fine and dandy

I am a sucker, a true sucker, for snazzily dressed men with vintage taste. And I'm obviously not the only one noticing this trend. Modern dandies are my favourite- a step up from the mere metrosexual, these are guys who have multiple products in their bathroom, sure, but they also wax their moustaches and have that rakish charm and pure nerve that only dandies can really master. They have grace, not just physically but also of character, and can choose to implement it (or not) for maximum effect. They're sort of like male drag kings, in a way, which might also explain why I'm a sucker for that delicious blending of traits. And, may I add, I definitely aspire in my work and demeanor to be a quaintrelle or, very hopefully, a demimonde, possible counterparts to the male dandy. Actually, this has a lot to do with my thoughts on female to femme, and it's within this context that I've begun to blossom.

Dandies were, of course, generally known as the vulgar side of the fashionable set- more often than not, they were poor but struggling to maintain that wealthy exterior, often with friends in the sex industry that understood and relished their filth and helped them replenish their plumage. I love stories about men who had one set of underwear but 7 extravagant coats, because, well, no one was going to be judging them on their underthings day to day, were they?

While the stuck-upedness that often followed these men around isn't so much to my liking, I find that I am irresistibly attracted to this type. They're almost always theatrical in one way or another, and while they have varying levels of confidence, they tend to be in the spotlight, the planet around which their world orbits. Arrogant? Sure, but they look good while doing it, and delicately placed arrogance can be a welcome respite from the apologetic shamefacedness of so many other men. Also, their sense of style! Give me a pretty boy in an ascot or a nice tie over pretty much any other type.

I like what Sebastian Horsley says about dandyism:

"Being a dandy is a condition rather than a profession. It is a defiance against suffering and a celebration of life. It is not fashion; it is not wealth; it is not learning; it is not beauty. It is a shield and a sword and a crown — all pulled out of the dressing up box in the attic of the imagination. Dandyism is a lie which reveals the truth, and the truth is that we are what we pretend to be.

The only way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in a perpetual orgy of absurdity.

When I hear thunder, I take a bow.

When I hear rain, I assume it is applause.

And so like the sun, I shine, having no alternative."

I was reflecting on this, and how to impart this delightful type to men who might be persuaded that way but don't yet have a context, when I came across this video of Christopher Walken of all people.

That's it, perfectly. Just wicked, but lovely. Slightly mad, potentially dangerous, but what a ride he'd take you on. Delicious.

(on a completely different train of thought- the term "fine and dandy" has such an interesting history! The term was apparently originally used in the musical Wizard of Oz in 1903, but then came into the vernacular via the Fine and Dandy Club, something dreamed up by a salesman named Albert Teetsel in the 1920's to encourage a happiness of spirit amongst club members. He said "The psychological effect of the words 'Fine and Dandy' or 'I'm Fine and Dandy, How are You?' is to impress the party spoken to with the enthusiasm and cheerful outlook of the speaker". The beginnings of pronoia..?)

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