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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Magazine Review: Arena Homme + S/F 07 Gets It Right


Shocked? Me too. These days I pick up a menswear magazine with a sense of dread and masochistic, hopeless, semi-professional duty of keeping up with the media. I expect another glossy homo-erotic mess that (yet again) tries to address clothes by depicting lack thereof. Leave that to the gay porn industry and the Oscar Wilde Bookshop, I say; not everyone who is seriously interested in mens fashion is a Karl Lagerfeld clone. And the king (or shall i say the queen?) of menswear magazines - Arena Homme Plus - has been consistently guilty of just that.

Maybe they heard me, because the Spring/Fall 07 issue is full of editorials of men wearing clothes, and good clothes at that! One that particularly stands out is an editorial devoted to a Soviet modernist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. It's chockful of great outfits heavy on Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester. Other editorials have Margiela, Junya Watanabe, and Raf Simons mixed in with the usual commercial heavy-hitters like Prada/Miu Miu and Dior Homme. And if you were excited by those crazy Raf Simons elbow length gauntlets - there are a few clear shots of those.

Another right thing AH+ editors did was featuring a lot of Fall/Winter 07 clothes. It looks like they finally realized that by the time their magazine actually rolls off the press and reaches international destinations spring sales are already in full effect. I only wish that more shots showed clothes in detail - I appreciate the artistic calling, but it should be subordinate to details in a fashion magazine.

Needless to say AH+ is still homo-erotic heavy; there is a big spread of male Barbies rolling around in John Galliano underwear, and a final spread of half-naked adolescent boys modeling bits and pieces of SS 07 collections - but, hey, I can't ask for it all.
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