Tag Archives: Ivy League fashion

That Ivy Style Exhibit

Hello-Hello, happy middle of the week to everyone.

Today’s schedule mandates brevity, so we’ll keep the post to one topic. It is a subject I should have written about months ago, hopefully it isn’t tedious for too many readers.

Hickey Freeman Blog

Hickey Freeman Blog

We’re talking about the Ivy Style exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, unfortunately it closed in January. More from the Museum’s show notes.

“Ivy style” is one of the most enduring and recognizable sartorial modes in the world. It began as the “Ivy League Look” on the quads and in the libraries of elite, all-male, American universities, and consists of a small repertoire of classic items, such as Shetland tweed jackets and Oxford button-down shirts, plus the more casual madras shorts and khaki pants.

Yours truly is beyond chagrined at not having written about this sooner, at the very least before the exhibition closed, arrggh. Several pieces from the show: left to right, a Brooks blazer with 1923 Princeton insignia, another with Princeton’s 1919 insignia, and a 1916 Yale emblazoned blazer.

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

More from Hickey Freeman’s blog:

Many forget that the “Ivy style” as we know it began as a more formal way of dress on campuses like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which eventually spread beyond those all-male universities. In blue blazers with gold buttons, madras prints, bowties and pocket squares, the exhibit proves this iconic way of dressing continues to influence today’s designers.

Three more pieces from the exhibition, a classic raccoon coat, a Chipp madras jacket and linen suit, correctly described by Art Info as Ivy staples.

ArtInfo.com

ArtInfo.com

Art Info’s story includes perspective from the Museum’s deputy director:

While the Ivy look is pretty democratic these days, with everyone from H&M to Hermes turning out brass button peacoats and embroidered smoking slippers, this wasn’t always the case. “If you look at pre-World War II images, you’re talking about more of an elitist group of people, people with more money who could send their children to college” Mears said.
More recent looks.
Via StyleSight

Via StyleSight

From The Journal’s review of the show:
Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Arrow, Hathaway and Gant—these are Ivy eternals. Chipp, an offshoot of J. Press, would expand and popularize the “Go to Hell” look, a mix of bright colors normally considered outside the masculine palette—coral, yellow, mint—and constituting a casual smack at the status quo.
Below, one of the tableaux from the exhibition via the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton '60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton ’60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Back to The Journal piece by Laura Jacobs:

Ivy-style clothes need not come at great expense; they need not be new; but they must hit the ineffable balance between carefree, careless and correct. I have never forgotten the scorn of a young man commenting on Nantucket Reds that weren’t bought at Murray’s in Nantucket. They would never fade to the proper shade of shrimp pink and so they were impostors—”not our sort of people” pants. Getting the uniform wrong locks you out of the tribe.

Below left, items circa the twenties, on the right, an Arrow shirt signed by Harvard’s 1933 Football Team.

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

From Women’s Wear Daily’s story:

Ivy League style permeates nearly every fiber of American fashion, and a new exhibition at The Museum at FIT delves into its history.

It explores the “decline and resurgence” of Ivy League fashion and the rise of the preppy movement.

George Chinsee/Women's Wear Daily

George Chinsee/Women’s Wear Daily

The WWD article quotes Town & Country’s G. Bruce Boyer, he was a collaborator on the show:

Boyer said the show is “very timely,” since “every Italian brand today is trying to do the authentic Brooks Brothers button-down. And look at Thom Browne and Michael Bastian — they take great traditional looks and make them hip and contemporary.”

I didn’t realize the origins of the polo coat, more from the exhibit microsite:

Many garments have been derived from the game of polo, including this camel hair overcoat that was originally used as a “wait” coat by British polo players during “chukkas” (the term for polo’s periods of play). In design, it was at first little more than a heavy bathrobe type wrap coat, but when British polo teams began making regular visits to the U.S. in the 1920s, it was modified and became popular on elite college campuses.

Ivy Style Microsite

Ivy Style Microsite

Details magazine offered this:

While traditional J. Press and Brooks Brothers gear features prominently in the exhibit, it’s fun to see styles loosen up and evolve over the years, from the formal evening ensembles of the 1920s to the preppy sweater-and-shorts combos of the fifties and sixties.

