Voice From The Abyss: Jimmy Frost Mellor Talks Ivy On Mod Podcast

Longtime members of Tradsville will recall with a cringe the username “Russell Street,” the notorious English troll who got himself banned from Andy’s Trad Forum, the Ivy Style comments section, and most recently the Film Noir Buff “Talk Ivy” forum, which he created but was ousted for, among other things irksome to small online communities, pretending to be his own imaginary son.

Apparently Jimmy Frost Mellor was in fact his real name all along (or at least a sobriquet he uses off the ‘Net as well), and he can be heard pontificating on Ivy in this podcast, starting at the 1:50:42 mark. (Why Jason Jules and John Simons allow this nutcase to pose as a spokesman for them is baffling.)

Those who’ve read the take on Ivy from our cousins across the pond might find it interesting to actually hear it discussed. Especially entertaining is the tricky passage about the Eastern Establishment and the role of the campus in the Ivy League Look, things which in the mind of many English Ivy fans (especially of the mod variety) have less to do with Ivy than scooters.

Online Mellor has often bragged that he’s spent over 30 years obsessing over Ivy, but the podcast reinforces what Tradsville has long known: that his take on the topic is highly subjective.

After all, you can stand on your head against the wall, stare across the room at a painting and claim you’re an expert on it, but in the end you’ve simply spent 30 years looking at something upside-down. — CC

50 Comments on "Voice From The Abyss: Jimmy Frost Mellor Talks Ivy On Mod Podcast"

  1. Duke of Windsor | May 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm |

    I haven’t been on AAAK in years but I certainly remember Russell Street. He doesn’t deserve a post on this web site.

  2. A.E.W. Mason | May 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm |

    Christian,

    I know nothing about Jimmy Frost Mellor other than one or two things mentioned on this site in the past. I just listened to the full interview with him. His comments seemed for the most part correct and I don’t think strayed from offering up opinions on various specifics about which reasonable people might disagree.

    Regarding the “tricky passage”: As you know, I’ve said several times here that I believe soft, natural tailoring was introduced to the elite colleges by sons simply wearing what their father’s wore. Those fathers, in many cases, belonged to a prosperous business class that emerged in the early 19th century. As Brooks Brothers’ telling of its own history confirms, these men were the original clientele for the progenitor of what we think of as Ivy League style. Certainly, I grant that it was later refined and developed.

    In any case, I’d be curious to know what specific things stated in that interview by Mr. Mellor you find to be “upside-down” or just wrong. Thanks.

  3. Christian | May 22, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

    AEW Mason,

    I’m afraid I have no interest in doing a point-by-point rebuttal of Mr. Mellor’s remarks. For my thoughts on the role of Brooks and the campus in creating what came to be known as the Ivy League Look, I’d refer you to the rise and fall essay, and for my general impression of the English take on Ivy, with which Mellor is entwined (his credentials for the podcast are that he evidently worked one day a week for a short spell at London’s leading Ivy retail store), this post:

    http://www.ivy-style.com/clothes-mad-the-english-ivy-obsession.html

  4. i like jimmy better than fuckwit chens. Jimmy created chens as an ivy pundit. chens is a puppet.

  5. Christian | May 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm |

    Shortly after this post went up Mr. Mellor left an innocuous remark which I deleted knowing a cruder one would eventually come later. The above was left at 2:15 AM England time.

    We’ll let this run its course tomorrow and then move on. It’s only slightly more entertaining than hearing AEV go on about FEC.

  6. So sorry – My name is actually Taylor J.R. McIntyre, Son of Ivy. Jim really doesn’t join in with much of this anymore. 😉 x

  7. … But I do oh so ever so slightly love the whole ‘voice from the abyss’ tag when you are actually all the ones stuck down here chatting about Jim when he’s long ago cleared off upwards and onwards.
    There is indeed an abyss here. One dug deepest on FNB…. One with roots in Ask Andy… And one which, in my humble opinion, you should really only entertain here just for fun.
    Make more money than him out of all of this and then you’ll win…. Something.

