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HISTORY OF THE DANDY: FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC, STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA.


HISTORY OF THE DANDY: FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC TODAY'S STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA. dances of vice new york, Dark Cabaret, Neo-Victoriana, & Vintage Culture, Jazz Age, Victorian, Rococo and New Romantic Events and parties, dandies, male metrosexuals, Popinjay, Incroyables, Maccaroni, Decadent

Male flamboyance: a centuries-old tradition that has evolved but never gone out of fashion. Today’s ruffled riff-raff — think Japan’s Goth Aristocrats and New York’s Dances of Vice (above) — are but the modern incarnation of the European dandy. So let’s raise our bowler hats to our foppish forefathers who paved the road to Visual Kei and Harajuku boys.

Beau Brummell, Joachim Murat French King of Naples, dandy king, HISTORY OF THE DANDY: FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC TODAY'S STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA. dances of vice new york, Dark Cabaret, Neo-Victoriana, & Vintage Culture, Jazz Age, Victorian, Rococo and New Romantic Events and parties, dandies, male metrosexuals, Popinjay, Incroyables, Maccaroni, Decadent

The male peacock bared his tail-feathers in 18th and 19th century Europe. “Laconically witty clothes-horse” Beau Brummell and “Dandy King” Joachim Murat set the stage for the slightly eccentric but always stylish gentleman. Let’s not forget the infamous Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron. (Come on, fellow contemporary writers — live up to the decadence of your predecessors!)

harajuku boys fruits fashion, rococo wigs male courtiers, The Macaroni. A real Character at the late Masquerade, mezzotint by Philip Dawe, 18th century USA dandy men, FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC TODAY'S STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA. dances of vice new york, Dark Cabaret, Neo-Victoriana, & Vintage Culture, Jazz Age, Victorian, Rococo and New Romantic Events and parties, dandies, male metrosexuals, Popinjay, Incroyables, Maccaroni, Decadent

In mid-18th century Britain and America, the ornate man “stuck a feather in his hat and called it maccaroni.” These caricatures capture the maccaroni’s outlandish tailed jackets and towering powdered wigs.

historic drawings of male decadent fashion, period costumes courtiers, HISTORY OF THE DANDY: FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC TODAY'S STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA. male goth aristocrat fashion japan, dances of vice new york, Dark Cabaret, Neo-Victoriana, & Vintage Culture, Jazz Age, Victorian, Rococo and New Romantic Events and parties, dandies, male metrosexuals, Popinjay, Incroyables, Maccaroni, Decadent

After suffering through the French Revolution and Reign of Terror, the bourgeoisie just wanted to have fun. The Incroyables and their female counterparts, the Merveilleuses, ornamented themselves in floppy collars and bows. Long hair on men has always been a mark of bad boy hedonism, hasn’t it?

New Romantic bands, new romance hairstyles, 1980s makeup, Visage and Boy George, steve strange, british dandies, HISTORY OF THE DANDY: FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC TODAY'S STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA. dances of vice new york, Dark Cabaret, Neo-Victoriana, & Vintage Culture, Jazz Age, Victorian, Rococo and New Romantic Events and parties, dandies, male metrosexuals, Popinjay, Incroyables, Maccaroni, Decadent

Frilly shirts and powdered visages came back to life in the 1980s New Romantics. The Blitz Kids’ club fashion influenced some of my favorite 80s synth-poppers: Visage, Adam and the Ants, Ultravox, Duran Duran, Human League, Spandau Ballet.

funny drawing of woman giant pink feather in hair, boytoy dandy man, male groupies, fanboys, HISTORY OF THE DANDY: FLAMBOYANT FLANEUR MALE FASHION, FROM ROCOCO WIGS TO NEW ROMANTIC TODAY'S STEAMPUNK & NEO-VICTORIANA. dances of vice new york, Dark Cabaret, Neo-Victoriana, & Vintage Culture, Jazz Age, Victorian, Rococo and New Romantic Events and parties, dandies, male metrosexuals, Popinjay, Incroyables, Maccaroni, Decadent

Today, the male dandy lives on in Japanese Gothic Aristocrats, Visual Kei J-rockers, Steampunks and other Neo-Victorian/Goth sartorialists. As for their female counterparts: no matter what era you’re living in, there’s a place for long gloves and ostrich feathers. And ding-a-linging your young boytoy… well, that never gets old!

PS: DJ SiSEN in Malaysia? Nope, it’s a Harajuku Look-Alike contest!
You may also enjoy Funny money in Asia: my new gallery on CNNGo. Which one is the most Monopoly-like?

Song of the Day #279: 12012 – Heart (J-rock dandies carry the flame forward.)

SHARE & COMMENT

  • Nicely researched Carmen! I love dandies :) Leanne

  • Nicely researched Carmen! I love dandies :) Leanne

  • cool post. I love Adam and the Ants.

  • cool post. I love Adam and the Ants.

  • Michelle

    best topic ever.

  • Seiran

    Damn some of these pics look like something I’d see in my Art History class xD
    But regardless, kodona makes me feel…. androgynous lol

    • Androgynous is always a good thing! ;)

    • Androgynous is always a good thing! ;)

  • ☆風ぶしのかみ☆

    So desu ka? Check out my Young Marquis photos circa 1980’s. Mitte kudasai =)

  • ☆風ぶしのかみ☆

    So desu ka? Check out my Young Marquis photos circa 1980’s. Mitte kudasai =)

  • ☆風ぶしのかみ☆

    So desu ka? Check out my Young Marquis photos circa 1980’s. Mitte kudasai =)

  • ☆風ぶしのかみ☆

    So desu ka? Check out my Young Marquis photos circa 1980’s. Mitte kudasai =)

  • Visualologist

    :3 <3

  • Visualologist

    :3 <3

  • Wendy Frederick

    Wonderful!

  • Wendy Frederick

    Wonderful!

  • Emily

    And I was just ranting today about how powdered wigs and rococo style dandyism needs to make a larger comeback <3 <3 Wonderful article indeed ^__-

    • hahah it should come back with a vengeance!

    • hahah it should come back with a vengeance!

  • Emily

    And I was just ranting today about how powdered wigs and rococo style dandyism needs to make a larger comeback <3 <3 Wonderful article indeed ^__-

  • Nice article :) Viva flamboyance!

    • Hear hear! You’re leading the pack! :)

    • Hear hear! You’re leading the pack! :)

  • Nice article :) Viva flamboyance!

  • trashtastika

    Nicely researched Carmen! I love dandies :) Leanne

  • cool post. I love Adam and the Ants.

  • Michelle

    best topic ever.

  • Seiran

    Damn some of these pics look like something I'd see in my Art History class xD
    But regardless, kodona makes me feel…. androgynous lol

  • ☆風ぶしのかみ☆

    So desu ka? Check out my Young Marquis photos circa 1980's. Mitte kudasai =)

  • ☆風ぶしのかみ☆

    So desu ka? Check out my Young Marquis photos circa 1980's. Mitte kudasai =)

  • Visualologist

    :3 <3

  • Androgynous is always a good thing! ;)

  • Don't we all… ;)

  • Wendy Frederick

    Wonderful!

  • Emily

    And I was just ranting today about how powdered wigs and rococo style dandyism needs to make a larger comeback <3 <3 Wonderful article indeed ^__-

  • Nice article :) Viva flamboyance!

  • Hear hear! You're leading the pack! :)

  • hahah it should come back with a vengeance!

  • Glad you like!

  • LOL Dj SiSeN in Malaysia xD
    You almost scared me there!
    I thought I missed the show when I was back there or something.
    Curse you Carmen! xDDDD
    Then, it was a Harajuku Lookalike contest xD

    Nicely written! I love Steampunk and Kodona boys :)
    Oh yes! Boytoys >:)
    Abney Park is such an inspiration to my “after high-school wardrobe” ^^
    Random question though: Does anyone in LA actually drive or own steam cars around?

