Clothes Mad: The English Ivy Obsession

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A lot here to digest and critique. I do, however, take issue with their assumption that modernism in architecture in particular has anything to do with Ivy other than the fact that modernist architects happened to wear it.

Think of furniture or buildings from the era: Ivy in contrast is full of things vestigial and ornamental: Why did Modernists architects and artists wear sack suits? I guess you would have to ask them, but I doubt that it had much to do with some grand unified theory.

Must have been a crazy time though, the establishment and the anti-establishment looking so much alike. John Simons has a lot to answer for. The shoe shelf was on your right, as you went in the door — not really an altar, and I still have some wonderful Walkover dirty bucks bought from John in , but ironically, thanks to Russell and Bromley, we prefer Sebago, and of course, English made loafers are better than anything you have.

The Ivy look played a large part in the development of not just the Mod look, but of the Skinhead and Suedehead styles that emerged as Mod died out.

Are there some omissions and errors in The Ivy Look? Is there a tad too much enthusiasm for the Bass Weejun? Marsh and Gall definitely invoke a fair amount of hyperbole when referencing J.

One can almost see the machinations in the authors minds as they try to create this new fantasy world indenti-kit for themselves that can incorporate all their mid-century Americana obsessions under one tidy umbrella.

Perhaps is exactly because of this cross-Atlantic reinterpretation that this book is still entertaining. I wonder how many rednecks are aware of this supposed link. Sharp as a tack, Scooby, and I like your moniker. Maybe some jazz is on the radio. That familiar old coat that makes them feel all warm and protected. But to admit that you like mainstream American culture? To admit that you just want to copy an ordinary American?

Better call it something else. What is it with you people? Why the omnipresent jazz obsession? Give it a rest already. The English take their culture cults so seriously. I never could quite convince them how banal Ivy is in the United States, still very much the uniform of upper middle class people of a certain age and locale, not to mention the school kids that are forced to wear the oxford and khakis as a school uniform all across the nation. Everyone wants to feel cool.

Let the old English men dress like American kids. I do prefer the Japanese whimsy though. Chaps — you really ought to know that in the UK there is very little anti-Americanism.

Most Brits love America, they understand the culture and the mindset. Anglo-Saxon, anglo-american — there is a unity there. No point being horrible about us, though I note that in Hollywood drama the Brit is invariably cast as the villain, which is not nice and hints at something rather dark in the American view of us.

Is this what is happening here? Why be so chippy? At least I know I do. We need a group hug. One thing crossed my mind: Is there still interest in Ivy among young men in the UK, or was its golden age from the 60s to 80s, and their ranks are no longer being replenished?

All of this mod blending with Ivy style was nothing I was aware of. The Brooks stores were never modernist in style. J Press was never modern though the new Madison Ave. How popular exactly was Jazz in the Ivy heyday? I would guess that Folk music and Perry Como type music was probably much more popular than Jazz in the same era. I just love that subplot: Spring Break at Ft. Lauderdale and the music of choice is avant-garde jazz. I agree with Jancis R at 3. Never underestimate how enthusiastic we are about most aspects of American culture — Movies, Jazz, literature.

Ivy is another part of that, and to us often filtered through other elements such as jazz. Is Ivy still popular among young men in UK? A lot of verbiage about a very simple style. Levis were not and never have been. Levis should only be worn if one owns a ranch and then only in a working capacity. A very good review. Hard to believe any Brit I know could be Ivy; it is harder to believe any Nipponese could be. Unlike traditional and prep clothing neither was functional nor timeless.

Well done, Christian, in taking them to task. They sound a right bit of hipsters; Red hipsters too. Though I add a pinch or three of bemusement to mine. Go blow on your sax old man. Laguna Beach Limp, surely you were born for greater things than spewing un-American bigotry anonymously on the internet. Time for you to reevaluate. What explains your inferiority complex? Did Dragon not deem you good enough for Eton?

