The Way We Like To Dress

The Scottish architect Robert Adam bought ”a compleat suit of Cut Velvet of two colours”, silk stockings, red-heeled shoes, laces and stone buckles, a gold-handled sword, ribbons, a white beaver cap ”with gold lace round the edge of it & a gold Button atop” • At work Aubrey Beardsley was clad in a yellow dressing-gown, and wearing red slippers turned up at the toes • Modelling for glossy woman’s magazine Die Dame in 1919, Anita Berber wore a loose-fitting harlequin outfit with a cartwheel ruff; one hand on her hip, the other flicking the ash off a cigarette • Francesco Borromini made himself everywhere conspicuous because he insisted on appearing constantly in the same set of clothes, not wishing to follow the customs of normal dress • Rosina Bulwer Lytton wore a dress of white satin, embroidered in gold, en bouquet; train of Adelaide coloured satin, lined with white gros de Naples, and trimmed with white Chantilly blonde; corsage à la Fontanges; cordelier of diamonds and gold; necklace and ear-rings of emeralds and brilliants; head-dress, white ostrich feather, tiara of diamonds, and blonde lappets • Lord Byron wore a little Tartar jacket, with a blue velvet cap and very loose nankeen trousers • Neither clean nor well-dressed, with his collar askew, his hat jammed on any old way and his unkempt beard, Annibale Carracci seemed to be like an ancient philosopher, absent-minded and alone • Claire Démar sa faisait remarquer par son costume, qui consistait en un béret rouge, une jupe rouge ou blanche, suivant la saison, avec une ceinture de cuir, croisée sur le devant, et une jaquette bleue, laissant voir un plastron blanc avec son nom patronymique en gros caractères • Deborah Desjardins wore grey check flannel shirt, soft ankle length baggy trousers and cork-soled sandals • Edith Durham choisit une longue jupe Burberry, une cape, un plaid écossais de golf et un chapeau de paille • At the 1965 Newport festival, Bob Dylan appeared in what the purists branded his “sell-out outfit”: a mod black leather jacket and Carnaby Street peg legs • The Quaker Solomon Eccles, according to Pepys, walked into Westminster-hall naked, “only very civilly tied about the privities” • Félix Fénéon regularly appeared in silk top hat, puce-colored suit, dark red gloves and patent leather shoes • King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies wore a large white collar, cuffs of embroidered muslins, and sometimes lace, a grey coat of mixed cloth, a waistcoat of yellow leather with a little gold braid and copper buttons across his chest, lined with green satin, of which he also wore a sleeveless doublet over his shirt, large yellow deerskin breeches with designs round the button-holes, grey silk stockings and heavy leather shoes with copper buckles; and he never wore a hat • Christofano Gherardi took such care at his work, according to Vasari, that very often he would not dress properly before setting out; frequently it even happened that in his haste he put on a pair of shoes that did not match, but were of two kinds; and quite often he wore his cloak wrong side out, with the hood on the inside • Yvette Guilbert wore a bright pink silk dress with gold lace down the front, large blue peacock eyes appearing at intervals in the gold and a blue chiffon scarf embroidered at the edge with pink and a long blue veil from her cap • Pour aller à la guerre, Gustave III se vetit d’une casaque bleu clair, d’un pantalon de même couleur, et des souliers à talons rouges, une grande echarpe de taffetas moitié bleu moitié jaune, garnie de franges à crepines d’or, enveloppait son corps depuis la ceinture jusqu’à la moitié de la poitrine, le cou nud et le col de la chemise recouvert avec un rabat garni de dentelles, et tombant sur les epaules, un grand chapeau de paille noir, et à clabaud orné d’un panache immense, un baudrier galonné en or clinquant, et l’epée de Charles XII, qu’il fit retirer de l’Arsenal, dont il fit raccourcir la lame de 12 pouces, pour l’ajuster à sa taille • Frank Harris clothed his barrel-chested body in carefully tailored suits, butterfly collar, spats, and a gold watch chain, and his moustaches swung twelve inches apart like those of a vintage movie villain • Raoul Hausmann usually danced dressed in a pair of old summer trousers with wide bottoms, barefoot and with torso bare • Immanuel Kant went thinly dressed, and invariably in silk stockings • Leopardi’s only overcoat, a blue one, was seven years old; his socks were threadbare • Liotard, parce qu’il avait été à Constantinople, se promenait à travers l’Europe avec un costume turc et une barbe descendant jusqu’à la ceinture • Liu Ch’e had a cotton jacket with a double collar made of white satin, and the cuffs of his trousers were tied up with black and white puttees • At the castle of Genappe, the Dauphin Louis’s (afterwards Louis XI) dress was scandalously simple – coarse gray gowns; broad-brimmed hat, with cheap lead images of Virgin and saints stuck in the brim • Mina Loy wore gold slippers, a green taffeta dress, a black Florentine mosaic brooch, long gold earrings and some beautiful English rings • The revolutionary journalist Jean-Paul Marat wore threadbare coat, tricolour cockade and stockings, plush breeches, red gilet and unbuttoned shirt collar; his shoes were tied with string • At his death at the age of eighty-six the English sculptor Joseph Nolleken’s wardrobe was found to contain, apart from his hat, sword and bag, and an old court coat which he had worn at his wedding, only ”two shirts, two pairs of stockings, one table cloth, three sheets, and two pillow cases” together with a few ”other rags” • The painter Parrhasios, according to Pliny’s Historia naturalis, wore a purple cloak and had a white fillet upon his head, and leaned on a staff with golden coils about it, and fastened the strings of his shoes with golden latchets • By preference, Henri Rousseau wore a large artist’s beret as the mark of his calling • Raymond Roussel spent enormous sums on clothes, which he threw away after only a few wearings; his favorite sensation was to be entirely clad in new clothing, which he likened to ”walking on eggs” • Film-maker Barbara Rubin had a long batik tunic over her sweater and a turban upon her head and wore a pair of black sunglasses with a rubber band fixed to one of the broken stems • Marquis de Sade wore a fine pair of green silk stockings, red breeches, a yellow waistcoat with long black tails, and a hat embroidered all in silver • Giving a lecture on her “Manifesto of the Futurist Woman” in June 1912 in Paris, Valentine de Saint-Point appeared in a hat with a width of an umbrella • Owen Seaman toiled up a hill in Innsbruck in flannel shirt, coat, knickerbockers, Tirolese stockings and “stupendous boots” • Shelley had adopted a huge serge winter cloak, topped off with an extravagant grey fur collar which encased his pale, smiling face up to the ears, and kept him warm in the narrow blustery alleys of Florence • Socrates used to wear the same single garment winter and summer, and habitually went barefoot, even according to Plato, in the rigours of a winter campaign • Leonora Speyer was beautifully dressed – in black with fringed over-wings, black slippers with onyx-and-diamond-buckles, a gray pearl on the right pad – as big as a small grape – and a white one the same size on the left pad • Louisa Trench wore a white embroidered crape petticoat, over white satin; manteau of rich moire pink silk, trimmed with blonde lace and riband; head-dress, feathers, pearls, and pink topazes • Verlaine had taken to wearing, at all hours of the day, a filthy old muffler and a soft felt hat • Amy Winehouse wore a less than conservative brightly coloured floral print mini dress and super high nude peep toe heels • W.B. Yeats wore a brown velveteen coat, a loose tie, and a very old Inverness cape.