Sunday, October 25, 2009

Toronto fashion week: Mexican standoff

So I was pretty pumped last week to attend Toronto Fashion Week. In addition to the evenings, I was able to sneak away from work during the day a few times in order to check out the day scene. During my first day there, this guy approaches me, identifies himself as a style blogger and asks to take my picture for his blog, which also apparently features street fashion. Flattered, I graciously comply.

The following afternoon, same thing happens with Blogger no. 2. Oddly enough, as I'm talking to street Blogger no.2, a new blogger, Blogger no.3 also asks to take my picture for another blog.

Now the point recounting these anecdotes of this isn't to communicate how fabulous I am--that will be the subject of 12 separate posts ;-) It just dawned on me that these days you can't throw a stone in this city without shattering the lens of a style blogger. All these bloggers bloggin about about other bloggers. It's a bloody Mexican standoff.

When I originally conceived of this blog, I thought that I too might post street fashions pics. I'm glad I never pursued this angle: I'm not much of photographer, and there's just no need for another blogger like me to post pics.

One final note: while it's flattering to have my pictures taken by style bloggers, I've always ended up regretting the photos. The photographers typically only get one shot, and that's simply not enough shots in order to find a flattering shot for a guy like me. I always end up looking like I fell off the ugly tree (and hit every branch on the way down).

-The Scandal

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Arrest Warrant: Snuggies

The Stylemounties are officially issuing an arrest warrant for any individual in Canada under 55 years old buying, wearing, or possessing a "Snuggie".

There is an obscure provision in the Canadian Criminal Code (under part XXIV, "Offences Against Fashion and Public Morals") prohibiting the wearing of a fleece blanket as a garment.

Snuggies are available in variety of prints and colours:

The only exemption for wearing a Snuggie in the Criminal Code is for those people who never, ever EVER want to appear sexually attractive to their significant other.
-The Scandal

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Review: Canadian men's fashion magazines

As a working professional on Bay St., a lot of my colleagues insist on eating their lunch in their office. Personally, I try to eat outside my office. For one thing, I don't want my office to smell like the food court. Secondly, I think lunchtime provides a good opportunity for a brief mental break.

In the summer, I am especially religious about eating outside while my lunch drips over one of the many men's magazines for sale on the newsstand. I typically read GQ, Esquire and Details. I also used to also read the Men's Vogue during its brief lifetime. If I've managed to polish off those 3 before newer editions come out, I will sometimes pick up Men's Health or the British GQ.

It's a bit of a bummer that in Canada the subscriptions aren't any cheaper than the newsstand prices. In the U.S., the subscriptions are so cheap that they're practically given away.

I used to get a kick out of the Canadian Men's fashion magazine Toro, which was launched in 2003. I was originally introduced to it because it was distributed free of charge in my Globe & Mail subscription. However, as a sign of the times, in 2007, the magazine was converted into a webzine:

The current site does look pretty good, however to be honest, Toro fell off my radar screen once it ceased being published in print. I thought the print edition offered good production value, especially for a Canadian publication.

Recently, the Globe provided me with two free unsolicited men's fashion goodies along with my daily paper: "Sharp" magazine and "Men's Fashion" magazine.

"Sharp" magazine

Sharp is published by a new company called Contempo media. The editor is Michale La Fave, former editor of Driven magazine, a self-styled men's "luxury lifestyle" magazine, though primarily an automotive magazine. There is also a website which appears to have some content:

On its face, Sharp appears to have the typical features of most men's lifestyle/fashion (style, food, drink, film sex, health, etc.). I could quibble a bit over some shortcomings in the layout that give it a bit of an amateur feel:

-A lot of the pictures are way too small (postage stamp size)
-Several pictures are appear to be stock photos
-Some of the layout is quite spartan in design

The edition that I have (not the one shown above) has a nice feature on 6 Canadian men's fashion designers. I also like the fact that the "where to buy" page only lists Canadian stores.
Overall, the publication offers a pretty decent package. The publisher claims it will be published 6 times a year. I look forward to the next edition.

"Men's Fashion" magazine

I'm not sure who was the marketing wiz who came up with the name, but the magazine is surprisingly slick. Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise since the publisher is St. Joseph communications, responsible for a bunch of magazines including Toronto Life. Actually, the name of the magazine is a variation of St. Joseph's sister publication "Fashion".

The edition that I have is the inaugural edition (Fall 2009, shown above). The publisher's page seems to suggest that the intention is to publish 10 editions a year.

Men's Fashion also seems to have the typical features of most men's magazines, but the emphasis is definitely on fashion. The layout is really nice and the photospreads are top notch. My only beef with the magazine is that its pretty slim (64 pages). That' ll only last me one or two lunches. Hopefully the magazine will be successful, and therefore a bit thicker for the next issues.

Will these magazines survive? Or will they go the way of Toro and SIR (another Canadian men's magazine that went under this past summer)? There's already a lot of competition out there, and the unfortunate reality is that the print industry is not a growth industry. Let's hope for the best.

-The Scandal