The latest issue (N 15) of Fantastic Man is now out. Recent issues of Fantastic Man have been a bit variable and for a while I thought they were running out of steam. However this issue is good, even very good. What’s good about it?
Firstly their short handy-hint articles are once again focussed on clothes and style. They have a brief review of the new Tom Ford pochette (men’s wrist bag) that is both informative and a good read. Similarly, they review a new gadget for rolling, packing and transporting ties safely. It is short articles like this that we want more of.
The interviews in this issue are good, very much in the old FMan mould, interesting men, incisive articles. There is an interview with Jean Toitou, who created the cult brand A.P.C., which is worth the price of a copy on it’s own. Toitou is blunt, original and controversial on the subject of clothes. Useful, though-provoking stuff.
The cover interview is Matthew Slotover, who invented the Frieze Art Fair. Much more intimate than the Jean Toitou interview, this interview paints him as a thoughtful family man, and shows just how much love and ingenuity has gone into the Frieze Organisation.
Clothes spreads are variable in Fantastic man. Sometimes they are works of near genius and others, well, lets just say that in their search for new ways to present menswear, F. Man sometimes go overboard.
This issue is no different. The colour spread (only one per issue) is given over to “vacation clothes” from designer brands. So this means (mostly) patterned matching t-shirts and shorts. So this photo-spread goes a long way down the path of Seventies excess and, basically, you would not wear the clothes, at least not in this way. It all looks appalling, like a set of dire mail order catalogue pictures featuring matching shirts and ties. My advice, take a pinch of salt, wear your sunglasses and you will find some striking summer pieces in the spread. But matching ensembles for the beach? Dear God, no.
However they redeem themselves with the second spread, which is on Spring tailoring. This gives F. Man the opportunity to showcase some superb tailored separates, from brands as diverse as Hermes and Dries Van Noten. This is a great piece, because it has all the clothes, especially knitwear, that one needs for a European spring.
Finally there is an article on Eighties menswear designer Bill Robinson. He was a designer I did not know, but the pictures show that his clothes were full of the bold, sexy, bigness that we remember the Eighties for. It’s a good article and shows how his clothes had a lasting influence on men’s fashion.
So this is a good issue of Fantastic Man, there is lots more in it, besides the articles mentioned. It is definitely worth your time and money.
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