I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of my top 5 best dresses fellows in honor of my love of menswear. These guys were/are all impeccable dressers, but with a wide variety of persomal style. I think what they all share is fierce individuality, sophisticated tastes, and a sense of daring. Although I can think of many others who are also inspired dressers ( Brian Ferry, Oscar Wilde, John Galliano, and obviously David Bowie), these men were/are so stylish and sexy, that to me they personify the quintessential dandy.
1. Keith Richards
My all time favorite man! Richards has always epitomized the rock and roll outlaw, and his rebellious fashion sense brought together a mish mash of cultures and eras. I personally liked Richards the best in the seventies with his bespoke 3 piece suits, fedoras, skarves and leather. His girlfriend at the time, Anita Pallenberg, was also a fashion icon. The two of them together were like fabulous psychedelic peacocks. Fab!
2. Lapo Elkann
This heir to the Fiat fortune is known for both his scandalous lifestyle and his elegant tailoring. Elkann's grandfather was Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli, himself a fashion plate in the 1950s and 1960s. Apparently on Agnelli's death, Elkann inherited his wardrobe ( a magnificent collection of bespoke suits and accoutrements). He always looks so refined and put together, but with a definate edge and attitude. I big time heart Lapo!
3. Franz Lizst
Lizst is considered to be one of the greatest piano virtuosos who ever lived, but he was also a famous romantic era dandy. Over the course of his life Lizst left a trail of broken hearted women (including a Countess who left her husband and children for the pianist). You can always spot a dandy by his beautiful suits, but it goes much deeper. A true dandy's life is dedicated to the art of personal perfection in every way; they are really uncapable of loving others as they love themselves above all else. The look in his eyes says it all; Lizst is untouchably elegant, cold, confident, and refined. Again, heart!
4. David, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII of Great Britain)
The British invented dandyism in the nineteenth century. Between their mighty armies (filled with well dresses officers) and Savile Row expertise, London was the established as the center for sartorial male elegance by the Romantic Era. David, Prince of Wales was considered to be the finest dresser in the world during the twenties and thirties, and really personified the classic British dandy. He set international trends with his quirky colorful sportswear, and more relaxed cuts of suits. As king, Edward VIII shocked the world when he abdicated his throne in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. I think he should also be remembered as one of the best dressed men of the twentieth century.
5. Marcello Mastroianni
Last but not least, Mastroianni's suave and easygoing style in the late fifties really set the stage for sixties men's fashion. Through his sporting of elegant, close fitting suits in films like La Dolce Vita, Mastroianni helped popularize 'The Continental Look,' and Italy became the fashionable center for menswear for a time. These continental suits were more youthful and simple; they were not the padded bulky business suits of the autere 1950s businessman. By the sixties, the focus of fashion has switched to youth culture, and Mastroianni became an icon of Italian style.