18 September 2009

The Dandy Boys

Ultimate Dandies
Numero Homme
by Karl Lagerfeld

"One should either be a work of Art, or wear a work of Art"
- Oscar Wilde

I have always found it rather regrettable that the Dandy movement of the Regency period seems doomed to stay within the confines of historical caricature. The movement is today most commonly associated with the effeminate and self-absorbed male ranks of comedic creation. Yet for any man with an eye for style and fashion, this luxurious and pivotal period in the history of menswear provides a wealth of inspiration. Indeed I find myself fascinated, if only from a stylistic perspective, of the refinement and elegance of the gentlemen who came to represent this most exceedingly fashion conscious movement.

I think it is interesting to consider such movements alongside what one could perhaps consider as the more contemporary issues within menswear. The masculine identity and its relationship towards clothing certainly underwent a revolution in the twentieth century, the constructs of which arguably still shape the world of menswear today. From the rise of mass production, to the marketing of fashion towards women, to the affluence of the 1950s, to the realisation of the menswear market and the efforts of magazines such as Esquire and Playboy, to the mainstream awareness of men's fashion; the masculine relationship with fashion, along with the identity itself, has undergone tumultuous change.

As such from a historical perspective, the unabashed interests of these men in the delights of fashionable excess is an intriguing one to behold. And yet, there has always been that interest in fashion, even if it were confined only to those upper echelons of society which could afford to pursue it. I suppose that it was the democratisation of clothing which was the most important step to the creation of the fashion industry as we perceive it today. But then again these curious gentlemen certainly played some part in paving the way.

Lord George Gordon Byron
6th Baron Bryon
by Thomas Phillips
1813
(one may note a certain stylistic similarity to one of the editorial shots above)

Robert de Montesquiou
Comte de Montesquiou-Fezensac
by Giovanni Boldini
1897

60 comments:

  1. wow.
    brad kroening is cool.
    and i like your new hair style.
    :-)

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  2. Those photos make my mouth water. If ONLY you fellas were encouraged to dress like that these days ...

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  3. You aren't the only one who regrets that this is limited to history & historical charicature... looking at these images simply makes me swoon. It's definitely a contrast to many of today's men, who wouldn't know what it meant to take care of their appearance if one of those wardrobe reality tv shows did it for them daily...

    Shame. I think if I met a man who dressed like that daily, he'd steal my heart in seconds.

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  4. There is nothing like a well dressed man! Enjoyed this post!

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  5. I admit I didn't read any of this,
    I did however look at the pictures for a good 20 minutes (not that I'm shallow or anything).
    If men wore this today they'd probably be mobbed. By me at any rate.

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  6. great fashion inspiration! i love the fourth picture. dapper, as always! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  7. sometimes I wish I could go back in time :)!!

    Have a great weekend DK!

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  8. i really am planning to give my boyfriend a tophat and cane for christmas. he'd look amazing with it!

    those pictures really are so cool. karl is a genius.

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  9. Oscar would be proud. I wish he were alive now, so that we could hang out.

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  10. it would be nice to go back in time when dressing up is not considered fashion excess.

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  11. wouldn't it be nice to be Dorian Gray, just for a day?

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  12. Bring back high collars & tweed overcoats please!!

    So gorgeous.

    Hope your friday is going well DK!

    XOXO

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  13. I am loving the profile photo, dear. You are definitely dapper. ; )

    And there isn't anything better than referencing Romantic, Old Hollywood and the Society of dressing well. I'm so glad that so many designers look to those eras for inspiration as well!









    x

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  14. I really like this style, but I definitely need a lot of new clothes like these, otherwise it wouldn't work :)

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  15. I do feel like wildly talented and charismatic people can wear and do anything...we accept their strange clothes as just a wonderful eccentricity of theirs.

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  16. These images are stunning. Thanks for sharing! It's odd how dandy is occasionally even used as a derogatory term to describe someone as dressing too effeminate or paying too much attention to clothes. Thanks for the history reminder though. It's true that fashion back then was equally important to the gents and not just a symbol of wealth or rank. Products aimed at men that are considered primarily a field for women (not just fashion, but skincare etc.) are always tough to sell or give a correct 'image', but I honestly don't see why some would have issues embracing this.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend! :)

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  17. wooo..I thought of Lord byron immediately before I saw the portraits near then end. wow. I have to wonder if they lived in a time too where you had to dress up so..just to feel good, you know. Well, I guess we still do.

