LIGHT FANTASTIC: What’s the opposite of hi-tech? The new book by Fantastic Man magazine, “What Men Wear and Why.” A soft cover printed on recycled paper, it includes lots of charming interviews with men about how they dress themselves every day. The interviews are long — no social media-sized commentary here — and, crucially, there are no illustrations or images. Readers — refreshingly — are forced to use their mind’s eye.
Browns hosted a cocktail and dinner on Saturday night during Paris Men’s Fashion Week to mark the book’s publication, and its collaboration with Fantastic Man. The retailer has given over the windows of its store on South Molton Street to different quotes and themes from the book. The event took place at Brasserie Vaudeville, across from the Bourse, with guests including Stefano Pilati, Martine Rose, Liam Hodges, Raf Simons, Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Serhat Isik, Lucie and Luke Meier, Charles Jeffrey and Lou Dalton.
Pilati was looking natty in a white, illustrated Comme des Garcons shirt and a jacket of his own design, part of his newest clothing drop, set for Feb. 7. He said there’s a lot more tailoring in the upcoming delivery, and smiled as he showed off the lean double-breasted jacket, which has an inside button tab to keep the line neat and tidy. There’s also an extra, central button for men who want a looser fit.
The ever-stylish Martine Rose was dressed in Balenciaga checked trousers and coat. “I’m not a very good advertisement for my own brand, am I?” said the designer, who works on the Balenciaga’s men’s team. In Paris for a flash visit, she talked about her decision to present her eponymous fall 2019 collection to buyers and press alike in a showroom.
“I felt like it was the most radical thing I could have done,” she said, adding that some seasons, runway shows just don’t work. “It was great to be able to focus on the clothes alone,” she added. Her strategy worked, as the collection was sharp, well-edited and filled with lots of wearable pieces. No runway necessary.
During the evening Gert Jonkers, who founded Fantastic Man with Jop van Bennekom in 2005, plugged the book, which has been in the works for about three years. There are interviews with 53 men from various walks of life, and special contributions from the likes of Pilati, Jeffrey and Smith.
“At 50,000 words, it’s a proper novel with men talking about what they wear — and about moths. There’s a lot of talk about moths,” said Jonkers, referring to the bane of every cashmere and wool lover’s wardrobe.