“The Dandy Lion Project“ is the latest project created by Shantrelle Lewis, a Philadelphia/Brooklyn based curator. Lewis’ project aims to give a different look at Black male fashion. No you will not see baggy jeans and white t-shirts, but tailored pants and colors popping everywhere. And textures. There are lots of textures. From plaids to tweed.
The Dandy Lion Project is currently on exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, not too bad for something that originally was created as a pop-up show.
But what exactly is ‘dandy’ fashion?
“It definitely goes against the norm in the industry,” Lewis told The Huffington Post. “It’s a way in which they meticulously take and borrow from different cultures that speaks to the diaspora experience in general. It’s also part of the hip-hop aesthetic, borrowing and sampling — that’s what these guys are doing when they get dressed.”
Lewis also wanted to challenge the meaning of masculinity when it comes to Black men. She purposefully used straight and gay men in her work.
“I wanted to combat these limited and narrow ideas of masculinity,” Lewis said. “It’s refreshing to see men who can embrace femininity regardless of sexuality. I have consciously picked images that show and respect that delicate balance between masculinity and femininity — one doesn’t overpower the other and they operate in harmony.”
To learn more about The Dandy Lion Project, visit their Facebook page.
Image Credit: Original Dandy Lion image.
Photographer: Hanif Abur-Rahim