Who’s The Dandy? — Sperelli vs. Chesterfield

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Pictured are two dapper denizens of that online circle of hell known as Dandyland. On the left is Andrea Sperelli and on the right is Winston Chesterfield. Both are in their early twenties, both devote fanatical attention to their appearance, both dabble in the arts (Sperelli does amateurish drawings while Chesterfield writes music), and both have the supreme dandy virtue of being incorrigibly vain.

Beyond that, they couldn’t be more different.

Sperelli (who also goes by Massimilano Mocchia) dresses formally, is fond of bespoke clothing, and assembles carefully matched ensembles. He wears spectator shoes, ascots, and hats that swallow his head. At times, as in the rakish bearded image below, he reminds you of Giancarlo Giannini in “L’Innocente.” Other times a fussy Hercule Poirot:

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Where Sperelli is buttoned-down, Chesterfield is untucked. Instead of bespoke, he weaves individuality out of ready-to-wear. Instead of conveying calculation, Chesterfield expresses spontaneity, mixing tailored clothing with sportswear. Instead of ascots, Chesterfield is fond of nonchalantly draped scarves:

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Their differences don’t end with mere matters of dress. Sperelli is impeccably groomed, while Chesterfield sports stubble. Sperelli’s photos show him rigid and erect, while Chesterfield looks relaxed. Sperelli is haughty and punctilious, Chesterfield passionate and swank.

There’s more.

Sperelli longs for a sepia past while Chesterfield embraces the technicolor present. Sperelli is aristocratic, Chesterfield democratic. Sperelli wallows in luxury while Chesterfield delights in practicality. Sperelli has no visible means of support while Chesterfield has a piano gig at the Sheraton Belgravia and works as an event organizer. Sperelli blogs and writes about dandyism, Chesterfield about the latest fashion trends. Sperelli lives in Paris by way of Turin, Chesterfield in Westminster.

Such is the tale of the tape. And so we ask you: Who’s the dandy? Use the leave-a-comment feature and state your case.

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95 Responses to “Who’s The Dandy? — Sperelli vs. Chesterfield”

  1. HRH The Duke of Windsor Says:

    I see a lot of costumes in those pictures.Perhaps there really are no dandies left.

  2. Ashley Yakeley Says:

    In London, of the two of them, Chesterfield. But he could benefit from Sperelli’s eye for colour. He’s certainly not afraid to make mistakes.

    In Paris or Turin I have no idea.

  3. Benedict Says:

    On the grounds of being free from folly and affectation, loving modern dress etc. as this noble website so clearly sets out, Chesterfield is without a doubt the more dandyish of the pair, whereas the rather archaically-dressed Sperelli seems to be teetering on the edge of caricature.

  4. RJS Says:

    I vote for Mr. Sperelli. He seems to be having the most fun. Since the TRUE dandy is really extinct, the modern incarnation is a creature of infinite good humour with a touch of eccentricity in my view. The other gentleman looks like he has just stepped out from a fashion magazine: interesting, even smart, but not what one considers “Dandy-ish”.

  5. RJS Says:

    Besides, a Dandy in prét-a-porter? I don’t think so.

  6. mgr Says:

    hey there, here’s my humble opinion

    both these guys need to age. they’re essentially missing personality and a self-assured ease of manner. they seem like dandies in training. however, sperelli definitely succeeds more in playing the classic dandy. chesterfield simply looks like an urban metrosexual with maybe a tiny slight hint of dandyism.

  7. richard meyer Says:

    Sperreli’s clothes actually fit, and he’s well groomed-a little reminiscent of Richard Merkin. Chesterfield is sloppy and ill-attired and groomed. I would, however, get rid of Sperelli’s way-too-big hats.

  8. retropian Says:

    I think this is a good illustration of an earlier essay “Sprezzatura”, which contrasts Douglas Fairbanks Jr. with Adolphe Menjou. Mr. Chesterfield I think, strives to affect a stylish nonchalance and is successful, whereas Mr. Spirelli affects affectation. A quote from the “Sprezzatura” essay; “Yet when we look at them today, Fairbanks remains vibrant and stylish, while Menjou looks fussy and fastidious. Fairbanks could walk into a cocktail party today and charm the ladies and make the men envious. Menjou would come across as a relic. Why? In a word, sprezzatura.”

  9. G~ Says:

    Who’s the dandy? I have to go with Spereli. He’s got style, his body language has aplomb and wit written allover it, and where he may look a bit stuffy [which I happen to appreciate- a personal weakness], his aesthetic certainly pleases the eye. As for Chesterfield? The word Bohemian comes to mind.

