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#1 2010-09-16 05:01:11

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

The Potency Of An Ivy Image

We are into highly subjective and personal territory here.  To my way of thinking, it's not unlike looking at a painting, a scene in a movie, an example of design or architecture.  No-one, I think, is immune from this.  That photograph of Tony Perkins in The Ivy Look, wearing herringbone and gingham, just leaps off the page for me; ditto the images of Bill Evans.  Others will, I'm sure, feel hostile or simply shrug their shoulders.  But it makes me want to look like them, to wear what they're wearing.  This is just a good, fresh example - The Book is on our minds.  The image of Paul Newman, on the other hand, leaves me cold, and not only for the reason Big Tony stated.  As I said, highly subjective and personal.

 

#2 2010-09-16 08:07:38

Big Tony
Member
Posts: 5478

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

it was originally a comfortable, optimistic American middle class style which I think UK fans might not fully understand, it is impossible for the style to be popular again in today's angry and frenzied American society

it was...
comfortable, large sofa in front of the televison
raking autumn leaves on the front lawn
excitement about going back to school with your new shoos on
dad coming home at 5:30 while mom has something yummy on the stove
going out to the country to visit your uncle's farm
packing up the station wagon for the summer family vacation
fiddling with your tie to get ready for Sunday church
sticking hockey cards in your bicycle spokes to make an "engine" sound
walking that girl home from high school
gettting the date you wanted for the prom
that scary first day when dad drops you off at college
getting back home on Thanksgiving from college to visit family
having your dad's friends start taking you like an adult and asking about college
saving up for your first car, it's a clunker but it's a car dammit
optimism about the future with jobs for everyone who wanted to work


"What sort of post-apocalyptic deathscape is this?"
"I don't want to look like a cock hungry sailor after all !!!"
"When it comes to infidelity, broken families, and reckless fatherhood, the underclass are amateurs."

 

#3 2010-09-16 08:12:12

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Beautiful, if I may say so.  The images I love most - such as the one of two young scholars on their bicycles in 1941, which hangs on my study wall - captured in words.  1941:  Ivy before that modern jazz filtering process.  Sadly all very different in the UK.  Some of us have had to unlearn so much.  Yes, unlearn.

 

#4 2010-09-16 08:14:53

Toffeeman
Member
Posts: 103

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Jeez that sounds awful. Monocultural, reactionary and complacent. Thank God it's gone. I prefer the way contemporary Ivy fits into our fragmented culture. Make of it what you will. Twist it to your lifestyle. As the uniform of a lazy, discredited bourgeoisie it does not interest me in the slightest.

TM

 

#5 2010-09-16 08:16:33

Big Tony
Member
Posts: 5478

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

the true look was only post war, and post Korean War
one common name was "the collegiate look"
earlier and it was an elite ivy league style


"What sort of post-apocalyptic deathscape is this?"
"I don't want to look like a cock hungry sailor after all !!!"
"When it comes to infidelity, broken families, and reckless fatherhood, the underclass are amateurs."

 

#6 2010-09-16 08:19:09

Moose Maclennan
Ivy Inspiration
From: Hernando's Hideaway
Posts: 4091

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

I suspect a small-town childhood and youth in the UK wasn't all that different.

Apart from the thing about the jobs for everyone that wanted to work, that is...

 

#7 2010-09-16 08:19:18

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

LOL!  But if it's the original version we have to give credit where credit's due, surely?  Sorry, John, but you did nail some of the paradoxes yourself once, and if it makes you feel uncomfortable, well...  Not that I want it to be a uniform, you understand, not a bit...  but your own rulebook could tip it over the edge into one...  Are they really so lazy and discredited?  I should have thought some of them were meat and potatoes Democrats...

 

#8 2010-09-16 08:20:40

Toffeeman
Member
Posts: 103

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

You boys are wallowing in meaningless, pointless nonsense about the supposed glorious past. I like a bit of cheese as much as the next man, but that's all it is - cheese. Recognise it for what it was. Decidedly not a golden age. Milk and cookies America? Not for me. I'm more into Miles pissing all over that stuff wearing pink seersucker at the Newport Jazz Festival while shooting up backstage.

TM

 

#9 2010-09-16 08:23:09

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Does not Boom equate to Golden, then?  I thought that was - at least in part - what John Simons was supposed to be celebrating.

 

#10 2010-09-16 08:24:11

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

(This has all the makings of a good thread).

 

#11 2010-09-16 08:24:44

Big Tony
Member
Posts: 5478

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

Jeez that sounds awful. Monocultural, reactionary and complacent. Thank God it's gone. I prefer the way contemporary Ivy fits into our fragmented culture. Make of it what you will. Twist it to your lifestyle. As the uniform of a lazy, discredited bourgeoisie it does not interest me in the slightest.

