BEAMS seems to manage a curiously Japanese ability to balance credibility and nuance with a retail empire, so it figures that their 40 YEARS OF TOKYO FASHION & MUSIC campaign was going to be good. I wasn’t expecting this level of good though. The WHAT’S NEXT? TOKYO CULTURE STORY video and site are styled nicely, calling out hundreds of specific trends year by year (note the 1999 “UK skater style“) that are still echoing in fashion right now. Continue reading BEAMS DOES IT BETTER
Bringing two longtime obsessions together, I wrote a brief cultural history of GORE-TEX for issue #8 of the Stüssy Biannual which is out right now. That membrane is something I’m insane about and I’ve been impressed by Stüssy’s output of late. Continue reading GOREHOUND
I still don’t think that there’s enough detail online regarding Russell Waterman and Sofia Prantera’s Holmes brand. The predecessor to the seminal Silas line ran from around 1994 to 1998 before its successor took over. Shifting from intelligent printed pieces to knitwear, fleeces, skirts and outerwear, this British skatewear label with superior men and women’s offerings took influence from an array of American and European staples was the blueprint for what causes some queues in the modern age. Despite this 1997 i-D magazine feature (a perfect example of how far the brand had evolved since its inception), illustrated by regular visual partner James Jarvis, being very much of its time, Holmes (which, according to one old 1994 feature in the equally defunct Select, was allegedly named after legendary cinematic swordsman John Holmes) was far, far, far ahead of its time in experimenting with the perimeters of where Slam City-centric clothing could be taken and sending it in all kinds of directions without losing focus. Rarely discussed, but extremely important.
If Harley Flanagan’s recent memoir (which, by the way, is an excellent read) whetted your appetite for further tales of fighting with found weaponry, godawful living conditions and a decidedly un-gentrified Lower East Side, then the news that Roger Miret’s book My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory is set to arrive via Lesser Gods next August will cheer you up. Given that Miret’s story starts in Castro’s Cuba before the New York experiences, it’s the stuff of movies. In fact, the Kickstarter funded Agnostic Front documentary The Godfathers of Hardcore should be out around the same time as Miret’s autobiography. I’m addicted to these things — unlike those atrocious footy top boy and gobby UK gangster memoirs, NYHC books are anecdote after anecdote of confrontations and tear ups with a bit of heart behind them. As a bonus, Miret also seems to have obtained a foreword by no less than Phil Anselmo too.
Three years after its announcement, I got the impression that Paul Gorman’s history of The Face magazine, Legacy: the Story of the Face, had been put on the back burner. After all, Paul seems like a busy man, seeing as his biography of Malcolm McLaren arrives next year. The last I saw of the project was an announcement that Thames & Hudson would be publishing it, then…nothing. But books are a lengthy process, and the author just updated his blog after a brief hiatus to shed some more light on it and announce its autumn 2017 release. Editorials from the magazine under the ownership of Nick Logan’s Wagadon seem to be informing a lot of contemporary projects but it’s easy to forget how The Face slowly faded away in a new century after EMAP acquired it in July 1999. You can read some extra information on what Legacy will cover RIGHT HERE.
The magazine’s influence on some important modern publications is phenomenal, and back when people read the damn things it had the power to shift cultures beyond their birthplaces around the country, from cities to towns to the whole world. I was always disappointed at how quietly The Face exited the shelves after the March 2004 cancellation announcement; left to die slowly rather than given the mercy killing it should have had a couple of years prior. Paul is the right person to give it the eulogy it deserved.
I remember reaching the age where I was overthinking things by 2003, pondering whether we’d ever be nostalgic for what seemed like a really trashy, overexposed time for popular culture. Besides D-Block, Hov, 50, Kanye, State Property, DavidBannerDavidBannerDavidBanner and Dipset, plus expectations for the likes of Saigon, I don’t recall sensing that I’d ever look back at that era’s heavily marketed output with any real fondness. Continue reading SOURCE AWARDS
The abundance of 60 minute plus podcast conversations out there, soundtracking my working day, means that a lot of behind-the-scenes characters are getting their opportunity to tell the stories I’ve always wanted to hear — familiarity from another angle always seems fresh, instead of the usual assumptions or third-hand storytelling. Tremaine and Acyde’s No Vacancy Inn Soundcloud account is an informational treasure trove if you pick the right episodes. Chicago-raised model, producer, DJ and doer Lono Brazil’s name has cropped up over the years, but I’ve always wanted to hear his story in a more comprehensive way than the brief videos and bios on the web. Brazil was an original Stüssy Tribe member (Albee Ragusa is another Tribe legend I want to hear more about too). The self-proclaimed subcultural Forrest Gump has been in a lot of interesting situations at the right time, and his role at Capitol Records put hm in the middle of some very interesting mid 1990s hip-hop projects. We might focus on the youth when it comes to cultures, but with age there’s anecdotes and an abundance of inspiration.