High Point Market Spring 2012 - Part 2: High Point Prep
I'm no etymologist, but I would say that the term "preppy" became part of our vernacular in the 1970s and 80s with the movie Love Story and with the publication of the Preppy Handbook. I was in college, and at an Ivy League no less, when this term evoked such clear images: Lacoste polos (collars up), Pappagallo shoes and bags, Shetland sweaters tied around the neck, L.L. Bean monogrammed canvas totes, turtlenecks (with necks up, not folded over), wide-wale corduroys, pants with whales on them, and pearls worn with everything. We're seeing a come-back of preppy, perhaps due to the publication of a sequel to the original Preppy Handbook. Or perhaps because the lagging economy makes a classic, but static style, a way to be trendy without seeming so.
In interiors, preppy style manifests itself in colors, patterns and classic forms, and these abounded at Spring Market in High Point. Without going to the obvious (Lilly Pulitzer, whose showroom I missed), I found plenty of this look elsewhere. Hickory Chair pulled off the preppy look in colorful upholstery patterns and painted furnishings.
This classic ikat appeared in the Hickory Chair showroom on this sofa, on side chairs and throw pillows. Red, yellow, and navy. Throw in a little turquoise for good measure. Bam! Preppy.
The Sara Side Table by Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair (right) and the Fretwork Side Chair, part of the James River Collection for Hickory Chair (below), can be finished in Benjamin Moore paint. The floor models were finished in Benjamin Moore HC-136, Waterbury Green.
Also classic preppy was this pink bedroom suite created by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair in Antique Ivory. My favorite piece is the quatrefoil-back Alexandra Chair in the foreground.
Across other showrooms, upholstery stayed true to classic preppy forms. C.R. Laine combined a yellow leather chesterfield sofa with chinoiserie pillows to create an updated preppy look.
Thibaut, a long-standing company known for their fabrics and wallcoverings, introduced their Fine Furniture line at this Market. The Brighton Sofa (below) with its gently arched back, winged arms and bamboo-style legs was a delight in pink Spring Velvet. Notice how it's paired with a green ottoman.
This Brentwood Chair, much like a slipper chair, with buttoned back and bamboo-style base and legs, had an old-fashioned silhouette and the feel of a family heirloom. How much more preppy can you get?
Oly Studio introduced this new green velvet called "Lily Pad" at Market. Maybe it's the combo with the pink throw pillow that makes me think preppy.
And talk about pink and green! How about these headboards introduced by Company C with the accompanying linens?
Light fixtures and accessories did prep too, just as a rep tie would finish off a navy blazer and khakis. Robert Abbey featured this Penelope Pendant with a drum shade in orange, fuchsia, black, navy or taupe with a silver mylar lining. Polished nickel and a lead crystal finial complete the look.
For the die-hards, Oomph, a favorite at High Point, featured their Charleston mirror (below left), a take-off on a classic Chippendale style, in 16 colors (by the way, that's Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence reflected in the mirror). Is plaid in your heritage? Maybe you'd like these Tartan stools by Tozai Home (below right).
Finally, what's preppy without some ancestral portraits or busts. These, by Oly, may just fit the bill.