Today we take a trip to England, the country that gave us the blueprint for America’s universities and the raw materials for the Ivy League Look. I suspect that many of you, like me, are Anglophiles. You’re probably also interested in different historical periods and wish you could journey back in time to experience what life was like in the past, especially with a reliable time machine that could get you back, with the push of a button, to your comfortable and familiar home in the world of 2017.
And you probably enjoy male camaraderie. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time at the tennis courts, but have found myself conversing as much as playing. It’s almost all men there — men from all professions and parts of the world — and thus is a source of male social interaction that is so important for being happy and fulfilled. Ivy Style offers you a virtual gathering place, a digital boy’s club, just don’t forget the real thing outside your door.
This was a meandering way of leading up to what we are now going to consider together, and that is this almost incomprehensibly charming historical photograph. The rarefied world depicted therein — that of the Oxford Boat Club circa 1961 — is so fantastical as to strike us practically as a work of fiction.
I came across it recently after watching the Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory Of Everything.” Hawking’s in the photo and isn’t too hard to pick out. But check out all the other characters as well. The variety of expressions, poses and antics is astounding. Each man hamming it up for the camera in his own way, and yet they’re all part of a group. That’s how camaraderie works.
And then there are the outfits. On the far left we have a chap in a blazer and a rep tie he’s presumably entitled to wear. Next to him, dig the guy in the patterned sportcoat, v-neck and shades. Those look like suede shoes on the guy reclining across the front, while the guy next to him with the letter Y (for yank or Yale, perhaps?) looks like Cary Grant in “To Catch A Thief” with checked jacket and ascot.
Towards the middle we have a great headwear contrast: straw boaters beside extras from “Lawrence Of Arabia.”
The young man seated on the wall in the top right wears the classic combo of tan trousers, patterned jacket and club tie. In the center right are rep ties, pipes, and another ascot. On the far right is a bespectacled lad with a tweed jacket, while behind him, against the tree, is a guy who looks like he photobombed the scene. It’s certainly staged, but by real men, not a movie studio. All the world’s a stage, as the saying goes.
Which leads us back to Hawking. The renowned theoretical physicist made news this week with a rather doom-laden quote. He said mankind has only 100 years to colonize another world.
Journeying across the galaxy to build a new civilization from scratch will offer ample opportunities for male bonding. But I doubt the clothes will be as good. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD