|Mr. Burton on the staircase of The Players Club, NYC, Dec 30, 2010|
|Gustav Temple, Editor of The Chap|
|Michael "Atters" Attree|
|Sebastian Horsley, RIP|
|Mr. Burton dressing for his portrait at his home in Queens, June 2010|
He was not all that shy - it was more that we were getting to know each other. His shirt was from the turn of the century, of delicate woven striped cloth. The blue perfectly matched his icy eyes. He wanted me to photograph him in his blue, white, and yellow kitchen inspired by Claude Monet's famous French kitchen. There he would sit in his matching outfit with Edwardian cravat, like a character from the movie playing in his mind.
|Matt, Josh Woods, Michael Andrew, Guerre, & Kelly gather out front of the Dandy Lion exhibit, Harlem, Nov 2010|
|Lord Whimsy at home, April 2008|
Doran the Dandy, San Francisco, May 2009
I met Doran thru the recommendation of my friend Jake who met him at a party in Oakland. Turns out Doran knows most of all the other dandies. I liked walking down the streets with him, seeing how others reacted. He elicited wonder from the old men, homeless, crackheads, Vietnamese immigrants of his neighborhood.
|Doran the Dandy, San Francisco, May 2009|
I thought I knew what a dandy was.
I knew of the historical figures from England, and I could see that there were modern day men who were part of this style lineage. Of course once I actually started meeting more dandies I realized that there really was no easy definition. Each man has been unique. When I talked about my project, many people had no idea what a dandy was. This was hard for me to fathom, but it got me thinking...For better or worse I will need to define "dandy" for this project.
American Dandy. Kind of. Since I am based in New York, I have primarily photographed men in the US, but have also traveled to London to photograph The Chaps. More on that later. I do not want to limit my project to America, though, because there are a few men on my dandy wish list that are abroad. In Africa there are the Sapeurs, which have been covered by at least three photographers. The best being Hector Mediavilla, who did not get the book.
Style. I like the dictionary definition to start: "A man who effects extreme elegance in clothes and manners." But my observation is that it's not just any clothes - it is most always inspired by traditional menswear. Suits, ties, cufflinks, cravats, hats, pocket squares, canes, dress shoes, waistcoats. Some who can afford it would have bespoke clothing, but more often it is vintage or new items curated with extreme elegance - sometimes understated, and sometimes with great eccentricity. But somehow it is not just about style...
Manner. By this I do not mean that all dandies have good manners. Rather, there is a part of dandyism that is in the way one lives their life. This separates the dandies from the men who merely clean up well on the weekend or at weddings. There is a self awareness that is actually very endearing to me. I think the dandy sees his life as a work of art, and he does not mind being on display.
Compulsion. A dandy cannot help being a dandy. This I like the best.
|Lord Whimsy's shoes shall never touch the floor. Photographed at his home March 2008.|
I would like to thank Matt Fox from Fine and Dandy for inspiring me to put all my portraits of dandies in one place. It was obvious after he mentioned this, but for some reason it never occurred to me before.
So here will be a repository of all my dandy portraits, begun in early 2008, until the project comes to it's natural conclusion. I will not post every image, because I am an advocate for editing, and because I am reserving some of the best images for and exhibition and/or book!