Ivy Trendwatch: News Roundup

Much news in Tradsville over the past week. First up is the “Take Ivy” movie, which I’ve just finished watching. A DVD of it is included in the current issue of the Japanese magazine Oily Boy. A friend in Japan ripped and uploaded it, but asked that I not share. Sorry, guys.

The film is essentially the book but in moving pictures. There’s a jazz soundtrack. Looks to have been shot entirely at Dartmouth. Though it’s only nine minutes, it’s professionally shot (not a Super 8 home movie). At the end there’s an interview, presumably with the photographer Hayashida. I’ll have my girlfriend translate and share any interesting trivia. Overall, it’s very cool.

Next up, I attended the book signing party for Bruce Boyer’s new tome on Gary Cooper, and tout le menswear monde was there. I spent a long time chatting with the curator from the museum at FIT, whom I hadn’t spoken with since dropping out of their Ivy League Look project for budgetary reasons. The book and exhibit are indeed on and are scheduled for September of next year, so start making your travel plans. And they may end up using some of my longer pieces, such as the Q&As for Ivy Style with Richard Press, Paul Winston, etc. More on that as it develops.

And the books keep coming. One of my colleagues at Quest is bringing out a book shortly about the Ivy League. There’s a chapter devoted to capturing the spirit of each school, and I’ve been told there are many photos from the Ivy heyday. I hope to present an exclusive when the publisher is ready.

And speaking of books, last night I went through “Hollywood and the Ivy Look,” the new book out of the UK. The photos are fantastic and I’ll elaborate further in a future post.

The Independent did the typical fluff piece pegged on the book; you can tell it’s from the UK from the word “supposedly” in the following paragraph:

In menswear, where things change with the speed of a ponderous tectonic plate, few modes of dress have remained so insidiously influential over the past 50 years as what people now talk about as the Ivy League look. That is, the squeaky-clean, supremely preppy and indefatigably American style vernacular that supposedly emanated from the US’s top-flight colleges in the 1950s, and was disseminated worldwide by sharply dressed Hollywood stars such as Steve McQueen, Sidney Poitier and Cary Grant in the following decades.

I contributed some fluff of my own for the Singapore newspaper The Straits Times, which recently did a story pegged on Jeffrey Banks and Doria de la Chapelle’s new preppy book. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

21 Comments on "Ivy Trendwatch: News Roundup"

  1. Isn’t this the ‘Take Ivy’ movie you’re talking about?


  2. No, ACL did not mean that that was literally the “Take Ivy” movie. This one actually is, as it was shot by the same photographer while he was preparing the “Take Ivy” book.

  3. Wow maybe I can get my hands on that magazine. The short film sounds great. I hope this new book about Ivy does not disappoint if it’s from the likes of people who work at Quest (unlike *ahem* Preppy).

  4. Checked out your blog, Joy, and I’m honored you used the term PITA on your About page!

  5. For those who may have missed this article in 1948:


  6. Got the last copy of Oily Boy at Kinokuniya. Looks excellent, will scan as much as possible.

  7. As seen on the Talk Ivy forum…

  8. You’ll be delighted to learn that Richard and Wasp 101 are back!

  9. Russell Street's Mother | November 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    @Young Ivy

    As also seen on newsstands….

  10. That creep on the cover really does look oily!

  11. @Richard

    You were having attention withdrawals, no doubt.

  12. @Russell Streets Maw

    Same scan and same information as posted not but 24 hours earlier on the Tak Ivy forum. It’s not the first and not the last time Christian Chensvold will steal something from Talk Ivy and claim to have come upon it himself. It’s a great coincidence don’t you think?

    An open question to CC;

    Can you honestly say you didn’t see the post on Talk Ivy and use the information there, here?

  13. YI:

    Of course I saw it there. Thanks for the head’s up.

    English FNB types are so guarded of their secret Ivy cult they’ve really got their boxers in a bunch over the fact that a Mr. Nobody From Nowhere (who’s now more of a Somebody Somewhere, right?) took over their topic and created the leading website for it.

    Not only do they think they have some ownership of the topic, they’re so bitter and uptight they’ll also claim ownership over particular images, as if they own the copyright to it or own the online presentation of it in an Ivy context.

