Anyway, in my own perusal of the photos I saw a couple of shots taken in Harvard Square, and since I live nearby I thought it might be fun to recreate them.
J.Press last week.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, no?
There's no denying that J.Press and Andover Shop are vanguards of the Ivy League style, stalwart outfitters who helped invent a way of dressing and continue to stick by it, while somehow managing not to appear dated or downright silly. Unlike the venerable Brooks Brothers, these two saw neither the need for excessive global brand expansion nor the "fashionization" that it seems to have necessitated. One wonders if things might be different had Brooks opened up shop next door to Harvard instead of on Boston's more posh Newbury Street.
I get the impression on looking at these photos that Press and Andover may have had ( or maybe still do) a kind of 'coke-or-pepsi' relationship at one time. It's evident in the buildings themselves.
J.Press is to my mind the more conservative of the two, and it rightly resides in a building that looks as thought it should bear a plaque that says "George Washington slept here". Very old, very Cambridge. Serious and W.A.S.P.-y.
Andover Shop is the place where Miles Davis shopped. The building is an architectural anomaly, a Danish style modernist cube of concrete and glass nestled on narrow old Holyoke Street among old wooden buildings dating back some 200 years. It looks like the kind of place where people listen to jazz and smoke weed after closing time.
Two very different places offering different takes on the same theme. Each place carved out a unique identity long ago and had the fortitude to stick with it, in all their argyle-socked, patchwork-tweed glory. The true testament to what these places mean is the very fact that don't seem 'quaint' in the least. But I'm a fan of this stuff, so maybe I'm a bit biased.