Category Archives: The AntiPrep

A noun used to describe that which is the most antithetical to preppy. (This one is a blast!) We are always looking for your nominations too!

More Preppy Love + an Item from our “It’s Just Not Done” Files

As more evidence surfaces of the ongoing explosion of Preppy Love, we thought it wise to share just one example rather than devoting another entire entire post to the topic. Perhaps the Midwest heat is making her highness a bit of a crankenstein, but devoting another entire post to that topic seemed a bit over the top…yes…no…perhaps?

At any rate, today we offer another preppy-oriented story, this one on madras originating, from the southwest region of this great nation, more specifically Phoenix. The Arizona Republic has a brief story on madras, “Mad for Plaid” by writers Erica Sagon and Melissa Magsaysay, offering some faboo looks that are light and airy and fun. The story has some great photos and links to a few of your favorite establishments. (The links you see below should take you directly to the item you are looking for as opposed to the store’s home page.)

Arizona Republic Mad for Plaid Story

Ann Taylor Loft Halter dress, Maxi Dress at Gap, Cape Madras mini at, Bracelets at Forever 21, and the “Lucaya” fabric espadrille is at J. Crew.

Arizona Republic Madras Story

In this photo, shorts are J. Crew, Aubrey wedges from Target, Shop Bop Shoshanna Bandeau Bikini Top and plaid Bow Brief (sold separately), Fossil belt at Macys, the navy and red madras bag with wooden handles is at Nordstrom (actually it’s on sale at 40% off), and Macy’s is showing the Dooney & Bourke Patchwork Madras Tote.

We *do* hope you enjoyed this. Especially as the next story may turn your stomach just a tad.

Paul Burrell Photo Courtesy Paul Burrell

Regular readers here at the Prepatorium know that we considerate it most inappropriate to single out individuals and hold them up for public ridicule, or excessively negative attention. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. (This comes as a surprise to you? Oh dear.) These would include some of our regular features, like “The Anti-Prep,” “Help Me Understand,” and “It Simply Isn’t Done,” among others. Today’s exception to the rule involves Paul Burrell, the rather jolly looking individual in the photo seen above. Looking at the picture just below you will likely remember him as the man who was Princess Diana’s former butler, continuing to make a fortune from her life and death in a most revolting manner.

Princess Diana & Paul Burrell

This weekend he manages to take that rather common term, ‘low-life’ (you’ll note I am having no difficulty using it) to a new low. Mr. Burrell will be selling jewelry “designed with the deceased Princess in mind” on a cable television channel, ShopNBC. Below are some images of the jewelry, followed by a story on this little endeavor as seen in Women’s Wear Daily. They wrote it so much better than I ever shall there is no point in excerpting it, so here it is right after the photo.

Paul Burrell Hideous Jewelry

“THE BUTLER DID IT: Paul Burrell is serving up jewels as part of his latest venture. The ex-butler of Diana Princess of Wales will launch a line of jewelry on Shop NBC this weekend inspired by the late icon’s taste in gems. Dubbed Effy Signature Range, the line will bow in the U.S. on Saturday. The television retailer has described the collection as “breathtaking, with regal appeal.” Burrell, who lives in Florida, will promote the line with a series of guest appearances on the channel prior to the launch. The former royal servant, who once described himself as the princess’ rock, is now less in demand in Britain, where news of his jewelry line has fueled Burrell’s infamy. The former servant has reportedly netted 10 million pounds, or $19.5 million, since Princess Diana’s death through the sale of his books, appearing in reality television shows and even launching a wine variety — Royal Butler Wine. Pieces in the jewelry line include an 18-karat Tri-Color 1.14-carat Diamond Flower Ring retailing at 860 pounds, or $1,699.95, and a white and rose gold 1.85-carat Diamond Flower Pendant with chain for 1,275 pounds, or $2,499.95. For those who can’t afford it, the wine is priced more modestly at approximately 6 pounds, or $11, a bottle.”

Now, there’s an interesting phenomenon on the site, perhaps because of the scathing ridicule NBC has exposed itself to with this business partnership: when one inputs the terms “Paul Burrell” or Princess Diana” into the ShopNBC search engine you receive a message indicating there are no matches. None. When one inputs “Effy Signature”, the name of the collection, then Voila! you can transport yourself to the collection.

There are some interesting side notes in the details accompanying the descriptions of the jewelry. For example:

A sample of this item was sent to an independent certified jewelry appraiser. Its replacement value was appraised at $1,800. Please note you will not receive a copy of the appraisal with your purchase. (Appraisal date: April/2008)

“Enjoy regal distinction with flashes of grand fascination.”

The Princess thought this was a bit odd, but then we have never purchased jewelry at ShopNBC so we could  be way off base. This would probably also fit into that “You can’t make this stuff up” category. Honestly.

Do enjoy your weekend. Here we are trying to sort out precisely how we shall avoid being a sad Princess yet again about the loss of yet another extraordinarily gifted individual, in this case, one whom we were blessed to spend a little time around. (Actually, she is simply crushed by the news.) Mr. Princess is in the same position and saddened as well. Sigh.