Details

Details

Even though I missed seeing the exhibit in person, there is a wonderful book of essays accompanying the exhibition, edited by Ms. Mears.

Yale University Press

Yale University Press

More on the book from its publisher, Yale University Press:

Ivy Style celebrates both high-profile proponents of the style—including the Duke of Windsor, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Miles Davis—who made the look their own, and designers such as Ralph Lauren, J. McLaughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Bastian, and Thom Browne, who have made it resonate with new generations of style enthusiasts.

Ivy Style is also available at Amazon and other outlets.

One of the best parts of the exhibit is the way curators drew upon the blogging community, several of my favorite blogs were involved in a variety of ways. Christian Chensvold over at the Ivy Style blog has an essay in the book discussed above, he has several stellar posts on the show. One offers a delightful video walk-through of the exhibit hosted by Richard Press.

Muffy Aldrich of Daily Prep renown is another author I admire tremendously and love reading, she donated items for use in the exhibit. I think you’ll enjoy this April post showing preps for the show. TDP was also featured in a Symposium affiliated with Ivy Style, for a real treat spend some time on this post, the entire slide show about Muffy’s blog is viewable.

John Tinseth writes The Trad, always enjoyable and a place where I have lurked for years, he was part of the Symposium as well. In this post you can see loads of photos from the exhibit, including the vintage dorm room shown below.

The Trad

The Trad

Dusty at Maxminimus is yet one more writer I regard with great admiration, he was also part of the Symposium and this post details that experience brilliantly.

The show may have closed in January, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy it virtually via some of the links included above.

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One more tidbit, anyone interested in a new personalized phone case might want to visit the always-wonderful Nautical by Nature blog. We’re just tickled to be sponsoring a giveaway for one of our Preppy Planet custom cases.

Nautical by Nature

Nautical by Nature

Even if you don’t need a case, pop in and say ‘hey’ to Kate, she is the bee’s knees.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

About That Ivy Style, Preppy Sales & Savings

Hello-Hello, happy Monday!

We begin with a look at Vanity Fair‘s photo piece on the “Hallmarks of Preppy Style“.

Is that poly blend? Three raps over the knuckles with a braided belt! Preppy fashion is all about rules—the standard bearers sniff at synthetics, cleavage, sparkles, and a million other don’ts.

Below, a photo we may have shown previously, Deerfield students in 1961.

Via Vanity Fair

More from the preface to the photo piece:

But those dictates source originally from the “windswept and privileged” attire of 1920s college men, the supposed first to co-opt athletic gear as daywear in an unstudied, thrown-together way.

A 1920s print ad.

Via Vanity Fair

Back to the Vanity Fair writeup:

Preppy, released on October 4 from Rizzoli, lays out the evolution of Ivy style in a sleeker, glossier way than all those prep-devoted Tumblrs you’ve probably seen. Here we trace the touchstones of the look, from Jack Kennedy’s flannels to coltish Ralph Lauren models and the original Lacoste croc.

Photofest via Vanity Fair

As mentioned in the Vanity Fair piece, Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style comes out next week. We are very excited about this one, as soon you will be able to purchase it from The Preppy Princess. And guess where you will be able to enter a giveaway for the book at some point in the not-too-distant future?

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The Vanity Fair piece mentioned above also includes a look at legendary adman David Ogilvy, inspiration for the hit television show Mad Men. That is the perfect lead-in to our next topic, the cast and crew of the show are back at work.  (It is about time. The Daily Mail has a variety of images of the cast getting back to work in this story we wanted to share with Preppy 101. Below we show Roger and Don John Slattery and Jon Hamm.

Splash/Splash/GSI-Barcroft Media

The show returns in January.

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One other quick item of note, Casa Sugar’s Ivy League Americana photo montage.

Casa Sugar

From the story:

It certainly screams prep, but there’s a definite elegance in the look above. Deep rosewood hues and tartan plaid make me smell the East Coast Autumn air. And despite the fact that Thomas Chippendale was a Brit, his iconic, ornate Chippendale design is also a huge influence in this style. His cabinetry was reserved for the upper echelon of society in colonial America.

