The latest issue of Japanese magazine Free & Easy is called “The Updated Ivy” issue and features scads of pages of every imaginable wacky twist on trad classics. In fact, one passage explicitly states that Tokyo Ivy is a lot “crazier” than New York Ivy.

What do they mean by crazy? Well for starters there’s a ton of paneled pieces in the magazine: shirts, sweaters, and sportcoats:


This one is tweed but in oxfordish colors. Very clever:


The cover story attempts to trace the history of Ivy (starting at midcentury, not earlier) and how it became “rugged Ivy,” according to my translator.

Of course, “rugged Ivy” is a Japanese construct, rather like the English with their concept of Ivy that includes French New Wave films, modern architecture, jazz, Zippo lighters, scooters, and other generic totems of midcentury Americana.

But one has to admire both countries for importing the basic concept and then making it their own. After all, that’s what America did with the Ivy League Look, since most of the ingredients are English but made and worn in an American way.

The opening spread in the magazine (after the inside front cover) is a for the MFIT’s “Ivy Style” exhibit, which is being brought over by the Isetan department store and opens later this month. Our man in Tokyo W. David Marx says he should be able to attend opening festivities and file a report.


Later there’s a big story:


I liked this page, with the rep background, bobblehead-like figures, and puzzling language:


Finally, the magazine came over for two photo shoots last month. For the first, I was included in a big loafers piece that features a bunch of guys and their shoes. I like the fact that I’m guy #007, though my pose was actually inspired by AEV:


The second shoot was a lot more fun as I got to help create it. That’s my clothes and stuff, shot in my living room. The ties (it’s an ad for a tie company) were Photoshopped in later. — CC

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