Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion

Overview

Artist/Rebel/Dandy celebrates the pleasures of the sharp-dressed man, from the discreet sophistication of the consummately elegant George Bryan “Beau” Brummell in the early 19th century to the diverse, highly personal flair of the tastemakers who color the landscape of menswear today. Since the word “dandy” came into vogue in London in 1813, it has at times been used to describe someone superficial, flamboyant, and self-indulgent. Instead, the dandy is here shown to employ profound thought and imagination in his ...

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Overview

Artist/Rebel/Dandy celebrates the pleasures of the sharp-dressed man, from the discreet sophistication of the consummately elegant George Bryan “Beau” Brummell in the early 19th century to the diverse, highly personal flair of the tastemakers who color the landscape of menswear today. Since the word “dandy” came into vogue in London in 1813, it has at times been used to describe someone superficial, flamboyant, and self-indulgent. Instead, the dandy is here shown to employ profound thought and imagination in his self-presentation, fashioning an image that often challenges the status quo and transcends the ordinary.

A series of fascinating essays traces the often contradictory definitions and images of the dandy, the history of young men and their clothes in the long 19th century, the exquisite fabrics and tailoring that play an important role in dandy style, and the relationship of black dandyism and hip-hop. In addition, this book features fifteen musings on notable dandies written by individuals who share a kinship with their subject, including Patti Smith considering Charles Baudelaire; a reflection on Oscar Wilde by his grandson, Merlin Holland; Daniela Morera, formerly part of Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd, reminiscing about the artist’s image; and writer Philip Hoare describing the “thrift-shop dandyism” of director John Waters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“If you look like a gentleman,” says jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia, “you might even end up behaving like one.” Ahluwalia is one of 15 men featured in this splendid chronicle of what designer Thom Browne aptly describes as “the truths behind well-tailored, nearly mythical figure” of the dandy. The book accompanies a 2013 exhibition of the same name at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art; two of its most informative essays on the dandy’s cultural history are by curators and editors Irvin and Brewer. Organized chronologically around short textual profiles and lush images of historical and contemporary dandies, including Beau Brummell, W.E.B. Du Bois, Andy Warhol, Malcolm McLaren, Motofumi Kogi, and John Waters, the evocative texts accompanying each photograph are composed by contributors including Patti Smith (on Baudelaire), Merlin Holland (writing on Oscar Wilde, Holland’s grandfather), historian Hugo Vickers (on Cecil Beaton), and others. Four longer essays form the visually rich collection’s textual center, with Barnard professor Monica Miller’s text on black dandyism and hip-hop as the highlight. A visual and cultural history that deftly juxtaposes beautifully reproduced illustrations and photographs of individuals, clothing, and textiles with engaging text, the book will appeal to fashion historians and aspiring dandies. 125 color and 20 b&w illus. (May)
The Manuel - Ann Binlot
"Anyone curious about men's fashion and its history should read this book, which offers one of the most thorough and whimsical accounts of the evolution of male style."—Ann Binlot, The Manual
Choice

“This exquisite catalogue. . . painstakingly and evocatively explores the ambitions, inventions, and fine details of fabric, texture, and cut of elegant linen shirts, broadcloth and naval jackets, university wardrobes, cotton twill weaves, vintage cycling and Harris tweeds, and morning suits. It works on multiple levels to inspire dandies and dandy admirers alike."—Choice
Flavorwire
“A must-have for fashionable gentlemen.”—Flavorwire
Choice
“This exquisite catalogue. . . painstakingly and evocatively explores the ambitions, inventions, and fine details of fabric, texture, and cut of elegant linen shirts, broadcloth and naval jackets, university wardrobes, cotton twill weaves, vintage cycling and Harris tweeds, and morning suits. It works on multiple levels to inspire dandies and dandy admirers alike."—Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300190816
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2013
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 718,744
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Irvin is curator and head of the Department of Costume and Textiles, and Laurie Anne Brewer is assistant curator in the Department of Costume and Textiles, both at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

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