by MIKE CHAIKEN
Connecticut’s own Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique’s accessories are perfectly geared to the burgeoning Black Dandy movement.
Tyron Harris’s collection of ties and jewel-encrusted bowties, pocket squares, unique cufflinks and lapel pins, and more would look right at home in the wardrobe of singer Jidenna (“Classic Man”), who has become the most prominent purveyor of the Black Dandy movement.
Tyron himself is a perfect example of the Dandy movement. At this summer’s All White All Light party mounted by fellow Connecticut designer Faschinn, Harris was a dapper figure dressed all in white—in keeping with the party’s theme.
The East Hartford, Conn. resident’s mantra, posted prominently on Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique’s website (http://www.travelinggentlemensboutique.com) fits perfectly with the Black Dandy movement. “A guy is a boy by birth, a man by age, but a gentleman by choice.”
What is the Black Dandy movement?
Shantrelle Lewis, the author of “Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style,” told Paper magazine back in June, that Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois can be considered early icons of the style. (Paper Magazine) “I think in an earlier era, it was deeply rooted in respectability,” Lewis told Paper. “It then reflected scholastic rigor and self- respect – think Malcolm X and his sharp suits or James Baldwin.” Nowadays, she said, “Black dandies are using hip hop methods of sampling to mix styles and articles of clothing from different eras and cultures to articulate statements of Black masculinity and individuality.”
Although the Black Dandy movement is primarily about male fashion statements. Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique also has appeal to women with a love for fashion. Harris demonstrated that appeal himself when his runway show at All White All Light featured female models wearing his pieces.
The appeal makes sense because his work is colorful, creative, and offers unexpected shapes. In addition to bedazzled bows, Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique offers a bowtie with feathers. The cufflinks—in the shape of emojis– and lapel pins—in the shape of roses– also offer idiosyncratic touches to a woman’s wardrobe. Pocket squares and straight ties also are imprinted with a variety of bold prints including pieces that reflect pop art and others emblazoned with paisleys.
To buy from Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique, visit its website at http://www.travelinggentlemensboutique.com/
At Yale University, New Haven, Conn.– a world of Whiffenpoofs, preppies, scholarship, Skull and Bones, model Maddux Hust shows how some Dandy touches can add pop to women’s fashion.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN