28 May 2009

Part One: Of Clothing, Fashion and Tea

First of all, I would like to thank everyone so very much for the kind words regarding my blog's first ever birthday - thank you! I received a number of questions, in fact far more than I had anticipated. So, rather than trying to answer them all in a single post, I thought I would split them up into parts. Quite a few of the questions really did make me think, and I felt that brief answers would be unable to do the wonderful questions justice. Here are my first set of answers, expect more soon...

Have you always lived in London?

Yes. I was born in St. Thomas' Hospital, which lies just opposite the Houses of Parliament, and I have lived South of the River ever since.

How long have you been interested in fashion?
How old were you when you first became interested in style and fashion?

From the very moment we are aware of ourselves, we have an interest in clothing. In that very moment of self realisation, we will inherently seek to fulfil our desire to be unique, to stand out, to be me.

The fulfilment of this most basic of human desires is easiest done through how we choose to look. Whilst we may have limited choices in the way we wear our hair, and indeed no real choice in how we wear our body parts, we have complete control in how we choose to dress ourselves. Our daily outfit therefore acts as the material extension of our unique selves. However, it is not only an expression of self, but also an expression of how we wish the world to perceive us. As such, I shall say that my interest in clothing started the moment that I was first aware of the concept.

However, my interest in fashion, by which I mean the emergence of trends and the artistically produced styles that influence the way society dresses, probably started in my early teens. My fascination stemmed from two different aspects. The first was the artistic side, the appreciation for beautifully crafted and executed pieces and looks. I suppose I have always had a sentimental appreciation of beauty, whether this be in the form of a colourful sunset or a crushed flower floating in a puddle.

Fashion is more than simply clothing, it is an artistic expression. Indeed, it is one of the most relevant art forms to our daily lives, in that we spend the majority of our time clothed. A daily outfit comes to life only once we wear it, and in essence, the moment we wear a piece we give the clothing a meaning, even if it is only a fleeting one.

I was also fascinated by the cycle of clothing in stores. I seldom buy clothing, however I love window shopping and the joy found in the appreciation of a beautiful piece of clothing. With my frequent window shopping sessions, I became interested in fashion in its more social aspect. I noticed the way new clothing entered the stock in a store, and how the older, yet equally appealing clothing, was reduced in price. They were often thrown unceremoniously into a bargain bucket, deemed as being no longer fashionable. The way that cheap high street fashion works in today's market, is that clothing is made to serve a momentary trend and then become easily disposable. I suppose it was from that point that I began to take an interest in the influences for this behaviour from the fashion world.

What is your plan for your future career?

Although as children we are encouraged to have a dream job, and taught to try and achieve that goal, I have never really had a clear idea of what career I would like to have. When I think of what I want to be when I am older, the only real answer I can come up with is 'happy'. I would like to work for the love of what I do, not simply work as a means to support my family. Provided I am happy with what I am doing, and doing it to the best of my abilities, the other details are not so important.

However I suppose my ideal career would be one in which I am able to write. I think I would be happy if I was able to write, and people were able to take something away from my writing, whether it be factual or simply a different way of thinking. Indeed, I have a certain love of teaching, and I suppose if I could teach through writing it would be enjoyable. As one may be able to tell from this blog, I would certainly love to work in a fashion related field, perhaps in fashion journalism? Regardless, I would love to write books in the future - whether this be in the form of novels or something fashion related? I would like to think both.

What is the story behind the name dapper kid?

To be entirely honest, it was a rather an impulsive decision. I did not really know what to call my blog, and had not actually given any potential names much thought. However, as I was filling out the details on Blogger, I received an email from Facebook, saying that a friend of mine had commented on an old photograph of me. The comment read 'dapper!', and I thought it would make part of a nice name. I did not want a name that was taking the blog too seriously, nor did I want something overly gimmicky, so I ended up with dapper kid.

What is your favourite tea?

As some of you may know, I am somewhat of a tea obsessive, so this is quite a hard question to answer. I suppose I am meant to answer Darjeeling and extol my love for its lightly floral and muscatel experience. However whilst it is true that I adore Darjeeling, I must admit that one of my favourites is actually Flowery Orange Pekoe grade (that being, the whole leaf including tips from a later flush, and fully twisted), black Ceylon tea.

Ceylon tea actually began being grown and cultivated in Sri Lanka after the destruction of the coffee crops by a fungal disease in the the middle to late nineteenth century. It was introduced as a way to fill the void, as it were, created by the lack of coffee for exportation and sale. The full bodied, ambery brew, with its deep and slight caramel flavour, accompanied by the lightest hint of citrus notes, was thankfully to stay and become one of the most important crops grown on the island.

