It was nearly a year ago that I spoke with Rose Callahan and she revealed to me her plans to partner with Nathaniel Adams for a book on Dandies. A natural team as well as a natural extension of both of their works. Rose has been putting out The Dandy Portraits for a few years now and Natty works at the Against Nature Atelier and also does writing on dandies at Lives Of The Dandies.
At last the book Rose spoke of, I Am Dandy has been released. Bergdorf Goodman hosted a launch party last Thursday at its men’s store, which was effectively invaded by a sea of well dressed men and women. In attendance were many of the dandies featured in the pages of I Am Dandy; frankly, the list is too long to get into. If you are curious, I suggest you do three things: browse my photos below, browse the photos at The Dandy Portraits and buy the book.
The book itself is rather substantial, as should be the case with a coffee table-like book such as this. Aside from its imposing physical presence the actual written and visual content is equally, if not more, substantial. Rose and Natty have outdone themselves. But perhaps more importantly, the content is unique in the world of menswear/men’s style books. There are no rules, ‘how-to’s’ or narratives on the history of any given article of clothing. Which to my eyes and mind is a welcome reprieve. Just a few hundred pages of well dressed men.
The subjects themselves are a rather interesting bunch, all 56 of them. Which is a generous judgement to pass on to some of the men, I know others have passed less favorable judgements. But most of the men are the good sort of interesting and are damn good dressers. And many of the men featured in the pages of I Am Dandy that I have met are genuine in the way they dress and live. Which to me is crucial to be as both a man and a dandy.
For those of you with a genuine interest in men’s style I recommend you pick up a copy of the book. If for no other reason than the fountain of inspiration it should provide to you. But as I have already said, there are more reasons to make the acquisition than just that.
Upon reading through many of the write ups on the dandies I couldn’t help but wonder if I myself am a dandy. I have since concluded that just because I dress better than a vast majority of men does not mean I am a dandy. But even if I was, I doubt I would claim to be one. That would be poor form.
I am sure if all goes well with the book, which I do hope it does, we will be blessed with a second edition (and dare I pray for, a third edition). Given this installment focused mostly on gentlemen from America, I was told a subsequent installment could focus on men of Italy, Asia and other far away lands. I eagerly await.