Interesting UK take on an American style. The authors' interpretation of what constitutes the "Ivy League Style" of the late '50s/early 60's is curiously broad. The book consists mainly of reproductions of clothing ads from mens magazines of the period (such as Esquire) and a variety of jazz album covers featuring musicians wearing these styles. that's all fine, well and good, but the inclusion of such items as LL Bean rubber hunting boots and Top Sider boat shoes brings back nightmares of that horrible 80s "preppy" fad. While there is crossover between the styles, it is worth noting that there isn't one photo in the book of anyone actually wearing those shoes. (LL Bean boots don't appear anywhere in the over-hyped "Take Ivy" book either.)
Are dacron shirts and polyester slacks "Ivy"? The authors seem to think so. I think what the authors fail to grasp is that "Ivy League" became a bit of an advertising buzzword commonly used to sell product. Much like "mod". Hence, a lot of these ads are just styles of the period and not necessarily any more "Ivy" than anything else. While I admire the dedication, enthusiasm, and research involved with this book, i wonder if the inclusion of French New Wave film posters and Charles Eames lounge chairs really has jack to do with anything other than the authors' wish to tie-in their fave obsessions using some nebulous "six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon" connection. As much as I also love Raymond Loewy's design for Lucky Strike, it baffles me how that pack of cigarettes or a Zippo lighter is somehow "Ivy"! Classic American icons? Definitely. "Ivy League"? Uh....that begs explanation.
Don't get me wrong, I share most of these same obsessions. But so did many others, who may or may not have been sporting the styles or attending Dartmouth.
Basically, this book is a fictional world of Ivy as seen through rose-tinted lenses of a couple of Limeys. This fantasy world is created by staring at mid-century photos of Steve McQueen, Miles Davis, jazz LP covers, and Esquire back issues. The mundane reality of the nationwide "everyman" nature of the Ivy style is lost somewhere in the haze of their pretentious prose. The authors would rather believe their own fantasy of a secret cabal of chino-clad hipsters aligned in a subversive cult of bass loafers and Blue Note LPs.
Anyhow, I'll still give it 4 stars for style and enthusiasm. Fans of the period and styles will enjoy this. But please don't take it as any sort of bible of Ivy. Like "Take Ivy", it's sort of a foreigner's appreciation/interpretation mixed with a bit of fawning myth-making.