Brough, Dean (2006) Neo-Dandy. [Design/Architectural Work]

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Photo of shirt (Image: JPEG 640kB)
Presentation. Artisan Gallery image.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 2.5.
Photo (Image: JPEG 1MB)
Presentation. Neo-Dandy shirt.
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photo of exhibition (Image: JPEG 1MB)
Presentation. Neo-Dandy shirts on rack.
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[img] Photo of model in shirt (Image: JPEG 508kB)
Presentation. Front window view of Neo-Dandy exhibition, Artisan gallery.
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Photo of exhibition (Image: JPEG 2MB)
Presentation. Neo-Dandy shirts displayed on racks - QUT the Block gallery.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 2.5.
[img] Photo of model in shirt (Image: JPEG 508kB)
Presentation. Female wearing Neo-Dandy shirts - Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival.
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Research Statement (PDF 143kB)
Supplemental Material.


Neo-Dandy was a practice-led research project that explored histories of a quintessential men’s and womenswear garment from across the ages — the formal white dress shirt. The aim was to generate a body of radically new mens’ shirts that incorporated characteristics normally associated with womenswear, whist remaining acceptable to male wearers.

A detailed study identified a broad spectrum of historical design approaches, ranging from the orthodox man’s shirt to the many variations of the women’s blouse. Within this spectrum a threshold was discovered where the men’s shirt morphed into the woman’s blouse — a ‘design moment’ that appeared to typify the dandy figure (a fashion character who subversively confronts dress norms of their day). The research analysed thousands of archive catwalk images from leading contemporary menswear designers, and of these, only a small number tampered appreciably with the men’s white dress shirt — suggesting a new realm of possibility for fashion design innovation.

This led to the creation of a new body of work labelled ‘Neo-Dandy’. Sixty ‘concept shirts’ were produced, with differing styles and varying degrees of detailing, that fitted the brief of being acceptable to male wearers, eminently ‘wearable’ and on a threshold position between menswear and womenswear. These designs were each tested, documented, and assessed in their capacity to evolve the Neo-Dandy aesthetic. Based on these outcomes, a list of key design principles for achieving this aesthetic was identified to assist designers in further evolving this style.

The creative work achieved substantial public acclaim with the ‘Neo Dandy Collection’ winning a prestigious Design Institute of Australia Award (Lifestyle category) and being one of four finalists in the prestigious overall field for design excellence. It was subsequently curated into three major Brisbane exhibitions — the ARC Biennial, at Artisan Gallery and the industry leader, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival. The collection was also exhibited at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 25933
Item Type: Creative Work (Design/Architectural Work)
Refereed: No
Material: Men's fashion (white dress shirts)
Measurements or Duration: N/A
Location: From date: To date:
Artisan Gallery, Fortitude Valley Brisbane 2006-04 2006-05
Queensland Art Gallery (as part of the Design Institute of Australia Awards) 2006-06 2006-07
Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival 2006-09
ARC Biennial, QUT Art Museum 2007-09 2007-10
QUT - the Block gallery 2007-12
Keywords: Fashion, Menswear, Shirts
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Textile and Fashion Design (120306)
Divisions: Past > Disciplines > Fashion
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Dean Brough
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2009 00:57
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 13:38

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