This essay was originally intended to be a review of the reprint of the cult classic Take Ivy (powerHouse Books), about which in the end I can only say that it was not worth my time (I guess that statement does make this a book review, if a brief one).
Perhaps I am jaded as I was at school in the Ivy League shortly after the original was published and it brought those years back when I saw it. But the joy of that experience was the photography and, sadly, the photos in the new edition are underwhelming. In the authors' defense, they did include the Yale University dress code of the time, and a recommended Ivy League wardrobe, both of which seem to me to be useful today (I found myself checking to make certain I had trousers in the requisite colors). But that was all.
Much more worth while in my opinion is the series CLOSE UP AND PRIVATE, the source of the illustration. CLOSE UP is a visual multi-media project by Sergei Sviatchenko that looks to capture the spirit of modern style, a style that in his interpretation has a lot in common with American trad or prep.
UP CLOSE AND PRIVATE is so named because because it represents Sviatchenko's method of getting up close to the clothes so the focus is exclusively on them, and in a way it is making something public that is usually private. At least, it is private everywhere but here at ASW, where no detail is too small.
Check it out.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Illustration: Sergei Sviatchenko