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with JFM, and did not find him to be at all strange.
    I also liked the host’s comment about students wearing “shower shoes” to class and about Preppy being “bitchy, bright, and effeminate”.

  9. Battersea Boy | May 23, 2014 at 5:12 am |

    I am an English Ivy fan and believe that Ivy did come from the Ivy league college’s and US east coast establishment.Any view to the contrary is a minority view and highly subjective.

    For the record, the five moderators of FNB were appointed by Film Noir Buff himself, nothing
    to do with JFM,

  10. woofboxer | May 23, 2014 at 8:14 am |

    The above comments are a good representative sample of the repetitive nonsense that led to his being ousted from ‘Talk Ivy’. I think it speaks for itself but I’m sure readers can draw their own conclusions.

  11. Trad Hunter | May 23, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    The word on the street is that Tony at FNB is basically fed up with the thing and is only keeping it going in its current sad state while he decides which alternative direction it should take. I wouldn’t at all surprised if the infamous Mr. Mellor is not a guiding light in the new venture, as he was in the once cutting edge but now unconsciously comical Talk Ivy.

  12. How is any of this possible? It’s just nice clothes,right?

  13. Trad Hunter | May 23, 2014 at 9:39 am |

    @ DJFM

    Spot on regarding Christian’s skill. Once again it is only on this forum and no other that one can talk about Ivy, unless of course one wants to rub shoulders with chavs, who comically ask if clothes have a meaning.

  14. I was explaining to my friend “yeah, there’s two online forums that talk about old man clothes from a very specific time…” He stopped me; “let me guess? They hate each other, right?”

  15. Battersea Boy | May 23, 2014 at 10:03 am |

    I know Tony from FNB really well and Trad Hunters comments are a load of Trollish bull.
    Tony is one of Five Moderators who do not drive the forum in any direction
    they just empty the trash.

    Halby

    I don’t hate Ivy style in fact i like it ,which is why i leave comments occasionally.

  16. Jonathon Goddard Jr. | May 23, 2014 at 11:08 am |

    This Mellor chappie is a ‘newie’ for me; and although I don’t want to get caught up in any Gangs of New york rivalry here, but I must say that apart from having to trawl through a hour or more of skiffle (or whatever it’s called these days) I found the interview well-balanced and historically accurate. More please!

  17. Jonathon Goddard Jr. | May 23, 2014 at 11:13 am |

    @ Trad Hunter

    Mellor certainly seems to have a sound understanding of ‘the look’, in tandem with a fair deal of educated passion! Let’s hope your ‘sources’ are right!

  18. Boston Bean | May 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm |

    I was delighted to learn that he is not a flat front fetishist, that he finds cuffless trousers as acceptable as cuffed, and that he believes that everyone develops his own Ivy style within certain parameters. Sounds far more open-minded than many Ivy fanatics here in the U.S. of A.

  19. James G. Brousard | May 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm |

    I think the Mellor interview is solid and his statements accurate- there does seem to be some ‘history’ here from reading the thread above. No comment there but Mellor does seem to know his stuff unless there is something blatant I am missing. In other news though the podcast itself was brilliant…thoroughly entertaining and the host was a riot. Thanks to the forum for leading me there!

  20. Christian | May 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm |

    @Boston Bean

    As someone perhaps more familiar with his ideas, I’d say that his appearance of open-mindedness is more like attempted myth-busting rabble-rousing. What I took away is that, even after 30 years of being obsessed with this stuff, he (and many of the other English) just go on about the same old things: Weejun fetishization, needlecord, and six versus seven button fronts. I’m surprised there was no mention of Steve McQueen or Tony Perkins.

    The John Simons approved look that he advocates is just as narrow as that of any trad, just different items. And he was always very quick to accuse online enemies of wearing something not “Ivy,” though he himself hardly dresses “Ivy.” Of course, most of the images in “The Ivy Look,” or stuff worn by FNB Talk Ivy guys, isn’t very Ivy either.

