Monday, October 11

the ivy look -thoughts

Admission; I am not a capital T Trad expert by any stretch. Tend to work it in via the hi/lo method... Am a big fan though, especially the late 60's early 70's era. Father's son in that sense.

A nice lady at Frances Lincoln publishers (and the speedy USPS) sent me a copy of a book that has done the rounds a bit; The Ivy Look (subtitle, Classic American Clothing-An Illustrated Pocket Guide by Graham Marsh and J.P. Gaul). TheTrad has a proper review and interviewed Marsh and Gaul as well.

Being dual/ex-pat I identified with the more rounded, world view coming from these two London authors. Not a criticism but just a heads up, this book is picture-heavy, not an historic breakdown of dress like say Flusser's Style and The Man (which I really enjoyed as well -thank you HarperCollins). The Ivy Look leans to inspirational, rollcalling the stylish men, movies and music of a certain era. A dozen pages of pictures and text on Bass Weejuns? You got it. Another dozen on headwear? It is there. Also the eBay price of Puritan Banlon shirts may spike after this... I'm a bit of a fan of those myself.

The book is smaller than you might imagine; waxed-cotton-pocket sized, printed on matte paper, $20.

Going to go out on a limb and say The Ivy Look cover design is an homage to an older JPress catalog (as pictured below by TheTrad) but maybe you knew that already...

This page of JPress madras shirts is pretty great.

I can just imagine Pops as a student in London in the 60's getting his first hit of all this and then moving to Boston in 1973 and the all-you-can-eat-buffet that was Filenes Basement. Travesty that Fleen's is now just a hole in the ground, literally.

Tried to get cute here and take a shot reading the book infront of the Andover Shop window. However DID get a huge grin and thumbs-up from the dapper gent who was parking behind me; sportscoat, grey flannels, seriously polished penny loafers... was it infact Charlie Davidson?

There is a great page (wish there was more of this part) titled East Meets West (subtitle East Beats West) about Japan's Ivyquake (great word) and adoption of Ivy style. The Harvard Cooperative Society (or The Coop as many call it) at one time produced many of the trad essentials (ocbd's, blue blazers etc). Wearing this one today in honor...

Book ends with a short trad Retailers guide (American Classics in London also gets in, a denim/workwear mecca, even for visiting yanks it is a must see), a few of the still existing Makers (Alden, Bill's, J Keydge, Mercer and Sons) then a select few Websites. ACL and Mr. Mort make the cut, good stuff.