Click here to see the entire piece.

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There are also a few Sales and Savings opportunities you may find to be of interest. It is that time of year between back-to-school and Christmas when retailers boost sales through other promotional efforts, there are several Friends and Family offerings.

Lands’ End is doing Friends and Family, 25% off everything, just go to the site and you will see the information.

Lands’ End

Brooks Brothers is also offering 25% off in its Friends and Family promotion.

Brooks Brothers

To receive a 25% discount at Brooks Brothers, use promo code 11FRIEND.

Speaking of Brooks Brothers, flash sale site Rue La La is doing a sale on Brooks’ Handbags starting tomorrow at 11am.

Rue La La

There is also a men’s Brooks Brothers sale at Rue La La tomorrow, along with Sebago, makers of good boat shoes and moccasins.

Rue La La

And finally, J. Crew Factory is 30% off through Wednesday night.

J. Crew Factory

This is online only, use promo code SHOPNOW to receive the discount.

That is it for today, goodbye until next time!

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Filed under preppy

That Ivy Look, & Other Monday Musings

Hello-Hello, and Happy New Week to everyone!

We begin with a look at one of the WSJ stories we enjoyed reading in Saturday’s paper, “The Return of the Ivy Look“. In the story Darrell Hartman looks at the style’s recent rise in popularity among those generally attracted to more mainstream fashions.

“Didn’t go to an Ivy League school? Never played a team sport in your life? No problem! Jock-inspired styles cribbed from the golden age of collegiate athletics will win big for spring”

F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal,

In explaining the actual look, the piece quotes a longtime J. Press associate as well as our friend Christian Chensvold from Ivy Style:

“Ivy League style was something that just was, as opposed to something intended to create an effect,” said David Wilder…

At least it was for anyone who was the real deal—in other words, “old-money guys who’d all gone to prep school, had that natural nonchalance, and looked like they’d been living in their clothes since the day they were born,” Mr. Chensvold said.”

Mr. Hartman discusses the resurgence in popularity for what many call ‘heritage brands,’ those mentioned above as well as others, like Brooks Brothers, while also considering some of those new to the genre, including Polo Ralph Lauren and Band of Outsiders.  Below, two pieces from Band of Outsiders.

One of our favorite books is also referenced:

“That species is the revered subject of “Take Ivy,” an influential study of elite Northeastern campuses published in 1965 by a team of fashion-savvy Japanese writers and photographers. For years a cult item among fashion insiders, the book was finally released in U.S. stores (including the ever-trendy J. Crew) this summer, flooding the menswear world with images of wholesome-looking ’60s undergrads bent over books in libraries, strolling across leafy quads and—perhaps most importantly—demonstrating a robust enthusiasm for sports.

Via The Fox is Black

There’s much more info and insight in the WSJ story, we happily recommend this one, it is a good read.

The book cited above, Take Ivy, was discussed at length in many articles, The Daily Mail offered The Ultimate Guide to Ivy League Chic Straight from Japan last fall.

Written around a collection of photographs by Teruyoshi Hayashida, Take Ivy proves how little the look has changed over the past 50 years.

The book deconstructs the ‘casual, yet neat’ style favoured by students at the eight Ivy League universities, such as the shirt-and-Bermuda-shorts look, and varsity colours.”

Via The Daily Mail

BTW, if interested in Take Ivy, we still have a limited number of copies, the book may be found here.

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Next, we wanted to share a few styles from the upcoming collaboration between designer Sophie Theallet and Nine West.

Courtesy Images via StyleList

Many of the styles are definitely Pretty in Pink, these pieces are made with a silk repp stripe.

Courtesy Images via StyleList

We are very impressed with the ballet flats, the styles will be available in more than just the pink color palette.

Courtesy Images via StyleList

The collection is slated for a May launch.

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Frequent readers know we have a fondness for Kate Spade, the styles are attractive and the company’s whimsical approach to marketing is a breath of fresh air.  Another reason we like the company?

Kate Spade

It’s open approach to online sharing. Above, an illustration for one of many free cyber Valentines that may be sent to anyone you choose; below, a look at how a full card appears.

