On several occasions throughout Ivy Style’s tenure we’ve referred to this post, which originally ran in 2009. It remains a valuable pop culture document of what Spring Break used to be like, when young gentlemen wore blazers and ladies wore dresses, when romantic encounters were at least nominally aimed at being long-term, and when avant-garde jazz served as beachside entertainment.
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As a follow-up to our post on George Hamilton, Ivy-Style looks at 1960’s “Where the Boys Are,” in which Hamilton plays a rich college boy on Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale at the dawn of the Sexual Revolution. As thousands of students arrive from around the country, husband-hunting coeds begin comparing the boys and their schools as if weighing the merits of designer handbags. Hamilton, who plays a yacht-sailing student from Brown, is deemed a catch:
Below, two ways to stand with your hands in your pockets. Can you tell by their posture the trust funder from the jazz hipster?
By 1960 the jazz-campus connection was already ripe for parody, and one of the film’s subplots involves a “dialectic jazz” quintet in buttondown collars. Discouraging applause in order to keep things “as cerebral as possible,” the band reveals even more than the should-we-or-shouldn’t-we sexual tension just how much things have changed since 1960. Then: avant-garde jazz and valiantly guarded chastity. Now: hip-hop and flavored condoms.
Of course, things weren’t really so simple, especially with revolution in the air. As we explored previously, soft shoulders and buttondown collars may confer respectability, but can often hide salacious intentions. In contrast to how it may seem today, “Where The Boys Are” is not an endorsement of unchivalrous male behavior, but a warning. — CC