Preppy style as we know is nothing new, but in the late 1950s Kensuke Ishizu kick-started a clothing revolution that is still influential today. Founder of the brand VAN, Ishizu was preoccupied with the style found in US Ivy League colleges – plaid shirts, loafers, college sweaters – and by the mid-1960s the new breed of fashion-obsessed teenagers in Japan were happy to buy into the Ivy style too. The seminal book Take Ivy is a must for anyone interested in both American and Japanese Ivy style, as is this article on the life and career of Ishizu – after all it was he alone who brought Ivy style to Japan, showing that one person can bring about a nation-wide trend.

Ame-kaji (American casual) has been a gyaru trend on and off for a few years to varying degrees – it’s not so long ago that you couldn’t move for cowboy boots and Stetsons on the bustling Tokyo streets, and I think of late ame-kaji has moved more towards the so-called geek-chic end of the spectrum with Oxford brogues (I have a fantastic bright pink pair), classic hats, large farmed glasses, and buttoned up shirts and bow ties popping up, particularly in Shibu-Hara fashion bible PopSister magazine.

When I was last in WC, with Take Ivy on my mind, I couldn’t help but notice the ‘preppy’ touches here and there – read on for more from Take Ivy and Chinatsu’s WC…

Wakatsuki Chinatsu’s designs have always been about the fun of fashion, and I think that’s something she and Ishizu have in common – appreciation of classic style, and the confidence to bring that style to a whole new audience.

WC doing a bang-up job of representing contemporary ame-kaji

Take Ivy: jaquard sweaters & baseball jackets

WC’s jaquard cardigan hitting the right notes with Nordic imagery and the Kuma-tan logo – love the braids and bow tie too!

College t-shirts and plaid shirts

I don’t know about you, but I kind of miss the days when students dressed like this and it was considered rebellious!

I would detail my love for this jumper but the navy is almost exactly identical to my high school uniform – shock horror! Ah, the things I used to get up to with my uniform: shredding the sleeves, adding safety pins to the blazer, making sure I was always wearing a jumper at least three sizes too big… I don’t think Ishizu would approve, and neither did my school!

*A modified version of this article also appears on the Brighton Fashion Week blog – take a look for a more UK-specific notion of the preppy trend*

Tagged with →  
Share →

4 Responses to WC Take Ivy to the Next Level

  1. When I showed a photo of my purple WC sweater (same as the green one above) she said ‘what are you… a Yale student now?’ lol. I also think that the last sweater looks like something straight out of Harry Potter… and that’s part of why I want to buy it.

    Personally I love preppy style, and I think that’s why a lot of the WC stuff is clicking with me lately.

  2. Ah how do I edit comments? What I MEANT to say was ‘when I showed a photo of my purple WC sweater TO MY MOM, she… blah blah blah. lol.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by キャロライン. キャロライン said: RT @tokyo_telephone: WC Take Ivy to the Next Level […]

  4. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Haha, that’s so funny!

    I do like preppy style, but only on other people as it just reminds me of my school uniform a bit too much – it was an all girls school & we had to wear blazers every day and weren’t allowed trousers! Oh, the memories… 😉
    I’d totally work a Hogwarts uniform though!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *