Where have all the dandies gone?

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Lest I forget, I would like to pay tributes to the dandies and fops of a certain age, who don’t allow the expectations of those with conservative mindsets to deter them from expressing creative ideas in the way they dress.

Back in the day, when a certain improvising musician was making his name, he felt the need to attack the sartorial choices of an artist of his father’s generation. When people accused him of being disrespectful, he asked them if they would be happy to see their own grandfathers dressing like the artist he attacked. The dynamic between the two artists was not a pretty sight to behold.

Similar things are happening nowadays with female artists, except that I haven’t noticed any women being quite as rude and uncouth in public as that male musician was.

Billie Holiday recorded a song called “Ain’t nobody’s business if I do”. The recording took on an eerie resonance in later years, because of what many folks learnt about her personal life, but in a way, she made a very important point.

In a recent conversation, a confidante and I mourned together for the demise of imaginative and flamboyant sartorial expression amongst men. We are both of an age group that took pride in dandyism. Some of us need to keep the flag flying.