the history of women’s attire,” says longtime Austinite, style and design writer and Austin Monthly Home editor Helen Thompson.”
Oops.  Hopefully Melanie, I Pick Pretty and other notable Austin denizens won’t tell Ms. Thompson next time we visit.
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Enough of the deep thinking, we have an eye-popping Pretty in Pink & Green to share:
The Argyle Pullover is available at Elegant Baby, and there is also a version in blues if looking for something a little more sedate.
With that, we are off to enjoy the weekend, and hope you are able to do the same!

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

Fashion Week: Tory Burch & “Where Fashion Is Not Our Friend”

Hello-Hello, happy Thursday!

As New York Fashion Week draws to a close, we have a look at yesterday’s Tory Burch show.

As in other shows, dresses and skirts ran longer, many hitting mid-calf, a marked (and welcome) departure from what we have been seeing on the runway in previous years.

From the Women’s Wear Daily review:

“For every jet-set babe, à la Marisa Berenson (peasant blouses, sensual silk dresses), there was a louche Lauren Hutton (slim, tailored suiting) or bohemian Ali MacGraw (crochet polos, Baja sweaters).”

There was much to like, including many pieces in the navy group.

Even the shimmering lamé looked tailored and glamorous, not loud or inappropriate.

We very much like the navy tweed jacket on the left, as well as the trench coat on the right.

But our favorite look has to be this one, right down to what looks like a wicker handbag.

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

One of the fashion world’s most plugged-in designers, Ms. Burch uses her Facebook page, blog and Twitter account to gather opinions and share information, attributing some design decisions to feedback she receives from customers.

Via Tory Burch blog

Many celebrities were seen in the front row for the show, WWD’s Steve Eichner snapped these images of Kanye West and Aerin Lauder.

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When it comes to a broader view of significant trends, here is a snippet from Sally Singer’s story in T Magazine, “The Rise and Fall at New York Fashion Week”:

“One thing we have learned so far from the New York spring runways is that waistlines are rising and hemlines falling, and heaven help those with stubby legs.”

One thing that does not appear to be going away:

PHOTO: Bebeto Matthews/AP via T Magazine

The shoes above are from the Tory Burch show; more on the styles from Sally Singer’s story:

“But then there is the conundrum of footwear, and here is where fashion is not our friend….it’s back to the platforms (terrific at Tory Burch)….”

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We also have images for next spring’s line from Nautica, a brand we remain fond of here at the Prepatorium.

Courtesy Photos via WWD.com

Back to womenswear, St. John showed spring styles last week.

Courtesy

More images from Robert Mitra and WWD.

We are not sure St. John, struggling for some time now, has fully found its way, although some pieces looked appealing.

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A few quick True Prep notes:

  • Ralph Gardner profiles author Lisa Birnbach in today’s Journal, “The Official Preppy Author” also offers this image of the writer.

Ross Mantle for The Wall Street Journa

Via True Prep Facebook page

  • Today the book tour heads to LL Bean at Tysons Corner, that would be a fun event to attend.

With that we say so long until next time!

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