Vladislav Davidzon has been D.net forum member since the earliest days. He’s also newly married, and deserves our heartiest congratulations for forfeiting 10 points from his “How Dandy Are You?” score. Herein he files a report from Paris, and can be seen above smooching the stole of Mrs. di Coggiola. His new wife, Regina Maryanovska-Davidzon, seems faintly amused, but we’re not entirely sure.
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The casual Parisian passerby ambulating down the Avenue de la Motte-Piquet this past Sunday would have come across a most remarkable assembly at the corner of Rue de la Cavalerie. A short walk from the regal Fauborg Saint-Germain and the École Militaire, the diminutive street’s martial sobriquet made it a most fitting place to host a cadre of dandies festooned in their parade-ground regalia.
Inside the antique/ interior decoration shop L’Autre Maison, the puckish dandy concierge Mr. Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola and the luxuriously bearded architect Emmanuel Pierre held court. After London and New York, this was the latest in a series of publication parties for Gestalten’s “I Am Dandy.”
The evening also presented an opportunity to display Mr. Mocchia di Coggiola’s exquisite miniature Pushkinesque watercolor and ink illustrations. This was either the second of five or the third of four Paris launch parties for the book. I was informed of the details but was too preoccupied with drinking to memorize them.
There would have been worse ways to spend the evening than chatting with Mrs. Mocchia di Coggiola, nee´Sorrel Smith of Sebastpol, CA. Through her alliance with our sprightly and roguish host, she had become a Piedmontese Countess. Like proverbial good American, she had fled to France and told the excellent tale of being questioned on what she did at a party in New York during one of her return visits to the states. “Oh, I am a countess,” to which her interlocutor followed up with, “Who do you do accounting for?”
Masimiliano was equally entertaining. We compared suits in technical fashion as I showed him my new British bespoke suit and he showed me his French one. When I asked him the cost he foppishly shrugged and replied, “I do not remember.”
The gathering was tastefully raucous, about as wild as things could have escalated to with the door of the shop being open to the public. The crowd was mixed and ecumenical, but decidedly organic. It was far less costumey then it’s chap-esque, gothy or burlesque iterations in other places might have been. Every variety, species and sub-breed of the taxonomic dandy tribe was in attendance. Run-of-the-mill Parisian metrosexuals mingled with men dressed in greatcoats and top hats. A sprinkling of haute bourgeoisie in their everyday attire fraternized with the costume-party retro eccentrics and the handlebar-mustache-twirling hipsters in pageboy tweed. Spats were prolific, as was curious facial topiary. An older French gentleman dressed as a British RAF bomber pilot gloomed in the corner.
The epicene contingent of pale pre-Raphaealite blond French boys with puckered lips and silk scarves draped over silk jackets floated through, before hitting the bars at St. Germain des Prés, and at half past nine the red-leather-breeches-clad-Regency-pirate-contingent left en masse to a gay club. — VLADISLAV DAVIDZON