  • LOL Dj SiSeN in Malaysia xD
    You almost scared me there!
    I thought I missed the show when I was back there or something.
    Curse you Carmen! xDDDD
    Then, it was a Harajuku Lookalike contest xD

    Nicely written! I love Steampunk and Kodona boys :)
    Oh yes! Boytoys >:)
    Abney Park is such an inspiration to my “after high-school wardrobe” ^^
    Random question though: Does anyone in LA actually drive or own steam cars around?

  • Ayame

    LOL Dj SiSeN in Malaysia xD
    You almost scared me there!
    I thought I missed the show when I was back there or something.
    Curse you Carmen! xDDDD
    Then, it was a Harajuku Lookalike contest xD

    Nicely written! I love Steampunk and Kodona boys :)
    Oh yes! Boytoys >:)
    Abney Park is such an inspiration to my “after high-school wardrobe” ^^
    Random question though: Does anyone in LA actually drive or own steam cars around?

  • Clint

    Oh! Such fun we’ll have when you’re in thee El of A, la Carmina!

    SOON… SOON.. SOON

  • Clint

    Oh! Such fun we’ll have when you’re in thee El of A, la Carmina!

    SOON… SOON.. SOON

  • Deborah

    I love the picture of the lady with the man-puppet! Where is it from?

  • Deborah

    I love the picture of the lady with the man-puppet! Where is it from?

  • Sanja

    I just had a seminar work about fashion in 1820-50 inclu. Dandys. I wish there were more running around today. But beside the fashion I’d appreciate ppl with their lifestyle! Let’s make a party with real dandy dress code!! ^^

  • Sanja

    I just had a seminar work about fashion in 1820-50 inclu. Dandys. I wish there were more running around today. But beside the fashion I’d appreciate ppl with their lifestyle! Let’s make a party with real dandy dress code!! ^^

  • Tina

    I just wanted to say hello and let ya know I love your style!

  • Tina

    I just wanted to say hello and let ya know I love your style!

  • Eric

    Is J-rock a band or does it mean Japaneese rock

  • Eric

    Is J-rock a band or does it mean Japaneese rock

  • Thomas

    Lovely article! I had just been revisiting the French Revolution and was surprised by the whole ‘sans-culottes’ movement of the lower class during the revolution, leading to the lasting trend that men wear long pants instead of culottes, or short pants (as it was more expensive to have short pants that were suppose to be worn with stockings, buckles etc., not to mention keeping white stockings clean is a pain for blue collar jobs).

    An odd mixture of tv shows including The Mighty Boosh led me to listening to The Human League lately, and Venture Brothers character Triana Orpheus to listening to Adam and the Ants as my wiki & youtube obession leads searching out even the briefest references in tv, books or conversation.

    How’s Klaus Nomi for 80’s New Romatnics? Not his rubber tuxedo look, but an outfit like

    I think it might be more Neo-Jacobean but I’d still call it flamboyant ^^

    • Ooh, I am taking note of all of these! Thanks for the recommendations.

      There were some strange movements and fashion during the French Revolution… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being

      and Nomi Nomi rocks! It’s neat to see is influences in Lady Gaga’s outfits.

      • Thomas

        Theres a lot of great fashions displayed by The Mighty Boosh’s character “Vince Noir” played by Noel Fielding (who is an amazingly well dressed man in real life too). As for the Venture Brothers, I can’t say you’d like the show, I’m picky about what Adult Swim shows I actually enjoy, but the character Triana Orpheus and her Necromancer father are great supporting characters that could honestly have their own show, or at least I wish they’d appear in more episodes.

      • Thomas

        Theres a lot of great fashions displayed by The Mighty Boosh’s character “Vince Noir” played by Noel Fielding (who is an amazingly well dressed man in real life too). As for the Venture Brothers, I can’t say you’d like the show, I’m picky about what Adult Swim shows I actually enjoy, but the character Triana Orpheus and her Necromancer father are great supporting characters that could honestly have their own show, or at least I wish they’d appear in more episodes.

    • Ooh, I am taking note of all of these! Thanks for the recommendations.

      There were some strange movements and fashion during the French Revolution… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being

      and Nomi Nomi rocks! It’s neat to see is influences in Lady Gaga’s outfits.

    • Ooh, I am taking note of all of these! Thanks for the recommendations.

