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Beau Brummell: The Most Stylish History Maker

Geordie

SEA LIONS ON MY SHIRT
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An interesting, if at times disjointed (imho), look at when male fashion changed rather radically.

Alternate fashion as a whole is something that is generally disregarded in TLs. This was brought home to me in the fact that @Ciclavex's Fashions Made Sacred dabbles in such, in a pleasingly understated way. The fact that I found this revolutionary showed just how infrequently it is addressed at all. Obviously, there'll be precious little change in a TL where the PoD is the June 2016 referendum; works stretching far further seldom look at it.
 
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Thande

Directly Elected Mayor of the Western Hemisphere
Published by SLP
An interesting, if at times disjointed (imho), look at when male fashion changed rather radically.

Alternate fashion as a whole is something that is generally disregarded in TLs. This was brought hinge to me in the fact that @Ciclavex's Fashions Made Sacred calls in such, in a pleasingly understated way. The fact that I found this revolutionary showed just how infrequently it is addressed at all. Obviously, there'll be precious little change in a TL where the PoD is the June 2016 referendum; works stretching far further seldom look at it.
It's something I feel I should do more in LTTW, about the only appearance of it in Vol VI was the mention of politicians wearing suits with frilly cuffs.
 
There was a sort of equivalent to the radical dress reforms of the French Revolution, arguably for partly the same populist reasons, to a limited extent in the Middle East after the Iranian Revolution, Quite apart from the suddenly dominant clerics going about in front of the TV in their traditional long robes, the younger male political leaders of the Revolution in the Bazarghan, Bani Sadr and Rajai governments in 1979-81 started to appear without any ties, in open-necked shirts or ones buttoned up but with no ties. A bit like a less extreme and puritanical version of the Mao jacket. It has lasted to some degree in the region, at least in Iran - presumably with the tie taken as a decadent sign of Western and especially US capitalism and imperialism. Not wearing a tie became a symbol of rejecting the old order and being a man of the people, like wearing trousers not aristo knee-breeches in the French Revolution. The comparitive 'secular' idea of replacing the Western dress suit was to wear combat fatigues like Castro or Che Guevara, as favoured by Saddam Hussein.

I was rather hoping that it would spread. And the way that the British upper classes still wear Victorian -style finery at weddings and the opera - and especially at court - with very little change from c. 1820 always seems odd to me. Ditto the Richard Curtis-style films idea of selling the UK to American consumers as a quaint old country where we love this sort of thing. It's as if we're all in some giant Downton Abbey episode.
 

Ciclavex

Baron Ciclavex of Grittsysborough in New Sweden
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An interesting, if at times disjointed (imho), look at when male fashion changed rather radically.

Alternate fashion as a whole is something that is generally disregarded in TLs. This was brought home to me in the fact that @Ciclavex's Fashions Made Sacred dabbles in such, in a pleasingly understated way. The fact that I found this revolutionary showed just how infrequently it is addressed at all. Obviously, there'll be precious little change in a TL where the PoD is the June 2016 referendum; works stretching far further seldom look at it.
It is something I noted, and, while I had vague ideas about how certain masculine clothing styles would instead be more neutral, and that sort of thing, I have to admit that it was @Sideways who actually, by asking me about it, who actually made me do research on something that I had vaguely understood but had never really looked into and made me seriously consider the historical consequences of my PoD in terms of fashion —— despite it being all the more fitting given that the title even includes the word “fashions”, it was not something that I had given more than a few passing thoughts to before she prompted me, and I do so much appreciate her having done so.

But the broad idea that bright, even garish by our standards, colors and overbearing patterns that survive in both men’s and women’s clothing styles in FMS’ Europe, and the way the two have blended together and developed over the centuries is something I now consider fundamental to the setting, because, really, what is more fundamental than what it is people wear on a day-to-day basis. With the preponderance of synthetic dyes as industrialization happens, you see the garish 18th century styles of the upper classes instead migrate downward to the lower classes instead of vanishing in a post-revolutionary desire to understate it all — though I did have powdered wigs and that sort of thing die out over time apart from certain formal contexts, so.

I also came to realize that this change also has the knock-on effect of completely rewriting an entire aspect of the colonialist 19th century narrative about how primitive and un-Western the bright and patterned clothing and elaborate headgear traditionally worn by people of color in Africa, Asia and the Americas looked and how its very brightness was proof of its backwardness despite the fact that literally the men saying this probably all had grandfathers who had proudly worn bright and patterned clothing with elaborate powdered wigs themselves.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
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I was rather hoping that it would spread. And the way that the British upper classes still wear Victorian -style finery at weddings and the opera - and especially at court - with very little change from c. 1820 always seems odd to me. Ditto the Richard Curtis-style films idea of selling the UK to American consumers as a quaint old country where we love this sort of thing. It's as if we're all in some giant Downton Abbey episode.
Eh, apart from the occasional elderly gentleman I don't think I've seen even full on black tie at any operas myself. Glyndebourne's different but half of the point there is dressing up like you're going to an Edwardian garden party- it's the same sort of mindset that leads to people dressing up for Comicon.

It's even started to drift away from the strict black tie costuming for the orchestra.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
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I first heard about Beau threw that angry "BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL" mass-tweet-thread from last year than went around, indicating Brummell killed all fashion (ha). So the political background that the old styles were on the way out anyway due to being associated with the old order is an interesting bit.

Also:

dandies bathed
You are Europe's greatest hero, Beau Brummell!
 

ShortsBelfast

Well-known member
His father Billy Brummell was actually a much more important political figure and arguably the prototype of the Cabinet Secretary
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
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His father Billy Brummell was actually a much more important political figure and arguably the prototype of the Cabinet Secretary
Sure but I think one refreshing thing about the articles I get is that they routinely emphasise and focus on social change over political change.

Obviously the changes to British society during the French Revolution went far beyond fashion.
 

Redolegna

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The hours of dressing, whether by dandies or their forerunners in the eighteenth century whose costumes were so elaborate they required it, were of course not done by the rich and aristocrats themselves. They had small armies of servants, valets and femmes de chambre to work around them. Those could incur dreadful retribution if their movements pinched the gentleman or gentlewoman they were clothing, or if the "toilette" did not achieve the desired effect on its public, to the point that it was already a figure of satire in Marivaux's Île des Esclaves and many other plays. Beyond the need for such expensive and expansive hiring practices, fashion also had a major impact on economic life, and the turn to more restrained clothing could negatively impact a lot of people who designed and tailored fashion.

And you have the even more awful aspects. While I'm not aware of any particularly bad practice for the harvesting of purple dye beyond standard such things for the times, indigo was one of the major slave crops of the eighteenth century. I'm not aware of the particulars, but this endured beyond abolition and was a cause by oppressed peasantry, forced to grow it for paltry amounts of money, for revolts in India.
 

Yokai Man

Well-known member
The hours of dressing, whether by dandies or their forerunners in the eighteenth century whose costumes were so elaborate they required it, were of course not done by the rich and aristocrats themselves. They had small armies of servants, valets and femmes de chambre to work around them. Those could incur dreadful retribution if their movements pinched the gentleman or gentlewoman they were clothing, or if the "toilette" did not achieve the desired effect on its public, to the point that it was already a figure of satire in Marivaux's Île des Esclaves and many other plays. Beyond the need for such expensive and expansive hiring practices, fashion also had a major impact on economic life, and the turn to more restrained clothing could negatively impact a lot of people who designed and tailored fashion.

And you have the even more awful aspects. While I'm not aware of any particularly bad practice for the harvesting of purple dye beyond standard such things for the times, indigo was one of the major slave crops of the eighteenth century. I'm not aware of the particulars, but this endured beyond abolition and was a cause by oppressed peasantry, forced to grow it for paltry amounts of money, for revolts in India.
In conclusion,we must go back in time and murder Beau Brummel with a baby rhino
 
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