Ivy Trendwatch

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Ivy Trendwatch: The Quirky Off-Center Vent

Earlier this week Gilt Groupe sponsored an “Ivy Style” flash sale with contemporary fashion pieces about as closely related to the Ivy League Look as my alma mater is to the Ancient Eight. Now rival company Mr. Porter presents an exclusive three-button suit with patch pockets, tapered trousers and “quirky off-centre [sic] single vent.” The


Découvrez l’Univers Preppy: Tommy in Paris

The grounds of the Centre Pompidou, the modern art museum in Paris, is an unlikely place to find a display of preppy clothing and accessories. But that’s where Tommy Hilfiger recently chose to set up shop for Prep World, a new collection in collaboration with “Preppy Handbook” author Lisa Birnbach. Or rather it’s where he


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Ivy Trendwatch: JFK-Inspired “Ivy League Shorts”

By definition, an Ivy League jacket has natural shoulders, three buttons and no darts. It may also have lapped seams, swelled edges, patch pockets, hook vent and two-button cuff. But what makes a pair of shorts Ivy League? Evidently having been designed while looking at photos of JFK aboard his yacht, the Manitou. At least


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Ivy Trendwatch: Jeffrey Banks’ Upcoming Preppy Book

Over the past few months several menswear colleagues have mentioned that fashion designer Jeffrey Banks, who started his career at Ralph Lauren, was writing a preppy book. Then a couple weeks ago, as I exited the J. Press warehouse sale, I received a phone call from Mr. Banks, who was trying to track down the


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Ivy Trendwatch: German Edition

Stuttgart-based department store chain Breuninger has given a Teutonic interpretation of campus style in a photo spread from its in-house style magazine. The shots have even inspired a South African blogger, further evidence that Ivy is on a world tour. Germans may be precise when it comes to engineering, but the photos are anything but.


Ivy Trendwatch: Department Store Edition

Nordstrom has released a men’s fashion video that devotes 18 seconds to acknowledging the Ivy trend, with vintage footage and a style endorsement of cardigans and wingtips (click here to go directly to the Ivy section of the clip). Yes, the gingham shirt doesn’t have a buttondown collar, and the wingtips aren’t longwings. What do


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Ivy Trendwatch: GQ Endorses The Sack Suit

In what probably hasn’t been done in half a century, GQ has endorsed the sack suit — sort of. The March issue features a one-page primer on the Ivy League Look (more or less), though it avoids the term “Ivy” and instead opts for “sack suit.” The Ralph Lauren suit pictured appears to be dartless,


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Rugged Ivy: Free & Easy’s February Issue

A friend of mine works at the US office of Japanese men’s magazine Free & Easy, and recently alerted me to the February issue, whose theme is “rugged Ivy.” For the hardcore Ivyphile, the best things about the issue are the small historical photos of Miyuki-zoku-type youths in the ’60s, as well as early shots


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Ivy Trendwatch: WSJ on the Ivy League Look

The Wall Street Journal offers a summary of the zeitgeist so far. Prediction: The topic will continue to generate buzz this year, but the buzz will end in 2012. Of course, everything is supposed to end in 2012. — CC


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Ivy Trendwatch: Ralph Lauren’s Ivy Row, Rugby Goes Collegiate

This fall/winter season Ivy and related references have multiplied at both Ralph Lauren and Rugby as vintage university style continues to be rediscovered by the fashion industry. Likewise, Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2010 in-store magazine features the image above, which has a vaguely “Take Ivy” vibe, combined with the car from “La Dolce Vita” and stately


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Ivy Trendwatch: GQ at Princeton

GQ has dispatched photographer Gordon von Steiner to capture contemporary Princeton style (for an appreciation of vintage Tiger style, see our post “The Princetonians“). Unabashedly Prep‘s Fred Castleberry is one of the subjects. I recently recruited Fred to shoot for The Rake team and he’ll be heading up to Cambridge soon to take photos for


