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sphoxx
12-17-2006, 07:31 PM
Had an interesting discussion with a friend
today about style and such and the term "dandyism" cropped up in his description
of the direction he perceived my personal style has been taking lately. I'd
remembered reading a couple descriptions of new dandyism around, namely newdandyism.com (http://newdandyism.com/)'s definition and this article (http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/01/17/opinion/rvirile.php) (although a bit old).


What do you guys think of this "development" in men's outlooks towards fashion and lifestyle; is it at all significant? Also, do you think the image of masculinity is changing as well? What got me thinking about this was my friend's comment that "a man should be strong;" in dress and in presentation. For quite some time (and esp. in the USA) interests in fashion/self image/presentation have been considered "feminine." Are/will men reclaim these aspects of lifestyle; or redefine them as masculine in the social eye?
</p>

Servo2000
12-17-2006, 08:21 PM
It's a fascinating topic, but the only thing that I have to contribute at the moment is that I really want that guy's hat. I'll try and offer my thoughts later, but I have a paper to write for the next couple of hours.

Faust
12-17-2006, 08:35 PM
It's a fascinating topic, but the only thing that I have to contribute at the moment is that I really want that guy's hat. I'll try and offer my thoughts later, but I have a paper to write for the next couple of hours.</p>

Me too. Damn Shakespeare, taking away my time from serious thoughts... &lt;arnold&gt;I will be baak.&lt;/arnold&gt;</p>

Faust
12-17-2006, 11:26 PM
Ok, enough Shakespeare for today, let's move on to Wilde. </p>

First of all, the store and the article are talking about two diametrically opposed things. I'm not sure which one you think the new dandyism is... or is it both? The store is pushing same sweatshirts'n'jeans brands that can be found in any pseudo-cool cookie cutter store. Of the brands they champion Rag and Bone is the only one that in my humble opinion has evolved into something a little interesting. The article on the other hands is talking about new interpretations on the suit. </p>

So, I guess I'll just talk about what I think (new) dandyism is... if there actually is such a thing. I don't know. The only new dandyism I see is (mostly indie) rock bands sporting suits. Personally, I think it's fucking ugly, shallow, and pathetic - given the context. A rock musician in a suit is an equivalent of a eunuch. But that goes naturally with what most of these poseurs, led by Pete Doherty, are... poseurs. Give me Sid Vicious, dammit. Give me Trent Reznor. Give me Zach de la Rocha. Give me energy and depth. I'm tired of these Franz Ferdinand girls in suits strumming the same three chords on their badly tuned guitars. Leave them in the corner hugging with Hedi. If these are the new dandies, then we are thoroughly fucked. As the streetwear website says, if dandy first acts differently, assuming that dandy is a rebel, than there will never be a new dandy. Rebellion is over, packaged in a nice slim black suit by Dior Homme and sold for $2.5k at Barneys. Baudelair was a dandy. Oscar Wilde was a dandy. They acted differently first, their dress was secondary. They were rebels who achieved something. Today, the website's definition no longer holds. You can only dress diferently. And even that's hard.</p>

But enough bitching. If you want to talk about new dandyism as a superficial shell, than yes, I think we are witnessing a new wave of dandyism. Men are dressing up, no doubt about it. I visit other forums occassionally, where all that people have in common is owning the same brand of cars. It helps me greatly getting to know and fixing my car, and it also is a great place socio-cultural observations. A lot of those guys don't have a first clue about clothes, but their curiousity has been piqued. If not them, then it's their women who kick them into their suburban nordstroms and banana republics, because they are tired of their men looking like slobs. On Wall St., I am seeing more and more well-fitting suits and daring colors. Granted, we have a ton of British immigrants working here, but it's not all them who bring a bit of style to the finanical industry. The omnipresence of mens magazines is also a clue, as well as a one-new-guy-per-day on the styleforum who asks what the best shoes are. And, oh, what was that stupid show about gay people teaching straight people to be gay? I doubt that would've been successful 10 years ago.</p>

A part of me thinks that maybe straight men are being emancipated? Who knows. I definitely see women influencing men into dressing better, even teenagers. Rappers now rap about Gucci, instead of gin'n'juice, and attend fashion shows. </p>

Anyway, enough rumblings for today. I now know that I don't have a clear answer.
</p>

Servo2000
12-17-2006, 11:59 PM
... if dandy first acts differently, assuming that dandy is a rebel, than there will never be a new dandy. Rebellion is over, packaged in a nice slim black suit by Dior Homme and sold for $2.5k at Barneys. Baudelair was a dandy. Oscar Wilde was a dandy. They acted differently first, their dress was secondary. They were rebels who achieved something. Today, the website's definition no longer holds. You can only dress diferently. And even that's hard...</p>

Faust hit on the thing that most irritated me about the store. While the concept of a "new dandy" is interesting, I don't really know that the moniker of 'dandy' is a good way to describe it. We already know what a 'dandy' is, there isn't even a revolution, it will simply be the revival of old 'dandy' ideas and perhaps aesthetics re-hashed in shallow shells.
</p>

However, I will admit, that there is something interesting conceptually about applying the "old" idea of a dandy (although frankly this old / new dandy distinction is somewhat ridiculous) to a more streetwear-oriented environment. Is it possible to raise 'streetwear' to a level that could be considered dandy-ish? I'm not sure, but I tend to think that it's possible, and that possibility intrigues me. I think that's what the stores "mantra" or whatever was trying to hit on, although frankly I'm sure they were just trying to think of a way to make their selling of, as Faust put it, "the same sweatshirts'n'jeans brands" more interesting than it really probably is. </p>

There is a distinction, in my mind, between dressing well and being an honest-to-goodness dandy that I think the article concentrating on suits missed, so I don't really understand it's relevance even to the understanding of the phenomenon. We'll see, I suppose. Right now is an interesting time in menswear. I don't know if it's going to "save" the United States from it's inherent sloppy-ness, but I think it could raise the bar a little.</p>


... Give me Trent Reznor ... </p>

You never struck me as much of a NIN man, for some reason Faust, for whatever reason. Interesting.</p>

sphoxx
12-18-2006, 12:04 AM
Wow no, I definitely didn't mean the store or the article in particular; I just thought the store had an interesting interpretation of the term. The article is certainly geared towards the mainstream, and doesn't really represent what I'm trying to get at, merely pointing towards the "superficial shell" as you put it.
</p>

I was much more trying to get at the rise of men defining their personal style. Dandyism has historical connotations, but the new awakening of men to take care of/care about their appearances seems to be becoming more public indeed.
</p>

