Co.Design

Exhibition Captures the Soul of the Modern Dandy

Form Us With Love's creepy dismembered mannequins are a perfect metaphor for violently fussy fops.

The Nordiska Museet in Sweden unveiled an exhibit on the modern-day dandy recently. That, on its own, isn't particularly interesting, since anyone who's been to Williamsburg or reads Details knows what makes a dandy tick (suspenders, natch).

No, what's really cool about the show is its display architecture. Designed by Form Us With Love -- the delightfully icy Swedes who gave the world this exquisite design studio -- it's a collection of dismembered mannequins that appear to be trapped in cement blocks (they're actually lacquered MDF boxes). The body parts are then done up in assorted garments: a tweed jacket, say, on a truncated torso, and leather oxfords on a pair of severed feet. The idea here is that the dandy dissected into parts creates the whole.

"Well the concept is really a way of unveiling the details that makes the dandy," Form Us With Love's Petrus Palmér tells usl. "When given the assignment we discussed a lot about what a dandy is, if it's a state of mind or a plain fashionista. Our conclusion lies somewhere in between, but the attributes which the exhibition was focusing on are extremely important to a dandy. And combining those attributes in a stylish but unexpected way makes the dandy look so dandyish." To us, the scene looks like the work of some sort of freakishly organized serial killer, which is the perfect metaphor for a dandy's soul: meticulous to the point of violence.

[Images courtesy of Form Us With Love]

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