    He’s a troll, and his remarks are always rhetorical.

  21. Boston Bean | May 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm |

    Christian,

    I’ve never read anything by the gent before, but he certainly sounded far more sensible than any of the proponents of the Crayola/Romper Room “preppy” look.

  22. Alistair Arnold | May 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm |

    “Of course, most of the… stuff worn by FNB Talk Ivy guys, isn’t very Ivy either. ”

    Well, thank you. I thought I was perhaps the only one to have noticed this! There does indeed seem to be a massive confusion there, doesn’t there? But one wonders how one be other than confused in a sartorial sense when one’s dress sense is informed by thinking such as this.

    “Ivy is the sports club, it is the campus. Like I said the idea of upper/middle class and upper class men of the late 1800’s early 1900s wearing anything other morning dress is lunacy. It was the sons of these men that made their casual sport attire suitable day wear by the time we get to the late 1900s early 1920s we now have these men as well successful heirs to their family fortunes and the style is lifted into elegant day wear but still not as showy as anything that could be sourced from the UK. Then after WW2 and prosperity in the US and soldiers being given educations and jobs jazz marketed itself as music for the intellectuals younger generation. The musicians wore the clothes played the campuses. By the early 50s it was becoming the beginning of the boom.”

    The above by the way, if anyone has bothered to decode it, is by a moderator over there! As suggested above, it surely can’t be long before the plug is pulled.

  23. Christian | May 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm |

    @Boston

    Consider yourself fortunate!

  24. @Christian
    “He’s a troll, and his remarks are always rhetorical.”
    Hmm? Yet you advertise his appearance on a podcast with a large photo and a potted history? Of course, you knew his appearance would bring some traffic your way, so I look forward to more troll features. Bound to be more interesting than the mind-numbing golf tedium.

  25. BrokeOldMoney | May 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm |

    Why wouldn’t one want to occupy their spare time by chasing after little white balls?

  26. Reuben Jerome IV | May 23, 2014 at 10:18 pm |

    @Alistair Arnold Shh! Don’t spoil the fun, old boy. He’s a key member of The Five Moderators, which has to be the funniest bunch of clowns the clothing fora have ever seen.

  27. We are the Ivyists | May 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm |

    Fitting that Jimmy is on a Mod podcast.

    These English youth cults are so cute.

    And that is how they treat Ivy.

  28. We are the Ivyists | May 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm |

    The French have Jerry Lewis.

    The English Ivyists have Tony Perkins.

  29. Reuben Jerome IV | May 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm |

    Comment by Trad Hunter

    “The word on the street is that Tony at FNB is basically fed up with the thing and is only keeping it going in its current sad state while he decides which alternative direction it should take. I wouldn’t at all surprised if the infamous Mr. Mellor is not a guiding light in the new venture, as he was in the once cutting edge but now unconsciously comical Talk Ivy.”

    Well, for sure the man who gave the iGent a name must be very embarrassed with the way that place has turned into such a joke. But hand it over to a troll like that again? Can’t see it myself.

  30. Anglophiliac | May 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm |

    Perhaps what really upsets Yanks most is the assertion that Ivy gained popularity because people wanted to dress like aristocrats. The widespread myth of equality is so dear to the hearts of Americans that any mention of social classes, let alone an American aristocracy makes them foam at the mouth. If Ivy is still alive today, it’s not because of fraternities, footbal, or jazz, it’s because of a deep-seated desire to dress like one’s betters.

  31. We are the Ivyists | May 23, 2014 at 10:58 pm |

    If Jimmy took the same meds before posting online as he did before that interview, he’d be better appreciated.

  32. Point of interest: when I applied to join the Ivy Style group on Facebook, my membership was approved by Jim. Draw your own conclusions.

  33. Fo’ Sho’ This is all well fake.
    Well known that the Jim works the odds. Chens too. You can wake up just as soon as you are ready.
    Riiiiiiiiight ?
    Peace out.

