The Counters

Elements on a trendline

Doug Coupland September 28 1987

The Counters

Elements on a trendline

Doug Coupland September 28 1987

The Counters


Elements on a trendline

Doug Coupland

Looking bad is the new way of the hip: fabrics synthetic, glasses hornrimmed. Contact lenses are outest out. No shirt without a vest. Looking at your best or WASPy leaves no room for the imagination; besides, everyone’s doing it. The 1970s are the standard, though facial hair and wide-leg pants are still taboo.

Warning: say nothing cute like, “I know I look like a geek for wearing this Fortrel shirt with its steroidal collar and the boating-scene embellishment, but aren’t I a nut for doing so?” Pas de brownie points pour vous. To dress bad is to dress sad. Pretensions of humor, no thank you. CARS: Such Sixties' Thrashmobiles as those Mercury Montclairs and the Pontiac Strato Chiefs driven by Darren Stevens and Larry Tate on Bewitched are in. As new cars look the same —“Wow, see that Jag!” “C’mon! That was a Hyundai!”—Thrashmobile owners, having laid out $500 tops for their gems, can ram today’s clonal tin wimpettes into the dust should they wish. Other advantages of this quintessentially hip urban wagoon: easy parking (when you can’t find a space, make one) and roadside abandonment when inevitable.


the largest celeb shortage for 90 years, certain people are not only famous but role models for those in the know:

• Peter O’Toole: Irish, articulate, fiery. Drives a Land Rover over lovingly maintained vegetable gardens while bellowing Gregorian chants

out the window. Hates doing interviews.

• Katharine Hepburn:

American, articulate, fiery, abstainer. Has hit some over the head with her handbag. Hates doing interviews.

• Stephanie Rainier: Monégasque, articulate, fiery. Enjoys crashing speedboats while naked and listening to loud music. Hates doing interviews.

• David Lee Roth: Californian, articulate, fiery. Earns zillions playing loud music and indulging childhood fantasies. Had the sense to drop the rest of Van Halen. Hates doing serious interviews.

• Prince Edward: British, articulate, mousy, fifth in line to throne. Favors entertainment above techno-military complex. Wears classy tweeds. Hates doing interviews.

FOOD: No more looking for restaurants with good medaillons de veau la Comptesse Sophie de Karlsruhe with marigold petals sprinkled on. In is a hearty meatloaf with fluffy mounds of mashed potatoes, canned green beans and a tumbler of chilled milk.

Piping hot and nutritious are the hallmarks of contemporary cooking. Ask, “Would June Cleaver have served this to her boys?” Anything foreign or leaning to the

MAN was prepared by the Western Publishing Division of Comae Communications Ltd. to appear in the October editions of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton magazines, and in the September 27, 1987 edition of Macleans. Copyright 1987. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced without publisher’s written permission. Published at 1205 Richards Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3G3. Tel: (604) 685-5374. Litho’d in Canada. Comae Communications Ltd., Suite 401, 2300 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ont. M4P1E4. Tel: (416) 482-8260.

artistic is suspect. Balsamic vinegar is now the condiment from hell.

GO SEE: Sun and fun are outsville. In are locations of 20th century American historical importance: Los Alamos, Alamogordo, Cape Canaveral and parts of Dallas where the Zapruder film was made. They are sunny places by default. En route scan the renta-car’s AM dial for the scariest evangelical station, stay at cheesy motels—tres in—and look for heavily air-conditioned off-highway steak houses, or for the bleakest shopping mall. LETTERS/THOUGHT: Library books are in as sensitive readers understand that pulping the Amazon Basin can only further disturb global weather. Already Brazil is planning to name its new desert for Danielle Steele.

Epicentrally in is the writer Martin Amis, son

of Kingsley, whose Dead Babies, Success, Money, The Rachel Papers and Einsteins Monster set fire to the 1970s and ale into the 1980s.

Christopher Lasch, spokesperson for selfesteem, makes sense of the world in The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival In Troubled Times and Culture Of Narcissism. Lasch lapses into Freudian theory now and then—the outest theory, by the way (does poor toilet training really lead to the impulse to collect Time magazines in the attic?).

