Thursday, 10 June 2010

Shock of Grey

Ivy-Style is a blog that, as its name suggests, focuses on the life and style of the preps, college students and WASPS of the privileged American East Coast.

It's an interesting and inspirational read, spanning decades, trends and fashions whilst touching on celebrity, culture and history in equal and erudite measures. Despite being essentially a site about pretty awful rich people, there's something infinitely more attractive about boat shoes, Ralph Lauren shirts and rolled up blazers than the offensive Jack Wills affair that plagues much of the current English home counties and Universities. It's probably just a form of Yankophile escapism on my part, and definitely the continued influence of Mad Men (no not the Sesame Street version).

'Like' them on Facebook and you'll receive amusing and varied updates from site-creator (and possible Grand Dragon/Skull and Bones club member) Christian Chensvold, offering up arbitrary freebies and brotherly like advice.

One of Chensvold's recommendations is The Official Prep Handbook by Lisa Birnbach, an all knowing guide similar in vein to Stuff White People Like by Christan Lander, in that you're not sure whether the author is satirising or glamoursing their particular subculture. A bestseller upon its 1980 release, below's a promo video for her new book 'True Prep' with Chip Kidd coming out later this year.

Given that I feel I dress in a certain way to try give off an impression of a well-rounded, presentable and intelligent individual despite only knowing enough about most things just to blag my way through a conversation and not having any real practical or transferable skills there's a certain poignancy when Birnbach says things like 'I think that dressing this way and having some good manners and good eye contact and a nice handshake can be your cover for a lot of things'.

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