Did you instead go to comprehensive? It would explain a lot. Ever heard of the roaring twenties of raccoon coats and jazz throughout the IVY campus? What planet are you from? Just another anti authority, and anti establishment punk. WASP parties were nothing but jazz and classical. Stop trying to redefine WASP to fit your particular needs. No wonder the WASP world is no longer what it once was. On behalf of egalitarianism England must condemn itself as a way of life,recognize their Colonial Empire was evil,and how they now owe their hearts completely to internationalism, and the most absurd stretch of humanitarianism that the criminal is to be forgiven at all costs.

Their entire psyche is warped. They are actually PROUD to be anti-national and lead the way as forerunners for an asinine one world order. How grand,how utterly magnificent it would be to resurrect the Old Colonial Armies and have them attack their own country now, and put England back where it belongs. Brits who appreciate and wear American clothes are no more odd than Californian MG owners, Scotch aficionados in Texas! This was never the case.

Strictly a niche to this day. Appreciating jazz is not a prerequisite, if my English friends are to be believed. Galveston, in the England v. For his part, Christian Chensvold points out the jazz diversion in the book review. He prefers a link to academia and Ask Andy-style class issues. Though if you know of one……. As is often the case, most everything that can be said, has been said in the first 50 posts or so.

The only connection there is that they were all American. But the mundane reality is that it might just as well have been some dorky college sophmore in Kansas, or some boring insurance salesman in Detroit, who just liked their Yuma loafers and chinos that they picked up on sale at the department store.

I wrote this line only in the final polish: But as I look back over the piece, I think this is one of the two most important points. My sense is that the authors have been into this topic for so long they have a kind of myopia.

Until recently, when the trad blogs and forums started to appear, which touch on similar themes but not from a point of view and certainly not from a bohemian artist point of view, they were not faced with much discourse on the subject of the Ivy League Look except among themselves, I suspect. Yet the text occasionally presents a passage where the non-American point of view expressed, but then goes back into chronicling American style and culture.

There seems to be an inconsistent point of view. Marsh and Gaul are super advanced, and writing for novices is always tricky for someone far along I hate doing it myself. In their minds, I think they were in sussed mode while choosing the images, but novice mode when writing the text and this should be a novice text, as the whole point, theoretically, is to reach new people.

But even as someone advanced myself, something felt disorienting about the text, as if it starts in the middle — starts with certain assumptions yet spends all its time explaining basic things. So it is assumed most have the knowledge and background. I think in their minds it was always for the sussed, but for the publisher to greenlight it, it had to be for novices. The text is for novices. Also, Gibson Gardens was being disingenuous when he said he only wanted 20 sussed people to buy it.

He also said if it sold well they might get to do a coffee table book. So much for being a sussed gentleman amateur. He almost sounds like a money-grubbing professional. You know, like me. How nice it is to appear here one more without using a phony name! Here we have one Ivy book, now we need more. You are a reporter, you do your research? Well, you are also allegedly a writer.

Do your fucking proofreading. This is not a criticism. This kind of book should be for beginners. It is not supposed to cover everything. You cannot do it all in a small book. The websites are where you do that. Thanks for the heads-up Christian. The sussed already know what Weejuns are. I see where you are coming from. However, even an absolute beginner would have some idea of a few fundamentals.

Otherwise, what would bring him to Ivy? It is just a very nice book to have around. Subjective yes; but maybe a dispassionate description of a shoe, for example, would leave you wondering what all the fuss is about.

It has some very stylish and cool images that everyone here should enjoy. Our culture was exported to the UK largely by the troops stationed there and everything from soul, jazz and blues records to clothes to cigarettes to Coca Cola and chewing gum had a huge effect on the Brits back then. The fascination with Marlboros and Lucky Strikes, American film stars, etc. Simons when I was in the UK, and it was pretty clear he loved all of this stuff just as much as Simons himself does. And Gall was working at J.

Some office worker in Middle America is right now wearing khakis, an OCBD and if not Bass Weejuns, then something similar without any consideration of why or how. I would imagine most of the posters here, if assembling a similar outfit, would put more thought into it and look better as a result. I think you may be the new record holder for word count.

