News Roundup: More Ivy Trendwatch, Forgotten LL Bean, Duck Head, Fair Isle & Prince Charles

InsideHook is really banging the Ivy Trendwatch drum, with more than one scribe working the beat. The latest piece is entitled “Take Ivy 2.0 is the next great movement in American menswear.” Well let’s hope they’re right, but this one seems like a stretch. Check out the link and judge for yourself.

The article features quotes from “Ametora” author and Ivy Style contributor W. David Marx, who also gets quoted (along with G. Bruce Boyer) in a High Snobriety piece which argues that LL Bean has been forgotten. Like the InsideHook piece, this too centers around Japan.

“Uniform is too strong. Bean just was outdoor clothing,” explains W. David Marx, fashion historian and author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style. “If you’re in New England, going to prep school in the snow and wet, it just makes sense.”

Prep schoolers brought their L.L. Bean sweaters to college. Eastern U.S. colleges, swelling with returned G.I.’s, replicated the established look. By coincidence, at the same, a trend called “Ivy style” had taken Japan by storm.

So when four Japanese fashion editors – some working for Men’s Club, a popular fashion magazine – traveled to the U.S. to create a style bible that would show the real Ivy League wardrobe to their audience at home, they unknowingly put the spotlight on L.L. Bean.

“In Japan, you have Ivy, you have the hippies, and then you have Yasuhiko Kobayashi,” continues Marx. Kobayashi, a fashion illustrator for Men’s Club, began his career drawing suit-and-tie Ivy looks. Not long after that style bible (1965’s legendary Take Ivy) is published, however, his interests took a marked turn.

“Kobayashi starts going to the US a bunch and notices hippie style moving into outdoor lifestyle,” says Marx. “He and his other writer-editor friends were outdoors guys, so in ’72 or ’73, they visited L.L. Bean headquarters in Freeport, Maine to see the most representative brand of that lifestyle.”

You can find the Bean piece right here.

Next, here’s a quick sneak peak of Duck Head‘s spring offerings snapped a few weeks ago at menswear market week in New York. The brand is having a big hit with its five-pocket offerings, and there’s that color olive again we recently posted about.

Chinos in olive or classic khaki shades go well with Fair Isle sweaters, for which the BBC has a new feature.

And while we’re in the UK, Town & Country has a slideshow of Prince Charles wearing only two overcoats for the past 30 years, just as an English gentleman should (we’ll have more on English gentlemen and the Old Money Look in forthcoming posts).

And finally in industry news, Cole Haan will issue an IPO and move in a more casual direction, and yes those two things are likely related. — CC

7 Comments on "News Roundup: More Ivy Trendwatch, Forgotten LL Bean, Duck Head, Fair Isle & Prince Charles"

  1. Speaking of Fair Isle sweaters and British royalty, there is a famous painting of the Duke of Windsor wearing a Fair Isle sweater, ivy cap, and a pinned collar shirt.
    In my opinion, the Duke of Windsor is the best dressed man in history followed by Prince Charles. Dress British, think Yiddish.

  2. Charlottesville | February 20, 2020 at 5:16 pm |

    The Fair Isle pictures look great. As for Prince Charles, the first three photos show a single-breasted, fly-fronted, tan Chesterfield (similar to the J. Press overcoat I wore today), but subsequent pics show him in a double-breasted camel coat, as well as a brown tweed. Unless he had the camel DB seriously reworked, I think there are three coats shown. And all, quite natty.

  3. This excerpt from the end of the article nearly perfectly captures the cycle we’ve seen menswear go through the last 12 years or so: “This isn’t heritage; it’s not even authentic, whatever that means. But it’s honest. It’s what Proyce sees in how sportswear classics should be worn for today. It’s a vision that’s ironic but avoids cynicism, one that modestly elevates and even applauds what most would overlook: the laidback leisure in your uncle’s dropped shoulder in an old family photograph, the embarrassing confidence of a sweatpant in public.”

  4. Yes Charlottesville, in fact I reckon there are two double breasted camels as one appears to have a contrasting collar. Anyway I’m glad that he’s spending his £18m annual income wisely. He’s does like a suede shoe with a grey suit – very nice.

  5. Considering the state of most “menswear writing” today (here are the biggest fits x pulled off at x, etc) I give kudos to Inside Hook for publishing longer form pieces, and to the writer for doing research and contacting sources. But I feel a bit perplexed at the notion that what Lady White is doing is new. As someone who went to college in 2009-2013, this ironic-normcore type look was everywhere. Lady White seems less Take Ivy 2.0 and more American Apparel 2.0.

  6. Jonathan Sanders | February 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm |

    Great story on Prince Charles. Talk about owning your look. It all just looks so effortless. And the whole thing of wearing the same things all these years is awesome. (and they still fit!) The same applies to his shoes. Just google prince charles shoes

  7. Triona Thomson’s sweater is a collector’s item.

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