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Ivy Trendwatch: Northern Exposure

If you’ve ever wondered where my patronym comes from, the answer is Norway. My paternal grandfather came over in the ’30s and settled in San Francisco, where he married my grandmother, who had about the plainest English name imaginable: Betty Jane Smith. We’re one of only two Chensvold families in the US (the other is


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Ivy Trendwatch: The Return of Norman Hilton

During the heyday of the Ivy League Look, Norman Hilton was a leading natural-shoulder brand sold at many campus shops and regional clothiers. Hilton was also Ralph Lauren’s first major investor, and made many of Lauren’s suits and sportcoats in the ’70s. His son Nick Hilton has continued the family tradition, running a clothing shop


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True Blue: Gant Returns To Yale

Originally founded in New Haven in 1949, Gant is returning to Yale with a “campus store” opening next month, the company announced today. Gant will also recreate “a limited-edition shirt collection featuring the historically significant Yale Co-op label,” set to debut in early 2011. The shop will be located at 268 York Street and Broadway,


The Rights Stuff: The Publication of “Take Ivy”

The following is an interview with Wes Del Val, vice president and associate publisher at powerHouse Books, which brings out “Take Ivy” on August 31. IS: “Take Ivy” isn’t due to come out for another month, and yet you’ve already pre-sold the first printing. How many copies have you sold in advance of publication? WDV:


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Ivy Trendwatch: Before The Fall

Will Fall 2010 be remembered as the peak —and therefore beginning of the end — of the Preppy/Ivy/Trad/Americana trend, or will it mark the beginning of a much larger and longer influence on American style and culture? Time will tell, and things are heating up in preparation. In this weekend’s Sunday Styles section of the


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Ivy Trendwatch: Paris After Dark

As Details recently reported, the preppy/Ivy/trad/Americana trend (acronym: PITA) is becoming a global phenomenon. One of the things it’s inspired is foreign photo shoots. There’s Denmark-based Sergei Sviatchenko’s “Up Close And Private” photo project (here and here), and h(y)r collective’s recreation of “Take Ivy” (OK, so they’re Canadian). But I think the image above is


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Attention To Details: American Style Goes Global

The current issue of Details devotes its style section to home-grown looks, saying that American style is a rapidly growing global trend. Writes the magazine: Classic American style is dominating fashion these days. What started as a domestic revival has snowballed into a worldwide movement — well-dressed guys from Antwerp to Tokyo have suddenly traded


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Ivy Trendwatch: Leffot’s “Ivy” Venetian Loafer

“Take Ivy” inspires once again, this time New York shoe shop Leffot, which has unveiled its $625 cordovan Venetian loafer with direct reference to the former cult book that’s soon to be ubiquitous. Made in Maine, the “Ivy” loafer comes in unlined cordovan and four color choices. If you like the look of the Venetian


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Ivy Trendwatch: The Dockers Ankle Chino

As Teruyoshi Hayashida once said, “Apres moi, le deluge.” Previously we reported on the similarities between Gant Rugger’s Spring 2010 collection and Hayashida’s ’60s photo book “Take Ivy,” and now the sartorial breviary appears to have inspired another brand, this time Dockers and its flood-length chinos. Urban Outfitters is now offering an exclusive Docker pant


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Ivy Trendwatch: Ralph Lauren’s Updated Sack Suit

Polo Ralph Lauren has finally released images to Ivy-Style of its Fall/Winter 2010 collection, which include a new silhouette in the Blue Label line. This updated sack suit was first reported by WWD Men’s about two months ago, which was picked up by Valet, and since then has been sitting in Ivy-Style’s Ephemera column under


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Back To School: Take Ivy Reprint Scheduled For August

On assignment for CNNGo.com, Tokyo-based Ivy-Style contributor W. David Marx reports that “Take Ivy” will be reprinted in the US in August with a price of $24.95. If you’ve been sitting on an original waiting for the right moment to sell, that moment is probably gone.