Taste: Camp

Where are the dandies these days? Not the mere fops and mannered exhibitionists, but the lovers and arbiters of style for style's sake, the cherishers and curators of what's amusing (as opposed to what's serious)—a predilection that is one of the luxuries of affluent societies. They thrived in Socrates' Athens and at the Roman courts of emperors and Popes. The 18th century shone with them, and the 19th century produced the dandy of all time, Oscar Wilde.

Wilde rebutted the industrial revolution with flowing locks and velvet suits; he warded off its fumes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!