A LOOK WE LIKED: At the TOMMY show

Cute boy, cute toque. TOMMY, the new, more affordable line from Tommy Hilfiger, previewed last night during a packed fashion show at the Gladstone. The brand is in the midst of all kinds of moving and shaking, and TOMMY seems certain to further up the ante. Look for it in stores this fall. Photograph by Marq Frerichs.

THE BOULEVARDIER: My toes knows

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs (above), considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Toe polish for men. (Oh, yes.) Photograph by Giovanna Castiglione.

I had a wonderful moment yesterday.

Blissfully listening to my iPod on the subway, I felt a pair of eyes on me—you know the feeling. I thought, Oh boy, this is awkward. Did I cut someone off to get into the car; have I taken the seat before someone who obviously deserves it? Perhaps those eyes are busy thinking that my sartorial choices are off-kilter, or am I singing aloud without realizing it? I casually raised my gaze and locked eyes with a woman across the car. Her stare was full of worry.

Realizing that she had my attention, she slowly moved her eyes down my body. I followed her gaze. In lockstep, our eyes moved from my messy coif, past my vintage AllDayIDreamAboutSex jersey, with no pause at the shiny beads around my wrist. She didn’t flinch at my semi-opaque army pants (commando not an option). And so there we were, finally, staring at my feet.

I’ve got a thing about my feet. I looked up suddenly, knowing what the what-up was.

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SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At Lingerie Française

A fashion presentation featuring France’s top lingerie brands—including Simone Pérèle, Princesse Tam-Tam and Chantelle—the Lingerie Française show was a fascinating glimpse into what lies beneath. Story and photography by Marq Frerichs.

Summer’s hottest show, both literally and on figure, was held Wednesday night at the Wychwood Barns Artscape. The Lingerie Française event is a bit of a dream for those who appreciate the female form, and the skill used to create the sweet nothings that cover it.

Ballerinas and chansons set the mood. Most interesting was the use of classic Chanel-inspired accessories, couture feathers, and rosettes. It’s not always what you see but what is hidden that has the most allure.

Click through for très jolie photos from the show.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: Hearts and smiles

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: A case for why the smiley face trumps the heart. (Even that cute Comme des Garçons one above.)

I’m just going to come out and say it: I loathe graphics on T-shirts. OK, perhaps that’s too strong, I really, really don’t like T-shirts with graphics, words, or ads for some product that I don’t consume—especially when I don’t recall receiving a royalty cheque for the “space” that is my chest.

But then, as a society of consumers, we give the world a lot of free ad space. I have an iPhone, which is shorthand for “Look at me, I’m a ‘creative’ type. Buy one if you want to be creative.” The same goes for a Blackberry—”I’m a business type etc.”

I do love images, though, and the meanings that they convey. When I was growing up, the image that I remember most was the smiley face, that simple sunshine-yellow circle and line drawing smile. Thanks to Wikipedia I know this: “The iconic smiley face, with the black ink smile and two oval dots for eyes…was created by freelance artist Harvey R. Ball in 1963 in an advertising campaign by The State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts.” Neither Ball nor the company copyrighted it, so it’s one of the few images of happiness that’s actually free. I seem to recall hearing that somewhere—that smiles are free.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: It ain’t a murse, buddy

Every week our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: The male bag vs. the murse. Above, two chic options from Joanel.

One of my few problems with summer is my stuff. I have a lot of it. On any given day I might be toting around dancewear—sweats, tights, T-shirts, a towel, ballet slippers, jazz shoes—a video camera, still camera, laptop, notebook, book, newspaper, magazine, water colour set, plasticine, and of course, a couple of scarves. Do I really need all of it, my portable creative studio? Strangely, most days of the week, yes. This creative life is killing my shoulder but I’ve got a full soul.

Naturally I’m always on the lookout for a new, beautiful and more functional bag.

There seem to be three styles for men these days:

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THE BOULEVARDIER: At the G20, part 5

In his last dispatch from the G20, The Boulevardier (above, on Queen Street) shares his photos of Toronto’s historic protest. This weekend’s violence and vandalism dominated the headlines, but there were also moments of rare beauty and community. (And hipsters, of course.) Take a look.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: At the G20, part 4

Marq Frerichs, our men’s style columnist, has spent hours each day at the G20 site, documenting the protest (and protesters) in words and photos. The following images were taken before the violence started yesterday, and reveal both the creativity and conflict that’s present at the summit. (Incidentally, did anyone check the tags on the clothing that the cowardly Black Bloc protesters left behind when they melted back into the crowd? I’d be willing to bet that it wasn’t organic cotton from a local, independent designer….)

THE BOULEVARDIER: G20 style, in photos, part 2

If fashion makes a statement about who you are and what you believe, then what to wear to a protest? How does what you wear matter, and how does it set you apart? Do clothes tell people what side you’re on? (And should you coordinate your sign with your shoes?) Over the next few days, Marq Frerichs, The Boulevardier columnist, will be considering the politics of style at the G20.

Above, the tutu makes a surprising comeback—this time as revolution wear.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: G20 style, in photos

If fashion makes a statement about who you are and what you believe, then what to wear to a protest? How does what you wear matter, and how does it set you apart? Do clothes tell people what side you’re on? (And should you coordinate your sign with your shoes?) Over the next few days, Marq Frerichs, The Boulevardier columnist, will be considering the politics of style at the G20.

Looking to show your support without the crowds, the jostling, the police? Pick up a T-shirt at Green Shag (above), arbiters of stylish tongue and cheek.

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