Forget that never not working mantra. I’m not working this week and it feels good. It’s nice not to be writing an excess of shoe-related talk for a change, but guess what? Even during time off, I’m drawn to the subject. It’s a curse. Mr. Jeff Staple wasn’t lying when he mentioned that sleeping giant of footwear addiction that can’t be shaken off, even when you’re no longer in a brand’s target demographic (face facts, my over-30 brethren — you know that’s true). I even found myself making plans for Nike-related projects unconsciously on my BlackBerry earlier today, but it doesn’t feel like work — it’s normal, forgettable no-brainer behaviour.
Putting on a jacket and leaving the house isn’t something notable either — it’s something I just tend to do thoughtlessly, though I do see increasing numbers of photo shoots wherein a shirt and jacket combo as lumpen and ill-fitting as the clothes I throw on every morning is apparently “styled.” And lest we forget, I’m just a sagging shitbag when it comes to my dress sense, Styling is a noble artform (the attitudinal and brash trickle down of Ray Petri and associate’s Buffalo work fired my imagination as a kid and continues to be a pinnacle aesthetic in my eyes), but just putting some everyman attire on dudes with public school hairdos doesn’t look that difficult. Doing something different seems tougher.
Maybe these folk are doing it so well that they just make it look easy. Maybe I’d sever a finger buttoning up a shirt, or break a leg adding a millimetre to a turn up I know a few photographers who get a little touchy about the fact a license to do events and product shots seems to come free in the box of any SLR, so I imagine that plenty of stylists with a vision are a little perplexed about the tidal wave of chancers. I guess everybody has to start somewhere, but would it too much to ask to see bland
Seeing the video for Neneh Cherry’s ‘Buffalo Stance’ again at the V&A’s ‘Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970-1990’ exhibition reminded me of how besotted I was with her and her whole swagger when I was a kid. I’m sure I recall entering a competition on BBC 1’s ‘Going Live’ to win a signed pair of adidas Metro Attitudes (the rare-as-fuck ones with the reptile print). Capturing a brilliant collision between high fashion, high art and popular culture and laced with brash branding that caught the eye of a new breed of expensive label magpies, drawn to anything they couldn’t afford that screamed its price point with every wear. What a lady. It’s an endlessly repackable style too, from the bolshy videos, to her lack of pregnant pause when it came to performing live.
In 1992, her seemingly non-styled (but nicely shot by Jean Baptiste Mondino) ‘Homebrew’-era (the album with ‘Buddy X’ as remixed with a Biggie appearance that led to Neneh getting a shout out on the ‘Ready To Die’ sleeve) is proof positive that Jordans look better on ladies. As the week ticks by with internet hype stripping the Jordan III’s cool away, let’s not forget how amazing a Jordan can be when it’s worn without giving a fuck, minus the tiptoes and twitpics. Neneh’s Military Blue IVs were old by the time this issue of ‘The Face’ went out (it’s dated October 1992), but the look of them is enough to make me forget that they were easily available in a plastic replica form for as little as £17 a couple of years ago. We’ll have forgotten about the reissues when they’re released again next summer, but the Jordan IV in that shade of blue hasn’t aged as well as Neneh.
I also forgot about Neneh Cherry recording with Hiroshi Fujiwara in 1994. You can hear ‘Turn My Back’ right here and it sounds like 1994 had a tendency to sound.
Inspiration and nice guy Nikolai put me onto Melbourne-based www.itsonlyatshirt.com who are putting out officially licensed horror film related tees in old style VHS box packaging. If the name ‘Patrick’ rings a bell, then you’ll probably lose your mind over this project. The frequently screened Oz b-movie about a terrifying telekinetic boy in a coma used to be a BBC late night staple, but I haven’t seen it in a while. I recall a jump scare at the film’s conclusion that once made me scream in a cowardly manner. In the Ozploitation stakes, ‘Patrick’ and ‘Long Weekend’ seemed to crop up with a certain frequency (often around holiday periods, when bedtime wasn’t a concern) and to see it celebrated like this is tremendous news. In this interview, it’s alluded that a ‘Raw Meat’ (aka ‘Death Line’ with the amazing soundtrack) shirt, based on the equally troubling 1973 classic is at brainstorm stage with this brand.
Look at these early 1997 Wallabee options that were featured in ‘New York’ magazine. Was that a post Ghostface reaction? The oranges are beautiful. It’s a shame that they were probably the post-87 North American market ones that were China made. Still, nice colours and composition. And if anybody knows who was behind the Killa Shoe Co. Padmore & Barnes made Wallabee-alikes from the early 2000s, I’d love to know.
This Erik Brunetti interview on the Heavy Mental is awesome, “Los Angeles, at least to my knowledge, is too caught up in ‘street art’ and hype-driven openings, which produce the worst piles of shit I have ever seen. Just dreadful to look at.”
Lest I forget, the homie Frank has just upped some of my musings on bags and outerwear history on Boylston Trading Company’s site to coincide with the Lexdray drop. My stuff is typically meandering, but I suppose if you’re talking about the outdoors, you’re allowed to ramble. It’s split into two parts and I think the second part is going up at some point this week. Good peoples and the Boylston Forums that are dropping in early December are killer.
Emptying the contents of a memory card, I found more images from the New Balance Flimby trip a while back. The original 670s are tremendous and the Kawasaki 993 is interesting. It’s still not quite as amazing as the Harrods New Balance M1700 from many years back (those Harrods NB images are swiped from homework4h38.blogspot.com and Parisian New Balance collector par excellence, Jay OneTwo’s images). Those shelves of UK-made goodies caused a few flashbacks and there’s a few samples there that bore striking differences to the production product. The mita croc skin 1700s from 2007 are underrated.