With summer about to wind down and retail shops winding up with fall fashion and sure to re-embrace the world of layering as always it's good time to explore the provenance of this year's dominant fashion theme. The elements of the look most commonly known as American prep will be even more prevalent on the high streets this year. A little more style is always a good thing to pick up our economic gloom.
What is most fascinating about American prep is that the overall style, energy and look as we know it was crafted by Japanese photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida and published in a series called Ivey League (the term prep had yet to be invented in 1965.) While the book runs nearly $1000 on Ebay scans of are popping up on the web.
What makes the work quintessentially Japanese is the totality of the captured lifestyle from the clothes themselves to activities and ethos of Ivey campus life. Conversations on foot, short travel by bike and prioritized lounging to balance one's work load. Not to mention gorgeous typography on everything. In many ways the book lays out the exact utopic view of the ideal urban development combining low carbon lifestyles and convenience. Only more stylish and desirable that the banal lifestyle photography wrapped developments in progress today around the world.
Long an industry secret holding influential prominence in the bookshelves of creative directors at fashion houses maybe it's time for a collective effort to deliver The Ivey to urban planners, developers, ad agencies and other creators of uninspired garments. Not necessarily to duplicate but inspire originality in their work as the gestalt of a lifestyle, not singular piece. This gent in Ginza enjoying a casual Sunday stroll would agree.