From the pages of Paper, Scissors, Clocks (P.O. Box 14117, Minneapolis, MN 55414; $3.95)
Excerpts from: Special Fascion Supplement! Fashion for the New Gilded Age!
In the face of a fashion industry that is driven by the dictates of profits and planned obsolescence...In the face of mindless, disposable consumerism...In the face of the Cult of the Teenager, a demographic that includes everyone from ages 10 to 35...As means to halt the use of child labor in the garment industry and of slowing the creeping spread of men's moustaches...WE DECLARE A NEW DANDYISM BASED ON THE AESTHETIC SHOCK ENGENDERED BY TOP HATS, WAISTCOATS AND THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF THE WALRUS MOUSTACHE.
No longer is it an act of rebellion to don the rags worn in 1977, just as it is no longer a threat for men to have long hair or for women to wear pants. Cultural signifiers have lost their meaning. Images and ideas float around in a post-modern limbo where yesterday's cereal box becomes today's object d'art. The idea of retro has gotten completely out of hand. Cast-off T-shirts once found in the bargain bins at Salvation Army are now being reprinted and sold as new for $15 instead of 50 cents. Popular designs include "Bubble Up," "Mr. Bubble," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Pac Man" and "Quisp." How many teenagers have even seen a box of Quisp cereal?
We propose an alternative. A timeless sense of style that will never go out of fashion. Ageless beauty will resist attempts by the culture industry to turn it into another disposable flavor-of-the-month. We feel it is time to take a lesson from the Rude Boys and the skinheads. Nothing frightens the ruling class more than to see their enemies arrayed in crisp clean lines, starched white shirts, well-fitting pants, and rakish three-piece suits. Is not The Fruit of Islam menacing because of their meticulous attention to detail?
We're not asking you to become a Muslim or a boot boy...All we are saying is that it's time to throw down the silk glove at the feet of the capitalist day job! Put on suits at protests. Wear conservative clothes whenever you go dancing in a nightclub. Turn the usual ideas about dressing up and dressing down on their head!
If I had to pick the quintessential examples of a Dandy, they would have to be George Sand for the ladies, and George Grosz for the gents. If you're looking for a contemporary role model, the London Teddy Boys are a good place to start. Do NOT engage in the folly of 60s "swinging" London. That was actually a pre-hippie, psychedelic style that brought back frock coats and affectation for snotty young aristocrats. Likewise, try to avoid the excesses of "New Romantic." Adam Ant's pirate outfit was much too garish. Prince--who wore many costumes inspired by nineteenth century fashion--is not a very good role model, since purple sequins and lace are much too expensive. A true New Dandyist will purchase cheap used clothing whenever possible.
Finally, male New Dandyists will fight the spread of men's moustaches by making a pre-emptive strike that will make people pause and consider whether or not they want to look like that: henceforth, if at all possible, young males should grow a full walrus moustache. This is a bold and aggressive style that will strike fear into the hearts of cowardly men.
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