Photo: Napoleon Sarony, Oscar Wilde

People say sometimes that Beauty is only superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray.

Napoleon Sarony: Oscar Wilde

Fashionable is what one wears oneself. Unfashionable is what other people wear.
One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
The only way to atone for being a little over dressed is by always being absolutely over-educated.
A really well made buttonhole is the only link between Art and Nature.

Wilde’s statements on dress are the inspiration for this blog. I love the way he embraces fashion–unapologetically and unabashedly. All the photographs on this page were taken by Napoleon Sarony during Wilde’s 1882 American Lecture tour. He excels in disrupting surfaces. In two of the photos he wears a great fur coat which he acquired for the tour. These photos also show the great pains he took with his hair. The aphorisms above are taken from Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young. If anyone ever tells you that your interest in clothes is frivolous, tell them to read Oscar Wilde.

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One Response to Oscar Wilde

  1. John Cooper says:

    It’s gratifying to see Oscar Wilde’s views still relevant—but he said far more about dress and fashion than people realize, as this new book uncovers:
    http://www.oscarwildeondress.com

    Keep up the good work.

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