Everyone Discovers Preppy, Part Two (Including ‘Nouveau Preppie’)

In case you missed yesterday’s post…we discussed the fact there has been a rash, nay, a veritable explosion in the volume of articles, stories and features dedicated to the topic of (for lack of a better term) “Preppy Style.” (We are aware some consider this very phrase an oxymoron.) This morning we are mortified to discover we left at least two stories out of our coverage.

The first is from the Louisville Courier-Journal, simply entitled Prep School. As writer Christine Fellingham puts it:

The preppie look is back … minus the add-a-beads and upturned collars. Here, the finer points on updating the timeless look for this summer.

Referring to the look as Nouveau Preppie, Ms. Fellingham gets her research off on the right foot, starting at The Peppermint Palm, a Lilly Pulitzer shop.

Ms. Fellingham finds the biggest change in preppy style to be the fit: what was once loose is now tailored, and more body-conscious as shown in some of the photos below.

The writer also suggests things be a little less matchy-matchy, a wise idea in our humble opinion, and she offers her input on the topic of animals or ‘critters.’ You’ll have to click on the link to read what she has to say on that topic. It’s a very brief article, we promise. (Hint: It’s in the paragraph ‘Mix, Don’t Match’.)

The second article we neglected to include is author Sherrie Mathieson’s “Forever Cool – In Praise of Preppy Style” from the fab site BoomerGirl.com. While brief, the article is just delightful, and among other things, makes just good common sense points, like the following:

2. Preppy can be as conservative as you like (think LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, Britches, Talbot’s) or you can up the ante, as I would urge you to, by using it as your core look with a “twist” (think Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, J Crew).

Ms. Mathiseson’s story mentions a number of designers and companies, a group as diverse as LL Bean and Kate Spade. There are no photos with her story, so we were forced to select our own, and you know how we hate that. (Heh-heh-heh.) Below we show LL Bean’s Sea Spray Surf Set, which comes in both Infant and Toddler Girls sizes, and guess what? It is on sale, originally $26.50 and now $16.95! Once again, you cannot say The Princess is not hearting your bankbook. (Is that how one refers to that sentiment? Hearting?)

And below we share the Kate Spade Miramar Minu Clutch, also with a delightful price savings in effect!

We love that Mathieson refers to ‘preppy style’ as “widely misunderstood and underrated;” as it is sadly thus in many cases, when it comes to equating internal personality traits with external appearances. Besides, how could we possibly resist any article that speaks glowingly of Lilly? Speaking of… might we seize the moment and insert a photo from the Home Collection at The Pink Palm? (Everything seen in the photo below is 50% off. Just a little FYI from the Princess.)

Mathieson is an outstanding writer, to the point, without a lot of frou-frou. Her background is costume design and style consulting – she has her own book out called Forever Cool.

C’mon, dig out your glasses and settle in for some reading. It’s good for the soul.

Lacoste: 75 Years of Preppy Love, J Crew’s Man Love, & The Princess Loves Tag

AThe Princess feels compelled to point out that Lilly Pulitzer isn’t the only ‘preppy’ brand celebrating an Anniversary, although we have spent a bit of time remarking upon that topic. Now however, we turn our attention to another iconic brand marking an important milestone, Lacoste, celebrating its 75th year. And the company wants you involved in the party!

The ‘Lacoste Future Site’ is fancy, flashy and lots of fun if that is your sort of thing. “For Lacoste’s 75th Anniversary Imagine 75 Years From Now in 2085″ is the opening request, followed by some fairly futuristic tennis! With other slogans like “Let’s Reinvent the Game” and “Lacoste – As You’ve Never Seen It,” this is a site that is highly interactive, asking you to suggest ways to complete slogans, helping you send Lacoste video email to friends and more. It also offers great ‘wallpaper’ for your desktop, screensavers, and a futuristic video, all done with awesome animation that is amazing to watch and worth at least a nano-second of your time. Perhaps the image below gives you a sense of the site’s look.

This may come as quite a surprise (um…not exactly), but there is a substantial amount of merchandise commemorating the Anniversary that you can actually purchase. Let’s take a peek. First, we offer the 75th Anniversary Retro Fit Polo at Nordstrom in what we would call a classic and understated white (or black) with the logo embroidered in discreetly matching thread. Well, almost that, but unfortunately not totally that, as evidently the Lacoste Crocodile has been put on a Barry Bonds steroid regimen remarkably healthy diet; it is now enormous. Gigantic. This is probably why it is referred to as the ‘Exploded Croc.’ There is also the Essential 75th Anniversary Eau de Toilette available at Bloomingdale’s for that special someone.

Of course, when The Princess thinks 75th Anniversary, we always think stretch pique, don’t you? (Bad Princess, very bad.) This is the 75th Anniversary Button-Front Stretch Piqué Halter Dress followed by the 75th Anniversary Pique Polo, both available directly from Lacoste.

Perhaps a little zippier in style are the two versions of the 75th Anniversary Sneaker, one seen below courtesy of myairshoes.com.

