12 02 2017


Travel magazines are a guilty pleasure. Utterly disposable and laughably transparent, they are purely devices to stimulate spending. To this aim, everything always has to be “new!” – all the time. “The new Paris”, “The new New York”, “Hottest new destinations for 2017” (are they really going to be so different from the hottest destinations of 2016?), and so many “extraordinary” new hotel properties, yet all offering overpriced variations on a well-worn theme…a room and a swimming pool. Got it.

And yet, I like them. They are pure escapism and a very cheap way, for an hour or so, to feel rich, idly leafing through the pages and deciding which of these places I would (will?) go to.

Conde Naste Traveller, with its well-executed Instagram-inspired art direction (above) is a particular favourite.

This weekend I read an article in it on “South America’s New Hippest City” which was – to its credit, surprisingly – La Paz. But the article put a strong case and I learned something about the city I had never known before, namely that it has sparked a new architectural trend dubbed “cholet”, a portmanteau of “Chola” (Andean native) and “chalet”. Apparently a sign of greater indigenous affluence under President Evo Morales, the buildings have been commissioned by the indigenous nouveau riche from a riot of influences: art deco, street art, Transformers and traditional Aymara culture among them.


You can read more about the cholet movement here.

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Duiro: Woo Yeah!

8 01 2017


The very fresh and stylish-looking Korean gay magazine Duiro has released its second issue, on the theme of “marriage”. If I am understanding this (Korean) facebook post correctly, it is looking for crowdfunding to print the issue, with a tie-up with underwear/fetishwear company Woo Yeah as a possible incentive. The issue looks great so I hope they will get it off the ground!

STOP PRESS: You can order a copy here.


FFW>> Brazil 2016

24 12 2016

It’s been a while now since I was in Brazil and I have lost touch a bit with the rich thread of Brazilian pop culture, but luckily São Paulo fashion mag FFW has published this end-of-year music listicle of Brazilian rappers, soul singers and drag queen superstars to help get me back on track.

Back to nature

5 12 2016


Osaka go-go boy Yuta Brave takes a camping trip for J-gay mag, Badi. More (NSFW) pics after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Bang Saen beach getaway

4 12 2016


Thai fash mag Volume does a fun fashion story to celebrate one of the country’s original beach resort success stories, Bang Saen. The closest stretch of sand to Bangkok, Bang Saen was developed in the 196os as a holiday resort before being overshadowed by Pattaya and then Phuket. It is still popular with domestic tourists however, and it does boast a midcentury-style “heritage hotel” and a handsome young mayor, both of whom appear in this editorial.

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Two Japanese comebacks

25 09 2016

J-Pop megastar Utada Hikaru is back with a new album, seemingly with a slight gay bent. This track is a rather lovely lesbian-themed duet with fellow “Heisei diva” Shiina Ringo.

Even more exciting from my point of view is the surprise re-appearance of “Relax” magazine, which I was shocked and thrilled to spot in an Eslite bookstore in Taichung.


“Relax” was the Bible of early 2000s Tokyo cool, a magazine I “read” (well looked at) religiously and in one of the most glorious moments of my existence, once appeared in. The magazine shut up shop in 2006, but is apparently back, with exactly the same layout as before and in its first issue, an extended interview with Mike Mills (a name I haven’t head in a while) as though the last decade never happened…

懐かしい !!!

The September Issue

5 09 2016


Read the rest of this entry »