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The Ivy Look: Classic American Clothing - An Illustrated Pocket Guide Paperback – November 1, 2010

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The Ivy Look: Classic American Clothing - An Illustrated Pocket Guide + Take Ivy + Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711231389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711231382
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Ivy Look is a cool, coffee-table book for the hip pocket." --Eye Magazine

About the Author

GRAHAM MARSH is an art director, illustrator and author. He has written and art directed many groundbreaking visual books including The Cover Art of Blue Note Records Volumes 1 and 2, East Coasting and California Cool (Collis & Brown). He co-authored and art directed a series of ten movie poster books and Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks (Aurum). His illustrations have appeared in magazines, newspapers and on many CD and album covers. He has contributed to numerous publications including Country Life and the Financial Times. This is his first children's book. He lives in Greenwich, south-east London. J.P.GAUL has long had a fascination with American clothing styles of the 1950s and 1960s, a passion nurtured whilst working at J.Simons' legendary clothes shop in central London. A jazz and architecture fan, he is also a regular blogger on all matters sartorial. This is his first book. He lives in North London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By some guy on December 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on October 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe it's in part because I was so disappointed by Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style that "The Ivy Look," which arrived in the same box, seemed so rewarding. "The Ivy Style" is an entertainingly written and well-informed book, but it's also very much affected by who its authors are and where they come from. It's important to understand that in order to really get the most out of this "pocket guide."

One of my criticisms of "Preppy" was that it relied so heavily on commercial advertising for its illustrations. "Ivy Look," too, is packed full of ad images, as at least one other reviewer has pointed out. So why not rip this book too? The answer is in the second paragraph of the Foreword: "It seems entirely appropriate that the authors came to learn and fall under the spell of the Ivy look through exposure to three quintessential American art forms - cinema, advertising and modern jazz" (p. 12). The "Ivy" Marsh and Gaul are discussing here is not American "Ivy League" style straight from the well, so to speak, but rather a particular English interpretation and expression of "Ivy." More than just a preference for what clothes to wear or, on a deeper level, a "look" with various ethnic, geographic, and sociopolitical signifiers, this English Ivy is a deliberate "lifestyle" choice. That is the explanation for why things like Vespas and Marlboro cigarettes, which don't have any particular Ivy League or preppy association in the States, are lovingly included in "The Ivy Look."

(If the sort of analysis in the above paragraph is of interest to you, I encourage you to find the review of this book on a popular Ivy Style blog.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Big Monkeyman on December 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
A superlative look at the ivy league style, through the eyes of two confirmed enthusiasts. This book provides an in-depth look at a style which has heavily influenced men's fashion in the years since it gained popularity. A wide assortment of full-color photographs, many never before seen in print, provide days of viewing enjoyment, while a variety of articles and drawings add expert analysis. The book examines the origins of the style, its heyday (via looks at personalities such as JFK, Miles Davis, and Steve McQueen, as well as classic spreads from publications such as Esquire), and its present, with a listing of merchants and websites which continue to celebrate the ethos. The perfect gift for any classic menswear enthusiast, student of fashion, or indeed anyone who values classic style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Owned and Loved by Schnauzers on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book! The authors have done a beautiful job of defining IVY, by compiling advertisements from those who actually manufactured the `IVY Look' back in the day. The reader is able to see what the look was, that defined the IVY style, and because the actual advertisements are used in the book, the reader knows who made the IVY items, back in the day! The trendsetters are all there!

Why are some people so taken with IVY? The author says it all on page 20, "It is a wardrobe that bestows tradition and elegance upon those who were not born into backgrounds of tradition and elegance." Well put.

I wish the authors would now do a book, that focuses on not only finding, but showing interiors of some mens' (and womens') shops in the United States, that continue to offer `IVY' style.

I am referring to fine mens- and womens wear stores that not ONLY offer the style of IVY --- but the QUALITY found in the original IVY styles. Many stores offer oxford button-downs; but the thread count tells the story on quality. The missing interfacing on modern-day collars tells an even bigger story on the quality that is not manufactured in now days.

There are some manufacturer's of fine quality clothing still around, but finding the stores that carry these high-end items is becoming more difficult every day.

The above isn't the fault of the authors, obviously.

But since these authors quite obviously recognize the correct IVY style when they see it - their next book could tell us where to find it, but in the U.S. please.
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