Tag Archives: Vivienne Westwood

Mad About Plaid, From Polo to Pets

Hello-Hello and Happy Tuesday!

We may be erratic in posting this week, especially with business at the Princess hitting a holiday crescendo (we do love it tho’!). That was written yesterday. When there was no post.  Arrgghh.

We begin today with a topic already well-covered this season in the fashion trades, and also in several blogs from our preptastic pals (Miss Privilege, didn’t you do one?):

Courtesy ScotClans.com via Hamptons.com

Plaid.

Do we have something new to share, a never-before-seen angle to the plaid story? We do not. However, because we are so fond of Douglas Cunningham’s ‘after shave’ columns, we thought we might spend a bit of time on the topic and our cherished readers would forgive the lack of originality.

“Of course, the Hamptons have been long associated with the brightly colored, summer cotton plaid pants worn to cocktail parties and events, usually accompanied by lime green or lemon yellow polo shirts and summer sweaters…. plaid pants will indeed during the holidays

Mr. Cunningham is spot-on in cautioning readers that winter plaids must be in wool, or a wool blend, and offers insight on the perils of mixing plaids.

Courtesy ScotClans.com via Hamptons.com

It is a solid and witty look at this timeless pattern.

Of course, plaid isn’t just for the gentlemen of the house. Below left, the Tattersall Quarter-Flap Bag from Brooks Brothers; on the right, Brooks’ Tattersall Mini-Dome Satchel.

(Psssttt – both bags are on sale, discounted by at least 50% from their original retail prices: the Quarter-Flap bag was $248 and is now $124, the Mini-dome is $74, from an original $148 price.)

J. Crew offers a number of items in the design, including this boy’s Black Watch shawl-collar vest, while Talbots offers a Bias-cut Tartan skirt that works well this time of year.

This actually segues into our next topic rather well, as it is a look at a specific plaid check, a rather old pattern getting a new look. We are talking about Burberry’s new Heart collection, featuring said objects atop the check. Below, the new Heart Print Check Rain Boot at Nordstrom.

This one just doesn’t look right to us, not because of the print atop another print, but probably because the mauve or maroon color of the hearts is so blah looking.  Another example can be seen below, the Nova Painted Heart tote bag.

Getting back to our original topic (plaid, not hearts), Dooney & Bourke has some nice looking pieces, like their Tartan Large Gwenny Tote (L).  They also offer a more subdued color palette, seen in the Tartan Small Zip Around Wallet on the right.

Other possibilities include a Tartan Holdall from Fred Perry (L), and on the right, a Baekgaard Oversized Clutch.

Most Polo Ralph Lauren customers know the abundance of tartan generally available from this retailer, across a broad range of merchandise. Below, the Tartan Plaid High Top for boys (L) and a Girls Hoodie (R).

Options for the MOTH (Man Of The House) at Polo include a more formal look with the Bradford Tartan sport coat, while the the Calla Taffeta Dress has party frock potential.

A favorite here at the Prepatorium is J. McLaughlin, and they do not disappoint. The ladies Abbigail skirt comes in two colorways, and the Plaid Merino Wool scarf looks lush, and luscious.

Of course, lest someone else in the family feel left out, the Jeffers Traditional Blanket Coat is available for the four-legged family members.

Jeffers Pet

We leave you with that darling face, and say good luck to all dealing with the elements, shopping and other tasks of dubious distinction.

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Budget Prep, SATC Wedding Gown Update, More Preppy Sales

Hello-Hello and Happy (oh-so-happy) Friday! We hope your weekends are going to be filled with fun and frolic, relaxation and perhaps even a break from the chaos of daily life.

We start today with the Sun-Times and a nifty little story they ran this week, Preppy on a Budget. The column is accompanied by a fun slide show called Preppy Shopper. The story by Jessica Sedgwick showcases several shops unique to Chicago as well as national retailers. From their slide show, the Spiegel signature stretch seersucker jacket.

g040209shopprep3_cst_feed_20090402_13_46_17_1112-400-300

“Those who enjoy rocking their inner Blair Waldorf (“Gossip Girl” queen bee of prep) might think the only way they can get that look is by spending big bucks. Not anymore.”