Well, I guess that was my point. It was just a general fascination with American pop culture. It seems that Gaul is one of those psuedonyms on the forum. That connection is more than well-documented. Especially the aging ex-mods. They come across like a gaggle of gossipy bitchy queens. Christian — Well, passion can definitely be expressed in an overbearing manner, especially online, which is why I tend to avoid most forums these days.

As much as I enjoy the book for what it is and would still recommend it, I definitely think it would have benefitted from a few edits and additions. Self -help books are an American phenomenon. Dress books are one of the earliest manifestations of the genre. Brits who came across the idea would sit there sniggering at the idea that Americans had to be told not to wear Argyle socks to interviews for example.

However you like the book and you like the images. That is really all there is to it. Attempts to read too much into it are blind alleys. Thought it might just zoom over your head. It even spells it out in alphabetical order for you! THE Ivy book will never be written as the subject is just too big IMHO , but there is no reason why six hundred and sixty six Ivy books should not be written which would all ultimately cover the subject almost.

This is not a review, it is a personal attack! Now, you thought, it was time for vengeance! Brooks Brothers introduced the button-down shirt Polo Shirt at the end of the 19th century and they introduced the 1 sack suit at the beginning of the 20th century. During these Boom Years the Look was everywhere in the USA, and not just confined to certain universities and prep schools!

The book by Graham Marsh and J. All these forum quotations, especially the one from that Stanley Blacker blazer thread, are completely out of context. These quotations only have one function and that is to mobilize hate among your readers… Your text has all the key words that a conservative or reactionary zealot is looking for al-Quaida, socialist, drugs, ecological consciousness etc.

You should have been grateful for that book. Anyone who likes the style would have been grateful. He has has nothing to do with your childish Russell Street fight! I still feel slightly bitter about the grey and white seersucker suit, but everything else, including the J Keydge jacket, has been great. I may have underestimated how many people pay attention to the minutiae of what goes on on the fora. So these UK experts, these…..

What world would that be? Living in the USA? Listening to American music? Or maybe the imaginary world of online forums? Regardless of whatever silly feud happened in the past, the review still has sound reasoning for the most part, and pretty much just restates that the book is based on a fantasy anyway.

All that stuff about being an American and having so much of what they include be second nature to us means nothing to them, Scooby. Simons Kool-Aid or not. You either follow the orthodoxy and are a cult member or not.

Sussed, as we know, is a judgment others bestow on you. This is a music-fashion tribe, which is why they all like the same clothes and music. Original and independent ideas are not encouraged. Same dudes, same bitchy condescending bullshit smug attitude. A cult that focuses on American clothes, American music, and all things American.

Any opportunity however subtle, to shape any and all subjects so that the underlying text satisfies your self righteous never ending crusade to have every last thing contribute to the way you want the world to be. Mr Chensvold knows,knew exactly what he doing. You lefties do mankind a disservice. Russell Street is always clean shaved. JS got a beard, now. He also got a more English haircut…. I think at least half of what is written in this post is not meant seriously. This weird sense of humour.

I thought that the Ivy Style team was monitoring the forae closely! There are so many references to American cinema… and as to his look: Single Breasted usually , the natural shoulder line with no or minimal padding, no darts, no pleats on the trousers, a single instead of a double vent… a long lean look, straight and columnar, very soft, unlike the stiff and stuffy, pinched in British hour glass silhouette.

The details are mainly functional: So there is a form follows function aspect about it…. Maybe I was a little unfair towards Christian and vague about it: One thing all of you and maybe most of the people over at TI should think about is one of the basics of post structuralist thinking I don not want to go further into the deatails of post modernism vs modernism etc.

You could also read Henry Louis Gates, Jr. BTW, regarding Russell Street schizophrenia: JS was always conservative and progressive at the same time. Jazz and Blues are older than a years. So is Ivy, so is Modernism. The most interesting aspect is that it is both elitist and egalitarian, all these paradoxes that will confuse a simpleton! This is a good example of the endless theorizing ad nauseum that I mentioned in the piece.

Here in the US there are simply the facts. These are clothes that originally appeared at a certain place and time and were worn by a certain group of people, as an expression of their values. As for taking things on the Internet for face value, if I did that, I might start believing what people say about me.

