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  #1  
Old 05-23-2005, 12:58 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Who is Beau Brummel?

Who is this mysterious Beau Brummel person? I have heard of him in two places: Garfield cartoon, and a Billy Joel song:

You could really be a Beau Brummel baby
if you just give it half a chance

I get the idea he was either a really bad dresser or a really snappy one. I've tried to google him and come up with this:

Quote:
Brummel, Beau. Born in London in 1778. In his day, the prince of dandies; was patronized by the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV. Quarreled with the prince. Fled from his creditors to Calais where, reduced to destitution, he lived some years in the same reckless fashion. He settled at length in Caen, where he became insane, and died in 1840.
And stuff like that, which obviously doesn't help me much. It says he's a dandy, but why do we still talk about him?

Please help!
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:03 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika
I get the idea he was either a really bad dresser or a really snappy one.
Really snappy.

I've read a biography of him, but it was quite a long time ago . . . He was known as a dandy-about-town, was widely written about (and wrote about himself), and was, I believe, the first "modern-dressed" man, i.e., he trimmed out all the frills and wigs and diamond buttons and popularized low-key elegance: well-fitting trousers, well-tailored coats with little froufrou on them, trimmed, unpowdered hair. He'd be considered laughably overdressed now, but in his day he was very minimalist.

Plus, he was a great wit, which always helps!
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:13 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Ok, that really helps. I guess I am kind of young.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:13 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika
I guess I am kind of young.
Of course, I remember seeing him on the streets myself back in the 1820s . . .
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:16 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve
Of course, I remember seeing him on the streets myself back in the 1820s . . .
Sorry! You see, for the longest time I thought he was a prominent figure in the 1970's. I've read that bio but it's stuck in my head that he's a recent figure.

I'd never call you old.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:21 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Um.

Yes, you (and all of us) would be too young.

Beau Brummel was the fashion leader in Georgian England.

He was the arbiter of taste--I believe he either made Prinny fashionable or shunned him for his lack of taste--or both, probably!

IMS, he relied on the cut of his coat and breeches, as well as well-polished boots, elegant jewelry etc.

In a way, he was the anti-thesis of "dandy"--because he eschewed the extremes of fashion.
I didn't google his name, but I'm sure there's a whole slew of hits about him.

He died in France, suffering from unrelieved debts and poor health. Again, IMS, the debts were of an "honorable" nature(aka gaming).
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:22 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
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He has his very own statue on Jermyn Street in London:

http://hittypreble.com/beau-brummel-1.jpg

Here's a cigarette card too:

http://www.georgianindex.net/Prinny/brummel.jpg
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:22 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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must preview.......
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2005, 01:30 PM
Ms Boods Ms Boods is offline
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Maybe these guys are why you thought he was a more modern person


yes, in fact I do have all of their albums...
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:43 AM
grimpixie grimpixie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika
I get the idea he was either a really bad dresser or a really snappy one.
Oh Lordy!!! To South African ears this is too much to handle - Beau Brummel is/was a "prominent" nudist and an ugly old bastard, not what I would call a "snappy dresser"

I can't find any news of him dating later than 2001, when he was campaigning for mixed race nudist camps. Link 1 Link 2
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:53 AM
Sarah Woodruff Sarah Woodruff is offline
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I remember reading somewhere that Beau Brummel (the English one) popularised the fashion of men's corsets in the 1820s and 1830s....had to fit into those skinny waistcoats, you see.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2005, 07:02 AM
Oy! Oy! is offline
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Eve said this, but I'm not sure that it registered with some of you younger folks.

You can not overestimate the influence Beau Brummel had and has to this day. He pretty much single-handedly revolutionized the way men dress, and his influence is very much alive to this day.

Despise a guy in a lime green or powder blue tuxedo? That's Beau Brummel. Hate pink leisure suits? Beau Brummel. Look back in astonishment at how men used to dress more loudly and ornately than women? Beau Brummel changed all that. He was the one who changed men from wearing brilliant colors, lace, jewels all over the place, velvet, spangles, jeweled high heel shoes, etc, to wearing black, navy, grey, brown, and tan, with white shirts. A man's clothes, he decreed, should be conspicuous only for the excellence of their tailoring. Basically, he defined what we consider to this day to be good taste.

He is believed to have said once of a man dressed extremely ornately: "His tailor makes him. Now me, I make my tailor!"

His influence was not restricted to clothing alone. He was witty, and yet self-effacing in the sense of lacking bombast and braggadocio. His snubs and cuts were absolutely deadly, but never rude. He would take up minor eccentricities just for the sake of seeing all the wannabes imitate them, and then drop the habit flat. Again, his influence in behavior was toward the subtle, the muted - he went for the ironic rather than the horse laugh. Think Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding - that kind of guy (although not, to my knowledge, gay).

It's amazing, because he was of genteel but not noble birth, moderate fortune, moderate looks. There was no reason why, beyond sheer force of personality, this man should have become not only the contemporary arbiter of fashion in London, but a two-century-and-counting influence on social behavior throughout the western world. Maybe it wasn't him - maybe the changes would have happened anyway. There's no way to know. But when you look around and see the way men dress for business, or the types of behavior that are considered to be in good taste, chances are good that you can trace them right back to Beau Brummel.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2005, 09:28 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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I meant Regency England.

And what Oy! said.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2005, 10:16 AM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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I thought that Beau Brummel was the band that sang Laugh, Laugh.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2005, 11:30 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve
Of course, I remember seeing him on the streets myself back in the 1820s . . .
Was he with Olivia de Havilland?
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2005, 11:31 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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And is any other queen currently hearing the lyrics

Quote:
Your clothes may be...
Beau Brummel-ly,
they stand out a mile,
but brother
you're never fully dressed without a smile!
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:13 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is online now
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Appropriately enough, Beau Brummel shares the same birthday (June 7) with Prince; somewhat less appropriately with Dean Martin (who, while not an obsessive fashion plate, made as much a bella figura as an Italian male should); and, not appropriately whatsoever, with Yours Truly, who looks like he'd been spayed with industial adhesive and dragged through a Salvation Army drop-off bin.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:23 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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If I'm not mistaken, he also pushed for better personal hygiene-bathing more frequently, keeping clean and healthy.
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  #19  
Old 05-24-2005, 05:48 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika
Who is this mysterious Beau Brummel person? I have heard of him in two places: Garfield cartoon, and a Billy Joel song:
To add another place, in a picture caption in Groucho and Me, Groucho Marx ironically refers to himself as "the Beau Brummel of the early 20th century." Not that I had a clue what that meant until this thread.
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2005, 06:19 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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The first metrosexual.
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  #21  
Old 05-24-2005, 07:50 PM
Manduck Manduck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slithy Tove
Yours Truly, who looks like he'd been spayed with industial adhesive
I'm not sure what this entails, but whatever it is I bet it's painful.
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  #22  
Old 05-24-2005, 09:46 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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For a fictional, but reasonably accurate portrayal, read Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer.
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  #23  
Old 05-25-2005, 06:13 AM
Miss Mapp Miss Mapp is offline
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I can't vouch for its historical accuracy, but there is a charming little 1950s film starring Stewart Granger as Mr. Brummell: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046759/
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