In other Lacoste news, there is no way we can leave this topic without sharing at least a few photos of the 2008 Lacoste Fall/Winter lines, as some of the pieces are just stunning and TP would love to have them on hand to snuggle into when the snow starts flying!

Moving beyond all of today’s Lacoste updates, let’s talk about positive news from J Crew: word they will open not just a second men’s-only store, but they are scouting locations for a third standalone men’s shop. We have mentioned previously the planned opening of the Tribeca men’s J Crew now under construction in The Liquor Building, a fabulous location for this sort of endeavor, albeit a tad on the smallish side. The company will add a second Men’s store next to an existing mall-based store in New Jersey, and they are actively looking for their next site.

Also this evening, The Princess has been “tagged,” in this case by a friend who has already guided us through some potholes here at the Prepatorium, that brilliant babe who is plugged in to what is goin’ on in the heart of the City, Fashion Herald. (Actually, the tag was Sunday evening, so the following was composed yesterday and posted this evening.) The ‘tag’ is to answer six questions about myself:

(Post rules at the beginning of the post. Answer all the questions. Tag 6 people, go to their blog and leave a comment to inform them that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answers.)

1. What were you doing ten years ago?
Saying over and over and over again: “It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.”

2. What are five things on your to-do list today?
• Read all of the Sunday papers. (Not done as of 11pm.)
• Do the mega walk. (Not done)
• Call Mother. (Done. Twice.)
• Attend Graduation galas. (Done.)
• Serve dinner at homeless Mission. (Done.)

3. Snacks you enjoy?
Chocolate, carrots & celery. (Not all at the same time.)

4. Places you’ve lived:
Michigan, Denver, Oklahoma City, Missouri, Oregon.

5. What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?

  1. Ummm…. not to be totally tasteless here, but if we are speaking about having only one billion, then I guess the first thing might be to call the financial people and ask what happened to the rest of my inheritance.
  2. Purchase the City of Chicago and if that is not possible, acquire a meaningful suburban community. Following appropriate transfer of deeds and other dreary paperwork, rename the area ‘Prepoplis,’ and get in touch with Lilly to commence planning the Earth’s first completely pink and green habitat.
  3. Build an Olympic size ice rink in the back yard.
  4. Buy a professional baseball team.
  5. Honestly? Of course it would be to do the philanthropy and volunteer thing full-time.

And in the “Just Because We Can” category this evening, we wanted to let you know The Princess has found a very stylish time waster that you simply must visit: ColorFlip. A colossally useless endeavor in many ways, but one we felt you might enjoy on some level, so there you have it. Happies to all!

The Return of Bonwit Teller and Not so Goody’s News

Happy Monday to all…hopefully everyone’s time out of the City this weekend was restorative and rewarding.

A few very brief snippets, at least for this early post. First, the fabulous news about the return of Bonwit Teller. At one time this ranked high on the list of the Princess’s favorite retail emporiums, at least of the large, department store variety. As this vintage ad demonstrates (at least if you can see it, and then use your imagination just a bit), Bonwits was a superb outpost of refined elegance and discreet good taste, traits infrequently experienced in today’s retail culture.

Many of us of ‘a certain age’ fondly (yours truly *most* definitely included) recall the look of this fabled logo, as seen in this instance on an old credit card. That was being auctioned on eBay. (That had all of the identifying information out there for the world to see. We did ask Mister Princess to fuzzy up the individual’s name and address. Honestly.) But we do bring it to you as it is our only method of sharing that brilliant logo. We were always just a bit gaga over the Bonwits shopping bags, they were so very pretty.

At any rate, here’s a bit of info from a story that crossed on the Business Wire a few weeks ago:

“The iconic brand helped launch the careers of notable designers such as Henri Bendel and Calvin Klein, and “Bonwit’s” stores and brand-building efforts featured the work of renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Richard Avedon, and Robert Rauschenberg. Bonwit Teller is widely given credit for pioneering the notion of shopping bags-as-advertisements through the use of its “violets” logo, still fondly recalled.

“Bonwit Teller set the standard for the high-end shopping experience for a century,” said Najjar. “I am excited to revitalize Bonwit’s heritage for today’s marketplace. Bonwit once outfitted fashion icons such as Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly – the new Bonwit will evoke that sense of glamour, with a modern twist.”

The initial flagship store in New York should be open by the end of next year with another store in Los Angeles opening shortly after that. Whoo-hoo! This is such happy-happy and hubba-hubba news, it’s even better than the Lilly store opening on Madison!

But in not-so-wonderful news, word today that struggling Goody’s Family Clothing, the Nashville-based chain of 300+ stores, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company plans to close 69 ‘underperforming stores'; Georgia and South Carolina will be hardest hit by the closings.

Apparently the retailer’s Ashley Judd line may not be doing as well as hoped because of its higher price points. Here is a quick pic of an Ashley Judd Silk Blouse in pink, originally priced at $44 it is now about $31; it is also machine washable silk.

Goody’s spent $4 million almost 5 years ago to buy the Duck Head trademark, in part because of its high consumer recognition ratings in the southeast. Above we show Duck Head Jeans Co. Patchwork Plaid Madras Shorts for men. The Princess hopes the company is able to pull out of its slump and promises to keep you updated.

