Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Original Metrosexual

BBC AMERICA movie charts the rise and fall of the man who created the modern suit

Beau Brummell was a metrosexual 200 years before the word was conceived. His name has become synonymous with wit, decadence, fine tailoring, and fashion. A socialite and style icon, who was a contemporary of Lord Byron, Brummell was singly responsible for changing forever the way men dress – inventing, in effect, the modern suit. Beau Brummell: This Charming Man premieres Sunday, May 6, 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The wickedly handsome James Purefoy (Rome) stars as the notorious dandy who became famous for his impeccable dress sense and connections with the right people, including the Prince of Wales (Hugh Bonneville, Tsunami) and Lord Byron (Matthew Rhys, Brothers & Sisters). Beau Brummell: This Charming Man documents his relationship to the Prince, and how Brummell convinced him to change his dress from Regency Fop – painted face, powdered wig, brightly-colored jackets – to the more streamlined, natural look of the ‘Dandical Body’.

Through love letters, historical records, and poems, critically-acclaimed biographer, Ian Kelly, unlocks the glittering, turbulent world of late-18th and early-19th century London – the first truly modern metropolis. Brummell personified London's West End, where a new style of masculinity and modern men's fashion were first defined. Kelly, who appears in the film as a member of the ‘Dandical Body’, reveals the man inside the suit, unlocking the scandalous behavior of London's high society in a rare rendering of an era filled with excess, scandal, promiscuity, opulence, and luxury. Having risen to a height of popularity, however, his descent was swift. The victim of his own excess and also some bad influences, including Lord Byron, Brummell fell from grace and eventually died, penniless in France.