My contempt for most contemporary shoe-related documentaries is pretty well-documented here, but this Vice Sports documentary on Dunk SBs is good. Fifteen Years of SB Dunk: Stories From the Inside Out feels true to the original spirit of the shoe (which I always felt reached its apex in late 2005) and is a fine companion piece to the Air Force 1 production from 10 years ago. Having been interviewed for it, I was gutted that an appearance from me would mean I could never watch the film, but fortunately, my rambling answers were excised from the final cut. Which meant I can view it, take notes and talk about it right here. Wild that these things went from around 150 at Slam City to NikeTown status, but they were pivotal in creating the blueprint for contemporary hype.
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.
Not much to report here that hasn’t been reported elsewhere. I just spent 15 minutes hunting for footage of the short-lived Latimer Road half pipe that was situated by the Westway in London. To my understanding, the ramp existed from 1987 to 1989 and some strong Vision and Powell-Peralta demos took place there. A very young-looking Gonz skated there alongside Joe Johnson and Kevin Staab around 1987 and the Bones Brigade visited as part of their UK tour in 1988. Continue reading IT’S A DEMO
I don’t know whether it’s heartening that I frequently re-read longford pieces online and wish that I had a paper hard copy, or whether I’m just a total luddite. Caroline Rothstein’s Legends Never Die essay on the cast of Kids and their fates post-1995 is almost three years old, but I think it’s one of the best articles on the topic ever. I wish there were other articles of similar calibre on topics connected to “street culture”, but beyond the occasional FADER piece, I haven’t read anything of equal quality lately. Continue reading LEGENDS ON PAPER
This blog is rapidly looking like a Patta fansite, but I love talking to those guys about culture. Plus Gee is one of the select few whose book recommendations I trust 100%, and this site is also transforming into little more than a set of gushing paragraphs about the printed word. A book just dropped that documents Amsterdam’s street style through the long-running Appelsap festival. Continue reading TITANIUM SHELVES
I wrote a piece for 032c on the subject of non-skate shoes being used as skate shoes a short while ago. It was actually meant to be part of a bigger interview with some people, but we struggled to get the Q&As in time, making it more a stream of consciousness than a cohesive history. Continue reading THE ART OF SKATING THE WRONG SHOES
(Note: I wrote this a year ago for my friends at Patta and Converse as part of a zine to coincide with a collaborative Chuck Taylor celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2014 — I think this might be a slightly rawer version.)
“How long have we known each other?” Gee — a Patta co-founder — is weaving in and out of traffic en route to Amsterdam’s west side while in deep conversation. A towering Surinamese-Dutchman on a bicycle with a backpacked Brit perched on the luggage carrier would be a comedy distraction in any city other than this one. Continue reading PATTA: DUTCH MASTERS