Artist/Rebel/Dandy celebrates the pleasures of the sharp-dressed man, from the discreet sophistication of the consummately elegant George Bryan "Beau” Brummell in the early 19th century to the diverse, highly personal flair of the tastemakers who color the landscape of menswear today. Since the word "dandy” came into vogue in London in 1813, it has at times been used to describe someone superficial, flamboyant, and self-indulgent. Instead, the dandy is here shown to employ profound thought and imagination in his self-presentation, fashioning an image that often challenges the status quo and transcends the ordinary.
A series of fascinating essays traces the often contradictory definitions and images of the dandy, the history of young men and their clothes in the long 19th century, the exquisite fabrics and tailoring that play an important role in dandy style, and the relationship of black dandyism and hip-hop. In addition, this book features fifteen musings on notable dandies written by individuals who share a kinship with their subject, including Patti Smith considering Charles Baudelaire; a reflection on Oscar Wilde by his grandson, Merlin Holland; Daniela Morera, formerly part of Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd, reminiscing about the artist’s image; and writer Philip Hoare describing the "thrift-shop dandyism” of director John Waters.