That being said however, my tastes are always changing, and it really does depend on the time of year, the weather that day and my personal feelings. Indeed something such as an Assam is a more comforting a brew on a winter's evening, when one is curled up indoors, with the accompanying rhythm of rain drops pattering against the window. I suppose it comes in as my second favourite currently, although during the colder months it probably takes the first place.

Have you ever visited Norway?

Unfortunately I can not say that I have, but hopefully one day. I have always wanted to take some time out to leave home and just travel to wherever my fancies took me. To be free to explore and meet people whose lives I have never even imagined, and to see beautiful places I have only ever half dreamed of. I would travel to experience the world, not so much to see the tourist spots, but to see and experience everday life. To go to the local markets, to eat at the local cafes, to relax with the local past times, to talk to the local people - to live, even if just for a moment, how they live.

Currently playing: Walkin' - Miles Davis



  1. Working to be happy is a worthy and wise goal. Plus, the universe is more likely to provide for you if you give it such loose parameters!

  2. May I just say that you are probably one of the best (blog or non-blog) writers I've come across? It's so refreshing to read something that has obviously been given a lot of thought and I have no doubt you'll end up being a very sought-after writer!

    Having said that, I really enjoyed reading this Q&A and especially like the answer you gave on why you're interested in fashion. I completely agree with your window shopping notion as well (which partially inspired the idea for my own blog) - I've always been fasinated by the life cycle of an item that can be displayed like a work of art in a flagship, then is reduced to hanging on a bargain rack, later on possibly even an outlet and at some point it may end up squashed in a corner of a vintage store.

    Happy blog-birthday and thank you as always for your in-depth post. I'm looking forward to many more :)

  3. Your blog is so fantastic and i'm really jealous of you 'cause you are living london! I hope I will be there living too in two or three years. Love how you write & oh I forgot to say congrats!

    xx Birgit

  4. Fantastic post...I love the word DAPPER & the 'KID' makes it very sweet & humble! Great duet combo DP! XO*

  5. As true Anglophiles, Cath and I are so jealous of your native London status (we've been a number of times and studied in Scotland, but it's not the same ;).
    I hope that one day you do write a book on men's fashion- we always find your blog so inspiring and eye-opening to new things!
    Happy Blog Birthday, DK!

  6. First, you have lovely handwriting. I really loved this q&a post - it gave me a lot more insight into one of my favorite blogs.
    You have beautiful writing skills, and I wouldn't doubt for minute that you could excel in a writing career.
    Enjoy your day, darling!

  7. can't wait for more answers!!

    and I'm currently obessed with Kusmi teas and I picked up a random brand chocolate/carob chai that is AWESOME.

    Can I throw in a random question since I'm late to the game?

    Do you have a current fragrance that you are coveting (I know we are both scent-obesessed) :)

  8. Love this post! I'm sorry for not leaving any questions though. In the midts of all my exam hell I completely forgot it(:
    On the answer to the third question; I'm sure you'll be great at whatever career you choose, but you do write exceptionally well dear. I'm consumed by your writing here, you have this lovely talent for describing the simplest things, in a way that makes it so engaging to read.
    About visiting Norway. Please let me know if you ever plan on traveling here. I could guide you to all the places worth seeing(not too many places, haha)


  9. i like your photographs!
    your handwriting is lovely

    with love Jessi

  10. Wow, DK! Thanks for this glimpse...

    I love your distinction betweeen clothing and fashion. And your penmanship is simply divine (no surprise there!).

    Can't wait to read your first novel!


  11. What an inspiring post!
    You have such a sweet handwriting! The part about your "job" is just the best. Can I quote it on my blog? Its precisely what I’m feeling at the moment, amazing.
    I have to admit, that when I read blog, I often tend to scroll down to the pictures, and skip most of the text. But I always read everything you write, and I honestly think you got talent! So I would keep writing , because I think you can inspire a lot of people with your writings, and it would be a shame to let it go!

  12. I must say that I couldn't have enjoyed reading this post more :)

    I've always wanted to visit London, for it seems like such a lovely city full of history.

    I love how you differentiated between clothing and fashion. I would have never thought of it that way, yet you make it very clear that they are, indeed, very different.

    You seem so level headed, love. I'm envious! You know what you want, and it's to just be happy. That really is a gift in itself.

    Oooh...tea. I hardly ever get my fix anymore, but I'm an Earl Grey girl :)


  13. I will have to tell my Grandmother what you said, she'll be thrilled.

    Season 4 of the OC? What? Nope never really understood it. lol... Season 1 all the way!!

    Definitely need to take you up on those Tea suggestions! :)

    x, thanks!

  14. You do have a lovely way with words-- agreed! I'm sure you have a bright future ahead of you on the literary or long-form journalism side!

  15. Funny, bc 'dapper' means 'brave' in Dutch.... :)


  16. beautiful handwriting! thanks for answering my question and the explanation of your blog name was interesting and quirky too. have you tried rose petal tea, i would recommend!

  17. i like your answers :) you're definitely a so talented writer!!

  18. Thank your for the wonderful and long answers, I love them! I think I have said this before, but you are a very intelligent and interesting person ^^ Your hand-writing is so lovely! <3

  19. aah lovely interview! Nice handwriting too!

    I always love to read your stories! Keep on with that:D

  20. I agree with everything the previous commenters said about your writing! It's brilliant! I always wish I could write half as good as you! I can definitely see you writing commentary on men's fashion magazines or books and I'm pretty sure some major publication will see your talent! xxoxoxo

  21. whatever you decide with your career, i truly believe writing is a natural talent for you!

  22. i agree with your friend. you always look dapper! i can't think of a better name for this blog. ;)

    click here to visit me at mode junkie!

  23. Ok its official, i got a mancrush on u :o]. U were born to write. Ur ability to use pictures to tell a story is amazing. Love d pen & paper pics.

    I seldom read text on blog , i mostly browse thru but i surprise myself when i read all of ur lengthy text. When ur books roll out i'd have every single copy on my shelf. Godspeed mate!

  24. Great answers. It's great that you live in London, I've always wanted to visit. It's so true what you said about how we look, and what we wear beginning from a young age.

  25. I have something for you on my blog.
    Please go and check it.


    And I’ll be back…

  26. I think "dapper" is a great way to describe. Thoughtful and insightful would also work too!

  27. interesting read about you, and if you ever get the chance to come to norway, come and spend a day or two here in sweden as well :)

  28. You are fabulous. I love how you wrote how we are all aware of clothing at birth...but fashion is something so different.

    And I'm so jealous you're in London.

    Whatever you do, you MUST write. You are so talented and captivating.

    XO, Liz

  29. thanks, darling. what a nice compliment. :)

    as for your blog, wow! i'll fully admit to reading that entire post and loving every second of it. keep it up!


  30. Thank you so much for the note. What a great answer session.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  31. Thanks for answering my question about when you started be interested in fashion! Very well said.

    And you better do something with your writing----you are an amazing writer!! Seriously---amazing!

  32. I LOVE your Q&A!! I was nodding throughout in agreement, esp. with regards to your future career. I feel the exact same way and have yet to find a job that makes me happy. You have a way with words and fashion journalism sounds like a perfect match for you. And the way you came up with your blog name is cute! It certainly fits. :)

    xoxo, Becs

  33. ooo, these are so fun! and you are such a great writer; you should definitely keep it up (:

  34. oh dear, you're a great writer,. i always lookin for your post an cant wait for your comment.

  35. I think you'd make a wonderful writing class teacher..too.

  36. Hey Dapper Kid. Such a fantastic post. I loved reading this Q&A. It was interesting to see your thoughts on the questions asked you. You are a wonderful writer. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I love your blog. I hope you have an amazing weekend. Cheers!

  37. Your eloquency never fails to impress me. Ever.

  38. I can definitely see a men's fashion book in your future!

  39. I love your answers. As always. Several things:

    -Thank you. Reading you enriches my vocabulary and learnt the word 'dapper' thanks to you. (then there was that Pete Doherty song! lol)

    -I absolutely admire and relate to the way you differentiate fashion and clothing. It is something that many people confuse. It's like fashion and shopping. Or trends and style. it's not because you shop a lot, or wear a trend that you will be elegant - sorry dapper! :)

    -I simply cannot believe you are a tea obsessive too. I shall invite you for tea then - my flatmate and I have an adoration for tea and several kitchen drawers full of it haha! My personal favourites are pure white tea and vanilla flavoured black tea in winter.

    Best to you and have a good night! x

  40. happy blog birthday, i adore your writing.

  41. You have gorgeous writing!

  42. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. It's always great to know more about the man behind the (oh-so-lovely blog!)

  43. That's your own handwriting?? Nice!

  44. Immer wieder informativ!