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Ivy Style: Radical Conformists Hardcover – October 16, 2012


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Ivy Style: Radical Conformists + Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style + Take Ivy
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300170556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300170559
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patricia Mears is deputy director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Customer Reviews

It's really a shame because reading becomes tedious.
Berry Silverman
Most of the chapters are well done and interesting, especially the interview of Richard Press of J Press fame.
Lyman B. Smith
Regretfully, the choice of font and more importantly color of ink makes the book almost unreadable.
Colonel 1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When my wife and I left the New York City area for Texas early this year, I knew there would be things I'd miss and things I wouldn't. Pretty much at the top of my list of things I wish I was still in town for is the Ivy Style exhibit at the Museum at FIT. So I eagerly awaited what I hoped would be the next best thing, the publication of this book. Now I'm of mixed opinion. Parts of this book, like the curate's egg, are excellent. Other parts are quite good if not as obviously relevant to the topic. Then there's what felt like filler.

Importantly, this book is not "about" the FIT exhibit: There are many beautiful photos from the exhibition, but not enough to make up for not having been there. "Ivy Style" the book is meant to accompany the exhibition, and cover the topic in near-academic style. There's some serious analysis going on here, a long, long, *long* way from The Official Preppy Handbook.

The centerpiece of the book is a wonderful interview with Richard Press, grandson of the founder of J. Press and himself a former president of the business. His words more than anything else laid out the fundamentals and evolution of Ivy style. Bruce Boyer's excellent chapter on the intersection of jazz and Ivy in the 1950s is fascinating and important reading, while Masafumi Monden's look at "Ivy in Japan" highlights where the flame is perhaps burning most brightly today. Patricia Mears' historical overviews tie things together well.

Other chapters were more problematic for me.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Berry Silverman on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful book, filled with fascinating photos and text. BIG however - the author and/or book designer selected a tiny tiny font and then decided to use a rather light gray ink, making it very difficult for anyone who doesn't have perfect vision. Bring out your magnifiers and plus 10 readers. It's really a shame because reading becomes tedious. But the photos are indeed not only plentiful, but also wonderful.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Colonel 1 on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I traveled across the country to see the Ivy Style exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It is a marvelous show, with the added benefit of being open till 8pm! I was therefore keenly looking forward to the book on Ivy Style. Regretfully, the choice of font and more importantly color of ink makes the book almost unreadable. I struggled to get through the excellent essays on the Duke of Windsor and the Jazz Men and then simply gave up. How Ms Mears, FIT and the Yale Press chose a light gray ink for the text is beyond comprehension. Hopefully, if it gets to a second printing they can correct this.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amory B. on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered "Ivy Style" with free delivery and, to my surprise, it arrived a day before the estimated delivery date. Superb service. As a follower of the various Ivy blogs, I was much looking forward to settling into a leather armchair in my library, lighting a cigar and spending a few pleasant hours with the book. However, you can't enjoy a book if it's difficult to read the type, and, alas, that's the case with text of "Ivy Style." The body type is so small and light (it looks grey on the page) that I have to strain to read it. The photo captions are even worse; they're so small that I have to use a magnifying glass to read them. This is immensely disappointing because it was really the essays in the book that I was most looking forward to. A book that is this important--to my knowledge, it is the first work to comprehensively trace the origins of Ivy style and, in particular, examine its critical British influences--should not be so egregiously flawed. How could the editors and publisher let this happen?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the worst-designed book to come out since the first edition of the Gourmet Cookbook with orange type on yellow paper. Simply put, the light blue or gray typeface is simply too light, too thin, and too small for me to be able to do anything but look at the pictures.

DO OVER ASAP, IVY. Until then, zero stars if so few were mine to give.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Siwash on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
First, the good news. This is a book with excellent photos of the exhibit. About half of the essays within are worth reading, especially the one on the Duke of Windsor.

Now the bad news. For a press of this caliber to screw up so badly with the type design is inexcusable. . . perhaps this was a job shunted off to somebody new on the staff, or to some uncaring soul in China. The typeface makes the book a loser: it is gray (why?) and sans serif (why?) and in a tiny size (why?). This makes the book very hard to read and limits its appeal.

"Preppy" really may have at one time BEEN preppy. It for many years now must just be considered Standard American Dress. There are important values connected with the style: clothing should be durable, well-made and built to last (thrift); it should not be offensive (consideration for others).

Richard Press (of J. Press fame) is obviously the key to the book: his thoughts and contributions are the soul of it.
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