I was honoured to host a very special event Thursday, May 14 at Loding’s Avenue Road location. The store had offered, as a way of recognizing the success of this site along with introducing people to their new patina artist, to have a party for Hogtown Rake VIPs. In attendance were many of the makers, sellers and characters I have profiled since launching the blog about 8 months ago.
For me it was an almost surreal experience getting to see so many of the people I had profiled together in one room, like the site itself had come to life. The funny thing about Toronto is, even though we have a growing and vibrant men’s style industry, it is not a community. Many of the people involved are simply so busy and focussed they don’t know each other. So the party was also a chance to encourage “collisions”, getting like-minded people to meet and hopefully share knowledge and experience.
That certainly happened with Emmanuel Farré. The guest of honour at the event did a demonstration of his antiquing technique, as well as how to create his “glacée” high gloss finish. The former involved coating a pair of tan shoes first in black shoe cream, which led to a moment of stunned, anxious silence. Then as he worked most of the black away with a rag, Emmanuel revealed the gorgeous effect, as the dark cream only stuck to the edges, details and creases. But it was his gloss demonstration that lit the place on fire, quite literally. Instead of using warm water, Emmanuel showed how he adds heat to the process by briefly lighting the shoe wax on fire. The gloss produced was a mirror-like finish.
My thanks to the wonderful people at Loding – Zofia, Yannick and Michael – to Emmanuel and everyone who attended. Hopefully, this is only the beginning.