The Golden Years by Richard Press

Golden Years: Scratching My Theatrical Itch

George Axelrod’s play “The Seven Year Itch” lit up Broadway in 1952 and stayed there for 1,141 performances. The star, Tom Ewell, a dedicated J.Press aficionado, won a Tony Award, although his performance was later dimmed in the movie version when he was paired opposite Marilyn Monroe. Taking time out from my mainstream obligation running the

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From The Archives

Rebirth Of The Cool

PowerHouse Books, publishers of “Take Ivy,” are getting ready to release another book chronicling midcentury life on the East Coast. “Rebirth of the Cool: Discover the Art of Robert James Campbell” features mostly photos of jazz musicians, along with various shots of life in New York City by a photographer, as the title suggests, in

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Golden Years: Anything Goes in New Haven

Reposted in honor of National Dog Day. This column originally ran on June 13, 2011. * * * Last night the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes,” which had received nine Tony nominations, ended up winning three. As I watched, I couldn’t help but remember one of the great historical anecdotes of J. Press: The time



Golden Years: On The Cuff

Last week a reader posted an image on Ivy Style’s Facebook page that appeared to show Cary Grant in a buttondown-collar shirt with French cuffs. One sees this occasionally in old photos and movies, but it’s not something you can exactly go out and buy readymade today. We asked Richard Press to weigh in on


Golden Years: My Brief Bromance With Frank Sinatra

Note: This column originally ran on January 22, 2013, and is being reposted today in honor of Sinatra’s hundredth birthday anniversary. The life that late I led in the heyday was “Mad Men” in real time. Until the 1950s, retailers respected the privacy of their celebrity clientele. I played by the rules, and the paparazzi


Golden Years: Read My Lips

“Destiny and Power,” Jon Meacham’s surprisingly vivid biography of former President George HW Bush, is Shakespearean in its depiction of family, power and public service. It also briefly described an incident from one of the great days in the life of 10-year-old Richard Press. My beloved uncle, State Senator and New Haven City Court Judge


Golden Years: Politically Incorrect In The Heyday

During the Ivy heyday, before the Free Speech Movement, discourse on college campuses was largely the opposite of today. Pro-establishment speech was politically correct, while anti-establishment speech was incorrect. Richard Press reminds us that while the tables have turned, there has always been speech that is discouraged. * * * Professor Herb West delivered his


Golden Years: The Dartmouth Blazer Brawl

  My days at Dear Old Dartmouth began on a September morn 60 years ago with dad cruising confidently along Route 5 in his Buick super convertible and mom inhaling a pack of Camels for the five-and-a-half-hour drive from New Haven to Hanover. It was on this the virgin voyage to New Hampshire that my


Golden Years: Rebel Without A Suit

Yesterday saw the e-publication of phase one of Richard Press’ memoirs, which he has been hard at work on for the past couple of years (and which is why you haven’t seen as many Golden Years columns). The lengthy stand-alone essay, entitled “Rebel Without A Suit,” is available from Amazon for $2.99 and can be


Golden Years: From The Pale To Yale

“Blood lust” describes my passion for Daniel Horowitz’s engrossing saga, “On The Cusp: The Yale Class Of 1960 And A World On The Verge Of Change.” Dan Horowitz grew up around the corner from me in New Haven. We haven’t been in touch for over 50 years, but his visit to the Ivy Style Exhibit


Pattern Recognition: Happy National Tartan Day

April 6 is National Tartan Day. In its honor, Richard Press shares some thoughts. For more Tartan Day coverage, visit our fraternal site MasculineInteriors.com. * * * The Heyday of Ivy, the period after World War II until the civil disorder of the late 60s, regarded costume with contempt, at least at J.Press. Understatement was


Golden Years: Bow Tie Laugh Riot

An extraordinarily witty and cleverly packaged new book by James Gulliver Hancock succinctly titled “The Bow Tie Book” addresses the idiosyncratic cravat style alternately viewed as eccentric, erratic, professorial, bohemian and Churchillian. The book is loaded with a compendium of bow tie history from many eras in an uproarious agenda. Social Primer K. Cooper Ray


Goldfinger On Forty-Fourth Street

Yesterday fashion luminary Oscar de la Renta died at age 82 at his home in Kent, Connecticut. The Ivy Style team had been preparing a series of posts on the concept of elegance, and when news broke of de la Renta’s death, Richard Press quickly revised his latest column, once again showing that King Richard


Golden Years: Suiting Up Eli Frosh

Suiting up Eli frosh in the heyday was do or die for New Haven clothiers. Salesmen at J. Press were instructed by my dad Paul Press (front right) to memorize the Yale Freshman Blue Book. He quizzed them daily about dorm addresses, hometowns and secondary schools the book provided. Freshmen lived in seven ancient dormitories