A part of me thinks that maybe straight men are being emancipated? Who
knows. I definitely see women influencing men into dressing better,
even teenagers. Rappers now rap about Gucci, instead of gin'n'juice,
and attend fashion shows. </p>

^^ Precicely, these are the macro trends I'm interested in. I would call a rapper in all his blinged out matching bape hoodie/shoes/watch/belt/boxers/toothbrush as conscious about image as a rocker/franz ferdinand/psudo-rebellious hipster is about his. What they have in common is that awareness of self and what they're trying to say about themselves with their clothes. </p>

The kurts, sids, trents, and zachs of the world, I would imagine, don't really care about clothing or how it impacts their lives. They're style icons precicely because they don't care; that nonchalant-ness is what's so attractive about their style. Genuine, authentic style that comes from a lifestyle of art can never be replicated, it can only inspire others to carve out their own paths (which is what I suppose the "true" new dandy would do, if it exists). Those that mimic will always be those that mimic...
</p>

fixoid
12-18-2006, 12:25 AM
The term seems like something fabricated by shallow fashion jornalists to appease their foul gods.
</p>

I thought new http://newdandyism.com/ was high snobiety attempting to remove its proboscis from the atrophying corpse of streetwear and find a new host. i guess the arragment of links was deceptive.</p>

Anyhow, http://www.dandyism.net/ is much more fun. It is a pity that one has to register to view the forums now.</p>

If this does achieve any traction, I hope someone manages to resurrect cravats.

</p>

Faust
12-18-2006, 10:16 AM
Servo, I'm a huge NIN admirer for 12years. I've never related to anyone so much (as far as music goes, that is). I've been to 3 concerts, and I was going to go to my 4th in London in March, but unfortunately financial and academic situation does not allow for a vacation until I'm done with my master's thesis...

Faust
12-18-2006, 10:23 AM
A part of me thinks that maybe straight men are being emancipated? Who
knows. I definitely see women influencing men into dressing better,
even teenagers. Rappers now rap about Gucci, instead of gin'n'juice,
and attend fashion shows. </p>

^^ Precicely, these are the macro trends I'm interested in. I would call a rapper in all his blinged out matching bape hoodie/shoes/watch/belt/boxers/toothbrush as conscious about image as a rocker/franz ferdinand/psudo-rebellious hipster is about his. What they have in common is that awareness of self and what they're trying to say about themselves with their clothes. </p>

The kurts, sids, trents, and zachs of the world, I would imagine, don't really care about clothing or how it impacts their lives. They're style icons precicely because they don't care; that nonchalant-ness is what's so attractive about their style. Genuine, authentic style that comes from a lifestyle of art can never be replicated, it can only inspire others to carve out their own paths (which is what I suppose the "true" new dandy would do, if it exists). Those that mimic will always be those that mimic...
</p>

</p>

Absolutely. Celebrity today has united with other industries to fuck an average consumer out of his money, and rappers/indie rockers are no exception. Dior Homme dresses Franz Ferdinand for free, just like Gucci dresses Jennifer Lopez, just like Nigo dresses Pharrell (whoever the fuck that is). I think for celebs it's a power trip - they get off on that shit; it allows them to think they run the world.</p>

I don't know what will be next. Hopefully something good. Cloak was good, made a splash. I think Alex tried to do a new dandy thing - it defintely comes through in his clothes, and in the whole design of his store, and he never made an obvious reference to anyone the way Slimane did. As far as someone making a cultural impact coupled with a style impact - I am not sure.
</p>

sphoxx
12-18-2006, 04:15 PM
As far as someone making a cultural impact coupled with a style impact - I am not sure.</p>

Yeah, you made some good points about indie designers in this thread (/forums/thread/3020.aspx); I'd imagine (and hope) they're the future. </p>

As for the dandyism thing, I agree w/servo that it's not really the proper label for what the symptom I was looking at. "Dandyism" as applied to streetwear on the site, and applied to the psudo-rebel rock in the article, hints at the idea that whatever underlying philosophy (or mentality) of conscious dressing could apply to any lifestyle clique/tribe. The "new" dandy is perhaps a hip-hop dandy, a rock dandy, a pop dandy, a streetwear dandy, or high fashion dandy (perhaps the origional embodyment). We have brands that're making products that cater to every aspect of a particular group's lifestyle; and the men that want to replicate the icons that pioneered that lifestyle (perhaps a sid or zach) seek to identify though being the "dandy" of their clique (rapper - buy that Jacob watch, rocker - buy that dior suit, etc). <span style="font-style: italic;"></span>
</p>

Servo2000
12-19-2006, 01:48 AM
As far as someone making a cultural impact coupled with a style impact - I am not sure.</p>

Yeah, you made some good points about indie designers in this thread (/forums/thread/3020.aspx); I'd imagine (and hope) they're the future. </p>

As for the dandyism thing, I agree w/servo that it's not really the proper label for what the symptom I was looking at. "Dandyism" as applied to streetwear on the site, and applied to the psudo-rebel rock in the article, hints at the idea that whatever underlying philosophy (or mentality) of conscious dressing could apply to any lifestyle clique/tribe. The "new" dandy is perhaps a hip-hop dandy, a rock dandy, a pop dandy, a streetwear dandy, or high fashion dandy (perhaps the origional embodyment). We have brands that're making products that cater to every aspect of a particular group's lifestyle; and the men that want to replicate the icons that pioneered that lifestyle (perhaps a sid or zach) seek to identify though being the "dandy" of their clique (rapper - buy that Jacob watch, rocker - buy that dior suit, etc). <span style="font-style: italic;"></span>
</p>

</p>

But is that really a new development? It seems to me that more or less as far back as I can remember, there have always been "the rappers," "the punks," etc... who obviously always had their respective commercial outlets, and followed fashions set by the group and by big names. What exactly is the new development that we're seeing? Is it even a new development? </p>

It seems to me that in this sense, it is not. There have always been people very concerned with their appearances in relation to these particular 'scenes,' it seems to me. Maybe to a more intense, and more pricey, degree now than ever before, but that's more an evolution than anything new, the way I see it.
</p>

I'm not disagreeing so much as driving at really trying to see what is it that might be different, for better or worse, now than it ever was? Like what was said earlier, people, men especially, are becoming concerned with 'fashion' and improving ones appearance once again, but that does not intersect, in my mind, with the concept we're approaching here. </p>

