Victoria’s Secret

RORY: Are you okay?
LORELAI: I’m perfect.
RORY: Really?
LORELAI: I have hit a level of perfection that has rarely been seen outside the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

Victoria’s Secret is an American company which designs and makes women’s lingerie, swimwear, sleepwear, and beauty products. Founded by Roy Raymond in 1977, it is now the largest American retailer of women’s lingerie. Their iconic mail-order catalogues were famous for being sexy yet tasteful, showing beautiful models in elegant poses; the catalogues were discontinued in 2016.

Princess Grace

PARIS: You have to go to college.
LOUISE: Princess Grace didn’t go to college.

Princess Grace, born Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was an American actress who began her career on television and starred in several Alfred Hitchcock films, such as Dial M for Murder (1953), Rear Window (1953), and To Catch a Thief (1955). She also starred in the classic western High Noon (1952) and the musical High Society (1956), winning a Best Actress at the Academy Awards for The Country Girl (1954).

She retired from acting to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, and having three children. As a princess, she founded children’s charity AMADE, formed the Princess Grace Foundation for artisans in Monaco, and became known as a fashion icon, being inducted into the Best Dressed Hall of Fame in 1960.

Louise is correct – Princess Grace, who came from a wealthy family and attended prestigious private schools, was rejected by Bennington College in 1947, due to her low scores in Mathematics. However, she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, the oldest acting school in the English-speaking world, so she did have a distinguished tertiary education.

Bustle

LORELAI: I tried on three different [wedding] dresses, one of which gave me a rash. And I gotta say, has anyone missed the bustle? ‘Cause I haven’t.

A bustle is a type of framework intended to support drapery at the back of a woman’s dress, which could either jut out at the back, have numerous heavy folds, or support a train. It was a fashion popular in the 19th century, but still in use for formal gowns and wedding dresses.

Taffeta and Cotillion

RORY: Why don’t you go to a wedding dress place and try a real veil on?
LORELAI: No way.
RORY: Why?
LORELAI: Too much taffeta, it gives me cotillion flashbacks.

Taffeta is a smooth plain-woven fabric made from silk. It is considered a luxurious fabric suitable for ball gowns and wedding dresses.

In American usage, a cotillion is a formal ball, often for presenting debutantes to society. However, Lorelai is most likely talking about cotillions as a class for younger girls, perhaps aged 10 to 13, to prepare them for their future debut in society. Such classes teach social etiquette, followed by a formal party where they put what they’ve learned into practice. We later learn that Emily teaches these classes, and probably taught Lorelai when she was younger.

Diana

LORELAI: And then there’s the full on Diana [veil].
RORY: Right, right.
LORELAI: Which is nice, but it just might be a little …

Lorelai is referring to Diana, Princess of Wales, born Diana Spencer (1961-1997). Diana married Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne, in 1981. At their wedding in St. Paul’s Cathedral, she wore an ivory silk and lace vintage-style wedding dress with a 25 foot long train; her tulle veil was likewise very long, and floated behind her as she walked.

Diana and Charles divorced in 1996 – another famously disastrous marriage to give a hint to Lorelai.

Porn Star Tee-Shirt

LORELAI:  If you cut him [Richard] a little slack, I’ll wear my Porn Star tee-shirt to dinner next week.

Presumably a tee-shirt which has “Porn Star” written on the front. Such tee-shirts are still common, and it is hard to say what Lorelai’s might look like. We never see it, and it seems unlikely she would wear it to dinner with her parents.

Deco

MAX: The third one [ring] is from the twenties … Large diamond in the middle …Diamond clusters on the sides … A little Deco.

Max is referring to Art Deco, a decorative style which flourished in the 1920s and influenced the style of architecture, furniture, jewellery, fashion, vehicles, and everyday objects. Art Deco was designed to be both modern and luxurious, with extravagent yet exquisite craftsmanship.

Art Deco jewellery is usually white-gold or platinum, with European-cut diamonds, filigree work, and geometric designs.