Ivy Trendwatch: Ralph Lauren’s Ivy Row, Rugby Goes Collegiate

This fall/winter season Ivy and related references have multiplied at both Ralph Lauren and Rugby as vintage university style continues to be rediscovered by the fashion industry. Likewise, Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2010 in-store magazine features the image above, which has a vaguely “Take Ivy” vibe, combined with the car from “La Dolce Vita” and stately home from your favorite BBC miniseries.

This season RL also brought out a collection called Ivy Row that bears that following copy:

Ivy Row reinvents preppy collegiate style through rich, modern pairings of color and texture. Vintage-inspired blue-and-white striped dress shirts with carved straight collars are worn with fair isle and cable sweaters, tweed pants and wide-wale cords. A patchwork cardigan has a handmade charm, while a professor jacket is outfitted with leather patches and bellows pockets for a unique mix of utility and style. A timeworn brown leather bomber, a newsboy in tartan plaid and classic accessories—from club ties to argyle socks—anchor the collection in timeless American heritage.

Here’s an Ivy Row look, including patch-pocketed, 3/2-roll corduroy jacket:

Meanwhile, Rugby has used the terms “varsity” and “university” in its marketing copy since the beginning. This season it added “trad”:

“Ivy League”:

and “collegiate”:

On my recent trip to Cambridge, Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop credited Ralph Lauren with saving American middle-class taste.

Or at least trying. — CC

Images provided by Polo Ralph Lauren

33 Comments on "Ivy Trendwatch: Ralph Lauren’s Ivy Row, Rugby Goes Collegiate"

  1. Yeah, I’m just a wee bit late to the party with this one. Thanks for providing the photo.

    I didn’t mean ALL images were provided by RL, of course, just images.

  2. The top photo shows an English car (an Austin-Healey, unless I’m mistaken) and English dogs (Airedale terriers)

  3. ScoobyDubious | February 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm |


    …neither of which are clothes.

    BTW, dogs don’t have nationalities.

  4. Actually, thats a Jaguar XK 120-150

  5. The man knows his cars. Not too far off from the Triumph in Dolce Vita. Well, they’re both black…

    Damn I love those ’60s English roadsters.

  6. Now that the car and the dogs have been commented on, perhaps it’s time for a comment on the building, which, I assume, is supposed to be a college building, rather than a stately home:
    Considering the fact that when Harvard, William & Mary, and Yale were established, the only mental image that the founders had of what university buildings should look like were the buildings of Oxford and Cambridge, it’s only natural that traditional American university buildings are faux-English. (Some would argue that Trad/Ivy/Preppy clothing itself is faux-English as well: based on a semi-fictive image of how the English dress).

  7. If that’s a college, why is one guy walking a dog, and whose car is that?

    It’s also worth noting that here in America, in addition to wearing faux-English clothing and building faux-English buildings, we speak faux-English.

  8. ScoobyDubious | February 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm |

    “Some” would argue anything…

    Rather certain that column is Greek and/or Roman in origin. And it was either a German or American who invented the first (successful) gasoline powered automobile.

    Maybe the English invented the leash?

  9. Re: “If that’s a college, why is one guy walking a dog, and whose car is that?”

    An image of a typical scene at an Ivy League college (in the minds of people who’ve never seen one)?
    Fiction is so much more enjoyable than fact.

    Speaking of faux-English: In the 1960s, my English lit professors did make a conscious attempt to affect peculiarities of British English; today, they try to sound like plumbers.

  10. The model on the runway is walking a dog, too. What nationality is it?

  11. ScoobyDubious | February 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm |

    BTW, the USA didn’t even exist when Harvard, Yale and W&M were founded.
    Incidentally, W&M isn’t considered Ivy League.

    Also, as I said, canines do not claim nationalities.

  12. Tell the mode; in the red and white striped blazer to get a haircut. He is about as Ivy League tradition as Sharon Stone.

