A Gossip Girl in the Hamptons

Hello-Hello everyone, happy Tuesday!

We made a snap decision yesterday to play Blog Hooky, in part because it was the Consort’s Birthday.  Who can resist spending the day with someone whose Mad Men avatar is this cool?

We can hardly believe it is less than two weeks until the show returns! We are loving the crazy popularity the avatars are enjoying, they have definitely invaded Planet Twitter! (If you would like to make your own 60’s era look, just sashay on over to the Mad Men Yourself page and make some trouble!)

It was a busy weekend in Water Mill (the Hamptons) with the Annual Super Saturday Sale at Nova’s Ark Project – think giant designer rummage sale with a carnival and other activities and you kind of get the picture. The event is a fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, this weekend marked the Sale’s 12th year.

PHOTO: Matthew Peyton/Getty for QVC

Hosts included Kelly Ripa, Donna Karan, Ariel Foxman of InStyle magazine, and Gossip Girl star Blake Lively. Mr. Foxman can be seen with Ms. Lively in the photo above.  Below, Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelo.

PHOTO: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images for QVC

Also on hand, two outstanding designers, Charlotte Ronson and Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

Below we see Ms. Lively with another Gossip Girl actress, Kelly Rutherford.

In other G2 news, there is word that Tyra Banks will appear in an upcoming episode; the host of America’s Next Top Model will play an actress.  And one last tidbit, another star from the show, Chace Crawford; he tells Glamour UK that he is already training for his big role in the remake of Footloose.


On a slightly related note, the Observer carried an interesting column: “Why Is No One Watching NYC Prep?”  Ratings are worse than we realized:

“According to Nielson, the episode that aired on July 21, only had 751, 000 viewers.

To compare to other prime-time shows that same night—Hawthorne, the new TNT show with Jada Pinkett Smith, had 3.2 million viewers… and the most watched show was The Deadliest Catch, a documentary series about fishing boats, which had 3.4 million viewers.

…Gossip Girl, perhaps the closest in the genre, had an average viewership of 2.59 million in its first season, which was considered low.”

Well. This doesn’t sound promising. Darn. (Ooooh, snarky Princess!)


We have many little retail tidbits to share, starting with the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) in another Talbots dress, this time on Saturday while in Norfolk. Mrs. Obama was there to speak to returning sailors aboard the USS Eisenhower, as well as the US Comfort battle group.

PHOTO: Steve Helber/AP

The First Lady wore Talbots’ Swirl Cotton Dress, available in the color seen above, as well as this:


The dress is quite the bargain, now selling at $39.99 as opposed to its original price of $139.


We simply must ask if anyone has yet confronted one of the hideous “Christmas in July displays or promotions?  We were reminded of the phenomenon by a story in the WSJ Friday, “Twas 147 Shopping Days Until Christmas

“America’s retailers are responding to the recession with Christmas in July. A number of retailers and toy makers launched Christmas sales and promotions this month…”

The story talks about Sears, as well as one of its divisions, KMart:

“…two retailers have invited shoppers to take a stroll down “Christmas Lane,” anchored by a “Holiday Décor Shoppe” and “Gift Shoppe,” while snowflakes drift over the scene and holiday music plays in the background. Customers are awarded free shipping if they pile up a tab of at least $60 on items ranging from holiday decorations to snowblowers.”

What are your thoughts?

We are blasting out the door with The Consort for a day at the museum, an exhibit called Cars and Guitars. That’s all he wanted for the big birthday, this exhibit and homemade brownies, how easy is that? TP is the luckiest Princess on the Planet, to be sure. Sigh.

Mad Men Yourself, “Parodies of Preppiness”?


For those readers of a…umm…well, readers of a ‘certain age,’ we must share yesterday’s “Where did TP’s brain go?” episode: after launching into a silly flurry of activity to make it to our afternoon volunteer shift at the local Senior Center, what do we learn? We learn (again) that putting things *in* the calendar is really very effective at warding off those occasions when one shows up for a shift that is scheduled for the following week. It also helps prevent the special looks one receives from the other volunteers.


But since we are chatting calendars again, we must share the newest addition to our Preppy Calendars category at the Princess, our desktop In Good Company Calendar for next year.

This is a desktop calendar, and the twelve oh-so-preptastic months fit right into the acrylic case that doubles as an easel.

Upon learning we could offer this to Princess customers for only $14 we put it on the “must-have” list for our little store.


Next, we wanted to share a fascinating column from the Boston Herald, one we think readers will find more-than-intriguing. The piece is titled “Let Me School You About Preppies,” it is by writer Sam Allis.

It begins condemning a show we have blathered on about ad nauseam mention here occasionally, NYC Prep.