Is it a development in the personalities and understanding of 'taste' and 'style' to a higher degree, or is it more of a development of the ability of these lifestyle brands to penetrate our lives, and our conciousness (and our wallets)? I think it might be a bit of both.</p>

Sorry for rambling, maybe someone will understand what I'm getting at, maybe I'll try and edit / refine this later, I'm incredibly tired and that's just what came out when I started typing, which is probably a poor way of doing things.</p>

Also, Faust, it's nice to see other NIN fans (I'm a sucker for the Reznor, despite my expiremental tendencies). I've been an admirer for about six years now, two concerts so far. Good times.
</p>

sphoxx
12-19-2006, 02:16 AM
^^ You're right, it's not that new; perhaps its just becoming more visable. But what is kind of progressive is the meshing that happens at the top of the respective industries (rappers at fashion shows, celeb designers). Seems any lifestyle can be marketed these days, as long as there's a demographic to support it. Definitely not all pretty, but at least the landscape's shifting.
</p>

cto
12-19-2006, 10:40 PM
Although the thread is gotten a bit off track, I find the topic of a "new" dandyism to be very interesting. Dandy is a word that for a long time dissappeared and now it seems to be reemerging in everyday vinacular.

I think the newdandyism.com (http://newdandyism.com/) site comes w/ a unique point of view. Many people that are begining to call themselves modern day dandies are using outdated qualifiers. Their likening themselves to Oscar Wilde or Beau Bremmel, but if they were true modern day dandies or new dandies, comparing themselves to these figures of the past makes it clear that they aren't dandies at all, just emulating an old model. Even the two mentioned iconic dandies had so little in common other than how they were viewed and how unique they were for the periods they lived.</p>

It's about creating a unique perspective, personality, and style. Creating a new standard. </p>

As for the brands that the newdandyism store plans on selling... who's to say that a "new" dandy couldn't pull from these labels. Many of the brands they are carrying are not run of the mill. Even the two streetwear type brands they are selling, call of the wild and wood wood, are very well made, great quality, and have unique stories. And you can't say much wrong about Rag&amp;Bone and Nicholas K.
</p>

Faust
12-20-2006, 09:34 AM
You can only dress differently. And even that's hard.

faust your comment interests me...it got me wondering awhile, trying to see if i could remember artists who could be on the other side of your statement - "authentics" whose style was an extension of their art, rather than the basis for it. one group i immediately thought of was radiohead, one of my favourite bands (i don't go for much rock in part because i'm more of a jazz person...but when i do i head for the pink floyd and radiohead a large part of the time). but there is no radiohead "look" - you can't really say "hey, you're copping that radiohead look" and expect to be understood in the same as if you'd said instead "you look like an indie rocker". because this is radiohead

http://www.maximum.ru/img/artists/photo/radiohead.jpg

and so is this and this

http://sineadgleeson.com/blog/wp-images/radiohead.jpg http://www.ticketpirate.com/images/secondary/radiohead-tickets-2.gif

and most tellingly so is this

http://www.frontrowking.com/concerts/radiohead/radioh1.jpg

if anything the band seems to dress down, turning up on stage looking like they were just playing a gig for a mate's birthday at a bar just down the street, slightly scruffy and a little uncomfortable under the glare of the lights, with that awkward stance...visually, externally, there is no indication of their genius until they begin to play. is this the "rock rebel" of our age?
</p>

Well, it's hard to say anything with a style so non-descript like jeans and tshirs. I mean, what would you say about radiohead style? is it something immediately discernable? Based on the pictures you posted, I would say no. Maybe there are more telling pictures?
</p>

Faust
12-20-2006, 09:50 AM
As far as someone making a cultural impact coupled with a style impact - I am not sure.</p>

Yeah, you made some good points about indie designers in this thread (/forums/thread/3020.aspx); I'd imagine (and hope) they're the future. </p>

As for the dandyism thing, I agree w/servo that it's not really the proper label for what the symptom I was looking at. "Dandyism" as applied to streetwear on the site, and applied to the psudo-rebel rock in the article, hints at the idea that whatever underlying philosophy (or mentality) of conscious dressing could apply to any lifestyle clique/tribe. The "new" dandy is perhaps a hip-hop dandy, a rock dandy, a pop dandy, a streetwear dandy, or high fashion dandy (perhaps the origional embodyment). We have brands that're making products that cater to every aspect of a particular group's lifestyle; and the men that want to replicate the icons that pioneered that lifestyle (perhaps a sid or zach) seek to identify though being the "dandy" of their clique (rapper - buy that Jacob watch, rocker - buy that dior suit, etc). <span style="font-style: italic;"></span>
</p>

</p>

But is that really a new development? It seems to me that more or less as far back as I can remember, there have always been "the rappers," "the punks," etc... who obviously always had their respective commercial outlets, and followed fashions set by the group and by big names. What exactly is the new development that we're seeing? Is it even a new development? </p>

It seems to me that in this sense, it is not. There have always been people very concerned with their appearances in relation to these particular 'scenes,' it seems to me. Maybe to a more intense, and more pricey, degree now than ever before, but that's more an evolution than anything new, the way I see it.
</p>

I'm not disagreeing so much as driving at really trying to see what is it that might be different, for better or worse, now than it ever was? Like what was said earlier, people, men especially, are becoming concerned with 'fashion' and improving ones appearance once again, but that does not intersect, in my mind, with the concept we're approaching here. </p>

Is it a development in the personalities and understanding of 'taste' and 'style' to a higher degree, or is it more of a development of the ability of these lifestyle brands to penetrate our lives, and our conciousness (and our wallets)? I think it might be a bit of both.</p>

Sorry for rambling, maybe someone will understand what I'm getting at, maybe I'll try and edit / refine this later, I'm incredibly tired and that's just what came out when I started typing, which is probably a poor way of doing things.</p>

Also, Faust, it's nice to see other NIN fans (I'm a sucker for the Reznor, despite my expiremental tendencies). I've been an admirer for about six years now, two concerts so far. Good times.
</p>

</p>

Awesome (about NIN) [Y]</p>

I think I understand what you are saying. The big difference today is that the rappers go for luxury stuff - it's a new phenomenon, at least clotheswise. Look at 90's hip hop videos, they are all about ghetto, the hood, gangs, etc. These days it's my $10 mil crib with bitches shaking their asses in Gucci panties. You kind of alluded it yourself in your post, actually. Honestly, 10 years ago, could you see Naughty by Nature at a fashion show? Another difference is that as far as I know Run-DMC never got paid by Adidas to wear those 3-stripe suits they are visually famous for.</p>