Collage Courtesy SunTimes.com

Collage Courtesy SunTimes.com

“Retailers such as Kohl’s, Old Navy and even indie-minded Urban Outfitters are unleashing affordable preppy pieces — many adorned with sailor-inspired buttons and crisp seersucker stripes…”

Also showcased in the story, the Unisa TammyLee Ballet Flat at DSW.

And these Chaps Madras Shorts for boys are only $18 at Kohl’s, originally selling at $30.

Chaps Kohls.com

Chaps Kohls.com

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Other ‘preppy style’ retailers are discussed at length in an excellent story in yesterday’s Times;  it surveys the competitive terrain at midlevel stores like Ann Taylor and Talbots.

The always-insightful Eric Wilson (a big favorite of TP’s) wrote the story:

“… mainstream retailers like Ann Taylor and Talbots have been hiring new designers and sprucing up their looks to appeal to modern women who are now shopping for style within their means.”

As these stores become “recession destinations,” shoppers are discovering that they aren’t as fuddy as they used to be.”

Here is an Ann Taylor Jacket with contrasting trim.

AnnTaylor.com

AnnTaylor.com

The jacket is now on sale at $69.99, but with the additional 25% discount the retailer is offering, the price is about $52.

Mr. Wilson’s story focuses primarily on Talbots, Ann Taylor and the new Liz Claiborne line from Isaac Mizrahi. The writer’s perception of the inside of a Talbots store makes for a fun read:

“Walking into the Talbots store on Madison Avenue, with its festive red painted door, homey décor and piles of melon-colored cardigans, bamboo prints and safari suits, the change is only beginning to become apparent. You might think that Michael Kors and Tory Burch had wed in a year-round Christmas superstore.”

And when considering the Talbots Sale is now offering an Additional 25% off reduced prices, you know there are likely to be possible purchases under the red awning. Even ‘wear now’ basics show significant price reductions, and that is before the additional 25% discount.

Talbots.com

Talbots.com

A good example of the price cuts is Talbots Pima Cotton Crew Tee, on sale at $8.99, in 21 different colors.

The Times story is a fascinating read, well worth a little investment of time, but we want to know your thoughts…? What is making you buy… or not? Has Talbots updated its inventory, do you like what they are offering? How about Ann Taylor? TP is just dying to know your thoughts on this topic.

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Hayden-Harnett fans may want to scoot into their Online Sample Sale running through April 5, with bargains like the Margot Eyeglass Case at $10, reduced from$30.

Hayden-Harnett

Hayden-Harnett

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Then we have one more preppish retailer offering price reductions, Brooks Brothers. The company is doing their Preferred Customer Event, taking 25% off prices if one uses their Brooks card or Brooks MonsterCard Mastercard, 15% off for other forms of payment.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

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We have an update for those fond of Sarah Jessica Parker’s wedding gown in Sex and the City.

PHOTO: Diane Cohen/Courtesy Everett Collection

PHOTO: Diane Cohen/Everett Collection

There is (was) a shortened version of the Vivienne Westwood dress available.

However, the shortened version selling at Net-a-Porter was gone almost as soon as it went up on the site.  But do not despair of owning this version, one merely needs to get in touch with Dame Westwood and be willing to part with about $9,900.  BTW, the release date for Sex and the City 2 has been announced; ask your social secretary to mark you as “busy” on May 28, 2010, if planning to see the film its first day in release.

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On a lighter note, two young gentlemen have a new take on an old, and much-maligned medium: the Jello mold.  Well, no one actually says the “J Word,” in all honesty. A NY Times story looks at the phenomenon and its creators, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr. (Below, the Madrid airport and aircraft in jelly.)

Photo: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Photo: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The wizards creating these masterpieces are definitely products of an ‘Old School’education, having attended both Eton and University College, London; they refer to themselves as ‘jelly mongers.’

