Sunday is a good time to just bang out a blog full of stuff other people have put me onto. Mr. Errolson Hugh put me onto this incredible piece from Outside Online about GORE-TEX’s monopoly and the rise of NeoShell that’s some real reporting from Mike Kessler. On the subject of technology, I’m currently enjoying the Nike+ FuelBand, even though I’m as non-athletic as it gets. With devices, there’s scope for misuse — mine has already been on a dog’s collar, amassing 211 FuelPoints through some stair and hall-based hype. Minus the canine, it gathered 113 during AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ at a wedding reception on friday. It’s like being rewarded for energetic stupidity — I’m already a fan. I have to salute Tom Scott for highlighting D-WHY’s ‘Macchiato Music‘ — forget trap rap, because this is NATO strap rap. I don’t know what to make of it, but I believe the moment when Kid said to Kamron of the Young Black Teenagers “Do me a favour — talk white” in ‘House Party 2’ he unleashed this kind of thing. More’s the Pitti. Dude can rap though, but if you’re going to do the Italian thing you need to be name checking Gianni Agnelli — as every menswear blog and book is keen to reiterate when they’re not telling you how to wear a suit and pocket square. Don’t listen to them for instructions — just look at some Gianni images, but if you’re looking to imitate, remember that the great man’s whole style was born of risky tweaks to formalwear, so to carbon copy kind of defeats the point. ‘Life’s ‘Everybody Works For Gianni’ piece from a November 1967 issue has some good Agnelli images — no over the cuff timepieces, but study closely and you can see the little quirks.
Farewell Moebius. The internet’s got us dropping ‘RIP’s all over the place — usually for the kinds of people under appreciated during their living years (chill, I’m not going to link to any Mike & the Mechanics). If we aren’t rest in peace-ing, we’re Tweeting death anniversaries. If we aren’t doing that, it’s about commemorating dead people’s birthdays. Nothing wrong with any of that, but it shouldn’t water down the resonance of true legends passing. Moebius’s relationship with Jodorowsky, work for ‘Heavy Metal’ and more was an evident inspiration for personal favourites like Geof Darrow (who collaborated with him), but his concept art for ‘Alien,’ ‘Tron’ (I had no idea that he contributed to ‘Space Jam’ and ‘Masters of the Universe’), that never-filmed ‘Dune’ adaptation and the late 1980’s Epic compilations of his work, with volume 4’s ‘The Long Tomorrow & Other Science Fiction Stories’ having a huge influence on me, setting heights so lofty that they’d rarely be matched by anything elsewhere, which fueled my cynicism by the time I reached my teens. Ridley Scott was inspired to make ‘Blade Runner’ because of ‘The Long Tomorrow’ — I was just compelled to hunt similar levels of detail and emotion on the printed page. 2007’s ‘In Search of Moebius’ BBC Four documentary is worth a watch, but regardless of the lack of English dialect (I watched a dubbed version on TV around 1987 though), 1982’s ‘Les maîtres du temps’/’Time Masters’ is a beautiful-looking movie from the director of the occasionally sampled ‘Fantastic Planet.’ The ending’s great, after the great man’s death, it’s kind of appropriate here.
It’s not like Clarks are strangers to making sporting versions of the Wallabee — there was a Wallabee Sports in the 1970’s and Nike famously made a collection of leisure shoes (that were actually pretty good) the following decade that flopped. Sports-casual, as Alan Partridge demonstrated, isn’t easy. Mr. Agnelli’s mix of tailoring and luxury hikers is it done correct, but many flopped. Still, with the visvim Polke and Nike HTM Macropus homaging Clarks’ classic, as well as many weaker moc-toe mockeries (I think I’ve used that obvious wordplay here before, so apologies for that), I was always surprised that they never brought the Sport back. What we did get was the Clarks Originals Cobra a few years back that never made much noise, but branding and contrast stitch aside, was a smart little tribute. It even included some crepe on the outsole. In burgundy it was good but in black it was bland and cheap-looking. The new wave of Clarks models that got a Footpatrol launch last week pays tribute to the Desert Boot and the Wallabee Boot and I like the Tawyer Mid a fair bit, with the update looking strong in both colours. The ballistic nylon and leather mix is good (the Cobra played with a similar combo) and the EVA sole isn’t too tricksy, which is where the Cobra stumbled. Still, I’ve seen the Cobra looking good with shorts and the burgundy Tawyer has similar potential, as well as scope for “Wha’ dem?” queries from men in the street. It’s all in the unobstructed curve from tongue to toepiece. Pretty good. Respectful updates and the beauty of those Wasabi Oi Polloi makeups makes it a good time to be championing Wallys.