Poised Or Oblivious? The True Essence Of Prep

This weekend columnist Mark Oppenheimer penned an essay about prepdom for Salon that’s pegged on Whit Stillman’s new movie “Damsels In Distress.” The piece is more thoughtful than the usual stuff that gets said about the cultural phenomenon known as preppy. Oppenheimer’s thesis is that preppy is more than a style of dress. This you


For Pete’s Sake: March “Mad”-ness Continues

March Madras carries on, but now it’s back to madness — mad as in “Mad Men,” which returns to TV this Sunday night after a 17-month hiatus. The setting is now 1965, so the clock is ticking in the closets of these Ivy-clad* Madison Avenue guys. Pictured above is a still from the new season


WASP Godfather: Whit Stillman’s Town & Country Cover Story

With “Damsels In Distress” set to debut next month, Whit Stillman is the subject of Town & Country‘s April cover story. Hearst’s publicity department was kind enough to send over a preview (which I’m not allowed to post, alas), and the story has some interesting revalations about this unique filmmaker devoted to deadpan humor and


Coming Attractions: Animal House, The Musical

Perhaps this post should be called “Coming Repulsions,” either because you believe that tampering with the 1978 classic — which is set at a college fraternity house in 1962 — is sacrilege, or, like me, you were eight years old when it came out and when you saw it later you didn’t think it was

Saving Civilization: Whit Stillman’s Damsels In Distress

After 13 years since his last film, writer/director Whit Stillman is presently out promoting his latest movie, “Damsels In Distress.” Stillman, who’s been called the missing link between Woody Allen and Wes Anderson, has previously documented the breakdown of preppy mores in his films “Metropolitan,” “Barcelona,” and “The Last Days of Disco.” His latest is


Whit Stillman Hosts Online Metropolitan Screening

On Thursday evening writer-director Whit Stillman, auteur of the Preppydämmerung film “Metropolitan,” will host a screening at “online movie theater” Through online chat the fillmmaker will answer viewer questions and will also present the trailer from his upcoming movie “Damsels In Distress.” The viewing costs $3.99 and the Wall Street Journal has this handy


A Tiger Among The Bootleggers

On Sunday night, HBO finished up its second season of the loosely historic “Boardwalk Empire,” the hit period drama by Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg starring Steve Buscemi. Overflowing with illegal scotch and homicidal blood, the program was nominated for 18 Emmys this year. Focusing on Atlantic City organized crime at the dawn of Prohibition,


The Legendary Take Ivy Film

Just five years ago, 1965 photo book “Take Ivy” was a rarity. Most sat proudly on the book shelves of Ivy fans in Japan, with a few battered copies showing up time to time on Japanese auction sites for absurd prices. But now thanks to Men’s Club and powerHouse Books’ recent reprints, T. Hayashida’s photos


Penthouse Serenade: Hef on Ivy, 1960

If you’re a sucker for the “Mad Men” vibe of cool dudes, sexy chicks and midcentury style, you should really check out “Playboy’s Penthouse,” Hugh Hefner’s variety show from the early days of his budding Playboy empire. Episodes are available on DVD, including through Netflix. The episodes were taped in a party atmosphere that brought


DiCaprio As Gatsby In New Baz Luhrmann Production

The battle between old money and new wages again as Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the role of Jay Gatsby in a new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1926 novel “The Great Gatsby.” The film, which begins shooting soon in Australia, will be helmed by director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “Strictly Ballroom”). While

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Brooks Brothers Fall 2011 Promo Videos

Last week Brooks Brothers released its Fall 2011 promotional videos on YouTube. The youth-oriented clips continue the “Back To Campus” and “Back To Town” themes. Above is the latter video, which, minus a two-second intro and outro, clocks in at 90 seconds. According to my calculations — and I may have blinked — there are


The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt

For Ivy Style’s 300th post, London-based contributor Rebecca C. Tuite examines the most important piece of literature about The Ivy League Look’s most important brand. There is little doubt that Mary Mccarthy’s short story “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” is now probably more famous for its punchy title — a dream for the

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Metro Retro: Siskel & Ebert on Metropolitan, 1990

Twenty years ago writer/director Whit Stillman released “Metropolitan,” set during the height of the debutante ball season between Christmas and New Year’s. No other film has examined the preppy class with such wit and originality, and unlike lesser preppy films from the ’80s, “Metropolitan” is as timeless as its indeterminate temporal setting. The clip above


Jazz vs. Ivy: All The Fine Young Cannibals, 1960

Jazz and Ivy duel for the affections of Natalie Wood in “All the Fine Young Cannibals,” a largely forgotten melodrama released a half a century ago. The film has not been released on DVD, but there are used VHS copies floating about, and if you search the web you might find a digital version. “All


Wet Behind The Ears: White Squall, 1996

I recently discovered the movie “White Squall,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Jeff Bridges. Set in 1961, it’s a coming-of-age film crossed with maritime adventure. The story centers around a group of prep-school flunkies who get to redeem themselves in a kind of nautical reform school, doing their studies at sea while they learn

Princeton Newsreel, 1961

Our latest video from the Princeton Campus Life channel on YouTube is just the thing to get you in the mood for the release of “Take Ivy” next week. It’s another long one, but worth watching in full. Students in jackets and ties make their first appearance at 4:26, and return repeatedly, so be patient


Ivy League Killers, 1959

Just how much was the Ancient Eight a part of pop culture during the heyday of the Ivy League Look? Enough to inspire a B movie like 1959’s “Ivy League Killers,” whose title, reeking of both murder and elitism, was sure to have kids across the nation flocking to drive-ins. The film (which was made


Southern Comfort: Shag The Movie, 1989

“Take Ivy” is full of students wearing shorts, untucked oxfords and Weejuns without socks. This begs the question: Did the look originate on Yankee campuses, or did the practice originate in the South, with Southern students taking the look North with them when they headed off to college? Made in 1989 and set in Myrtle


P-Unit Forever: Behind the Scenes of Tea Partay

OK, you just read the headline, saw the embedded video, and you’re snickering. Let me explain. When I founded this site, I vowed never to post the Smirnoff “Tea Partay” video, which had become infamous in the online world of Tradsville. But I recently began covering digital marketing for Yahoo!, and found myself chatting with

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Buttoned-Down Beatnik: Ginsberg Biopic “Howl” Gets Sept. Release

A few months ago I heard about the Allen Ginsberg biopic “Howl,” and asked the production company if there were any upcoming screenings. There weren’t, as the film had yet to find a distributor. It’s got one now, and is scheduled for release on September 24. The film focuses on the poet’s 1957 obscenity trial