Category Archives: Design

WHO GOT THE PROPS?

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Prop Store‘s Live Auction at London’s ODEON BFI IMAX on September 26th is a bit of a behemoth, with 600 or so artifacts from the production of some cult films and blockbusters. There’s an exhibition of half the listings on at the moment, plus a paperback catalogue which is a joy to browse if you’re a nerd like me. You can get lost in the book digitally right here. The wearable parts are incredible, with several pieces that wouldn’t look out-of-place out on the street right now. That includes one of several versions of Jack Nicholson’s burgundy cord Margaret Howell jacket from The Shining (as discussed here before), a black Rebel Trooper vest from Star Wars, the Knicks/Mets looking parka for Norwegian crew members filming The Empire Strikes Back‘s Hoth scenes, a good look at the patches on a trenchcoat worn by Data’s stunt double in The Goonies, a Blade Runner crew jacket, the Joker’s purple Tommy Nutter overcoat from Batman and — a personal favourite — Private First Class Ricco Frost’s “PEACE THROUGH SUPERIOR FIREPOWER” t-shirt from Aliens. As a bonus, if you’ve ever wanted to get one up on every Premiership footballer and rapper ever, you can get the original Tony and Elvira portrait from Scarface up on the wall to unveil while your younger sister makes eyes at your best friend. PayPal running low? Just get some Babylon Club napkins instead. The idea of replacing labels on bottles in your home to make Blade Runner‘s vision of 2019 come partly true using a set of decals from the movie is appealing too. Continue reading WHO GOT THE PROPS?

FLIGHT

Alongside some other strong projects of late, Nike and Virgil Abloh’s ten silhouette collaboration (and it’s been entertaining witnessing the volume of begrudging respect for the output, even from some of the staunchest OFF-WHITE haters) feels like the antidote to the conceptual mass of the same old same every weekend. As the NYC workshops start, the accompanying “In Conversation” series (with some deep chats on the Air Force 1 and Blazer planned) allows for some history as well as the budding futurist, rip-it-up spirit. Virgil, Spike Lee (“Some people are faking the funk on the culture“), Don C and Aleali May’s “FLIGHT” panel talk contains several irreverent gems during its 48-minute duration. This YouTube broadcast of “FLIGHT” is a good example of when content goes right, down to the ill-timed R Kelly reference and candid audience participation (that Bloody Osiris observation from Tremaine is correct) that probably had someone at Nike Digital sweating. Continue reading FLIGHT

STUFF I LIKE

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There’s a lot of content out there right now that isn’t just garbage reactionary editorials, brand money blown for the sake of it (does anyones actually buy anything because of a group of hastily gathered young “cultural disruptors” leaning against stuff shot in a sub-Tillmans style?) or Google sating SEO padding to get that ranking. I’ve been enjoying episodes of Red Bull TV’s Social Fabric, the micro histories of key garments presented by Brain Dead’s Kyle Ng. Kyle is a charismatic frontman, and the decision to split the 25 minute episodes into roughly three perspectives means it highlights some global scenes, smaller brands and crafts without being bogged down by a need to be encyclopaedic. The camo and plaid ones are particularly interesting. Whatever your opinion of its CEO and his questionable politics (like Vice, it’s a shame knowing that even the most left-wing messaging bankrolls bad-minded billionaires somewhere down the line), RBMA and Red Bull TV seem to be the content kings on niche topics — I knew that this would be decent, but I wasn’t expecting almost 5 hours of footage on tap for series one.

Seeing as the Skepta Sk AIR logo was all over IG during the last few weeks, we should probably pay respects to the man behind the original graphic language for Nike’s AIR family (Tuned, Total, Zoom, Max and Low) in 1998. The creator of the original Tn logo (as well as the Griffey Swingman) is Derek Welch, and the story of his career, illness and recovery is both sobering and life-affirming — the Adventures in Design podcast spoke to him at length for an April episode and I can’t recommend it enough.

British hip-hop journo Andrew Emery of Fat Lace, HHC and plenty of other periodicals had a stab at rapping in his younger days alongside Mr. Dan Greenpeace and friends. He just put out a memoir of his time growing up as a rap fanatic just outside of Nottingham and in Leeds — an experience shared by legions of earnest young pre-Internet folks getting it wrong through their attempts to be down when retail resources and posses are somewhat limited. What a glorious struggle it was to emulate Compton, Philly and Brooklyn using local amenities. Wiggaz With Attitude: My Life as a Failed White Rapper is out now and available here. I’m interesting to see Emery and Greenpeace’s The Book of Hip-Hop Memorabilia if it ever happens. Incidentally, this is liable to be the only autobiography ever include a paragraph on the Hi-Tec Tec basketball shoe.

REPRESENTING BK

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Forget the tired Workout vs Powerphase/Jet/Magic (and whatever other names it went by) what-came-first debates (incidentally Reebok did that design aesthetic first), and let’s celebrate the stranger side of that aesthetic. I just want to know who was creating the blank panelled custom knockoffs that brands as disparate as Luther Campbell’s Luke Records and Slush Puppie were using in the late 1980s and very early 1990s (those Apple ones were a little more advanced). SNKR INC took a trip to legendary Newport box reappopriator, creative mind and artist Ari Saal Forman‘s shoe stash for an interesting chat that touches on Philly-centric styles, old favourites and the Burger King shoes they used to equip some staff with. Give it three minutes of your time.

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T-SHIRT BOOK

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There are a handful of good books on street, skate or surfwear out there and I gave up on waiting for a Rizzoli Stüssy retrospective a while back. But that brand archive book via Japan was simple, comprehensive and very effective and on Friday, IDEA drop An IDEA Book on T-Shirts by Stüssy in DSM stores (plus some very nice t-shirt collaborations). It’s 240 pages and I think it retails at 45 quid (which isn’t cheap but with 2,000 copies made, when it’s gone it’s probably not going to appear on Amazon Marketplace for 37p plus 2.75 postage and packing). By all accounts, it’s good and it opens with an essay on graphic tees written by me (I’d be plugging it on here regardless). This i-D interview with Ryan Willms and Alastair McKimm sheds some more light on the project.

EARLY COLLABORATION

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One collaboration I’ve not mentioned here before in all the proto industry model talk is 1990’s Stüssy i-D magazine tees. Created to commemorate the magazine’s tenth birthday alongside pieces from the likes of Simon Foxton, the shirts were sold for 15 quid via mail order. The Stüssy design was pitched to readers as a Shawn Stussy for i-D project rather than a straight-up brand collaboration and offered in white or grey. Given that the brand would take a slightly different, pared-down look, release some tribe-centric videos and host an event in Tokyo (that’s still considered a pivotal moment) the following year, it was inevitable that this project would make a splash far beyond London.

It wasn’t just the pioneering streetwear line that had a significant 1991 making grander Japanese inroads — i-D’s first Japanese incarnation was launched in September that year, lasting 16 issues. As a result, I’ve seen different versions of the shirt, which originally read “Enjoy yourself stupid amounts” on the front in that familiar hand style and included a dense list of predominantly female names on the back that includes the Queen, Sade, Lisa Stansfield, Sarah Stockbridge, Grace Jones and Wendy James. Continue reading EARLY COLLABORATION

GORE

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My friends at Being Hunted (whose original site is the reason this blog exists) let me edit a little book for GORE-TEX that’s the result of some conversations with Virgil Abloh, Errolson Hugh, Andrew Bunney, Erman at adidas and some other good folks. Six Stories of GORE-TEX Products Vol. 2 is the follow-up to the GORE-TEX Japan book from a couple of years back. I’m assuming that it’s just a promo ting for partners and staffers, so I have no idea where you can get it from, but there’s more images over at Hypebeast. As a longtime fan of the brand, this was another wish list entry ticked off.