Ten years ago today Christian Chensvold began his foray into menswear blogging with the founding of Dandyism.net. Four years later he turned his attention to the Ivy League Look, and he continues to find new niches to explore (under the loose heading Stickpin Media), with the recent launch of Golf Style.
Bruce Boyer herein pays tribute to the man who a decade ago brought the Internet what was eventually called “the most self-important review in the history of media.”
* * *
This is just a shoddy excuse of a note to wish Christian my best regards on his 10th anniversary of Internet publishing. Particularly as an avid reader of Ivy Style since its inception, I want to tell him how much I appreciate his fine balance of worthwhile information, creative perspective, and a writing style to rival Max Beerbohm in wit and erudition.
Christian, I suppose to some this may well seem like log-rolling, since you’ve been kind to me in your past columns, but I don’t want you to think that. I’m really very objective about these things, and part of whatever success I’ve enjoyed can be put down to knowing who’s doing good work and who in the room’s got the talent.
Your columns often are a wonderful reminder for me of my own youth (I’m thinking, for example, of the fairly recent barbershop photo), and I’m indebted to you for that nostalgic tug. More importantly, your insight into some areas (your various jazz pieces, for instance) make me go back and reconsider the subject anew.
And finally, for me, you’ve brought some of the more interesting people you’ve met to a larger audience. I’m thinking here of someone like Charlie Davidson, who is a hero of mine and deserves to be known by a younger audience.
With my great good wishes for your continued success, from a fan and a friend. — G. BRUCE BOYER
Longtime members of Tradsville will recall with a cringe the username “Russell Street,” the notorious English troll who got himself banned from Andy’s Trad Forum, the Ivy Style comments section, and most recently the Film Noir Buff “Talk Ivy” forum, which he created but was ousted for, among other things irksome to small online communities, pretending to be his own imaginary son.
Apparently Jimmy Frost Mellor was in fact his real name all along (or at least a sobriquet he uses off the ‘Net as well), and he can be heard pontificating on Ivy in this podcast, starting at the 1:50:42 mark. (Why Jason Jules and John Simons allow this nutcase to pose as a spokesman for them is baffling.)
Those who’ve read the take on Ivy from our cousins across the pond might find it interesting to actually hear it discussed. Especially entertaining is the tricky passage about the Eastern Establishment and the role of the campus in the Ivy League Look, things which in the mind of many English Ivy fans (especially of the mod variety) have less to do with Ivy than scooters.
Online Mellor has often bragged that he’s spent over 30 years obsessing over Ivy, but the podcast reinforces what Tradsville has long known: that his take on the topic is highly subjective.
After all, you can stand on your head against the wall, stare across the room at a painting and claim you’re an expert on it, but in the end you’ve simply spent 30 years looking at something upside-down. — CC
A collection of six bow ties belonging to pioneering modernist architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969) are currently on display at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Frances Loeb Library.
Gropius, along with fellow modernist Le Corbusier, helped cement the bow tie as an emblem of nonconformist thinking, creativity, and architectural genius. The bow ties in the collection provide a glimpse into Gropius’ personal taste, his connection to Harvard, and his thoughts about the small accessory that makes a big statement. (Continue)
J. Press may have closed its New York location, but the inimitable Jay Walter, who ran the company’s made-to-measure tailoring program on Madison Avenue, remains committed to serving those devoted to traditional style.
His new shop, located in Manhattan at 800 Second Avenue, will continue furnishing customers with the same handmade custom tailoring for which he was renowned at J. Press. (Continue)
Zachary DeLuca was one of Ivy Style’s first contributors, and he recently rejoined us in the more formal role of assistant editor, where he’ll be writing regularly, helping plan content, and fixing typos (though how good he’ll be at that, when he can’t even remember to button his own collar, remains to be seen).
Zach was recently given the Keikari.com questionnaire (you can’t exactly call it an interview, since an interview involves asking different people different questions). Check it out and get to know the man who’ll have to captain the ship if I get hit by an errant golf ball, possibly my own. — CC