maandag 22 november 2010

The Fashion of Oscar Wilde

While writing my thesis about Modern Identity and Oscar Wilde, I got a little sidetracked. One of the articles I read was about his trials which made me appreciate him even more. Just for fun, I’ll give you a little background information. Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer and maybe the most known Dandy of our time. Living in a period where being gay wasn’t accepted, his life was a bit difficult. He was married to Constance Lloyd and had two kids, but was also seeing younger men on the side. Off course he never admitted to being gay or having anything but a student/teacher relationship with other men, he was still convicted. The main beneficiary in this trial was his last lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed Bosie. My feelings for Bosie are well explained through the Hark a Vagrant comics, he was a real stinker (Oscar&Bosie1, Oscar&Bosie2).
Oscar Wilde and Bosie
But enough with the history lecture, let’s move on to fashion! Oscar Wilde wasn’t only a great writer, he was also a really cool fashion icon, not just for men, but also for women. He was an avid supporter of the Dress Reform Movement in the 19th century which broadened a woman’s  closet with pants ( Say ‘thank you Oscar Wilde’, next time you wear those comfy boyfriend jeans). The dress Reform also worked the other way around for Oscar, clothes weren’t gender biased. Everyone should be able to wear anything they like. If you take a closer look at old portraits of Oscar Wilde, you’ll see that that is exactly what he did. Wearing a lot of velvet and silk in nice colors, he looked great, but kind of strange for his time. 

I love his hats and capes and wavy hair and I think his sophisticated look still translates into contemporary fashion. A great example of this is the Japanese label LAD Musician. Their 2011 S/S collection is inspired by his most known novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ and I think it translates the dandyism quite well. 
LAD Musician 2011 S/S

I’ll leave you with some pretty pictures and some new fashion options to mull over. I’m off buying a hat and a cape to go with my wavy hair.

1 opmerking:

  1. It's gratifying to see Oscar Wilde's views still relevant—but he said far more about dress and fashion than people realize, as this new book uncovers:

    Keep up the good work.