French poet Charles Baudelaire defined the Dandy as “one who elevates aesthetics to a living religion”. The phenomenon of Dandyism has always promoted self-esteem through style, for the men and women excessively concerned with their appearance. A Dandy would never leave the house without a quick spritz of cologne, without a quick shave and certainly not unless he or she was immaculately dressed.
Although Oscar Wilde might be the one who springs to mind when thinking about a dapper gallant, Dandyism is as relevant today as ever before. With David Bowie pioneering eccentricity in tailoring throughout his stylish life, many 21st century beaus have since followed suit. From America to Africa to Asia, Dandyism is still very much a thing, and now thanks to an upcoming release from Gestalten, us normcore folk can take a peek into the lives and wardrobes of the best-dressed gentlemen in town.
Scheduled to launch this month, “We Are Dandy” surveys young Dandies and the old school, chronicling not only their dress, but the stories behind their interest in the clothes and lifestyle. Beautiful portraits are set against fascinating backdrops, all accompanied by witty texts. Further, the smart layout and font both compliment the features perfectly.
Aiming to portray “the outer expression of their inner selves”, the brains behind the project have been involved in the historical and contemporary Dandy movement for years. Photographer Rose Callahan started up “The Dandy Portraits” blog in 2008, and shortly after, met journalist, Nathaniel “Natty” Adams. Callahan’s visual documentation of the culture, combined with the wealth of knowledge Adams picked up through his years of travelling and recording it, has resulted in “We Are Dandy” – an authentic and informed account of a subculture many might not realise is still prominent.
“We Are Dandy” will be available in Europe from 8 November and in the US from mid-December
All photographs courtesy of Gestalten and shot by Rose Callahan