Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bespoke.


Watching a drama last night based on the life of George ‘Beau’ Brummel, archetypal 19th century English dandy, I was forced to look at my wardrobe in an even more aghast manner than usual. Chain store Charlie, that’s me. I aspire to the nondescript and usually succeed admirably. Any designer clothing that I have purchased in the past has just ended up being churned to shreds in the washing machine, or has ended up a strange colour with cigarette burns at strategic points.

Brummel is apparently responsible for the modern two piece business suit. He also introduced the shocking, at the time, ritual of daily ablutions. We have much to thank him for. No sartorial imagination is required of the modern male, and although we don’t spend two hours each morning at our toilette, neither do we pong like a rancid badger.

I’d never have made it as a fop. Prancing about in a perfumed wig wearing a pair of silk knee britches and a pair of ridiculously pointy shoes wouldn’t have appealed. I wouldn’t have been very good at the mincing either, although I may have just about passed muster when it came to twirling my ivory tipped cane in a Charlie Chaplin manner.

There aren’t many examples of the modern dandy. Rock stars, football players and their ilk probably imagine that they are the personification of bohemian chic. In fact, they look like utter twats. I suppose Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen is the closest to the dandy archetype. He must spend at least an hour each morning twirling his Byronic locks and arranging his over large shirt cuffs just so.

Albert Einstein had a wardrobe of seven identical sets of clothing. This meant he didn’t have to think about what he’d be wearing the next day; he just got on with being a genius. I may not be a genius, but I think I’ll follow old Albert’s example.

17 comments:

Herge Smith said...

Albert was a lier - there was no great method to his uniform dress other than the fact that he lived next door to C&A and he was a geek - thus a terrible dresser.

Herge Smith said...

Should have been 'liar' Buggernation.

garfer said...

C@A? Weren't they something to do with prehistory?

The druids wear their gear at Stonehenge in remembrance of the foul ski jackets of yesteryear.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Silk knee britches - I can't believe ANYONE looked good in them!

Wyndham said...

I think I would have liked the powdered look - which, of course, was to cover up the fact that i never, ever washed. which I do. Sometimes.

First Nations said...

was this before or after the stick on beauty mark stage of things? i'm not up on my fops.

Sniffy said...

Jonathan Ross is a right fopp too. And a twat.

Vic Reeves is a bit of a one, but he doesn't quite pull it off very well.

You and Herge should treat yourselves to a velvet suit with a frilly shirt and go prancing about the village. See who gets beaten up first, you two or the local England fan.

garfer said...

Their is only one gay in my village. He speaks in lugubrious upper class tones and works for the council. He isn't remotely foppish, but is slightly camp.

No frilly shirts for me, no siree.

Herge Smith said...

Shall I unpack my frilly shirts then?

garfer said...

Wear what you like mate, but don't blame me if I deny any acquaintance with you whatsoever should things turn ugly.

Herge Smith said...

No worries, I'm very very used to people pretending they don't know me. Hurt a bit when my mum did it, but still couldn't blame her.

Sniffy said...

How would you feel if Dixon or Daisie disowned you though?

Herge Smith said...

Believe me, everytime someone new pops round they do.

Bastards.

I'm leaving them in Scottyland with Garfer.

garfer said...

The shed has been prepared.

Arabella said...

Didn't Winston Churchill wear specially made romper suits during the war? Hardly dapper.

I had terrible trouble with the fop era, in Restoration drama class; I could do the punctuation stuff with a fan but learning how to reverse into a chair, wearing one of those huge skirts while simultaneously rattling off half a page of witty verbiage? Nope.

S.I.D. said...

Please say you have a flashing 6 inch steel blade secreted in your ivory tipped cane?

MHN for short said...

The closest person I can think of as a "Dandy" would be the fictitious "Vampire Lestat". He'd fit the bill nicely. Real people who dress in this manner do indeed look twatish.