      There were some strange movements and fashion during the French Revolution… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being

      and Nomi Nomi rocks! It’s neat to see is influences in Lady Gaga’s outfits.

    • Ooh, I am taking note of all of these! Thanks for the recommendations.

      There were some strange movements and fashion during the French Revolution… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being

      and Nomi Nomi rocks! It’s neat to see is influences in Lady Gaga’s outfits.

  • Thomas

    Lovely article! I had just been revisiting the French Revolution and was surprised by the whole ‘sans-culottes’ movement of the lower class during the revolution, leading to the lasting trend that men wear long pants instead of culottes, or short pants (as it was more expensive to have short pants that were suppose to be worn with stockings, buckles etc., not to mention keeping white stockings clean is a pain for blue collar jobs).

    An odd mixture of tv shows including The Mighty Boosh led me to listening to The Human League lately, and Venture Brothers character Triana Orpheus to listening to Adam and the Ants as my wiki & youtube obession leads searching out even the briefest references in tv, books or conversation.

    How’s Klaus Nomi for 80’s New Romatnics? Not his rubber tuxedo look, but an outfit like

    I think it might be more Neo-Jacobean but I’d still call it flamboyant ^^

  • Thomas

    PS I know Jacobean predates Dandy style by 150+years, but if someone like Klaus wears Jacobean in the 80’s making it ‘neo-Jacobean’ could it then be… associated? for lack of better term with our modern dandies. Ahhh anachronistic theoretical fashion dilema’s at midnight make my brain hurt! lol

    • hahah I’d think so… I’m no scholar, I just thought it’d be fun to do a post about the dandy fashion that inspires me!

      • Thomas

        With social movements like this I think its fair game tos ay theres no set rules, no matter how hard some try to come up with a proper classification system. Its really no more than commonly accepted terms used in what is still a growing subculture. There are so many great and interesting styles from the Elizabethan to the Victorian (aprox 1550’s to 1900), although I’m no specialist in it (my focus being hundreds to thousands of years earlier).

        It almost seems as if renaissance fashion and Victorian fashion inspired new movements and now we’re seeing more of of what happened in between those distant time periods being filled in, with some great an amazing costumes. And I’ll gladly be you’re scholar lol, all this teaching American History has distracted me from the places and things that got me to love history in the first place (because it certainly wasn’t Am. history that got me started down this path).

      • Thomas

        With social movements like this I think its fair game tos ay theres no set rules, no matter how hard some try to come up with a proper classification system. Its really no more than commonly accepted terms used in what is still a growing subculture. There are so many great and interesting styles from the Elizabethan to the Victorian (aprox 1550’s to 1900), although I’m no specialist in it (my focus being hundreds to thousands of years earlier).

        It almost seems as if renaissance fashion and Victorian fashion inspired new movements and now we’re seeing more of of what happened in between those distant time periods being filled in, with some great an amazing costumes. And I’ll gladly be you’re scholar lol, all this teaching American History has distracted me from the places and things that got me to love history in the first place (because it certainly wasn’t Am. history that got me started down this path).

    • hahah I’d think so… I’m no scholar, I just thought it’d be fun to do a post about the dandy fashion that inspires me!

  • Thomas

    PS I know Jacobean predates Dandy style by 150+years, but if someone like Klaus wears Jacobean in the 80’s making it ‘neo-Jacobean’ could it then be… associated? for lack of better term with our modern dandies. Ahhh anachronistic theoretical fashion dilema’s at midnight make my brain hurt! lol

  • Clint

    Oh! Such fun we'll have when you're in thee El of A, la Carmina!

    SOON… SOON.. SOON

  • Deborah

    I love the picture of the lady with the man-puppet! Where is it from?

  • Sanja

    I just had a seminar work about fashion in 1820-50 inclu. Dandys. I wish there were more running around today. But beside the fashion I'd appreciate ppl with their lifestyle! Let's make a party with real dandy dress code!! ^^

  • Tina

    I just wanted to say hello and let ya know I love your style!

