Tag Archives: michael bastian

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

Iconic Prep Brand is Coming Home

Hello-hello, how wonderful to see Wednesday already, here at the Prepatorium the week is simply flying by.

We begin with a look at a once-iconic American brand, GANT.  For those not familiar with the company, Michael Williams at A Continuous Lean describes it succinctly:

“The name GANT is synonymous with East Coast prep.”

Below, two vintage ads show the company’s signature item, the GANT button-down.

Courtesy Gant

Some readers may recall the custom described in the Urban Daddy post below:

“Gant even invented the locker loop—that little coat-hook-friendly strip of fabric on the back of your shirt that your high school girlfriend cut off your lucky oxford to let all your classmates know you were taken, and maybe even going steady. (You kept the loop, just in case.)”

The company has been owned by a Swedish firm since 1999, there are 300 GANT stores all over the world and the company recently opened a GANT Rugger store (on Bleecker); Rugger targets a younger, sportier demo. Below, a look inside the new store.

GQ.com

Here is an image from the company’s UK site, better showing the line’s classic aesthetic.

Courtesy Gant

The good news? Designer Michael Bastian is doing a GANT line for women, in addition to the GANT menswear collection launching this fall.

John Aquino/WWD

The women’s line is being introduced to buyers at New York Fashion Week next month. WWD had an exclusive look at the group in this story, here are two more looks from the Spring 2011 collection.

We have known about the upcoming launch for some time, but hadn’t seen any pieces from the collection until the story ran in WWD.

“For his first outing, Bastian didn’t turn his back on Gant’s preppy Americana roots. Instead, the launch collection is preppy with a sexy attitude, from a seersucker dress with lace overlay — “I thought it had a good-girl/bad-girl dynamic” — to a cropped and boxy shirt that could have come straight from a boyfriend’s wardrobe…”

Also offering a look at the upcoming products, this story from The Cut.

Courtesy Photos via The Cut

In their interview with the designer, Mr. Bastian was asked about his favorite designers.

“The designer I always reference in my head is Perry Ellis, back when he was alive. People forget that at his peak, he was right up there with Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Calvin was always the sexy one, Ralph was classic, and Perry slid down the middle — a little bit cleaner, simpler, but still luxurious. No one has stepped into those shoes.”

We tend to concur with that assessment.

The men’s line debuting this month carries traditional lines and prep-positive motifs.

David Rinella via GQ

The brand is gaining traction in the US, below we see Rachel Bilson in a GANT blazer, part of a photo spread in Page Six magazine.

Sheryl Nields for Page Six Magazine

We look forward to seeing the complete women’s line during Fashion Week. For an overview of GANT’s history and heritage, click here. To see Mr. Bastian’s runway collection from this spring’s Fashion Week, click here.

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A few other Bits and Bytes:

  • Chanel is using FNO (Fashion’s Night Out, Sept. 10) to launch a collection of khaki nail polishes, seen below.  (With apologies to our Facebook Fans.)

Courtesy Images via Teen Vogue

  • We have an early look at this year’s Bergdorf Goodman Christmas ornaments, including James the Doorman. (True confession: despite their rather commercial nature, we have collected several of these over the years from varying retail emporiums. Oh, the horror.)

Courtesy Photo via WWD

  • And finally, we love seeing London Fog’s fall advertising campaign, featuring Joan Hollo Christina Hendricks of Mad Men.

London Fog/Nino Muñoz via The Cut

With that elegant look, we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under preppy

Deeper & Differing Looks at Preppy Style & Mad Men Cookies

Hello-Hello, we hope everyone is enjoying a splendid start to the week.

Many readers may have already seen the story we reference below, but with apologies to our Facebook fans, today we look at yesterday’s Fashion Diary column in the Times “Prep, Forward and Back“.  In his story, Guy Trebay looks at the return to heritage brands and styles:

“Ray-Bans were suddenly on a list of Old School must-haves and so were wool vests from the Filson, and Red Wing boots and Alden loafers and Gitman oxford cloth shirts and Sperry Top-Siders and Quoddy moccasins. Designers as varied as Thom Browne, Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, Billy Reid and Frank Muytjens of J. Crew all made hay with the conservative classics. The style became so ubiquitous that, the designer Michael Bastian said, “The whole preppy machine requires a recalibration.”

