Time marches on, fashions change, and old dandy eras give birth to new ones. Clothes are discarded, deemed outmoded not by society, but by their owners.
And so Lord Whimsy, who once extolled the virtues of the thrift-store women’s department, advocated the use of parasols by gentlemen, and once fell so far off the bespoke deep end he commissioned a Black Watch suit, was spotted last week in blue jeans and the kind of crinkly scarves worn by men aspiring to one day attend Pitti Uomo. When more formally attired, however, his lordship now appears to follow Thomas Mann’s dictum that the only way an author can preserve his dignity is by dressing like a banker.
Time has brought other changes. Whimsy, once in our eyes representative of everything wrong with dandy discourse (at least he has the insight to refer to himself as a “failed dandy”), not to mention the author of a significant portion of the opinions on this site filed in the Idle Talk section, warmly extended his hand last month to us at the Bergdorf “I Am Dandy” party, and to our surprise there was no dagger up his sleeve, just a trace of potting soil.
And so in the spirit of this delightful detente we gladly share the news that Lord Whimsy’s “Affected Provincial’s Almanack” has just been published in Germany, under the title Die Kunst mit einem Hummer spazieren zu gehen: Handbuch für den wahrhaftigen Dandy (try saying that with a mouthful of strudel). We flipped through it but the only word we could make out was “die Blumenpothat,” and so are awaiting the review from Herr Teufelsdröckh. Cheers to you, milord, and may your fencing victories be many, whether with man and foil or net and butterfly.