JP Gaul Talks Ivy

English Ivy guru and Weejun fetishist JP Gaul, co-author of “The Ivy Look” (see our review here), has written a piece for Yale University Press’ blog. YUP is the publisher of the upcoming book created in conjunction with the MFIT exhibit.

While discussing his discovery of Ivy as a teenager in the ’80s, Gaul writes:

The key elements of Ivy style – the button-down shirt, the narrow-shouldered ‘sack’ 3-button jacket, the penny loafers and the heavy brogues, are all such strong, simple designs, form following function, and modernist to their very core.

Considering the items mentioned were all created well before midcentury, one wonders exactly how they can be “modernist.” Nevertheless:

Miles Davis saw this, so did Gerry Mulligan and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Clothes certainly have meaning. Exactly what is a matter of debate. Here’s Gaul once more:

The meaning of clothes shift as they cross borders, both geographically and socially, and the conservative mutates into the radical. The Bass Weejun penny loafer, one of the great design items of the 20th century, was no doubt a great shoe for strolling around the privileged halls of the Ivy colleges, but I can personally testify to its qualities as the ideal shoe to wear when sliding across talcum powder coated northern soul dancefloors – radical conformism in action!

On this I think we can all agree: The meaning of clothes shifts when they leave their native soil. It happened to all the European items the Ivy genre absorbed and repackaged with American flair, and it happened again when American items returned across the pond.

Head over to Yale’s book blog for Gaul’s complete article. — CC

73 Comments on "JP Gaul Talks Ivy"

  1. oobopshbam | June 26, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    Um, do you know what modernism is Chens?

  2. oobopshbam | June 26, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    I mean don’t get me wrong I think you and him are both dickheads, he just knows a bit more.

  3. BRB. I’m using my Asian powers to create a comment spam script.

  4. 10,000th comment to make it past the censors, that is.

  5. In that case, I’ll count how many comments have been made in each post, for the entirety of this blog, then strike at precisely the right moment.

    There are six in this post.

  6. Actually that would work, but once we reach 9,999 it would be like an eBay auction in the last two seconds. Someone else could hit submit a tenth of a second before you.

  7. Personally I think you’re wonderful Christian and I shall always treasure that time we spent at the Museum of Modern Art …………

  8. Always interesting to hear much younger person’s take on when they discovered ivy league clothing.

  9. He’s still pretty old, MAC.

  10. Then I must be ancient, he was a teenager in the 80s, which leads me to believe his reference to soul music means disco. 😉

  11. I don’t think JP Gaul is referring to Disco, MAC. ‘Northern Soul’ clubs, Northern Soul music and the (Northern Soul) dancing danced in them to it was a big part of youth culture in the 70’s/early 80’s in the north of the UK.

    ‘Northern Soulies’ would often dance non stop for up to 72 hours. This was generally because a) the internet wasn’t invented yet ii) none of them had jobs and 3) All of the girls in the North of England were extremely ugly and dancing like a maniac until stinking and wet seemed to keep them at bay.

  12. Is this the same JP Gaul who had exactly copied — in his own publisher’s words “a phrase sixteen words long which matches exactly what you wrote” — from my Miyuki-zoku article (http://www.ivy-style.com/the-miyuki-zoku-japans-first-ivy-rebels.html) for his own book and then told me that “I had never read your piece on the Miyuki-zoku”?

  13. Bleurgh

    Thanks for the info, I was joking about the disco.

  14. Paul Fussell would have doubly appreciated that slip up–he was an expert in modernism and calling out the pretentious for aping their social betters. Confusing modern and modernist is the literary equivalent of misprouncing “patina” or the prole gape.

  15. ‘‘Northern Soulies’ would often dance non stop for up to 72 hours. This was generally because a) the internet wasn’t invented yet ii) none of them had jobs and 3) All of the girls in the North of England were extremely ugly and dancing like a maniac until stinking and wet seemed to keep them at bay.’

    Most N soul fans of the 70s (I mean those who attended the allnighters) had mundane, unfulfilling jobs in depressed areas, and compensated for this by taking amphetamines and dancing all weekend.

