First of all, the National Arts Club: I had no idea this existed and here I am, working just a few blocks away. It's in the gorgeous 19th-century mansion of Samuel J. Tilden, New York Senator and Tammany Hall foe. Full of plush rugs and dark wood that make you feel like you should be having a cigar and brandy. We had to "settle" for gin, since the even was sponsored by Hendricks. Hands down the best Tom Collins I've ever had, but that's besides the point.
There was a nice group of panelists: Matt Fox, the owner of Fine and Dandy Shop, manners expert Thomas P. Farley, writer and professional dandy Nathaniel "Natty" Adams, and of course the photographer. Ms. Callahan talked about her last three years photographing men "of exceptional style" and starting to understand the culture, which is almost too loose a collection of fans to be called a culture. Her subjects certainly tend to be younger men but they differ when it comes to race, class, sexual orientation, and how much vintage they wear.
And of course, the $64,000 question that was certainly on my mind: can a well-dressed woman be a dandy? Natty Adams, who's writing a book on the history of dandies right now, said absolutely not because dandy is a gendered term. I caught up with Mr. Farley after the panel, though, and he said that a woman who dresses to stand out and is very conscious of manners and presentation could be considered a coquette. Ladies, discuss.
|Can you spot me?|
The night ended with the always fantastic music by Dandy Wellington.