Kate Spade

We show the artwork from two more cards below, but be assured there *are* many designs offered that are not pink, click here to peruse the pretty options.

Our thanks to the one and only College Prepster, Miss Carly, for the original tip on this!

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A quick note of the social sort for those near our nation’s capitol next week, Vineyard Vines is throwing a party to launch its spring collection.

Vineyard Vines via Sky Blue Events

V2 has partnered with our friends at Sky Blue Events for next Wednesday’s do at the retailer’s new Tyson’s store; the fun begins at 5pm, click here for more info.

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We leave you with two quick hits, the first involves this weekend’s bright and sunny Lilly fashion show at the Ringling Museum of Art.  The show was a fundraiser for the Museum, and the always delightful She Blogs Couture by the Sea was in attendance and shared *outstanding* images of the event on her blog.

The second comes to us via a gracious reader. Last week we showed the Sperry Top-Sider keychain in a post, but sadly, it sold out very quickly.

Sperry Top-Sider

That generous reader told us about these Rainbow Sandals Keychains.

We want to thank our kindly commenter for the link.

And with that, we say goodbye until next time.

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Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink

Harvard’s New Clothing Line. Seriously.

Hello-Hello and Happy Friday!

Today we have a rather bizarre tale to share, one that, to borrow a phrase, left us absolutely gobsmacked.  But first we must ask a question: when asked to ponder the notion of apparel sold under the auspices of Harvard (as in The University), what comes to mind?

The classic sweatshirt, right?

Courtesy Harvard Bookstore

Courtesy Harvard Bookstore

Or perhaps a standard-issue long-sleeved tee, like this?

Courtesy Harvard Book Store

Courtesy Harvard Book Store

Of course.

Well, there’s a little update; we hope you are sitting down.

Look at the latest apparel authorized by Harvard. The University. (Really. Most readers have a passing acquaintanceship with at least one individual who refers to it this way. Come now, you know precisely what we mean, the pronunciation and emphasis suggesting there really is no. other. school. in. the. western. hemisphere. Indeed.)

At any rate, back to the topic at hand, the new Harvard Yard clothing line.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

Would it ever have crossed your mind that The University would get into the business of fashion?  It has.  Here is another look from the Harvard Yard label debuting next spring:

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

Actually many of you may have already read about this; WWD broke the story yesterday.  From their article:

“So it was perhaps just a matter of time (and business acumen) before somebody tapped the source of that look — Ivy League universities — for a brand.”

Brenner Thomas makes a good point in his story about the launch, it really was only a matter of time.  As he stresses, it isn’t the first time style has been associated with the school:

“It also served as the font of Ivy League style in the late Fifties when its undergraduates flocked to stores such as Brooks Brothers and J. Press to snap up what would become prepster staples: button-down shirts, flat-front khakis and penny loafers.

Below, a classic look from J. Press:

Courtesy J. Press

Courtesy J. Press

The new line will feature:

“… short-sleeve plaid shirts, Liberty print wovens, seersucker shorts, regimental stripes, sporty knits, patterned jackets and fancy pants — all in a contemporary, tapered fit.”

Another look from the upcoming collection:

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

A few points about the Harvard Yard line we need to make:

  • the only time one will see the name “Harvard” is on the inside of the pieces in the label
  • there will ultimately be a collection for women and for children if all goes according to plan
  • prices for the menswear are expected to run between $195-$495
  • there will be a lot of the color crimson used in the line

The collection is aimed at “… alums and fans of the (Ivy League) universities…” according to the WWD story; somehow we don’t see too many alumni purchasing the line, but we have been wrong before.

What do you think?

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Speaking of a long and storied history, another article in WWD reminded us it is Pendleton’s 100th Anniversary.

Courtesy Pendleton via WWD

Courtesy Pendleton via WWD

Pendleton is doing all manner of exciting things for its big birthday, including collaborations with ever-so-hip companies like Opening Ceremony, Vans and Nike.