  34. The Ivy fetish has become so out of place with the Ivy Commentariat – all self appointed, by the way – that it has been rendered almost meaningless. People who attend Ivies, or who teach at them, don’t really care. They buy whatever they feel is practical. Even prep has more of a core to it than Ivy, because the people who purchase prep don’t have a choice – they are just children. It’s only when they grow up and want to continue wearing the same type of clothing that prep actually has developed a more malleable tradition, if you could call it that.

    Most Ivy grads I know don’t recall or really care about what they wore when they were at their Ivy. They are too busy working in the real world now.

  35. India Victor | May 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm |

    Imagine a conversation between two Yanks were one says “I dig that English school boy style, I bet it has something to do with places like Eton? What say you Mr. Expert? “No my friend it is all to do about New & Lingwood”
    I think it is news in Norway that their national shoe was invented by North American natives.
    Speaking of Indians this tale is illuminating http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TheLittleBoyAndTheRattlesnake-Cherokee.html

  36. My deepest congrats to anyone able to listen to any part of this- much less the entire- podcast. Between the annoying cuts of music and execrable Brit accents, I merely clicked through to try to find the Ivy portions noted by CC. Which I never did because I feared more than 45 secs. would harm my hearing.

    @ Anglophiliac
    Riffing off your user name, perhaps you feel Yanks are upwardly mobile sartorially only if you are focusing on Ralph Lauren Corp. ads slavering over an ersatz and defunct Britannic Majesty. Savvy Americans, as my grandfather used to say, know that there’ll always be an England…as long as there’s an American dollar.

  37. Navy Blazer | May 25, 2014 at 12:01 am |

    Why do some of us find it necessary to mock Brits who are interested in ivy style, as if they are merely aping traditional American style, pretending to be what they are not. Ivy style in clothing has only managed to survive until today because most of us Americans who choose to dress this way are pretending to be what are not: our mental image of northeastern American aristocrats (for want of a better term) because of being repelled by the way that most American guys dress today.

  38. Mellow Fellow | May 25, 2014 at 7:05 am |

    Navy Blazer:

    I agree that it is cruel to mock these Talk Ivy people. Yes,it is as unforgivable as mocking the retarded and afflicted, I know.

    But it is so annoying that a site that once was quite informative and frequently entertaining when Frost Mellor was around has now degenerated into a club for the feeble minded who are weirdly enthusiastic about Ivy while patently bewildered by it all, with one or two exceptions.

  39. All this northeast aristocrat talk is amazing. No doubt it was the origin, but post WWII it became middle class. What American university town or medium size city didn’t have a Trad/ Ivy/ Collegiate shop in the 1950s? Does anyone really think some kid making his first communion in Greenville , Miss. in the 1950s wearing a trop wool navy blazer, charcoal pants, white BD and Weejuns thought he was miming NE aristocrats?

  40. Dutch Uncle | May 25, 2014 at 11:11 pm |

    @MAC

    I’ve just read Grey Flannels comment at 10:53 here:

    http://www.ivy-style.com/stay-preppy.html

    If I had to choose between his memory and yours, I’m afraid I’d have to side with him

    That kid in Greenville, Miss in the 1950s was certainly not miming the hicks around him.

    The majority of college kids in the 1950s were not wearing OCBD shirts, they were wearing red or blue plaid non-buttondown collar shirts, often teamed up with chocolate brown trousers.

  41. Navy Blazer | May 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm |

    @MAC
    Allow me to side with Grey Flannels and Dutch Uncle.
    Here’s how I remember college students dtessing in the 1950s.

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/382806037047901446/

    By the way, later on, the Japanese gents who produced the book “Take Ivy” did not just go to a typical college and take random photos of typical college students either.

    Similarly, TOPH was not describing the dominant style at the time.