Punk is actually a wonderful example of what I was talking about, thanks for bringing it up. There was NO such clothes at the time the Sex Pistols came around, they had to (re)make everything themselves. Vivienne Westwood was hanging out with them at the time via her husband, Malcolm McLaren, and when she saw how the Pistols dress, she decided to make that into a clothing line. There were no plaid punk pants back then, no studded MC jackets, and other stuff like that. That's how new clothes are born! Westwood took what was already there, interpreted it in her own way, and as punk bands got richer and became hip her market expanded. And now punk has been made all neat and cute by the upper middle class children. Go into Trash and Vaudeville in the east village and look at the prices. What punk kid in the 70s could pay $150 for a pair of pants? (I'm not even talking about those ubiquitous ramones tshirts, that's a whole different kitsch story).
</p>

Faust
12-20-2006, 10:04 AM
if we take away the affectations that the store seems to me to be putting on, i would be very interested as a customer. but trying to push the whole dandy notion as the basis for your stock is no better than giving a boutique a "rock star" theme. i guess if it was a B&amp;M store it might work better, with the idea communicated more subtly through decor and visual design rather than words.
</p>

</p>

exactly.</p>

CTO, when we point to Wilde and Baudelair - we allude not to the way they dressed, but to their attitude. So, I would imagine noone here is going to put on Baudelaire's coat-tails, or Wilde's fur coats. We've been mostly discussing the attitude.</p>

Perhaps we should define dandy anew? Obviously M-W's definition 1 : a man who gives exaggerated attention to personal appearance - is incomplete. I would say: a man who gives exaggerated attention to personal appearance as a manifestation of his personality.
</p>

cto
12-20-2006, 11:03 AM
tweedlesinpink... my point isn't that men are trying dress like the dandies of the past, it is that they are trying to act like them. But if you look at the history of dandies, their style and attitudes have changed through the eras up until the '70's or so, ending w/ Terrance Stamp, when dandyism all but died. Not every dandy dressed the same in each era, that would go against what a dandy is. History only remembers the most iconic. Therefore we picture every dandy to fit that model when in fact they were all different.</p>

I also feel everyone's being a bit critical of this store. Should they have named the store, "Men's Clothing Store". What successful store doesn't have a unique perspective and "brand" that separates it from the competition. Also being that the store only has a "coming soon" page up at the moment, how are we to know what lays ahead. I seriuosly doubt they will be hitting people over the head w/ that message on a store homepage.</p>


</p>


</p>

laika
12-20-2006, 11:42 AM
Great topic, awesome contributions.



I would add that when Baudelaire and Wilde were writing, "fashion," as
we know it, was a fairly new phenomenon. (Fashion existed b/f the 19th
c. of course, but not in its modern incarnation.) I think the newness
of it all made B &amp; W very sensitive to the dangers and seductions
of the fashion system/industry. At the same time, they both knew
clothes were hugely significant in shaping modern social experience,
etc. So important, that Wilde went so far as to start designing.
("If you cannot be a work of art, wear a work of art")


I think the biggest disconnect between dandyism and new dandyism is
that the original dandies were anti-fashion in a profound way, whereas
the so-called new dandies are all fashion. Franz Ferdinand in the
newest DH suits is the absolute antithesis of the Sex Pistols, who wore
there clothes until they were falling apart (hence the safety pins).
As for Radiohead, I don't think they are so much anti-fashion, as
simply dismissive of the whole phenomenon. Good for them, I say. But
not caring isn't really revolutionary.



Faust, I think your proposed definition of the dandy is interesting,
but I must respectfully disagree with it. True dandyism, I think, is
not about personality, but about trying to change society by
being/making a work of art. If we get rid of this revolutionary
stance, I think the concept is empty.</p>

Really enjoying this discussion so much--this is really what zeitgeist is all about, I think. </p>

</p>

Faust
12-20-2006, 12:05 PM
Great topic, awesome contributions.



I would add that when Baudelaire and Wilde were writing, "fashion," as
we know it, was a fairly new phenomenon. (Fashion existed b/f the 19th
c. of course, but not in its modern incarnation.) I think the newness
of it all made B &amp; W very sensitive to the dangers and seductions
of the fashion system/industry. At the same time, they both knew
clothes were hugely significant in shaping modern social experience,
etc. So important, that Wilde went so far as to start designing.
("If you cannot be a work of art, wear a work of art")


I think the biggest disconnect between dandyism and new dandyism is
that the original dandies were anti-fashion in a profound way, whereas
the so-called new dandies are all fashion. Franz Ferdinand in the
newest DH suits is the absolute antithesis of the Sex Pistols, who wore
there clothes until they were falling apart (hence the safety pins).
As for Radiohead, I don't think they are so much anti-fashion, as
simply dismissive of the whole phenomenon. Good for them, I say. But
not caring isn't really revolutionary.



Faust, I think your proposed definition of the dandy is interesting,
but I must respectfully disagree with it. True dandyism, I think, is
not about personality, but about trying to change society by
being/making a work of art. If we get rid of this revolutionary
stance, I think the concept is empty.</p>

Really enjoying this discussion so much--this is really what zeitgeist is all about, I think. </p>

</p>

</p>

Yes! Can't thank spoxx enough for starting the thread. </p>

Hmm, I think like your definition. The only trouble I see with it is exclusivity (I guess we could have one dandy per generation, or something)... which is maybe fine - I mean it fits in the context of ourd discussion.</p>

However, now that I think about it, would you call Kurt Cobain a dandy? It seems like he did not give a crap about what he wore, it was just picked up and imitated all the way to Marc Jacobs. OR, he could've been really clever about puting the "non-caring" look together. I once said that dressing down is as much of a fashion statement as dressing up, and I firmly believe in that.
</p>

Johnny
12-20-2006, 12:15 PM
<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">V interesting discussion - has got me thinking....<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>


<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Laika - are we talking about Wilde or S Vicious being an original dandy? I don't see them both being that. So yes The Pistols were anti-fashion (although this partly depends on your definition of fashion), but surely Wilde was not (although, again, see above caveat). I agree with one of the previous posters that the concept of "new dandyism" is daft, especially if it's supposed to mean wearing print tees with slightly bright lettering. That's not dandyism, although there may be elements of dandyism in it, in terms of conceptual influence. To me a dandy is kind of hard to describe but you'd know one when you see it! It involves a degree of homage to classicism (cravats and poplin shirts, not woven dunks andbeanies), a requirement for quality and a confidence based on being care-free about trends and modernity (there is I think a "retro-ness" to it). It must be about fashion, in a broad sense, although not necessarily (and indeed intrinsically not) about beingfashionable. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>