    And I’ve never yet heard of a populated part of the world that doesn’t contain beautiful women. (Proportions do vary though.)

  16. Interesting article. Thanks for posting the link!

  17. Can i assume the colonies never had a ‘Mod’* youth sub-culture in the late 50’s/early 60’s?

    *Clean living under difficult circumstances

  18. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    “…conservative mutates into the radical…”

    YAWN. That tired old trope again.
    One minute in the article he’s talking about admiring the clothes of George Bush Sr. (eyeroll), and the next he fantasizes about the “radical” nature of these same clothes.
    (guffaw)

    He mentions that his Ivy fascination began in his teenage years. In those pre-internet days all he had to go on was a stack of moldy old magazines and some free time for fantasizing. Apparently he never grew out of that teenage “radical” fantasy he had assigned to a mundane pair of loafers.

    It’s tough to let go of those wistful adolescent daydreams, isn’t it?

  19. Jolly Roger | June 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

    “The key elements of Ivy style – the button-down shirt, the narrow-shouldered ‘sack’ 3-button jacket, the penny loafers and the heavy brogues, are all such strong, simple designs, form following function, and modernist to their very core.”

    “Miles Davis saw this, so did Gerry Mulligan and the Modern Jazz Quartet.”

    “Modernist to their core”? Jesus what a load of pretentious crapola!
    OR….maybe Miles Davis just “saw” (wore) what was the dominant menswear style of the time? Shall we then assume that when Miles dropped the Ivy style that he no longer wished to be “modernist”? Or perhaps all of this assigning of fashion identity mixed with ideology is just a figment of your imagination, and the sartorial choices of a trumpet player (at their core) really don’t have anything whatsoever to do with the Bauhaus?

  20. Bauhaus?, Tell me, in the German language, doesn’t that mean “ugly fucking state-ist looking architecture”? :-)

  21. Jolly Roger | June 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |

    @MAC

    No.

    But the Bauhaus was about more than just architecture anyway. And their influence was enormous.

    But they didn’t do penny loafers.

  22. Some readers mock Brıts who try to ape the Ivy look, when, in fact the Ivy look’s origins lie in American aping of the English countryman look. Yanks think that Brits dress in the tweedy college-professor manner, when in fact, they dress like undertakers.

  23. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

    @Camford

    No, nobody is mocking the Brits for wanting to wear these styles. Actually, nobody gives a shit. It’s all the pretentious youth-cult-type fantasy baggage they attach to the clothes.

    That, and the fact that some of them are clinically psychotic sociopaths.

  24. @Button-down Mind Strikes back

    And Americans who wear Ivy cothes simply because they want to distance themselves from the masses and pretend that they are blueblooded New Englanders are not clinically psychotic sociopaths?

  25. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm |

    @Camford

    “….because they want to distance themselves from the masses and pretend that they are blueblooded New Englanders.”

    YAWN…
    uh…..who ever said that? Besides some prissy Limey with his knickers in a twist, I mean. Did you pull that canned default UK response directly out of your ass all by yourself, or did you get some help with it?

    Clearly you too have fantasy notions.

  26. Camford
    Loved the “undertaker” comment.

    I was born in 1951, grew up in the South and Midwest, been wearing ivy style clothing since my first communion. It’s basically the way I was dressed by adults and taught to dress correctly. I wasn’t aware of why it was called ivy league, other than it had something to do with universities back East. In HS I was aware of Brooks Brothers, they had trunk showings downtown at a hotel, Kansas City got one in the 80s. In 1967, I got a job in an ivy shop close to my school, that is when the history of the BD collar was explained to me, along with Weejuns and other thing, things I’d worn my whole life. It was the middle class fashion for decades.

    I guess my point is that after WWII ivy style in America was petty much “democratized”. The “blueblooded New Englanders” angle never dawned on me till Ralph Lauren’s Polo print ads in the mid 70s.

    I won’t mock Mr. Gaul’s youthful description of his discovery of ivy league clothing as a teenager in the 80s. Besides, being a radical is all about time and place. Hell, I’m a boomer and my generation has shit loads to be mocked for.

