Men of Fashion

Edited by Kate Irvin and Laurie Anne Brewer; With essays by Kate Irvin, Laurie Anne Brewer, Christopher Breward, and Monica L. Miller; Preface by Thom Browne

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A wide-ranging exploration of the dandy and men’s fashion over the past two centuries, from Beau Brummell to hip-hop

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.

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.


Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design  04/26/13-08/18/13

Contributions by Horace Ballard, Alan Flusser, Gigi Gray, Phillip Hoare, Merlin Holland, Mark Samuels Lasner, Daniela Morera, Glenn O’Brien, Scott Schuman, James Sherwood, Patti Smith, Dirk Standen, Hugo Vickers, Andrew Wilson, and Viktor Wynd

“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.”—Publishers Weekly

"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

"[A] well timed book" ..."what makes this book compelling [...] is the fine images: Andy Warhol in a dressing gown, Malcom McLaren in sheepskin, the beautiful naval and military uniforms, the wonderful array of tweed suits belonging to Americans, and the bizarre but beautiful get up of individuals like the provocative Nigerian artist Ike Ude."—Deirdre McQuillan, Irish Times
“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
“A must-have for fashionable gentlemen.”—Flavorwire
ISBN: 9780300190816
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
208 pages, 9 x 11
125 color + 20 b/w illus.

Patti Smith

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