  42. Trad Hunter | May 26, 2014 at 6:41 am |

    @MAC, DU, NB, GF

    So encouraging to be able to read such a reasoned discussion about Ivy. It’s been mentioned before, but it’s worth repeating that CC ought to be commended for hosting the only intelligent internet forum for those who like to Talk about Ivy and not hot buns, big knockers and newbie musings about the meaning of life or else applause an endless procession of witless selfies of wannabee stylists in excruciatingly badly fitting outfits.

  43. Navy Blazer

    I have never seen those “pininterest” shirts before, although greasers wore something similar in the 60s along with their beatle boots. By the way, Marlboro Shirt Co. is out of Baltimore, MD. so much for that bespoke Northeastern heritage. 😉

    “Take Ivy” was published in 1965 I believe, by then most suburban high schoolers in Kansas City dressed “Trad/ Ivy/ Collegiate”. Some schools were noted for their extreme, especially ones located in close proximity to men’s shops or the Plaza.

    I really can’t think of any traditional ivy brands not available in Kansas City or any old Big 8 college town in the sixties. The exception being made to order. Unfortunately many of these great shops are closed either from retirements or the economy. I thank God for O’Connells and their website that actually has useful information..

  44. I, too, cringe at the memory of his name. But I wasn’t participating in any of those terrible acrimonious threads, just reading along. His talkin the podcast wasn’t bad. It was nice and enthusiastic about Ivy. I’m sure it encourages listeners to look into it. Honestly I could care less about any misinterpretations – he wasn’t being dogmatic at all in this conversation. There’s something about message boards and comments threads that turns a group of enthusiasts very bitter indeed. Ivy Style is usually pretty good and it’s a shame when some vitriol is let in.

  45. @ Navy Blazer

    But they are, Navy Blazer, they are “aping traditional American style….”

    There is a fine English sartorial tradition, and it is clearly different from the American style. If I as Yank wear a suit jacket with double vents, a strongly suppressed waist, and the flaps of the ticket (ticket?!) and the other two pockets cut at a slant, I am aping English tailoring. Absolutely nothing wrong with anyone wearing that (or, for that matter, French or Italian) style. Still, let’s call it baseball in the States and cricket in the UK, even if all the players use bats and balls. ‘Cuz it’s just not the same, and Brits wearing sack suits are not Yanks wearing sack suits.

    TOPH is a complete and utter satire. I heard Lisa Birnbach speak when I was in grad school: she pilloried the Greek house kids who showed up in full preppy garb. Only I and the two friends I went with (all products of prep schools) picked up on her point. I doubt TOPH is a reliable research tool.

    I’ll second MAC on this point. I can think of places in SoCal like Pasadena, San Marino, Newport Beach, and La Jolla where persons didn’t look up to anyone in the Northeast, the South, or San Fran. Elites always and everywhere tend towards a uniform conformity. If they’re aping anyone, it’s only themselves.

  46. @Bebe

    I took TOPH as an instruction manual back then, and I still do. Anybody who examines the book carefully will see that although it is heavily sprinkled with humor, it is full of serious, accurate descriptions of preppy/ivy style at the time.

  47. David Wilder | May 29, 2014 at 3:21 am |

    Am very surprised that such an even-keel blogsite as Ivy-Style would be so personal in its criticisms.

  48. calories in a pound of strawberries

  49. Cherry Bomb | June 6, 2014 at 5:52 am |

    Interesting
    Mellor stresses clothing and not sartorial sociology. A UK/US divide?
    He says where the style came from in origin, yet also says where the style became popular from: Those who were not of “Blue Blood” appropriating Ivy.
    Is the London Ivy wearer any worse than the American Ivy wearer from Bismarck, North Dakota (picked purely at random)?
    Neither belong to the north eastern US establishment, but both may love the style.

  50. Paul Piper | May 11, 2016 at 10:53 am |

    Mellor currently “advises” on his take on ivy to a yet another leading brand. The condition is that he uses yet another of his phony names. Yet another scam? Yet another day on the internet.

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