On that creative note we shall take our leave! Happy weekend dolls!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Help Me Understand #2: We Need Help with Sex and the City “Style”

If it’s May then it must be time for another installment of “Help Me Understand,” our little feature asking, well, “What were they thinking?” And it would hardly be an edition of HMU (Help Me Understand) if we did not start out with a little something from Alexander McQueen, and oh my gosh, what do we see…? Could it be…? A pair of …? A pair of outrageous shoes? The Princess is kicking off an edition of HMU with a pair of shoes. Be still my beating heart. And once again the lucky designer is Mr. McQueen, as we gaze upon something that appears to be an objet d’art, almost museum quality in its design, clearly more suited for display in such an establishment, most definitely not something to adorn anyone’s precious little tootsies. Honestly.

Allright, inhale. Exhale. Deep breathing. Okay, here we go. You see, The Princess does understand she is about to tread on hallowed, dare we say sacred ground, so please (puh-leeze) TP begs, no more email death threats? (We ask you to consider the possibility, merely the possibility, that the entire SATC wardrobe topic is being taken a tad too seriously if one’s blood pressure becomes that elevated?)

SATC SJP Hat SATC London Premiere NY Post SJP Outfit

Yes, today The Princess asks the question, “Help Me Understand the Sex and the City Fashion Disasters Designs,” as she is more-than-perplexed by the extraordinary fashions in the film, as well as some of those worn by the stars of the movie to its London premiere. For example, Sarah Jessica Parker was lovely in an Alexander McQueen dress and heels (you see, The Princess can be ‘fair and balanced’ on the topic of Mr. McQueen!) at the movie’s London premiere, but then there is the issue of the Philip Treacy hat. We are familiar with brilliant Treacy creations of the past, absolutely gorgeous designs. In fact he has designed some utterly divine handbags, very tailored, clean lines, structured, and yours truly is more than ga-ga over them. And we realize Ms. Parker was expected to “push the envelope” in her attire and accessories. But to be honest, The Princess’s immediate reaction was (and remains) no pun intended, what was up with that hat? However, in an effort to demonstrate equanimity we’ll accept this was the height of fashionable good taste and move on to the issue of style (there’s a liberal use of the word) in the film itself, where it would seem we encounter the following:

SATC Sex and the City Hideous Outfit #1Sex and the City Outfit #1

And thus the debate begins. The Princess has been blessed (or cursed) with substantial exposure to fashion over the years from ready to wear to couture, Tarjay to Barneys, American to European, all of it commencing at an early age, so she is not entirely without some background in the topic. And she is at a loss in comprehending the appeal of the garments seen above. Or below for that matter, other than to comment that when gazing upon the photo of the floral frock (below left) it looks like the designer took a tip from the Scarlett O’Hara School of Design: you remember, you rip the draperies off the wall and stitch up a little something. Except Katie Scarlett put together a lovely gown to wear to the local jail, while Carrie looks like she is wearing the sofa, or draperies. And up above, could we ask about the turquoise colored inner-tube-looking item? Is that technically an embellishment? An applique? What precisely is that? Pashmina on steroids? We are most confused by that. These unfortunate little numbers are not even flattering to Her Sexiness, IOMHO (In Our Most Humble Opinion), and SJP has a fabulous physique. Not that this was designed with you, or I, or Jane Q Public in mind, but can you imagine the ‘average’ female wearing this to, oh, say the Bridge Hampton Antique Show at the Historical Society in August? (Let us just utter our own little ‘OMG’ at the mere thought of that.) You know, your average Size 14 or so sort of shoehorned into this? This is not Yonkers and we don’t believe the cabbage patch fabric is a spandex blend, so let your imagine run rampant and you can see the horrors that might ensue. (We thought you might understand.)

SATC Sex and the City Hideous Dress #3

It does not appear that all apparel in the film is excessive, self-indulgent or wretched, as evidenced by ‘Samantha’s’ white Dior suit seen below. In fact, we adore the Oscar de la Renta polka dots for Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and her sweet little trench coat in pink. Is it possible the majority of the crimes against the Fashion Gods are worn primarily by Ms. Parker? Is this something The Princess would not even consider questioning if there were a vulcan mind-meld and she suddenly absorbed all knowledge of all things SATC? Our ignorance is obvious as you would expect at this point in the post, to be sure.

Ramey photo SATC Sex and the City Samantha White Dior suit SATC SEx and the City Charlotte Preggers Oscar Dress

In stark contrast, the party frocks at the Berlin premiere (seen below) looked just stunning, although Kim appears a bit out of step in the bright orange frock; something’s just not right with the draping on that garment. The to-die-for ensemble of course, is SJP’s Roger Vivier dress, shoes and clutch, it is truly the epitome of understated elegance. Now the word is that the shoes were adorned with 22K gold appliques; this is something we read in the ever-so-fabulous Fashion Week Daily.

In the interest of full disclosure TP does feel the need to reveal that she is something of a SJP fan, admiring of her capacity to rebound after being dropped by the Gap and create an astounding business with her Bitten clothing line. We hold no grudge against Ms. Parker whatsoever, let alone anyone in, or associated with, the film or television series. We just don’t understand all the hoo-ha, so to speak (that’s a highly technical term, hoo-ha) about the fashion in the series and the film.

Sex and the City Berlin Premiere

At this juncture TP must cease her comments on the SATC style topic, although she is more than eager to hear your opinions on this issue as she is most confused and would like to understand. We leave you with a shot from season 1 for your viewing pleasure.

SATC Sex and the City First Season one 1

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Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep

When Madras is OK…and When It’s Not

It appears the Los Angeles Times has discovered madras. At the very least they have determined “Classic Madras Plaid Returns,” according to an interesting story in Sunday’s (May 4th) paper from Staff Writer Melissa Magsaysa.

MADRAS PLAID, the preppy staple, will always conjure images of clambakes on the Cape and touch football on Martha’s Vineyard. But this spring, the breezy fabric is having a fashion moment, turning up on everything from retro nerd, short sleeve men’s shirts to string bikinis.

Aside from referring to the fabric as a ‘staple’ (conjuring up all manner of dreadful images), the story does point out the number of “hip designers” using madras this spring, including Vivienne Westwood, and uber-chic French atelier APC, with founder Jean Touitou joined by designer Jessica Ogden for the Madras line.

However, as any to-the-manor-born Prep is aware, all madras is not created equal. Translated: just because it’s madras doesn’t mean it’s invited to the party. Take for example both the Kohl’s Periscope pastel madras shorts on the left and the Victoria’s Secret pair on the right. Both are wonderful for an infinite number of things, but neither are acceptable for Wednesday’s golf game at the Club. Not even close to scraping by for drinks at the 19th Hole in the Clubhouse afterwards.

Kohl\'s Periscope Girls Madras shorts

Victoria\'s Secret Green Madras shorts

It has nothing to do with the store of origin; these darling flip-flops, also from that wicked Victoria’s Secret, are absolutely ideal for making your way between the Ladies’ Locker Room and the pool at that same Country Club. And the bikini from French firm A.P.C., will look outstanding soaking up the sun at the pool at that same Club.

APC Madras Batching suit

Victroia\'s Secret Madras Flip Flops

Of course, you can’t go wrong with these darling madras shorts from Best & Co., available in Boys sizes, or J. Crew’s outstanding Weekender Bag.

Best & Co Boys Madras ShortsJ Crew preppy Madras Duffel Bag

But then again, the Cape Madras Mini-Mini Skirt at 12″ in length, won’t work for some of your more ‘serious’ social occasions. (Don’t even think about it for a League meeting.) In fact, it does remind The Princess of those long-ago mini-skirt debates. You know, the “No daughter of mine is leaving this house in a skirt that length!” conversations. The more conservative Chadwick’s Skirt will pass muster at most establishments, raising nary the disapproving eyebrow.

Cape Madras Mini Mini Skirt Chadwick\'s Madras Skirt

When all is said and done, decisions about where to wear the snazzy plaid comes down to one word: location, location, location.

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