Entry: The Golden Era of Men's Fashion 2008.10.28

The launch of the dazzling Vogue Hommes Japan marks the golden era of men's fashion world. Sharing the rack with the pinky-pop book is the 30th issue of quirky Arena Hommes+, and rather tame Vogue Hommes International. My favorite read Esquire UK and AnotherMan have some hit and miss.

None other than Hedi Slimane who fills 22 pages of Vogue Hommes Japan with his 17-year old British muse, Ashley "Ash" Stymest, reinterpreting samurai culture garnished with Hello Kitty pins and even mask. Fashion Director Nicola Formichetti and Editor in Chief Kazuhiro Saito have compiled the best talents, style, looks and concept in this highly collectible inaugural issue. Vogue Hommes Japan is indeed a milestone of men's fashion in the 21st century.

Also boosting pink in its logo, Arena Homme+ devotes its 30th issue to Oscar Wilde's Dorian Grey in an extensive 37-pages fashion spread. Thirty fashion icons also share their own personal icons, and some answers are downright provoking; Frida Giannini: David Bowie, Giorgio Armani: Island of Pantelleria, Jean Paul Gaultier: Marlon Brando, Kris Van Assche: Johnny Depp, Paul Smith: his wife Pauline, and Hedi Slimane: "Anyone can be an icon!" (with an Ashley Stymest picture as the background, of course!)

I'm not so big on November 2008's Esquire UK for being "too Bond". The whole mag is almost like a promotional catalogue for the upcoming Quantum of Solace - with almost every feature running around the theme, and including the fashion spread. Thankfully there's still some stuff unrelated to the martini-drinking spy, such as London's Frieze Art Fair - the biggest hype in international art scenes. Eight participating artists are featured in cool fashion statements.

The Autumn/Winter 08/09 edition of Vogue Hommes International looks pretty mild with the melancholy face of Hugh Dancy on the front cover. This "cinema issue" features icons from the movie industry, such as Gus Van Sant, Roman Polanski, Jack Huston and Dennis Hopper. The fashion goes West, and it looks very manly and classy. It's not my cup of tea, but I still love it.


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