Personae

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Golden Brush: Playboy Illustrator LeRoy Neiman

As the Olympics draw to a close, my thoughts turn to the 1976 games in Montreal, which coincided with the American Bicentennial. If America had some maturity under her belt, I certainly did not. I was eight years old and the Olympics were my first taste of gambler’s fever. The enabler of this childhood mania


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A League Of His Own: The Andover Shop’s Charlie Davidson

A League Of His Own: His aloof demeanor may not be that of a man locked in the groove, but Charlie Davidson has spent seven decades making Ivy Leaguers and his very own jazz heroes “hip to my kinda clothes.” By Christian Chensvold From The Rake, issue 23 (click here for PDF) Half a century


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F-Yeah Charlie Davidson!

Yesterday menswear omnivore Derek Guy of Die Workwear! and Put This On started a tumblr devoted to the wit and wisdom of menswear legend Charlie Davidson, the octogenarian owner of The Andover Shop. “The Quotable Charlie Davidson,” a breezy little print tome, would be a logical next step. Charlie-isms are rare, hence their value. When


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Mitt Romney: A Preppy, Ivy Kinda Guy

Yesterday a link to a slideshow of the young Mitt Romney somehow made its way into my inbox. I took a look and wasn’t surprised to learn that the son of Michigan’s governor and former prep school student was raised on natural shoulders, oxford buttondowns and rep ties. At least while it was current and


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Holly And The Ivy: Retro Rocker Nick Waterhouse

The June issue of GQ, while also including Justin Bieber, devotes a full-page profile to Nick Waterhouse, a Southern California singer and guitarist who takes his music clues from Buddy Holly and songwriters Leiber and Stoller.


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British Ivy: Remembering J. Press Salesman John Norey

Following Richard Press’ recent column “A Tummler On York Street,” Ivy Style received an email from Peter Feen, great nephew of the man profiled in Richard’s column. Feen went on to tell us about his other great uncle, John Norey (above left), who also worked at J. Press in New Haven. Norey was an Englishman


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Fire Away: A Reader Q&A With Bruce Boyer

In February Ivy Style featured a virtual question-and-answer session with columnist Richard Press, and this time we turn the podium over to menswear author G. Bruce Boyer, contributor to the upcoming Ivy exhibit at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, and whose latest book, “Enduring Style,” features never-before-seen photos of Gary Cooper. Today


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George Frazier & Lord Of New York

Lord Of New York may sound like a comic-book villain, but it’s actually a lesser-known Ivy haberdasher. It came up in conversation at a Paul Stuart event recently with a fellow who sells menswear on eBay under the username mack11211. Mack told me about a few bespoke Lord suits made in 1963 he has for


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Uncompromising & Visionary: Remembering Norman Hilton

Ivy Style had the somber privilege of sharing the news of Norman Hilton‘s death last year, and now, as a follow-up to the acknowledging of his superb taste by one of his peers and a gallery of vintage advertising images, we offer this remembrance from the menswear trade. Above is a shot of Hilton that


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Father Knows Best: Free & Easy Dad’s Style Issue

The February issue of Japanese magazine Free & Easy is devoted to “dad’s style,” another term for trad, and includes a profile on me. Two correspondents from the magazine spent several days documenting me and a selection of my worldly possessions to the tune of eight pages. Previously I’ve written in praise of the small


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Happy Birthday, Woody Allen

Allan Stewart Koningsberg was born in Brooklyn today in 1935. In the early part of his career, he sported the requisite garb of a New York intellectual: buttondown collars, knit ties and natural-shouldered jackets. He’s pictured above in a 1966 Smirnoff ad in white buttondown, navy and red rep tie and navy jacket — practically



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The Godfather

On me: Norman Hilton sportcoat Brooks Brothers oxford Chipp grenadine tie Ralph Lauren paisley pocket square O’Connell’s grey flannels Crockett & Jones tassel loafers On him: Black pinstriped suit Words of wisdom Probably the largest private collection of Brooks Brothers memorabilia


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Across The Pond: Brooks Dresses Kermit The Frog

Brooks Brothers has historically taken its inspiration from across the pond — England, to be precise. Now it’s looked across a smaller, home-grown pond and found an amphibian celebrity to outfit. Today the company announced that in addition to its roster of presidents, captains of industry and rogues and gentlemen, it has now dressed a



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Norman Hilton, 1919-2011

Norman Hilton, who ran an eponymous Ivy League clothing brand and was Ralph Lauren’s first investor, died yesterday at the age of 92, his son Nick told Ivy-Style.com. Hilton’s motto was “Doing One Thing Well” and his logo features a weathervane. Tonight it points not north or south, east or west, but towards the sky.


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Penthouse Serenade: Hef on Ivy, 1960

If you’re a sucker for the “Mad Men” vibe of cool dudes, sexy chicks and midcentury style, you should really check out “Playboy’s Penthouse,” Hugh Hefner’s variety show from the early days of his budding Playboy empire. Episodes are available on DVD, including through Netflix. The episodes were taped in a party atmosphere that brought


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High Note: New York City Opera’s George Steel

Men who work in the arts generally aren’t known for sartorial conservatism. That’s why this photo of George Steel, general manager and artistic director of New York City Opera, caught my eye in a recent issue of the New York Times. Kinda reminds me of George Will. — CC Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr. for


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Taft By Numbers: Peter Rawson III, 1952

In 1952, LIFE Magazine ran a profile on the Taft family, one of America’s great political dynasties, having produced President William Howard Taft. The family also produced a prep school — The Taft School in Watertown, CT — which was founded by William’s brother Horace Dutton Taft, an early Skull & Bones member. Pictured above


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The Preppie Murder, 25 Years Later

August 26th marked the 25th anniversary of the so-called “Preppie Murder.” In 1986, Robert Chambers, a former student of Choate Rosemary Hall, left the Upper East Side bar Dorrian’s Red Hand with 18-year-old Jennifer Levin, whom he later strangled in Central Park behind the Metropolitan Museum. The story became a tabloid sensation, was eventually made


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Sign Here: How To Get A Swashbuckling Signature

I’m going to stray off-topic here a bit with something I’d like to share with you guys. I have lousy penmanship, and years ago I got an idea to write a piece on how to have a stylish signature. Inspired by a description of the brushwork of one of my favorite artists, Belle Epoque portrait


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JFK Buttoned Down

Today is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ birthday (she would have been 82), and obliquely in her honor we present a photo of her late husband captured wearing a buttondown collar, which he eschewed upon entering the national spotlight, saying they were “too Ivy League.” — CC