A Princess Note: Some information in the Bonwits post provided by Business Wire and WWD.

Lilly is Pink & Green & Golden (Anyone Looking for A Limited-Edition Lilly Pulitzer Jeep Wrangler?)

Happy-Happy and Hubba-Hubba! Did everyone enjoy their weekend? We hope so.

Of course, the happiest of all greetings go out to our Lilly Pulitzer, recently hospitalized for almost a week, but bound and determined she would be at The Breakers (Palm Beach) last Friday for the big bash honoring Lilly Pulitzer’s 50th Anniversary. And she made it, as seen in the photo above, looking just fabulous! (Pix compliments of the good folks at the Palm Beach Daily News.) Lilly is also seen in the photo just below, with company co-owner and President James Bradbeer.

There are big plans for the brand we all love, and while The Breakers party was used to thank the company’s bigger customers, it was also clearly the launch pad for some of the more exciting plans to recognize the ‘Jublilee Celebration.’ The evening was a vision in pink and green, truly it was. Just look at guests dancing the night away; you could spot those dresses anywhere!

As a rule, pianos are for playing music, or practicing scales, oui? However, at times they may be used to meet other needs, perhaps serving a more decorative purpose. In fact, The Princess has long thought a pink and green piano would be a marvelous addition to the Prepatorium, and now look…there is going to be just such an instrument! Steinway and Sons will be making the official Lilly Pulitzer 50th Steinway piano you are gazing at in the photos below. Isn’t it divine?

And how about a pink and green car or SUV? Isn’t this what Daddy really meant to give you as a graduation present instead of that dreary Honda? Of course it is. 70 of these limited-edition Lilly Pulitzer Jeep Wranglers have already been pre-ordered; at about $25,000 each they seem like a great deal to us! The vehicle (shown in the photo below) is hypothetically available through Lilly Signature store owners we believe, and available this Fall.

But here is the one that is TP’s favorite: a Lilly Monopoly game! How cool is that? The word is that Hasbro will introduce a Palm Beach version of its Monopoly game called “Lilly-opoly.” (Why do we see zillions of these wrapped and parked under a few Christmas trees this holiday season?)

There are loads more ways the company plans to celebrate (perhaps better spelled “sell-ebrate”) the anniversary, but we’re just out of time. We’ll get more of the information to you in the next few days.

Also in Lilly news…the new Madison Avenue store has opened! And only in New York at a party celebrating such an occasion would you have so many LBDs contrasting with the famous Lilly prints! Just below you’ll note the stunning new “Gillian” pink sheath worn by Gillian Miniter. The name is no accident – this new design from Lilly is actually named for Ms. Miniter, a philanthropist and socialite.

Now, rumor has it TP asked Mr. Princess to approach the man in the turquoise paisley jacket and attempt to purchase it on the spot so that she might wear it. Furthermore, it is said that if the response to that request was negative, she wanted Mr. P to then physically accost him and rip the jacket from his very body! (L to R: Rick Sabag, Steven Stolman, Frank Rico, and Victor Basile) Of course, The Princess denies *all* of this, calls it poppycock, and suggests people get in touch with her press person or publicist if they have any more questions. Honestly. (BTW, does anyone know the name of that particular print seen in the turquoise jacket?)

Lilly Pulitzer Makes Manhattan Preppy Heaven!

As a whole, there generally aren’t too many things Lilly Pulitzer followers lack. However there has been one critical shortage in the minds of most Pulitzer Preppies, and that is a Pulitzer store in New York. Good news for those who wait perhaps as a store is mere days away, and it will be in the city proper, on the Upper East Side!  

It’s just a bit more than a week until the new Lilly Pulitzer store opens on Madison Avenue. May 8th to be exact; at least that is the scheduled date for the opening. This is none too soon for fans of the uber-preppy line, and for many all roads will lead straight to Madison Avenue between 78th & 79th, 1080 Madison to be precise on that date. Word of such a grand occasion makes sharing a few items from the Summer 2008 Collection appropriate. 

The Reecy Dress in Knotty Blue Whirlpool, is a divine color combo in the Knotty Blue with its sunny yellow bow. You know The Princess loves this item, as she believes that “life is always better with a bow!” The Men’s Devon Patchwork Sweater is simply wonderful, in a lush, rich cotton. 

Below we show the girls Girls Garnet Hoodie in pink; we also include a shot of the back with its big palm tree. Oddly, the tree on the back (which is of course, the line’s logo), doesn’t have us immediately shrieking “logofication” and going on about that topic. And we are all grateful for that.

Of course, what would a Lilly conversation be without a glance at the Lilly Minnies, like this Girls Little Lilly shift, not to mention the Swellies Rain Boots

We would be doing a disservice to the brand if we did not show some of the oh-so-wonderful men’s ties. On the left, the handmade Bow-tie Striped group, and on the right we show the classic butterfly bow-tie with Lilly’s signature silk Hibiscus Pink grosgrain petersham.

Do enjoy reveling in the knowledge that soon we’ll just head over to Madison Avenue for our next Lilly fix!