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