March 27, 2008
Ultimate Dandies

(Click on any thumbnail to view the full image)

The images above appeared in fashion magazine Numéro Homme's 12th edition (January 2008), under the editorial title "Ultimate Dandies." It is a prime example of the renewed interest in Victorian aesthetics which is sweeping both high couture and mainstream fashion. The models, though all styled as true Victorian men, are nevertheless wearing clothes by modern designers such as Burberry, Dolce & Gabanna, Paul & Joe, Gucci, and other major fashion houses that are responsible for setting and exemplifying trends worldwide. That these designers all have commercially available clothes modeled after Victorian patterns speaks to how widespread Neo-Victorianism has become in recent years.

Each of the models shown above represents a different concept of the Victorian man in modern thought; the Dandy, the Rake, the Gentleman, and even the Sheik. The center image in fact, could be the spitting image of Horace Lord in George Gissing's In the Year of Jubilee.

    The fashion of his attire tended to a dandiacal extreme, -modish silk hat, lavender necktie, white waistcoat, gaiters over his patent-leather shoes, gloves crushed together in one hand, and in the other a bamboo cane. For the last year or so he had been progressing in this direction, despite his father's scornful remarks and his sister's good-natured mockery. (28)

While Horace endures the derision of his family and peers due to his aesthetic choices, such extravagance of fashion has become increasingly more acceptable in modern society due in part to the influence of magazines such as Numéro Homme and the designers previously mentioned. It's interesting to note that the same class restrictions and status that coloured the Vicorian Dandy movement still exist in today's fashionable society, however. Clothes such as the ones pictured above are available only to those who can afford their high price tag, and as such represent the same image of high class and wealth that the Horace Lord sought to convey in his own appearance.

Posted by Alison
Images originally scanned by Lindsey at

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The Blog:

Created by five SFU students for Dr. Stephen Ogden's English 206 class, this blog is, simply put, just for show. We are interested in the idea of "Victorian Cool," or more specifically how Victorian aesthetics are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The posts in this blog are materialism at its finest; fashion, architecture, jewelry, furniture, and whatever else catches our eye. Why has this brand of Victorianism re-entered mass culture? Read the blog and find out!

The Contributors:


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