First, thank you for a civil conversation. That point I got crucified for making where I talked about Ivy representing values as much as it does fashion? The comment section of the last post proves that point. Smart people sometimes disagreeing with each other civilly.
I know there are those who say that Ivy Style was born prior to the Hey Day. I have thought a lot about this, and have come to the conclusion it probably wasn’t. Here’s the logic. The wheel, the utility of fossil fuel, and riding something at 10 miles an hour all existed prior to the automobile. But it wasn’t until 1885 that Mr. Benz put the pieces together. Same with Ivy. Yes, there were button down collars and neck ties and even khakis prior. Worn separately, these are not Ivy. You have to put them all together and then kook around with it a smidge. Then you get Ivy.
This is an aside, but I would offer up a vision of Trad versus Ivy and it goes something like this. Trad is what your college student wears to Christmas services, Ivy is what that outfit looks like a half hour after they get home. But more on that later.
So the premise is that Ivy as a fashion was born during the Hey Day. At Ivies. Then, trickled, and you got Paul Newman and the Beach Boys and West Coast Ivy and Southern Ivy. And as the style that evolved from institutions of higher education got interpreted, to the delight of some and the dismay of others. But it evolved (to the delight of some and the dismay of others) and fluctuated and is now thriving again (by a different measure than “I-don’t-see-a-lot-of-people-wearing-it”).
Sidebar on that argument too. The idea that Ivy is not thriving ’cause down by you it is all tee shirts and jeans (which, with penny loafers… nevermind) is not a large enough idea. If 500 people are wearing Ivy in 2020 and 50,000 are wearing it in 2024, then it is thriving regardless of whether it has equitable distribution.
K, back to our story.
Hands are wringing, fraught that Harvard and the Ivies are dead, some say with the hire of Gay some say with her resignation. You have only to look at the Ivy Style to see what will happen to the Ivy League. It will become interpreted, to the delight of some and the dismay of others. The standards of these schools will be applied elsewhere. Most happily, these standards (the ones that work) will be made accessible as the Ivy League goes through some “building years.”
And in a few, the Ivy League, Harvard, will thrive again. Perhaps with a twist, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.