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Dandyism — The habit of male preening that verges on obsession — is the topic of the new book “I am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentlemen,” a compilation of photographs, lensed by photographer Rose Callahan, and text, penned by Nathaniel Adams, documenting the duo’s fascination with all things debonair. On Thursday, Bergdorf Goodman and Brioni cohosted a book party for the pair at the retailer’s recently unveiled, newly refurbished men’s store.
A jazzy, brass band stationed on the second floor marble veranda welcomed guests off the elevator. Inside, partygoers embraced the dandy sartorial spirit — eye-catching pocket squares, velvet suiting, cocktail-ring-adorned fingers and bowler hats were highly visible. Guests sipped hearty coupes of Champagne, proffered by a fleet of dapperly dressed male servers circulating the room, and snailed over to get their books signed by Adams and Callahan.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It takes a man of supreme confidence to be a dandy. It has to be unshakable confidence. It’s almost a disorder. They couldn’t live any other way. There are plenty of well-dressed men out there who, their style is not at the very core of their being like this,” Callahan said, taking a break from signing duties.
“They are consumed with elegance and self-expression and have a love of dressing,” Callahan added. “They’ve spent years, most of their lives, collecting clothes.”
“A dandy is a person who’s always in the pursuit of beauty and they live their lives with beautiful things,” legendary New York dandy Patrick McDonald said when asked how he defines a dandy. The question was met with a raised painted eyebrow under his Philip Treacy topper. “I wake up in the morning as a blank canvas and some days I feel modern, some days I feel surreal and I just paint myself with my clothes.”