  10. The Nouveau Edwardian Says:

    I love when D.net does these comparisons – just love it! I bet this will get Bricology all fired up again. Now as for the dandies offered, maybe Francois-Xavier is right: There are no more dandies. Perhaps that isn’t quite a fair statement since both gentlemen have for certain dandyish qualities. I really like several of Andrea Sperelli’s outfits while some I find too costume. Winston Chesterfield also expresses quite a bit of dandyism in his look, but maybe it is me, but I find his look less dandy, since to me untucked shirts ark the mark of a cad. Chesterfield has a more modern look about him, but some elements of his dress are quite common and even vulgar such as his belt. If Sperelli could tone down the retro-sexual look then I would say he is the more dandy of the two. Several of Sperelli’s suits are quite nice and I would love to have that shirt of his in the topmost photo. Just lose the monocle, maybe the Panama hat, and you have something close to a dandy. Sperelli also appears to be more involved in today’s dandyism since I’ve heard of, but this is the first I’ve heard of Chesterfield. Sperelli would get my vote for the most dandyish of the two.

  11. Laguna Beach Trad Says:

    Sperelli, clearly, by a long shot. I find myself quite inspired (sartorially at least) by his photos. I detect a measure of aristocratic haughtiness and apparent coldness there, blended with a constrained sense of fun. Sperelli looks as if he belongs in a Lampedusa story. Well done. Neither chap’s kit is perfect, and (as another commentator has pointed out) they are very young. Still, Sperelli is closer to the dandy ideal.

  12. H. Says:

    Just because someone proclaims that they are a dandy, doesn’t neccissarely mean they are. I think they both seem to be interesting characters, Sperelli more theatrical with his moustache and monokle, Chesterfield more modern (but definetly not sloppy!). One shouldn’t have an image of a dandy and think that that is a definite one. I think these men seem very unlike eachother, even though they seem to share their interest of clothing. However, I don’t think these are customes, I have seen gentlemen dressed like this on the street before. Something nice to look at among all thick and ugly michelin-like winter jackets and bad cut jeans.

  13. Michael Mattis Says:

    Great comparison. Of the two, I’d give neither a trifle the preference, at least from a glance, and at least not for dandyhood.

    That’s not to say that they both don’t look terrific in their own ways. They do. Sperelli looks particularly spectacular. But except for photos 1 and 6 he’s basically in historical costume. If dandyism has one cardinal rule, it is that laid out by Baudelaire in one of the first and most important essays on the topic: “dandyism must eschew exoticism either of time or place; he must never seem to be in fancy dress.” Dandyism is always a contemporary expression.

    I also like Chesterfield’s look and he is the more contemporary, adding a touch of flamboyance to the classics while kicking them down-market a notch with designer jeans, the belt, etc. He certainly has the sprezz. But again I feel he’s too theatrical.

    As our own Bob Sacheli once said to me in private (excuse the paraphrase, Bob), “a dandy’s clothes should never scream ‘LOOK AT ME!’ but state, simply, ‘I am here.’”

    Not that I’m not glad Sperelli and Chesterfield and others like them are walking the streets. They make those streets more interesting and entertaining.

  14. chatterton Says:

    I must agree with the Duke – I too see costumes only. Those huge hats, a monocle?! In my opinion Mr. Sperelli embodies pure retro-eccentrism and “trying too hard”.

  15. Thierry Says:

    I simply cannot agree with sir Mattis’ comments on contemporary Dandyhood. While I will agree Dandyism cannot mean living a 19th century costume party, I highly emphasize a certain philosophical interpretation, brought forth by ‘The Occidental Dandy-Pose’ of Von Thronstahl’s singer (and general artiste de vie) Josef K. (En paranthèses, I recommend his writings on vonthronstahl.de for everyone who speaks German)

    This age of stonewashed bluejeans and practicality through the T-shirt is not the age in which a Dandy can come to aristocratic fruition. Hence, he ought to keep the contemporary world at bay if he feels it not to be a decent era of style. In this sense, my vote goes out to Sperelli. He has studied his personality, no doubt, and that’s no crime at all. I’ll even give him extra credits for going about in this fashion without emulating someone twice his age. It’s hard to find this balance, that much I know for a fact. Last noteworthy point: He smokes in pictures. That’s very important if you ask me.

    Chesterfield… contemporary, out-of-bed hairstyle, plastic smile, horrible pose, jeans, horrible gloves… blah

  16. Bilal Says:

    Chesterfield. He’s the dandy of today. Being equipped with an eye for aesthetics and by knowing his style he’s able to find pieces at H&M, Zara, or thrift store and turn them into gold. Sperelli fashions the look of another era, from head-to-toe, and that’s where I lose my interest…

  17. Christian Says:

    Sperelli is a student in the Louvre copying the Old Masters. He has technique, but uses it in the service of a dead style.

  18. The Nouveau Edwardian Says:

    After perusing Mr. Sperelli’s blog, which was quite interesting, I noted that the photos of him with a monocle are actually photos of him at a costume party. It may not be fair to show this photo of him as an example of his everyday wear since it is questionable whether it is so. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I like the aristocratic look of Sperelli over the Boho look Chesterfield. A dandy should be a study of the aristocrat as art.

