Superb Marxmanship


W. David Marx — who has contributed several pieces on Japanese Ivy for — has hit the bullseye with his new book “Ametora” (that’s Japanese for “American Trad”). It’s a pioneering piece of research and a deftly handled narrative that traces the ups and downs, misunderstandings and mania for the Ivy League Look that swept Japan in the 1960s. The book also delves into the broader importing (and re-exporting) of American style in general, and finishes with a summary of “Take Ivy” as it reappeared from obscurity on the Internet in 2008.

David is in Boston today for a book party, and last night was in New York for little shindig held at Warby Parker. And he’s one other place as well, namely the pages of this week’s New Yorker, which has a modified excerpt from “Ametora.” The piece is entitled “Stalking The Madras Wearers Of The Ivy League” and recounts what led up to the expensive and wholly improvised trip to America to film and photograph students in their native habitat for “Take Ivy.”

Here’s a teaser:

Whether at Brown, Columbia, or Yale, however, Kurosu notes, “Most students acted like they were completely disinterested in fashion, even if they looked like they cared. They didn’t seem proud of being stylish. They would just say to us dismissively, ‘I just came here to study. I don’t care what I wear.’ ” When Kurosu saw a Yale student with high-water cotton pants, he inquired, “Are really short pants in style?,” only to be told defensively, “I’ve never thought about it. They just shrunk when I washed them.” The production wrapped up at Princeton, where they arrived to find an intramural softball tournament and a wild party hosted at Nassau Hall. And, with that, the VAN team returned home to Japan to figure out how exactly they would turn this footage of dressed-down American students into a promotion for the virtues of Ivy League style.

Head over to the New Yorker for the full story, and make sure “Ametora” is on your Christmas list. — CC

6 Comments on "Superb Marxmanship"

  1. Read the New Yorker excerpt and it was fantastic. Can’t wait to pick this up.

  2. Erudite and compelling writer, I look forward to reading the book!

  3. Nice coat. Nice tie but tied a bit short. Never been a fan of the club collar but that’s a judgment call. Jeans, to me at least, not good.


  4. Bags' Groove | December 5, 2015 at 10:48 am |

    His tie is tied perfectly. But those jeans look like they may fall into the low rise category. Which would be rather ironic, because his hand is placed above a pair of what look like 501s displayed on the cover of his book. But I’ll try not to allow any of this to deter me from buying said publication. After all, we’re fast approaching Christmas, the season of goodwill toward men.

  5. Evan Everhart | February 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm |


    Trousers are dangerously low rise; nearly to the point of displaying pubic cleavage. ‘Bags’; the irony of his hand resting on the book with the image of relatively high-rise 501s on the cover is not lost. Sadly. His trousers should rise to nearly his center button, at least. Especially for someone who is apparently as tall as he is. Also, the jeans simply don’t cut it, and I don’t get the relatively formal golf/club collared white shirt with the jeans. Whatever. I’m just being a knit-picker-though that is in my nature, particularly for someone who writes about clothing and clothing-related subjects.

    But I digress; I love his writing and I’m glad that he’s keeping it up! Now to keep up the rise on his trousers-couldn’t resist just one more! Pet peeve!

  6. Neo-Ivy is a good term to describe what all of this internet phenomenon has become, now influencing the makers themselves, even Press and finally Brooks (in the token of a return of the button down shirt). But it and they have thereby become far more like Ralph Lauren. Neo-Ivy is not far from 80s preppy fashion in its self-consciousness and fashion-conscious aspect. It has gone beyond “men liking clothes.”

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