The Dandies and the Gentlemen - Livres du Mois
In May's Livres du Mois we explore the Dandies and the Gentlemen. While I've written about many of my loves on the compendium, I have never written about my love for mens style, particularly fashions from the first half of the 20th century. So I have selected some books on menswear history and books for style inspiration. We begin with Dandy Style: 250 Years of British Men's Fashion.
250 Years of British Men's Fashion
Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert
"The style of the dandy is elegant but bold―dedicated to the perfection of taste. This meticulously choreographed look has a vibrant history; the legacy of Beau Brummell, the original dandy of Regency England, can be traced in the clothing of urban dandies today. Dandy Style celebrates 250 years of male self-expression, investigating the portraiture and wardrobe of the fashionable British man. Combining fashion, art, and photography, the historic and the contemporary, the provocative and the respectable, it considers key themes in the development of male style and identity, including elegance, uniformity, and spectacle. Various types of dandy are represented by iconic figures such as Oscar Wilde, Edward VIII as Prince of Wales, and Gilbert & George. They appear alongside the seminal designs of Vivienne Westwood, Ozwald Boateng, and Alexander McQueen."
Gentlemen of the Golden Age
Elegant Fashion Illustrations of the 1930's
Sven Raphael Schneider
"Learn from the men who wore classic fashion best. Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant — they all looked their best in the 1930's. Now you can use their source of sartorial inspiration, too.
This group of 79 specially selected illustrations are the result of 15 years of collection and curation by Gentleman’s Gazette founder, Sven Raphael Schneider. They are part of a one-of-a-kind fashion archive consisting of rare and out-of-print publications and books, that combined with 15 years of knowledge have led to the publication of this unique eBook."
J C Leyendecker:
L. S. Cutler & J. Goffman Cutler
"One of the most prolific and successful artists of the Golden Age of American Illustration, J. C. Leyendecker captivated audiences throughout the first half of the 20th century. Leyendecker is best known for his creation of the archetype of the fashionable American male with his advertisements for Arrow Collar. These images sold to an eager public the idea of a glamorous lifestyle, the bedrock upon which modern advertising was built. He was the creator of instantly recognisable icons, such as the New Year’s baby and Santa Claus, that are to this day an integral part of the lexicon of Americana and was commissioned to paint more Saturday Evening Post covers than any other artist.
Leyendecker lived for most of his adult life with Charles Beach, the Arrow Collar Man, on whom the stylish men in his artwork were modeled. The first book about the artist in more than 30 years, J. C. Leyendecker features his masterworks, rare paintings, studies, and other artwork, including the 322 covers he did for the Post. With a revealing text that delves into both his artistic evolution and personal life, J. C. Leyendecker restores this iconic image maker’s rightful position in the pantheon of great American artists."
The Englishman's Suit
A personal view of its history
The Englishman's Suit: A personal view of its history, its place in the world today, its future and the accessories which support it. An account of the development of the suit, from the seventeenth century to the present day, from the mysteries of button placement to the influences of princes and kings as early trend setters.
"...as well as being a slightly potted history of suits, is also a rather charming guide to living elegantly."
"There are anecdotes galore from fashion conscious Kings, from Charles I to Edward VIII and Prince Philip, Beau Brummell, Count Alfred D'Orsay, and of course, from Amies himself. As well as outlining the history of the suit he touches on all the accessories as well, each in their own short chapter... In addition there is some history of Savile Row and the Amies empire, all of which makes the book a most entertaining read from start to finish."
Dressing The Man
Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion
"Dressing the Man is the definitive guide to what men need to know in order to dress well and look stylish without becoming fashion victims.
Alan Flusser's name is synonymous with taste and style. With his new book, he combines his encyclopedic knowledge of men's clothes with his signature wit and elegance to address the fundamental paradox of modern men's fashion: Why, after men today have spent more money on clothes than in any other period of history, are there fewer well-dressed men than at any time ever before?
According to Flusser, dressing well is not all that difficult, the real challenge lies in being able to acquire the right personalized instruction. Dressing well pivots on two pillars -- proportion and colour. Flusser believes that "Permanent Fashionability," both his promise and goal for the reader, starts by being accountable to a personal set of physical trademarks and not to any kind of random, seasonally served-up collection of fashion flashes.
Unlike fashion, which is obliged to change each season, the face's shape, the neck's height, the shoulder's width, the arm's length, the torso's structure, and the foot's size remain fairly constant over time. Once a man learns how to adapt the fundamentals of permanent fashion to his physique and complexion, he's halfway home.
Taking the reader through each major clothing classification step-by-step, this user-friendly guide helps you apply your own specifics to a series of dressing options, from business casual and formalwear to pattern-on-pattern coordination, or how to choose the most flattering clothing silhouette for your body type and shirt collar for your face.
A man's physical traits represent his individual road map, and the quickest route toward forging an enduring style of dress is through exposure to the legendary practitioners of this rare masculine art. Flusser has assembled the largest and most diverse collection of stylishly mantled men ever found in one book. Many never-before-seen vintage photographs from the era of Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, and Fred Astaire are employed to help illustrate the range and diversity of authentic men's fashion. Dressing the Man's sheer magnitude of options will enable the reader to expand both the grammar and verbiage of his permanent-fashion vocabulary.
For those men hoping to find sartorial fulfilment somewhere down the road, tethering their journey to the mind-set of permanent fashion will deliver them earlier rather than later in life."
I hope you have found something that peaks your interest but if not, then you may find something more to your tastes in The Library.