Dandyism in 181402 May 2020
One of the few references to dandyism in 1814 is to be found in Horace Twiss’s (1787-1849) poem „Fashion“, published in his „Posthumous Parodies and other Pieces“.
Evidently, the large neckcloth had been central to the dandy’s appearance since his inception. Twiss’s explanation of the term not only hints at it being new and requiring a definition, but also traces it to the 18th-century beau. Accordingly, dandyism may be a new term, but it’s not a new phenomenon. Neither does it come across as a particularly elite movement, as Twiss refers to an omnipresent dandyfication that encompasses all classes of society. This observation goes in accordance with the dandy craze of 1818/1819 as evinced in the caricatures of George and Isaac Robert Cruikshank. Twiss’s notes suggest that the dandymania started prior to the publication of the caricatures of the brothers Cruikshank, and while Brummell was still reigning London’s fashionable society.