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Benedict Cumberbatch Tweed

Tweed, Glorious Tweed

Liam Jeffries: For some, tweed is viewed as strictly the reserve of the fusty, stuffy gent casually infringing the no-smoking policy in the back of the library. Good; this is the way we want it to stay, with high street merchants “collaborating” with well known estates such as the Harris Co., the fabric is losing some of its lustre, as any barbigerous young bounder can now sport the material. The practice is still adopted in cities throughout the world during the Tweed Run, though at any given one of these events there are bound to be a few unacceptable versions… Keep Reading

Arthur Cravan

Hit the Rogue Jack

Nathaniel Adams: On April 23, 1916, five thousand spectators witnessed a bizarre match-up in Barcelona’s Monumental Bullring: the Anglo-French poet Arthur Cravan, nephew of Oscar Wilde, squared off against former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson. They were two eccentrics, dandies of different stripes, prepared to pummel each other. Cravan had set up and advertised the fight himself, hoping to raise enough cash to get him to America before the French government caught up with him and stuck him in a trench with a rifle and a helmet. For Johnson, unable to return to America for fear of being arrested, this… Keep Reading


Dandies in Decay

Sebastian Horsley: Dandyism is a form of self-worship which dispenses with the need to find happiness from others – especially women. It is a condition rather than a profession. It is a defence against suffering and a celebration of life. It is not fashion; it is not wealth; it is not learning; it is not beauty. It is a shield and a sword and a crown – all pulled out of the dressing up box in the attic of the imagination. Wilde and Brummell are usually held up as the progenitors of dandyism but neither of these men was a… Keep Reading

Louise Brooks

Inventing the Girl

Sunday Swift:   In some ways, silent film star Louise Brooks has much in common with Jackie Kennedy Onassis (the subject of my previous Dandizette profile): each were highly intelligent and strong-willed women who became trapped in a world they longed to escape. Louise once said, “There is no other occupation in the world that so closely resembled enslavement as the career of a film star”. Where Jackie eventually became a prisoner to her own image, however, Louise seemed to feel imprisoned in her life no matter where she was. Born in Kansas in 1906 to parents who could most… Keep Reading

Elvis Presley

The Elegance of Elvis

Sandra Lawrence: Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the very, very few figures worthy of that ghastly, overused, underachieved word: Icon. Like the Byzantine images from which the word derives, his style is gaudy, mosaic-bright, shimmering, unmistakable. A golden face glowing with golden perspiration, golden medallions chinking against golden flesh, golden cape, swept in supplication to devoted disciples at a Vegas sellout like the halo of an Orthodox saint. But just as no-one in their right mind would start dressing like an 8th century Madonna and Child, Elvis’s fashion choices are best left to the man himself. The Elvis Problem… Keep Reading

Emma Peel

Emma Peel

Sunday Swift: She has many names: Cointrelle, Quaintrelle, Dandizette, Lioness, Peahen, Chapette, Dandyess, or, simply, the female Dandy. Whatever you call her, the female Dandy often receives less attention than her male counterpart, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist. In a previous issue, I wrote about one of the most iconic male Dandies, Patrick Macnee, and his immaculate Dandyism in The Avengers. In this issue, however, I wish to turn our attention to Steed’s partner Emma Peel’s impeccable fashion sense. Steed’s controlled, sharp, traditional Edwardian-inspired Dandyism seems, in many ways, strikingly contrary to his fluid and lighter mod female… Keep Reading

Sebastian Horsley

The Exhibitionist Punctured by Arrows

The most beautiful word in the English language is “Sebastian”. Sebastian Flyte, Sebastian Dangerfield, Sebastian Venable; the title is divine – all gleaming with crimson. A name should unbalance one.  Indeed, some names haunt us and suggest ways of being and even aspects of behaviour. When I was crucified and was asked repeatedly why I had done it I replied: “Because I am called Sebastian, not Donald.” In the hooligan world of art this was understood. Sebastian, as an icon is attractive – even if only to faggots. Mr Wilde took Sebastian as his Christian name for his alias when… Keep Reading

Hollywood Cricket

Caught Frankenstein Bowled Sherlock

Steve Pittard: English actors were de riguer in American movies during the 1930s. The ‘Hollywood Raj’ formed their own cricket team, which boasted the likes of Leslie Howard, David Niven and Cary Grant. Starlets in the wings provided further glamour. Olivia De Haviland served cake and cucumber sandwiches while Elizabeth Taylor sold scorecards. Hollywood Cricket Club was the brainchild of Sir Charles Aubrey Smith, a redoubtable craggy actor given to wearing baggy plus-fours – with Old Carthusian tassels at the knee – and loud checked socks. His stock-in-trade was archetypal Englishmen, often crusty colonels or benign authority figures. Whether reining… Keep Reading


Steed Stands There

This summer we were saddened to learn that Patrick Macnee died at the age of 93. Sunday Swift recalls his iconic Dandy character John Steed in Swinging Sixties Spy-Fi series The Avengers. John Steed is one of the first images to spring to mind when one thinks of 1960s TV series The Avengers. He is the constant figure that links the noir style of the first series, the dream-like cartoon of the final series and everything in between. The Avengers created a surreal world where nothing was normal and aesthetics were paramount. It was a world where one goes in… Keep Reading

Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Pads

Tom Cutler: I think it was Samuel Goldwyn who said that a bachelor’s life is no life for a single man. This might be true; I wouldn’t know, not being a bachelor any more, but surely it has its good points, even for the unattached gentleman. You can get home when you like, you can smoke your pipe in bed, you can fry up hot dogs and unearthly chili concoctions till steam weeps down the walls, or eat crisps in front of The 39 Steps wearing the slippers nobody except you likes. In short you can please yourself. You don’t… Keep Reading


Lace up Your Pampooties

Liam Jefferies: As with the Breton Jumper in the previous issue, this article aims to provide a paradigm for the gent looking to source a pair of brogues suited to his taste, budget, and traditionalist loyalty. Let us begin, as ever, with a look on the attributes of the shoe. The brogue is a low-heeled boot or shoe, composed of a multiple-piece upper in sturdy leather with serrated edges and “broguing” perforations. There are five styles of standard brogues, based on the toe-cap styles which define such; these are full brogues, half-brogues, quarter-brogues, longwings, and the Ghillie brogue. The full… Keep Reading

Penny Loafers

Penny for the Chap

Liam Jefferies: As with the Aran Jumper in the previous issue, this article aims to provide a paradigm for the gent looking to source a pair of Penny Loafers suited to his taste, budget, and traditionalist loyalty. Let us begin, as ever, with a look on the attributes of the garment. Characteristically, the penny loafer is a lace-less, low-worn shoe, akin to the moccasin but for a separate sole and heel. Worn casually, the original intention being a “house-shoe” of sorts one could easily slip on and off. Though Bass undoubtedly innovated the design and added the “penny” to it,… Keep Reading

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