Mr Landauer just demonstrated a wonderful case of hyper-verbal, perhaps those in the field might save it for research and presentation. Within your hyper verbal at 7: Mod as a youth cult in the UK was all about working class escapism and that comes through in the book which is clearly a subjective mod take on the Ivy style through rose tinted persol sunglasses.

I doubt Marsh and Gall would disagree. Aside from all the great images and adverts, this personal take on the Ivy look is what makes for a really good book. For a well balanced historically detailed but less entertaining account you may have to look elsewhere.

Sorry a well written but ultimately pretty pointless review. As stated previously, the press release, dust jacket and text inside make it clear that they are attempting to describe the Ivy League Look and the context in which it was worn.

The shoe chapter is interesting: And this is the first chapter of the book, after each of the introductory essays by Marsh and Gaul. Is this the way it was in America in the heyday? Thanks for making me laugh with your silly sense of humor. You cite Roland Barthes and then throwing out this whammy of a claim: I think that sums it up nicely.

So look at the cool pictures and take the words with a shaker of salt. These were just styles worn by many at the time, and no doubt discarded and seen as square by the 70s. Modernism has nothing to do with it. The parts in the book where they try to meld these disparate mid-century elements, such as Eames furniture or Lucky Strike cigarettes, or Neutra houses, into some forced Ivy persona accessories reeks of UK youth cult nonsense.

It makes about as much sense. Modern European fashion treats cloth much less conservatively, typically cutting in such a way as to leave various odd-shaped cloth remnants. Industrial sewing operations sell these as waste; home sewers may turn them into quilts. In the thousands of years that humans have been making clothing, they have created an astonishing array of styles, many of which have been reconstructed from surviving garments, photos , paintings , mosaics , etc.

Costume history can inspire current fashion designers , as well as costumiers for plays , films , television , and historical reenactment. The mechanization of the textile industry made many varieties of cloth widely available at affordable prices. Styles have changed, and the availability of synthetic fabrics has changed the definition of "stylish". In the latter half of the 20th century, blue jeans became very popular, and are now worn to events that normally demand formal attire.

Activewear has also become a large and growing market. Jeans in the Western dress code are worn by both men and women. There are several unique styles of jeans found which include: The licensing of designer names was pioneered by designers like Pierre Cardin in the s and has been a common practice within the fashion industry from about the s. By the early years of the 21st century, western clothing styles had, to some extent, become international styles. This process began hundreds of years earlier, during the periods of European colonialism.

The process of cultural dissemination has perpetuated over the centuries as Western media corporations have penetrated markets throughout the world, spreading Western culture and styles.

Fast fashion clothing has also become a global phenomenon. These garments are less expensive, mass-produced Western clothing. Donated used clothing from Western countries are also delivered to people in poor countries by charity organizations. People may wear ethnic or national dress on special occasions or in certain roles or occupations. For example, most Korean men and women have adopted Western-style dress for daily wear, but still wear traditional hanboks on special occasions, like weddings and cultural holidays.

Items of Western dress may also appear worn or accessorized in distinctive, non-Western ways. A Tongan man may combine a used T-shirt with a Tongan wrapped skirt, or tupenu.

Most sports and physical activities are practiced wearing special clothing, for practical, comfort or safety reasons. Common sportswear garments include shorts , T-shirts , tennis shirts , leotards , tracksuits , and trainers. Specialized garments include wet suits for swimming , diving or surfing , salopettes for skiing and leotards for gymnastics. Also, spandex materials are often used as base layers to soak up sweat. Paris set the fashion trends for Europe and North America Women wore dresses all day, everyday.

Day dresses had a drop waist, which was a sash or belt around the low waist or hip and a skirt that hung anywhere from the ankle on up to the knee, never above. Daywear had sleeves long to mid-bicep and a skirt that was straight, pleaded, hank hem, or tired. Jewelry was less conspicuous. In the 21st century a diverse range of styles exist in fashion, varying by geography, exposure to modern media, economic conditions, and ranging from expensive haute couture to traditional garb, to thrift store grunge.