  19. JES Says:

    Sperelli is very 1970s Karl Lagerfeld. Weirdly, Chesterfield (aside from the untucked shirt) is somewhat like Lagerfeld’s current look. Interesting, and slightly horrific.

  20. H. Says:

    Thierry: I am suprised that you even consider you know anything about dandyism at all. Out-of-bed hairstyle? Take a look at the top of the html the cartoon of Beau Brummell the orginal and most famous of dandies sporting the fashionble, neo-Roman, front combed look. As far as the “plastic smile” is concerned, that is a personal comment from your side, pointing out facial features is not at issue. Jealousy shining through? Why should dandyism be about misery? It is celebrating how someone enjoys being refined, not self-conscious supersileousness.

    In relation to the jeans- had the dandies of the past lived to day, they would have worn jeans. If Brummell and Oscar Wilde had your limitations of period, they would have worn items centuries out of date. As it was, they actually set new trends. I think bringing denim into these outfits, and remember Chesterfield is NOT calling himself Dandy, just take a look at his blog, is bold and it should be encouraged. If you resist everything new, and like only theatrical, elaborate theater clothing you are not a dandy, you are, as I found out, a fop.

  21. Nick Willard Says:

    It’s starting to get nasty. Very good.

  22. Thierry Says:

    H.,

    On hair: It’s a personal thing, I hate this hairdo’s prevalent appearance in the ‘modern look’.

    On smile: That’s not a personal thing. Perhaps the word ‘smile’ would be inappropriate, I’d better say ‘smirk’. He’s looking like ‘Yes, flash me, I’m an attention whore’ whereas Sperelli is more like ‘I don’t give a damn, I’m above you’. Hence, Sperelli is more genuine in his ways. If you don’t find this an issue, then you don’t have a very good eye for detail I must conclude. Talking about refinement, oho!

    On jeans an the like: Perhaps you’re missing the point. If army trousers had been available in Wilde & co ‘s times, would they have worn those? No, because Dandyism is not about being practical. Jeans are however, that was the whole bloody point behind Levi bringing them on the market in the first place. And that’s exactly why they more or less remained taboo in Europe until May ’68.

    I don’t resist “anything new”, what I resist is everything that doesn’t benefit style. Jeans doesn’t, neither does nike air or funnyshirts.com – I clearly stated the dandy life shouldn’t be a costume party. But can it be a revolt against the modern world? Or should it be taking conformity to the decadent extremes? I will never choose the latter, probably something about my persona which prevents me from going denim.

    PS
    I don’t care what Chesterfield thinks of himself, I didn’t make this blogpost, I just react to it. What was that argument of yours on the matter for? To do away with the entire discussion? Why are you first defending his Dandyhood, followed by stating he’s not a Dandy at all?

    PPS
    Willard, I concur.

  23. H. Says:

    ‘Yes, flash me, I’m an attention whore’ – You have completly moved away from the clothing bit, and acctually personally attacked people, which shows that you struggle to find good arguments for your case. I accept fair arguments, but to attack someone’s face is just stupid.

    Jeans can in fact be stylish. We have all seen them on the catwalks of the most famous designers and they are always in style magazines and never out of vogue. THAT is the difference between jeans an the combat trousers or funnyshirts.com.

    I never stated that Chesterfield wasn’t a dandy. I was just stating that he didn’t claim to be one. Which, of course, no true dandy ever would.

  24. Thierry Says:

    Moved away from the clothing bit to attack people personally? When it comes to the Dandy, there is no difference! It’s the whole that matters, not just the clothes. I don’t “attack someone’s face”, I draw conclusions from someone’s expression. When I go about wearing a blue coat, tout my lips and put my right hand like Napoleon, then I’m cosplaying, just like Chesterfield’s smirking. There’s no nonchalance in Chesterfield, only a smart smirk. Meanwhile, Sperelli embodies nonchalance.

    Jeans can be stylish just like an SS uniform (certificate of Hugo Boss by the way, apologies in advance to whoever finds this hurtful or inappropriate) can. But just like the SS, jeans have had their reputation beaten to death. One can argue whether this is just or injust, but when it comes to something originally created by cutting up an army tent, I’ll call that a good argument just to start an polemic of further arguments.

    Also, like I’ve said before, contemporary fashion doesn’t interest me. I don’t read style (sic) magazines, I loathe them. I won’t deny jeans, combat trousers and shirts can be made out of high-end fabrics by high-end designers, I will state however this not to be a valid argument to justify them.

    If you consider Dandyism contemporary by all means, then this discussion is pointless, since I don’t. If not, we would first need a philosophical/political discussion on what has transpired the past two centuries. Something which would take this a looong way.

    Finally, a ‘Dandy would never call himself as such’ is an anecdotal argument at best.

    What good fun this is!