    Lastly, for those conspiracy theorists, am I wrong or did the Bauhaus and ivy league clothing both start after WWI? Anyone got a brother-in-law, with qualifications, to get a gov grant to research this? Easy money.

  27. @ BD Mind…

    I thought you Yanks were brought up to believe that honesty is the best policy (all the George Washington and the cherry-tree stuff). Why do you find it so hard to admit that yours is one of the most class-conscious societies on the globe and that only a minuscule minority believes in all that equality stuff? Ivy garb is a class marker. It signifies either those born into the class, or those with aspirations to rise out of middle class mediocrity and join that class. Oh yes, another of your pet myths is that you have no aristocracy. Poppycock, full stop.

  28. AldenPyle | June 28, 2012 at 3:28 am |

    For what its worth, American architect Louis Sullivan’s phrase “form ever follows function” dates from 1896, almost an exact contemporary of the sack suit and button down collar shirt. One could very easily think of these as style innovations in the spirit of the new skyscraper type buildings appearing in the city and the spirit of the times in general.

  29. Christian | June 28, 2012 at 7:13 am |

    Only an English Ivy fan would suggest a connection between Brooks Brothers’ Number One Sack Suit and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

  30. Philly Trad | June 28, 2012 at 9:00 am |

    The connection, Christian, is that “The Scream” is a pictorial respresentation of how we feel about the way that most American men dress, and the BB Sack Suit is what allows us to maintain our sanity.

  31. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    @Camford

    “I thought you Yanks were brought up to believe that honesty is the best policy (all the George Washington and the cherry-tree stuff).”

    **** Are Brits NOT brought up to believe in honesty, or in your mind do you just randomly assign that trait to Americans? BTW, Americans also know that the Washington cherry tree story is a a myth. Apparently a myth that Brits believe.****

    “Why do you find it so hard to admit that yours is one of the most class-conscious societies on the globe and that only a minuscule minority believes in all that equality stuff?”

    ****Talk about “miniscule minorities”…preaching about “class-conscious” is more than a bit rich coming from a Brit, to say the least! I think Obama’s story would be an immediate example to debunk you. When was the last time you elected a black man to be king? Oh wait, that sure doesn’t make any sense…****

    “Ivy garb is a class marker. It signifies either those born into the class, or those with aspirations to rise out of middle class mediocrity and join that class.”

    **** Again, “poppycock, full stop”. You keep parroting the UK disinformation fantasies. Your type does it with SUCH conviction too. It’s sad and amusing simultaneously. Read
    MAC’s response above to immediately debunk those assertions,…..yet again. God forbid you let Americans tell you what things mean, or don’t mean, in America.****

  32. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    @AldenPyle

    For what its worth, American architect Louis Sullivan’s phrase “form ever follows function” dates from 1896, almost an exact contemporary of …….the steam engine, the wild west, and Geronimo.

  33. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |

    I can’t think of much that has run such a close line to the idea of Modernism in the US than Brooks Brothers from the introduction of the No.1 in 1900, which was 20 years already in to the life cycle of Modernism. On to the 50’s and Modernism as poplar culture, where it epitomised American Modernism.

  34. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 11:45 am |

    @oobopaloolabipbamboom

    “I can’t think of much that has run such a close line to the idea of Modernism in the US than Brooks Brothers from the introduction of the No.1 in 1900, which was 20 years already in to the life cycle of Modernism. On to the 50’s and Modernism as poplar culture, where it epitomised American Modernism.”

    Of course you can’t, because you’ve already bought into the UK party-line schtick hook, line and sinker. Just because some things exist simultaneously in the same space-time continuum doesn’t mean they are directly related, or even have any relation whatsoever.

    “…has run such a close line to the idea…”
    Now THAT is some vague nebulous cop-out bullshit spin
    if I’ve ever read it.

    Just because YOU WANT certain things to be related doesn’t they actually were or are. It’s amazing how Brits thousands of miles away, and separated by a different culture and decades of time, can supposedly determine the motivations and read the minds of millions of normal Americans.

