This week the world lost one of the greatest musicians of our lifetime, David Bowie. He and his supermodel wife, Iman, were one of the long-lasting celebrity couples and one of the most stylish pairings, as well. Here is the lovely couple leaving their hotel in Paris in 1991. Iman looks amazing – she’s rocking her natural curls, perfectly Parisian black ballet flats and a matching purse, with oversized houndstooth printed pants and a matching jacket in black and white gingham. She is the definition of a chic model, while Mr. Bowie looks classic in white pants, a mock turtleneck and a navy blazer. Both manage to look preppy, without looking stuffy, and still maintain their personal styles. Mr. Bowie’s effortless cool was one of many elegant attributes. He will surely be missed. RIP Ziggy Stardust.
“And after all the obstacles; It’s good to see you now with someone else…” In our week dedicated to the music video “Cool,” our “Tuesday Twosome” are the two stars of the short: Miss Gwen Stefani, and the actor playing her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Gonzalez. In the flashbacks, we see a happy couple on Lake Como, Italy, falling in and out of love. Gonzalez sports a preppy tennis sweater, an untucked collared shirt, and rolled-up khaki pants, looking like a true disheveled summer boyfriend from everyone’s youth. Stefani wears a full, slightly patterned a-line skirt, with an open capped-sleeved navy cardigan, and a blue and white gingham halter bikini top. The real Italian girl looks absolutely stunning with her natural-colored chestnut locks, and sexy European 1950s vibe. Her outfit is the epitome of a romantic summer look: carefree, classic, slightly preppy, and sensuous. But summer love doesn’t always last forever, and even though these two may look like the perfect pair, their body language certainly doesn’t look like destiny in the photo below…
Yesterday, the world lost Britain’s “Iron Lady,” and today we’re featuring the next generation of United Kingdom icons for our “Tuesday Twosome.” The first day of spring falls in March, but it usually doesn’t feel like it until April. Today, it definitely felt like spring had definitely sprung – since it was 80 degrees here in New York! What better outfit to feature for rebirth than Kate Middleton in this stunning floral number by Jenny Packham? Here the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are attending a charity polo match in the summer of 2011 outside of Los Angeles. Kate is sporting a silverish lavender De Gournay hand-painted chinoiserie silk dress with taupe L.K. Bennett heels. Prince William looks like a sophisticated prep in a navy blazer, crisp button-down and white trousers.
Lilly Pulitzer automatically brings to mind vivid images of hot pink, bright yellow, and apple green, dancing across summer dresses patterned with fruit and flowers. The heiress-turned-fashion-designer built a business around a simple concept and execution that has remained popular for over 50 years. Lilly Pulitzer was born Lillian Lee McKim on November 10, 1931 to socialite parents in Roslyn, Long Island. She was the middle daughter of three girls, between Mary “Mimsy” Maude and Florence “Flossie” Fitch. Her mother was an heiress to Standard Oil, and Lilly and her sisters attended the Chapin School in Manhattan, alongside a soon-to-be notable classmate, Jacqueline Bouvier. She attended Finch College, before leaving after one semester to work as a midwife’s assistant and as a volunteer at a Veterans Hospital in the Bronx. Shortly after, Lilly married Herbert “Peter” Pulitzer, Jr., after meeting him on vacation in Palm Beach. The grandson of publishing magnate, Joseph Pulitzer, the two enjoyed living on the family’s Florida estate, among groves of citrus trees. After having three kids in five years, and growing bored at home, Lilly started selling juice of the fruit from her husband’s groves. Squeezing the juice out of the fruit stained her clothing, so she made sleeveless shift dresses of brightly-colored cotton. Pulitzer’s customers loved the shifts so much, she started selling them at $22.00 a piece. The dresses soon outsold the juice, quickly moving from Palm Beach to around the world (especially after former classmate Jackie Kennedy started wearing them). The frocks were soon dubbed “Lillys.” In 1959, Pulitzer became the president of her own company, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., and she designed until the early 1980s. Her brand became popular with some of the wealthiest women in America, including the Kennedys, the Rockerfellers, and the Whitneys. (Fun Fact: This editor was prepping, pun not intended, for a friend’s yuppie-themed party in East Hampton this weekend by whipping out my copy of The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach. She mentions the Lilly Beach Dress as the quintessential item to wear for “lunch on the terrace at the club,” or something “to put on over the bathing suit.”) The company faced bankruptcy in 1984, but was revived by Sugartown Worldwide in the 1990s. Pulitzer retained the role of creative consultant, but was no longer involved in the administration of the company. Eric Wilson of the New York Times reported, “Part of her reluctance to promote herself, she often said, came from her upbringing. She meticulously avoided personal publicity, as was once common to people of bottomless wealth, though she remained interested in the company.” Ha, if only the so-called “elites” of now retained the same kind of old-world modesty – the dreadful “Real Housewives” or the Kardashians would never exist… Lilly Pulitzer was as bright, sophisticated and classic as the brand and era she represented. The “Queen of Prep” will be sorely missed.
