Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fop Checklist:

A little Tuesday afternoon reading for those who are not busy pushing papers, or rather, need a break from doing so. While most points on this list remain relevant, TTT has taken the liberty of highlighting a few forgotten rules of the modern fop.

“For those not born with a natural dandy effect, this dissection of the dandy temperament will serve as a guide to the proper pose. Individual dandies throughout the ages have emphasized certain qualities over others, but all qualities must be present in some degree for the effect to reach full fruition.”

Here are the qualities that comprise the anatomy of the dandy, ranked in order of importance (TTT editorial remarks in red):

1. Physical distinction

Dandyism can only be painted on a suitable canvas. It is impossible to cut a dandy figure without being tall, slender and handsome, or having at least one of those characteristics to a high degree while remaining at least average in the other two.

“To appear well dressed, be skinny and tall.” — Mason Cooley

2. Elegance

Elegance, of course, as defined by the standards of a dandy’s particular era.

“The dandy's independence, assurance, originality, self-control and refinement should all be visible in the cut of his clothes.” — Ellen Moers

Dandies must love contemporary costume, says Beerbohm, and their dress should be “free from folly or affectation.” love a good costume!

3. Self-mastery

Barbey speaks of the dandy’s staunch determination to remain unmoved, while Baudelaire says that should a dandy suffer pain, he will “keep smiling.” –say it with a smile gurl.

“Immense calm with your heart pounding.” — Noel Coward

4. Aplomb

While self-mastery is the internal practice of keeping emotions in check, aplomb is how it is expressed to the dandy’s audience.

“Dandyism introduces antique calm among our modern agitations.” — Barbey d’Aurevilly

5. Independence

Ideally financial independence, but if the dandy is forced to work, a spirit of independence will be expressed through his work. “forced” to work, that's why we spend our happy hours at the Townhouse.

Independence — often to the point of aloofness — will also characterize the dandy’s dealings with the world.

“The epitome of selfish irresponsibility, he was ideally free of all human commitments that conflict with taste: passions, moralities, ambitions, politics or occupations.” — Moers - this.is.fabulous.

6. Wit

Especially a paradoxical way of talking lightly of the serious and seriously of the light that carries philosophical implications.

7. A skeptical, world-weary, sophisticated, bored or blasé demeanor

“The dandy is blasé, or feigns to be.” — Baudelaire

“A spirit of gay misanthropy, a cynical, depreciating view of society.” — Lister – aaaaaaawhat… sound like someone you know?...

“Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.” — Wilde

8. Dignity/Reserve

“the darker and stormier emotions should be kept to ones self” — Bulwer-Lytton

“A flawless dandy, he would be annoyed if he were considered romantic.” — Oscar Wilde, “An Ideal Husband”

9. Discriminating taste

10. A renaissance man

“A complete gentleman, who, according to Sir Fopling, ought to dress well, dance well, fence well, have a genius for love letters, and an agreeable voice for a chamber.” — Etherege, quoted by Bulwer-Lytton in “Pelham”

and finally:

For in the end there is not a code of dandyism, as Barbey writes. “If there were, anybody could be a dandy.”

for more info check out anatomyofadandy

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