““NYC Prep,’’ the ludicrous reality show about spoiled rich kids, most of whom attend Upper East Side private schools.

The show has nothing to do with preppies. Real preppies would have nothing to do with it. They’d be laughed out of New Canaan…”

Mr. Allis makes the point about the origins of the word “preppy” in prep schools, somethings Princess readers are well aware of, but he then raises a topic we once heard debated with a ferocity that seemed just inane:

“And prep schools are, in the cultural sense I’m talking about, boarding schools – not country day or Upper East Side privates.

It was on boarding school campuses that true preppies were spawned. The petri dish in which the culture was created and perpetuated was the prep school dormitory.”

We are in the camp that believes one is not required to be at boarding school to be immersed in what we would refer to as a basic preppy culture, one need only be attending certain schools. The entire topic reeks of a “I’m preppier than you are” sort of argument, a topic not even worthy of conversation IOHO.

Naturally the story contains the standard references about current definitions of ‘preppy style,’ appropriately referring to it as “classic, conservative men’s clothes.”  That breaks no new ground.

But then things take a bit of a negative turn when discussing specific retailers:

“The reigning king of preppy wistfulness remains Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, who has created the ultimate illusionary preppy world. His efforts are nothing if not about a yearning for a past he never knew.”

“His threads are beautiful, in contrast to parvenus like Vineyard Vines, an upstart that makes clothes for men and women that are parodies of preppiness. J.Crew still answers the bell because it sells smart preppy knockoffs.

We’ll share the following and then move on, encouraging readers to look at the actual column personally, that ensures a far better experience than our efforts at paraphrasing it.

“Every once in awhile, marketers will try to sell patch madras or seersucker again. What they’re selling is the past. No one drinks gin and bitters anymore, but who cares?”


We close with something we stumbled on to via Twitter yesterday that is likely to hold appeal for our fellow Mad Men fans. Remember the Elf Yourself fun every year around Christmas? (No, that isn’t TP, or even anyone we know.)


Well, true aficionados can now make their very own Mad Men avatars!

Courtesy amc-tv

Oh, of course we made our very own:

We hope we can convince the Consort to make one for himself.

Until next time, g’bye!

Tory Burch & Lilly Pulitzer: “Go Ahead – Walk All Over Us”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Monday.

We have a number of little items that are really all over the map, we’ll start with last Thursday’s benefit at the Lilly Pulitzer Mother Ship in Manhattan, a fundraiser for Operation Smile.  Below we see Jamie Korey and Hayley Bloomingdale in their Lilly garb.

PHOTO: Ben Hider

Many readers may already be familiar with the organization; they work all over the world providing surgery and other assistance to children with facial deformities.


Next, the story of several fashion designers helping another charitable group,”Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, through rug designs, how is that for a different twist on fashion fundraising? Below we share a design by Tory Burch:

Courtesy FTBC via So Haute!

Next, Lilly Pulitzer “cuts a rug”. (That was really, really bad. Yep.)

Courtesy FTBC via So Haute!

Other designers helping out include Oscar de la Renta, Thakoon, and Calvin Klein.  For more information, this news release may be helpful.


Next, a quick look at a recent WaPo (Washington Post) story entitled The New (Prep) School, with a subhead reading Preppy Menswear Goes Subtly Subversive.  Below, a sampling from the story:

“Khakis. Button-downs. Boat shoes. All the usual suspects are here, only something’s . . . different. A strategically placed epaulet here, an acid-bright citrus hue there. These new menswear pieces are preppy, indeed, but over the past several seasons, the look has become less about blending in at boarding school and more about standing out in a sea of collared shirts and cargo shorts.”

The story is accompanied by a slide show with different menswear, including the shirt and denim tie seen below.

PHOTO: Julia Ewan/Washington Post

The story offers perspective from Kelly Muccio, owner of the popular Lost Boys menswear shop in DC.  Now anyone seeing the subtitle of the story would properly presume TP’s knee-jerk reaction would be “Preppy that is subversive? We think not!”. But when perusing the store’s online site we must acknowledge favorable reactions to many of the looks she showcases.

BTW, we are presuming the title of the story references NYC Prep, although we could easily be wrong on this.


Our next tidbit also comes courtesy of the Post, Robin Givran’s column yesterday, just one more of many adding to the media frenzy regarding President Obama’s choice in jeans.


Now, as someone who frequently creates major mountains out of microscopic molehills in this very space, we tried to wrap our tiny little brain around the notion that the President’s denim merited an entire column from someone of Ms. Givhan’s skills. Really we did, Scout’s Honor.

Sadly we failed miserably in these efforts, and continue to be amazed at the level of attention directed at the topic. In case you have been fortunate enough to have missed the genesis of all this, the backstory: fashionitas took exception to the “Mom jeans” worn by the President wore to last week’s All Star game.

