Four weeks from today Ivy Trendwatch will shift into overdrive. The developments of the past five years, during which we’ve seen the republication of “Take Ivy,” several Ivy and preppy books from around the world, the proliferation of trad blogs and tumblrs, and of course Ivy-Style.com, will presumably shoot to new heights of public awareness when the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology unveils its “Ivy Style” exhibit.
I got the publicity ball rolling with a story in the latest issue of Ralph Lauren Magazine, which posted on the RL site a few days ago. Head over here to check it out.
It’s going to be a wonderful autumn. I’ll be reporting from the front lines on all the festivities. Stay tuned to these pages for updates on get-togethers, especially for the tours that Richard Press will be leading. — CC
Today the Rugby blog plugged a relatively new tumblr called Men Of The Ivy League, so we figured it’s about time we did the same.
The site should more appropriately be called Sportsmen Of The Ivy League, as it’s focused almost entirely on athletics. The photo-driven site (as are all tumblrs) features contemporary photos, and of the vintage ones the focus is more on the interwar years than the ’50s and ’60s, with the exception of this shot of Princeton students in 1962. — CC
What a difference half a century makes. Brooks Brothers, essentially the creators of what came to be known as the Ivy League Look, used to scoff at the term. To wit, this passage from the 1959 novel “Try For Elegance” by former Brooks Brothers employee David Loovis:
He [the floor manager] detested to the point of vehemence the term “Ivy League” although the store was generally considered as the long-time stronghold of that type of apparel. Dunar suspected Pardee’s lack of college background and a secret envy of the well-fed, rangy type of boy and man who mostly patronized the store had something to do with it.
Today Brooks Brothers unveiled a new campaign on its website and in its email newsletter that loudly proclaims the term “Ivy.” (Continue)
Update, 3 July, 10:04 AM:
Last night Ivy Style crossed the 10,000-comment threshold with these infamous words that will echo across America this summer as families pile up the station wagon and head out on the road:
Are we there yet?
The comment was left by none other than regular reader Henry, who will finally be rewarded for years of faithful interaction.
Leave one more comment with your real email address, Henry, so I can make sure the IP addresses match. Wouldn’t want the loot to go to one of your sparring partners pretending to be you. — CC
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Ivy-Style.com is rapidly approaching its 10,000th comment. As a way of saying thank you for the interaction and entertainment that our comments section provides, I’m arranging for one lucky reader to get a pile of loot donated by our sponsors.
Here’s how it will work. Sometime over the next couple of weeks — depending on how worked up you guys get — we’ll cross the ten thousand threshold. The person to leave comment number 10,000 — after all spam and petty nastiness has been expunged, of course — wins.
So you might want to leave a valid email address when you comment, at least for the time being.
And while it’s true that the winner may be one of the usual suspects in our perennial Left vs. Right and US vs. UK kerfuffles, at least everyone has an equal chance of winning, regardless of ideology.
After all, anyone can wear buttondowns and penny loafers. — CC
Update: Here is a confirmed alphabetical list of the prizes so far, which have a combined value of $1,425: (Continue)
As reported to Tradsville by the French blog Greensleeves To A Ground, English photographer Nick Clements recently completed a photo shoot entitled “The Ivy House” for the retro magazine Men’s File.
The shoot combined modern and vintage clothing and sought to recreate the mood of a ’60s fraternity house.
While it’s tough to tell the new clothing from the vintage, the fraternity house mood could hardly be called modern. — CC (Continue)
E-commerce site Mr. Porter has unveiled a new collection by Paul Smith in which the British designer draws inspiration from “Take Ivy.”
According to the website’s announcement,
Sir Paul, who has been at the forefront of British fashion for five decades, is well placed to explain how Ivy style first came to the UK from the US. “In London the Ivy look was brought in by a lot of the GIs who were stationed out in places such as Cambridgeshire. They came into London at the weekends and went to clubs such as The Scene, in Soho. There was quite an interest in the way these guys dressed, because they looked so cool and slick.” In Sir Paul’s opinion, “The clothes are quite timeless, and there’s always been a hard core of fans.” That classic appeal brings a practical advantage: “It’s a look you can easily wear with your existing wardrobe,” he says.
And as those who’ve followed this website know, Ivy in the UK is associated not with the WASP establishment (save for popular icons such as the Kennedys), but with the world of jazz:
For the designer, the Kennedy clan – “all of them” – are the icons of the Ivy look. “There are lovely pictures of Jack wearing Converse All-Stars, regular trousers and a pale-coloured sweater with patch elbows. It’s the whole Hamptons look.” However, Sir Paul’s other source of Ivy inspiration comes from the music scene. “For me it was very much about the jazz era; Blue Note [a US jazz label] album covers always had these very cool-looking guys, with a very sharp look,” he remembers. “Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane were the guys who stood out as being very well dressed.”
As for the clothes, when the best item in your collection is a gray sweatshirt, perhaps you need to be more inspired.
And in other quasi-Ivy UK news….
The battle for young fashion preps is heating up. Rugby staked its claim several years ago, and Brooks Brothers has been amping up its youthful sportswear and opened its Flatiron store this past year complete with video games.
The latest entry, at least according to the May issue of GQ, is Jack Wills, a UK-based company that combines “British boarding school and American frat house” looks and operates 11 stores strategically located near college campuses. — CC