Last week we popped into the Gant Rugger shop on Prince Street to visit with some old friends and new while Daniel Cappello signed copies of his new book The Ivy League. While we hadn’t formerly met Cappello until he was scrawling his name inside our clothbound copy, we discovered Fred had photographed him on the street earlier this year. He’s feeling daring tonight in royal blue slim cargo pants sobered up by a navy blazer and open button down collar.
Many precedent books on the Ivy League were born out of admiration from the outside looking in, but Cappello’s homage is birthed from within a 375 year-old crimson crucible. Despite it being a beautiful coffee table book, it’s just not Ivy style eye candy. Cappello actually goes to great lengths to dust off obscure traditions—from all eight Ivies, not just his own Harvard—and share the unique character of each campus. The fact that he acknowledges the Ivy style of dress and yet presses deeper into the richness of these institutions of higher learning is fresher than a breath of Dartmouth air.
“Harvard was one of the breeding grounds of classic Ivy style: that utterly effortless, nonchalant fashion affected by floppy-haired Andover and Exeter alums coming of age in a mix of relaxed athletic sportswear, crest-bearing navy blazers, khaki chinos, and striped repp ties.”
A drawing of the “Sweaters of the Ivy League” depicts letterman sweaters from the various Ivy League schools while poking fun at the so-called gentleman’s C, which many of the them issued in lieu of failing students from influential families.