Monday, 25 February 2008

Anyone for Cake?

A bit of a wander on Saturday on my usual Oxford St.-avoiding route [Soho Sq-D'Arblay-Gt. Marlborough-Liberty-Regent-Conduit-B Store-Bond-Avery Row-South Molton-Poste-St. Christopher's Place-Reiss-Selfridges] washed me up in Selfridges' magazine hall. This is a dangerous place for me. I have an unabatable vice for glossy, beautiful photography with gorgeous clothes, articles erudite to irreverent, and men with razor-sharp cheekbones, all in a reassuringly weighty package. I buy most of the biennials and quarterlies, but have had to cut down on monthlies as a result. Favourites are: L'Officiel Hommes, GQ Style, 10+ Men and, of course, Monocle. But for the last year or so, I have been purchasing a lesser-known magazine called Let Them Eat Cake. Originally conceived when talented assistants of photographers, stylists, writers and designers were not given due credit, this magazine has been a gorgeous miniature pleasure of beautifully-shot clothes in an offbeat and experimental fashion. Whilst not strictly a mens publication, its sheer aesthetic pleasure combined of the 'underdog' ethos has made i one of my favourite purchases. And as I've followed it from Issue 3, I'm especially proud to discover that the magazine has made the transition from colour fanzine to a full-format glossy, and enough support to have less than five pages of advertisements out of 128, mostly photo-essays. What a delight, not having to flip past the umpteenth oiled D&G advert and find each page sprinkled with such sensory delight. This is a brilliant example of virtually independent publishing (LTEC is printed at a small Welsh press in Aberystwyth) making it good in the voraciously competitive glossy market. And unlike SuperSuper, there is an important and welcome lack of shock-and-awe tactics and in-your-face fonts. LTEC has been beautifully put together and is a welcome addition to my purchasing. A little more writing would be nice, but not if it reduces the quality and volume of photographic genius which is well worth my, and your, £3.50. It is, as it states on the cover, "for fashion's sake" - dedication to aesthetics. This makes it an unavoidable Staple. Along with the rest of this week's Staples:
Let Them Eat Cake magazine
A belt made from a Liberty print offcut
The Pride of Spitalfields pub, off Brick Lane
Uniqlo's '2 cashmere cotton jumpers for £30' offer
Fabriclive 36 - James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
Competitive hangman on a Sunday afternoon
Selfridges ever-improving menswear floor (and it's gorgeous electric blue patent Alexander McQueen hi-top trainers)

2 comments:

Stylesalvage Steve said...

I picked up the first issue back in the day when it was a youthful fanzine and I'm ashamed to say that i've not looked at it since. Always seduced by other titles (great choices by the way...how about Fantastic Man and Arena Homme though?). I will be going to Borders this weekend and i will check out Cake!

xS said...

Arena Homme yes. Bit thin on actual writing though. Fantastic Man I also love. Nothing beat 10+ for mens fashion tho...