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Birth of the dandy - Shaun Cole & Miles Lambert

Features | By Shaun Cole & Miles Lambert

Dandies Preparing for Promenade, 1819

The dandy style, created by Beau Brummell, was perfected by Oscar Wilde and Edward VIII. By Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert

George Bryan ‘Beau’ Brummell (1778-1840) is credited as the ‘original’ dandy. That was in the sense this sartorial style was first understood – as restrained, almost austere elegance, with keen attention to detail. Brummell is seen as the first exemplar of, as French essayist Roland Barthes put it, ‘a man who has decided to radicalise the distinction in men’s clothing by subjecting it to an absolute logic’. ...

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