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)


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 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...