The Baritone Michael – What He Wore

Frère Mussel has hijacked the OM in order to respond to one of the most tedious NY Times to ever have been printed. Just to clear – fashion is not tedious. Singing is not tedious. Label lists and hideously boring writing are.


The Canadian baritone Michael, 31, is always the best dressed (self-proclaimed or otherwise) in whatever cast or ensemble he sings in. Born in Canada, and raised in Canada, the singer now lives in Cologne, Germany.

Monday Jan 23rd
I roll out of bed at 9:30am, which, when you think that the majority of the work force has been at the office for the past 1.5 hours, seems a touch decadent. I had a performance of Bach Cantatas the night before, so I thought I would treat myself to a little more beauty sleep. I am staying at my flat in the hipster-centric and chi-chi Belgian quarter in the heart of Cologne because, well, that is what I am.

I putz around the house in an oversized white v-neck sleeping shirt, which I stole from a friend of mine paired with my vintage (read, “one year old”) navy blue, artificially distressed, Abercrombie and Fitch jogging pants, which I bought in New York the last time I sang at Carnegie Hall, and my vintage (Read, “sandals that have been retired from public use) brown leather Diesel flip-flops. They are lined with suede which I just find so soft and comfortable! It is too early for contacts so i dawn my tortoise shell Ray Ban Wayfarer glasses, which, of course I had BEFORE they were hip.

After watching the CBC news, I decided it is time to hit the gym, so I pack my black Ben Sherman gym bag with my vintage (read, “I bought it from the merchandise counter at the theatre as a pre-teen) black “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” T-shirt, which I cut the sleeves and sides off of à la the “Don’t I look like a dancer?” look. I wear it to the gym. Ironically, of course.

I don’t believe in leaving the house in gym clothes simply because you never know when The Sartorialist will be waiting to take your picture. So I threw on a pair of Black H&M skinny jeans, red Diesel T-shirt with some ambiguous print, my roughed-up grey flannel Cons and my black Firetrap military style jacket.

As I singer, I NEVER leave the house with out one of my 20 scarves or a pair of designer sunglasses. Today I went for a 2.5m long, black cashmere, cable knit scarf and my black Armani aviator-shield sunglasses.

Tuesday Jan 24th
I had an hour long coaching at the opera house today. So I selected something a bit dressier as I always find I sing better when I look great! I leave the house in black skinny jeans from H&M, a black shawl collared tight blazer from Suit together with a white French-cuff shirt from Banana Republic and black leather boots from David’s.

I top it all off with a red pocket square from Harry Rosen, a silver ring and silver and titanium 1837 cufflinks both from Tiffany & Co and a black Gucci belt. It is very cold in Cologne so I leave the house with the same scarf/jacket/sunglasses combination as yesterday and take along my music in another black Ben Sherman bag.

In the late afternoon I try to go grocery shopping but my blazer is too tight. I am not able to lift my arms to the top self for the groceries I want. I go home defeated and order take-out.

Wednesday Jan 25th
I spent the morning in the same thing as I did on Monday and Tuesday. But today it was a bit colder in my beautiful 110-year old flat so I added a Vintage (read, “8 year old”) brown 80/20 silk/cotton mix hoodie from Banana Republic. I find the 4m high ceilings are worth the little extra chill in winter.

After writing out the words to Dichterliebe in my green Moleskin notebook I decided it was time to go to the gym. I put on a pair of raw denim skinny jeans from H&M rolled up just above the ankle to show a little of my Banana Republic brown cashmere argyle socks, which are peaking out of my brown Boss brogues.

Up top I decide on a white deep-v from American Apparel under a 3/4 length brown cable knit sweater I bought 2 sizes too big from H&M and over top a fitted raw-denim jacket from Diesel. I chose silver Gucci dog tags; an olive-wood ring from Israel; a 3 -meter-fall-colour-striped scarf from Tristan and America which a carelessly wrap several times around my neck; brown tortoise shell Gucci sunglasses and a brown Ben Sherman gym bag. After the gym I sit in a trendy cafe, drink a fair trade soy latte, and wait for The Sartorialist to come and photograph me.

No dice. :(

Thursday Jan 26th
After expending all that creative energy yesterday looking like one of the Olsen twins, all I can muster to go out in is my University of Toronto hoodie and old pair Energie jeans, which are no where near to being skinny, and a Quebec Nordiques baseball hat.

To salvage my dignity I throw on a pair of gold Y-3 running shoes to save the day. I order number 26 from the Green Thai place from my iPhone 4, run out to pick it up, taking the back way to avoid the Sartorialist, and watch “The Artist”. This is the most comfortable I have been all week.

Friday Jan 27th
After gyming and practicing all week tonight I am treating myself and am going to see Lauryn Hill in concert. I decide since this is a concert that “white people will like” I would dress a bit more hipster than hip-hop.

I put on a pair of grey H&M skinny jeans with a deep cut tank top from Zara layered with a fitted blue Levi’s denim shirt and my limited edition “The Clash” red converse all-stars. After the concert, which was #epic, I change into a pair of black H&M skinny jeans and throw on a slightly scandalous burgundy tank-top from COS, the front of which is silk and the back cotton.

I put on my roughed up grey converse shoes and I am out the door. Normally, I wear my jeans lightly rolled up with invisible socks and a pair of black Vintage (read “vintage”) brogues with this little get-up but let’s just be honest here, no one looks at your shoes in a club.

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