2 min

Deep Dish: Issue 778

This week, Rolyn visits Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and Business Woman’s Special

Rama, Kevin, Michael & Andrew Credit: Rolyn Chambers

Business Woman’s Special
Sat, Aug 9 @ The Round

With all the shirtless men that surround me on the dancefloor at The Round for Business Woman’s Special’s I Couldn’t Find My Top party, one wonders if we’re shooting a Babylon club scene for Queer as Folk. But considering that most revellers strip off their well-chosen tops only after the host, April, gets on the mic and “encourages” us to do so (going so far as to flash her perky boobies), I don’t think that’s the case. Plus, there’s no darkroom. Those who do peel and reveal clearly enjoy this bit of “Queer West” rebellion. Shirts off west of Church Street is considered, well, so gay. West-end boys seem to express themselves south of the border, by wearing itty-bitty shorts that ride up their thighs and bunch up just enough in the crotch to give the illusion of a tasty package, like a light lunch. You could even call it a business woman’s special, the kind that Romy and Michele would order. They never described what this high-powered meal would consist of, but it might include a DJ Sammy (Rawal) sandwich made of April chicken Wozny salad, with a side of DJ Nino hash Browns. Whatever it is, I’m sure everyone would need to work off the midday meal by dancing it (and their shirts) off to some old-school Missy Elliott on the dancefloor.
We all deserve to see that.

TOM opening night
Tues, Aug 12 @ Fairmont Royal York

With all the controversy surrounding the launch of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM), one wonders if executive director Jeff Rustia will become the male Robin Kay (the former head of Toronto Fashion Week)? If he keeps his head clear and glass empty, he might escape such comparisons. But with several modelling agencies pulling out just weeks before the event, photographers protesting the use of their photos and one designer lobbing charges of “homophobia” and “femme-phobia,” Rustia better be thinking quickly and drinking slowly. And I think he is. The event runs like clockwork (something Toronto Fashion Week rarely manages), with nary a problem that we, the audience, can detect. Perhaps his experience organizing Philippine Fashion Week and running his own company have come in handy. Whatever the reason, the results are on the runway and in the seats. Opening night at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel sees a mix of cutting-edge simplicity (Tothem), forward-thinking utilitarian (Christian L’enfant Roi), street style (Benji WZW), eclectic clan (Worth) and modern classics (Christian Bates). And most shows have full houses, including press from GQ. It’s impressive, especially for the first menswear-only event in Canada — and just the eighth in the world. But it’s Bates’s show that pleases me the most, opening with model Paul Mason and thigh-cut shorts on thick-legged lads. “Guys that wear these shorts are guys that work out,” Bates says post-show. “They don’t need to be wearing baggy shorts or shorts down to their knees. They deserve to show off their legs.” And we all deserve to see them.