I am talking about 40 to 50 years ago when the style was so widespread even a blind man couldn't miss it, it is essential to understand middle class America of the period to understand the style, middle class may mean "lazy discredited bourgeoisie" to a European but it was the hard-working family-oriented heart and soul of America in those days and the style will forever to linked, that's why American ivy fans seem more interested in the lifestyle than the clothes


"What sort of post-apocalyptic deathscape is this?"
"I don't want to look like a cock hungry sailor after all !!!"
"When it comes to infidelity, broken families, and reckless fatherhood, the underclass are amateurs."

 

#12 2010-09-16 08:25:13

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

You boys are wallowing in meaningless, pointless nonsense about the supposed glorious past. I like a bit of cheese as much as the next man, but that's all it is - cheese. Recognise it for what it was. Decidedly not a golden age. Milk and cookies America? Not for me. I'm more into Miles pissing all over that stuff wearing pink seersucker at the Newport Jazz Festival while shooting up backstage.

TM

Who was referencing Rockwell quite recently?  Ah ha!

 

#13 2010-09-16 08:28:38

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Thank God Miles kicked the habit.  Even if it did lead to him dressing like some funkateer.

 

#14 2010-09-16 08:34:28

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

I actually like those silly old advertisments:  Pendleton for Christmas etc.  I own numbers of them.  I love 'Life' and 'Esquire', too.  Perhaps Toffeeman is more for the Soho/Mingo modernist side of it.

 

#15 2010-09-16 08:35:43

Big Tony
Member
Posts: 5478

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

You boys are wallowing in meaningless, pointless nonsense about the supposed glorious past. I like a bit of cheese as much as the next man, but that's all it is - cheese. Recognise it for what it was. Decidedly not a golden age. Milk and cookies America? Not for me.

it's easy to dismiss the past as never being as rosy as we remember and it's true that many people lived lives of quiet desperation despite appearances, HOWEVER in fact many people really did live that comfortable cheery middle class life depicted in those silly old advertisements (that are often dismissed), I know because I did and my parents did and all my friends did, strange but true

Toffeeman wrote:

I'm more into Miles pissing all over that stuff wearing pink seersucker at the Newport Jazz Festival while shooting up backstage.

nothing to respect in behaviour like that


"What sort of post-apocalyptic deathscape is this?"
"I don't want to look like a cock hungry sailor after all !!!"
"When it comes to infidelity, broken families, and reckless fatherhood, the underclass are amateurs."

 

#16 2010-09-16 08:35:55

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE.  HIGHLY PERSONAL.

 

#17 2010-09-16 08:39:18

Toffeeman
Member
Posts: 103

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Norman Rockwell is sweet and charming nonsense. I don't believe in that world any more than I believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. If wearing a tweed jacket and a button-down affiliates you with a yearning for the 'Golden Age' of the hard-working mom and pop world then count me out. If the world is less cuddly and friendly now I say blame that very culture for believing that church and flag and white bread and spending lots of money and cars and fridges were going to ensure universal happiness. One of the joys of 'Mad Men', beyond the amazing visual spectacle of it all, is the way it so delicately dissects these middle class lives with their secrets, their alcoholism, their repressed sexuality, their rigid unfulfilling domesticity, their infidelity, their futile ambition. I shun all that stuff. In that sense I am very much on the progressive wing of Ivyism.

TM

 

#18 2010-09-16 08:40:52

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

You boys are wallowing in meaningless, pointless nonsense about the supposed glorious past. I like a bit of cheese as much as the next man, but that's all it is - cheese. Recognise it for what it was. Decidedly not a golden age. Milk and cookies America? Not for me. I'm more into Miles pissing all over that stuff wearing pink seersucker at the Newport Jazz Festival while shooting up backstage.

TM

Are you saying, then, that the Lou/JS/JK vision was only ever about subverting the natural order via the bebop/hipster vibe?  What about JSs avowed intention to sell shirts and shoes to aspirational young white collar chaps around Richmond?

 

#19 2010-09-16 08:47:21

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

Norman Rockwell is sweet and charming nonsense. I don't believe in that world any more than I believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. If wearing a tweed jacket and a button-down affiliates you with a yearning for the 'Golden Age' of the hard-working mom and pop world then count me out. If the world is less cuddly and friendly now I say blame that very culture for believing that church and flag and white bread and spending lots of money and cars and fridges were going to ensure universal happiness. One of the joys of 'Mad Men', beyond the amazing visual spectacle of it all, is the way it so delicately dissects these middle class lives with their secrets, their alcoholism, their repressed sexuality, their rigid unfulfilling domesticity, their infidelity, their futile ambition. I shun all that stuff. In that sense I am very much on the progressive wing of Ivyism.

