Thursday, November 12, 2009

Departures of things I liked.

After being rather left behind in the what's what of the men's fashion scene, I wanted to check out for updates. I was wondering why every RSS feed from Material Interest that I clicked redirected me to Feeling a little suspicious, I did a little google work of my own and found out that:

With the new month comes sad news that Men.Style.Com has shut its doors forever.

-"No More Men.Style.Com",October 19, 2009 by prepidemicmag

All is not lost, as its sister sites GQ and Details are still up and running, and presumably revamped to cater for the loss of content from

I am still trying to find my way around both websites, wondering to which website did the old features end up in. For now, it seems like most contents ended up on the GQ side.
The fashion show collections from year 2005 are there. So is the forum, and the Material Interest blog (reincarnated as the GQ eye), the 10 essentials. However, there is no dedicated section called The Upgrader anymore, a section recommending the best items in every category (oxford shoes, sunglasses, etc). Also, I wonder if we'll be able to access The Sartorialist's off-the-catwalk shots at the fashion shows.

A rather saddening piece of news that only further demonstrates the far-reaching effects of last year's credit crunch. With much of's old content still being available, it's not so much about lamenting its loss - all I need is a little adjustment to the new websites. Rather it's a nostalgic sentiment about a website that, up until its last legs early this year, proved pivotal in introducing me to the finer points of men's lifestyle since my college years.

While google-ing this piece of news, I also found out that one of my favourite men's magazines in UK has also closed down early this year. Being left out of the UK radar for so many years, I wasn't aware of its closure until today. This magazine is ARENA, a men's style magazine that has been in publication for 22 years. During the year I was there, I admired this magazine because it respected its readers as modern men who want more than just articles about beer, football and breasts. Middle ground between FHM and Another Man.

On the style front, its fashion news and editorials leaned towards 'stylish' rather than 'fashionista', keeping things tasteful while maintaining its appeal to the average guy . The rest of the news and articles were usually well-written and intelligent and stayed away from the crass content of 'bloke magazines'. They were unlike the British GQ whom despite generally having better fashion spreads, felt less readable on the whole due to the inclusion of "bloke-friendly" content.

This was generally true circa 2005-2006. Even the Jan 2007 issue that I got my sister-in-law to buy still maintained the qualities that I liked in a magazine. However, the last issue I bought early this year ( a discounted October 2008 back-issue) probably signaled that things were going downhill for the publication. The fashion editorials were unimpressive while the content was uninteresting, un-funny and insubstantial compared to its earlier issues. I didn't hesitate to send it for recycling after my first read.

Here's to you, and Arena.
And here's to you, recession! Only the strong shall survive, so they say.

PS: One of my favourite radio stations is also going under, from what a credible source tell me. Not surprising, considering the low amount of advertising airplay we hear. Don't need to speculate about the listenership, then. Here's to you too! It was great while it lasted.

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