Tag Archives: Vassar

“Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?” & Bestselling Author Pamela Keogh

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday. This seemed like a long week, was it that way for anyone else?

We have a special treat today, a visit with bestselling author Pamela Keogh, most recently noted for writing this outstanding book.

Gotham Books

Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn? Timeless Lessons On Love, Power and Style is simply wonderful, far deeper than one may initially think.  Some Princess readers are already familiar with Ms. Keogh for many of her previous works, including Audrey Style and Jackie Style.

Audrey Style @ amazonJackie Style at Amazon

The author was kind enough to fit us into her busy schedule for an interview, so we move back to her latest work with a snippet from the publisher’s description of the new book:

“Any woman who has aspired to Marilyn’s sultry allure or Jackie’s unstoppable elegance (or who wants to balance sexy and serious) will love these entertaining lessons on channeling your inner Jackie or Marilyn in any situation, from throwing a dinner party to penning a love note.”

The volume begins with a quiz (more on this shortly) and then moves into more detailed looks at everything from how the two cultural icons approached fashion and personal style, to interpersonal relationships.  The book isn’t limited to comparing and contrasting the two women, there are also surprising tidbits, e.g., we had nary a clue that Jackie Kennedy Onassis donated money to help fund the Ms. magazine launch in the early 1970s, or that Marilyn Monroe was a big fan of the hand-written note.

Ms. Keogh is more than well-suited for the task, as she is herself attended Vassar like the former First Lady.  In addition to chatting about the book, we asked the author how she felt the two women would handle today’s electronic and technological intrusions into every facet of one’s life.

“Jackie would have loved Facebook for the JFK Library, and would have used it to keep in touch while also keeping everyone at bay. And she would have shopped, absolutely, at sites like Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Chanel. But her email address would be like the nuclear code, probably three people would have had her email address.

“They both had somewhat addictive personalities, Marilyn would lose a lot of stuff, probably leave her phone in the back of a cab. She would use Facebook to stay in touch with her fans, she had an obsessive need for publicity, Facebook would have been perfect for that.”

The two women are transcendent in stature and continue to influence today’s culture; we asked Ms. Keogh how she thought they would fit into a society obsessed with celebrities. (The talented author’s response even referenced one of our original Anti-Preps!)

“Their attractiveness came from their accomplishments.  They were both very dignified women, they would *not* have done reality shows. Neither one of them would have done endorsements of things, unless maybe Marilyn Monroe was asking people to donate to something like the ASPCA.

They both also had mystique and you don’t have mystique when you’re followed around by TV cameras. [Marilyn] wasn’t like Kim Kardashian.”

One of the nicest things about the book has to be the exquisite illustrations by Meg Hess.

If the style looks familiar, it may be because Ms. Hess has also done covers for all of Candace Bushnell’s books, among other commissions.

We also spoke of designers the women might favor should they still be with us today. Ms. Keogh believes Jackie Kennedy Onassis would still be sporting Oscar de la Renta, perhaps Ralph Rucci, others creating classic, good-looking fashions.  She thinks Marilyn Monroe would be wearing Alexander McQueen were she twenty years old today, but in reality, probably more dignified labels like Valentino.  As with other assertions made during our conversation, her observations in this arena were spot-on.

The conversation on fashion delved into the issue of sizing and how we perceive ourselves relevant to that topic:

“American women get so obsessed with a number on a scale. A number is a number, it doesn’t give you beauty, or humor, or grace.”

Ms. Keogh again spoke of a vital element woven throughout the lives of both women, something sadly missing from the resumes of many or today’s most idolized individuals:

“What holds us to them is what they did, their grace and style, the way they kept going in spite of what was going on in their lives, their indomitable spirit.”

We can only offer an amen to that sentiment. Perhaps the most amazing thing we learned in our conversation with the author is that prior to her death Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent hour after hour in front of her fireplace, burning correspondence, piles of it. That is one way to ensure that private matters remain just that.

Back to the quiz mentioned above, Vanity Fair carried a copy of the questions – here is a small sample.

1. DURING TIMES OF STRESS, YOU …

a) go for a walk on the beach.

b) meditate.

c) pour gin in your tea.