PHOTO: Mike Stone/Reuters

Among the many sins described in the story:

  • “They were too short; one could see the tops of his sneakers and a hint of white socks when he was at a standstill”
  • “They were baggy — but lacking in old-school urban swagger or beachcomber… It wouldn’t be surprising to discover that the jeans were “relaxed fit.”
  • “Adding to the jeans’ unattractiveness: They had creases. They were light blue. Practically stonewashed.”
  • “But really, these are the jeans of middle-aged dads who have thrown in the towel and decided that when they get home from the office and take off their suit, all they care about is comfort.”

Ms. Givhan’s very well-written column makes a case that *everything* worn by POTUS is important:

“…any hint of rarefied tastes or an aesthetic sensibility that is more Barneys New York than Macy’s raises questions about whether they are fit for the job of representing all the regular folks.

When it comes to clothes, the president must appear to be as mass market and main floor as possible. So Obama cannot display the old-money, preppy informality of John F. Kennedy.”

While we basically agree with the premise, dissection of the jeans worn by Mr. Obama seems a trifle over the top, even when considered in tandem with yesterday’s column.  The last sentence of this next portion shows where Ms. Givhan lost us:

“And when he is not cutting a fine figure in board shorts — and managing to exude vim-and-vigor in that JFK way — he will need an alternative uniform. The blousy polo shirts will not do. And neither will those beloved jeans. They may be comfortable and they may be neatly pressed, but they are not in the least bit presidential.

We now bow to your fine taste and wisdom, asking this question: are we hopelessly out of touch here at the Prepatorium, thinking all the hoo-hah is more-than-a-little-silly?


We close with a look at a darling set from our former-friends, the Tiffany Tots Whale Baby Set:

Courtesy Tiffany

It is cute, yes?

On that note, we are off! May your day be fantabulous!

A “Preppy Pile-On”? We Think Not.

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday!

We are going to be speedy today.  More than 200 lbs. of our Lilly Pulitzer Fall Stationery & Gift line arrived here at the Prepatorium moments ago, so you know we’re a tad busier than normal.

We have a few different takes on ‘preppy styles’ to share. Somehow we fell over a newsbit (aka ‘news tidbit’ or ‘newsbrief’) from the Manila Bulletin, “The Preppy Pile-on”.  The brief story references “preppy grunge” if there is such a thing.  We think not; the appellation is an oxymoron. However, we soldier on, sharing the writer’s description:

“A combination of classic preppy influences and American sportswear, the so-called Urban Prep look layers crisp preppy staples such as buttondowns and vests with urban wear like track jackets and baggy jeans.

Accompanying the story are a number of different looks; most of the pieces are from Max Azria’s diffusion line, BCBGeneration, and Kensie Girl.


The story includes this line:

“The look is divinely put-together yet casual cool.”

This time we must disagree with the author.


Some readers may be aware that online discounter Bluefly also has a blog; recently a post on the blog, “NYC Prep: School’s Back in Session”, looked at preppy style.

Courtesy Bluefly

Bravo’s NYP Prep prompts the post’s writer to look back at her high school years:

“Just reminiscing about that first crucial week during September, where everything from your clothes to your hair to even your backpack was open to criticism from fellow classmates sends me into a fetal position. And now that Bravo is airing NYC Prep, I can reminisce about the ultra-privileged snobs roaming the hallways too.”

The pieces shown include a Fendi belt, L.A.M.B. shirt, Michael Kors slacks,  and a Hickey Freeman tie.

Again, we’re underwhelmed.  Your thoughts on either combination of apparel and accessories?


Today’s Pretty in Pink comes to us via the Coterie Blog, where one always finds fascinating recommendations for all manner of goodies. The blog is curated with an eye towards elegance and whimsy, the ideal combination.    Recently we saw a post about some lovely ribbon at an establishment new to our retail roster, Bell’occhio in San Francisco.

In order to provide a more fully informed report, we felt obligated to personally view the merchandise.  (Ahem.)

Courtesy Bell’occhio

The Pink Oval Box (above) looks like the perfect accent for many a room or walk-in, just lovely. While the shop carries a wonderful variety of goods, from ribbons to nail brushes, the selection of pink boxes alone is outstanding, Below, the Heliotrope Boxes with Doré Trim.



We close with something we’ll call Pretty in Pink and Green compliments of the always delightful PrepSchool 101.  More accurately, this comes courtesy of PrepSchool 101’s little one, the darling Little Miss C.  Seen below, Miss C shows off her Mom’s sunglasses while sporting a Lilly shift in Cabanarama.

PrepSchool 101 Blog

At any rate, it seems Miss C is anxious to see her new Lilly Paper Doll set.