<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Men are more interested in how they look now, but in the UK at least, and in the mainstream at least, that has only resulted in metrosexualism - the ridiculous sight of guys standing in packs with their Becks bottles being as hetro as they possibly could imagine, but with the most ridiculously effete asymmetrical bleach blonde haircuts (that of course Wilde would have considered beyond vulgar!) and pink polo shirts. It's sort of what the first website mentioned above is promoting (and no less so simply because it states that it has moved on from metrosexualism). Loomstate and Rag n Bone might be to some degree more sophisticated thanTopman, but will not a dandy make.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>


<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">By the way, I've seen Thom Yorke wearing comme and junya, both of which certainly have classical dandy elements to their collections for men, but somehow modernised(tailcoats ingarment dyed polyester, denim jackets in morning trouserfabrics, etc). If there is a truly "modern dandy" group of designers (as opposed to the classicism of say Lanvin or YSL), cdg may be it.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P mce_keep="true"></P>

laika
12-20-2006, 01:28 PM
<span style="font-weight: bold;">Faust</span>, I see your point. I
didn't mean revolutionary in the sense of "original" though. I think
just taking up the "anti" stance; and drawing a sharp distinction
between "fashion" and clothing/ornament/style (fighting the former with
the latter) is possibly revolutionary. What I am saying is somewhat
akin to what you wrote on the homepage for SZ.


As for Cobain...I'll answer <span style="font-weight: bold;">Johnny</span>
along the way....I meant Wilde, not Sid/Rotten as the original
dandy. (I do think Wilde was anti-fashion though; just not anti-style.) I'm not sure how purposeful the Sex Pistols were in their
subversion-by-style, so it might be inappropriate to call them dandies
at all. They were definitely originals though, and I would probably
call the punks who imitated them dandies. (Seems like a contradiction,
but I think it's right...need to work it out better). So, by that
logic, I suppose you could say that Cobain was a dandy. But on the
other hand, while I agree with you, Faust, that dressing down is a
fashion statement, it's precisely the fact that it is a "fashion"
statement that makes it not anti-fashion. It's a reaction to the
system, but it doesn't try to change the system.

Johnny, I like your description....I hadn't thought about
there being a a specific modern dandy style. I guess I was thinking
dandyism is more a certain attitude towards clothing.

cto
12-20-2006, 06:56 PM
<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> I agree with one of the previous posters that the concept of "new dandyism" is daft, especially if it's supposed to mean wearing print tees with slightly bright lettering. That's not dandyism, although there may be elements of dandyism in it, in terms of conceptual influence. To me a dandy is kind of hard to describe but you'd know one when you see it! It involves a degree of homage to classicism (cravats and poplin shirts, not woven dunks andbeanies), a requirement for quality and a confidence based on being care-free about trends and modernity (there is I think a "retro-ness" to it). It must be about fashion, in a broad sense, although not necessarily (and indeed intrinsically not) about beingfashionable. <o:p></o:p></span></p>

</p>

Johnny makes some good points, but again I think we are judging what a "new" dandy is from a historical point of view. It's definitely not a homage to classicism. Possibly the most iconic dandy ever, Beau Brummell, was completely ahead of his time. He was one of the first men of note to shed his powdered wig, and pioneered his personal style of trousers over
knee breeches when everyone else was doing the opposite. And because it's all history now, we can see how a whole society eventually followed suit. Can this happen today? Probably not. Trends and cultural shifts just happen too quickly. But I think people can still be a dandy. Affecting all society is not a requirement, as there were more dandies than we know by name. But that does not mean they weren't.</p>

newdandyism.com (http://newdandyism.com/)'s veiw on it is completely valid in this context. I think we live in a different world today and the issues of our day are much different. Between increasing global warming and infringments on our civil liberties by the state we have much more to worry about. If you viewed their column you'd see that they are promoting not just fashion but a sustainable future and political point of view. All there labels seem to have some connection to nature or hand craftmenship, and they seem to be promoting labels like Loomstate and Howies (which they don't carry) which are both completely organic. How many stores promote a brand they don't even sell? </p>

Who knows, 50 years down the line someone wearing a Call of the Wild shirt and Rag&amp;Bone denim in some new combination and personality could be considered a dandy. Only history will tell us.

</p>

cto
12-21-2006, 07:44 AM
additionally... I give the store credit for not doing another typical street brand website w/ a street art, paint splattered, and bright colored motif. It's nice to see a clean brand image directed towards young men.

destroyed
12-21-2006, 09:22 AM
suprised there has been no mention of lord whimsy yet: www.lordwhimsy.com</p>

there's been a surge of dandyism in philadelphia during the past four or five years; to be expected for a city steeped in history;
the now defunct philadelphia independent newspaper (rip) signaled the start, IMO.</p>

</p>

another reference: </p>

grant morrison's Sebastian O (1993), it should be more popular now than ever, morrison stays about 10 years ahead of the curve:</p>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_O</p>

Faust
01-29-2007, 01:46 PM
I was reading Roland Barthes over the weekend, and I liked his description of dandyism. He basically equated dandyism with modernism in art. It was the distancing of the aristocrat and the intellectual from the masses. Since after the French revolution the masses borrowed their non-descript baggy-raggy dress from the English Quackers, the dandy needed to do just the opposite. Barthes is not afraid to say that if the masses started to dress in smoking jackets, you would see a dandy dressed in rags. So I guess a certain polish is not neccessary. I guess Barthes got that part from the hippies, from whom the hipsters have borrowed their carefully calculated scruffiness.

matthewhk
01-29-2007, 04:43 PM
I was reading Roland Barthes over the weekend, and I liked his description of dandyism. He basically equated dandyism with modernism in art. It was the distancing of the aristocrat and the intellectual from the masses. Since after the French revolution the masses borrowed their non-descript baggy-raggy dress from the English Quackers, the dandy needed to do just the opposite. Barthes is not afraid to say that if the masses started to dress in smoking jackets, you would see a dandy dressed in rags. So I guess a certain polish is not neccessary. I guess Barthes got that part from the hippies, from whom the hipsters have borrowed their carefully calculated scruffiness.
</p>