  13. @oldschool – “faux-English” is kind of broad wrt architecture. Are you referring to faux- Georgian, Elizabethan, Gothic, Edwardian, Tudor, Neoclassic…. The building above doesn’t really resemble something one would see at Oxbridge, as the style there is largely Gothic.

  14. @ScoobyDubious

    I’m amused by the claim the canines don’t claim nationalities. The popularity of certain breeds among those who consider themselves to be Trad/Ivy rests solely upon those breeds being English in origin.

    W&M is indeed not considered Ivy League. It is, however, the second oldest university in the U.S. and the original architectture was Oxbridge-inspired.

    Am I mistaken in believing that the connection between ivy league style and ivy league institutions is now tenuous and that one would best look elsewhere to find properly-dressed undergrads?

  15. ScoobyDubious | February 3, 2011 at 2:51 am |


    Yeah, well see, uh, dogs don’t know anything about human countries. They just don’t. Sorry. The origin of dogs is…. wolves. Evolution took care of the rest. End of story.

    I don’t know anything about what a “Trad” is, or thinks he is, or what he does, or what animals he may covet. Frankly, I don’t even care to find out. Sounds like interwebs nonsense to me.

  16. ScoobyDubious | February 3, 2011 at 2:54 am |

    oh yeah…

    William and Mary was founded before the USA even existed. The two names “William” and “Mary” might be a clue as to the origins of the name.

    I give credit to Greeks and Romans for every columned structure.

  17. Is that Angus Young in the third picture?

  18. @ ScoobyDubious

    Dogs are not the result of evolution. The various breeds of dogs that are out there are the result of centuries of heavily selective breeding on the part of humans, humans of distinct nationalities who employed their intelligence, conscious efforts, and tastes to produce breeds with specifically desired characteristics. If a dog has no nationality because it is not conscious of its origins, then a Toyota cannot be said to be Japanese by the same logic. I don’t care how ignorant you are of the history of animal husbandry or dog fancying or whatever, but it’s just obvious that nature and evolution have nothing to do with the breeds like Shih Tzus or Chihuahuas.

  19. ScoobyDubious | February 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm |


    Dogs evolved from wolves. FACT. Evolution happened long before humans showed up. Breeding is just attempting to “steer” evolution. Sometimes achieving the desired result, sometimes not. Breeders cannot 100% control the results. Hence they “reject” the pups that don’t have the desired ridiculous trait. But the breeders did not “invent dogs”…or even evolution.

    Dogs have absolutely no awareness of human nationalities. A nationality is a CHOICE that humans make. Dogs do not make this choice and it would have no purpose anyway. Unless dogs are allowed to vote in the UK.

    A Toyota is an object created by humans. Japanese humans. Hence it can be said to have been a Japanese creation. Although I suppose you could split hairs and question if a Toyota built in a factory in America by American workers is some percentage American. YOU can decide that for yourself. I don’t really care, actually.

    What if an American dog breeder bred “English” bulldogs in America from stock that had been in America for generations? About as “English” as french fries are French.

    Humans did not “create” dogs. They may attempt to alter their appearance, but that’s not creating it. Dogs existed long, long, long before England. Or any other country for that matter.

  20. ScoobyDubious | February 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

    I just can’t stop chuckling over this boneheaded statement…

    “Dogs are not the result of evolution.”


  21. ScoobyDubious | February 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm |

    for Chris:

    Just curious about your logic concerning the “nationalities” of these brands.
    Ford owns or has owned these:

    -Aston Martin
    -Jaguar 1989-2008
    -Land Rover (bought from BMW)
    -Mazda (Ford owns 33% of Mazda)
    -Volvo cars

  22. Ralph Lauren is too Hollywood for my taste.

    I love the debate over dogs and wolves. I especially love how adamant some of the arguments are without ever having defined the term “evolution.” What seems to be undisputed is that dogs DESCEND from wolves. As for evolution, if one defines it as “a gradual process by which something passes by degrees to a different stage or form,” then dogs evolved from wolves, even with humans planning matings and culling undesirable puppies. However, if one were to define evolution as the gradual changes resulting from generations of NATURAL SELECTION, then that would by definition preclude any changes to a population of animals that resulted from selection carriout out by man.