  35. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    I think the problem is here, you don’t know your social history, your whole society by the time of the early 1900’s was being built on the Modernist ideas and teachings of Freud, in the form of his nephew Edward Louis Bernays. I still don’t think you exactly understand what Modernism is, and how it effected the world not just America in that period. Also there isn’t an official UK party line, as we are not a unified group. And my problem isn’t with Americans either. So I’m not sure why you’re try to debase my points on that level. Probably because you don’t really understand what you are discussing?

  36. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    @oopboop

    Well, you’re wrong sparky. I know exactly what I’m talking about, and i can guarantee you that I know all about “modernism” through the decades.

    Your “arguments” keep getting more and more vague and nebulous because you don’t actually have any point that can be substantiated with anything other than pretentious pondering. Then you resort to the usual UK condescending cop-out of “you just don’t understand my extra-deep plane of
    bullshitting”.

    Somehow you went from Miles Davis supposedly choosing his loafers because of some vague existential connection to modernism (for a few years) to expounding on Freud.

    As I said, go read above MAC’s real-life story of wearing Ivy in mid-century Kansas City America. It’s as simple as that.

    No existential hand-wringing or posturing needed.
    No Freud involved. Sometimes a loafer is just a loafer.

  37. OK, Beau Brummell is considered the father of modern costume and I think the point completely valid. Two hundred years ago he was the first to really popularize the basic formula of dressing that we still use today.

    And I can see a clothing historian making the point that the Brooks sack suit was a novelty, and thus represented the spirit of a new age, when it was introduced, and of course the lounge suit is “modern” compared to frock coats.

    But this was not a detached historian making that modernist remark; it was said in the context of the “aesthetic” of a style tribe and is both subjective and rhetorical. Moreover, it was made by the same person who wrote a book about the Ivy League Look in which he included Vespas, Porsches and Zippo lighters but wouldn’t devote a single sentence to where or how “Ivy” got its name.

  38. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    BDMSB, BDSM? whatever your name is…. the fact is the aesthetic influence of a time would, and always does reflect in it’s clothing, the 1900’s was a period for Modernism, maybe nowhere greater than in America. Brooks Bros, weren’t doing throw backs when they produced the No.1, it is a contemporary piece of Modernist clothing for it’s time.

    Christian, I understand the point you were trying to make, something that was designed in the 1900’s hasn’t really got anything to do with things that were produced in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, these were different periods with strong identities and in a way I can see your point, but in scholastic terms they are linked, I think that is the kind of editorial stance JP was taking. Also I’d ask if you’d call off your attack-dog as you know full well I don’t follow the party-line.

    Also concerning MAC, just because he didn’t understand or was aware of the reason he found himself in such a society and those clothes doesn’t mean there wasn’t a cause to it.

    I can’t tell a man what to think, only why he might think it.

  39. OK, I will mock Gaul for mentioning Vespas, but not the venerable ivy British Iron, BSA, Norton, Triumph and etc.

  40. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

    @bebopalula

    What a crock of total bull…

    So now, apparently, the actual Americans who were wearing these clothes at the time are somehow “wrong”? They weren’t wearing the clothes for the “correct reasons” and didn’t understand the special meanings that you had assigned to them after the fact? It’s a good thing we have Europeans like you to tell us why we do/did things, otherwise we’d never know our own deep dark secrets.

    AND…you can read Miles Davis’ mind.

    “I can’t tell a man what to think, only why he might think it.”
    And there you have your problem in a nutshell. You DO tell people what to think, and you DO actually think you know what or why other people think.

    You truly are a gifted individual who has amazing powers.
    One could even say you are a superior evolutionary leap.

  41. Button-down Mind Strikes back – Are you aware that “Modernist” in the context of the article is in relation to the ‘Mods’ of the 50/60’s?

    Lambretta scooters? Purple Hearts? etc

    Yours, European Gent

  42. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

    @Stainless

    Actually, no it’s not, specifically.

  43. Stainless | June 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

    Ok then.

    Can i advise that, from a UK-based perspective, it is clear that articles author is referring to Modernist in this context.