If Mr. Trebay’s name sounds familiar, it is because we just featured the writer and his column on the needlepoint belt phenomenon, actually declaring him our hero for his comment about “…the sartorial horrors visited on us lately under the guise of a preppy revival,”. (Click here for that post.)

Back to the story in Sunday’s Times, “Studying the Preppy Look and its Reference Points“. Much of the piece looks at Take Ivy, the literary cult favorite we most recently chatted about here.

powerHouse Books

From Mr. Trebay’s story:

“Time, it develops, has done little to dim the allure of “Take Ivy,” with its guileless snapshots of handsome, fit and presumably bright young lugs disporting themselves in dining halls, on the College Green at Dartmouth, along Nassau Street in Princeton and in Harvard Yard.”

Teruyoshi Hayashida/powerHouse Books

The piece references another soon-to-be-released volume, True Prep.

““The reality is the people in that book at that time went to schools and belonged to clubs that most ordinary people couldn’t get into,” said Lisa Birnbach, an author of “The Official Preppy Handbook” and “True Prep.” ‘“Take Ivy,” Ms. Birnbach said, is a ruling class “look book,” a template for any budding Jay Gatsby.”

A slideshow accompanies the story, both are excellent reads.

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In a similar vein, The Gloss carried a post last week, Fashion 101: The New Preppy; the author approaches the topic from an entirely different perspective.

“I have never been preppy. When I was growing up, being labeled a ‘prep’ was almost as bad as being referred to as a ‘poser’, i.e. the uncoolest thing that could happen to you.  I avoided being preppy at all costs.”

“However, as we grow up and enter the business world, perhaps we have something to gain from tapping into the inner preppy.”

In her piece, Brooke Moreland visits the Puritan store on the Cape, long a staple in Chatham (and several other communities).

Brooke Moreland/The Gloss

The store’s manager, Michelle Wilson Blaze shared her perceptions on customers:

“Blaze explained to me that the men wear Polo. The old men wear the small horses and the youngs wear the big horses. They all wear khakis and if they are over 50, well, then it’s time to bust out the Tommy Bahama.

As well as impressions of those visiting the Cape: .

“Brands like Tory Burch and Burberry pop up in the store, adding a contemporary preppy twist on the classics. Ginghams, tunics and embroidered tops peer out from among the plaid and Bermuda shorts.”

And while most preps don’t pay attention to what is “in” or “out” at any given time, here is one last tidbit from Ms. Moreland’s story:

“The ‘it’ preppy shoe happens to coincide with the ‘it’ shoe of the rest of the world at the moment: the Sperry Top-Sider.”

To see Ms. Moreland’s entire story and learn her ultimate verdict on the merits of the style, click here.

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Our final item of note today deals with last night’s Mad Men season 4 premiere.

Michael Yarish/AMC-TV

It was divine.

Don’s still smoking, Pete remains sycophantic and clients don’t always concur with Don’s vision.

Michael Yarish/AMC-TV

There is continued recognition of the way women were treated in the early 1960’s.

AMC-TV

Betty seemed particularly petulant last night, and we remain concerned about little Sally Draper.  We love this shot of Betty, it seems to perfectly capture her simmering rage while also betraying her vulnerable and forlorn side.

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC-TV

A quick rundown of stories fans might enjoy:

How popular is the show? Enough that star Jon Hamm will be in an upcoming episode of the Simpsons, portraying an FBI agent.  The Toronto Sun has details.

We leave you with pictures of these amazing cookies created by our friend Pink Martini & Pearls, part of her Mad Men Quiz Giveaway post!

Courtesy Pink Martini & Pearls

Look at Joan and Betty’s dress cookies!