Filed under Help Me Understand, It's Just Not Done, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep, When Preppy Goes Wrong

Sunday Snippets: Vineyard Vines Opening, Suri’s Shoes, Rogan for Target Collection Debuts

Springtime… a sleepy Sunday… a feeble mind… it seems all have conspired to make coherent discourse impossible for The Princess today. Sigh. Therefore we are reduced to simply sharing some of those items capturing our attention recently that we thought might be of interest to you.

Suri Cruis Ketie Holmes Vivier shoes

We’ll start with a snippet that belongs in the “Insane & Over-Indulgent Parent” file as well as the “Conspicuous Consumption” category. It seems that Suri Cruise, enchanting daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, was fascinated to some degree with a pair of dashing red flats she noticed when visiting the Vivier store on Madison Avenue last week. Now we have word the company will make their first ever pair of children’s shoes ‘to the child’s liking’ according to Women’s Wear Daily.


The Vineyard Vines expansion continues, with their opening in Georgetown (DC) last week at the former Wet Seal store site on Wisconsin at M. The uber-preppy retailer also also opened their Westport store recently, right on Main Street, taking over what used to be the Talbots Mens shop. Ouch. (A painful example of what happens when one loses touch with their brand and their primary customer, let alone commences putting energy into efforts to attract new customers and grow brand extensions. Double ouch.)

Now it’s time for a few looks from the Rogan for Target Collection, debuting today, and we apologize in advance for our hideous photos. We do start with an image of the designer, Rogan Gregory, followed by pieces from the collection. The collection is described as “…an environmentally-conscious collection of modern silhouettes and nature-inspired prints and patterns“. The Princess must acknowledge she is underwhelmed, hopeful the pieces might look better when seen and touched in person at the Boutique (Target). In all fairness, we admit earthtones have never really been our ‘thing.’ A reminder that the pieces are all done in organic cotton, and still reasonably priced for those watching their fashion budgets.

Rogan Gregory MEDIUM SHOT ROGAN FOR TARGET COLLECTIONRogan for Target Collection

Rogan for Target Collction debutRogan for Target



It would appear simply everyone is interested in the collection, at least when it’s Hollywood and when it is the opening at Barney’s last week for its limited run before the full move to Target nationwide. Below we see Nicky Hilton with the designer. Do we think Ms. Hilton will be spotted wearing the organic collection?

Nicky Hilton & Rogan Gregory at Rogan for Target Barneys debut



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

The Anti-Prep x 2 (A Hilton Sister and…?)

And we always thought Paris was bad. But then we saw Nicky’s “Ten Style Rules” on the Glam blog. Actually, to be fair, we were doing quite well reading the list, surprised to see several of Nicky’s Rules were actually in sync with many of The Princess’s. Among those we agree upon? Always have a good black pump in the closet & Don’t get carried away with each season’s ‘It’ Bag. But then we were horrified to see Number Four: “Wear your jewelry during the day. Its ALWAYS ok to wear diamonds.” Hello? Diamonds before five in the evening? Sigh. We do remember having the topic explained quite clearly at an early age. “No lady wears diamonds before 5 with the exception of those in her engagement and/or wedding rings.” End of conversation.

Steve Madden Bukled Horror #1 Steve Madden Bukled White

Then we simply had to share this. (Talk about being horrified!) It stands a solid chance of earning inclusion in this year’s Top 10 Anti-Prep Collection Items. These are compliments of Steve Madden. And we thought he had disappeared. This would be the Steve Madden Bukled in the Multi-Color and White models. At the risk of disappointing some of you *terribly* The Princess must advise you they are only available for pre-ordering at this time. They are NFS (Not for Sale) until June 29th. And to make it worse, they are a copy of a Balenciaga style, as seen here. If you are going to do something hideous, shouldn’t it be original?

We are now speechless.

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The AntiPrep – Today’s Photos

Viktor & Rolf Peeptoe BootiePrada Peeptoe BootPrada Scalloped Pump & CuffPrada Page at NeimansWalter Steiger Patent Pump

Or, “Where are my Papagallos?!”

OMG. If you had any confusion about the subject of today’s post, presumably the pictures address this. If not, well, it’s possible you need to contact the Lost and Found police in BlogVille and get some guidance. You could be at the wrong blog.

Today’s offenders are shoes. If these are on your “must list” you are most definitely at the wrong place, but you are more than welcome to stay. You will find us tediously boring in our attire, and more than conservative when it comes to accessories. The Viktor & Rolfe Peeptoe Bootie did not make it into our shoe rack yet. Nor did the Prada suede Peeptoe Boot. You may be able to find these at Neimans or Barneys or Bergdorfs.

While at Neimans, don’t be shy. Try on the Prada Scalloped Pump & Cuff. I swear, that is the name; I could not possibly make this stuff up! It sounds more like a nefarious exercise at the club: “C’mon everyone, pump & cuff, pump & cuff, pump & cuff, altogether now…” All this for only $670. Now don’t forget the Prada velvet Flower-Heel Mary Jane (it’s their hyphen, I promise), it’s so you!

If you find the pink patent Walter Steiger to be another wardrobe-building essential, you can try, although it is apparently on back order. (This I find incomprehensible, but then, do consider your source.)

Still confused about the AntiPrep? Well, email and maybe we can help.

Have a nice day. :-)

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Those Abercrombie Abs Part Two

Robert Peary did not have a giant logo on the front of his parka when traveling to the North Pole. Nor did Amelia Earhart paint a massive moose silhouette on her aircraft in exchange for cash. And while some may say that Honey Fitz was “new money” (yes, we know, how dreadful to even discuss it) you did not see JFK with Abercrombie logos on his outdoor gear. Whyever not? Because that was back in the olden days when the once-great establishment catered to a much different clientele, offering vastly different merchandise. Oh, and using extraordinarily refined marketing techniques light years removed from the current crass and crude exploits practiced today by the very popular (in some quarters) retailer. And yesterday. And the day before, as we are all too sadly aware. This would be back in the dark ages of course, when their name was actually Abercrombie and Fitch Country Clothiers.
While nattering on (and on) about some of the latest PR disasters at Abercrombie and Fitch yesterday, The Princess *did* mention something about sharing a bit of the brand’s history. Let’s just say this truly was a remarkable store, with incredible merchandise displays for even more incredible undertakings and adventures. The name was Plans for many of the family’s annual vacations never really got underway until one consulted Abercrombie’s; it was that simple. On safari in Africa? No problem, they had what you needed. New Year’s Eve on the QEII? They always kept Daddy’s measurements on hand in case it was time to order up a new dinner jacket. Looking for some snappy flasks to have engraved for your groomsmen? A&F supplied just what you needed. It really was the most astonishing merchandise mix you can imagine, although it did cater far more to a gentleman than a lady. Unless one needed a new hacking jacket or pith helmet, ladies fared better at Best or Bloomingdale’s or Bonwits.
When we were children we simply adored the giant stuffed bears and tigers and other animals they had in the stores. Then things went downhill, in a hurry it seems, and suddenly this most magical of shopping establishments was gone. Doors closed and windows covered. The Princess remembers how very sad it was arriving at the front door, encountering just such a depressing display – CLOSED. Then it seemed some sporting goods retailer was going to be their saving grace (okay, ours if truth be told) but that didn’t turn out so very well either. And then the Limited folks made their appearance, proving that some things are worse than being bankrupt! Simultaneously the once-simple label affixed to the lower side seam was fed retail steroids and it just grew and grew and grew into the monstrosity seen today. (Also shown below as it was above, merely an effort to minimize trauma for those unfamiliar with the brand – this way you needn’t trouble yourselves looking it up online.)
There it is. Yawn. Tedious, I know. And of course we still use the turtleneck, it’s perfectly serviceable.

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Those Abercrombie Abs…Part One

af-post-31408.jpgAbercrombie & Fitch Navy Shorts.jpg

Truly tasteless? Or “well, at least their hearts are in the right place” sort of situation? Of course, who else could we be discussing other then the oh-so-naughty Abercrombie & Fitch? And how amazing (not!) that the troublesome topic involves the company’s sex sells credo. And of course the “M” word. Yawn. (I don’t know…does the apparel shown above shriek “preppy” to you? The Princess doesn’t exactly see those shorts at the C.C.) At any rate, it appears looking a gift horse squarely in the mouth isn’t the least bit troubling to a group of Buckeyes. Not even when said gift’s value runs just a bit more than the cost of a nice wedding reception, well into the low seven figures. The backstory: A&F is owned by Limited Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio. You know, the folks who own Victoria’s Secret, and the generally fabulous Henri Bendel. The company donated $10 million so its name would go on the new ER at the Children’s Hospital in Columbus. (Er, excuse us, that would be Nationwide Children’s Hospital, so named in gratitude for the $50 million donation from you guessed it – Nationwide Insurance!) But not so fast. Seems a group of physicians and advocacy groups are saying “Thanks, but no thanks.” The big bucks were donated (and accepted we might add) back in 2006, but the topic is now hot because groundbreaking is taking place this year. Or at least it is supposed to. It seems some are opposed to taking donations from a company whose primary marketing efforts seem to center on images of teens oozing sex in every ad. Of course, while not exactly chicken feed, the ‘donation’ is nowhere near the $50 million the company paid a few years back to settle a discrimination suit.
For those not familiar with the brand, it wasn’t always this way. Do stop by tomorrow for a look back at what truly was a lifestyle brand. And there weren’t any short-shorts for sale either.
On a far less serious note, it appears spring may be here at last, and isn’t that just too glorious?! A change of seasons is much more than a change of wardrobe, always a splendid reminder to revel in the simple things and maintain a sense of humor. The seemingly endless winter was on the verge of turning otherwise delightful acquaintances into crankensteins, reminding The Princess of a wonderful remark by Ann Landers: “Class has a sense of humor. Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down.” Do enjoy a happy-happy and wonderful-wonderful weekend! We leave you with this charming picture, one of many darling, creative projects at Kaboose for you and your children to enjoy!

Kaboose Springtime Picture

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