I remember watching “The Twilight Zone” as a kid on our console RCA TV in the basement, with the now classic theme music still readily playable in my head. I recall one episode in particular in which a young woman has been raped, and her father goes to pick her up from the hospital. They’re riding home in the car and the woman is sitting in the passenger seat, numb and oblivious, when suddenly her eyes light up as she looks out the window and points. It’s him!
The father pulls over to the sidewalk, tells her he’ll take care of it, and gets out of the car. He returns several minutes later, rumpled and sweaty, and says it’s all done. They continue driving home. A few minutes later the young woman’s eyes light up again and she points to another man in the street. “It’s him!”
“Twilight Zone” creator Rodman Edward Serling was born on Christmas Day, 1924, and died on the 28th of June, 1975. He was a prolific writer, television producer and narrator, most famous for his science fiction TV series. He was also an army combat veteran of World War II, earning a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and the Philippine Liberation Medal.
After the war Serling went to Antioch College on the G.I. Bill, eventually earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature. He met his wife there, Carol Kramer, and they had two daughters, Jodi and Anne.
Serling probably isn’t the first person that comes to mind when I think of Ivy Style. He was a short, extroverted, mildy shell-shocked Jewish kid from upstate New York. My college yearbook had a “Twilight Zone” theme, and it was mostly black and strange — unpreppy, to say the least. Maybe it was just some die-hard unhappy punk rocker’s theatrical riff on what he perceived as Rod’s weirdness, and that’s been my takeaway memory ever since.
However, the show has been indelibly woven into American pop culture. Serling may have imagined times far in the future, but he dressed like a man of his era. His wardrobe, which was provided by Kuppenheimer, shares certain commonalities with the Ivy League Look yet also breaks with it, showing that Ivy was just a subset of broader menswear trends of the times. He mostly wore tab and straight collars, and when he wore buttondowns they were often short and wide, similar to the Brooks Brothers “Clifford” model.
I’m sure many of us wish we could travel to some place called “The Twilight Zone,” a place where everyone is well spoken, possessed of a lively imagination, and neatly dressed. — TIMOTHY CATALDO