The ‘Bourne Identity

Melbourne dandies extol the “lavish,” reports Australia’s The Age in a lengthy feature story. Not surprising, these modern exponents of dandyism are bored by mainstream platitudes and have a flair for “theatrical self-fashioning.”

Indeed, nothing says “dandy” more than a walking schtick.

Forum lurker, faux aristocrat, and all around decent chap Sir Frederick Chook (Daniel Chapman) is featured, and offers the following quote:

“I live the way I do for my own benefit and, if I’m looking for a reaction, it’s just to make people smile. But I do try to inspire people to be a bit more confident to live their own way.”

Alas, we’ve heard the same from other persons affected and provincial, and we’re not buying: Call it ego gratification or simply being oneself, but it’s hard for us to imagine one wears formal and anachronistic clothing as a way of saying “Have a nice day.”

We’ve often found the term “Dickens-Faire dandyism” a convenient descriptor, and sure enough, “Richard Nylon takes on an authentic 19th-century aesthetic, looking like he’s stepped straight out of a Boz sketch in a Dickens novel.”

Addendum: Sir Chook has clarified in the forum that he is not the chap pictured at left.

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8 Responses to “The ‘Bourne Identity”

  1. M Says:

    Check the prol gape on that suit!

    Mmmm… da-andies…


  2. M Says:

    On closer reading, I find there’s alot to laud in this article.

    For one thing, the author has actually bothered to research dandyism — she invokes Moers, for example. Nor does she buy into the bullshit and refer to Daniel Chapman as “Sir Frederick Chook,” which is more than I can say for most American journalists — and some on this very site — who refer to Allen Crawford as “Lord Whimsy” as if this fictitious public persona actually has a birth certificate.

    As for Chapman himself, I can’t disagree when he says, “It’s living one’s own ideal and manifesting that in every aspect of one’s everday life: one’s clothes, one behavior, how one interacts with other people.”

    We may have differing visions, but I don’t have much to argue with that ideal, though I am probably more flexible in my outlook in meeting it.


  3. Christian Says:

    It says the author is Andrew Stephens, probably not a “she.”

    I don’t think Chapman officially refers to himself as Sir Fred, though it does say that on his site

    You’ll recall we jousted with him in the forum a number of months ago, and he proved himself a good sport.

    Not sure if he thinks that of us, though.

  4. Veblen Says:

    I’m not one to make fun of the mentally challenged, or make reference to them to get a laugh, so I assure you this is a true story. In the 1970s one of my neighbors had a son (in his twenties) who was, indeed, mentally challenged. One afternoon, his mother was having coffee with mine, and he knocked on the door to show off the new clothes that he bought (with his own money). He was wearing an almost identical outfit to the green monstrosity pictured here. He just beamed with pride, and I remember Mom and Neighbor Lady obviously having to reach quite deep inside themselves to find compliments for him. They didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

    He wore that thing all the time.


  5. Jane Says:

    I thought the above outfit wasn’t too bad…until I scrolled down and saw the trousers. Good heavens.

  6. andrea sperelli Says:

    Tempo fa, i gentiluomini inglesi vemivano in Italia a capire.
    Quanti di voi hanno soggiornato in Italia?

  7. Christian Says:

    Sperelli, if I recall, is the editor of the dandy section on this website:

    He asks, “Time was, English gentleman came to Italy to gain knowledge. How many of you have traveled about Italy?”

  8. nick willard Says:

    Here’s Sperelli’s personal blog:

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