Marshall MacLuhan is back in as his ideas, once seemingly ridiculous, are proving eerily accurate. MacLuhan is the one pop philosopher to have appeared in a Woody Allen movie.

Spy is the magazine of literary hipness. The very unscatological New York publication offers wit, elan and a way to put overeducation to use. •

From the ground up this fall, expect to see the thick crepe-soled shoes that have been all over Europe for a couple of years. Watch for much more availability and affordability than last year as our factories crank out copies for fall. And, yes, most of the heavier soles support a lineup

of brogues, lace-ups and loafers. This return to cobbler traditionals is part of the renewed interest in the legacy of English fashion. The era

of Italian hand-sewn moccasins has ended.

To cuff or not to cuff? With neither right nor wrong anymore, go your own way. More men are turning the downside up, though.

Brown is today’s keynote color in just about everything, its impact reminiscent of purple’s a few seasons past. Supporting are the sibling colors: cognac, camel, beige. Gray, often charcoal, is evident, too, in the major collections, replacing black as the canvas for color.

What brown does for color, luxurious cashmere does for fabric. . . and price. Cashmere or wool/cashmere blends are seen in overcoats, jackets and knitwear, softening shape and texture, particularly of the quarterback-shoulder line we have been seeing

for some while.

The no-tie look keeps gaining. Suits or jackets, with mock turtlenecks and polo-collar sweaters, are the new alternatives for “dressed up casual.” They often work on the job as well.

When a tie is worn, a width of 8 cm or slightly wider is seemly. Put the thin leather ties in the same shoebox as those hand-sewn Italian moccasins. Silk is the fabric for ties, in a traditional, neoclassical style: part of a shift from last year’s

complex patterns and pattern-mixing.

The rule still applies: wear nothing that does not work for you. Men of fashion wear personal style better than anything else in their wardrobes. Joe Fantetti

WINE: 1987 is going to be a dud vintage year for much of Europe, but the French have lots of good vintage wine in hand to sell. Australia had a surfeit, too, but Chernobyl cleared that up as Scandinavians went Down Under for blending wine free of radiation. Aussie prices are bound to rise, so existing stocks from cabernet and shiraz will often be good under-! 10 value, and their chardonnays, often cheaper than Californians, are every bit as good.

Chardonnay is in. The Italians have it, and the French, long users of the grape, are now making varietal wines with it on the label. Germany still favors its riesling and sylvaner grapes, but in

sunny Baden they are on the dry-and-white bandwagon. The blush and sparkling trends go on, although a stronger French franc is pushing real champagne beyond many pockets.

Bargains? Spain has many under-$7 reds and whites, and their oaked cabernets are noted for heft and texture. Americans, with a softer dollar, are promoting their wines as they have not for years. Look for big names, values under $ 10. John Schreiner


Verri Uomo: Toronto. Classica Uomo; Montreal, Verri Uomo Boutique; Vancouver, Mark James Kenzo: Toronto & Montreal, Simpsons

Hugo Boss: Toronto, Harry Rosen, Alan Cherry, Broque/Studio267; Montreal, Club Monsieur, Boutique Jean-Guy,

Boutique Aux Elegants, J.C. Creations; Ottawa, Society Shop; Vancouver, Mark James Paul Smith: Exclusive to Simpsons

Yohji Yamamoto: Montreal, Grege; Toronto & Vancouver, Mari

Commes des Garçons:

Toronto & Vancouver, Mari; Montreal, Grege Giorgio Armani: Toronto, Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, Giorgio, Alan Cherry,

Numero Uno, Forum; Montreal, Holt Renfrew, L’Uomo Moda, Mondo Uomo, Bertolini, L’Aventura; Ottawa, Holt Renfrew, The Society Shop; Vancouver, Mark James, Holt Renfrew Gianni Versace: Toronto, Gianni Versace; Vancouver, Leone, Gianni Versace Umberto Ginoccieti: Toronto, Montreal & Ottawa, Holt Renfrew; Vancouver, Savoie Giulini Valentino: Vancouver, Mondo Uomo, Leone Parachute: Montreal, Parachute

Zanella: Vancouver, Savoie Giulini