THE BOULEVARDIER: Cloaked in art at Nuit Blanche

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: What to wear to Nuit Blanche. Hint: Take a cue from Ann Demeulemeester (left) and John Galliano.

White Night—the words alone conjure up a myriad of images. I’m transported to Paris, to St. Petersburg’s street theatre, to Rio de Janeiro, watching the waterfalls of fireworks on New Years Eve. It brings to mind ideas of beauty, worldliness, and art. At Nuit Blanche, our town, Hogtown, really shows off its place as a centre of arts and culture in the world.

We’re not provincial; we’re not a wannabe New York. I’ll say it: We’re on the cutting edge, avant-garde, if you will. A good friend of mine, an art curator, is flying back from Europe just for the night. Now, I’m not qualified to tell you which installations/pieces/works/events/happenings you should see—there is a website for that. In fact, don’t bother, just get outside and roam!

The question then becomes what to wear.

Guaranteed, the weather will be inclement: Rain, the threat of rain, wind, the threat of wind, muddy, with a distinct chance of chill in the air. (I pray I’m wrong.) In keeping with fashion’s current trend towards Edwardian-Victorian-Prussian-military-neo-retro-post-pre-punk meets Clockwork Orange, I’m thinking that the cape or cloak is the way to go.

I would say that the best-designed example of this sartorial flourish comes from right here at home.

Ezra Constantine, Fall 2010. Photograph by George Pimentel.

Once again, a tip of my hat to the gentlemen—Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill—who design Ezra Constantine. Fall 2010 is killer. When I watched their show last spring, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the cape, thick and grey, with a giant hood. After the show, three of my friends were about to mention this piece to me, when up went my hand: “Stop, I know.” So nice to have friends who know me so well.

If you want an Ezra cape, as I do, email the designers, and they will make one especially for you. Did I mention that having something made for you is one of the most stylish moments you can enjoy?

Pair the cape with Ezra’s woolen cargos, a thick turtleneck, knee-high riding boots, or some type of Wellingtons, and head off on your art safari! Or perhaps the more formal styles of John Galliano suit you. Bring a brolly, head to Chinatown and pick up a $10 Burberry knock-off trench, and the bowler at Lavish & Squalor. You’ll look as if you’re the Dean of Avant Garde at Central Saint Martins. Swanky cool.

Imagine the pleasure you can have standing in front of some wonderful work. You’ve thrown one side of your cloak over your shoulder. Your fellow art safariists are huddled around you, breathless in anticipation, awaiting your next bon mot. Your hand plays at the stubble on your chin; perhaps you’ve adjusted your specs. You inhale deeply, thoughtfully, and out of your mouth comes the words: “Well, ya got me?!”

I can hear the peals of laughter from you and your gang as you head off down the road, glowing with the joy of seeing something new.

Read more from The Boulevardier here, and follow him on Twitter: @aboulevardier

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