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And speaking of collaborative efforts, there was word this week Target’s next designer collection will be done by Rodarte, the edgy line created and designed by sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy. Below, a montage from their Fall 2009 collection:

Courtesy Lola 29

Courtesy Lola 29

This edition of Target’s Go International line will hit stores December 20, with prices ranging from $9.99 to $79.99

For today’s Pretty in Pink we stick with the Boutique, showcasing the discounter’s Kid’s Modern Polka Dot Chair in Candy Pink.

Target

Target

We must toddle along, we’re off to the Large Lake for a wedding. We hope everyone has an absolutelty splendiferous weekend!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink

Ivy League Bag, “Preppy Chic,” & The Coolest Sneakers!

Hello-Hello and Happy Day! It is dismal, dreary, and downright nasty outside. This is not our favorite time of year. But you knew that. Onward.
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We start with last week’s opening of the new Fred Flare in Brooklyn, more specifically, Greenpoint. Flare is one of our favorites, approaching fashion with a light and whimsical touch while also carrying solid merchandise. Here we show the Ivy League weekender, available in two colorways at a reasonable $66.

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A peek inside the new store.

Courtesy Refinery 29

Courtesy Refinery 29

We neglected to provide yet another view on Men’s fashion involving ‘preppy’ style, this one from a site in the UK, the “Here is the City” blog. In an outstanding column entitled Men: Your Look Next Summer, writer Lisa Bathurst shares thoughts on next Spring’s look, including this on Preppy Chic:
Preppy Chic
Preppy chic continues as a running theme from recent menswear collections with a cropped trouser and jacket look as seen on the Rag & Bone catwalk in NYC. Plenty of smart preppy black blazers and shirts, perfect for work and easily translatable to an after work date.
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Another negative shot has been fired at über-preppy retailer J. Crew, this time from popular fashion and style blog Fashionista. In a post titled “J. Crew Needs a Lesson in Subtlety” writer Britt Aboutaleb makes a point about this Crewcuts Girls’ ivory tweed Coco jacket priced at $248.

“… But we would suggest taking note of the catalog description which oh-so-subtly admits that, “this little jacket is a nod to vintage.  It is indeed.  As well as a nod to Karl Lagerfeld and the team of couturiers who continue to produce Coco Chanel’s signature tweeds.

Tangentially, even if you’re disgustingly obsessed with your gorgeous kid, do you honestly buy them a $250 white jacket?”

Ouch. If one is not familiar with J. Crew’s recent run of negative press in publications ranging from the Times to simple blogs, here is one of TP’s posts on the issue.
On a more up note the retailer hosted a party last week for Domino, the interior style magazine, at their new J. Crew Collection store in the city.  The celebration honored the magazine’s new book, Domino: The Book of Decorating (seen above).  The newest issue of Domino features J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons on the cover.

Below, a photo of Ms. Lyons with husband, artist Vince Mazeau at the Domino party.

Patrick McMullan ©

Photo: Patrick McMullan ©

The story gives readers an inside peek at the personal style of the Lyons-Mazeau household.

PHOTO: Melanie Acevedo

There is also a video with Ms. Lyons, her husband and their baby.

“J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons brings her talent for updating classic silhouettes to her elegantly edgy Brooklyn brownstone.”

Melanie Acevedo

PHOTO: Melanie Acevedo

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Speaking of launches, American Eagle’s new website 77Kids is now live, offering clothing and accessories for the little ones. They carry Toddler, Boy’s, and Girl’s sizes.  There are lots of fun things, like this Toddler Girls Cat Hoodie sweater, and the oh-so-cool Rad Plaid Trapper hat.
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If this isn’t one of the coolest designs for “fashion sneakers,” we truly don’t know what is.

These are Van’s Authentic Modular tennies. The Begonia Pink/Neon Pink color combination is like a massive smile for the feet.  And the primary color combination is equally fabulous. It is possible we will require both pair.

We are betting that even The Queen Mother might be inquiring about a pair.

Finally, today’s Pretty in Pink picture comes to us via another incredible pastry chef, Michelle Doll Cakes.  Below, the Pink Argyle Topsy Turvey non-traditional cake.

Michelle Doll Cakes

Grins and Giggles for whatever your social secretary has you scheduled for this week!

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Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People