    Just thought i’d point that out to try and save any further arguments.

    Have a wee read on the origins of the Mod sub-culture, i’m sure you’ll see why it’s obvious to us in the UK.

    Cheers

  44. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

    BDSM – I think you’re too keen to make a point over the distance that separates us, because there is a tired agenda of UK vs US, which to be fair has very little to do with what I’m talking about, I’m describing your country in the way it has been documented by itself, this isn’t my opinion. America, in fact most places now don’t have a particularly insightful population, so to suggest why people don’t understand their actions and habits, really isn’t anything revolutionary, in fact for a long time to your economy relied on societies pressures and it’s system of values to maintain economic expansion, and a placid population.

    If you ask me my opinion on what MIles was thinking, I’m not sure if it is any different than why people anywhere aspire to imitate the upper echelons of their society. When this is done by an artist it is usually done in a more creative way than those who typically wore it, in that someone can show that they can be even better than the best, I suppose this sat well with Miles’ insecurity and need to be perfect. The idea of cool being an attribute money can’t buy. By doing this he puts himself above those that can afford and wear the same.

    Animals often attack their reflections don’t they?

  45. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    @Stainless

    Actually I know plenty about UK mods. More than a “wee”.

    It’s NOT actually “obvious” if you read the comments here from other UK readers. They seem to have a different perspective than you.

  46. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    @beboplula

    Your arguments go deeper and deeper down the rabbit-hole of deliberate pretentious vagueness to the point of complete irrelevance to the topic. That is the usual cop-out of condescending pompous windbags when they’ve been debunked: dig the hole deeper and claim that they are the only ones with the true vision.

    But I’m SO glad you’re here to set the world straight with your omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient abilities.

  47. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

    @bebopalula

    “…If you ask me my opinion on what MIles was thinking…”

    Actually, nobody was asking you that.

  48. oobopshbam
    I agree with the origins of ivy, but I think after WWII all bets were off. I do understand the history of ivy, I learned it in my youth working in ivy shops. Growing up in the 50s and 60s it was just the middle class fashion of the day, some of us just stuck with it, it’s what we know, it became our style. Others in my generation “evolved” from ivy to hippy, to leisure suits, to disco queens, to cowboys, to gumba continental or trad in the end. They chased fashion, what social construct were they in? They were in the majority.
    To be honest the only time my dress made a statement was in college, in the early 70s. It wasn’t a political statement, but I seemed to be the only one in a sea of humanity that didn’t wear Frye boots, bell bottoms, t-shirt or chambray work shirt. Little did I know, this Irish Catholic white trash individual was try to be a WASP aristocrat.

  49. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

    @MAC

    You clearly need some UK person to set you straight!

  50. RULE BRITANNIA!
    IT’S THANKS TO YOU THAT IVY STYLE WILL SURVIVE, LONG AFTER YANKS WHO SIMPLY THINK IT’S A MATTER OF CLOTHING HAVE ADOPTED NEW STYLES

  51. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

    Not really, I answered the questions you asked, in a pretty straight forward manner, I’m not sure where I went deep or misleading, other than expressing the fact many things have causes that may be evident to the people it effects or not, because they don’t recognise it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    If you’re upset by a British person telling you, an American, what went on or what is going in your country, then I wouldn’t really take exception the way you are, I’m only going on what has been reported by your country. Most of what I said was objective.

    It is more to do with the fact the UK Ivy snobs think that Chens doesn’t know his onions, and the only way Chens could retaliate was to say they didn’t have a right to the clothes he, and those in the US have, but that is stupid, because that’s like me saying the Yanks don’t have a right to UK clothes, so instantly everything I say about UK clothes is right. It’s not, it’s down to who choose to inform themselves the most. And to be fair JP I think knows more on the subject, still doesn’t mean I think him and his little buddies over here aren’t complete twats showing all the same characteristics insecure and elitist people do everywhere. But Chens has wronged a few people too.

    It’s not UK vs US, it’s groups vs groups, like I said the only thing I have over Chens and JP is my income isn’t dependant on all this. So I’m freer to say what I want, I’ve got nothing to lose.

  52. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

    @bebopalula

    WAY too many assumptions, disinformation, and nonsense to unpack there.

    Frankly, I’ve lost interest in chasing down your irrelevant rabbit hole anyway.

  53. stainless

    “Lambretta scooters? Purple Hearts? etc”

    Is it possible to be an ivy Rocker? Kahkis, OCBD, boots, leather jacket, clean hands and hair?

  54. Stainless | June 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    @MAC – Only if it’s mid-life crisis time…

  55. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |

    Not really BDSM, I think it is quite apparent what just went on. You got your teeth into something that wasn’t there because you just like defending Chens against the attack of others. If we break all this down to the root cause, we have people with professional interests try to out do each other. Whilst everyone else apparently has to dance to the tune of one of the camps. I’m not really into that.

    MAC – Popular Modernism was fashion I completely agree, hence the popular bit, but the aesthetic was based on a Modernist premise so you can’t take that away from it either. Also to answer your other point about social constructs, advertising and marketing advanced into the idea of lifestyles in the 70’s it was still all being underpinned by the need for control and economic stability.

  56. Christian | June 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

    @oobop

    I knows my onions real good, it’s just that they’re not the UK variety. Furthermore, you’re showing your Englishness by suggesting this is some abstruse topic that takes a special, nuanced mind to comprehend. Only in the UK do you need a “guru” to show you the “secret code” of how to pair a charcoal herringbone jacket with a blue buttondown, navy knit tie and Weejuns.

    And of course I’ve never said Englishmen don’t “have a right” to wear whatever the hell they want. I’ve just criticized their fantasy Ivy style-tribe aesthetic construct cult.

  57. First, I’m a anglophile.

    Secondly, I don’t get the UK vs US debate, if you like the look wear it, the more the merrier.

    Lastly, you are right about the lifestyle marketing beginning in the 70s, I just disagree with the need for control, it was about making money and Ralph Lauren getting rich.

    Cheers

  58. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

    I don’t think you do Chens, and don’t take that personally, I’m not sure anyone can get the significant amount of knowledge in the time you’ve studied it. People like John Simons and others in the US who have 30 years worth of knowledge know their onions. That is the difference, and that is the standard you and I are always going to get marked against. So I wouldn’t take it to heart. My problem is the commercialism of your blog which is your choice, but will always undermine it in the eyes of purists who don’t like the idea of modern brands undermining the look, which I think you can probably understand, but you are powerless to do anything about, because that is the market you have to go after to get a larger audience.

    Mac – The lifestyle thing was lead by the top down, and brands who were popular were soon bought up and put under a limited amount of corporations. I think in this diagram you can how RL scent range is actually licensed to L’oreal, who in turn is owned by Nestle.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/k0pv01.jpg

    Also over here we have a similar thing with the Baird Group which owns a lot of well known UK clothing brands including Baracuta.

  59. Christian | June 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

    Nah. I’m confident that I see things right, and that JS is likely skewed. Not that I know what he knows or thinks, but judging by his acolytes….

    Thirty years of looking at something wrongly doesn’t amount to much, does it? To wit, JP Gaul and Graham Marsh and their book “The Ivy Look.”

    I chat with Charlie Davidson, Bruce Boyer, Richard Press and Paul Winston on a daily basis. I’ll stick with what I get from them.

    Plus, I’m an American.

    Certainly in five years of following what Englishmen have to say on this topic, I’ve never once seen anything of any value. “Talk Ivy” is the perfect name for their forum, as all they do is talk and talk and none of it counts for anything. Just interpretation and speculation and droning on and on, never dealing in facts but always dogmatically ready to state opinions as facts.

    They do occasionally come up with a cool photo, movie or record, though.

