This Pen For Hire: The Murakami J. Press Stories

Thu 8 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Lit — Christian
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Tokyo-based Ivy Style contributor W. David Marx, whose book on the history of Ivy in Japan comes out later this year, recently wrote about the advertorial pieces famed novelist Haruki Murakami penned for J. Press:

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Onward spent massive sums on advertising J. Press in the print media. The classic ad format, often seen on the back cover of lifestyle magazine Popeye, showed a Japanese or American man telling a colorful story about their favorite trad clothing item. In 1985, as Japanese pop culture went in more avant-garde directions, Onward came up with a new idea — asking up-and-coming novelist Murakami Haruki to write a very short story inside each month’s advertisement for magazines Popeye, Box, and Men’s Club.

Murakami was given free creative rein with no requirement to include J. Press in the stories. It’s all a fascinating piece of trad history in the land of the Rising Sun. Head over to his site Neojaponisme for the full story. — CC

Fore! CC’s Upcoming Golf Book

Tue 6 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Sport — Christian
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Yes, there’s another woman on our front page for the second time in a row, but you can be sure that with a swing like that her knickers aren’t falling down. The image is the cover of the new spring catalog from teNeues, a publishing house with the fascinating history of being founded in Germany in the 1930s. The image is also the cover of my forthcoming golf book.

Well, sort of my book.

Last year I was contacted by one of my former editors for Ralph Lauren Magazine, who was working at teNeues developing a series of sports lifestyle books. They needed someone with a vintage and luxury sensibility to do a golf book, and when I mentioned I’d been running the Golf Style site, the deal was done. Easiest gig I’ve ever gotten.

So I wrote a few thousand words for this picture book coming out in March. I’ll do another post when it’s actually available (the catalog copy says it’s the perfect gift for preppy fashion mavens). I had nothing to do with the image selection, but think they found a real corker for the book cover. Evidently they agreed, using it for the catalog as well.

Golf Style, for the record, went into hibernation last fall while I worked on this project, and alas I fear the topic — traditional golf attire — might be a tad too niche for the demands of my time. But I certainly had a great time doing it and we’ll see what spring brings when the golf season recommences.

In the meantime I’m currently preparing a new web project that I think will interest many of you. More on that soon. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD (Continue)


The Panties Kept Slipping Down: The Weird World Of LL Bean Commenters

Mon 5 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Clothes — Christian
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Last week New York Magazine ran a piece on its website called “The Weird, Lovely World Of LL Bean Commenters.” The slideshow sampling of comments left on the company’s website (of which #14, my favorite, provided us with our headline), demonstrates a perfect storm of heritage brand with knowledgeable clientele, Internet-enabled peer reviews, and neurotic, finicky people with too much time on their hands. — CC


Here’s To A Tradly Year Ahead

Sat 3 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
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Ages ago in 2014, the blog Oxford Cloth Button Down shared a selection of calendar images by the Japanese artist Hiroshi Watatani, whose most recognized image in Tradsville is probably the one above. We used it here in our post on the Gucci loafer’s 60th anniversary.

In case you missed the calendar, here it is. It was made in 2012 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a retailer called Select Store Septis. But please don’t use it as a dress code: always let the weather be your guide. — CC





To The Future

Thu 1 Jan 2015 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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J. Press sent out a mailer today with the words “to the future” that aroused my curiosity. Word through the grapevine is that things have been changing among Onward Kashiyama management, and the company currently has a want ad running for someone to research international fashion trends. I asked Onward for comment last month, but was told they were too busy with holiday shopping. I hope they also plan on hiring a communications manager.

Happy 2015 and here’s to another great year of style and substance. — CC



Fifty Years Ago Tonight: New Year’s Eve, 1964

Wed 31 Dec 2014 - Filed under: 1960s — Christian
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Times Square, New Year’s Eve, 1964.

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