This past Saturday I had the opportunity to attend “Dandy Day: A Celebration of Dandyism at the Reginald F. Lewis Musem”. “Dandy Day” was combination of activities including book discussions, vintage shopping and theatrical performances centered around the Dandy Lion art exhibit that showcased Black Dandyism. Black Dandyism is sub-culture of urban sophistication among gentlemen within the Black community whose style engage both African aesthetics and European fashion. (see photo below)
The overall feel of the dandy aesthetic is sort of a throwback to the Harlem Renaissance where Black men wore suits most of the time and took as much pride in their look as they did their neighbors. They held each other to a high standard of not only fashion but morals and values. Those standards showed in everything they did but most noticeably in their clothes.
The exhibit was full of strong, powerful images from different photographers from around world. Each showcase gave descriptions of the photographer and even had brief captions from the photographers themselves. They gave insight on their photos, fashion, dandyism and how it affects them or their peers in their respective parts of the world.
The live performances from ‘Theater Morgan’ covered remarkable pieces like Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” and drew inspiration from some of the pieces showcased. The actors and actresses told stories of the Black experiences from struggles and adversity to joy and juke joints.
There were showcases from artist who covered dandyism in Africa, urban landscapes here in the U.S and even in entertainment. I feel these depictions of Black men in fashion are something that everyone can learn from and brings great balance to stereotypes of how many Black men dress and present themselves today .
Not only did I have a chance to view this great exhibit, I met some great people like staff from “The Vintage MaNN”. They were at the museum vending great vintage finds for men. Everything from vintage neckties to old school sportwear. Check out some of their goods below. Contact thevintagemann[@]gmail.com if you’re looking for some good vintage gear.
I’m almost ashamed to say that I heard about this exhibit back in February and didn’t take the time to attend. I planned to but I kept putting it off. Luckily my fellow fashion blogger from Baltimore, Ty from Gorgeous in Grey, reached out and put me in contact with with the right people at the museum. I felt it was important to attend the exhibit on the actual “Day of the Dandy” so that I can experience the full presentation of the culture they were highlighting. The exhibit runs until May 13, 2012 so you have two weeks to get downtown and check it out.