Fashion shows are events for designers to show off new and often extravagant designs. Although mechanization transformed most aspects of human industry by the midth century, garment workers have continued to labor under challenging conditions that demand repetitive manual labor.

Mass-produced clothing is often made in what are considered by some to be sweatshops , typified by long work hours, lack of benefits, and lack of worker representation. While most examples of such conditions are found in developing countries , clothes made in industrialized nations may also be manufactured similarly.

Coalitions of NGOs , designers including Katharine Hamnett, American Apparel , Veja , Quiksilver , eVocal, and Edun and campaign groups like the Clean Clothes Campaign CCC and the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights as well as textile and clothing trade unions have sought to improve these conditions as much as possible by sponsoring awareness-raising events, which draw the attention of both the media and the general public to the workers.

The MFA, which placed quotas on textiles imports, was deemed a protectionist measure. India for example has not ratified sections 87 and 92 of the treaty.

Despite the strong reactions that "sweatshops" evoked among critics of globalization , the production of textiles has functioned as a consistent industry for developing nations providing work and wages, whether construed as exploitative or not, to many thousands of people. The use of animal fur in clothing dates to prehistoric times. It is currently associated in developed countries with expensive, designer clothing, although fur is still used by indigenous people in arctic zones and higher elevations for its warmth and protection.

Once uncontroversial, it has recently been the focus of campaigns on the grounds that campaigners consider it cruel and unnecessary. PETA , along with other animal rights and animal liberation groups have called attention to fur farming and other practices they consider cruel.

Clothing suffers assault both from within and without. The human body sheds skin cells and body oils, and exudes sweat, urine, and feces. From the outside, sun damage, moisture, abrasion, and dirt assault garments. Fleas and lice can hide in seams. Worn clothing, if not cleaned and refurbished, itches, becomes outworn, and loses functionality as when buttons fall off, seams come undone, fabrics thin or tear, and zippers fail.

Often, people wear an item of clothing until it falls apart. Some materials present problems. Cleaning leather is difficult, and bark cloth tapa cannot be washed without dissolving it.

Owners may patch tears and rips, and brush off surface dirt, but materials like these inevitably age. However, most clothing consists of cloth, and most cloth can be laundered and mended patching, darning , but compare felt.

Humans have developed many specialized methods for laundering, ranging from early methods of pounding clothes against rocks in running streams, to the latest in electronic washing machines and dry cleaning dissolving dirt in solvents other than water.

Hot water washing boiling , chemical cleaning and ironing are all traditional methods of sterilizing fabrics for hygiene purposes. Many kinds of clothing are designed to be ironed before they are worn to remove wrinkles. Most modern formal and semi-formal clothing is in this category for example, dress shirts and suits. Ironed clothes are believed to look clean, fresh, and neat. Much contemporary casual clothing is made of knit materials that do not readily wrinkle, and do not require ironing.

Some clothing is permanent press , having been treated with a coating such as polytetrafluoroethylene that suppresses wrinkles and creates a smooth appearance without ironing. Once clothes have been laundered and possibly ironed, they are usually hung on clothes hangers or folded, to keep them fresh until they are worn. Clothes are folded to allow them to be stored compactly, to prevent creasing, to preserve creases or to present them in a more pleasing manner, for instance when they are put on sale in stores.

A resin used for making non-wrinkle shirts releases formaldehyde , which could cause contact dermatitis for some people; no disclosure requirements exist, and in the U.

Government Accountability Office tested formaldehyde in clothing and found that generally the highest levels were in non-wrinkle shirts and pants. In past times, mending was an art. A meticulous tailor or seamstress could mend rips with thread raveled from hems and seam edges so skillfully that the tear was practically invisible.

Today clothing is considered a consumable item. Mass-manufactured clothing is less expensive than the labor required to repair it. Many people buy a new piece of clothing rather than spend time mending. The thrifty still replace zippers and buttons and sew up ripped hems. Used, unwearable clothing can be repurposed for quilts , rags , rugs , bandages , and many other household uses.

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