9. IN YOUR OPINION, MONEY IS …

a) everything.

b) no, we mean it—everything.

c) not that important—as long as you have a roof over your head and Veuve Clicquot in the fridge, you’re cool.

Click here for the quiz and you can start exploring which woman you most closely resemble.

Gotham Books

We are excited to offer one of our treasured readers an autographed copy of Pamela Keogh’s book, via a special giveaway. For one entry leave a comment saying which woman you think you are most similar to. For a second and/or third chance to win, become a fan of the Preppy Princess FB page (if already a fan just let us know that) and/or the Jackie or Marilyn FB page, and for more entries follow us on Twitter, or follow Pamela on Twitter.

We want to extend an enormous “Thank You” to Pamela, for she is not only talented and gracious, but also delightful, much more fun than one might expect from such an esteemed writer.

With that we say g’bye until next time, and hope everyone enjoys a splendid weekend!

18 Comments

Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep

Those Ivy League Scarves & Talbot’s Next Celebrity Model

Hello-Hello, we are smiling this morning as we are off to visit the Queen Mother for a day of meetings and shopping.

We begin with word of another delightful post over at our pal Christian’s site, Ivy Style.  The latest is another gem from Rebecca Tuite, she also did a piece on Vassar students and the Ivy league look. This recent contribution is entitled Tied Together: Ivy Guys, Vassar Girls, and the College Scarf, giving us a look back at a classic tradition.

““The most fashionable girls had a long wool scarf from a men’s college,” remembers a Vassar graduate from the class of ‘59. “These conveyed to other students that the wearer had a serious boyfriend at one of these prestigious campuses. However, a young woman might actually have bought it for herself.”

Indeed, such a student would never have admitted this fact: With the scarf, she now appeared to be not only effortlessly stylish, but involved with a guy from the Ivy League.”

Perhaps our favorite part of the post is this 1954 image from Vogue.

One of the few places we’re familiar with offering scarves in the vintage tradition is the UK’s Smart Turnout.

 

Smart Turnout

 

Below we see Smart Turnout’s Princeton scarf, crafted in 100% wool and hand pressed at $99. On the right we show the Women’s Scarf sold at the U-store on campus, made of 100% Kashwere and selling at $35. (We suspect Kashwere is not a naturally occurring fiber.)

The tradition of wearing one’s college colors started with British and Irish students, Smart Turnout carries accessories for every major school and regiment in the UK, while Ryder Amies offers scarves for Cambridge’s many colleges.

As in so many cases, there is no shortage of vendors offering merchandise, the trick is finding quality products. And we are sticklers for the unspoken understanding that one doesn’t wear the colors of an institution one did not attend.

Of course, there is always someone who doesn’t play by the rules.

 

Tilly T. Bulldog

 

Tilly admits she’s no Handsome Dan, but says she can’t give up one of her favorite pieces for snuggling when winter rolls around.

 

Does this make me look fat?

 

We’re thinking Handsome Dan might give Tilly a pass.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One other item of note today, Talbots has announced their next celebrity model.

 

Frederick M. Brown/Getty

 

Actress Julianne Moore is set to start shooting for the retailer’s spring catalog this week. AOL’s StyleList has more on the selection, with this comment from the company’s CEO.

“She will make our brand feel modern, which is what the 40-ish woman is. She’s effortless — an effortless beauty.”

There was substantial buzz this summer about Ms. Moore’s nude ads for Bulgari.

 

Bulgari

 

Most recently the company used Linda Evangelista for its fall catalog and advertising.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We leave with one quick reminder for anyone who might not have entered our Giveaway for copies of The Official Preppy Handbook and True Prep.

TP is Giving Up One of TOPH Copies!

You can enter until midnight tonight, we’ll announce the winner tomorrow. (There are lots of other goodies included from brands like LL Bean Signature, Vineyard Vines and Cole-Haan, do meander on over if so inclined.)

 

Giveaway Goodies

 

Until next time, g’bye!

 

14 Comments

Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Tilly

Fashion Rules from “True Prep” & J. Crew Taken to Task

Hello-Hello! It is turning out to be a slightly wild Wednesday here at the Prepatorium, so we shall dive right into things.

