Social Primer Debut Collection

Yesterday K. Cooper Ray, the Southern gent behind Social Primer, debuted his new mini-collection of neckties and blazers. Previously Ray had collaborated with Brooks Brothers, but has now struck out on his own. Held at a presigious private club, models were supposed to represent fraternity pledges and the blazers, in navy and red, come with a student-loan price tag of $1,200.

Neckties consisted of contrasting rep patterns such as this one:

And the inevitable pink and green:

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, considering outfitting the groomsmen in bow tie, OCBD, rep cummerbund, khaki shorts and tassel loafers, no socks:

This guest’s madras jacket caught my eye. His name is David Van Fleet Bloys and he runs the blog Necessary And Proper:

And last but certainly not least, Lisa Birnbach strolled in with sweater over shoulders and laptop case that looks like an antiquarian book. — CC

32 Comments on "Social Primer Debut Collection"

  1. For the cost of that blazer, you could by three yards of lambswool hopsack from W. Bill, Lovat, Breanish, or Minnis, and turn it over to Paul Winston, or, that matter, Southwick (Warwick, Douglas, or Cambridge model), Hickey Freeman (go with the B series, hook vent and dartless), or even Hardwick (Bill model with Ivy specs). Or any one of many other cut and sew operations.

    Stylists have to make a living too, I guess. But it’s a shame that more people aren’t informed about what’s avialable to them.

  2. SE
    I’ll bet the blazer would have a 99.99% better chance of actually fitting also.

    Who doesn’t love pink and green or pink and burgundy? It’s how they appear in nature,but not like that, the execution above looks like someone dumpster drove an actual tie maker’s dumpster for remnants. It’s a distraction, so no one notices your blazer and pants don’t fit. But, then maybe that’s the method to their madness?

  3. Surprisingly slim-flit for an American brand. Regarding the slim-fit matter, it is intriguing that the average American chino is twice as wide as the European. I always wonder; is this because of stylish reasons or obese clientele?

  4. Gentleman Mac | September 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

    Not that I’m justifying the price, but the lining of the blazers have a pretty cool fox hunting scene by Wm. Lamb and Sons.

  5. Excellent to see some strict codes-of-practice still being enforced in such a modern city. However I do think that the tie knots a rather scruffy on some of these chaps. Nevertheless I suppose the dress-code says tie a blazer, but may not specify how one must wear these.

    With regard to the contrast repp ties, I think they’re jolly good fun.

  6. NaturalShoulder | September 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    That is a hefty price tag for a blazer. How is the fabric and construction?

  7. Roy R. Platt | September 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    For some reason (probably because I am old) I still think that it looks strange when a gentleman wears a hat indoors or when talking to a lady outdoors (unless it is very cold outdoors).

  8. I don’t think fashion presentations have anything to do with reality.

    But waitaminute, if I’m wearing, say, a tweed cap on a moderate fall day, I’m supposed to take it off when I’m walking down the street and run into a female acquaintance?

    I’m curious which is worse, the apparent faux pas of not removing it, or her awkward noticing of my punctilious removal of it?

  9. River Cafe just below DUMBO also continues to maintain a proper dress code. Jackets are obligatory, ties are encouraged. I recently learned that they have possess a collection of jackets for those gents who go without.

  10. Most of the good private clubs in NYC require coat and tie at all times and dont allow cellphones.

  11. Richard Meyer | September 9, 2012 at 4:50 am |

    SE and Yankee-Whiskey-Papa are entirely correct. Paul Winston will do a much better job at reasonable price, and the best NYC clubs( Union, Knick, Brook, Racquet and Tennis etc.) all follow dress and deportment rules strictly, as do other outstanding city clubs- Metropolitan in D.C., Philadelphia, Somerset in Boston, Pacific Union in San Francisco etc.

  12. You can see how much I get around. I should edit the story…

  13. Hickey Freeman’s natural shoulder (“soft”) offerings haven’t received much attention. A source claims that it’s presently the best made natural shoulder jacket in the country, which, with all the bespoke and better MTM options, is saying something. The point, again, is why bother paying much attention at all to the stylists and what their flair for marketing and presentation? Go for the good stuff, and let the stylists paddle the overpriced kit to the masses who, sadly, want to buy into something resembling a movement.

  14. I agree Southwick MTM (now owned by Brooks Brothers) and others are great brands full of great quality and detail. But I think the stylists bring some fun and freshness to the table. Nothing wrong with aspiration. Keep in mind swagger is a huge part of prep!

  15. what exactly does it take to be a member of these private clubs? not trying to start a big political discussion; I really don’t know

  16. *Educator: Most places, the process goes something like: The candidate is brought to the club several times as the guest of a member in good standing. If there seems to be a good fit, they are asked by an existing member to consider membership. If they are interested, the proposer begins the process by writing a letter proposing the candidate. The proposer must also secure a letter or signature from a seconder and then seek out letters of support from usually two others (all of whom write and sign the letter of proposal or submit accompanying documents). This information is assembled and sent to an elections committee or similar body, who meets with the candidate (with or without the proposer, depending on the club). At some point, they are either voted in, put on a waiting list, or denied consideration.

  17. Just like a Motorcycle Club then.

  18. It seems to me that the preppy movement that Ms. Birnbach started 30 years ago now has stepped into a realm of self-mockery and over indulgence (as shown above), I guess if these models dress in normal assembly of clothes there will be no need for “designers”.

    I always feel that TOPH depicted a certain group of people at a certain time and it should be treated as such, now it seems that this movement goes along to form its own clan/followers…
    Pardon my english.

  19. Ironically, stylists actually inhibit the creative process by offering set patterns made of goods one can’t identify because apparently it’s a secret. Real “fun and freshness” happen when a tailor says, “We can do that patch pocket however you want, and with any kind of stitching. And here are fifty cloth books from which to choose.”

    There are a handful of mills an weavers who make really good cloth, and a few more outposts that function as brokers. Smith Woollens would be an example of the latter.

    The internet is neutral. Some will use it to buy or sell cheaply made, overpriced goods–successful because of marketing and advertising. Others now have access to information about goods–in any arena, mind you–that allow for informed purchases. Plenty of client-maker relationships have evolved, skipping the multitudes of people, mostly ignorant, who work in the retail and advertising sectors.

    Buy good cloth. Find a good tailor. Know what you want. Don’t allow stylists to tell you what you should want.

  20. Without actually handling those white shirts, my bet is that they are Gittmans.

  21. Shirts were provided by Lands’ End.

  22. Christian is right that fashion shoots have nothing to do with reality. And yet I’d still love to see real guys wearing this stuff. I suppose the frat-boy look is real enough, but I’d really like to forget the reality of that part of my Southern upbringing.

  23. This is pure parody. $1200 off the rack blazers? C’mon. A cummerbund with shorts? Just stop it. Contrasting, “Hilfiger already did it in the 90s” neckties? Cheap non-iron, short sleeve button down shirts? (“pasta sauce spill in aisle 6…..I need a wet mop…”) Pink bandanas, rope pieces as belts…..

    This is some straight up Fred Egan Castleberry silliness……which, I suppose, is why the two of them are bffs.

  24. Castleperrody: cas·tle perr·o·dy 
    noun (plural, castleperrodies) verb, castleperrodied, castleperrodying.

    1. a humorous or satirical imitation of an authentic, serious and/or original piece of traditional (e.g. classic, “trad”, “preppy”) clothing; characterized and perpetrated by Fred Egan Castleberry, a blogger, Ralph Lauren Rugby employee, and aspirational imitator.

    1. to imitate poorly or feebly; travesty.

  25. I don’t think any of these rushees are going to get a bid.

  26. “I don’t think any of these rushees are going to get a bid.”

    Who would want a bid from a frat that has no beer bongs or strippers at a rush party? 😉

  27. At least four of those guys are wearing loose long ties. If they can’t wear a tie properly, wear a dress. The high water pants are another joke. $ 1200 blazers with shorts?

    I can’t believe that young men are being conditioned (like Pavlov’s dog) into buying this stuff. Everyone should burn their TOPH to boycott Lisa for approving this “look”

  28. I love that Lisa Birnbach uses an old book as a laptop cover. This is surely the only time she has taken something sacred, beloved, old and authentic, then meticulously gutted its carefully composed content, finally making it into a facade for something modern and ultimately short-lived.

  29. Since it’s Social Primer, shouldn’t the baseball caps and sweatshirt have Sigma Pi, and not Sigma Rho, on them?

    I guess no one cares about the Greek alphabet at a faux fraternity.

  30. Who did the khakis? They look decent.

  31. RE: New York Club Dress Code

    On more than one occasion, I witnessed a group of youngsters thrown out the front door of the Yale Club when then attempted to have lunch while wearing ugly-old-jeans. Unfortunately, one does see flip-flops in the library, though not as often as one might expect.

  32. Christian, the proper action of a man when greeting a lady when he is wearing any head covering, is to touch the brim just to the side of the face, tugging it slightly. No need to completely remove the hat or cap.

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