Going Native: Batik, The Forgotten Campus And Resort Fabric

Sun 27 Jul 2014 - Filed under: 1960s,Clothes,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (30)

batik5

As we reach the heart of summer, I sense a deprivation. It goes virtually unnoticed, and yet it is there for any Ivy enthusiast to investigate. The stores are full of the requisite madras and seersucker, but little else. Compared to the Ivy boom years, or even the golden age of the 1930s, it appears as if part of the color palette is missing, pattern is virtually nonexistent, and ethnically diverse fabrics are nowhere to be found. Some will contend that this is natural selection, that madras and seersucker won fair and square. Others will point out that in a shrinking market, you offer what sells and no longer take risks. A third faction will wish we not peruse the subject at all. But we are going there.

Before the full ascent of the counter culture, back in the days of in loco parentis, there was a burst of sartorial hedonism on campus that students took to with Tahitian abandon. This was expressed in an appreciation for native fabrics. The first fabric family are those that use a dye-resistant technique. This style of cloth dates back at least 1,500 years, and is found in Africa, the Middle East, India and China. For many enthusiasts, the pinnacle of this style is represented in the batiks of Java and the East Indies. Batik takes it entomological roots from the word “ambatik,” which means “to write with little dots.” The word harkens back to the Dutch colonial period, when various forms of the word like mbatek, batik, batek and battik were used. Dutch records from the 17th century report “highly decorated fabrics,” but it wasn’t until the importation of fine quality cloth in the 19th century that allowed the elaborate style to flourish. (Continue)

Hallelujah For Madras

Mon 21 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
Comments (2)

choir madras

Choir boys going to hell.

 

Langrock Humor, 1949

Fri 18 Jul 2014 - Filed under: 1920s-'40s,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (3)

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From The Daily Princetonian, 1949.

 

Where Main Street Meets The Elite

Wed 2 Jul 2014 - Filed under: 1960s,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (14)

GL

This ad from mass-market clothier Galey & Lord dates from 1965. But apparently that’s no random model who sat for the portrait. According to textilehistory.org:

In the mid-1960s, six prominent socialites had their portraits painted by Henry Koehler. The garments were crafted using G&L fabrics. Ads appeared in the New York Times Feb 2, 1965.

If that’s your father, leave a comment and let us know.

(Postscript: Galey & Lord ad from six years later, after the fall.) — CC

 

Hold Up Your Pants The Ivy Way

Wed 25 Jun 2014 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
Comments (5)

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Simple outfit, stylish belt. One of my favorite formulas. — CC

 

Last Day Of Spring: The Daily Princetonian, 1950

Fri 20 Jun 2014 - Filed under: 1950s,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (6)

pton1950

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means today is the last day of spring. Wish we could say you can scoop up these spring items at 1950 prices, but hey, at least there are sales going on right now at Brooks and Press. — CC

 

School’s Out: Daily Princetonian Seersucker Ads, 1940s

Tue 10 Jun 2014 - Filed under: 1920s-'40s,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (12)

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If you were off on Spring Break or spending the winter in Palm Beach, Princeton’s clothiers of the 1940s had just the clothes you needed, including plenty of seersucker. While not graphically interesting, these ads include interesting copy revealing what was popular with students at the time. — CS & CC (Continue)

 
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