Wednesday, July 11, 2012
It's inspired by a new play called Maples and Vine that opened in San Francisco in April, whose protagonists have " become allergic to their fast-paced modern lives". After meeting "a charismatic man" who belongs to "the Society of Dynamic Obsolescence" they join a "community of 1950’s re-enactors" who live in a "compulsively recreated world" that is "permanently ensconced in the year 1955 – the era of Eisenhower, cars with fins, A-line skirts, mayonnaise slathered casseroles and Lucky Strike cigarettes". The period details are enforced by an Authenticity Committee.
Along the way the Dandyism post mentions such parallels as the Society for Creative Anachronism, the early 20th Century lifestyle living artists McDermott and McGough (as mentioned earlier in this blog), Johnny Stokes ("a San Francisco-born gentleman famous for tooling around the city in his vintage 1937 Buick in full Dashiell Hammett fig"), the Art Deco Society, and the U.K.'s own Chaps (also mentioned on this blog a while back in the same post as McDermott and McGough) and who are led by one Gustav Temple. Dandyism notes how some have turned "retro-inspired lifestyles into successful businesses".
Is dandyism itself a form of -- if not retro or revivalism -- then anti-chronistic dissidence from the present, from a world that has lost touch with elegance and refinement?