Fashioning Aestheticism By Aestheticizing Fashion: Wilde, Beerbohm, and the Male Aesthete’s Sartorial Codes

Wikis > Fashioning Aestheticism By Aestheticizing Fashion: Wilde, Beerbohm, and the Male Aesthete's Sartorial Codes

Schaffer, Talia. “FASHIONING AESTHETICISM BY AESTHETICIZING FASHION: WILDE, BEERBOHM, AND THE MALE AESTHETES’ SARTORIAL CODES.” Victorian Literature and Culture 28.1 (2000): 39-54.

http://journals2.scholarsportal.info.ezproxy.lib.ryerson.ca/details/10601503/v28i0001/39_ fabafwatmasc.xml.

Talia Schaffer, is an English professor and author at Queens College whose research focus is centered upon nineteenth century aesthetics and domestic traditions. In this article, she traces the influence of aesthetics on London fashion during the late nineteenth century. With an in depth look into Oscar Wilde’s fashion motivations as well as the garments he frequently wore themselves, Schaffer suggests that Wilde opened up the possibility for effeminate attire for men. In direct opposition to this, Schaffer also explores du Maurier and Beerbohm’s traditionally masculine style and their attacks on Wilde’s style. As she explains,  “[du Maurier] insisted on a traditional dandyism that fetishized discipline, reinscribing traditional masculine traits. And [he] won: [his] cartoons shaped subsequent generations’ views of Aestheticism and helped deter men from wearing lavender breeches for a long, long time” (51). With two very distinct groups of men within the period, one being the aesthetes and the other characterized as non-aesthetes, two equally different fashion trends began to form in order to reflect the cultural divide.