After I met Yoshio Suyama (pictured here in his raccoon coat) in New York last year, I got curious about what other dandies might be hiding up in the Great White North. Well, Toronto, you did not disappoint! I made portraits of five fantastic subjects, and was the guest of honor at an I am Dandy book party hosted by Loding Shoes & Shirts and The Hogtown Rake blog. All in under two days. Phew!
When I knew I’d get the chance to visit and start shooting for the follow up book to I am Dandy, I contacted the man with his ear to the ground for Toronto menswear: Pedro Mendes, creator of The Hogtown Rake. Here he is in his front yard all prepped to scare the neighborhood kids on Halloween, looking quite debonair puffing on one of his beloved Cuban cigars. Pedro suggested some great subjects, and organized the book party at Loding, a French menswear boutique. I wish all my international travels for this next book will have such gracious and helpful hosts!
The first man Pedro suggested I contact was Christopher Sharrock...hmmm, I wonder why?!? Just your typical white picket fence life, you know? He's been dressing like this forever - even back when punk was just beginning in his native Liverpool. At one gig he recalls the punks tried to give him grief when he showed up in his typical vintage suit. A suit was a suit to them: a symbol of conformity. Luckily he was saved from the savage beasts by the drummer of the band - his art school chum Budgie (!)
Jonathan Hagey - known as "The Kingpin" - shows off a gorgeous top hat and his wedding suit in his store Kingpin's Hideaway; one part men's vintage boutique, and one part speakeasy.
And that brings us to Emmanuel Farré, the brilliant and wildly creative resident patina artist (see the shoes!) at Loding Toronto. It was a joy to listen to him talk with his wonderful French accent about the passion he has for his work. One pair can take upwards of forty hours of work! The pair you see on the left shows the before (with yellow cap) and after, which has the illusion of hard wood. But he will not stop there, I guarantee it...just you wait.
Later that night Loding hosted a wonderful soireé to celebrate I am Dandy and the new book project. It was a warm gathering of the best and the brightest in Toronto: artists, menswear aficionados, journalists, actors, an opera singer, and of course sharp dressed ladies and gents. The Hogtown Rake posted about our evening as well with more photos. Thanks to sponsors Kenwood Vineyards and Cheese Boutique for exquisite wine, cheese and charcuterie. Photographs of the party by Farhang Ghajar.
That's actor John Jay the winner of the I am Dandy book giveaway. He also makes these cool lapel pins at Hook and Furl. My husband Kelly (left) was very excited to find out he was Rocky the poet from Jeeves and Wooster!
The Queenpin and Kingpin
That's artist Gordon Shadrach on the left. He creates some incredible menswear inspired paintings.
Here are Emmanuel Farré's leopard spotted shoes on his throne/palette, and a few more shots of the Loding boutique at 133 Avenue Road in Toronto.