That part about a dandy being dressed in rags if everyone else was suited up is a good point...for me, a dandy isn't so much the clothing itself, but like you said earlier the clothing within the cultural context of the times. Hence, I would not consider rock bands dressing in DH or a rapper in Bathing Ape dandies, as they are the product of the mainstream ideal (perhaps some of these people may have started such trends, but by creating something that has so quickly and easily been immersed into the mainstream, I would not consider it dandy-ism). I was reading that book "The Art of Seduction" and there's a mention of the dandy personality as being one of the key seducer archetypes...and what i got from it was a point i agree with: dandyism is about being subversive to what is being pushed as the acceptable status quo. Perhaps while the outward expression of this is an important factor, it is secondary to having a mentality that is naturally inclined to such kind of thought.
</p>

</p>

Thus I'd say there can be many dandies in today's society, heck i'd say everyone has the capacity to be a dandy if they are equipped with the mentality and personality that genuinely wants to go against the grain. Not just as a statement for the sake of rebellion, but out of a genuine need to express themselves as positioned outside of the norm. I'd say for today, what I would consider dandy would be someone who is going against the idea of fit and perfection...a lot of fashion I see nowadays on and offline seems preoccupied with everything having to be perfect fitting, matching up in terms of shape, everything feels so structured and well defined. I think the whole premium/Japanese denim wave is a good example of this. To subvert that, to not give a care about that kind of convention and think in terms of more fluid concepts would be a dandy mentality to me. </p>


Finally, I also think that to be a dandy, it can't be calculated at all. As a matter of fact I think a distaste for calculation and deliberation is a necessary prerequisite. I see dandy as not so much being fashionable as being anti-fashion, but within a context of fashion, if that makes any sense...i'm not sure it does, i think i'm rambling at this point so i'll stop lol
</p>

sphoxx
01-29-2007, 09:04 PM
Great last two posts; my copy of barthes is still in the mail, weigh in when I get a chance on his writings. matt, I definitely agree it's an inward mentality. It's more of an emotion, or subconscious response, than, like you said, a calculated, deliberated series of actions and corresponding mindset. </p>


Your "anti-fashion" within the realm of fashion does make sense; the true dandy should serve as an avant guard countermeasure to the mainstream. Kind of a cosmic style checks and balances, haha. Always one step ahead, perhaps criticized by the current mainstream for being so, yet ultimately leads/sways the popular opinion of "fashionable" over time through demonstration. The public paradigm shifts, and the dandy seeks to re/create style again. Its not so mechanical as that; I'd see it in the dialogic sense of perpetual evolution.
</p>

sphoxx
02-01-2007, 09:26 PM
Write up on fashion156.com:</p>

</p>

Fine and Dandy</p>

by Amber Jane Butchart

"Was there a time before the
phrases ?men?s fashion? and ?dandy? were inextricably linked? You?d be
forgiven for thinking not. Spanning the last few years from Hedi
Slimane to Russell Brand, the dandy has become to the noughties what
Metrosexual was to the late nineties. It?s a media conflation; a
boil-in-the-bag description of any men?s trend involving a silk scarf
or tight trousers.



But this is a common misconception of what Dandyism truly means.
Everyone is familiar with the name of Beau Brummell ? due to the
abundance of articles fabling his rise and fall in Regency London,
sparked by the return to more formal dress in men?s trends that have
been so frequently mislabelled as the Dandy influence. But if truth be
told, the strutting peacock looks of flowing scarf, billowing shirt and
spray-on jeans have more in common with the Dandy?s adversary and
predecessor, the Macaroni. Indeed, ?nothing too tight or too
fashionable? was Brummell?s mantra. The Macaronis were the flamboyant
eighteenth century characters who wore towering powdered wigs and
extravagant silks and were ridiculed by caustic Georgian satirists such
as Horace Walpole. In fact, hair became so outlandish that in 1795 the
Prime Minister put a tax on hair powder in the hope that it would
generate much revenue for the state ? Russell Brand beware?



The Dandies, in response to such foppish behaviour ? which was often
associated with homosexual subcultures in Regency London ? developed
their own set of sartorial codes, headed by the infamous Brummell. A
man?s attire was no longer intended to draw attention to the wearer,
the idea being that a supreme cut and high quality fabric were the mark
of a true gentleman and should take the place of overt ostentation and
vulgar ornamentation. And while Brummell can be credited with inventing
the cravat, his was a formal affair of white starched linen rather than
the faded skull-print scarves that are ubiquitous on the ?urban
Dandies? who cruise the streets of Shoreditch.



It is in these details that the first connections with current men?s
trends can truly be drawn. As men become more discerning consumers,
sartorial details and superior materials are becoming more important.
Men's wear is being increasingly tapped into by the luxury markets, and
Savile Row is becoming a Mecca to a generation of young men who aspire
to dress to impress ? far removed from the dressed-down Britpop and
grunge styles of the nineties. Vintage clothing is also being bought by
men in increasing numbers, attracted to the finer details of
hand-finished garments and soft fabrics such as gabardine and rayon. So
finally - just as it is about to be overtaken on the High Street by the
acid colours of street-wear inspired New Rave styles - the Dandy
moniker is at last becoming relevant to men?s trends."
</p>

Faust
02-02-2007, 09:37 AM
/\ A for the effort, but I think she got a few things wrong.</p>

1. Metrosexuals is a 00 (or naughties, as she calls them) phenomenon, sorry. Yes, it was coined in the 90's, but noone used it till 00's.
</p>

2. The flashy stuff she describes as people wanting to be Dandy is called Eurotrash, that's common knowledge.</p>

3. My impression of London youth through observation (very limited of course) on the street in Mayfair at night, and in a what was supposed to be a pretty exclusive club (did not seem so to me) was that jeans and sneakers are de rigeur - so I am not sure if it's wishful thinking on the author's part. Same thing in NYC actually. 10 years ago there was no way in hell you would be getting into a club in jeans. So, if anything, things are getting more streety. The biggest trend I see is not that sartorial details are coming back, but that jeans and sneakers are getting more expensive and therefore acceptable. It's pathetic, really - it just shows that a measure of exclusivity is money and not style.</p>

P.S. The biggest sartorial effort I am seeing is Gieves from Gieves &amp; Hawkes and Spencer Hart, neither of which she mentions.
</p>

Avantster
11-03-2007, 08:36 AM
I cam across this article in a blog the other day and thought it could re-ignite the discussion here.
</p>




<a title="115096342715054438" class="" name="115096342715054438"></a>


<blockquote><h3 class="post-title">

The dandy is in the detail (Tuesday, June 27, 2006)</h3>

</p>

By Mel Campbell</p>

http://footpathzeitgeist.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html</p>

</p>http://pics.nownow.com.au/_resource/galleryimage/00000297-fullsize.jpg
Meccanoid website launch, Melbourne, 9 June 2006. Image from NowNow Pics (http://pics.nownow.com.au/).

