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    The figure of the Dandy and its relationship to Fashion and Distinction The figure of the Dandy and its relationship to Fashion and Distinction Document Transcript

    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. Abbreviations for studied works:*MM refers to Sir George Etherege, The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter [1676] in FourGreat Restoration Comedies, Mineola, New York, Dover Publications, inc., 2005.*CP refers to Stendhal, La Chartreuse de Parme [1839], Paris, Le Livre de Poche Classique,ed. de Michel Crouzet, 2000.*PG refers to Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot [1835], Paris, Pocket Classiques, 1989.*P refers to Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, Pelham; Or, the Adventures of a Gentleman [1828],Doylestone, Pennsylvania, Wildside Press, 2009.*GE refers to Charles Dickens, Great Expectations [1860-61], London, Penguin Books, 2003.*PDG refers to Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray [1891], London, Penguin Books,2003.*DD refers to Jules Barbey d‘Aurevilly, Du Dandysme et de George Brummell [1845], Paris,Payot & Rivages, 1997.*PVM refers to Charles Baudelaire, Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne [1863], édition numérique,Collections Litteratura.com. 2
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. To avoid any confusion:*―Dandy‖ with a capital ―D‖ refers here to the original figure of the Regency. Any otheroccurrence of the term refers to the common idea of such a figure, which will become moredefinite as the study goes on.* ―dandyism‖ always refers to the general concept which has evolved in time and willbecome more definite as the study goes on.*―Fashion‖ with a capital ―F‖ refers to the modern social phenomenon which is defined in theintroduction. Any other occurrence of the word refers to the non-massive phenomenon, thesimple act of wearing clothes.*―Distinction‖ with a capital ―D‖ refers to the precise social concept defined by P. Bourdieuin la Distinction, Critique sociale du Jugement. Any other occurrence refers to the verb―distinguish‖, in the sense of being remarkable in society. 3
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………5I – THE BIRTH OF DANDYISM ………………………………………...10 DANDIES OF THE FIRST TIMES…………………………………………...12 The fop……………………………………………………………………...12 The Macaroni……………………………………………………………….14 THE ORIGINAL DANDY AND THE INVENTION OF DANDYISM……..15 George Bryan Brummell………………………………………………...…15 The outfit, mirror of the mind……………………………………………...17II – THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DANDY IN 19TH CENTURY LITERATURE…………….……………….……19 A ―FRENCH ACCULTURATION‖: THE DANDY-WRITER…………..…21 THE LITERARY FIGURE OF THE DANDY……………………………...24 The Romantic hero or Brummell mythified………………………………25 Dandyism as an achievement……………………………………………….27 The critical rebellious figure………………………………………………30III – DANDYISM AND DECADENCE: THE DANDY AS AN ARTIST………………………………………33 THE DANDY: A FIGURE OF MODERNITY………………………………36 AESTHETICISM AND DANDYISM OF THE SENSES: THE SELF-AS-ART…………………………………………………………..39IV – THE DANDY, FASHION AND DISTINCTION…………………....44 THE TRIUMPH OF SOBRIETY: A HISTORY OF ELEGANCE………46 Dandy dress, common dress………………………………………………47 THE DANDY‘S DISCOURSE: THE BIRTH OF FASHION AS A MEANS OF DISTINCTION……………49 The dialectic movement of Imitation-Distinction………………………….50CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………54BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………58APPENDIX A: BEAU BRUMMELL………………………………………61APPENDIX B: THE MASCULINE COSTUME…………………………62 4
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. ―La brute se couvre, le riche ou le sot se pare, l‘homme élégant s‘habille.‖ Honoré de Balzac, Traité de la vie élégante, 1830. This paper aims at providing a reflection on the figure of the dandy, its evolutionand ultimately its influence on Fashion as a means of social distinction. Its premise is thatthere is an essential relationship between the dandy and his clothes, since they appear to befundamental in the definition of this figure. It is necessary here to speak of a ―figure‖, sincethe dandy is as much a man as the representation of a man. As we shall see, there was anoriginal Dandy who set the initial concept of Dandyism, but the image has been declinedthrough time and space later on. Therefore, the dandy is more a figure that has undergone acertain number of variations rather than a settled representation. That is why a first point toexplore before going further in the study is the definition of dandyism. What is exactly adandy? It is commonly believed that it is a man ―unduly concerned with a stylish andfashionable appearance‖1, a superficial self-conceited man, fond of gossips and most of thetime, with androgynous looks. However, studies and reports on dandyism show that theoriginal Dandy was actually nothing, or little, of this. Traditionally, it is considered that theDandy was born during the British Regency (1811-1820), under the features of GeorgeBryan Brummell, nicknamed ―Beau‖ Brummell. Clever and refined, he ruled London high-society for more than twenty years and is believed to have durably imposed his notion ofmasculine ―Elegance‖. Despite the pejorative image conveyed by the word ―dandy‖ nowadays,there is evidence that the Dandy of the Regency dressed with sobriety and had a refinedstyle, which encourages us to revise our common idea on dandyism.1 Catherine Soanes, Angus Stevenson, ed., Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, OUP, 11th edition, revised. 5
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. The dandy has actually been a most controversial figure, from the 19th centuryonwards. The initial confusion as to the exact definition of this figure might first have comefrom the paradoxical nature of the original Dandy: his fame and greatness were grounded onnothing. Indeed, Beau Brummell had no artistic, commercial or scientific talent; he climbedthe social scale thanks to his stylish looks and sharp remarks – his cynicism being the mainintellectual characteristic of his posture. He was idle and squandered his heritage in clothesand games. This apparently empty way of life, which revolved only around beingworshipped in society thanks to fashionable and superior airs, aroused sharp criticism. Tosome, the dandy was nothing but ―a clothes-wearing man‖2 or a mere empty-headed ―meublede boudoir, un mannequin extrêmement ingénieux […]; mais un être pensant? […]jamais‖3. Others however assumed that dandyism was much more than a matter of clothesand appearance. French writer Barbey d‘Aurevilly defended dandyism, claiming that ―c‘estbien davantage. Le dandysme est toute une manière d‘être, et l‘on n‘est pas que par le côtématériellement visible.‖[DD43] He goes to the point of saying that the Dandy was an artistof appearances. What emerges here is that the Dandy is a rather blurred figure: was he onlya fashionable self-conceited man, or a man who mastered the art of ―paraître‖ – as opposed to―être‖? Another reason for the uncertainties concerning the dandy is probably to be soughtin the variations and alterations the original figure underwent as the 19th century went on.Indeed, the concept initially established by Beau Brummell at the beginning of the centurywas taken up by French writers in the 1830‘s. They associated dandyism to a certain way ofliving and writing, and reinvented the figure in the prism of Romanticism. It isunquestionably the moment at which dandyism passed from being an individual posture to2 Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus [1833-1834], Paris, Aubier Editions Montaigne, édition bilingue, 1999, p.430.3 Honoré de Balzac, Traité de la Vie Elégante [1830], quoted in Davina L. Eisenberg, The Figure of the Dandy inBarbey d’Aurevilly’s “Le Bonheur dans le Crime”, New York, Peter Lang, 1996, p. 14. 6
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.an intellectual collective attitude. Later on, dandyism crossed the Channel back and wasadopted this time by artists and thinkers belonging to the Aesthetic movement of the ―fin-de-siècle‖. An emblematic figure of dandyism at the end of the 19th century is Irishplaywright and novelist Oscar Wilde. His desire to make his life a work of art and thedressing eccentricities that resulted from it contributed once more to change the idea ofdandyism. What is clear at this point is that there is not one definition of dandyism. Itappears to be a concept that has evolved and fluctuated in time and space and was each timereinvented. Therefore, studying the figure of the dandy implies exploring the various forms ittook throughout the 19th century. However, despite the modifications the original figureunderwent, an essential point is that there has been one persisting characteristic: therelationship between the man who calls himself a dandy and his outfit. Sociologists who areinterested in fashion agree on the fact that Beau Brummell was the first one to grant clothesa personal and individualistic meaning. Whereas clothes used to indicate a professional orsocial category until the end of the 18th century, the Dandy made them representative ofhimself and the mirror of his personality. The shift observed in the meaning of clothes isclosely related to a shift in the social pattern. Since the 18th century in Europe, thebourgeoisie had been progressively rising, slowly taking over the aristocratic-ruledtraditional order. The rise of an individualistic society can be seen as cardinal in thedevelopment of such a figure as the Dandy. Social distinction is taken to be a key-notionhere, as the ruling orders were no longer defined by hereditary titles. ―Distinction‖, as thedesire to offset oneself from the social group, in one way or another 4, led to a permanentstruggle to ostensibly show one‘s superiority and as a matter of fact, uniqueness, be itintellectual or moral. Brummell‘s way of distinguishing himself allowed him to become the4 Pierre Bourdieu, La Distinction, Critique sociale du Jugement, Paris, Editions de Minuit, 1979. 7
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.emblematic fashionable man. Not only did he make clothes the sign of his individuality, buthe also made them indicate social superiority. Seen from this angle, it seems legitimate toconsider that the Dandy was the first to develop an ―interpretative discourse on fashion‖5,that is, to give clothes a language of their own, able to express something abstract. It canprobably be assumed that his intentions to distinguish himself thanks to his outfit is aconcept that shaped modern and post-modern societies in terms of Fashion – taken here as a―cyclical phenomenon grounded on the temporary moods and trends of a definite periodregarding the style of clothing and behaviour‖6, in which each one tries to express a certainuniqueness through clothes. It is thus, as a complex set-piece of history and sociology, that we should approachthe figure of the dandy in his relationship to fashion and distinction. Starting with anaccount of the birth of dandyism, I shall go through the variations performed on the originalfigure of the Dandy and try to show to what extent dandyism is responsible for our modernconception of fashion as a prime means of social distinction. In a first part, I shall deal withthe original figure, introducing what could be considered as ancestors of the Dandy in theprevious centuries, and then studying the personage of Beau Brummell himself. I will thenexplore the different variations the figure of the Dandy was subjected to throughout the 19thcentury. I shall deal with the way the posture was adopted by French writers such as Barbeyd‘Aurevilly, Stendhal or Balzac in the 1830‘s, giving birth to a new figure, that of the―Dandy-writer‖. My main point here will be to inquire into this by going through theFrench and British literature of the time. Indeed, the Dandy-writers created heroes whowere dandies themselves, thus producing what could be called a ―dandy literature‖. Its studyshall help us to better understand the combination of dandyism with art and its socialimplications. Further on, I shall focus on the dandy as an artist, when the figure was adopted5 Frédéric Monneyron, Sociologie de la Mode, Paris PUF, 2006.6 Catherine Soanes, Angus Stevenson, ed., op. cit. 8
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.by the Aesthetic movement at the end of the 19th century. Dandyism progressively becameassociated with a decadent imagery, which gave birth to the figure of the ―Dandy-aesthete‖,who was above all an artist of his own life. Advocating ―Art for art‘s sake‖, the Aesthetesadopted a ―Dandyism of Dress‖7, that is to say the use of clothes in an attempt to make theirlives works of art. Surrounding themselves with beautiful objects, dressing in rich outfits,Dandy-aesthetes had an interpretation of dandyism that differed once more from the originalfigure. Eventually, the principal focus of my last part will be the lasting influence ofdandyism on Fashion, taken as a means of Distinction. I shall study at this point theevolution of the masculine costume under the influence of dandyism, and the way the outfitbecame a means to express one‘s individuality in society. The focus will be on thedevelopment of an interpretative discourse on clothes and the role played by the dandy here.I shall conclude by questioning the reminiscences of dandyism in Fashion nowadays: to whatextent is it possible to say that the figure of the dandy inspired our conception of modernFashion?7Max Beerbohm, Dandies & Dandies [1896], in The Works of Max Beerbohm, E-book 1859 on ProjectGutenberg, 2008. 9
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. PART ITHE BIRTH OF DANDYISM 10
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. A first point to emphasize is that the word ―dandy‖ has an imprecise etymology,which casts doubts on its definition right from the beginning. The term appeared indictionaries in the 1780‘s and is referred to as the diminutive of Andrew. However, EllenMoers, who has worked on the dandy as a historical figure, has tried to go back to theorigins of the word and argues in her book The Dandy – Brummell to Beerbohm that the termfirst appeared in a song sung in the American colonies in the 1760‘s : ―Yankee Doodle cameto town…/Yankee Doodle Dandy…‖ That song had been written to make fun of Americanmilitary uniforms, and the author assumes that it actually referred to the Macaronis, a groupof men dressed in a flamboyant way in the 18th century. According to Ellen Moers, this useshows that the term was already employed in ―an ambiguous social situation in arevolutionary climate‖ and ―had the power to fascinate‖ 8 , an idea that will be furtherdeveloped. Although historians and writers who have been interested in the matter assumethat the Dandy, as a social phenomenon, appeared only at the beginning of the 19th century,previous figures had been associated to the term beforehand. The fop of the 17th century forinstance, originally referring to a fool of any kind, came to designate "one who is foolishlyattentive to and vain of his appearance, dress, or manners; a dandy, an exquisite."9 The firstoccurrence of the word ―fop‖ in such a sense dates from 1672. In modern collectiveimagination, ―dandy‖ has kept the negative connotation it took on when associated to such afigure. Conspicuous and ridicule in his outfit, the fop was the ancestor of the Macaroniaforementioned. At this point, we shall try to study both figures in order to determine towhat extent they can be considered as his predecessors.8 Ellen Moers, The Dandy – Brummell to Beerbohm, quoted in Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit., p. 2.9 Catherine Soanes, Angus Stevenson, ed., op.cit. 11
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. I – DANDIES OF THE FIRST TIMES ―The Dandy was got by Vanity out of Affectation – his dam […] Macaroni – his grandam, Fribble – his great-grandam, Bronze – his great-great-grandam, Coxcomb – and his earliest ancestor, FOP.‖ Pierce Egan, Life in London, 1820.10 The Fop – In the 17th century, a fashionable manly figure appeared on the Londonstage: the fop, also called coxcomb. He was flamboyant and self-conceited, exceedinglyconcerned with his appearance. At the time, the royal court of Versailles was the Europeanarbiter in terms of fashion. The three-piece suit, the cravat and the periwig werecharacteristic of the French style. As a consequence, most aristocratic men in Britain hadadopted these items. In his desire to make believe he was of a higher birth than he really was,the fop was no exception to the rule. He behaved like a caricature of the aristocrat, arranginghis cravat and his periwig with extreme care and using French words to appear fashionable.The figure of the fop can be studied most particularly in the instance of The Man of Mode, orSir Fopling Flutter, by George Etherege. This Restoration comedy, first performed in 1676,draws a faithful portrait of London high society at the end of the 17th century. At first sight,the criticism targets the French eponymous character, but the prologue of the play suggeststhat it is actually addressed to British young men: ―But I‘m afraid that while to France wego,/ To bring you home fine dresses, dance, and show,/ The stage, like you will but morefoppish grow‖[MM89] Indeed, the main character Dorimant says from the very first act:―That a man‘s excellency should lie in neatly tying of a ribband or a cravat! How careful‘snature in furnishing the world with necessary coxcombs!‖[MM97] This play actually seemsto be a warning against the contamination of British high society by superficiality.10 Quoted in Ian Kelly, Beau Brummell, The Ultimate Man of Style, New York, Free Press, 2006, p. 18. 12
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. The foppery of the eponymous character is suggested by his name, Sir Fopling.Horridly affected in manners, he claims coming from Paris and having brought along toLondon all the refined qualities of French coxcombs while he is in fact merely a dull empty-headed imitator of aristocracy, just good enough to be manipulated by Dorimant. SirFopling‘s only concern is in his outfit, as shown when he declares: ―My clothes are mycreatures. I make ‘em to make my court to you ladies.‖[MM140]. Another relevant instanceoccurs in Act III when, detailed from head to foot, he keeps emphasizing the fact that eachitem of clothing comes from the most renowned tailors in Paris: ―Lady Townley – His gloves are well fringed, large and graceful. Sir Fopling – I was always eminent for being bien ganté. Emilia – He wears nothing but what are originals of the most famous hands in Paris. Sir Fop. – You are in the right, Madam. L. Town. – The suit! Sir Fop. – Barroy. Emil. – The garniture! Sir Fop. – Le Gras. Medley – The shoes! Sir Fop. – Piccar. Dorimant – The periwig! Sir Fop. – Chedreux. L. Town., Emil. – The gloves ! Sir Fop. – Orangerie – you know the smell, Ladies.‖[MM122] Such a detail as perfumed gloves actually recalls the French Count of Gramont,who was a real fop. This libertine gambler was admired for his refined French outfit, whichhe ordered each week, had made in Paris and then delivered to London. However, at thattime, a man‘s interest in clothes was associated with superficiality verging on the ridiculeand debauchery, since it reflected the atmosphere of libertinage then characterizing Europe.This helps us to understand why the Dandy, who devoted so much care to his outfit, wasimmediately negatively perceived. In some way, he was associated with the disturbing figureof the fop, who seemed to advocate superficiality, and recalled a period of moral disorder inhigh-society. 13
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. The Macaroni – The figure considered as the ―dandy‘s nearest flamboyantancestor‖11 is the Macaroni. Born at the end of the 18th century, he is reminded of as thesuccessor of the fop in terms of extravagancy and lavishness of dress. However, unlike thefop, the Macaronis‘ choice to wear exaggerated outfits carried a political meaning: they werea group of young bourgeois who challenged the established order. By taking up andparodying a fashion traditionally worn by the aristocracy, they expressed their desire to berecognized for their talent rather than for their birth. As is argued in Colin McDowell‘sHistoire de la Mode Masculine, it was the first time a political movement used the costume as ameans of protest. 12 The Macaronis adopted an ostensible style which deformed thetendencies of the time. The relaying of this style by Charles Fox contributed to give clothesa political significance. A prominent Whig statesman with revolutionary tendencies, heknew that wearing red heels for example would be seen as a political provocation by hisenemies – the red heels being the symbol of the French courtesan submitted to Louis XIV‘sauthority. Fox was a sharp critic of King George III, whom he regarded as an aspiringtyrant. The excess in his outfit was a challenge to the presumptuous monarchy and theprivileged aristocracy, for he believed that artificial ostensible clothes were a sign of theruling orders‘ power as opposed to the people‘s miserable condition. Seen from this angle, itcan be assumed that for the first time, clothes were used as signs and went beyond theirtraditional function of mere ornaments of the body. What is particularly noticeable here is that although it is commonly believed thatfashion has always been the privilege of women until recently – in the 20th century – it hasactually been a man‘s preoccupation as much as a woman‘s for a much longer time. Besides,associating the Macaroni to the dandy tends to confirm Ellen Moers‘s theory according towhich the dandy evolved in a ―revolutionary climate‖ – an idea we shall further study.11 Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit. , p. 3.12 Colin McDowell, Histoire de la Mode masculine, Paris, Ed. de la Martinière, 1997, p. 44. 14
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. II – THE ORIGINAL DANDY AND THE INVENTION OF DANDYISM Although before the 19th century the term ―dandy‖ was commonly associated toflamboyant figures, there was nothing in the appearance of the Dandy that could be calledlavish or extravagant. To many, the Dandy refers to the social figure born during theRegency (1811-1820) in Great-Britain, under the features of a man called George BryanBrummell. His entry on the London stage introduced the concept of Dandyism, as theDandy‘s specific habits and way of behaving. While the term ―dandy‖ used to be a meresynonym for ―coxcomb‖ or ―macaroni‖, it began to refer to an entirely new figure embodiedby George Brummell nicknamed the ―Beau‖. This name was usually attributed to foppishmen because of its French origin that recalled the pomp of 17th-century fops. However thestudy will show that as far as Brummell was concerned, it was misplaced, since he was farfrom being extravagant. On the contrary, he is considered by historians of Fashion as thefounder of masculine Elegance. George Bryan Brummell 13 – Later known only under the nickname of ―BeauBrummell‖, he was born in 1778 in London. He came from a reasonably well-off backgroundbut had no title, and thus was supposedly condemned to anonymity. But this is not what fatehad in store for him, for by his twentieth year, he had already made a sensational first seasonand was acquainted with the Prince of Wales. The life of Beau Brummell has been thesubject of many biographies, either by contemporaries evolving in the same circle or by laterauthors interested in his success as ―king of fashion‖[DD66] or fascinated by his ambivalentpersonage. I must speak here of a personage, as we will see that the figure of Brummell isconstantly oscillating between reality and representation. He was not a handsome man,13 See Appendix A, p. 61. 15
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.according to his contemporaries, but had a sort of natural grace. Brummell actuallyconstructed his physical appearance so that he would appear graceful and handsome.Through the careful choice of his outfit, he became in some way the artist of his own body.In addition to a natural taste and elegance, Brummell was characterized with a cynicism thatstruck many of his companions and came to be part of his personage. He used to insist on theimportance of ―the right word‖, which, in parallel to his outfit, contributed to produce ―thedesired effect‖ in society. This is what seduced the Prince of Wales when they first met in1793. His friendship for Brummell became a patronage, until it was withdrawn in 1816following an umpteenth sarcastic word pronounced by the Beau. Compelled to the exile onthe continent, Brummell died of madness after more than twenty years spent alone in Calais,far from ―what was, to him, the oxygen of publicity and public adoration‖14. Paradoxically, there is not so much to say about biographical facts, for despite hisfame and large social influence, Brummell had no specific talent. This is stressed by Barbeyd‘Aurevilly in his essay Du Dandysme et de George Brummell : ―Mais ôtez le dandy, que reste t-il de Brummell? Il n‘était propre à être rien de plus, mais aussi rien de moins que le plusgrand dandy de son temps et de tous les temps. […] il fut le dandysme même.‖[DD43] It isthis contradictory position we shall here examine. Brummell had succeeded in enteringLondon high-society by the only means of his charm. The following words by CaptainGronow, an acute observer of London in the 19th century, faithfully sum up Brummell‘squalities : ―Rare étaient ceux qui pouvaient compter sur leur seul charme pour entrer dansl‘intimité d‘un prince ou d‘un sénateur […] Son talent de convive l‘emportait sur tous lesautres.‖15 Beau Brummell did not climb the social scale thanks to the usual means. Thetraditional achievements of the time were financial power, artistic achievement or scientific Ian Kelly, op.cit. , p. 1.14 Captain Gronow, Reminiscences and Recollections (1810-1860) [1885, London], Trad. Henriette Levillain, in15Henriette Levillain, L’Esprit Dandy, Paris, José Corti, 1991, p. 107. 16
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.accomplishment, but he had none of these. The social context in Regency Britain appears asa crucial element in the construction of such a figure as Brummell. The British society of the18th century was characterized by fluidity. The aristocracy and the landed gentry stillconstituted the elite of the country, but they were accessible to other classes, especially thebourgeoisie who had made their fortune out of commerce in the 18th century. There weredifferent ways into the titled elite: money, marriage, and politics. Alliances contracted bymarriage between the titled elite and the wealthy bourgeoisie contributed to a merging ofsocial standards. Thus, even people without any nobility could be part of the elite. Thereby,although Brummell had none of the talents mentioned, he knew how to take advantage ofsocial mobility. The outfit, mirror of the mind – What characterizes Brummell as the founder ofDandyism and a unique personage is that he managed to shape his life in such a way as tobecome one of the most influential social figures of his time. Indeed the first dandy of alltimes was perceived by his contemporaries as the master of the art of ―paraître‖. To do so, hehad put all his talent in his outfit. However, it is clear that Brummell‘s way of dressing wasfar from eccentric. It was characterized by utmost sobriety and barely changed. Worshippedfor his remarkable style by young gentlemen, he became a model and his deep blue riding-coat a reference, as its cut favoured a slender figure. The only touch of originality inBrummell‘s outfit was in the cravat, in which he put much care. The art of the detail wasmastered by the Dandy. The neckcloth16 was the only part of the outfit that expressed itswearer‘s creativity and showed he was not a mere empty-headed mannequin. It was theultimate artistic detail to his elegant outfit – for ―L‘élégance est l‘art de l‘accessoire.‖17 – andwhat made him stand out of the crowd. So by advocating utter simplicity, Brummell actually16 See Appendix B on the art of tying the neckcloth, inspired from Brummell, p. 62.17 Henriette Levillain, op. cit., p. 14. 17
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.reinvented the principle of social distinction: the less conspicuous you are, the mostremarkable you become. Yet it is insufficient to describe Brummell through his sole outfit,for his elegance was more than a matter of clothes. His art of dressing was combined to theart of conversing. What is striking is that there was a correspondence between Brummell‘sway of dressing and his conversation. First of all, he made a point of talking only whennecessary. He was not exactly what is called ―un homme d‘esprit‖, but he had his ownaphorisms and sharp remarks. Like his outfit, his speech was sober. There was no eloquence,no repetition, only cynicism. His remarks had to be unique, as ephemeral works of art, likehis cravat. And thus Beau Brummell gradually built his ascendancy. In some way this iswhat Dandyism was all about: the outfit being the visual expression of the speech. The Dandy controlled every single aspect of the image he projected, thus making―une mise en scène de son corps et de son esprit‖18, living a life in which he was at the sametime protagonist and stage manager. In that sense, he was far from being a slave of fashion.By mastering the art of ―paraître‖, he managed to express his ―être‖. He actually put himselfat distance of society, thus proving inexact Pierce Egan‘s genealogy of the Dandy quotedearlier. He had scarcely to do with the Macaroni or the fop, who were victims of their desireto shine and thus obliterated their own personality. By imitating and at the same timeplaying with the etiquette, Brummell reinvented its rules to make them his. In thisambivalent power is probably to be sought one of the reasons why writers such as Barbeyd‘Aurevilly were fascinated by the Dandy. However, Brummell‘s Dandyism was made to beephemeral since he had no preoccupation beyond the daily cult of himself. Therefore, BeauBrummell only survived thanks to the chronicles of his time. But above all, it is becauseDandyism has been theorized by French writers of the 1830‘s that he now endures in minds.18 Ibidem, p. 15. 18
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. PART II THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DANDYIN 19TH CENTURY LITERATURE 19
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. ―The three greatest men of the age are Napoleon, Brummell and I. But had I thechoice, I‘d rather be the dandy than the emperor.‖ Attributed to Lord Byron, this phrasestresses the fascination such a poet and writer could have had for the arbiter elegantiarum ofhis time. The eponymous hero of his masterpiece Dom Juan has been said to be inspired fromBeau Brummell. It has been argued that from the moment Byron declared his admiration forthe dandy, an official relationship was established between literature and fashion. In herwork on French writers and fashion, Rose Fortassier speaks of a ―mariage morganatiqueentre l‘écrivain et la mode.‖ 19 It is from the observation and analysis of this particularrelationship that I wish to tackle the question of the Dandy in 19th century literature. The names of Byron and Brummell crossed the Channel at the same time. Franceand its writers welcomed the influence of these two British personages in a post-Napoleonicwars context. After being closed for a relatively long time, the routes between Great-Britainand France reopened, thereby revealing to people of either countries how much fashion hadevolved. That the exchanges should be made possible again is taken to be cardinal in oursubject-matter. Indeed, between 1815 and 1830, a wind of Anglomania blew over France.Subsequently, Fashion started to bear the traces of English taste. Yet in the 1830‘s,Dandyism in France was perceived as an attitude limited to ―elegant dressing, affected airsand the frequentation of fashionable cafés‖. 20 The importance given to elegance by LordByron seemed to be misunderstood, until Balzac seized the British poet‘s aesthetics andstarted to consider the appearance as an essential aspect of the writer‘s image. 21 Thisaccounts for the burst of interest in fashion on the part of French writers, and explains theway dandyism was adopted and reused in France, as we shall see.19 Rose Fortassier, Les Ecrivains français et la Mode – De Balzac à nos jours, Paris, PUF, 1988, p. 5.20 Ibidem , p. 9.21 Ibid., p. 5. 20
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. I – A “FRENCH ACCULTURATION”: THE DANDY-WRITER The adoption of dandyism by some French writers in the 1830‘s shall be studied inthe light of History. Baudelaire in his time assumed that ―le dandysme apparaît surtout auxépoques transitoires où la démocratie n‘est pas encore toute-puissante, où l‘aristocratie n‘estque partiellement chancelante et avilie.‖[PVM20] The British social fluidity of the Regencyalso existed in France at the same period; it was even exacerbated by the July Revolution of1830 which saw the temporary restoration of the low aristocracy, but this was constantlythreatened by the pressure of an ambitious bourgeoisie. In his glorious days, Brummell wasdespiteful of bourgeois values – assimilated to the ordinary. This rejection found an echo insome French artists who did not feel at ease in a century they regarded as vulgar because itwas on the verge of being controlled by the middle-class. To them, the glamour of art waslost in an era ruled by politics and capitalism, people being obsessed with money. Thesethemes are highly criticized in most of the books from Balzac‘s Comédie Humaine. In Le PèreGoriot or Eugénie Grandet, thirst for money and power are the main causes for fatal loss. Aswe shall see, French writers such as Barbey d‘Aurevilly or Balzac were quite ambiguous intheir perception and interpretation of Dandyism, and the confusion about the term ―dandy‖was probably born then. We shall focus here on the figure of the writer, which is ofparticular interest for whom wants to understand the blur that has been hovering upon thefigure of the dandy since the 1830‘s. Barbey d‘Aurevilly‘s Du Dandysme et de George Brummell, published in 1845 by anunknown editor of Caen, had no immediate impact on the public. However, this ―treatise onDandyism‖22 was to be cardinal in the perception of the figure of the Dandy. It argues thattrue dandyism could only exist in Britain. As early as in chapter 2, it can be read :22 Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit., p. 13. 21
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. ―[…] cette fatuité […] n‘est point cette autre espèce qui, sous le nom de dandysme, cherche depuis quelques temps à s‘acclimater à Paris. L‘une est la forme de la vanité humaine, universelle ; l‘autre, d‘une vanité particulière et très particulière : de la vanité anglaise. Comme tout ce qui est universel, humain, a son nom dans la langue de Voltaire ; ce qui ne l‘est pas, on est obligé de l‘y mettre, et voilà pourquoi le mot dandysme n‘est pas français.‖[DD39]As a matter of fact, ―dandyism‖ à la française strongly differed from the original concept.What is of primary interest is that the term became quite soon exclusively associated to agroup of writers who were particularly watchful of their appearance, among whom Balzac,Barbey or Stendhal. I believe that this is the precise moment when ―dandyism‖ started to beused in its modern meaning. The original figure underwent a ―French acculturation‖ 23 ,through which dandyism became associated to a certain bohemian way of life, that of the―écrivains en marge‖. Considered a kind of in-between figure, the French writer of the timewas simultaneously very much involved in social life and at a distance from it, as his taskconsisted in depicting the social scene – hence probably the attraction for the ambivalentfigure of the dandy. However the novelty was that, besides the recognition of his talent, thewriter became aware of the necessity of existing not only as an artist, but also as a man. Theadoption of specific clothes, somewhat lavish or extravagant, acted thus as a way to imposethe writer‘s own personality and personage.24 And that is how the figure of the ―Dandy-writer‖ was born. It is clear that the Dandy-writer is a totally new figure, different from the Dandy ofthe Regency, of which he can be considered a French variation. What is interesting is thatthe keys and characteristics of their interpretation of dandyism can be found in his literaryproduction. The Dandy-writers‘ works were tinted with Romanticism – which is where wefind the influence of such writers as Byron. The heirs of Chateaubriand and Victor Hugo,they could scarcely avoid the rebellious spirit that had characterized their predecessors. This23 Ibidem, p. 10.24 Rose Fortassier, op. cit., p. 6. 22
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.might be a reason why they felt attracted by the latent rebellious mood lying at the bottomof the figure of the Dandy and expressed in his clothing choices. In Rose Fortassier‘s opinion,Romanticism and fashion had to become complementary in this age, for they assume thesame ―pouvoir d‘invention‖. She argues that ―à partir de 1830 la mode et le vêtementpartagent avec la littérature les ambitions opposées et complémentaires de la nouvelle école:se saisir de ce monde extérieur qu‘on dit parfois réel, et privilégier l‘Imagination.‖25 Thatlatent spirit of rebellion also accounts for the paradoxical interpretation of dandyism inFrance. Though characteristic of Dandyism, the sobriety of the masculine suited onlysadness and conformity in the eyes of French writers. Quoting from Rose Fortassier oncemore: ―Notre écrivain du XIXe siècle a soif de fantaisie et de rêve, il n‘aime pas le bourgeois,il a jugé le mondain : et le voilà condamné à la vulgarité du vêtement moderne en général etau deuil de l‘habit en particulier! […] c‘est un fait que la tristesse de l‘habit masculin afrappé les écrivains.‖26 What emerges here is that by rejecting the conformity of the initiallydandiacal black suit, not only did the French Dandy-writer transform the whole significationof dandyism, but he also made the term synonymous of ―originality‖. Indeed, by imitation ofthe ruling orders, the black suit had been widely adopted by the bourgeoisie and symbolizedthe notion of ―respectability‖, and above all the subjection to the material and commercialexigencies of the time.27 This rejection is visible for instance in Barbey‘s crimson outfit: theFrench writer constantly wore scarlet clothes, and even sported red heels. Therefore, beinga dandy meant being original and refusing the dull commonness of ordinary bourgeoispeople who blindly sought to look like aristocrats.25 Ibidem.26 Ibid. , p. 9.27 Philippe Perrot, Les dessus et les dessous de la bourgeoisie : une histoire du vêtement au XIXe siècle, Bruxelles,Complexe, 1984, p. 59. 23
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. II – THE LITERARY FIGURE OF THE DANDY Despite the writers‘ propensity to originality, and paradoxically enough, a greatnumber of Brummellian features persist in the Dandy-writers‘ works, which is what makeJohn C. Prévost say that the two aspects of dandyism co-exist within this figure.28 Indeed, aswe shall see a little further, the heroes of Stendhal‘s La Chartreuse de Parme or Balzac‘s LePère Goriot strongly recall the idealized figure invented by Beau Brummell. Unlike the fop orthe Macaroni, the dandy can be perceived as an object of fascination since he has generated aliterature, he provided ―un scenario pour les legends et les récits romanesques.‖29 Howeverbefore going through the analysis of these French works, I shall here briefly go back to theother side of the Channel. The focus having been, by now, only on French writers, it isnonetheless necessary to expose the evolution of the figure of the Dandy-writer in Great-Britain. As a matter of fact, there has been a trend called ―dandy literature‖ there, or―fashionable novels‖ but it reflected dandyism in a different way from the French approach.This can be studied in the instance of Bulwer-Lytton‘s novel Pelham, which stages a man,Henry Pelham, in his ascension from a young inexperienced dandy to an influent man and a―man of fashion‖ in the high society of 1830‘s London. The author‘s position as a politicianmade him a public man and provided him a privileged position to observe and describe hisfellow contemporaries. Written by a dandy, about a dandy and to some extent, probably foryoung dandies, Pelham, is an insight into the mind of a typical dandy of the time. It mirrorsthe purpose of the figure in literature: addressed to a new readership, the averagebourgeoisie, it provided identification with a protagonist ―marginal intégré‖30. On the otherhand, I also wish to study dandy literature through the work of an author who was no dandy28 John C. Prévost, Le Dandysme en France (1817-1839), quoted in Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit., p. 10.29 Rose Fortassier, op. cit., p. 17.30 Ibidem, p. 18. 24
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.at all: in Great Expectations, Charles Dickens describes the rise from childhood to adulthood –or ―gentlemanhood‖ – of Pip, an initially poor child. As opposed to Pelham, Dickens‘s novelis more critical than praiseful of dandyism. At this point, I will thus make an attempt toexplore these four French and British novels in the light of dandyism. I shall analyse itsdifferent aspects in literature and ultimately see the place of the Dandy-writer in society. The Romantic hero or Brummell mythified - In his work on dandyism in France,John C. Prévost explains that despite his originality in dress, the Dandy-writer frequentlystages protagonists who are dandy figures ―in the original and historical sense of the term‖31.The hero as he appears in La Chartreuse de Parme or Le Père Goriot is a young man whoknows nothing of the world. However, he seems to be endowed with a natural grace. FabriceDel Dongo, the hero of La Chartreuse de Parme was born privileged, as the narrator says inChapter 1: ―Il venait justement de se donner la peine de naître […]‖ [CP34]. An echo of thisis to be found in Barbey‘s Du Dandysme in a description of Brummell, whom he depicts as―une individualité des plus rares qui s‘était donné uniquement la peine de naître‖ [DD29]. OfEugène de Rastignac, hero of Balzac‘s Le Père Goriot, the narrator says: ―Sa tournure, sesmanières, sa pose habituelle dénotaient le fils d‘une famille noble, où l‘éducation premièren‘avaient comporté que des traditions de bon goût. S‘il était ménager de ses habits […]néanmoins il pouvait sortir quelquefois mis comme l‘est un jeune homme élégant.‖[PG34]What the narrator describes here as a natural grace seems to be immediately associated toelegance and the way of dressing. This is of central significance in our study. In the wake of Romanticism and under the influence of such poets as Byron orLamartine, the novels of the time sketched archetypal Romantic heroes. Indeed, both Fabriceand Rastignac present the features of a melancholy young man, often adopting a dreamy31 John C. Prévost, op. cit., quoted in Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit., p. 11. 25
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.posture. At an early age, Fabrice is depicted as spending his lonely hours on the banks of theComo Lake, where the landscape unrolls his ―aspects sublimes et gracieux‖[CP52] Thesetwo adjectives recall Lamartine‘s poem ―Le Lac‖, an emblematic text of Romanticism.Subsequently, our heroes are often subjected to what is referred to as ―Byronic melancholy‖.What is striking is that this mood is often relayed in their outfit. Indeed, as opposed to theircreators, the protagonists are always shown wearing a black suit, thus following the modelimposed by the Dandy. There are several allusions to this sobre costume in La Chartreuse deParme: ―[…] le soir, quand il n‘allait pas dans le très grand monde, [Fabrice] étaitsimplement vêtu de noir comme un homme en deuil‖ [CP209], or else ―Tout le monde ici ades uniformes ou des habits richement brodés : quel peut être ce jeune homme en habit noirsi simple ?‖[CP603] This last occurrence stresses the singularity of Fabrice in his black suit,among men dressed with colours, and supposedly, without taste. It tends to highlight theprocess of discretion as a means of distinction advocated by Brummell. At the same time, itfurther secures the idea that Fabrice‘s melancholy is encapsulated in his way of dressing: theblack suit of the original Dandy is deployed here as a visible expression of the melancholymood. The dark costume echoes the heroes‘ romantic and stoic postures, their silentsuffering before the ordeals of live. Thereby, such heroes appear as mirroring the visualfigure of Beau Brummell. Another distinctive feature of these dandy-heroes is that they behave like Brummell.John C. Prévost argues that ―they are attributed his self-complacency, impassivity andimpertinence‖32. It is true for Fabrice, whose talent of orator is regularly shown, especiallyas he officiates as a cardinal. However, we are far from Brummell‘s aphorisms or maxims.Such a character as Fabrice does not really take pleasure in teaching lessons to the rest ofsociety. It can be argued here that the Dandy has undergone a true transformation. As a32 Ibid. 26
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.literary character, the dandy-hero must be more than a mere public figure. In reality, thedepths of his melancholy personality cannot perfectly fit the Brummellian mood, for theDandy was exclusively self-centered, which is not the case with Fabrice or Rastignac. Bothyoung men are too sincere to remain insensitive to the throes of society. At this stage, it canbe said that the historical Dandy‘s features are being transformed for the sake of fiction.Already mythified by Barbey d‘Aurevilly in Du Dandysme, here the personage of the Dandyhas acquired the ―exposition of a legend.‖33 The process of mythification is further reinforcedas the fictional dandy-hero becomes autonomous and independent from its source ofinspiration. The interlacing of Romanticism and Brummellian Dandyism simultaneouslyshows its limits and gives birth to a totally new figure which could be described as themodern French hero of the 19th century. Dandyism as an achievement – A common feature in dandy literature is that theyoung hero starts from nothing – or scarcely – and has to learn the ways of a gentleman intosuccess and thereby adulthood. Thus, he needs master the etiquette and be worthy of theelite. In Paris‘s high-life, society was ruled by the once fallen and restored aristocracy –restored under the July Monarchy. The frail equilibrium this social category has managed toestablish is constantly threatened by the vulgarity of the bourgeois world. The valuesconveyed by such ladies as Mme de Bauséant or Maxime de Trailles – the archetypaldandiacal social climber – in Le Père Goriot, are entirely characteristic of the world theyoung dandies wished to belong to. Surprisingly enough, although it is depicted ashypocritical and fake, the only ambition of Rastignac is to be part of this world. Hisenthusiasm is described as such:33 Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit., p. 13. 27
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. ―Être jeune, avoir soif du monde, avoir faim d‘une femme, et voir s‘ouvrir pour soi deux maisons! Mettre le pied au faubourg Saint-Germain chez la vicomtesse de Bauséant, le genou dans la Chaussée-d‘Antin chez la comtesse de Restaud ! plonger d‘un regard dans les salons de Paris en enfilade, et se croire assez joli garçon pour y trouver aide et protection dans un cœur de femme !‖[PG55]As this passage implies, the debut of a young man into the world is of capital importance. Anentire section of Balzac‘s book entitled ―L‘entrée dans le Monde‖ is dedicated to Rastignac‘sinitiation into Paris high-society. In a similar context, Dickens‘s Great Expectations stagesyoung Pip, at the beginning miserable and with no education, who gradually becomes agentleman. By way of consequence, the hero who wants to enter the world is to become aman of fashion. For this purpose, his suit is used as an essential element, as shown whenRastignac is taught about a fashionable man‘s outfit: ―Vous serez indigne de votre destinée si vous ne dépensiez trois mille francs chezvotre tailleur, six cents francs chez le parfumeur, cent écus chez le bottier, cent écus chez lechapelier. […] Les jeunes gens à la mode ne peuvent se dispenser d‘être très forts surl‘article du linge : n‘est-ce pas ce qu‘on examine le plus souvent en eux ?‖[PG174]The same idea is conveyed in another occurrence : ―Quand il eut essayé ses habits du soir, ilremit sa nouvelle toilette du matin qui le métamorphosait complètement. – Je vaux bienMonsieur de Trailles, se dit-il. Enfin j‘ai l‘air d‘un gentilhomme !‖[PG138] I would arguehere that the accomplishment as a gentleman necessary implies adopting the requiredclothes. Similarly, in Bulwer-Lytton‘s dandy novel Pelham, the main protagonist HenryPelham gives many information and advice as to his clothes, for he believes them afundamental element of social success. This is made visible in the following passage: ―On entering Paris I had resolved to set up ―a character‖, for I was always of an ambitious nature, and desirous to be distinguished from the ordinary herd. After various cogitations […] I thought nothing appeared more likely to be remarkable among men […] than an egregious coxcomb: accordingly I arranged my hair into ringlets, dressed myself with singular plainness and simplicity (a low person, by the by, would have done just the contrary)‖[P31] 28
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.The latter instance sums up the nature and intentions of the young dandy. The apparentarrogance and self-complacency of Henry Pelham, though presented with irony and humourin the novel, provides a clear idea of the artificiality required to enter good society. But italso shows once again how the simplicity of the dress is taken as a sign of distinction – notonly of taste, but inevitably of social rank. Later on, when Pelham has reached an influentpolitical position, now in London, he devotes an entire chapter to the art of dress. Chapter 7in Volume II introduces a series of 22 maxims concerning ―the divine art of which [tailors]are the professors‖[P162]: ―1. Do not require you dress so much to fit, as to adorn you. Nature is not to be copied, but to be exalted by art. […] 2. Never in your dress altogether desert that taste which is general. The world considers eccentricity in great things, genius; in small things, folly. 3. Always remember that you dress to fascinate others, not yourself. […] 14. The most principle of dress is neatness – the most vulgar is preciseness. […] 16. Dress so that it may never be said of you ―What a well dressed man!‖ – but, ―What a gentlemanlike man!‖ […] 22. He who esteems trifles for themselves, is a trifler – he who esteems them for the conclusions to be drawn from them, or the advantage to which they can be put, is a philosopher.‖ [P162]From the last maxim, the deduction can be made that Henry Pelham considers the art ofdress as a means to become a gentleman, and thus act as evidence of his social success. Wehave to remember here the attitude of the Dandy whose aim was to blur social frontiers. It has been said of Dandyism that it was a ―culte de soi-même‖, for ―the dandy is theobject of his own worship and sacrament.‖34 However, what emerges more sharply here isthat fashion is used as a means and not an end. The dandy novel as a Bildungsromannecessarily involves fashion in a process of social climbing. From this perspective, it can besaid that such novels interpret dandyism as part of an achievement in young people‘s life.The dress becomes a code thanks to which you are likely to be respected, for it becomes avisual testimony of your accomplishment, adulthood being assimilated to ―gentlemanhood‖.34 Ibidem, p. 19. 29
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.Nevertheless, this apparent social glory conveyed through the neat dandiacal dress remainsladen with a latent rebellious mood, since in some way, those heroes are ―extensions‖ of theirauthors, these provocative Dandy-writers.35 The critical rebellious figure – A surprising feature of the heroes in dandyliterature is that they often seem to stand alone against the cruel mundane world they wishto enter, and yet criticize. The social hypocrisy of Milan, Paris or London lies mainly in thefact that everything is based on appearance and power. This distance the protagonistsmanage to acquire through their Romantic and stoic posture is characteristic of theirheroism since it is what allows them to establish their influence over society. Paradoxically,Dandyism here seems to serve as a means of detachment from society. This contradictorymovement had been evoked by Barbey d‘Aurevilly : ―C‘est une révolution individuelle contre l‘ordre établi, quelquefois contre la nature :ici on touche à la folie. Le dandysme […] se joue de la règle et pourtant la respecte encore.Il en souffre et s‘en venge tout en la subissant ; il s‘en réclame quand il y échappe ; il ladomine et en est dominé tour à tour : double et muable caractère !‖[DD47]The presence of the term ―revolution‖ immediately recalls the anti-authority attitudeadvocated by the Dandy-writers, especially in France. Their heroes show ―signs of anti-bourgeois attitude, abhorrence of commercial values and refusal to be integrated intobourgeois society‖ 36 and thus perfectly reflect the authors‘ feeling that society wasprogressively being overwhelmed by bourgeois vulgarity and excessive materialism. Thecontinuity of the Industrial Revolution accentuates this at least as much as the socialinstabilities. In an age when everything tended to be mechanized, the figure of the Romanticdandy – and behind him the Dandy-writer – can be interpreted as an attempt to resurrectmoral values and sincere passions. A good example of this is shown by Rastignac‘s35 Ibid., p. 11.36 Ibid. 30
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.exclamation at the end of the novel, when, at last, after experiencing the horrors of people‘sthirst for high-life, he defies the swarming city of Paris: ―Il lança sur cette ruchebourdonnant un regard qui semblait par avance en pomper le miel, et dit ces motsgrandioses: « A nous deux maintenant ! »‖[PG308] This defying posture is at one and thesame time deriving from the original dandiacal attitude and completely different since itaims at criticizing the evolution of society. One of the most compelling instances of this double-evolution can be found inDickens‘s Great Expectations. The fact that it has been written on the pattern of a dandynovel – a romantic hero in a Bildungsroman – but by a critical author adds to the impressionthat the figure conveys ambiguous values. Indeed, even if being a gentleman is praised for itsoffering access to high-society, the hypocritical aspect of this process is handled critically byDickens. As Pip eventually realizes, his desire for social success has mistaken him intoforgetting about the people who cared most about him, including his thoughtful brother-in-law Joe. When looking back on his life, the adult narrator often adopts an ironical tone thatcasts a doubtful look on the gentleman he has become. This hero‘s specificity is that he hadestablished in his mind that the ideas of moral, social and educational advancements wereinterdependent. Yet, two occurrences lead him to reconsider his idealistic vision of wealthand social class. The first one happens when he realizes the convict Magwitch‘s loyalty is atthe origin of his fortune: ― ―Yes, Pip, dear boy, Ive made a gentleman on you! Its me wot has done it! I swore that time, sure as ever I earned a guinea, that guinea should go to you. I swore arterwards, sure as ever I speclated and got rich, you should get rich.[…]‖ The abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which I shrank from him, could not have been exceeded if he had been some terrible beast. ―Lookee here, Pip. Im your second father. Youre my son,—more to me nor any son. Ive put away money, only for you to spend. […] Lord strike me dead! I says each time,— and I goes out in the air to say it under the open heavens,—but wot, if I gets liberty and money, Ill make that boy a gentleman! And I done it. Why, look at you, dear boy! Look at these here lodgings oyourn, fit for a lord!‖ ‖[GE319] 31