  60. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    Yeah but this is what I mean, five years isn’t a long time, and I also said in my post about your American counterparts, I didn’t just mean long standing UK Ivy sages, you can’t say you have an expansive experience, or knowledge just because you talk to people who have done it for most part of their lives, that is my point. Your always going to get judged by the standards of those who have a deeper knowledge wether it’s on this side of the pond or yours. I realise by that you are up against it, and that’s before people take expectation to your taste too. Also like with my previous point, I’m an Englishmen, I’m not sure that goes to say that someone like Carpu doesn’t have a far greater knowledge than me of English clothes even though he is Italian. It’s by the bye, where someone is from, especially if they still haven’t experienced it directly, knowledge in this respect is universal isn’t it?

  61. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    @oopsaboop

    Jesus, would you PLEASE crawl back down out of your own ass?

  62. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

    @Chens

    “@oobop

    “I knows my onions real good, it’s just that they’re not the UK variety. Furthermore, you’re showing your Englishness by suggesting this is some abstruse topic that takes a special, nuanced mind to comprehend. Only in the UK do you need a “guru” to show you the “secret code” of how to pair a charcoal herringbone jacket with a blue buttondown, navy knit tie and Weejuns.

    And of course I’ve never said Englishmen don’t “have a right” to wear whatever the hell they want. I’ve just criticized their fantasy Ivy style-tribe aesthetic construct cult.”

    My thoughts exactly. Except I probably would have said “obtuse” rather than “abstruse”.

  63. Christian | June 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    I’ve no doubt that clothing fetishists know a lot about clothes. But if those clothes are American, putting them into context and attempting to opine on American culture is something else entirely.

  64. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    It’s pretty well documented by the Americans of the time for anyone to read, are you saying an historian has to be native to the country that he takes an interest in? Like I said the only hand you ever had over the UK backlash was being from were the clothes were from, I’m not sure that really stands up to closer scrutiny. But neither you or I attend an Ivy league college did we? You have as much a link to Ivy in that sense as I do to Oxford or Cambridge.

  65. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

    @oopsie

    My great-grandfather went to Brown. Rather irrelevant fact, wouldn’t you say? Some of my ancestors arrived in America with the Puritan Winthrop Fleet of 1630. I could go on, but it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t have any relevance.

  66. Christian | June 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    Exactly, anyone can read the stuff: including me. And that’s a very odd argument to take, given that the UK camp always emphasizes the everyman/Modernist/urban/jazz angle while downplaying the college connection.

  67. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    Well it doesn’t really BSDM, because unless you have managed to retain all their experiences through some amazing collective consciousness you are still just an individual who is claiming credit and experience in events of which you had no part of.

    Chens – The college connection is important, but like in the UK where we have a history of artists, and creative types taking on the look of the elite and then improving on it by being more savvy with style they create a method in which they can make the clothes of those more important than them, seem better whilst on their backs, therefore undermining those in better standing than them. Most people want to be seen of a better standing don’t they? That’s why they lay credit to their ancestor’s accolades. Like your friend above there.

  68. Christian | June 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |

    Ah, so they ARE the clothes of the elite!

    Just kidding. Of course they are.

  69. oobopshbam | June 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

    No they were, as well as still being, although most people now would rather be seen in a recognised labels even if the are to ignorant to know they are typically less quality than what went before that passed as a luxury brand. I think you are aspirational to the type of things you feature in that magazine you are editor of, so you probably see the clothes in that context. But away from that a lot of them are classics of design, so you have to be aware they can be appreciated solely on that level too, which is maybe why you appreciate Ralph Lauren and these other brands because you are more interested in the association of the clothes than them as pieces of design?

  70. Button-down Mind Strikes back | June 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    @oopsie

    “…unless you have managed to retain all their experiences through some amazing collective consciousness you are still just an individual who is claiming credit and experience in events of which you had no part of. ”

    OK, I have no idea what the hell that is supposed to mean.
    What “experiences” do I need to “claim” in order to wear a shirt? What “events” are you talking about? Are you trying to put words in my mouth or just arguing both sides of your non-point?

  71. Jolly Roger | June 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    @oobopshbam

    “…Most people want to be seen of a better standing don’t they? That’s why they lay credit to their ancestor’s accolades. Like your friend above there.”

    Huh?
    Except that “Button-Down Mind” said the exact opposite of that, didn’t he? Your trolling is becoming way too obvious there fella.

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