After showing off the RRL corner of the newly refreshed Ralph Lauren men’s shop on 72nd Street & Madison Avenue, I wanted to share with you the rest of the beautifully done store. Dubbed the Rhinelander Mansion, the location is first and only Ralph Lauren shop exclusively selling menswear. The expansive space houses every single different RL collection (with the exception of Rugby). This is something the company has never done before, have everything all together in one place. Walking between all of the different collections, between Black label and RLX and RRL is one of the most amazing brand transitions in the history of retail. To switch moods and styles so seamlessly is impressive. As I said earlier, only Ralph can pull something like this off.
Not sure if you heard, but the follow-up to The Official Preppy Handbook —titled True Prep— is out today. When I first learned of the new book I instinctively cringed. Not to be pessimistic, but I just couldn’t see how anything could be as good as the original. Sort of like Wall Street II; the original is a classic and cannot be recreated. So why even try? Then one day this past spring I got invited to a press luncheon at Michael’s (a fancy N.Y. restaurant favored by media bigwigs) for the upcoming release of True Prep and needless to say I was intrigued. But before I tell you about that let’s talk about the original, The Official Preppy Handbook.
Well, it is actually Take Ivy meets Field & Stream magazine. This 1951 film on the Dartmouth Outing Club could be the ultimate ACL video (thanks to Beau for sending it my way). Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Fishing, Skiing and don’t forget the Winter Carnival. The Winter Carnival is a big party! — hundreds of girls, two dozen or more dances, Christmas lights on Main Street — it’s the social event of the year. The 11 minute Dartmouth recruiting film takes you on a journey of what it is like to be an Ivy League man, learning the ways of the outdoors. This video could be the purest manifestation of 1950s privileged Ivy League Americana meets Norman Rockwell. Enjoy!
A museum of vintage oxford shirts? You’d be hard pressed to put together something more appealing to me. With the launch of the new GANT Rugger shop-in-shop on the upper level of its Fifth Avenue flagship, GANT has assembled an exhibition of assorted vintage shirts from its archive. The classic woven shirts — are all co-labeled shirts from mens stores throughout the U.S. Awesome old places like the Yale Co-Op in New Haven and the Klothes Kloset in Spokane, Washington. Basically, everywhere I wish I could have shopped.
The exhibit and the new GANT Rugger shop are launching this coming Thursday (October 22nd) with a cocktail party at the company’s Flagship in New York. ACL readers are invited to stop by to check out the classic shirts, peruse the new GANT Rugger goods and mingle with like minded preppy connoisseurs.
The name GANT is synonymous with East Coast prep. Founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949, the company basically perfected the American shirt by making private label for J. Press, Brooks Brothers, the Yale Co-Op and many more. By the 1960′s (one could say the Take Ivy era), GANT was the shirt for students, popularizing the button-down on college campuses all over America. Since then the company has changed hands several times and has had its share of ups and downs, but recently it has been all ups, no downs.
A more recently focused GANT has established a great presence for its casual Rugger line (which the company launched in the 1970′s) everywhere from Scoop to Barneys Co-Op and in the process become one of the great revivals of the American heritage look. For spring / summer 2010 GANT looked to one of its own designers, Mr. Christopher Bastin, to further develop the Rugger range. Bastin (who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of classic American sportswear) literally combed through the company’s archives (not to mention vintage dealers and eBay) to infuse the collection with historically accurate detailing and fabrication. I stopped by GANT’s offices last week to get a sneak peek at the new offerings, and ultimately found out exactly what I’m going to be wearing next summer.
There is a great American Trad story in the Isetan spring 2009 catalog that I thought was worth highlighting here. The Isetan in Shinjuku is one of the most impressive stores in the world, a labyrinth of materialistic pursuits. In fact, the men’s shoe section nearly made me cry. These clothes below might not be identified or available for purchase to most of us, but I thought they are great from a styling / photography perspective. Enjoy.
The fine folks at Rogues Gallery in Maine recently released images from the SS09 collection via their blog PTLDME. The collection looks as good as expected, preppy, nautical, causal and wearable. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some of this stuff come more seasonable weather. My question is, how long can the nautical trend last? It seems to me that it has legs and can stick around for a while. What say you dear readers?