George Brummell, known as Beau, became famous for revolutionizing men's clothing in the early 1800s. He was English. Brummell's grandfather was a butler, his father assistant to a wealthy aristocrat, and Brummell rose to reign over "society", to mix with the rich and titled. Before his reign over fashion, men wore colorful silks and satins, and did not put much emphasis on cleanliness and neatness. The aim was to showcase one's status by showing off in a conspicuous manner. Brummell set a standard for neat well tailored, mainly black men's clothing. He emphasized that shirts and ties should be white and perfectly clean, that the body should be clean, and that one should be perfectly fitted and neat. He is regarded as having created the progenitor of the modern day two or three piece suit. His clothing also emphasized status, based on one's ability to change linens daily or more (clothing and laundering were expensive in those days) and one's ability to afford the most skillful tailoring. In addition to being an arbiter of taste, he was a wit, and a friend of the high and mighty, including the Prince Regent. He joined the most exclusive clubs and even created one. He was funny and apparently good company and well liked by men and women. His genuis also lay in acting as it nothing was important or at least, as if nothing should look important. He once said that once he left his house, he never looked in the mirror. "Never let them see you sweat" could have been His motto. He made dandiasm respectable, by changing it from a frivolous pursuit to one that could be followed by intelligent men, a pursuit that was worth taking trouble over, but one that the followers should act as if they were indifferent towards. He was also a terrible snob.
He started with a fortune, but spent it all. Then he made the mistake of alienating the Prince Regent (though it was hard to remain the Prince's friend, he was not really a nice man) which made him fair game to his creditors. He was forced to flee to France to escape being imprisoned for debt. He never again returned to England. In an instant all his glory was gone. But his fame remained. People such as Byron and Wilde venerated him.
The review of this Book prepared by Fenella