Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection, J Crew and the Madewell Brand

We celebrate with our friends across the border! Happy Canada Day!

With 8.8.08 only 5 weeks away, it is good to see that the smart minds at Polo Ralph Lauren have made some of the Olympic Collection available. We thought it wise to follow their lead, as they frequently do know what they’re about, and share some pieces from the line with you.

We start with the Men’s Classic-Fit Olympic Games Polo in white, and then we have TP’s favorite: the Olympic Games Newsboys Hat.

Below is the Men’s Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo (both front and back), available in three of TP’s favorite colors, red, white and blue! This one is constructed of cotton mesh, comes complete with the official embroidered logo of Team USA for the 08 Olympics, and runs $125 retail. We’re thinking it will be a big seller for some reason… people will favor the back, as you don’t generally have that sort of lush look with Lauren until you hit the rarefied strata at the Lauren Collection level.

Above we show the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford described as:

Long-sleeved shirt cut for a trim, modern fit in preppy oxford-woven cotton and featuring the embroidered US Olympic shield logo at the chest pocket.

Also above, the Olympic Games Track Jacket in cotton mesh. Below we show the Olympic Games Cargo Pant, available in white only, with some interesting visual points of interest.

And now, another of our favorites, the Olympic Games Bucket Hat, which looks pretty cool, even with the guy on the horse.

Now we move on to the Ladies apparel, starting with the Womenswear version of the Olympic Games Pony Polo, available in white, or navy as shown.

Similar offerings for women are seen below with the Olympic Games Character Polo,

Also seen below, the Olympic Games Rings Polo.

And finally, there *is* a tee available in both men and women’s. Here is a look at the ladies version.

If you are looking for Children’s Olympic merchandise, it is on its way. (According to the website.) If this is something that is of interest to you, TP recommends checking the Polo website regularly or being in touch with your favorite salesperson at your local Polo store. But you already knew this.

All told, there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, nothing that makes us want to race to the nearest phone, dialing up TSU (The Spousal Unit), shrieking carrying on about our great shopping discoveries. There are some very solid pieces, and a few of the hats display a touch of whimsy. Of course, all of the pieces carry an unmistakable Polo air of preppy confidence and nonchalance. An added element this go-round is a touch of patriotic team spirit on some level The Princess is unable to discern…hhmm.

We can tell you there is more Men’s merchandise in the Collection than Women’s by good measure, even allowing for the four different varieties of hats or caps shown on the Men’s pages. Several of the “cooler” items are also clearly on the Men’s side of the store, in a virtual sense, such as the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford, and the Olympic Games Cargo Pant. We’re sure there is a rational retailing reason for this we simply aren’t aware of, and we will make every effort to learn what that is.

In other Preppy News…

Just so everyone doesn’t think the only thing going on at the White Elephant on Nantucket is a massage after golf, an update on J. Crew’s youthful Madewell 1937 brand actually came from there last week. In reality, it came in the form of comments from Chief Financial Officer Jim Scully during the huge financial conference held every year at the hotel. Scully said the company will decide sometime before the end of the year whether or not to expand the brand.

Madewell is the brand created by J Crew to appeal to a younger, more trend-driven demo than those shopping their J Crew stores. Below we show a few looks from the Madewell Fall 2008 collection.

Price points on the merchandise are substantially lower than at J Crew, which could make the hipper, edgier stores a more popular shopping spot during an economic downturn. That could also make marketing and merchandising mavens at shops like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters a little nervous; unfortunately, there are currently only eight Madewell stores open, with plans to open two more this year. Additionally the company plans to make the Madewell website operational for online shopping later this summer; that would be a plus as currently it is a very hip, slick and annoying place to be IMHO.

Top Ten ‘Social Status’ Brands – Is Yours on the List? And an Anti-Prep Update

Recently The Spousal Unit indicated that at times The Princess might be a bit… well, a tad ‘snarky’ in her posts. Snarky? SNARKY? Moi? Feeling the need to defend my good name and reputation, it became obvious that some research was in order. Below we offer partial results for perusal at your leisure.

snarky

Pronunciation: \ˈsnär-kē\
Function: adjective
Etymology: dialect snark to annoy, perhaps alteration of snark to irritate
1 : crotchety, snappish
2 : sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner <snarky lyrics>
snark·i·ly \-kə-lē\ adverb

We were delighted to find a wealth of information on the topic, with page after page of definitions, discussion and even some debate; it was really quite educational. Frankly, our favorite part of the research involved learning that snark may also be used as an adverb. Right now I’m trying to think of a way to insert it into conversation that way. How do you feel about Snarkalicious…? Oh, TSU was spot on, as always.

Let’s start with an Anti-Prep Update. This was, quite frankly, impossible to resist. As some may already know, Paris is beyond über Anti-Prep. She actually transcends the category, surpassed only by Kim Kardashian and possibly Perez Hilton. And maybe a few others. At any rate, we present Exhibit A, a heartfelt statement from Ms. Hilton on the home page of her hair extensions site, viewable here:

Everyone should get the chance to be me. That’s why I created the world’s hottest hair extensions. Choose from ten fabulous shades and you will be a clip away from hotness.

If we had only known that everyone should have that chance. To be her. Darn it. Once again our unhotness has been exposed in all of its stark, naked horror for everyone to see. And I had no idea I had the chance to be her. No. Idea. At All.

Well, chin up, shoulders back and all that, for here at the Prepatorium we do not let little tragedies like this derail us; we move on. We stated we would be discussing the Top Social Status Brands and we will proceed to do precisely that, hotness-like hair extensions or not. Harumph.

This particular list comes as the result of extensive research done by the Luxury Institute, and The Princess is more than gratified to see who is at the top of The List. You may well recognize The Knot clutches below from the Number One brand.

The Institute polled 1600 individuals with a minimum annual income of $150,000 for the survey, and Bottega Veneta took the top spot. In a story about the poll, Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza notes “Bottega is subtle and inconspicuous — and paradoxically has gotten some press for this…You know it if you’re in the know. It’s for people who aren’t looking to impress others.” Below we show a look from their Fall/Winter 2008 apparel line.

Valentino follows in second place, then Prada (landing page at Neimans seen below)

Then Chanel, followed by Hermes in fifth place.

Giorgio Armani was in sixth place, then we have Versace.

then Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. And there you have the top ten from the list.

BTW, if you were wondering who Anna Wintour might fancy come this fall’s election, here’s a clue: she had quite a role at last night’s fundraiser for prospective First Lady Michelle Obama, at a Manhattan gallery. (Wintour is the oh-so-powerful Editor at Vogue magazine and hypothetically the role model for Michelle Obama

Judging from the list of attendees at the function it was quite the place to be.Remember our mentions of Lauren Santo Domingo in previous posts? She was also at last night’s festivities at the Chelsea gallery in a divine Oscar de la Renta frock along with Spike Lee, designers Monique Lhuillier, Georgina Chapman and Nicole Miller. (You know, the Nina Ricci-SJP-SATC-Premiere-Dress-from-You-Know-Where-Nightmare that Lauren wore first?)

Speaking of Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon also attended, wearing Calvin Klein Collection. Others in attendance included Lebron James and his girlfriend, and you could see Zac Posen’s “Yes We Can, Obama 08″ t-shirt beneath his blazer. Many thanks to Fashion Week Daily for the fab photos!

We close with this absolutely delightful image from the good folks at Barneys. It was part of an email from them several days ago; looking at it keeps bringing a smile to my face. On an afternoon when some whimsy seems like a good idea, we’ll just leave things here and say “Au revoir.” (It is linked if you feel compelled to click!)