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Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by dhermann1, Oct 11, 2013.
I now have an awesome new term in my vocabulary! Thank you, Miss Lizzie!
Whatever the title, it does look like a wonderful book! Oh, men who dress elegantly and classy...sigh...perchance to dream of days gone by...
Guttersnipe: Are you serious? You consider The Exploited to fall into the Dandy category!!
Now I've heard it all. The Exploited were such latecomers to punk that the Dandy tag just isn't appropriate. I'm not saying that the idea of dandies within punk isn't right, it's just that they were a band that didn't fit the bill.
If i were to use that tag on any punk bands it might fit to the fey intellectualism of Buzzcocks, or to Dave Vanian of The Damned (whose vampire image was so far ahead of goth as to sometimes be overlooked) or even to Generation X (Billy Idol and Tony James were both highly image conscious). But please, not The Exploited. They might have appeared to be dandies from a US perspective, but not over here.
A publisher having the final choice of title is common. The title for my first book was chosen by the publisher and at the time i didn't approve. But I was wrong, the title was perfect and i'm glad they chose it.
In this case, it would be interesting to know what the authors thought the book's title would be. Any criticism of the dandy title can only come if we know the author's alternative. After all, it the publisher's sales team who have got to put in the leg work, getting this thing into bookshops and getting shops to give it shelf space. They need an instant hook to ensure sales. If 'Dandy' is the hook, then you have to go with it.
Haha, TT you made me chuckle about the exploited thing. It's true. They are rather dull. But I guess his point was "fashion as a way of expression" or something like that. They did it ... in a clicheed way but still.
The authors can't blame the publisher for the "Dandy" thing. It was part of their blog for years.
no punks would be allowed the dandy label by my rules; they're street style. if you allow punks in then every skinhead, goth and new romantic will want in to.
no, the line must be drawn somewhere !
The Exploited cannot be considered 'Dandy' because they were following fashions, picking up on the styles of the most lumpen glue and cider punks. And, most importantly, they lacked style. Of that generation of British punk bands, they were no more 'dandy' than GBH, Anti-Pasti or Abrasive Wheels. I would even think that dandy might be better applied to Discharge who at least maintained a certain aloofness (their singer refused to be photographed) or Crass, whose lack of style was so highly stylised as to be subversive.
This is all a bit dodgem cars, I think TT we have to remember Adam Ant and the Sex Pistols and of course VW's and MM genius contribution to dressing the whole punk thing. But I get what users are saying, and I love Miss Lizzies puritanical hate for the Dandy too, I think a dandy is a person who can take take the basic three items of clothing boots, trousers, and top and make it work more wonderfully than most while generating awe, hate and envy everywhere they go.
To be honest, i have no idea how we should define a dandy in the 21st century. All I know is that I'm not one and would not want to be described as such.
Simon, I would agree that the pistols, ants, Maclaren/Westwood aspect of the 'punk dandy' argument is relevant.
someone once told me i was a 'young fogey'.
labels, who needs them ?
'Young Fogey' suggests Tory boys in cords and their grandfather's brogues, riding an old bike and yearning for a world where the working classes knew their place before the welfare state had been invented. I think it was used to refer to some of the new breed of Daily Telegraph journalists in the 1980s.
I don't want to stray into politics (although the use of 'Young Fogey' does inevitably stray into politics), but that is one description that i would never want to be used to describe me.
Added to that, I'm not young anymore.
I know some rappers who I would consider dandies. My definition seems to be more inclusive than others.
So just to be clear, your assertion is as follows: By definition, one cannot be a dandy if they are following a style trend. Yes?
To my mind, a preoccupation with dress and personal appearance are the cornerstone of the dandy's existence, irrespective of the particular aesthetics or whether one is a trailblazer or late adopter of a particular fashion.
I agree with you, AC. I'm wondering if this is another example of two peoples separated by common language? To me, the favoring of street styles over more traditional styles doesn't necessarily disqualify a person from the dandy label.
For example, the practice common among many famous hip hop moguls / stars of only wearing their white sneaker once seems like something Beau Brummell would have loved. Didn't he famously wash his boot with champagne?
It's deeper than that and since, as I noted in another post in this thread, I am not certain what it takes to be a modern dandy. But there has to be something exceptional about dress and bearing. Something that makes one stand out from the crowd. And I'm afraid the Exploited did not, in my mind, do that. Every town in the UK had people who were fairly indistinguishable from that look. By that time, the original punks had moved on, were developing new styles. The Exploited's style wasn't moving on. The teenagers who were forward looking abandoned that look, moved on to new pastures. It may be a US/UK thing but, for me - and for most of the people I knew - the Exploited were a joke, and not even a funny one. I would compare it to the notion of Madonna arriving on the scene in a blaze of (press induced) glory. Plenty of teenagers looked at her and thought 'She's a grown woman, why is she dressed like fourteen year olds were dressing last year?' thus people like me (and my wife who was exactly in that age group) could never view Madonna as fashionable - whatever may have happened since.
I don't know anything about punk rock, but I do know "presentational dressing" when I see it -- clothing worn solely for the effect that it has on the viewer, clothing worn solely to induce an emotional response in the eyes of the unwashed masses. If that's what dandies do, then forget about punks. Dandies were the original hipsters. And hipsters, in all their skinny-pantsed, novelty t-shirted, greasy crumb-bearded, overtattooed glory, are the legitimate heirs to the 19th Century dandies.
Which is why most of the guys in this do NOT like the term.
dhermann, I would love to hear your Bronx accent. I look at your avatar, the boater the roundel specs and that neatly knotted tie, and think Henley Regatta. Your picture is just so: "Dandy!" Please don't tell me that it's some film star that I should recognise, but don't! (Sorry if that's an insult, it was the contrary compliment that was meant.)
if the definition is too broad it's rendered meaningless. we're all dandies according to you simply because we have an above average interest in clothing. most of us who frequent the suits forum are merely 'well dressed'.
preoccupation isn't enough. many people are preoccupied with their appearance but aren't dandies. they might fail miserably at it while still being preoccupied by it.
likewise, hipsters aren't by default dandies just because they have an affected look. it doesn't take much effort to grow a beard, get tattooed and pull on some skinny jeans.
no... it's the attention to detail, fine fabrics, tailoring etc. - in short: the level of perfectionism - that the dandy achieves that sets him apart from the merely well dressed, cool or trendy.
I think that's just 'Dandy'..!!
A few years back I met one of the Dandies featured in the book at a NYC event. As one who appreciates vintage pocket watches and particularly watch-chains I noticed this fellow had a lovely chain hanging off his vest. In the course of our conversation I complimented the chain and asked what type of watch he wore. He removed the chain from his finely brocaded vest and there hung an empty hook. True story.
Right or wrong this summed up the Dandy to me.