    Also, given that I’ve spent three years exploring this subject, it’s quite possible that I’ve come across things independently. As for your assertion that I claim to have discovered things that in fact I deliberately “stole” from Talk Ivy, please go through this site’s 450 posts and tell me which ones.

    Whatever I’ve discovered from FNB Talk Ivy, the most vile menswear spot on the Internet (I run a candid shot of Flusser and myself and you guys resort to a series of homoerotic jokes? You guys are seriously fucked up), I’ve given far, far more than I’ve supposedly taken. You’re welcome.

    And while FNB in this particular case is where the alert first appeared (Ivy-Style.com breaks news constantly; you have neither the connections nor the ability), I actually did something about it. I announced it to the world (my readership is larger than yours and better formatted for sharing information), I acquired the magazine, I’m scanning it and having it translated, and Monday you’ll get a long, heavily researched article from our Tokyo contributor (who is fluent in Japanese, unlike anyone on Talk Ivy) on the story behind the “Take Ivy” movie.

    Talk Ivy is where you talk about Ivy — sharing subjective impressions under anonymous usernames. Ivy Style actually does work. Work based on news and facts. And we sign our names to what we do.

    You guys have been bested on this topic, plain and simple, so quit your pathetic whining. And instead of engaging in sick online jokes about other people while hiding behind cowardly anonymity and claiming some kind of moral superiority in the process, do something productive with your time.

  14. Smugness and anonymity are perfectly suited to each other.

  15. Russell Street's Mother | November 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

    @Young Ivy

    I might point out that the Japanese fascination with Ivy has been known and discussed for years. As have the magazines that feature these clothes. It’s no secret.

    Most cosmopolitan major cities have a Japanese bookstore where many of these magazines are readily available to purchase by anyone. Once again, no secret here.

    If many people are interested in the same topic, it’s inevitable that they will all come across the same material. Whether one site posts a line about it a couple days before another site does is pretty irrelevant. Neither site wrote the damn thing, so it’s rather stupid to attempt to claim credit for it.

  16. If you really want to talk poaching, let’s set the record straight. The real theft comes not from here, but from the UK. Here we do real research, whereas over there you share images and subjective impressions in support of a style tribe’s “aesthetic.”

    Graham Marsh and JP Gaul (aka John Gall, who works as Frances Lincoln’s sales manager) flagrantly plagiarized Ivy-Style.com on page 180 of their book “The Ivy Look,” published by Frances Lincoln.

    Months earlier, our contributing writer, a Harvard alum, journalist, and Tokyo resident fluent in Japanese, wrote what to the best of his knowledge was the first article ever in English about the Miyuki-zoku. He wrote:

    “The Miyuki-zoku were devotees of classic American collegiate style. The uniform was button-down oxford cloth shirts, madras plaid, high-water trousers in khaki and white, penny loafers, and three-button suit jackets. Everything was extremely slim.”

    Later, Marsh and Gaul included a page on the Miyuki-zoku in their book, writing:

    “Members of the cult would meet up on Miyuki Street bedecked in classic American collegiate gear — button-down oxford cloth shirts, madras plaid, high-water trousers in khaki and white, penny loafers, wing-tip brogues and three button suit jackets. Everything was worn extremely slim.”

    Mr. Gaul was sent a cordial letter by the article’s author, at which point he claimed to have been aware of the Miyuki-zoku for many years, and that he had never seen the article on Ivy-Style.com.

    Members of FNB Talk Ivy should understand that plagiarism is a serious offense, and should not throw around terms like that unless you’re prepared to back it up.


    November 20, 2011

  17. Christian,

    Plagerism is an academic offense that has more to do with morality, honor, and the individual standards of different institutions. The page in The Ivy Look could well be infringing on the copyrights of you and/or your contributor depending on the specific facts of your relationship. Just some food for thought.


  18. Wow…I meant plagiarism. Just reread my post and realized the mistake.

  19. Skip Castaneda | November 23, 2011 at 11:42 am |

    I want tha Ivy bag the man is holding! Where can I get one?

  20. Plagiarism is more than just “an academic offense.” It is a form of theft and and form of lying. As intellectual theft, it is covered by copyright laws; as a form of lying, it exposes practitioners for what they are: liars.

    Or as I like to think of them, lying, thieving scum.

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