News Roundup: Jazz, Movies, Clothes

We’ve got a handful of news items to get through. Where to start? How about with the 30th anniversary of “Dead Poets Society.” The Guardian has a tribute, writing:

Like Weir’s other film based in and around an exclusive private school, the more enigmatic Picnic at Hanging Rock, education is viewed as a pivotal but dangerous experience. The capacity for young people to find themselves and flourish is countered by the chilling potential for them to destroy themselves, or to be destroyed by a large and at times brutal world.

“DPS” was made during the twilight of Ralph Lauren’s glorious run through the ’80s. Things are turning around a bit thanks to — or perhaps in spite of — the neo-prep revival currently afoot. The trade magazine MR reports that RL saw growth in the first quarter, and HBO has announced a documentary on the designer scheduled for November.

“Our company continues to evolve with the world around us while staying true to our values and creating inspiring style that endures,” said Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer. “And more than 50 years in, I am very encouraged by the work we are doing to strengthen the foundations of our business, energize our teams and elevate our iconic brands.”

Speaking of the trades, the menswear shows were held here in New York last week, giving me a chance to catch up with colleagues. This look is from Crittenden and the jacket is made not from madras, but a wool-linen blend:

R. Hanauer brought beautiful ties and pocket squares as usual:

It was a scorching weekend, but Castaway had brought plenty of shorts, including madras:

Another place you’re likely to see a lot of shorts is the UK. Reports the Wall Street Journal, under the clever headline “London britches falling down”:

Britain’s suited masses, sweating through a heat wave, are being driven to make a once-unthinkable sartorial choice. Men are wearing shorts—to work.

Hairy calves, knobbly knees, pasty thighs that haven’t seen the sun in months, even an ankle free from the cover of a woolly sock: All are getting an airing as temperatures near 100 degrees.

Posh private club Annabel’s, a club in Mayfair that has catered to A-listers and royalty for more than 50 years, allowed men to wear tailored shorts last Thursday—though denim was expressly forbidden. The dress code on its website says shorts aren’t permitted and prescribes jackets for men after 6 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the club declined to comment.

At Lord’s, London’s premier cricket ground, members were permitted to remove their jackets because of the heat—normally required on match day in a certain area. That only happened once before, last summer, for the first time in the modern era, a spokesman said.

And finally a bit of nostalgia.The movie “Phantom Thread” came up in the comments section recently and I finally gave it a look. It’s a film of exceptional beauty and refinement, and features several tweedy Anglo outfits as worn by Daniel Day-Lewis:

And finally, a jazz band in Washington state called The Ivy Five has reunited.

The name was a take on the Ivy League button-down style that was all the vogue in the ’50s. It gave them an image that made them seem older and cooler.

Yes, as we recently discussed, the Ivy League Look makes you look older, just as preppy makes you look younger. And both can make you look cooler, if you bring the right attitude. — CC

5 Comments on "News Roundup: Jazz, Movies, Clothes"

  1. Old School Tie | July 31, 2019 at 5:53 pm |

    Daniel Day Lewis looking like a certain Chilean architect, for a moment there. Or vice versa. Now watch this drive…..

    p.s. Picnic at Hanging Rock, schoolgirl smoking cigar lying on bed in her dorm whilst reading….I had to wait until university before I got to do that.

  2. Buzzy Kerbox back in action for PoloRL.

    Dead Poets Society: nary a button-down. Not even uber trad Mr. Nolan (headmaster) opts for one. A bit of a misfire. By ’59, real life prep school headmasters favored the OCBD —

    https://archive.org/details/potpourri00unse_66/page/16

    Odd, no?

  3. I work at the school where Dead Poet’s Society was filmed. The theatre in the local town, The Everett, held a few screenings this summer to celebrate the anniversary and to help raise money for preservation. The theatre was featured in the movie as well, where Robert Sean Leonard’s character, Neil, acted in the play.

    We have a few momentos from filming around campus, but we tend not to play up the association too much, for obvious reasons. It has been interesting to meet alumni who were students here when filming was taking place. A few of them even ended up as extras in the movie, mostly in the back of classroom scenes or wandering around corridors.

  4. ‘Welton Academy’ is St Andrew’s School, Noxontown Pond Road, Middletown, a private school situated in 2,000 acres of farmland about two miles from Noxontown Pond, between Wilmington and Dover, northern Delaware.

  5. Maybe it’s the Burkean (as in Edmund) in me, but the story (film) can easily be read/seen as an example of what happens when people (especially young people) ‘go too far’ — when boundaries and limits (and rules) are exceeded, broken, disregarded, ignored, and, God forbid, mocked.

    Keating, for all of his talk about life as a glorious adventure, is, in fact, (simply) a prep school teacher who has followed the rules—carefully. He is pleasant, polite, and even somewhat bland (read: WASPy). Playful antics on the soccer field aside, he seems reserved.

    When the young men go too far, he pronounces judgment:

    “There’s a time for a daring and a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”

    “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.”

    As Blake wrote—The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

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