One of our favorites? The snappy argyle socks, surely not anything Don would wear, perhaps Harry?

Courtesy Pink Martini & Pearls

Until tomorrow!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

Stop the Insanity and Another “Preppy Comeback”

Hello-Hello….it is a Monday.

At the risk of tempting fate, we fear it may be time to bring back the “stop the insanity” shrieking from last decade. And we aren’t talking about this:

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

We are saying resurrect the phrase only, not the person best known for yelling those words at us. At least that’s how it felt whenever that show was on the television: ‘Hi, I’m Susan Powter, with TV that’s YOUR FAULT!’  (Good heavens, no, The Princess did not have it on, but when employed in a television station one isn’t always in charge of what is on.)

But the lunacy continued throughout both the Milan and Paris Fashion Week shows. We are talking about footwear and we’ll commence the visual aids with a look from Gucci’s RTW Ready to Wear Spring 2009 show:

Stephane Feugere

Photo: Stephane Feugere

Or the Emilio Pucci RTW Spring 2009…

E

Photo by Dave Yoder

From Women’s Wear Daily, in a story about the Prada RTW Spring 2009 show:

“As for the accessories, it was all about the shoes, and not in a good way. The mile-high platforms strapped on over what appeared to be Prada’s take on Peds might have been impressive, had half of the girls not had major trouble walking and thus looked absolutely petrified. At least one fell (the meandering stage set didn’t allow for full viewing), and one bailed on the finale. Folks, more sculptural, higher, chunkier, clunkier, strappier, bondage-ier — we get it. But maybe it’s time to cry uncle and downgrade to shoes that function as shoes, even on the runway.”

The photo below is from that same Prada show during Milan Fashion Week:

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Next, a close-up of a pair of Ferragamos.

Ferragamo Show, Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty

Ferragamo Show, Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty

Below, a shot from this September’s Peter Som Spring/Summer 2009 runway at New York Fashion Week.

Joshua Lott/Reuters

Joshua Lott/Reuters

And here, one from the Marni Spring/Summer 2009 show (BTW, they do have a fabulous online store!):

Imaxtree

Photo: Imaxtree

And then this photo is just in from yesterday’s Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2009  show:

Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images

Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images

As far as TP is concerned, enough is enough. Actually, it is too much.  What do you think? Is the silly shoes phenomenon out of control?

Next, a quick look at the Lacoste Fall campaign, “Perfectly Prepped.”

And they are showcasing polos for kids, both boys and girls.

It seems that once again “preppy is making a comeback.” This is at least the third or fourth time we’ve seen this headline since we started our little blog back in February of this year and this is our 219th post, so if one does the math, the comebacks are happening more than we care to contemplate. And wouldn’t that necessitate the lifestyle going away in order for it to ‘come back’?  Our most recent discourse on the topic was June 11th, titled “Everyone Discovers Preppy…

Now in Adam Tschorn’s story for the Los Angeles Times entitled Preppy makes a comeback on the men’s runway, we see it dubbed the preppie renaissance:

“And nothing in American sportswear is as intrinsically optimistic as the preppy wardrobe built around madras, seersucker and oxford cloth, the de facto uniform of the scion-in-waiting circa 1980 who bides his time at a prep school until a Harvard early acceptance puts him on the path to Wall Street.”

The next two looks are from Perry Ellis:

“In this new world order, it’s a preppie renaissance with privileged panache, with Michael Bastian, Thom Browne and others.”

In referring to designer Thom Browne the articles notes we have the ‘neo-preppy’ moniker:

“Thom Browne, the official tortured soul of the neo-preppy brat pack also toyed with texture, filling his tennis tournament set piece with gauzy sweaters, a floor-length peignoir festooned with tennis rackets and jackets woven over-under from strips of grosgrain.”

Because we have shown so much Thom Browne and Thom Browne for Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, we’ll share two more looks from Perry Ellis:

We simply must fly. Back later.

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Filed under Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle