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.
After my friend Charlie lent me Brookynite Nov York’s self-titled 2002 book my imagination was fired. The stream-of-consciousness intensity in that first person prose was infectious, even if that take no prisoners confrontation and the outsider over thinking was going to send me over the edge beyond the final page. As a topic, graffiti takes well to words over pictures when it’s visceral tales of beefs, chases and anti-authority ranting. I’ve read a few pieces by Nov since and all I’ve ever seen of the author is that State Your Name section that just added to the mystery. But here’s the man himself on OG Huskey Radio a few months ago, making a 20 minute appearance to promote last year’s What Do One Million JA Tags Signify? I would have preferred to hear him answer deeper questions on his work rather than having to engage in an earnest conversation about hip-hop’s elements, but Nov York, who now resides in Europe, is as intense and very, very Brooklyn as I expected him to be. Interesting guy, interesting books.
Almost a year after Tommy Hilfiger’s memoir American Dreamer comes out, it would seem that we’re getting a Ralph Lauren autobiography. Releasing next September via Simon & Schuster to coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary, my earlier speculation about whether the Alan Flusser Lauren book that drops the same month was going to be an autobiography was wrong. Just as 2016 spawned two Lo-Life books, 2017 is going to be all about publications regarding the man himself. Hopefully, just as Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog offered personal insight that complimented the unauthorised Swoosh perfectly, hopefully this one will be as interesting as the almost authorised Genuine Article. In the meantime, YouTube user Tenaciously Procrastinate’s upload of Ralph’s 1993 Charlie Rose appearance is worth watching.
I see a lot of photo shoots that feature scowling people in sportswear standing near housing estates. It’s the formula that superseded men dressed like 1940s train drivers in parks for look books, but I’ve never seen it done better post-millennium than with french photographer Patrick Cariou’s Marseillais Du Nord shoot for the winter 2002 issue of THE FADER. Continue reading MARSEILLE 2002