    I don’t however understand the leap from “Oh look, Airedales, that’s an English breed” to “You silly, dogs don’t have nationalities!” I don’t see how pointing out that a particular breed originated in a particular place is to ascribe a nationality or citizenship to dogs of that breed.

  23. ScoobyDubious | February 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

    It’s like calling a dog a “republican dog” because his lineage was bred by republican dog breeders. The dog doesn’t give a sh*t about silly human organizations or tribes.

    It’s like corporations who try to patent genes, or some modified corn seed. Complete BS.

    That’s all I will bother to argue about this. I had no idea that English dog breeders were so rabid.

  24. @ Scoodydubious

    My point I think was pretty clear that nationality it ascribed to any number of things in ordinary speech that do not and cannot consciously give their approval of their nationality, from languages to cars to dogs. Nobody calls a dog English because they believe the dog believes itself to be English anymore than people car a Toyota Japanese because they think the car has chosen to be Japanese, but this is the point of your original contention.

    Fact: English breeds would not exists in their current form without the conscious intervention and efforts of people in England. That’s all it means, and that’s why your original snarky comment is still so obviously wrong. All the sophist and diversionary comments you made afterwards about Fords and patented genes have nothing to do with my point, which remains: when people work on stuff (and they always work on pre-existing materials, whether that be semi-feral wolves, naturally produced corn seeds, the sounds that make up languages, or the metal that is worked eventually into a car) they are creating something intentionally, and thus it is no longer called “natural”. Work happens in territories that we describe as nations, so we describe the things that workers in those territories made with that nationality.

    You will never convince people to stop describing English bulldogs as English or Chihuahuas as Mexican (another breed named after a region) through your arguments because your arguments have nothing to do with what people intend when they describe these animals according to nationality. The point of saying a dog is English is that the breed was bred originally by English people in England.

    I don’t think there was anything “rabid” in my tone or contentions here. I have simple described how ordinary language works in this case.

    Thank you rojo, BTW. Natural selection vs. breeding is to the point.

  25. ScoobyDubious | February 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

    nice dodge around this:

    for Chris:

    Just curious about your logic concerning the “nationalities” of these brands.
    Ford owns or has owned these:

    -Aston Martin
    -Jaguar 1989-2008
    -Land Rover (bought from BMW)
    -Mazda (Ford owns 33% of Mazda)
    -Volvo cars

  26. ScoobyDubious | February 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

    BTW…this is a completely valid point that you sidestepped.

    “It’s like corporations who try to patent genes, or some modified corn seed. Complete BS.”

    Isn’t the same thing? trying to steer evolution,or modify nature, and then claim ownership?

    Nevermind, enjoy your small pond.

  27. Is comparing cars to dogs a logical argument?

  28. ScoobyDubious | February 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    He brought up the Toyota analogy. I just wanted to see how his logic worked concerning these British car companies that are/were owned by an American corporation. Are they still British?

  29. Dianna G Fielder | December 1, 2016 at 10:00 am |

    The car is a Jag, the Dogs are Airedales and the building is the Swan House in Atlanta. The models are from New York. The clothing is produced who knows where. The dogs are American Bred and that breed is in better shape in this country than they are in their country of origin due to the small gene pool in GB and the laws of quarantine laws of past before the tunnel was built.

  30. Well, a lot of Ralph Lauren’s models are from Eastern Europe and Australia, with the majority of the Rugby models coming from Australia, Brazil, Eastern Europe and Israel, so not sure what point you’re trying to make here …

  31. Marshall Baird | June 27, 2021 at 10:12 pm |

    Humans’ nationality is a matter of choice and bureaucratic formalities. Dogs’ nationality is a matter of genetics. Some would argue that those dogs have more of a claim to being English than does a Russian immigrant to the U.K. , for example, who has become a naturalized British subject.

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