  25. H. Says:

    “It’s the whole that matters”

    Amazing then that you focused only on his jeans, his gloves, his pose, his hair and his smile.

    Good fun? I find your gross self-importance rather tiring actually.

  26. Turling Says:

    Chesterfield. Hands down. Sperelli looks as though he’s taken his looks from history books. He looks very Siegried and Roy. And, not in a good way. Chesterfield is able to put a distinct up-to-date look together. Chesterfield.

  27. Ontwins Says:

    When I think of a Dandy the image in my head is Sperelli. Other than the large hat all but 2 of his photos are quite acceptable walking down the streets of today. I believe those 2 are probably costume balls of some kind. His style is distinctive and impeccable. He is well put together without being over-the-top. To my mind a perfect example of a Dandy today.

    I admire Chesterfield and his flair. Deconstructed yet polished. Casual yet formal. His style is something I would probably not immediately think of as a Dandy, but it is something I would like to see more. Chesterfield sets his own way. Bordering the fine line of fashion and style. A sartorial trendsetter, a Dandy quality indeed.

    Cordially,

    Ontiwins

  28. RKM Says:

    Is there a third choice? Have I logged into the Refinement site by mistake?

  29. ferrando Says:

    Quite an interesting match-up here. One intriguing aspect is that each of these men seem to be channeling contrasting interpretations of styles that might be characterized as essentially British in their roots.
    Sperelli’s represents the Italian stylization of the classic Anglo gentleman circa 1919, further framed by his own curatorial approach to dressing (a tip of the Panama to Christian for his museum metaphor). That Mocchia has selected his nom de dandy from a D’Annunzio novel is a good indication of his nostalgic leanings. The idea, I think, is to appear as if you’re about to have cocktails with the Marchesa Casati; however, in most of the photos the effect comes closer to an extra in “Death in Venice.” I do, however, think the beard lends a note of gravitas, but then again, I’m prejudiced.

    Chesterfield reaches back to the boho chic of inter-war artistic figures like Cecil Beaton and Rex Whistler, with a dash of the mad Stephen Tennant. What he does, though — and what makes him the more successful contemporary dandy — is give that style a modern twist. The effect is energetic, age-appropriate (at least for him), and wearable in the real world. Despite the unfortunate acreage of that red pocket square, I’m with Mr. C. on this one.

    And Michael, you’ve got my comment exactly right. Glad it came in handy.

  30. lurker Says:

    Sperelli doesn’t look haughty to me — he looks insecure. Mostly this is a function of age (it’s hard to be full of self-confidence before 25 or 30), but he makes it worse by trying to dress like a more mature man. This effect is only compounded by the contrast with his slight frame and youthful face. As a result, he does not look like he feels very at home in his clothes.

    Chesterfield shows some questionable choices, but they are the ones that younger people tend to make, and so they are more venial than cardinal. His errors appear to be more careless mistakes that he’ll outgrow, whereas Sperelli’s more calculated errors suggest that he will not learn from them but persist in them steadfastly.

    Neither seems very dandy, but again that’s just a function of their age. Perhaps a more fitting question would be: “Which is the greater folly of youth — utopianism or fashionableness?”

  31. sobriquet Says:

    I don’t know if anyone has brought this up yet, because I can’t be bothered to read all of your comments when I wouldn’t really care what any of you may have said, but:

    Chester, in several of the pictures, is obviously photographing himself. I would think that ought to be grounds for immediate disqualification.

  32. Nick Willard Says:

    Immediate disqualification? Vanity,in a dandy, the cause of immediate disqualification? To the contrary, that earns him an immediate +10 points.

  33. Andrea Sperelli Says:

    Three considerations:

    1.) The last photo of myself is from the Carnival in Venice. I am in costume. It would be madness to dress thus every day.

    2.) I like Mr. Chesterfield’s look very much.

    3.) I have never promoted myself as a dandy. I only write on the subject of dandyism. My choice of wardrobe follows my personal taste. Between the schools of Fashion and Classicism, I prefer the latter.

    Cordialmente,
    Massimiliano Mocchia conte di Coggiola e Pray; signore di S. Benigno; consignore di Ceva, Ostana, Roascio, S. Michele, Torricella.
    Alias Andrea Sperelli Fieschi d’Ugenta.

  34. Nick Willard Says:

    Andrea, so you can write intelligibly in English when you want to. That’s nice to know.

    As for the last photo, you have posted many photos on your site of you in dress-up. We were trying to give a representative sampling. Just as articles about the great dandy Bunny Roger customarily include a photo of him in drag, a post about you should illustrate your aptitude for dress-up.

    Let me assure you that Mr. Chesterfield has privately reciprocated your kind words about him.

  35. R. M. Wittingslow Says:

    Were he to able to distinguish looking artfully disheleved from looking slovenly, Chesterfield.

  36. Gary Cooper Says:

    I would go with Sperelli here. He looks sharp.

  37. sobriquet Says:

    It’s not the inherent vanity that is objectionable; it’s that the vanity is spoilt by so blatant a labor. The exertions of vanity are best kept a private affair in the interests of an image of sprezzatura. A photo with stiff bent arm, fixed hard gaze, and rehearsed posture…too practiced, too much work and rather MySpacey. Had but the frame been askew and the gesture nonchalant… Yet, as it is now, they give a terrible impression of preening, and offhand I cannot reason how sharing such photos publically is fundamentally distinct, in terms of basic tenets being neglected, from the bad habit of public primping.

    As for the violent competition between the two, I don’t think either is particularly dandy, but then I don’t think either is trying particularly to be one. Why don’t you just post photos of MM and thusly end the search for the modern dandy? Get one of his leather spats.

  38. Bricology Says:

    Sperelli (who also goes by Massimilano Mocchia)…”

    *sigh*. Leave it to Dandyism.net to cock it up again.

    “Andrea Sperelli” is a pseudonym. The gentleman’s real name is Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola, and he is a Count from a many-centuries old aristocratic family of the Torino area. Really. It’s safe to say that his ancestors have, for many generations, dressed to the standard he embodies. Of course, many Americans are unfamiliar with the aristocracy and confuse tradition and bearing with hauteur.

    Mr. Chesterfield is a stylish fellow, but I refuse to consider anyone who wears un-tucked undershirts and jeans to be a dandy of any stripe.

  39. Christian Says:

    Bric: Read more closely. Ferrando points out it’s a D’Annunzio character. We thought it unnecessary to point out, since we read “The Child of Pleasure” back when you still had training wheels on your scooter.

    Thank you for the details on his life, and for familiarizing us with the ways of the European aristocracy.

    The Lapo thread came to a halt right when we’d all agreed you had become very tiresome. As you can see from the last few threads, we welcome — make that encourage — people to disagree with us and voice their opinions on this site.

    But I’m sure you can understand why we are disinclined to allow someone to lob insults at us on our own turf. I suggest you adopt a more cordial tone if you wish to continue posting here. If you’d rather insult, continue doing it, as you have been, elsewhere.

  40. Bricology Says:

    Mr. Chensvold: forgive me for not scrutinizing every post in this thread to see if someone referenced d’Annunzio. And although self-flattery may be a dandy virtue, you flatter yourself too much to think you were doing anything before me; I was literally rallying in my first British roadster while you were pedaling a tricycle (I trust that was more than 25 years ago for you, as it was for me).

    Perhaps you can point out any insult I’ve lobbed at D.net more egregious than “cocked up” (which could be a compliment, depending upon one’s taste). Regardless, you’re fated to receive what you give. Those on your turf seem to relish disparaging others (shall I quote?); it would be seemly for you to accept legitimate criticism with more aplomb than you’ve thus far exhibited.

    And M — were we still having that drink tomorrow night?

  41. Christian Says:

    Ah, the old accuse-the-dandy-of-a-lack-of-aplomb trick. You got me there.

    Your marathon in the Lapo thread was more a man on a vendetta than someone interested in debating with us.

    And as you pointed out, we disparage others on our turf, not theirs. We’re too polite for that.

  42. Victoria Says:

    Oh, the posing photos of Winston Chesterfield are from my blog, I asked him to pose that way =)

  43. Bricology Says:

    M — Next Tuesday or Wednesday evening would be fine, if either works for you. Thursday is also possible (depending upon the time), but the weekend is full-up with Edwardian Ball events.

    I hope that unpacking and getting settled in goes smoothly.

  44. Nick Willard Says:

    Sigh, Bricology, what am I going to do with you?

    Usually I remain above the fray, but this time I am going to join the other member of the Junta in replying to you.

    Your last comment stated: “It would be seemly for you to accept legitimate criticism with more aplomb than you’ve thus far exhibited.”

    The problem is that your latest tirade isn’t legitimate criticism. You wrote:

    *sigh*. Leave it to Dandyism.net to cock it up again. “Andrea Sperelli” is a pseudonym.”

    The clear implication is that D.net didn’t know that Sperelli was a pseudonym and we don’t know what we’re talking about. This is false – at least the part about we didn’t know that Sperelli is a pseudonym.

    Now normally when criticized, I would explain to my critic why he or she is wrong. In this case, I would point out to you:

    1. D.net has known about Sperelli for a long time. We first mentioned him -– favorably I might add — over a year ago in the comments to The Bourne Identity and featured a photo of him “in drag,” so to speak, in a post about Montesquiou.

    2. We know that Sperelli is a pseudonym. In a Forum post uploaded at 11:06 PM EST on Tuesday, December 5, 2006, I wrote, in pertinent part:

    “P.S.: I should add that “Andrea Sperelli” is a pseudonym, unless that young man so happens to share that name with one of the characters in a D’Annunzio novel, which I doubt. I don’t know his real name.”

    This is irrefutable proof that we did know Sperelli was a pseudonym and we didn’t “cock it up” to use your felicitous phrase. (BTW, I’ve added you latest criticism to Idle Talk). Rather, we used our editorial judgment not to include it.

    Now as I said, that’s what I would normally do, because a normal person would then admit he was wrong. And if he were a man, he probably would also admit that it was kind of foolish of him to think that anyone – even a D.net staffer — would have missed the other 7,639 results that identified the character in a D’Annunzio novel when he googled “Andrea Sperelli” while gathering information for the post.

    But I won’t rashly assume that you’re normal or a man. So I will not point out all those facts to you.

    Instead, I’ll offer you some unsolicited advice:

    1. Brush up on your knowledge of dandyism by reading Barbey’s “Du Dandysme.” There is a wonderful line: “They think they are serious because they do not know how to smile.” Learn to smile.

    2. Instead of trying to re-write the posts on this site to your liking, why don’t you and a group of say 8 of your friends form a community and start your own blog. You can even call it “Dandyism.” Then you can say whatever you want in whatever way you want and not bore us anymore.

    What’s that you say – you’ve already done that? And no one reads it because it’s boring and you and your friends don’t have the talent to produce entertaining and informative posts.

    Oh, then never mind.

  45. HRH The Duke of Windsor Says:

    > The gentleman’s real name is Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola, and he is a Count from a many-centuries old aristocratic family of the Torino area.

    That’s all it takes? Well then, I happen to be descended from nobility as well — not Italian, mind you, but a more uncouth eastern European nobility. May I wear costumes and be considered a dandy as well?

  46. Gordon Says:

    Somehow I feel that if a set of pictures were required of the poster for each of these posts the sharp tongues of negativity would be quite a bit dulled.

  47. Christian Says:

    Really? If myself, Willard, Mattis and Sacheli were the worst-dressed men in the world (as some surely think we are anyway), would Dandyism.net be less than it is?

    I recruited all of them, including our new editorial assistant Wittingslow, a new intern, half a dozen past contributors and several more we’re currently making overtures to, for their writing ability and knowledge.

    In every case save Mattis, an old friend, I’d never seen what they looked like.

  48. M Says:

    Gosh, this is fun.

    Carry on,

    M

  49. Nick Willard Says:

    Gordon — Are you Whimsy or do you just live in Mount Laurel area also?

  50. Gordon Says:

    Christian: I was not talking about you, the junta, or your comments. Your knowledge on this topic is for me beyond question.

    Nick: No, and no. And I do take offense to being compared to that fop who suckered me into buying that shallow little book only suitable to even out a wobbly table.

    My comment was for the posters who seem to be so sure of themselves while they sit in theier sweat pants and take pot shots at 2 men who didn’t ask for the abuse.

  51. M Says:

    The Conte notes: “I have never promoted myself as a dandy. I only write on the subject of dandyism…”

    It should be noted that D.net never said you were dandy or not a dandy. D.net merely put it out there and asked others if you were. You got several votes and compliments, which should please you.

    And I agree with Sacheli about the beard. It goes well with titles.

    Cheers,

    M

  52. the new edwardian Says:

    Bricology, you must be nuts if you think no one here knows of Count Andrea Sperelli from D’Annuzio’s book, Il Piacere. I believe your statement shows how little you know of the talent that exists here at D.net. This is perhaps the most scholarly site which I have found on the subject of dandyism anywhere on the web and one of the reasons I frequent the forum.

  53. Christian Says:

    Perhaps?

  54. HRH Duke of Windsor Says:

    I would like to say, since some of my recent comments concerning the “Is he a Dandy” polls D.net have been negative, that Mr. Sperelli’s first picture (the one beside Mr. Chesterfield’s) is quite nice. I would have a drink with that man.

  55. retropian Says:

    Upon reflection, it seems that Mr. Sperelli and Mr. Chesterfield represent the range of style, attitude and focus a Dandy may take. Perhaps a Dandy today is one who simply enjoys dressing well as a means to express himself. It is simply a matter of personal taste. A Dandy may prefer to look back and bring past classic fashion into the present or he may prefer to emulate current trends and took to the future. Either is acceptable and both are Dandy by virtue of expressing their taste in an idiosyncratic way.

  56. Gordon Says:

    retropian,

    I like that very much. Well said and well done.

  57. Ashley Yakeley Says:

    I have to agree with Gordon, I think it’s only fair that the Junta show what good sports they are and offer themselves up for examination.

  58. Ashley Yakeley Says:

    Ah, except that Gordon wasn’t referring to the junta in particular. My mistake.

  59. retropian Says:

    Gordon, thank you for your kind words. I fear I was too harsh with Mr. Sperelli in an earlier post. I was not aware that in one of the photos submitted he was in costume for Carnival in Venice.

    There has always been a creative push-pull between Classic and Contemporary mens fashion. I’d like to share if I may, two links to current Fall/Winter 2008 collections that I can see myself in, well not the leather pants perhaps, but many of these ensembles I would delight in wearing (if only I could afford them):

    Giorgio Armani

    http://hauteconcept.com/2008/01/17/milan-fashion-week-giorgio-armani-collection-fall-winter-20082009-menswear-runway-review/

    and Gianfranco Ferre

    http://hauteconcept.com/2008/01/16/milan-fashion-week-gianfranco-ferre-collection-fall-winter-20082009-menswear-runway-review/

  60. M Says:

    *I think it’s only fair that the Junta show what good sports they are and offer themselves up for examination.*

    Junta. Fair. Check.

    M

  61. M Says:

    Retropian says: “Perhaps a Dandy today is one who simply enjoys dressing well as a means to express himself. It is simply a matter of personal taste. A Dandy may prefer to look back and bring past classic fashion into the present or he may prefer to emulate current trends and took to the future. Either is acceptable and both are Dandy by virtue of expressing their taste in an idiosyncratic way.”

    Amy Winehouse…

    (http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/08/29/amywinehouse_narrowweb__300x442,0.jpg)

    …expresses her taste in an idiosyncratic way, therefore Amy Winehose is a dandy?

  62. ferrando Says:

    “If myself, Willard, Mattis and Sacheli were the worst-dressed men in the world (as some surely think we are anyway…”

    Christian can I get names and e-mail addresses? I’d like to share a snap that shows what I’m wearing right now for a typical idle evening at home: bespoke Crocs with skull-and-crossbones embroidery, bike shorts, a pique-fronted Charvet inherited from my grandpoppa, and an $11,000 chronograph (worn on the outside of the cuff, of course). That’ll shut them up once and for all.

  63. retropian Says:

    M, Thank you for your comment, you are correct, every person makes individual sartorial choices but not everyone is a Dandy. I apologize if my previous post offended you. I was trying to keep my comments within the context of this post; the comparison of Mr. Sperellis and Mr. Chesterfields distinctive styles and within the context of Dandyism.net. That is all.

  64. M Says:

    Offend me? Tosh! You’d have to work a lot harder than that!

  65. Ryan Oakley Says:

    Chesterfield is better dressed. And I hate half suit – half jeans. It’s the mullet of dressing. All business up front but all party at the back. But even that beats monocle.

    Sperelli needs a whole set to pull off his look. Chesterfield is a set.

  66. M Says:

    *It’s the mullet of dressing*

    That’s a good one, Ryan!

    The other day I read a quote from a curator from the new museum of tobacco in Paris: “Cigarettes are the fast food of tobacco.” The same could be said of the jeans and sportcoat look (Which, on my way to buy towels at the bed and bath store, I’m sporting right now. Sue me.)

  67. Morgan Says:

    I prefer Chesterfield for his pure effortless look. I can see him quietly reading a book in a cafe or dining in a fine restaurant. His style is Dandy with a modern feel. Tres chic.

  68. Nick Willard Says:

    Here’s an interview with Chesterfield.

  69. Ryan Oakley Says:

    I won’t sue you, M. You don’t have any money and, even if you did, I wouldn’t want it.

    At the risk of heresy, I think everyone needs Pajama Land. This is an area immediately surrounding your home where you’re free to dress only for comfort. If, after immediately waking, you want to buy cigarettes at the store next door, you should be able to do so in your pajamas without raising an eyebrow or being kidnapped by the police. You are in Pajama Land. A fine place but one with borders.

  70. Michael Brendan Dougherty Says:

    Except for pictures 2 and 5 Sperelli looks ridiculous to me. I agree that he knows something about clothes, but nothing about style. Exactly where was he wearing an ascot and monocle. I’d guess: his bedroom.

    Chesterfield makes some interesting choices. I agree with the previous comments about pairing a txedo jacket with jeans. I’m also against mixing the punk aesthetic with the dandy – but he’s on to something, I think.

  71. Christian Says:

    MBD, you’ve just given more evidence that we’re a bunch of “imbeciles” (his word, though in Italian) in the eyes of Sperelli by not reading his above remark in which he explains that the outfit in question was for a costume ball.

  72. Michael Brendan Dougherty Says:

    My fault for not reading the above 69 comments in full.

    I think that makes for two points in my favor. 1) For blatantly ignoring the rabble. 2) For contributing to the bad reputation of this site.

  73. Ginger Mayerson Says:

    Wow, you boys are intense. I really must drop by more often.

  74. Beau Brown Says:

    Sorry for my late reply. I did not read this article as in-depth as I should have.

    In my honest opinion, it is a hard choice. While my personal taste is the of Sperelli’s, Chesterfield also shoes the “good humor” aspect of Dandyism which so many of us look for. However, my vote would have to be for Sperelli. This is not because of personal taste, but instead that he knows about color coordination and can look respectable, while Chesterfield looks as if he stepped “right out of a fashion magazine,” as mentioned in a previous comment.

    However, I agree with Michael Brendan Dougherty about how some of his pictures look ridiculous. I can understand the views of picture 2, but picture 3 looks as if he’s trying to pull off a cowboy “Colonel Sanders” look. Chesterfield’s style, while not bad, just looks too “lazy” and “trashy” to me.

    -Beau Brown

  75. w. adam mandelbaum esq. Says:

    Sperelli hands down. If I had just finished reading THE DANDY by Ellen Moers, I would envision Sperelli, and try never to think of the other jeans wearing twit. Any would be dandy that would contemplate wearing anything approaching jeans, should have his moustache wax confiscated, and his 4711 turned into VO5.

  76. Adam Says:

    w.adam.mandelbaum.esq: Calling Chesterfield “a twit” is just childish and not at all dandy like. What is the point? He has never claimed to be a dandy you know. The Beau not only had style but also ‘beautiful manners’ – nothing we could ever credit you with I am afraid.

  77. w. adam mandelbaum esq. Says:

    Adam-
    The Beau was often extremely rude,and may I refer you to the aforementioned work by Ellen Moers for proof. If Chesterfield does not claim to be a dandy, then he is correct, and through you, I apologize to him. Were anybody to accuse Chesterfield of being a dandy without his permission, I would defend his decided non-dandy status with my last breath.(Certainly not with any preceding breaths, which could affect my longevity). In any event, my namesake, I enjoyed your commentary, and wish you an overabundance of wine women and song.

  78. Adam Says:

    Interesting response. However, you never elucidated as to why you are calling Chesterfield a ‘twit’. Why does he deserve this defamation? Is it so that everyone wearing denim is to be called ‘twit’? Your blog ‘Justice Never Sleeps’ is quite interesting too but it is rather sad that you do not employ your vision of justice for all in your comments about others or is every representative of a large corporation like GMAC or Fidelity Bank also automatically a ‘twit’ to you? Is the world largely full of ‘twits’ – called so without even a syllable of conversation? I would certainly be ‘justified’ in considering you something of the kind but ‘twittishness’ is something I generally decide upon introduction.

  79. w. adam mandelbaum esq. Says:

    In the verb form, twit means, inter alia,”to vex by bringing to notice” ergo, those who mix formality in dressing, with what was originally, (and should always remain) the attire of an unskilled laborer (to wit:jeans). Chesterfield, I believe is guilty of the above. It is the like with those who think the mixture of a tuxedo with sneakers is clever, or daring, or some other adjective other than TWIT. But as differences of opinion are the basis for the stock market, and the less risky form of gambling known as horse racing, let us agree to disagree, friend Adam, and direct our efforts to some other form of endeavor than increasing interesting controversy on this enjoyable website.

  80. Laguna Beach Trad Says:

    Would a genuine dandy even wear 4711? I’m sceptical.

  81. Miguel Antonio Says:

    Natural (Chesterfield) is almost always better than fake (Sperelli). And I also think Chesterfield is a genuine dandy as he’s got sprezzatura.

  82. reixach Says:

    Talleyrand : ” Ce qui est exagéré est insignifiant”.

  83. aRTie Says:

    Will someone kindly tell Chesterfield that his pocket handkerchief appears to be making an escape from his ill-matched ensemble in that photo where he’s holding the camera? No wonder as it appears to match absolutely nothing that he’s wearing. Both fellows seem to be pining for days of yore, and John Bull would certainly gawk at both were he alive today.

  84. Alexander Says:

    Artie: That kind of pocket square style is called a waterfall pocket or like. Even I know that and I have never called myself a dandy ever. Pathetic.

  85. Robert Says:

    There is a huge difference between true style and affectation. Men with true style wear suits to quiet perfection, and he is above trying to make a statement. Affectation tries to hard to be noticed, and wears hat brims that are too broad, or wears ties that are too shiny, or sports spats that make him look like the penguin character in “Batman.”
    Alas, most of the dandies on your site are indeed drowning in their affectation.
    As the line in “Gypsy” stated, “Ya either got it, or Y’aint!”

  86. Winston Chesterfield Says:

    I am overwhelmed by the response. There are many things that I might respond to, but I shan’t – what good will that do? Only to mention perhaps to aRTie that John Bull IS alive today, as he is simply a personification of the United Kingdom. Much like Uncle Sam. In that context he might be considered Joe or John Q Public. He does look, dear old John, but it’s not consternation or surprise I see in his face. I wonder what it could be…

  87. Stefano Says:

    Solo Andrea Sperelli ( Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola )è un vero Dandy ! Chesterfield è un ciarlatano. Tutti si possono vestire come lui. Risulta ridicolo !!!

  88. Ray frensham Says:

    I know you both and refuse to be drawn into comparisons.

    Suffice to say you each have your own Unique styles. And that is what makes it all the more pleasurable.

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