Tuesday, January 10, 2012

About "Lives of the Dandies"

For the past several years, I have been researching and writing a book about the lives of dandies of the past 200+ years, some famous, some obscure, all fascinating. The "Lives of the Dandies" blog is an opportunity to share snippets of my work, my research, and various dandy-related topics.

As an undergraduate at NYU, I wrote my senior thesis on Dandyism in the 20th Century, unknowingly setting out on what would later become for me a scholarly obsession. My undergraduate thesis, looking back on it, was just as half-cocked and unremarkable as one might expect. Around that time, I also wrote two articles for Dandyism.net: one on Beau Brummell's biographer Ian Kelly playing Brummell in an off-broadway play, and one on a dandyism discussion panel in New York City. That was the extent of my dandy-related output for some years.

However, while attending the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, I revisited my dandy obsession, completing a book-proposal and a substantial amount of content for the book. My proposal won the prestigious Lytton Fellowship, which awarded me a sizable grant to continue work on the book. Since then, I have been traveled the world writing and doing research - spending time on Savile Row speaking with world-famous tailors and cutters and looking through archives dating back to the Regency period, conducting interviews both in person and online with the likes of Stephen Fry, Gay Talese, Ian Kelly, and many others, reading hundreds of books, archived newspapers and magazines, meeting some of the most eccentric and extraordinary living dandies, and traveling as far as the Congo to spend a week with the famous Sapeurs.

Since my descent into the world of the dandy, which seems to stretch on through an ever-widening series of caves, canals, and boulevards with no end in sight, I have also become a regular writer for The Chap magazine on dandy-related subjects, the manager of the appropriately-named Against Nature bespoke atelier in New York, and a collaborator with Rose Callahan of The Dandy Portraits - a photo project which will ultimately become its own book. 

This blog is my opportunity to share a few of the bits and pieces I've either collected or generated on my journey. I hope you enjoy it. 

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