Courtesy PrepSchool 101 Blog

She came up with a creative solution to keep her busy while awaiting their arrival, and we adore the result.

Miss C’s Paper Dolls

The bows in the dolls’ hair add the perfect touch, and we thank Miss C for sharing her artistic talent with us! We are happy to report the real Paper Dolls are being unpacked as we type, so they shall soon be winging their way to a new home with the sweet-as-can-be Miss C.

On such a cheery note we say G’Bye, may the weekend be warm and wonderful no matter your locale!

NYC Prep Handbags? When Pink & Green Isn’t Pretty

Hello-Hello everyone, it is another stellar day here in The Great Midwest, we hope all of our friends in the southeast have a respite from their weird weather soon!

We have a couple of quick ‘hit-and-split’ items today as it is our heavy volunteer duty afternoon.  We begin with a mournful SOTT (Sign Of The Times) that took us quite by surprise.

Courtesy The Shophound

Not that TP isn’t generally fond of the color combination seen above, but in this case the pink and green signs carry sad news: Beau Brummel is closing their New York store. While carrying more European styles than those of the kind TSU (The Spousal Unit, aka The Consort) would wear, we are still glum to see the shop departing.  For anyone interested in picking over the bones in some great bargains, the price points are now discounted by 75% according to this story over at the Shophound.

We are far more despondent about the recent news Smith and Hawken is shuttering all of their 56 locations; the upscale garden stores are holding going out of business sales with most merchandise marked down by 20%, furniture by 30%.

If clicking on the link to their website, one sees their eloquent farewell:

There’s no word on what this means for the Smith and Hawken line at Target. For more details we suggest this story at the Dallas Morning News



Another interesting fashion tidbit about the Wretched-Show-We’ve-Never-Seen: there are now handbags created for Bravo’s NYC Prep television program. Below, the Kelli bag as carried by the Kelli character on the show.

Courtesy Bravo & Kooba via Luxist

A better look at the bag from Kooba.

Courtesy Bravo & Kooba

One may order the bags via Bravo or Kooba. There are also bags for Camille, Jessie and Taylor. (These are other primary characters on the quasi-reality show allegedly portraying the lives of preppy kids on the UES.) If shopping for the bags on Kooba however, be advised they do not have the names of their characters. For example, the bag carried by Kelli is actually named the Kristie.

Below, the Jessie aka Blake bag from Kooba.

Courtesy ShopBravo.com

Are we the only ones finding it rather odd one of the four bags in the NYC Prep line is named Blair? (For those not really fans of Gossip Girl, one of the lead female characters is named Blair Waldorf.) Why would there be a purse in the NYC Prep line with the same name as a primary Gossip Girl character?

We’re guessing that despite the “designed exclusively for Bravo’ language these are pre-existing Kooba styles.

Courtesy Bravo & Kooba

The bags are priced at $595.  FYI, we are not negative about the marketing minds that came up with such a creative cross-channel tie-in. To the contrary, in many ways it is marketing brilliance; we simply question how many fans of the show can actually afford one of the Koba purses.

Below, a photo yesterday of the Blair character just mentioned, as played by G2 actress Leighton Meester while she was shooting a scene in the city with co-star Ed Westwick.

Courtesy Just Jared

We had to share the cute dress seen in this photo of Miss MeesterAnother photo of Ms. Underwood, also sehot on location yesterday. (One can see costar Blake Lively behind Ms. Meester.)

NOTE: TP is committing the ultimate in hypocrisy by being such a crankenstein regarding NYC Prep (and on occasion Gossip Girl), having never seen either program. Why is this hypocritical?

Because for lo-those-many-years in television TP (and The Consort at times) wailed and whined about individuals calling the television station to voice complaints about programs or stories that had not yet aired. (Despite directing others to cease any complaining about said calls.) A common response was “But sir, how can you know you won’t like the _________ if you haven’t seen it?!”

(For anyone wondering, posing what may sound like a logical question to the caller rarely helped. Presumption of rational thought processes on the part of most individuals calling TV stations is not wise.)

At most stations the Programming department handled the bulk of the calls, but if it was a news story (heaven forbid), folks dialed directly into the newsroom. We would repeat the same mantra about “How can…” in these cases, only we were likely to be a bit more terse. (“Likely?”)

Thus our relentless whining comments about the two shows mentioned above are really beyond the pale.

We do not apologize.

But everyone knows the Princess is generally a happy soul; any momentary trips into the UCCZ (Uncommonly Courmudgeonly Conduct Zone) should be regarded as rare and isolated incidents demonstrative of TP’s old age, lacking in any value whatsoever.

We’re almost out the door, may everyone have a simply splendid rest of their Tuesday!