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.The second one acts as an acceptation of the latter: ― ―Dear Magwitch, I must tell you now, at last. You understand what I say?‖ A gentle pressure on my hand. ―You had a child once, whom you loved and lost.‖ A stronger pressure on my hand. ―She lived, and found powerful friends. She is living now. She is a lady and very beautiful. And I love her !‖ ‖[GE460]From the moment Pip accepts the idea that his former ideal of wealth and beauty Estella isthe daughter of a low-class convict, his glorious vision of gentlemanliness collapses for good.The staging of such a reversal in the hero‘s life sheds an entirely different light on the figureof the dandy in literature. The title of the novel itself appears as ironic: what can be called―great‖ and what should be the real expectations of a young man? The Victorian fascinationfor the dandy figure is here put into perspective: Instead of considering dandyism as arespectable achievement, Dickens reverses the process, thereby encouraging his readers togo beyond the deformations resulting from the materialistic evolution of society. Yet itcannot be said that Dickens is against gentlemanliness, since he tends to recognize somegood aspects in it. What he mainly criticizes through Pip‘s behaviour is that young peopletend to deceive the other and themselves in order to appear fashionable and worthy ofrespect. But living one‘s life with blinkers can only be considered living a sham.37 Seen from this critical angle, the figure of the gentleman derived from that of theDandy does not appear as praiseworthy as it seemed in such novels as Pelham. This tends toconfirm the Baudelairian idea that the dandy is a transitory figure which is constantly beingreworked and modified according to the emotions and fears of the time. We shall see thistheory further reinforced in the next part, in which the theme of the dandy as acrystallization of the spirit of the time will be further developed.37 Robin Gilmour, The Idea of the Gentleman in the Victorian Novel, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1981, p. 12. 32
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. PART IIIDANDYISM AND DECADENCE:THE DANDY AS AN ARTIST. 33
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. When in 1863, Baudelaire wrote and published Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne, heintended it to be a treatise on beauty and modernity. He devotes one entire chapter to thefigure of the Dandy. But to begin with, Chapter I, entitled ―Le Beau, la Mode et le Bonheur‖is of interest for our subject-matter since it associates fashion to such timeless and universalvalues as Beauty and Happiness. This will be considered as an open window on an ―essentialquality of the Aesthetic and Decadent sensibility […] that quality we must define as aDandyism of Senses‖, which developed in the 1880‘s and 1890‘s in England.38 Indeed, whatis called the fin-de-siècle period saw a growth of artists interested in the figure of the Dandyin the prism of Aestheticism and Decadence. These two movements have been characteristicof this period. The term ―Decadent‖ was originally a name given by hostile critics to someFrench writers who valued artifice over the naive simplicity of nature, thereby going againstthe Romantic ideal that had prevailed at the beginning of the century. Some of them took abadge of pride in adopting this name. It symbolized their rejection of what they called thebanality of their time. Their prevalent assumption was that Art was a human realizationwhich had to distance itself from nature in order to reach real beauty. Baudelaire was aleader of this movement, and it is in this perspective that we shall study Le Peintre de la VieModerne in general, and its chapter dedicated to the Dandy in particular. The DecadentMovement was echoed in England by the Aesthetic Movement, to which the Irish writerand dandy Oscar Wilde belonged. Both movements are now considered as havinganticipated Modernity. We shall discuss how the figure of the Dandy developed and evolved in a post-Romantic and pre-modern context. At this point, I shall make a brief account of the socialand historical context in Europe at the end of the 19th century. The century was marked byongoing mechanization and apparently unstoppable progress, not to mention the fact that Stephen Calloway, ―Wilde and the Dandyism of Senses‖ in Peter Raby, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Oscar38Wilde, Cambridge, CUP, 1997, p. 34. 34
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.the bourgeoisie had almost completely become the ruling social order. Thus while theRomantics had exalted the beauty of nature, poets and writers of the fin-de-siècle periodcould no longer have an idyllic view of the world. As Baudelaire‘s poems suggest, theirvision was more of a dull gloomy world. Another fundamental criteria of the time is whatBaudelaire calls ―la marée montante de la démocratie, qui envahit tout et qui nivelletout‖[PVM21], and its effect on the status of the artist. His main fears come from the factthat the bourgeoisie has now become the leading social category, thus replacing thearistocracy who had by then been involved in the system of patronage that had allowed thesurvival of the artist. As Davina L. Eisenberg explains, ―During the eighteenth century, the artist was patronized by the aristocracy, with which he had a parasitic relationship. After the French Revolution, the artist was faced with the collapse of social hierarchy which, for him, meant that the patrons would no longer be the aristocracy, but the bourgeoisie. The artist refused any such association, since it would not be one of exchange. Moreover, the bourgeois knew nothing about art. The artist was ―déclassé‖, belonging neither to the aristocracy nor to the bourgeoisie. He was also ―désoeuvré‖.‖39Therefore, dandyism, as perceived by the artists at the end of the 19th century, participatedin a movement of social and artistic uncertainty. People were afraid of the dawn of a newcentury, and most of them overtaken by the too rapid progress of machinery. This isprobably a reason why Baudelaire looks at dandyism as the signal of a new socio-culturalclimate. As we shall see, he makes an analogy between beauty in Art and dandyism,assuming that Art, like the dandy, is to be recognized and acknowledged only by thosecapable of seeing in a world running to catastrophe.39 Davina L. Eisenberg, op. cit., p. 17. 35
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. I – THE DANDY: A FIGURE OF MODERNITY ―Ces costumes […] présentent un charme d‘une nature double, artistique et historique […] c‘est la morale et l‘esthétique du temps. L‘idée que l‘homme se fait du beau s‘imprime dans tout son ajustement, chiffonne ou raidit son habit, arrondit ou aligne son geste, et même pénètre subtilement, à la longue, les traits de son visage.‖ Charles Baudelaire, Chap. I, « Le Beau, la Mode et le Bonheur » in Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne. Departing from Barbey d‘Aurevilly‘s aforementioned essay, Baudelaire‘s chapter onthe dandy in Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne situates this figure as deeply embedded in its time.He theorizes dandyism as an object of beauty, thus raising elegance to the status of Art. Atone and the same time, he gives an accurate description of this figure he considers ascharacteristic of the transitory period called fin-de-siècle. To him, the term ―dandy‖ implies―une quintessence de caractère et une intelligence subtile de tout le mécanisme moral de cemonde‖[PMV8], a quality which makes him a privileged observer and actor in society.Baudelaire puts him on a pedestal, insisting on the ―aristocratic superiority‖ of his mind. Hegrants the dandies ―ce qu‘il y a de meilleur dans l‘orgueil humain.‖[PVM20] This portraitseems rather close to the Romantic hero we have studied previously. However, the Frenchpoet focuses on the close relationship the dandy nourishes with beauty and Art, insisting onthe spiritual aspect dandyism can convey. He sees dandyism as a religion, thus echoing thecaricature Thomas Carlyle had made in Sartor Resartus by saddling the dandies with thenickname of ―Dandiacal Sect‖40. Although the British author had made a strong caricature,his analysis of Dandyism seems surprisingly accurate if read in the context of Decadence.Carlyle wrote in 1833:40 Thomas Carlyle, op. cit., p. 428. 36
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. ―A Dandy is a Clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office, and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, purse, and person is heroically consecrated to his one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that as others dress to live, he lives to dress. The all-importance of Clothes […] has sprung up in the intellect of the Dandy without effort, like an instinct of genius; he is inspired with Cloth, a Poet of Cloth.‖41Ironically, although this occurrence was supposed to introduce a criticism of thephenomenon, it seems to be quite close to Baudelaire‘s idea that dressing should beconsidered a work of art. This closeness has been later stressed by Max Beerbohm, a dandyand leading figure of the Decadent Movement, who assumes in his essay Dandies & Dandies,dated 1896, that Dandyism is not merely a matter of social life and mere superficiality: ―[Dandyism‘s] contact with social life is, indeed, but one of the accidents of an art. Its influence, like the scent of a flower, is diffused unconsciously. It has his own aims and laws, and knows none other. And the only person who ever fully acknowledged this truth in aesthetics is, of all persons most unlikely, the author of Sartor Resartus.‖42And of Carlyle‘s quotation above, Beerbohm writes: ―Those are true words. They are,perhaps, the only true words in Sartor Resartus.‖43 Such a view on the use of clothes and their place in social relationships seems to bequite characteristic of the end of the century, in the context of a shifting social hierarchy.Indeed, there are some complex interactions between the historical and social shifts takingplace at the time. The rise of a new individuality in search of a new identity can be seen inclose alignment with the reaction against the supposedly banal progress brought about bythe Industrial Revolution to the expense of beauty and Art. The costume is taken here as acardinal element since it is used as a means of expression of the self. Fashion as a means ofexpression can be seen as a pre-modernist idea, emphasized by Baudelaire in these terms:―[Le Peintre des Temps Modernes] cherche quelque chose qu‘on nous permettra d‘appeler41 Ibidem, p. 430.42 Max Beerbohm, op. cit.43Ibidem. 37
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.la modernité; car il ne se présente pas de meilleur mot pour exprimer l‘idée en question. Ils‘agit, pour lui, de dégager de la mode ce qu‘elle peut contenir de poétique dans l‘historique,de tirer l‘éternel du transitoire.‖[PMV10] This quest can be assimilated to that of thedecadent dandy who seeks recognition, but also beauty through the eyes of whom can see.As Carlyle writes – ironically but truly again: ―[…] what is it that the Dandy asks in return? Solely, we may say, that you would recognize his existence; would admit him to be a living object; or even failing this, a visual object, or thing that will reflect rays of light. Your silver or your gold (beyond what the niggardly Law has already secured him) he solicits not; simply the glance of your eyes.‖44This instance and especially the phrase ―visual object‖ encourage us to analyse what look thedandy adopts regarding himself. If the costume has a capital role here, it is not only becauseit is employed as the best means of social distinction in a modern society, but also becausethe dress is granted a strong visual and aesthetic power.44 Thomas Carlyle, op. cit., p. 433. 38
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. II – AESTHETICISM AND DANDYISM OF THE SENSES: THE SELF-AS-ART. ―The artist is the creator of beautiful things […] Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. […] All art is at once surface and symbol. […] We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All Art is quite useless.‖ Oscar Wilde, Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray. In his essay Dandies & Dandies, Max Beerbohm ―establishes the dandy as the role-model par excellence for fin-de-siècle sensibility‖.45 In the wake of the Decadent and AestheticMovements, he does not interpret dandyism as Barbey d‘Aurevilly did – that is, a socialphenomenon – but rather presents it as a form of Art, hence writing: ―In certain congruitiesof dark cloth, in the rigid perfection of his linen, in the symmetry of his glove with his hand,lay the secret of Mr Brummell‘s miracles […] Mr Brummell was, indeed in the utmostsense of the word, an artist.‖46 But to what extent could dandyism be associated with Art?According to Baudelaire, dandies bore the quintessential beauty of Art in their elegance. Bycalling for the original Dandy Beau Brummell and interpreting his way of dressing as an Art,Beerbohm sheds a modern light on the bonds between Art and dandyism. It no longer dealswith some social process: it proceeds from an aesthetic cult of the self of which dandyism isthe consecrated expression. As we shall see through the study and analysis of Oscar Wilde‘sPicture of Dorian Gray, the Aesthetic Movement has given birth to an entirely new concept ofdandyism that raises it above all forms of banality. Influenced by a kind of new hedonismsuch as described in Walter Pater‘s conclusion for his Studies in the History of the Renaissance,45 Stephen Calloway, op. cit., p. 45.46 Max Beerbohm, op. cit. 39
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.which book Wilde claimed to have ―such a strange influence over [his] life‖47, the Aesthetesinterpreted dandyism as a form of superiority in taste. Thereby, the ―Dandy-aesthetes‖, aswe can call them, initiated a ―Dandyism of the Senses – a self-consciously precious andhighly fastidious discrimination brought to bear on both art and life‖ 48 . This sensibilityconsisted in cultivating an aesthetic response that began beyond ordinary notions of taste,and praised aesthetics beyond all considerations of mere fashion or morality. The position adopted by Wilde in the preface to his 1891 novel reveals the influenceof the Aesthetic movement, which, under Paterian influence, obeyed the motto ―Art for Art‘ssake‖. This phrase uncovered the will to construct a new form of Art that would be ignorantof social conventions or moral standards and whose sole aim would be ―aesthetic experienceor the single-minded pursuit of beauty‖49. The Aesthetes sought to develop a heightenedartistic sensibility that would allow them to transform themselves by seeing their livesthrough the prism of Art. Unsurprisingly, they were deeply attracted to the Regency period,which they perceived as ―self-consciously chic, elegant and even, at times, flashy […],[which observed] with delight its constant obsession with manners, style and ton, […][valued] the creation of effect [and regarded highly] verbal brilliance.‖ 50 This periodseemed to mirror what they wanted to express through their own attitude and what theydisplayed to the other‘s eyes. The fascination the Dandy of the Regency was said to exert onhis society became of principal interest. In some way the process bordered on theatricality.Indeed Beau Brummell in his time was above all a public figure who could exist onlythrough his own eyes and the eyes of his public. In her anthology on dandyism, HenrietteLevillain writes: ―le premier dandysme a fait de la société élégante sa scène théâtrale [et] a47 Oscar Wilde, quoted in Stephen Calloway, op. cit., p. 36.48 Stephen Calloway, op. cit., p. 34.49 Ibidem, p. 37.50 Ibid., p. 36. 40
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.été médiatisé par le regard fasciné d‘une classe montante.‖ 51 London society in the 19thcentury was at the same time admirer and judge of Brummell‘s apparitions. In a similarspirit, as if echoing Henry Pelham who wanted to ―set up a character‖ when entering Paris,the Aesthete interpreted dandyism as the working out of an aesthetic personage. From thisperspective, it is quite easy to understand which role the costume occupied. Just like anactor‘s costume on the stage, the Dandy-aesthete‘s usual outfit had to reflect his inner stateof mind – ―Art is at once surface and symbol‖, Wilde says. Similarly, in his ―Maxims‖concerning the art of dressing, Henry Pelham says that ―[…] nature is not to be copied, butto be exalted by art‖[P162]. Perfectly fitting the Aesthetes‘ mood, this can be seen asforeshadowing the interest they will take in dandyism. The Dandy-aesthetes‘ main purpose was to make Art a lifestyle. Not only did theystage their lives as plays, but they also wanted to be the unique jewel in the center of thecanvas, the most accomplished work of art in the midst of beautiful things. Therefore theymade a work of art of their own lives, strongly insisting upon the importance of the ―pose‖.This view on life establishes the strong relationship between dandyism and fashion from itsvery outset. At first a mere ornament of the body – the body which becomes the canvas forpainting one‘s life -, clothes could become the strongest way of expressing one‘s taste foraesthetics. The choice in clothes allowed ephemeral and time-bound physical beauty tobecome ―for a moment universal‖. A good example of this occurs within this passage: ―[…]certainly, to [Dorian Gray] Life itself was the first, the greatest, of the arts, and for it all the other arts seemed to be but a preparation. Fashion, by which what is really fantastic becomes for a moment universal, and Dandyism, which, in its own way, is an attempt to assert the absolute modernity of beauty, had, of course, their fascination for him.‖[PDG125]51 Henriette Levillain, op. cit., p. 8. 41
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.The latter instance is of central significance since it stresses the fact that elegance is notonly a smart way of dressing, it is above all the result of an artistic process that mustculminate in universal beauty. As this passage implies, clothes were fundamental for thedandy to assert his social superiority, and were the screen between him and society. It is thus, bearing this relationship in mind, that we should approach the details ofthe dandys dressing in The Picture of Dorian Gray. One of the most striking moments occurswhen Dorian Gray is seen attaching particular minuteness to his outfit after he hasmurdered Basil Hallward: ―[he] dressed himself with even more than his usual care, giving agood deal of attention to the choice of his necktie and scarf-pin, and changing his rings morethan once.‖[PDG156] This passage accentuates the role of screen played by the outfit atleast as much as the sense of detail that mattered so much to the Dandy. As Brummell hadestablished, the importance does not lie in the originality of the whole outfit – or else itbecomes bad taste – but in precise items. Though barely visible, they convey such subtleimpressions as the persons mood, and can be a signal for his most inner secrets. In a similarsituation, after Dorian Gray has stabbed his portrait hence provoking his own death, thedead body is recognizable thanks to the rings only: ―Lying on the floor was a dead man, inevening dress with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage.It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.‖[PDG213] Therecognition of the body made possible through accessories seems to serve as a way to remindus that Dorian Gray had put all his personality through his appearance, to the point that theitems carried his identity. Max Beerbohm has taken this theme to its ultimate completion inhis essay, in which he describes clothes which have become part of their wearer, to the pointthat they bear the traces of his mood and identity: 42
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. ―For some years I had felt convinced that in a perfect dandy this affinity [i.e. withhis clothes] must reach a point, when the costume itself, planned with the finest sensibility,would change with the emotional changes of its wearer, automatically. […] when weentered it, the cloak-room displayed long rows of unburdened pegs—save where one hatshone. None but that illustrious dandy, Lord X., wears quite so broad a brim as this hat had.[…] I saw with wonder Lord X.s linen actually flush for a moment and then turn deadlypale. I looked again and saw that his boots had lost their lustre. Drawing nearer, I found thatgrey hairs had begun to show themselves in his raven coat. […] In the cloak-room, when Iwent for my own hat and cane, there was the hat with the broad brim, and (lo!) over its iron-blue surface little furrows had been ploughed by Despair.‖52The significance of clothes as a way to express individuality emerges even more sharply. Itcan be said that with the Dandy-Aesthete, fashion became a much valuable and higherprocess than what it used to be. By transforming the individual into a potential work of art,the Aesthete endowed clothes with the power to ultimately convey the creative spirit of theirwearer, but also his own identity in a dull age in which people tended to lose personalbearings.52 Max Beerbohm, op. cit. 43
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. PART IV THE DANDY, FASHION AND DISTINCTION 44
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. As we have seen, the figure of the dandy has much evolved as the 19th century wenton. However, one characteristic feature has persisted throughout time: the tight relationshipbetween the dandy and his clothes. No matter which ideology or theory of art dandyism wasassociated to, it has remained a concept closely linked to the dress, until it consecrated it as ameans of artistic expression. Indeed dandyism has triggered a questioning about thestructures at the basis of dressing, and can also be considered as the first real discourse onthis phenomenon. From Brummell to Barbey or Wilde, all these dandies have contributed toestablish an interpretative discourse on fashion. 53 They inspired a style, theorized an entirenew way of dressing, and thereby revealed the aesthetic and social potentialities that dweltin the costume. The black suit, considered as original when worn by Beau Brummell for thefirst time, became the prerogative of the mass in less than one century. Adopted by thebourgeois, the then democratized dandiacal black dress evolved in parallel with a blurring ofthe social borders. Paradoxically, whereas it was supposed to symbolize an aristocraticsuperiority in mind in the first place, the black costume was appropriated by the very peoplewho contested that order they considered as obsolete. This question shall be tackled further. It is clear that if today the Elegant Man is always dressed with an utterly sober suit,with very few colours and patterns, he plainly owes it to the Dandy‘s sobriety. Nevertheless,a characteristic of our modern society regarding fashion is that we crave for originality, andthis is also relevant since it is probably from the 19th century that we have developed thisobsession for uniqueness, without necessarily overriding the conventions of the time. So Ishall try and examine here to what extent the dandy‘s view of elegance has influenced notonly the masculine costume, but also the whole concept of Fashion in our modern societies.53 Frédéric Monneyron, op. cit, p. 15. 45
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. I – THE TRIUMPH OF SOBRIETY: A HISTORY OF ELEGANCE ―He invented the content of the word ‗Elegance‘.‖54 Captain Jesse, First biographer of Brummell. It has been observed that until the very end of the 18th century, the masculinecostume was marked by lavishness and sometimes gaudiness under the influence of the courtof Versailles. Philippe Perrot writes in his history of the costume in the 19 th century : ―Si onavait dit aux beaux messieurs du dix-huitième siècle qu‘un jour leurs descendantséchangeraient leurs brillantes toilettes contre ce morceau de drap noir sans ornament, ilsauraient protesté contre cette erreur de la mode, contre ce dédain de la couleur, contre cetteimmolation du pittoresque.‖55 It is true that with Brummell and the Dandies, the transitionfrom extravagancy to sobriety was quite unexpected and abrupt. But it was successful.Although a poor writer, Beau Brummell left a unique work in which he had reported hisideas on dressing and elegance. Written down in 1822, entitled Principles of Costume appliedto the improved dress of the present day, it deals on two volumes with the relation the costumemay have with architecture, thus drawing a link between fashion and construction. Heinsists on the right proportions between the top and the bottom, and subsequently on theshape of the suit and trousers – the silhouette having to follow the shape of a reversepyramid to be light and refined. From whence we can detect the still valid theory accordingto which the handsome man should have a broad chest and be built like an athlete. He alsowrites about colours, which must be in harmony and never crude. Dark colours must betempered by light ones such as beige or off white. In contrast with the fop or the macaroni,54 Captain William Jesse, The Life of Brummell [1844], quoted in Henriette Levillain, op. cit., p. 119.55 Gustave Claudin, quoted in Philippe Perrot, op. cit., p. 58. 46
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.Brummell had suppressed colours. An echo of this is to be found in the 20 th century throughCoco Chanel‘s obsession with the elegance conveyed in a dark dress, offset by white linings. Brummell is now considered as having revolutionized masculine fashion, which ismainly why the suit, the cravat and modern trousers spring to mind at the mention of hisname.56 According to Balzac, gentlemen owed to Brummell the demonstration of how muchelegant life was tied to the perfection of all human society. In his Traité de la Vie Elegante, theFrench writer borrows two essential statements from the Dandy: the necessary simplicity ofthe black suit on a white shirt, and the importance of not being conspicuous. Indeed, one ofBrummell‘s remembered phrases had been: ―If people turn to look at you in the street, youare not well dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.‖57 The same idea isevoked in Baudelaire‘s chapter on the dandy: ―[…] à ses yeux [i.e. le dandy], épris avanttout de distinction, la perfection de la toilette consiste-t-elle dans la simplicité absolue, qui esten effet la meilleure manière de se distinguer.‖[PMV20] So Brummell revolutionized thedress, and established the concept of Elegance, which could be achieved only throughsimplicity. Dandy dress, common dress 58 – At this point I would like to go through theinfluence of original Dandyism on the masculine costume in the western world, by dwellingupon the history of masculine style from the beginning of the century until today. Under theinfluence of Brummell‘s sobriety and praise of the tailor-made outfit, the gentlemen of theRegency adopted what would remain the perfect masculine silhouette for the followingcenturies: large shoulders, a tight waist and straight legs. Indeed this configuration tends toenhance the virile aspect of the wearer and his haughty attitude. Brummell also introduced56 See Appendix A, p. 61.57 George Bryan Brummell, quoted by Ian Kelly, op. cit., front flap.58 For illustrations and extra information on this subject, please refer to Appendix B, p.62. 47
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.the waistcoat, which remained a duly part of the masculine three-piece suit until the mid-20thcentury, and is still used today on formal occasions. The dark colours of the costume havealso been kept and considered a mark of elegance until they were only recently reintroducedas a sign of strong personality. On the whole, the 19th and the 20th century have beengoverned by the image of the elegant English gentleman. Although he has been supplantedby the Italian and the functional elegance of the American man at the end of the last century,the dandy remains a founding figure in masculine fashion. From a general point of view, menunlike women, seem to be wary of change in outfit. Therefore the tailcoat, directly inheritedfrom Brummell‘s riding-coat, has become a classical reference and has been worn by businessmen until the First World War. At the beginning of the 20th century, the masculine costumewas subjected to minor changes. At the very end of the 19th century, the obsession with thetailored costume had led to a somewhat stuffy appearance. In 1900, the ―Ivy League‖ styleimposed to men of high education a refined yet casual outfit: the three piece suite could nowbe worn in separate pieces, which still inspired elegance but made a break from the tooformal costume. However, in the shape of the silhouette could still be seen the aesthetic ofthe dandy. From the military uniform to the Ivy League style, the striped costume of theItalian man, to the tuxedo that was enthusiastically adopted by the New York high societyin the 1920‘s, until today‘s ―habit de prestige‖ – the business man‘s suit – the elegant outfit isstill dominated by dark colours, the cut straight and the silhouette faithful to that advocatedby the Beau. So on the whole, it can be said that today‘s masculine elegance is largelyinspired from Brummell‘s conceptions. 48
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. II – THE DANDY’S DISCOURSE: THE BIRTH OF FASHION AS A MEANS OF DISTINCTION As the study of its evolution clearly shows, dandyism has foreshadowed aninterpretation of the social functions of dressing.59 The Dandy was the first to question thesocial role of clothes and the message they could convey in the eyes of others, and thismeaning given to the dress has been considered a fundamental constitutive element ofdandyism. Frederic Monneyron, who have taken an interest in the social role embedded inthe dress, has argued about such a Dandy-writer as Balzac that ―avec son Traité de la vieélégante, […] [il fit] du vêtement la manifestation visible d‘un être invisible‖60. This processhas then reached its paroxysm with the Dandy-aesthete who recognized the value of thedress as a visual work of art peculiar to one‘s personality. On the whole, what stands outfrom the dandy‘s attitude to his outfit is that it is viewed and used as the best means to beremarked. Thus the Dandy‘s main concern was to be unique in a society in which peopletended to be merged. However, he did not wish to be eccentric. This subtle balance had to beobtained through the mastering of Elegance, as we shall see. Remarkable, but notconspicuous, such is the dandy‘s motto. Indeed everyone wearing a black suit was likely toblur the boundaries, which in some way represented an advantage for whom wanted to makeforget his low origins, but on the other hand, the individual found himself drowned into anocean of similarities. As paradoxical as it may seem, people in Europe had desired the socialuniformity brought by democracy, but still, they advocated the individualism encouraged bythe age of the Enlightenment.59 Frédéric Monneyron, op. cit., p. 1960 Ibidem, p. 20. 49
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. What emerges at this point is that considering dandyism as a social phenomenonmeans recognizing the fact that the outfit is the reflection of social moods. From this twostatements can be done: first, in the 19th century, it is natural that fashion followed thecontradictory desires of the bourgeoisie: to belong to the elite and at the same time being onan equal footing with anyone. Second, fashion must be studied from a sociological angle.Therefore, we shall study now to what extent modern Fashion is part of a sociologicalprocess, and from this point of view, what it owes to the dandy. The dialectic movement of Imitation-Distinction – In his book La Distinction,Critique sociale du Jugement, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu tries to establish anddevelop the relationship existing between questions of taste and social behaviour. Howdifficult it may be because it must face such subjective values as judgment of beauty, such astudy is still possible through the consideration of the link established in modern societiesbetween high-education and good taste. Indeed, as we have seen, the more one rose insociety, the more one was supposed to be instructed, and even brilliant – which encompassedthe necessity of having good taste, hence being well-dressed. The bourgeois is taken as thearchetypal subject since he claims being the future of modern society and wants to imposehis values in terms of economics, ethics, and art. Although Bourdieu goes through a widerange of media thanks to which the bourgeois wants to assess the superiority of his taste, weshall dwell only on what he says about Fashion. His main point is that in modern societiesruled by the bourgeois, there is a dialectic movement of Imitation and Distinction. That is tosay that the individual wants to be part of a group – as a result of the ideal of democracy –but at one and the same times, he wants to be distinguished from this group and have hisexistence as an individual recognized. To make this possible, Bourdieu argues that he mustfind some way to stray from the norm, yet to stay within the boundaries of conventional 50
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.taste. One of the privileged media for this is the dress since it is both a second skin and asignal of one‘s inner soul. To illustrate this principle in the light of dandyism, it is necessary to go back to thecontext of the 19th century. As we have seen, the fact that the bourgeois progressivelygained access to the aristocracy transformed the vision of social achievement. The principleof alliances between the ancient ruling and the middling orders made the cult of thearistocracy admitted and official. Thus, if one could not effectively belong to the aristocracy,one had to make believe he did. This is where appearance and behaviour become essential,for you are to be admitted in the elite provided you have some fortune, but also themastering of aristocratic uses, the etiquette. This is what Edward Bulwer-Lytton stresses inhis account of British society: ―la richesse sert à procurer l‘alliance et le respect du noble, onaffecte la richesse quand on ne la possède point; la mode (créature de l‘aristocratie) peut êtreatteinte seulement par la ressemblance avec les gens à la mode. […] Chaque individu imiteson voisin, et se flatte d‘acheter le respect dans l‘opinion des autres, en renonçant àl‘indépendance de sa propre union.‖61 Therefore, the Dandy could be much less wealthy thanhe seemed to be: his art consisted in ―blurring the means‖ – make forget the lack of wealth –in order to ―focus on the effects‖62 – adopt an aristocratic behaviour. Imitation was the key toenter the ruling elite, but that meant abiding by conventions. This has been studied at theend of the 19th century from a sociological angle in Les lois de l’imitation by Gabriel Tarde.He considers that society is fundamentally a group of individuals who imitate one another –in order to be accepted as members of the same community. He insists on the mechanisms ofthis process, first explaining that the imitators are always ―les classes inférieures dessociétés‖63, who imitate the superior classes in terms of clothes, manners, language, vices and61 Edward Bulwer-Lytton, England and the English [London, 1833], Trad. Jean Cohen, Bruxelles, 1937, inHenriette Levillain, op. cit., p. 27.62 Henriette Levillain, op. cit., p. 8.63 Gabriel Tarde, Les lois de l’imitation, étude sociologique [1890], Paris, Kimé, 1993, p. 235. 51
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.so on. This can explain why the Dandy, considered as a superior social being, has so widelybeen imitated in terms of dressing by his contemporaries. Barbey d‘Aurevilly felt the tension existing between the necessity of entering themould and the desire for distinction. In Du Dandysme, he placed elegance above grace butbelow beauty, which encourages us to wonder about what in conventional in beauty andwhat is absolute. Here the problematic question of ―good taste‖ detected by Bourdieu isalready visible and leads us to wonder about fashion: if it is made to be beautiful, but at thesame time common, to what extent can it be used as an instrument of integration and ameans of distinction? In the first place, the movement of Imitation described above compelsthe individual to anonymity. This has been tackled by Georg Simmel in 1895: ―l‘imitationdeliver donc l‘individu des affres du choix, le signale comme la creature d‘un groupe, commele receptacles de contenus sociaux.‖ 64 However, to this he associates the concept ofdistinction, thus foreshadowing the dialectic movement exposed by Bourdieu. He explainsthat fashion satisfies ―un besoin d‘appui social‖ – hence the process of Imitation – but alsowants to satisfy ―le besoin de distinction, la tendance à la différenciation, à la variété, à lademarcation.‖ 65 In the context of a shifting social hierarchy, fashion thus appears as the idealinstrument for the democratic bourgeois to rise towards an elite and preserve hisindividuality. This dialectic relation, I believe, was encouraged by the dandy. First, he was theone who took off the embedded signification of social status from clothes – for instance, oneoutfit corresponding to one profession– in order to make them a means of individualsingularity. Then, by becoming a model, he foreshadowed the movement of imitation thatfollowed. It is already suggested in The Picture of Dorian Gray : ―[Dorian‘s] mode ofdressing, and the particular styles that from time to time he affected, had their Marked64 Georg Simmel, « La Mode », in La tragédie de la culture, trad. franç., Paris, Rivages, 1993, p. 91.65 Ibid., p. 92. 52
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.influence on the young exquisites of the Mayfair balls and Pall mall club windows, whocopied him in everything he did, and tried to reproduce the accidental charm of his graceful,though to him half-serious, fopperies.‖ [PDG125] The latter instance shows that the morethe dandy tries to distinguish himself, the more ordinary men will try to imitate him. To godeeper in the analysis, we must observe by the fact that his distinction is always operatedwithin the limits of social conventions is representative in some way of the twocomplementary aspects of fashion in its social function. As specified by Baudelaire: ―[Ledandysme] est avant tout le besoin ardent de se faire une originalité, contenu dans leslimites extérieures des convenances.‖[PVM20] This is also supported by Philippe Perrot inhis presentation of the bourgeois way of dressing in the 19th century. He explains that thename ―dandy‖ actually encompassed two realities: ―Les premiers, mannequins ratés, accumulent naïvement les signes du groupe auquel ils croient ainsi pouvoir s‘identifie et espèrent en tirer du prestige; les seconds, mannequins accomplis, manient ces signes avec une recherché accordée à une rigueur extrême et de démarquent radicalement du reste de l‘humanité qu‘ils méprisent. Mais les produits de ces deux pratiques […] restent contenus dans les limites extérieures, sinon du « comme il faut », du moins des convenances élémentaires.‖66Thus as these instances indicate, the dandy was the precursor of the fashionable bourgeois,or should I rather say, of the fashionable democrat. Indeed, he combined originality, elitismand at the same time social implication in his display of elegance. It can thus be said that thismodern figure has shaped our perception of fashion as a means of social distinction.66 Philippe Perrot, op. cit., p. 249. 53
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. CONCLUSION I shall conclude at this point by emphasizing the fact that despite his initiallyinaccessible nature, the Dandy has influenced an entire century, not only in terms of fashionbut also in terms of spirit. This figure, deeply embedded in society, has never ceased toevolve with the mood of his time, thus proving fluctuating, and yet still faithful to hiselegant and ambivalent essence. The spatial and temporal diversity we have gone throughby studying the dandy shows that despite his wish to be unique, he has actually been theembodiment of a collective atmosphere. Born from a specific state of society in the BritishRegency, then adopted, reworked and mythified by revolutionary bohemian writers, tofinally be reclaimed by a cenacle of Aesthetes, dandyism seems to adapt and react to anyperiod – at least in the 19th century. My principal focus having been on his relationship toclothes, I must say here that the dandy has been undoubtedly a sort of herald of modernfashion. Where the dress was still a sign of social fixity, he brought variety and fluidity.Where it was the realm of eccentricity verging to the ridicule, he was the precursor ofsimplicity and refinement. It is unavoidable to acknowledge his role in the evolution of themasculine costume for the last two centuries, from an aesthetic point of view, but also from asociologic one. The role of literature and art is as much important as the theoreticaldescription dandyism has generated, especially because it is closely related to a matter oftaste and judgment of aesthetic value. The interdependence between inner thoughts andexternal envelope is perfectly expressed in the dandy, through the ritual spiritualrelationship he developed in respect to his outfit. Thus, as literature is the mirror of its time,the dandy can be seen as a living mise-en-abîme: reflecting his time, he also reflects art andliterature as much as they reflect him. Therefore, the construction of his influence was madepossible only through such means as literature and art. Without the media of dandy 54
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.literature, it would have been quite impossible for the dandiacal ideal to spread and becomedemocratized. Nonetheless, Baudelaire had foretold the leveling phenomenon of democracy.Regretful of a time in which Romantic heroes could still be dreamed, enchanting landscapesunscathed by mechanization imagined and a better society fantasized, the poet was aware ofthe ephemeral character of dandyism. To him, it was the last embodiment of a heroismbound to disappear, the last figure of rebellion that the fin-de-siècle period would generate.He stated that ―le dandysme est le dernier éclat d‘héroïsme dans les decadences.‖[PVM20]In some sense, he was right since elegance has been made accessible to all thanks to massconsumption. It would have been a heresy for a dandy to buy his clothes in a shop visited bydozens of costumer in one day. As we have seen, the point was to deal with dressing as apainter with his canvas and a sculptor with his marble. The capitalist society that begotmass consumption has probably killed dandyism, since originality has become a trade andrefinement a good. Furthermore, the massive phenomenon of Fashion has completelyreversed the relationship people have with the outfit: its permanent renewing, due to theconstant will of the elite to escape the process of imitation by the lower classes, has led to asort of dependence to fashion that the dandy did not suffer. Indeed, while the dandy was theperfect master of his outfit and chose freely how to dress, now we think our way of dressingaccording to the industry and the clothes imposed by others. Whereas it was still aprivileged field for art, nowadays Fashion has become the privilege of the mass, thuspermanently reproducing the dialectic movement of Imitation-Distinction. Yet, Beau Brummell has fascinated society with his appearance and his words, theDandy-writers have enthralled their readers by their literature, and the Dandy-aestheteshave as much provoked as bewitched their contemporaries. And their influence seems to beeverlasting. A compelling instance is that the masculine costume still bears the traces of the 55
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.historical Dandy, whereas the feminine one keeps changing, subjected to any mood andaesthetic trend. Similarly, the phenomenon of Fashion itself, though massive today, is ladenwith reminiscences of the dandy spirit. Where else can the influence of dandyism be foundmore than in haute-couture? This creative sector, considered today as a form of art, haspreserved and even raised the dress to the level of a luxury good worthy of photographs,museums, books and many other forms of exhibition. In this can still be found the essence ofthe dandy as an artist, the one who suggested that something more could be conveyedthrough fabric and linen. Thus the dandy has made the dress an object of sociologicalinterest, of individual expression, and ultimately, of beauty. Now elevated to the state ofmyth, this figure can also be said to have shaped modern social relationships in which onewants to be accepted as similar, yet admired and imitated as superior, a process throughwhich clothes serve as signals. Has not his personality and ambivalence been scattered onthe succeeding generations of the 19th century to nowadays? Quoting one last time fromRose Fortassier: ―Le dandy serait peut-être la solution, ou du moins l‘échappatoire la plusélégante à la question préoccupante de notre raison d‘être en société.‖ 67 The currentobsession with the body and the exhortations to treat it as a temple for instance echoes thedandy‘s praise of cleanness. Our association of certain types of dressing to specific categoriesof cultures also owes to the dandy‘s interpretative discourse on clothes, and suchoccurrences are countless. But above all, the post-modern belief that the image has aninfinite power to seduce and make people likeable clearly calls for the myth of dandyism.67 Rose Fortassier, op. cit., p. 19. 56
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. Masculine costume, fashion print, 1849. 57
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY SOURCESBalzac, Honoré de. Le Père Goriot [1835]. Paris: Pocket Classiques, 1989.Bulwer-Lytton, Edward G. Pelham; Or, the Adventures of a Gentleman [1828]. Doylestone, Penn.: Wildside Press, 2009.Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations [1860-61]. London: Penguin Books, 2003.Etherege, George (Sir). The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter [1676] in Four Great Restoration Comedies. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2005.Stendhal. La Chartreuse de Parme [1839]. Paris : Le Livre de Poche Classique, 2000.Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray [1891]. London: Penguin Books, 2003. SECONDARY SOURCES I - 19th century novels and texts on dandyismBarbey d‘Aurevilly, Jules. Du Dandysme et de George Brummell [1845]. Paris : Payot & Rivages, 1997.Baudelaire, Charles. Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne [1863]. Edition numérique, Collections Litteratura.com.Beerbohm, Max. Dandies & Dandies [1896], in The Works of Max Beerbohm. E-book 1859 on Project Gitenberg, 2008.Carlyle, Thomas. Sartor Resartus [1833-1834]. Paris : Aubier Editions Montaigne, édition bilingue, 1999.Disraëli, Benjamin. Vivian Grey. Londres: Colburn, 1826.Jesse, William. The Life of Beau Brummell, Esq. commonly called Beau Brummell [1886]. Londres: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1893. 58
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. II – Contemporary texts on dandyismCarassus, Emilien. Le Mythe du Dandy. Paris : Armand Colin, 1971.Kelly, Ian. Beau Brummell, The Ultimate Man of Style. New York: Free Press, 2006.Kempf, Roger. Dandies, Baudelaire et Cie. Paris : le Seuil, 1977.Levillain, Henriette. L’Esprit Dandy. Paris : José Corti, 1991.Moers, Ellen. The Dandy. Brummell to Beerbohm. New York: The Viking Press, 1960.Pine, Richard. The dandy and the herald : manners, mind and morals from Brummell to Durrell. New York : St. Martins Press, cop. 1988. III – Literary criticism and studyAquien, Pascal. The picture of Dorian Gray [d] Oscar Wilde : pour une poétique du roman. Nantes : Éd. du temps, 2004.Eisenberg, Davina L. The Figure of the Dandy in Barbey d’Aurevilly’s “Le Bonheur dans le Crime”. New York: Peter Lang, 1996.Fortassier, Rose. Les Ecrivains français et la Mode – De Balzac à nos jours. Paris : PUF, 1988.Gilmour, Robin. The Idea of the Gentleman in the Victorian Novel. London : George Allen & Unwin, 1981.Hollington, Michael and Camus, Marianne. Great Expectations. Paris: Didier-Erudition: CNED, 1999.Raby, Peter (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde. Cambridge : CUP, 1997. IV – Books on FashionBrummell George Bryan, Male and Female costume: Grecian and Roman costume from the Roman invasion until 1822 and the principles of costume applied to the improved dress of the present day. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Compagny, 1932.Byrde, Penelope. Jane Austen Fashion. Ludlow : Moonrise Press, 2008.Fukai, Akiko (ed.). La Mode du XVIIIème au XXème siècle. Köln : Taschen, cop. 2004.Laver, James. Histoire de la Mode et du Costume. Paris : Thames and Hudson, 2003.McDowell, Colin. Histoire de la Mode masculine. Paris : Ed. de la Martinière, 1997.Monneyron, Frédéric. Sociologie de la Mode. Paris : PUF, 2006.Ormen-Corpet, Catherine. Modes XIXe-XXe siècles. Paris : Hazan, cop. 2000. 59
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.Perrot, Philippe. Les dessus et les dessous de la bourgeoisie : une histoire du vêtement au XIXe siècle. Bruxelles : Complexe, 1984. V – General books on social aspects of 19th and 20th centuriesBourdieu, Pierre. La Distinction, Critique sociale du Jugement. Paris : Editions de Minuit, 1979.Bulwer-Lytton, Edward G. England and the English. Londres: Richard Bentley, 1833.Gronow, Captain R. The Reminiscences and Recollections of Captain Gronow, being anecdotes of the camp, the clubs and society, 1810-1860. London: Smith, Elder and co., 1862.Pollard, Arthur. The Victorians. vol.6, Penguin History of literature. London : Penguin books, 1993.Simmel, Georg. La tragédie de la culture. Paris : Rivages, 1993.Tarde, Gabriel. Les lois de l’imitation, étude sociologique [1890]. Paris : Kimé, 1993. DICTIONARIESRey-Debove, Josette and Rey, Alain (dir.). Le nouveau Petit Robert. Paris : Le Robert, 2007.Soanes, Catherine and Stevenson, Angus (ed.). Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: OUP, 11th edition, revised, 2006. WEBSITESDandyism.net : http://www.dandyism.net/Savoir-Vivre ou Mourir : http://francois.darbonneau.free.fr/index2.htmlFashion History : http://www.victoriana.com/ 60
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. APPENDIX A – BEAU BRUMMELL Anonymous portrait of Beau Brummell, Caricature by Robert Dighton, 1805. from a miniature by John Cooke. The Beau‘s outfit Described by Ian Kelly recent biographers: ―Over his white shirt and perfect neckcloth, Brummell wore a pale or white waistcoat. […] The waistcoat hid a small addition to a gentleman‘s wardrobe that is often forgotten in the annals of fashion history, and Brummell‘s place in it: braces or suspenders. […] without them, the severe line along the thighs and lower legs was impossible, as belts were both inimical to the style and unflattering to the majority. Brummell wore breeches or tight pantaloons in the morning, in soft stocking-woven fabric or often soft leather. All this pale and white palette was thrown into sharp relief with two items in dark colors. A dark jacket – always deep blue – was cut away at the front to form tails, for ease on horseback but also to increase the apparent length of the wearer‘s legs. Black Hessian boots […] completed the ensemble. […] Brummell‘s ensemble appeared a little like a military uniform for urban, civilian man.‖6868 Ian Kelly, op. cit., p. 105. 61
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. APPENDIX B – THE MASCULINE COSTUME (from the 19th century) I - On the neckcloth and the cravat. "The collar, which was always fixed to his shirt, was so large that, before being folded down, it completely hid his head and face, and the white neckcloth was at least a foot in height. The first coup darchet was made with the shirt collar, which he folded down to its proper size; and Brummell then standing before the glass, with his chin poked up to the ceiling, by the gentle and gradual declension of his jaw, creased the cravat to reasonable dimensions, the form of each succeeding crease being perfected with the shirt which he had just discarded." Captain Jesse, The Life of Beau Brummell. ―Le choix d‘une cravate est source de délicates délibérations même chez les homes les plus déterminés. […] C‘est d‘abord l‘une des rares pièces de l‘habillement sur laquelle les tailleurs ne donnent pas leur avis. En outre, elle peut donner lieu à des manifestations d‘excentricité confinant à la vulgarité. Voilà pourquoi, aujourd‘hui encore, beaucoup d‘hommes optent pour le modèle club ou de régiment à rayures. Dans les années 1920 et 1930, lorsque le choix était plus limité et les hommes plus confiants, la manière de nouer la cravate était autant un indicateur de mode que le motif proprement dit. […] Aujourd‘hui, davantage que le nœud de la cravate, ce sont le motif, la couleur et la texture qui importent aux yeux de Illustrations from H. Le Blancs l‘homme élégant.‖The Art of Tying the Cravat (1828). Colin McDowell, Histoire de la Mode Masculine. 62
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. II – On the three-piece suit: from the tailcoat to the tuxedo.In Kensington Gardens, June 1808, in Le Beau Monde. One of the first pairs of trousers. Dandies in 1820 – After Brummell‘s exile. Illustration by Barbosa. 63
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction.Caricature of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, by Daniel Maclise, London, 1832. Morning dress, fashion print, 1834. 64
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. British fashion, Spring-Summer, fashion print, 1884. Cycling costume, Great-Britain, fashion print, 1878-1880. 65
    • The Figure of the Dandy in his relationship to Fashion and Distinction. Hugo Boss, 1996. (photo : Hugo Boss©) Alexandre McQueen, Fall-Winter 2008-2009. Givenchy, Fall-Winter 2008-2009. (Photos: TDM) ―The Dandy-Robots‖ Rosemary Rodriguez for Thierry Mugler, Fall-Winter 2009-2010. (Photo: REUTERS) 66