30 September, 2012

"Ivy Style at the FIT . . . "


Drew and I took the opportunity whilst we were on the east coast last week to schedule a day in New York to visit the Ivy Style exhibit at the FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology).  The exhibition showcased the history of traditional "men's ivy style" featuring designs from Ralph Lauren, Jeffrey Banks, Michael Bastian, Brooks Brothers, J. Press, and Thom Browne - as well as items from "The Cary Collection" - paired with vintage pieces and memorabilia spanning almost 100 years of men's fashion.

Drew and I spent a good part of our flight back to San Francisco discussing our impressions . . . so, just to keep things interesting - I've asked Drew to lend his voice to this posting . . .

Ralph Lauren - left 1982, right 2010
"Viewing the terrific "Ivy Style" exhibit at the MFIT reaffirmed my belief that the "Ivy League" or, as it was also called, the "Natural Shoulder" style is the quintessential American style.  Casual in its formality, formal in its casualness, it is a style that broke the rules and broke with the past (much as America itself did) to create an entirely new style, born on the elite campuses, but democratically available to all."

A traditional "Ivy Shop" with vintage pieces dating from the early 1900's as well as current designs from Thom Browne and Michael Bastian. 

"One of the striking impressions the exhibit leaves is the utter timelessness of the look.  The curators have mixed original specimens of the style from Chipp, Press, and Brooks with newer examples from Ralph Lauren, Michael Bastian, Jeffrey Banks, and Tom Browne and, with the exception of Browne, it's utterly astonishing how few real differences exist amongst them.  It's as though one was looking at a family portrait of several generations of men: while each man has his own features and couldn't be mistaken for the other, the DNA is clearly passed from one generation to the next. Family resemblance, indeed."

One of a collection of vintage boating blazers.
From Michael Bastian's Fall 2012 collection
Ralph Lauren - the rig on the right . . . from the iconic early 1980's advert.

Buzzy Kerbox for Ralph Lauren
Boating blazer from Brooks Brothers, first designed in the 1920's and re-introduced in 2012.
The original coat.
On the cover of Preppy by Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle

"And this is the crux of why Ivy Style has endured: while it is distinctive and has its core, essential elements (flannel, tweed, shetland, linen, soft construction, forgiving lines, and nonchalance), it has never become fossilized.  The look has always been open to interpretation and to those who would tweak the rules (just as the creators of the style tweaked the rules of dress of their times).  The style is firmly rooted in a tradition, but, as a 1977 ad J. Press wrote for the Japanese market (international Ivy!), Ivy continues to be "quietly alive with the breath of the age."  Classic, timeless, current, and alive. Vivat Ivy."
- Drew P. 

A short video exploring the new "Ivy Style" menswear exhibit at FIT, curated by Patricia Mears, Richard Press, and G. Bruce Boyer. Shot and edited by Andrew Yamato for the blog "A Suitable Wardrobe."  


(still photography by George Chinsee for WWD)

28 September, 2012

"In Danger of Falling . . . "

SMW Design, Berkeley Project 2012.


Well, we're finally home from vacationing along the northeast coast and Canada.  And I want to be sure that I don't deluge you with nothing but vacation pictures for the next several posts . . . lol.  

So, we'll kinda be a little stealth about this.  Seriously, there's only one vacation picture in this entire post.  And I didn't even take the picture myself.  But, don't fret, there's a whole memory card's worth of pictures that I'll start posting over the next couple of weeks.  

But, for now - let's talk about the weather.  Fall is always somewhat of a struggle for me.  I'm usually always in the mood for fall much sooner than the weather is ready for my wardrobe.  Luckily, San Francisco usually works in my favour - giving me some cool mornings and chilly evenings to make the tweed and wool a little more palatable.

So.  No matter what your local forecast is.  Let's start getting ready for fall . . . . 

Vintage Ralph Lauren advert, circa 1979
Michael Bastian, Fall 2012.
SMW Design, Berkeley Project

SMW Design, Nob Hill Project
Quebec City, Quebec Canada.   We actually stayed at the beautiful le Chateau Fontenac Hotel (the large structure in the center of the image) during our last stop in Quecbec City.  A marvelous city - full of amazing architecture and history.  
Ovadia & Sons, Fall 2012
Ralph Lauren Fall Collection 2012
from Beckett & Robb
SMW Design, San Francisco Project
from Downton Abbey, Season One
SMW Design, San Francisco Project


23 September, 2012

"Sailing in Maine . . . "


I thought I'd just share a few photos from an amazing afternoon a few days back of sailing on a four-masted schooner off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine.  We've been vacationing for the last few weeks on the northeast coast - and heading up to Canada for a few days before coming back to San Francisco.

My internet access has been kinda spotty, at best - so I'm taking advantage of a healthy 'wifi' connection this morning to share a few pictures from the trip.  A bright, glorious afternoon.  Aboard the beautiful Margaret Todd.  And a few hours of sun and sea!

Keep an eye out for a series of posts from our vacation - but, please accept this meager offering for the moment!

Until later!

(all photography, Scot Meacham Wood for Tartanscot)

11 September, 2012

"Shoe Fetish . . . "


Hop over to Kathyrn Greeley's delightful blog . . . for a little chat about a fairly serious shoe addiction.


02 September, 2012

"Sunday Runway, Back To School . . . "

from Rugby Fall 2012


Okay, seriously.  Does it not feel as though this year is simply FLYING past?!?!?!?  It seems like less than two months ago I was looking for somewhere to have a Valentine's dinner.  And now, what seems like quite suddenly, it's Labor Day weekend - and everyone is headed back to school.   As a youngster, like most kids, I was never all that excited about heading back to school - but, it DID mean that I could do some serious shopping.

There were great places like The Rogue in Jackson.  And George Sherman Clothiers in Starkville.  Or there was always the parade of catalogues that seemed to arrive at the house everyday.  Finding the perfect polo shirt from Ralph Lauren to wear on the first day of classes.  Fresh Levi's and khakis.  Procuring madras shirts and ribbon belts.  In general, spending the entire salary from an entire summer of working part-time jobs.

Tommy Hilfiger, Fall 2012

Michael Bastian, for Gant, Fall 2012

Brooks Brothers, Fall 2012

What do you recall about your favourite 'back to school' wardrobe?  Or a favourite store from high school or college?

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