Saturday, 10 April 2010

Magazines In The Spotlight... Man About Town

The relaunched Man About Town

Have you noticed that there has been an incessant drumming noise over the last few weeks or so? It that has followed me wherever I've gone, there has been no escape from it. After using my Quincy M. E investigative skills to the maximum the root cause is the collective, impatient wait for the new issue of Fantastic Man. To be honest, my fingers subconsciously joined in the percussion chorus. They are even rhythmically tapping at my desk as I type this. My hands are longing to grasp the next installment of my favourite Gentleman's Style journal. The vast majority of printed men's style journalism pales in comparison. As the focus on writing quality is frequently sacrificed by more commercial demands, my interest and level of engagement with the pages diminishes. Fortunately, it isn't all doom and gloom, there have been a couple of slivers of printed style sustenance in the shape of one freshly launched magazine and one that has been given a lick of paint and a new owner. The recently launched gentleman's magazine, Dapper Dan helped fill the void as I jut couldn't put this inspiring publication down for over a week. The most recent piece of printed style sustenance came in the form of the newly relaunched Man About Town...

Pardon my French...the Paris issue.

Man About Town was first launched in 1952 by John Taylor, a former Fleet Air Arm pilot who cut his journalistic teeth on Savile Row as the long standing editor of trade journal Tailor & Cutter. The launched magazine was very much in his own image, "a magazine that helps you to be good...at being bad." Despite folding in 1967, its debonair demeanour and irreverent manner lived on. Thankfully the publication was given a breath of fresh air and became my second biannual of choice. For the sixth issue, Huw Gwyther (Managing Director of Visual Talent Ltd, the Publishers of Wonderland) proudly presents the new, improved version with the appointment of Paris based writer and editor Philip Utz at the helm. In addition to his editorship of Man About Town, Philip will be pursuing his activities as Editor-at-Large of Numéro and Numéro Homme so he is undoubtedly a journalistic force that we'll all be reading a great deal from in the coming seasons. Despite having Kickass and Nowhere Boy star, Aaron Johnson (as shot by the talented Alasdair McLellan) on the cover, the first issue overseen by the new Editorial team (Spring/Summer 2010) is a special Paris-themed edition and it is difficult not to fall for the Gallic charm. The story written over the two hundred and fifty six pages is largely about Paris and, give or take the rising English actor and odd Russian supermodel they've stuck to the plot...

One of my favourite features of the magazine has always been the Men About Town. One day I hope to see someone I know. Here we are introduced to the Frenchmen that matter including; the thinking man Sacha Sperling, the artsman Xavier Veilhan, the sportsmen Paul-Henri Mathieu and the ladiesman Melvil Poupaud.

Shirt tales with French Shirt maker Charvet. Having dressed everyone from Oscar Wilde to Oscar Niemeyer, this piece takes us on a tour of the illustrious Parisian House.

The Paris by the Book feature reminds me that it really is about time that I picked up a book again...I'm concerned that my reading age is sliding backwards.

The pages that I see myself turning back to again and again for reference is the Parisian Powerhouses feature. There's no denying that Paris is still home to some of the world's most storied fashion houses. Here, the editor knocks at the door of Balmain, Dior, Hermes and Lanvin. To be honest, I found elements of Philip Utz' questioning to be somewhat grating but overall each interview is a great read. The piece on Lanvin confirmed that I am in complete awe of Lucas.

In addition to looking at the architecture and literature of the capital we are afforded another dimension of the city by the piece on La Garde Republicaine. It is a stirring spectacle of men in uniforms.

Class Act sees Willy Vanderperre and Joe McKenna combine to create my favourite editorial of the season so far. It showcases a deft combination of prep and sportswear.

Catting Around is an editorial that I know EJ will absolutely love. Kasper Kasprzyk and Way Perry combine to create a feline friendly spread focusing on the new romantic elements of menswear.

Cry Baby, the modern day Pompadour sees Didier Malige transform Man About Town's pretty boys from a bad hair day by whipping their tresses in to pert '50s Quiffs'

Ralph Lauren might not be the most Parisian of designers but the rare interview with the man himself and accompanying spread (wonderfully styled by Simon Foxton) is most timely. The feature celebrates the opening of his sprawling thirteen thousand square foot store on Paris' Boulevard Saint Germain.

The finger tapping has momentarily subsided. The relaunched Man About Town certainly offers a welcome antidote to a great deal of mediocre men's style magazines. However, I have to confess that I have little doubt that the new Creative Director, the talented Frank Durand might just had taken a sneaky glimpse in the direction of Amsterdam when the layout was confirmed. While these pages will entertain and inspire for some time, my hands are still itching to get their hands on issue eleven of Fantastic Man.

11 comments:

trunkguy said...

Hey there - looks like a very interesting magazine - if it out for general purchase now?

Thanks for the tip

Keep up the good work

Style Salvage Steve said...

trunkguy: Yes, it was released last week so should be able to pick it up.

Clare said...

I adore Man About Town, it reminds me of the first day I moved down to London and was so excited that they had amazing magazines stocked at regular newsagents. I spent the whole morning reading Man About Town and Love in Starbucks...

tweet tweet tweet

x

pearl said...

alas! I saw the magazine in WH Smith this afternoon, and I was itching to buy it.. but then I bought The Gentlewoman instead. WOE! Next time I go to town... Man About Town shall be mine!

Mat said...

yup i'll be on the lookout for this in the week, also reminds me, dapper dan!

If Jane said...

lucky you...re: fantastic man...(i have to wait a month or so before the gentlewoman actually thinks to come to the magazine shops in montréal!)

Giancinephile said...

Damn! It is sooooo enticing! I really love the new layout.

I have always loved this title but it seems I have more reason to love it even more! haha

lineageofinfluence said...

The thing I love about Man About Town is the fact that it's usually a really good read.

It took me ages to get through the last issue, meaning that my journey to and from work on the tube was greatly improved for a decent length of time.

This issue is sat on the table at home and I'll begin on it once I've finished this months Wallpaper*. Can't wait...

Rollergirl said...

Ooh might buy it tomorrow. Joe McKenna shoot is calling out to me...

Isabelle said...

Amen on the collective Fantastic Man finger-tapping. I like idea of thousands of people all drumming their fingers/tapping their pens. Kind of like Fievel Goes West for fashion-lovers!

guillaume said...

If you like Man About town, you should check the website of Franck durand, he is the art director of MAN ABOUT TOWN
http://www.franckdurand.com/

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