Writer’s block was conquered and a decent draft of chapter 1 is complete. Summer is off to a good start.
This photograph Marlene Dietrich wearing her tuxedo from Morocco (1930) and this sketch by the Hollywood costume designer Travis Banton didn’t make it into the chapter so I thought I would share them here.
Queer Fashion History Exhibit: The Museum at FIT, 2013
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Queer Fashion History Symposium. I spent six and half hours preparing for this event. Three minutes checking in with my editor for the event, 55 minutes looking for my press badge, two minutes watching my boifriend find my press badge hanging from my doorknob, 30 minutes dropping off my favorite pair of boots at Phillips Shoe Repair, 30 minutes spilling the tea with my favorite shoe repairman’s wife, 30 minutes re-adhering crystals to my favorite pair of boots, four hours deciding on approximately three outfits to match my favorite pair of boots. In case you are wondering, yes dear, these boots are everything!
Arriving at the symposium with my boots and badge in tow, I scanned the room with an immediate furrowed brow. I had imagined wild hair under elaborate chapeaus, statement necklaces and new romantic inspired street fashion. Instead I saw almost exclusively plain shoes, muted colors and dulled accessories- perhaps foreshadowing the day to come.
Some images, websites, and thoughts I came across while I was contemplating dandyism this weekend:
“It is a kind of cult of the ego which can still survive the pursuit of that form of happiness to be found in others, in woman for example; which can even survive what are called illusions. It is the pleasure of causing surprise in others, and the proud satisfaction of never showing any oneself. A dandy may be blasé, he may even suffer pain, but in the latter case he will keep smiling, like the Spartan under the bite of the fox.”— Charles Baudelaire, From “The Painter of Modern Life,” 1863
“You can call this a “peacock complex”—I approve of that. Show me a dandy and I’ll show you a hero, as Baudelaire said…And in the nineteenth century it was more…They’re the aristocracy of elegance. It’s the leather, it’s the placement of the gold embroidery, the small casques with one egret feather; the tasseled boots, the sables…They have the real absurdity of style.”—Diana Vreeland, D.V. p. 181
Check out these exhibit sites and other dandytastic sites:
In my opinion, there is nothing hotter than a girl in a suit. My own predilection for dressing like Charlie Chaplin is how I manifest this, and I dream of one day owning my own piece of bespoke Savile Row. People seem to be coming around to my way of thinking, as the bow tie phenomenon shows, an obsession I share with the blogger Man Repeller. And the return to formality in many of the menswear collections as well as current trends for tailoring in womenswear and the condescendingly-named ‘boyfriend dressing’ has left the suit at the centre of many sartorial discussions. ‘Masculine’ dressing has become such a staple of the style media that it’s…