We begin with a sneak peek at True Prep as the book’s September 7 release date inches closer; today Vanity Fair released an excerpt online. (The story is in the September issue of the magazine.)

“Muffy van Winkle, you’ve napped long enough. It’s been 30 years! It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Despite changes and crises, the maid quitting, running out of vodka, your NetJets account being yanked, and the Internet, it’s still nice to be prep.”

Vanity Fair’s story “The Official Preppy Reboot” also includes an illustration we love from artist Jean-Philippe DelHomme.

Illustration by Jean-Philippe DelHomme

Back to more from Lisa Birnbach with Chip Kidd, from their “Fashion Rules” section:

“We know that many of you understand the principles of preppy style. But just to be sure, let’s review them again.

We wear sportswear. This makes it easier to go from sporting events to social events (not that there is much difference) without changing.

Your underwear must not show. Wear a nude-colored strapless bra. Pull up your pants. Wear a belt. Do something. Use a tie!

We do not display our wit through T-shirt slogans.”

A few of the Rules we find appealing:

Nose rings are never preppy.

Neither (shudder) are belly-button piercings.

Nor are (two shudders) tongue studs.

There are also sections on Frugal Do’s and Frugal Dont’s, Prep Travel Commandments, Prep Careers for the New Millennium and our personal fave, a bit about Logos (insert un-Princess-like shriek here).

But don’t be satisfied with our truncated version of Vanity Fair’s excerpt, pop over and read the story in its entirety, and then stop at the shop to pre-order your copy of True Prep for only $13.95. (For $2 shipping use the code TRUEPREP at checkout.) Facebook fans might also enjoy checking out the True Prep page.

The magazine also has a look at “The New Preppy” style, pairing many of the book’s Fashion Rules with contemporary pictures of celebrities.  Below, Alexa Chung. Ummmm… cut up leather shorts?  To quote several of those commenting on yesterday’s post, we’ll be in the “Just Say No” camp when it comes to that look.

PatrickMcMullan.com via Vanity Fair

J. Crew’s mega-star Jenna Lyons is also seen in the slideshow, here is the magazine’s description:

“J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons is the goddess of reasonably priced prepdom. Worship the salmon-colored cutoffs (they look vintage-y even if they are straight off the rack).”

PatrickMcMullan.com via Vanity Fair

Again, we suggest viewing this piece in its entirety at Vanity Fair.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In related news, Jezebel takes a scathing look at the new J. Crew catalog. (We initially posted about it here.) The issue? Well, the story is titled “Operation Desert Porn: J. Crew’s Wartime Glamour“.

J. Crew August 2010 Catalog

Dodai Stewart’s story not only examines the thematic direction in the apparel, accessories and catalog, it also takes issue with prices. The following remarks refer to the “Jenna’s Picks” section of the catalog.

“J. Crew president and executive creative director Jenna Lyons claims she’s inspired by “pieces that have a utilitarian feel.” (Are they actually functional, or do they just feel that way?) She also writes that “uniform” items, dressed up with “sky-high platforms or a smattering of sequins” are clothes that “quietly command attention.” Of course, you’d better be pulling in the salary of a colonel or general, and not a private — the least inexpensive item on this page is a $58 belt.

J. Crew via Jezebel

Also referenced, the Timex watches currently offered by J. Crew:

J. Crew

“”J. Crew and Timex joined forces to create a “vintage” field watch, which will cost you $150, but you can totally get a Timex field watch for less than fifty bucks, just FYI. Whether you wear it with sequins is up to you.”

Here is the $42 Timex watch the story links to:

Timex

And then there is this:

“A $275 tweed jacket for the ladies who lunch… in the demilitarized zone!”

J. Crew via Jezebel

Ouch.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On the conspicuous consumption radar, the Hermès Coloring Book.

Courtesy Hermès via DFR

Our thanks to the always-on-top-of-things folks at the Daily Front Row for sharing this.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We leave you with a spot of recommended reading, this one from Ivy Style, a delightful guest post, “The Vassar Girl and the Ivy League Look,” we found it thoroughly enjoyable reading.

Mademoiselle via Ivy Style

Our thanks to Christian for alerting us to the post.

Until next time, may your skies be sunny!

11 Comments

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