Masculine elegance, so flamboyant and colorful up until the end of the 18th century, became almost non-existant in the 19th century. From the frock coats of Gainsborough's portraits to the city workers' two-piece suits, the structure of men's clothes evolved at a slow pace. But the language of this uniformity has subtly varied in its details, in the cut, proportion or materials of a piece of clothing. Though individually these different elements are almost imperceptible, each is resolutely identifiable, and each makes a vital contribution to the even more intangible notion of style.
This book juxtaposes paintings and photographs of movie stars, politicians, artists, or lesser-known figures dating over almost two centuries, whose very different silhouettes, when placed alongside one another, encapsulate a certain idea of modern elegance and its concern with style.