Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Review: Take Ivy by T. Hayashida

Back when I lived in Japan, I had a friend who was obsessed with Ivy League universities in the US and she had a copy of this book, which is basically a style guide for men with excellent, authentic pictures. I wanted to get my own copy, but she told me that it was really rare and if she wanted to, she could probably sell it for over $1500. (It was printed in 1965 and quickly acheived cult status in Japan and around the world.)


So when I found out it was going back into print (and in a language I can actually read), I was thrilled. It's exactly like I remember it - with that kind of slightly blurry but very observant photography that's almost like a yearbook (but better).

And, I have to admit, I find the text hilarious. For example, this gem found on page 68: "Simply slipping into a pair of Bermuda shorts is no guarantee that you will look stylish. Strut in a brisk and confident way to complete your style."  Can't argue with that.

Nothing like going to the source of this "prep" style that has been so influential the world over. If you are at all into fashion or "vintage" photography, you'll love it!

Find out more about the book (and see some more images from it) at the publisher's website.

12 comments:

Splendibird said...

I adore books like this. I love vintage photography and also fashion photography. Your mention of Japan made me think of the photography book Fruits (followed up by Fresh Fruits) which is all about Tokyo street fashion - thanks for inspiring me to dig out my copy! Totally different to this but, I think, equally absorbing.

Amanda said...

Okay that's awesome.

brizmus said...

THis sounds absolutely hilarious and fabulous. . .

Amanda said...

If you like those kind of quirky instructions and observations, check out Lisa Birnbach's The Official Preppy Handbook. She also released an updated version, called True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World, but I haven't read it yet and so can't attest to how it's written. But the original is hilarious.

Lenore said...

Amanda - As far as I am aware, Lisa Birnbach took her inspiration for her original book from Take Ivy. I haven't looked at the updated version.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love these types of things, where they were written in all seriousness, but now are a joke! There is something that goes around every once in awhile, that was written in the '50's, that gives advice on how to be a good wife. You know...bathing the kids and keeping them quiet once the husband comes home, having his slippers ready for him, keeping yourself well-groomed and with a pleasant attitude...ha! I wouldn't qualify as a good wife I don't think!

Zibilee said...

This book sounds unintentionally hilarious and like something that I'd love to see. I am so glad that you finally got a copy for yourself. I bet you are excited about it too. Thanks for sharing this!

Tribute Books Mama said...

That's great, thanks for sharing.

Janicu said...

That's pretty cool. I like Fruits and other such books with fashion photography. It's nice when they republish something like that ($1500! Yikes!)

Carla said...

Awe. Some.

Alyce said...

That sounds wonderfully entertaining! I haven't heard of anything like this before.

nat @book, line, and sinker said...

i'm a freak for vintage stuff and these pictures remind me of images of my dad's college photos! what a gem of a find--thanks for sharing it. :)