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.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: If you’ve got it, hide it

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Covering up is sexier than stripping off, as inspired by the “salivating” reaction to the male models at the Ezra Constantine Spring 2011 show.

Call me old-fashioned but when I was working as a stylist the sexiest thing was what you weren’t seeing. I know—I’m out of touch. I should be more with it.

But you must understand that, as a former professional dancer, I’ve spent the majority of my life surrounded by semi-nude and wispy ballerinas and models. There is nothing that I know of that can kill the visual allure of someone than the string of curses heard during a quick change backstage.

In one show, I had six changes, three of which were back to back. That meant a sauté off the stage right into a unitard, slippers and mask, then stripping down and changing into a full-body flying harness, with tuxedo over that, all topped off with an Elvis wig. I was clipped in and flown straight up three stories, then lowered back down, stripped down again and wriggled back into the same unitard, slippers and mask. Did I mention that dancers perspire?

Needless to say, I sounded like a trucker and I had to buy drinks for our dresser after each show. I’ve worked on a few fashion shows, and it’s the same. Dancers or models—what you see is so not what you get.

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THE IT: Meet Ezra Constantine

Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, the designers of Greta Constantine and Ezra Constantine, the menswear line which had its official launch party last week. Writer Paul Aguirre-Livingston turned what seemed like a missed opportunity into an exclusive interview. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

“I think you missed it,” said Samantha Beckerman, of the Beckermans fashion line, as I rushed into a historical Annex home for the preview of Ezra Constantine’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Turns out that the 9 p.m. showing of the new menswear line was cancelled because, on the busiest August night for Toronto’s media, the people had simply come, seen, loved and left.

“It had this military subtext to it,” Fashion Television’s Christopher Sherman commented, “but still very classic Ezra.” What an odd way of putting it, I thought. A collection that is still so in its infancy (not even a year old) already had a look, a “classic” style. And that’s why it mattered that I missed it.

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SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At the Ezra Constantine show

From left: producer Sara Basso, writer Amy Verner, and photographer Caitlin Cronenberg. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Last Thursday, the Toronto style set gathered at an Annex mansion to celebrate the official coming out party of Ezra Constantine, the menswear line from Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill, who are also the fan favourite designers behind Greta Constantine.

We’ll post our interview with Stephen and Kirk soon, but in the meantime, check out some best-dressed pics (featuring Fritz Helder, who also played DJ!)

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