    Thanks for the note..well, I do have quite a few twist and turns.

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  18. So charming..like from a Jane Austen novel.

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  19. so romantic! Love these. thanks for the note, too.

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  20. I don't think this style will be coming back any time soon but there is something smexy about a man in a suit! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend Hun!

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  21. haha I know, we dont say no to free bars :P
    Really cool shots here !
    Have a great weekend ! =)

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  22. i can see you pulling ALL of these off i swear... and you'd probably look freaking amazing

    BTW I LOVE YOUR NEW PHOTO YOU LOOK HOT!

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  23. i really like this style. i can see you pulling inspiration from these photos.

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  24. I Love the dandy "I don't give a damn cause my cat makes more money then you" look. The colors and looks scream for a bowler cap. I shall achieve this. Bravo Dapperkid

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  25. I just love a man with sideburns.

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  26. i don think we well never found a gentleman that dress like that anymore lol but nice post =]

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  27. oh i absolutely adore those looks. if men dressed liked that in real life i'd be in love all the time.

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  28. Ooo I love all of this fancy mens clothing! so lovely :)

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  29. Swoon, swoon, swoon!!! Why don't more fellas were these wonderful dreamy clothes!! You'd have women fainting in the street for sure.... Fabulous post!!

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  30. Robert de Montesquiou is one of my style icons, eh exuded remarkable finesse when it cam to fashion an style without appearing fastidious

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  31. Ah these are awesome. I love the Dandy look and I can't help but stop and stare when I see people who choose to dress like this. One of the reasons I enjoyed my C19 french art module so much when I was at uni!

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  32. i love the dandy look! i actually have a friend who dresses like this with the top hat and everything!

    x

    www.tittees.blogspot.com

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  33. I adore this style...I would love to dress up my man like on the 5th picture :-) So sexy :-)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, cheers: Evi

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  34. Oh, how I HEART, HEART, HEART this look! Mah-ve-lous, dahling! I, too wish that this was back in style again.....so dashing!

    thanks for sharing!

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  35. I love the tophats very much =]
    and that lupe song is very fresh

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  36. Yes yes yes! These are my kind of men. Thanks for sharing them.

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  37. Love your new profile image honey,i love this era.Men were impeccably and elegantly suited out and it was a delight.
    x
    marian

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  38. I absolutely love these!!! Amazing, Karl Lagerfeld has done it again!

    My man, do u mind if i steal the pictures?

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  39. i love this look, we do see it on the street occasionally - but not enough!

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  40. I need a boy who dresses up like this!!

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  41. Hey there. Great post. One of my favorites you've done.

    I hope you've been having a wonderful weekend. Take care. Cheers!

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  42. Excellent entry - dandy boys rule my heart. I particularly adore the Byron-esque outfit with the headscarf.

    And by the way Dapper, have you cut all your hair off?! You look splendid in your profile picture.

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  43. Love the dandy looks and the models' curly hair in those images. The looks are indeed inspirational.

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    xo, Becs

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  44. Om nom nom... if boys dressed like this now, I don't know if I could contain myself.

    ~Faith

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  45. Those first couple of photos remind me of the characters in Jane Austen's books :)

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  46. the blog looks gorgeous, and you're looking sharp in your new profile pic! keep up the good work. r

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  47. this is an awesome collection of pictures
    it's so hard to find good menswear on blogs, so glad you collected a few in this post!
    xxx

    AlphaBetaChic.blogspot.com

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  48. You know what... it takes effort to be stylish. It's not just about pulling clothes out of a closet and squirming into them. Which is why you don't see men dressed like this any more. I live in a city where dressing well is the last priority in everybody's life. At the risk of sounding shallow - it kills me a little every day.

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  49. That's STYLE! I'd love it if men were still wearing such outfits or at least be a little more creative (don't worry DK! You're the exception!)

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  50. dandies are my favorite, i try to dabble in it myself with a nipped blazer and menswear shirt...
    xo s

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  51. I wish men would dress more like this now!

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  52. OMG. I love this. I might have to get the magazine and frame the photos on my wall. It'd go perfectly with my new decor.

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