This post originally ran this week in 2009 and was Ivy Style’s 100th post.
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This is Ivy-Style’s one-hundredth post.
Over the past 99, I can honestly say that the thing I’m most proud of is never having once attempted to confirm or deny that there is or is not such a thing as “trad.”
For this one, I’d like to present something special: Ivy Magazine from December, 1957 (vol. 2, no. 2), acquired from Collectable Ivy, a dealer in collegiate memorabilia. It’s a fascinating example of an Ivy lifestyle magazine — complete with jazz and clothes — from the heyday and from the source.
I’ve not scanned the entire magazine, as the content is actually rather dull. And you don’t want to read an entire dull magazine at your computer, especially when you’re supposed to be working. But here are some highlights.
The issue includes feature stories on Cambridge University, segregationist David R. Wang and entertainer Jean Shepherd, plus some mediocre fiction and poetry. The front-of-the-book news items include one on the “feminine invasion” at Ivy colleges. There’s also a jazz-on-campus story, but it’s on the Dixieland Revival, not Dave Brubeck.
Put together by undergraduates, the magazine’s advertising roster is fairly impressive, and includes Saks Fifth Avenue, several New York hotels offering student rates, and some travel companies with packages to Bermuda. There are also several recruitment ads aimed at new grads, including ones by Burlington Industries, Ford Motor Company, and Gulf Oil Corporation.
Here are some of the more interesting ads. Playboy took the inside front cover, while MG took the back cover:
Clothing ads are few; the only full-pager is this one by Gant stressing the company’s Ivy cred and the merits of its collar roll:
The article worth reproducing is the cover story, in which two writers argue about prep schools versus public schools. The anti-prep guy opens his essay with a reference to “clothing manufacturers aware of the class-consciousness of the American public,” and argues that isolation from females leads the prep schooler to all sorts of neuroses from which he may never recover.
The opposing writer’s characterization of public-school boys, on the other hand, echoes that of the “Archies” in Nelson Aldrich Jr.’s Atlantic Monthly cover story.
The word “preppie” is used to denote the prep schoolers. Here, in 1957, it’s given quotation marks, as if a neologism. Thirteen years later, after entering common nomenclature vis-a-vis the novel and film “Love Story,” it will lose them, and gradually come to refer to something far less specific.
A note on reading the two essays below: There were technical difficulties when trying to link to larger, easier-to-read files. If these scans are too much of an eye strain, drag the files to your desktop and enlarge them there, or better yet print them out. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD