Books

Black Ivy by Jason Jules and Graham Marsh

Black Ivy by Jason Jules and Graham Marsh (image credit: Reel Art Press)
Black Ivy by Jason Jules and Graham Marsh (image credit: Reel Art Press)
Note that I independently write and research everything in this article. But it may contain affiliate links.

This is on my Christmas list and might well make it onto yours. Black Ivy by Jason Jules and Graham Marsh lands in December.

Anything with Graham Marsh’s name attached to it is on my radar. Whether that’s his Vintage Ivy shirt range at Kamakura or one of the many books he has been behind covering the ivy league look.

That includes Jazz Festival, The Ivy Look, Hollywood and the Ivy Look, Coast To Coast or the children’s book, Max And The Lost Note. All worth checking out.

And I would guess this one too. Although as it is a pre-order that’s just based on the details offered and the expectation based on previous work. Also, the fact that it is released by Reel Art Press, which always produces quality books.

The full title is Black Ivy – A Revolt in Style and as you might have guessed, this 224-page book charts a period in American history when black men across the country adopted the clothing of what was seen as a privileged elite and made it their own. Influencing a whole new generation as a result.

According to the publisher’s notes:

“From the most avant-garde jazz musicians, visual artists and poets to the most unassuming architects, philosophers and writers, Black Ivy looks at how a generation of men took the classic Ivy Look and made it cool, edgy and unpredictable in ways that continue to influence today’s modern menswear.

Here you’ll see some famous, infamous and not so famous figures in black culture, and how they re-invented Ivy and Prep fashion, the dominant looks of the time.

The real stars of the book – the Oxford cloth button-down shirt, the hand-stitched loafer, the soft shoulder three-button jacket and the perennial repp tie, among others – are all here. What Black Ivy explores is how these clothes are reframed and redefined by a stylish group of men from outside the mainstream.

It’s a story about clothes but it’s also a story about freedom – both individual and collective. It’s a story about a generation of people challenging the status quo, struggling for racial equality and civil rights. For the first time ever, we explore the major role this particular style of clothing played during this period of aspiration and upheaval and what these clothes said about the people who wore them.

Boasting the work of some of America’s finest photographers and imagemakers, this must-have tome is a celebration of how, regardless of the odds, great style always wins.”

Interested? I know I am. And the good news is that the book lands before Christmas. Specifically, 7th December, with pre-orders being taken now.

You can order via Amazon for £28.55 or you can get a copy directly from Reel Art Press for £39.95. Either way, it looks essential for fans of the look and the era.

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