  • Eric

    Is J-rock a band or does it mean Japaneese rock

  • Thomas

    Lovely article! I had just been revisiting the French Revolution and was surprised by the whole 'sans-culottes' movement of the lower class during the revolution, leading to the lasting trend that men wear long pants instead of culottes, or short pants (as it was more expensive to have short pants that were suppose to be worn with stockings, buckles etc., not to mention keeping white stockings clean is a pain for blue collar jobs).

    An odd mixture of tv shows including The Mighty Boosh led me to listening to The Human League lately, and Venture Brothers character Triana Orpheus to listening to Adam and the Ants as my wiki & youtube obession leads searching out even the briefest references in tv, books or conversation.

    How's Klaus Nomi for 80's New Romatnics? Not his rubber tuxedo look, but an outfit like

    I think it might be more Neo-Jacobean but I'd still call it flamboyant ^^

  • Thomas

    PS I know Jacobean predates Dandy style by 150+years, but if someone like Klaus wears Jacobean in the 80's making it 'neo-Jacobean' could it then be… associated? for lack of better term with our modern dandies. Ahhh anachronistic theoretical fashion dilema's at midnight make my brain hurt! lol

  • Japanese rock. :)

  • Japanese rock. :)

  • Ooh, I am taking note of all of these! Thanks for the recommendations.

    There were some strange movements and fashion during the French Revolution… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Suprem

    and Nomi Nomi rocks! It's neat to see is influences in Lady Gaga's outfits.

  • Ooh, I am taking note of all of these! Thanks for the recommendations.

    There were some strange movements and fashion during the French Revolution… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Suprem

    and Nomi Nomi rocks! It's neat to see is influences in Lady Gaga's outfits.

  • hahah I'd think so… I'm no scholar, I just thought it'd be fun to do a post about the dandy fashion that inspires me!

  • Michelle

    Dandy fashion! <3<3<3<3 Definitely one of my favorite styles. :)

  • Michelle

    Dandy fashion! <3<3<3<3 Definitely one of my favorite styles. :)

  • Thomas

    With social movements like this I think its fair game tos ay theres no set rules, no matter how hard some try to come up with a proper classification system. Its really no more than commonly accepted terms used in what is still a growing subculture. There are so many great and interesting styles from the Elizabethan to the Victorian (aprox 1550's to 1900), although I'm no specialist in it (my focus being hundreds to thousands of years earlier).

    It almost seems as if renaissance fashion and Victorian fashion inspired new movements and now we're seeing more of of what happened in between those distant time periods being filled in, with some great an amazing costumes. And I'll gladly be you're scholar lol, all this teaching American History has distracted me from the places and things that got me to love history in the first place (because it certainly wasn't Am. history that got me started down this path).

  • Thomas

    Theres a lot of great fashions displayed by The Mighty Boosh's character “Vince Noir” played by Noel Fielding (who is an amazingly well dressed man in real life too). As for the Venture Brothers, I can't say you'd like the show, I'm picky about what Adult Swim shows I actually enjoy, but the character Triana Orpheus and her Necromancer father are great supporting characters that could honestly have their own show, or at least I wish they'd appear in more episodes.

  • Michelle

    Dandy fashion! <3<3<3<3 Definitely one of my favorite styles. :)

  • I never really appreciated male flamboyance. I did, however, greatly appreciate your article. Nice one!

    • haha once you get a taste of male flamboyance, it’s easy to get hooked!

  • I never really appreciated male flamboyance. I did, however, greatly appreciate your article. Nice one!

  • I never really appreciated male flamboyance. I did, however, greatly appreciate your article. Nice one!

  • haha once you get a taste of male flamboyance, it's easy to get hooked!

  • EB

    Wow, TWO pictures of James in this post! He must be tickled. ;)

  • EB

    Wow, TWO pictures of James in this post! He must be tickled. ;)

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  • Hi there! Great article!
    just a note: the first one that bring back this “Dandy style” in music was Adam Ant in 1980, then all the other got inspired by him (Michael Jackson ask to him where to buy the famous black’n’gold military jacket he used in the 80’s).
    Sorry, is just that i want to give a justice to this amazing and creative artist, Adma Ant! <3

    Again, amazing article, i've learn a lot from it! :)