TM

Back to P.J. O'Rourke territory?  Many of your pronouncements are 'reactionary', albeit in the nicest possible way.  I've never seen 'Mad Men', only become bored by Ebay sellers citing the show in order to flog their tat.  As to cars, fridges etc. you sound like Tony Benn at his most naive.  Most trade union/blue collar wives in my experience wanted those things.  Do you disbelieve in a work ethic?  Oh, don't get me wrong, I only work because I then have a choice about whether or not I buy that pair of Alden...

 

#20 2010-09-16 08:47:42

Toffeeman
Member
Posts: 103

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

The clothes are works of art - put them behind glass. Make of them what you will. We attach meaning to a pair of shoes. My favourite picture in THE IVY LOOK is Coltrane at the Guggenheim. John Simons believes modern jazz and Ivy League clothes are one and the same, forever meant to be linked. They thought they were hipsters. Yes, America had a complex glamour and they sold to guys who wanted to tap into that glamour. But John and Ian Strachan are really rather unconventional guys a million miles away from the homespun crap about warming your toes around the crackling log fire while the black housemaid gets supper ready for you. Don't know about Lou Austin. A businessman I expect?

TM

 

#21 2010-09-16 08:50:34

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

The clothes are works of art - put them behind glass. Make of them what you will. We attach meaning to a pair of shoes. My favourite picture in THE IVY LOOK is Coltrane at the Guggenheim. John Simons believes modern jazz and Ivy League clothes are one and the same, forever meant to be linked. They thought they were hipsters. Yes, America had a complex glamour and they sold to guys who wanted to tap into that glamour. But John and Ian Strachan are really rather unconventional guys a million miles away from the homespun crap about warming your toes around the crackling log fire while the black housemaid gets supper ready for you. Don't know about Lou Austin. A businessman I expect?

TM

Fuck's sake, John, forget the black maid shit.  You're telling me JS is indifferent to money?  Strachan:  "I'm a businessman, I sell what sells".

 

#22 2010-09-16 08:51:21

Big Tony
Member
Posts: 5478

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Toffeeman wrote:

Norman Rockwell is sweet and charming nonsense. I don't believe in that world any more than I believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. If wearing a tweed jacket and a button-down affiliates you with a yearning for the 'Golden Age' of the hard-working mom and pop world then count me out. If the world is less cuddly and friendly now I say blame that very culture for believing that church and flag and white bread and spending lots of money and cars and fridges were going to ensure universal happiness. One of the joys of 'Mad Men', beyond the amazing visual spectacle of it all, is the way it so delicately dissects these middle class lives with their secrets, their alcoholism, their repressed sexuality, their rigid unfulfilling domesticity, their infidelity, their futile ambition. I shun all that stuff. In that sense I am very much on the progressive wing of Ivyism.

whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, it existed for many people and is a factor in the ivy style

Mad Men is a fiction and like all modern adult drama television series is designed to be edgy to gain audiences, relying on a fictional television show broadcast 45 years later than it's supposed events and created by a man too young to have experienced the period is a mistake (any more than watching Sopranos and thinking that's how the mob operates)


"What sort of post-apocalyptic deathscape is this?"
"I don't want to look like a cock hungry sailor after all !!!"
"When it comes to infidelity, broken families, and reckless fatherhood, the underclass are amateurs."

 

#23 2010-09-16 08:53:13

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

Anyone care to get their boxing gloves on and join in?

 

#24 2010-09-16 08:55:12

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

The Subjective 'Myth and Reality' thread.

 

#25 2010-09-16 08:59:30

Toffeeman
Member
Posts: 103

Re: The Potency Of An Ivy Image

The black maid shit went on! Who made the cars and the fridges and built the detached homes for the wankers in their button-downs? Who worked in the factories in Detroit? The American Dream is built on bullshit. The world Big Tony and yourself get all misty-eyed about was built on the sweat of a workforce blatantly unrepresented in this world view. I embrace the flipside of all that stuff. Where I live in London there are gaps in it all. It's a horrible, glorious mess and we all somehow make it work. I want a messy, ugly, funky multicultural world with everyone in no socks and Weejuns grooving along to Jimmy McGriff. It's a new hippydom based on proper shoulder line, half an inch of oxford cloth at the cuff and real selvedge 501s. I foresee a new Ivy rooted in progressive values. I think I've had one too many espressi.... Fuck the Pope and his reactionary bullshit. They're all discredited. I don't believe in any of that stuff.

TM

 

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