A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What We're Reading: The Rake

I'm probably stating the obvious when I point out that, for some time now, the best men's style journals and magazines are not coming out of the East Coast (as GQ, Vogue, or Esquire might have you believe), but are actually originating in the Far East.

After flipping through just a few pages of magazines such as Leon, Men's Ex and especially the long-defunct Last, one gets the sense that the Japanese publishing markets' attempts to indulge their domestic dandies' sartorial extravagances are truly without equal.

Now, one could certainly argue that, while the photography is unparalleled, there will always exist a lack of  sufficient content or substance in any Japanese-language magazine being read by any English-speaking "reader." This is certainly a valid claim, although shoe connoisseurs the world over would no doubt state unequivocally that he or she would rather ogle an issue of Last over any "style" magazine published expressly for the American market.


All of which brings us to The Rake. Touted as "The Modern Voice of Classic Elegance," in my opinion this publication manages to exceed the high expectations set by some of its older regional brethren. Of course, for this reader, it has the considerable advantage of being written entirely in English! Despite the rather hefty US import price per issue (USD $30.00) from Singapore, the Uptown Dandy still would not hesitate to say that The Rake is clearly one of the best men's style magazines in the world today. Contributors generally include some of the leading writers on the sartorial arts, including James Sherwood and G. Bruce Boyer; and while there is a decent amount of advertisements included between the covers, they generally don't detract from the enjoyable reading experience. The paper stock is also top quality (if that is your thing).

I particularly enjoy the segments on style icons from the Golden Age of Hollywood. However, it must be said that while Gable and Flynn certainly deserve their due, we wait with bated breath for the spotlight to be focused squarely on that lost style icon of the silver screen and original Broadway dandy, George Raft. In the meantime, enjoy The Rake.

(Note to Mr. Koh - the Uptown Dandy is tirelessly working on a post that will explore the significant style contributions of Mr. Raft, both during his time in New York as a denizen of the Great White Way, and upon his arrival in Hollywood. We hope that you'll enjoy reading it as much as we've enjoyed reading The Rake :-)

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