This is why I love the Internet – because I can stumble upon an article about ivy-league style, Miles Davis and jazz. On the Ralph Lauren website, no less. There are some great photos that accompany the article (definitely worth a read if you find stories about preppy jazz greats and how they discovered their ‘look’ interesting), including the one above – Miles Davis in a striped tie for a photo shoot, circa 1955.
Sometime around 1954, jazz great Miles Davis walked into the Andover Shop, a small haberdashery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and single-handedly turned the world of style upside down. Just as his groundbreaking album Milestones (celebrating it’s 50th anniversary next year) changed music, that afternoon in Cambridge shifted men’s fashion.
Miles emerged from the store clad head to toe in traditional “Ivy League”–style clothing, and in so doing merged two separate worlds—those of the establishment and the black jazz artist—as if fusing two dissonant notes to create a bold new harmony. The result was a crashing chord of cool that obliterated the line between square and hip, sounding a fashion fortissimo that lasted several years before fading into the silence of pop-culture obscurity.
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Ivy League Jazz: How preppy style influenced a generation of legendary musicians, By Christian M. Chensvold / Ralph Lauren Magazine
Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images