Last week I was catching up on my reading and noticed that <span style="font-weight: bold;">Roland Barthes</span> was not in fact killed by a laundry truck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Barthes) in 1980, because he had written this article (http://www.theage.com.au/news/fashion/the-dandy-art-of-dress/2006/06/08/1149359884465.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1) for <span style="font-style: italic;">The Age</span>. But it turns out <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes </span>is freelancing from beyond the grave, as this is an extract from a new collected volume of essays entitled Roland Barthes: The Language of Fashion (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19233791-12332,00.html). I find it compelling and heartening that <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>, the godfather of semiotics, was overwhelmed by the prospect of studying street style. As <span style="font-style: italic;">The Australian</span> remarks:
<blockquote>

Said <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>:
"Originally I had planned to study real clothing, worn by everyone in
the street. I gave up." He protested that fashion was too complex - "it
deploys a number of 'substances': the material, photography, language"
- and the science of its analysis was too young. </p>

And so this
pioneer had decided to confine himself to the study of a single, pure
substance: "fashion clothing as it is refracted through the written
language of specialist magazines".</p> </blockquote>

But I am interested in the subject of the <span style="font-style: italic;">Age </span>extract: <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>'s thoughts on the phenomenon of the dandy art of dress. When we think of dandies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandy),
we think of a historical yet strangely a-historicised phenomenon. It's
historical because there is a commonsense understanding that dandies
are supposed to look 'old-fashioned'; yet it's a-historicised because
people tend to associate dandyishness with an over the top, camp
fashion aesthetic, when during the height of the dandy phenomenon in
the late 18th and early 19th century, these OTT fellas were more likely
to be fops.
</p>

But it's deliberate that I've including this
picture of the spastic hipster looking what many people would call
"dandyish". Because I want to mull over whether there is something
dandyish about hipsters: in the way they fetishise aesthetic
individualism; in the way the dandy was said to cultivate a detached
and sceptical manner, much as hipsters are identified with a relentless
irony. I was struck by the observation made by the novelist <span style="font-weight: bold;">George Meredith</span>, who once defined cynicism as "intellectual dandyism".
</p>

However, <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes </span>makes
it clear that he is bracketing the rest of dandy culture and
concentrating solely on the clothes. First, he talks about the notion
of distinction and what it implies for the 'reading' of clothes.</p><blockquote>A
distinguished man is a man who marks himself off from the crowd using
modest means, but it is a means whose power, which is a kind of energy,
is immense. Since, on the one hand, his aim is to be recognised only by
his peers, and on the other, this recognition relies essentially on
details, the distinguished man adds to the uniform of his century a
number of discreet signs (that is, those that are both barely visible
and yet not in keeping with the outfit), which are no longer
spectacular signs of a condition that is openly adopted but the simple
signs of a tacit agreement. Indeed, distinction takes the signalling
aspect of clothes down a semi-clandestine path: for, on the one hand,
the group that reads its signs is a limited one, on the other the signs
necessary for this reading are rare and, without a particular knowledge
of the new vestimentary language, perceptible only with difficulty.</blockquote>At first this reads like a very straightforward, <span style="font-weight: bold;">Bourdieuian </span>analysis (and bear in mind that <span style="font-weight: bold;">Bourdieu </span>was probably conducting his first Parisian fieldwork while <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes </span>was writing): a distinguished man distinguishes himself through the cultural capital that determines his tastes. But <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes </span>is
gesturing towards a distinction that is a relation between insiders:
one that "classifies the classifier" in the sense that only insiders
can recognise the process of classification itself.
<blockquote>The
dandy [...] is a man who has decided to radicalise the distinction in
men's clothing by subjecting it to an absolute logic. Dandyism is not
only an ethos but also a technique. The dandy is condemned to invent
continually distinctive traits that are ever novel: sometimes he relies
on wealth to distance himself from the poor, other times he wants his
clothes to look worn out to distance himself from the rich - this is
precisely the job of the "detail", which is to allow the dandy to
escape the masses and never to be engulfed by them; his singularity is
absolute in essence, but limited in substance, as he must never fall
into eccentricity, for that is an eminently copyable form.</blockquote>

The dandy's clothes are based around a semiotic building block that <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes </span>calls the "detail". For the dandy continually strives not only to be "other" but also to be <span style="font-style: italic;">alone </span>in his otherness (unlike a subculture, which aims for <span style="font-style: italic;">collective </span>otherness).
It is this "detail" that enables such pure distinction. And it is in
the (at least theoretical) infinity of singularity that dandies can
identify each other. They are recognising each other's thoughtful
originality: the precision and subtlety of each other's sartorial
signatures. They are not identifying with the other's stylistic
similarities, but with the other's stylistic differences.
</p>

But in practice, writes <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>, the "detail" was not absolutely singular, and the rise of ready-to-wear clothing struck dandyism a fatal blow.
</p><blockquote>But,
more subtly, what ruined dandyism for good, was the birth of "original"
boutiques; these boutiques sold clothes and accessories that were not
part of mass culture; but because this exclusivity was part of
commerce, albeit within the luxury sector, it become itself normative:
by buying a shirt, a tie or cufflinks at X or at Z, one was conforming
to a certain style, and abdicating all personal (one might say
narcissistic) invention of singularity.</blockquote>I am interested in <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>'s
insistence that "once limited to the freedom to buy (but not to
create), dandyism could not but suffocate and die". He's suggesting
that the creativity in consumption is not sufficient to sustain the
extreme singularity required by dandyism.


What really interests me is <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>'s
specific example of the boutique. Boutiques perform a weird balancing
act between originality and homogeneity. There are the high-end
boutiques specialising in prestigious ready-to-wear labels, like Le Louvre (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/05/28/1053801445880.html)
in Melbourne. The advantage of going to such places is the personalised
service and the access to exclusive high-end merchandise not available
elsewhere. Then there are 'branded' boutiques that sell an
idiosyncratic house style or label, like Biba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biba) and SEX/World's End (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEX/Seditionaries), or to give some Melbourne examples, <span style="font-weight: bold;">Quick Brown Fox</span> and <span style="font-weight: bold;">Frauhaus</span>. These seem to have their own signature: a certain kind of 'look' that is homogenous.
</p>

Then
there are the most interesting sort (and the most relevant to
hipsters), which are effectively a collection of niches: they source
small-run artisanal labels that would otherwise be hard to buy unless
you went straight to the designer. Melbourne examples include Fat (http://www.fat4.com/), Alice Euphemia (http://www.aliceeuphemia.com/) and Bobby's Cuts (http://www.bobbyscuts.com/). Now these places also offer a kind of stylistic consonance: in the past I've condemned <span style="font-weight: bold;">Alice Euphemia</span> for selling "sheltered workshop clothes"; and <span style="font-weight: bold;">Bobby's Cuts</span> specialises in a more tailored kind of rock-star wear featuring skinny ties, vests, what have you.
</p>

So,
does this mean that someone who shops at such boutiques is not a dandy?
Well, yes and no. Of course more than one hipster will take a liking to
the same "detail", and they might even (<span style="font-style: italic;">quelle horreur</span>!)
spot each other at a record label launch wearing the same "detail". But
I think that, rather than destroy originality, this inevitability
creates a <span style="font-weight: bold;">baroque </span>style. When
I talk about the 'baroque', I mean the intricate and detailed
repetition of a particular stylistic motif such that it becomes
something distinct from the original. And I think it's this
baroqueness, rather than the absolute singularity of his or her
clothing, that marks a hipster.
</p>

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/320/hipsterdandy1.jpg (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/1600/hipsterdandy1.jpg)http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/320/hipsterdandy2.0.jpg (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/1600/hipsterdandy2.0.jpg)
</p>

These two fellows were photographed at Misshapes (http://www.misshapes.com/)
in New York on 10 and 17 June 2006. They are wearing essentially the
same outfit: boxy casual jacket; dress shirt; skinny tie; subtle
jewellery (badges, necklaces); skinny jeans. But they've managed enough
variations on the outfit to make the look their own. And importantly,
the constituent elements of the look are not stylistically consonant.
There is no way they can have obtained the entire outfit from the one
store: it requires bricolage.
</p>

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/320/hipsterdandy3.jpg (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/1600/hipsterdandy3.jpg)http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/320/hipsterdandy4.jpg (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7880/365/1600/hipsterdandy4.jpg)

I
included these two because of the startling similarity of their
outfits. Fitted V-necked t-shirt in which the neckline cuts into the
print; necklace on a long dangly chain; Mick Jagger rock hair and
stagey posing. Their baroqueness is of the crudest and laziest kind;
but nevertheless they are performing the same process of subcultural
distinction that <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes </span>describes.
The tiny differences between their outfits and those of a man who's
bought his entire outfit from a high-street chain like <span style="font-weight: bold;">Industrie </span>or <span style="font-weight: bold;">General Pants</span>
"are both barely visible and yet not in keeping with the outfit". There
is just enough detail (the necklaces, the t-shirt prints) to mark them
as hipsters, and to enable them to recognise each other as hipsters.
</p> Ultimately,
I don't think this post answers the question of whether hipsters are
contemporary dandies. But I think it's valuable to be able to identify
what it is about someone's clothing -- someone who isn't necessarily
dressed in a spectacular, subcultural way -- that nevertheless allows
us to categorise them. I also think <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>'s
theory of the detail gives us a point of access into the processes by
which we all assert our individuality. Perhaps the hipster has more
perceived individuality at stake than most of us. And perhaps that's an
interesting perspective itself: the idea of the hipster as a person
disaffected with the death of dandyism, and attempting to reassert its
lost singularity in the baroque ways that are enabled by contemporary
consumer culture.</blockquote>

Faust
11-03-2007, 12:51 PM
Those look like hipsters, not Dandies.

Avantster
11-04-2007, 12:36 AM
They are hipsters - she deliberately included pictures of them as
she is discussing if there is anything dandyish about hipsters. Using
Barthes, she argues that while dandies were unique in their
singularity, once "<span style="font-style: italic;">limited to the freedom to buy (but not to create), dandyism could not but suffocate and die</span>". Therefore she proposes "<span style="font-style: italic;">the
idea of the hipster as a person disaffected with the death of dandyism,
and attempting to reassert its lost singularity and the baroque ways
that are enabled by contemporary consumer culture</span>".

</p>

I would argue that hipsters are not contemporary dandies. They
do not subject their clothing with such logic nor can they be identified as being singular. Quite the
opposite - they identify with each others similarities, and the pictures only provide evidence of this. To my mind they
are a subculture.

</p>

</p>

What I found more interesting though was the question of whether the emergence of ready-to-wear clothing destroyed dandyism. What do you think?
</p>


</p><blockquote>But in practice, writes <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>, the "detail" was not absolutely singular, and the rise of ready-to-wear clothing struck dandyism a fatal blow.
<blockquote>But,
more subtly, what ruined dandyism for good, was the birth of "original"
boutiques; these boutiques sold clothes and accessories that were not
part of mass culture; but because this exclusivity was part of
commerce, albeit within the luxury sector, it become itself normative:
by buying a shirt, a tie or cufflinks at X or at Z, one was conforming
to a certain style, and abdicating all personal (one might say
narcissistic) invention of singularity.</blockquote>I am interested in <span style="font-weight: bold;">Barthes</span>'s
insistence that "once limited to the freedom to buy (but not to
create), dandyism could not but suffocate and die". He's suggesting
that the creativity in consumption is not sufficient to sustain the
extreme singularity required by dandyism.
</blockquote>

Faust
11-04-2007, 02:04 PM
I don't think Barthes is right. Or, rather, not fully right. It may be true that a Dandy's choice of original clothes has diminished with the rise of retail and the fall of bespoke, but it does not mean that a Dandy attitude has died with it. Dandy attitude cannot die, because, while being carefully calculated, it originates in the heart. Whether it's disdain for mass culture or co-optation of mass culture, the Dandy will always be outside of it. The spirit of the Dandy is the spirit of everything that's individualistic. Therefore, hipsters cannot be dandies - they are just another type of a heard. I don't think the Dandy spirit can die (although it can be greatly diminished by capitalism). Susan Sontag says that there will always be an aristocratic class in relation to culture. By aristocratic she simply means 'outside of ' the mass culture (not necessarily 'above' the way the Avant-Garde was). If there isn't one, there is no criticism of culture. I hope you catch my drift...</p>

On a side note, I proposed a Master's level course on Dandyism at a university here. I really hope it gets accepted. Then I can start doing my research, and really fire this thread up.</p>

DHC
05-15-2009, 04:09 AM
again..bumping some old for noobs

Faust
05-15-2009, 09:33 AM
Thanks, David. Good times :-)