November 15, 2012
"Ivy Style" at the Fashion Institute of Technology
As further testament to its enduring style, the Ivy League Look has recently been celebrated with an exhibition at The Museum at FIT, Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology in the heart of the Garment District on Seventh Avenue. In the interest of full disclosure I should also mention that I was even more compelled to see the show because my friend Christian Chensvold was involved in the exhibition and contributed an essay to the catalogue. But personal feelings aside, this is a fabulous show.
You didn't have to go to Harvard, Yale or Princeton to know what Ivy Style was about or to aspire to "the look". Iconic pieces such as Weejun penny loafers, Oxford button-down shirts, crewneck Shetland sweaters, chino trousers, duffel coats and Madras anything were de rigeur on any college campus and brand names like Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Chipp and Gant were the signatures of style. Today's "preppy" look now extends to women and is a little more trendy but the characteristic elements remain. This is what is so remarkable about Ivy Style. It is a uniquely American look that has stood the test of time - updated but classic, elegant yet playful, sporty yet refined - and still very much alive.
"Ivy Style" is on view at FIT until January 5th, 2013 and admission is free.