“What can you say about a 25-year-old girl that died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me,” Ryan O’Neal narrates in the opening scene of the 1970 classic Love Story. The movie tells the simple tale of a working-class Italian girl named Jenny Cavalleri (played by the gorgeous Ali MacGraw) who attends Radcliffe College, and meets a handsome Harvard blue blood named Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O’Neal). The two inevitably argue, flirt and fall in love. But is it ever that simple? Oliver’s wealthy father disagrees with his choice of mate, but he isn’t easily swayed – Oliver stands by his woman! As a result, his family cuts him off financially, and Oliver and Jenny decide to wed following their graduation. The young couple face early hardship, struggling to make ends meet while Oliver attends Harvard Law School, and Jenny works as a private school teacher and camp counselor during the summer. The two make it through the tough times, and after Oliver finishes third in his law school class, they head for New York City, where he accepts a position at a well-known law firm. Jenny decides she wants to have children, but after several unsuccessful attempts, her doctors inform her that cancer is the reason she and Oliver can’t get pregnant – it’s not curable, either. This tragic romance was nominated for the Best Picture, as well as six other Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Actress. Harvard graduate Erich Segal wrote the screenplay and the accompanying book, which was the #1 best-seller of 1970. (Fun Fact: Love Story was the first movie to be filmed at Harvard University. Every year it is shown to the incoming freshman class, where traditional heckling also takes place.) The other major star of this film was Ali MacGraw’s wardrobe! Her combination of bohemian chic and collegiate preppiness set the tone for women’s clothing in the 1970s, and made MacGraw one of the all-time fashion icons of the 20th century. Calvin Klein told Vanity Fair, “She exemplified this great American style. In the beginning, there was that rich-hippie period. But it went beyond that, and her style put her among the greats: Katharine Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, C. Z. Guest, Babe Paley.” Early in the film, Jenny is very much a college girl in turtlenecks, striped-scarves, plaid miniskirts, knit caps, and peacoats. She is a music student who works at the Radcliffe library, and sports some over-sized glasses when she’s studying or playing the piano. MacGraw also has a very natural beauty style, with her dark eyes, accented by strong eyebrows, minimal makeup and long brunette locks, generally parted down the the middle: all of which became the go-to look of the earthy 70s. Considering the majority of the film takes place in New England, prep-school style had to be incorporated (especially considering Segal was the first author to ever have the word “preppy” published). Jenny’s outerwear has to be the best part of her wardrobe. Her dark peacoat, camel trench and cream-colored coat have to be three of the chicest items of her clothing, that are routinely mentioned in fashion guides (including our favorite, Victoria Beckham’s). Her proper “popped collar” is also the way a collar should be up: it protects the neck, and provides structure for a scarf to sit. Following their financial independence and subsequent simple wedding ceremony (pictured, left), Jenny and Oliver are the epitome of nautical preppy in various combinations of navy blue and white during the summer. Even though it’s over 40-years-old, the style of Love Story is so timeless, every outfit could be worn today without blinking an eye. The film reminds our editors’ of their own parents, a feisty Italian girl and an Irish collegiate athlete, who met while she was working on campus, just like Jenny and Oliver. The two also faced disapproval from their parents, and went on to experience trouble having children (until they were blessed with us! Thank God.) Since they also both entered college in the same year Love Story was released, it’s amazing to see how many similarities in our own parents’ closets resembled Jenny and Olivers’ cool styles. The handsome Ryan O’Neal looked great in layered button-down shirts, v-neck sweaters, neutral scarves and gloves, plaid blazers, suede jackets, and even his Harvard hockey jersey! It’s the perfect combination of a relaxed college guy in the 1970s, and the well-dressed independent man Oliver grows into. (Geez, so much more sophisticated than band t-shirts, dirty baseball caps and baggy jeans so many undergrads sport today!) It’s actually kind of spooky how close our own father’s wardrobe still looks like Oliver’s digs. During Oliver’s grad school years, the couple’s clothing slowly transitions from student to young adult. Oliver starts to dress like a young professional, and Jenny’s skirts and sweaters become more streamlined. Once the Barretts move to New York, Jenny mentions that they’re now “nouveau riche,” and they certainly exemplify that style of the 1970s in collared shirts, classic knits and beautiful jackets. Unfortunately, the stunning young couple’s happiness is cut short, once they realize they won’t be parents, and Jenny won’t live to see her next birthday (which, oddly enough, today is this editor’s 26th birthday – a day Jenny doesn’t live to see.) In one of the final scenes of the movie, Oliver and Jenny look particularly chic when they go ice-skating in Central Park (pictured, below). Jenny sports a cream-colored cashmere coat with a fur hat and scarf, while Oliver looks gorgeous in his Irish fisherman sweater, as they share a cup of cocoa. With the couple’s final scenes in a cold New York, playing in the snow as undergrads, and studying together curled up on a couch, this movie inspires lots of winter weather looks that will certainly make your honey want to snuggle! Even though the opening line gives away the inevitable tragic ending, this tearjerker will surely having you sobbing. (Fun Fact #2: Rachel McAdams watched this film the night before she auditioned for The Notebook, and thought she wasn’t going to get it, because her eyes were so puffy from crying all night!) Even though it’s sad, Love Story showcased a specific style that influenced millions, and exalted Ali MacGraw into icon status. Calvin Klein was quoted as saying, “She exemplified the great American Style.” Even though Jenny doesn’t make it to the end of the movie, her legacy lives on.
“What can you say about a 25-year-old girl that died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant.” And she happened to dress very well. Erich Segal’s famed words come to life on-screen when Ali MacGraw embodies Jenny, a sharp-tongued working class girl who falls in love with a rich preppy (Fun Fact: The book was the 1st instance the word was ever published.) We thought it was a very appropriate selection for this cold Valentine’s Day weekend to choose this sophisticated winter-white trench and cream turtleneck paired with the perfect fur hat and wool scarf that kept a sick Jenny (and the audience’s hearts) nice and warm. Remember, love means never having to say you’re sorry, and MacGraw’s character is unapologetic in her choice of mixing the classics with an edgy accessory – just like the unusual pairing of her and Oliver. <3