Saturday, September 4, 2010

True Prep

Prep is fashion and art of living. I have written before about Wasp subculture, as that which is both genuine and also, like all other subcultures, a media construction. One of my fascinations with Wasps, my own subculture, is that no other group is as frequently presented to us in media, especially in fashion, and thus is dis-proportionally normalized. Richard Dyer described white as invisible, as so normalized that we have forgotten it's unique values. Fortunately Lisa Birnbach, author of the 1980 Official Preppy Handbook, has released True Prep. While Wasps are still around, as are their perennial fashion classics, there is a different context today than for the first book. It is no longer possible to be naive about identity, especially Waspness. This does not mean we cannot have prep affinity though, just with a bit more grace each generation.

My great great uncle, H. Paul Bartley, 1918

Henry Cotton, 90 years later, Spring 2008

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