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A Modern Day Dandy

James Andrew with street art by Eduardo Kobra

James Andrew with street art by Eduardo Kobra

Seems various media outlets covering WIJW like to refer to me as a Gatsby/dandy—and I don’t mind. In fact, Fitzgerald’s fictional character is one of my favorite dandies (though I’d like to think I’m a bit happier than our friend Gatsby!).

Certainly there are many great historical figures who fit the dandy profile—Oscar Wilde, Cecil Beaton, Count Robert de Montesquiou or, say, Jean Lorrain—these men made careers from their innovative fashion sense, eccentric mannerisms, wit, and what some might consider unabashed naughtiness. While they were often branded fey or effeminate, I’d say they showed great inner strength and conviction in the face of a good deal of cultural bigotry.

Street art by Eduardo Kobra

Street art by Eduardo Kobra

In today’s overly casual world, it’s as if all one has to do is wear a coat and tie to be called a dandy, but this really shows a lack of understanding. Being a dandy has more to do with celebrating personal style and pushing beyond stayed cultural/aesthetic bounds—not in some impulsive, sloppy way, but with real consideration and an understanding of the word elegance. Dressing “up” is a way of showing respect for those around one—and hopefully in doing so, it encourages others to do the same!

Many men still balk at the idea of wearing a pink or lavender suit, a floral print, etc.,—that somehow colors and patterns connote gender of sexual proclivity. I entreat our readers to have fun and explore their inner dandy. You might raise some eyebrows, but do go forward and be confident in your choices!

I thought Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s depiction of a vintage New York City scene would be a brilliant backdrop for today’s post. Dressed like a modern day dandy, I’m wearing a Tom ford era Gucci black cashmere topcoat, Turnbull and Asser white and black silk scarf, Paul Stuart dove grey suede gloves, a Tom Ford three piece suit in charcoal wool cashmere Prince of Wales plaid, pale blue woven herringbone cotton shirt with French cuffs, black and white silk pocket square and black and tan leather loafers, Charvet black and grey striped silk tie, vintage pearl and sapphire cuff links, Rolex watch, Swaine Adeney Brigg Bark Ash handleumbrella, and my fragrance is Creed Royal Oud.

8 Comments

  1. RubyRed says:

    What about Patrick McDonald when speaking of modern-day dandy?

  2. wendy woo says:

    Dear James
    BRAVO!!! Loved this piece! So fresh!

  3. James Andrew says:

    Darling Wendy,

    Thank You!

    We had so much fun putting this piece together and sharing ideas on what it means to be a “Dandy”.

    Cheers

    JA

  4. Marc de Paris says:

    Who made this wonderful picture? This meeting of “dandies” is so well done…

    I am very impressed by your knowledge: you write about Jean Lorrain and Robert de Montesquiou whereas they are almost forgotten in France !

    We have wonderful scenes about them near Marcel Proust’s bedchamber at the museum Carnavalet. You will see them when you are in Paris. Don’t forget!

    Best wishes for Christmas!

  5. James Andrew says:

    My dear friend Marc,

    I have always been quite inspired by ALL these dandies!

    Their bravura and boldness to express themselves.

    Mr McBee took the photo of me in front of Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s depection of vintage New York City when men actually dressed up.

    Cheers and Yes Here is to our next trip to Paris!

    JA

  6. Love the shot here with Kobra’s painting. Insightful writing, as well.

  7. Dean says:

    Great shot, of one of my fave dandies, comme il faut, bon chic, bon genre, la vie en rose.

  8. James Andrew says:

    Dear Dean,

    So lovely to have you back!

    Thank You for your kind words!

    I think I like the French Dandies almost more than their Anglo counterparts-although none can beet the sardonic wit of Oscar Wilde.

    Cheers

    JA

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