Last week Women’s Wear Daily ran a feature on the upcoming book “Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style,” by Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle.
Among other things, the story includes the great photo above of Deerfield Academy’s class of 1961. The story’s author, David Lipke, goes on to note preppy style’s relative imperviousness to change in the 50 years since the photo was taken.
Princeton gets mentioned as the leading artiber of the Ivy League Look in the following passage:
The book traces the origins of the style to the Ivy League universities of the East Coast, where, following World War I, a privileged set of young men developed a new style centered on a greater amount of leisure time and athletic influences. Princeton, in particular, was fertile ground for the cohesive new look, as it was among the more homogenous and isolated of the Eastern schools, with a student body largely compiled from just a handful of preparatory schools.
“Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style” is due out October 4. — CC
The Ivy trend has officially reached the cash-grab phase: Abercrombie & Fitch — which once sold tweed sportcoats and other authentic Ivy-style items — has released a new collection for teenyboppers entitled “Elements of Ivy.”
The web copy reads: “Distinguished from the rest and exceptional by every standard, Elements of Ivy is a collection of collegiate classics.”
“Distinguished from the rest?” Certainly not from the rest of the brand’s clothing. — CC
Yesterday The Sartorialist ran a photo of “Take Ivy” author Shiro Itoh and announced the publication next month of “Take 8 Ivy,” which was touted as a sequel to the seminal Japanese book chronicling American collegiate style.
I was able to flip through “Take 8 Ivy” here in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. Basically it’s nothing near a true sequel to “Take Ivy.” It’s a collection of short photo essays about each Ivy college — with most of the photos taken of buildings in the 1980s.
Photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida did an incredibly boring book in the ’80s consisting of just architectural shots, and I suspect some of these photos come from that. There are some student pictures, but it’s mostly late ’70s/early ’80s style — far from the classic Ivy League Look everybody so idolizes. There are a few ’60s photos scattered throughout, likely outtakes from “Take Ivy” or alternate versions of the same pictures.
But overall this feels more like something they would sell to tourists at Harvard’s Coop than a book for style aficionados. — W. DAVID MARX
A few days ago someone who goes by the sobriquet “Andover Hotchkiss” posted the above image on Ivy Style’s Facebook page. It’s an ad for a book entitled “Prep 101: The Battle of Status and Social Rank,” by Dr. Charles Walker, Jr. and Cedric S. King that is supposedly due out next month.
The tome is written from an African-American perspective; the image above carries the following debate-inspiring (hey, I know you guys) quote from Andre 3000 of the band OutKast:
It will be interesting to see how prep style is interpreted by other cultures and future generations that have no association whatsoever to the original pedigree from which it came. Ironically, this “new blood” may be the very thing that keeps the “blue blood” aesthetic relevant.
I went on Google to do a little research. Now this is going to sound self-congratulatory when it’s merely meant to sound droll, but after seven years of blogging, I can’t tell you how many times I go to look something up only to find the answer on my own website.
To wit, one of the search results was this comment left by one of the authors on the About page last summer:
Thanks for your scholarly work and passion for mid-century garb. I am an African American, and I am releasing a book called “Prep 101.” It’s a historical preppie fashion guide that reveals secrets of the wealthy, and the cultural diversity that exists within the ranks. Prep 101 provides an in-depth review of those that are PREP-pared for Power and the battle for social rank and status.
I would love to discuss the book, and how we could share information that will reveal how smart dress has influenced the “great unwashed- those that follow ‘the crowd’ and don’t have a mind of their own. Please have someone contact me. Thanks.
I will do as the author requested and report back the findings. — CC
For the last couple of years, one of the recurring refrains on the trad forums and blogs has been an impatient wish for the Preppy/Ivy/Trad/Americana (PITA) trend to go away so that stubborn fuddy-duddies can go back to being behind the times.
Rejoice, gentlemen, for that day is here: Mark McNairy, arguably the leading guru of “Take Ivy” fashion hipness, has decreed the Ivy trend officially over on this $12 handkerchief.
Continue as you were. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
Paris-based contributor Matthew Benz, who recently wrote about Tommy Hilfiger’s “True Prep” pop-up prep experience, sent along this scan from the Mai/Juin issue of French men’s magazine Monsieur.
The copy discusses the “uniforme de WASP en vacances;” the phrase “go-to-hell” as coined by Tom Wolfe (“toujours vetu de blanc“); and “les pantalons flashys des Bostoniens… brodés de petits motifs évoquant la Nouvelle Angleterre.” — CC