After seeing a baffling amount of YouTube promos for it over the last year and a bit, I just watched DJ Scripz’s factually titled The Haitian Polo Documentary, which is about young Haitian kids in Brooklyn becoming preoccupied with Ralph Lauren’s iconic output. We’ve moved on a lot from the days when I got hyped about a page or so in the Source each month at the turn of the decade to the point where it’s hard to find much on the Lo-Life crew and other boosting squads that hasn’t been told before, over and over again. Continue reading LIFE OR DEATH APPAREL
There’s too much good stuff out there to maintain focus at the moment. Even I want to get way from the WordPress backend and read this right now, but the voices in my head won’t let me until I’ve uploaded something. It was good to see Jerry and Michael Richards talking about that fateful heckling incident…by incident I mean massive outburst of racism. I never bought the joke-gone-wrong theory, despite my love of Kramer, but I’m inclined to believe he had a post ‘Seinfeld’ breakdown of some sort that manifested itself alongside some extra issues. 6 years of sadness on, I think he’s served his time and he cuts quite a miserable figure on ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ — especially at the very end when Jerry talks to him about the career-killer. The other blast from the past in the latest episode (as seen on other installments too) is Jerry’s Nikes.
Funnily enough, Jerry’s swoosh obsession has been very good for my “career” and after Mr Josh Porter (formerly of NikeiD a few years back) told me that Seinfeld’s occasional appearances in the NYC iD space always involved him grabbing Shox and reportedly shrugging and saying, “I love the Shox” it’s no surprise to see him in the onetime rudeboys’ favourite technology. Seinfeld is still very much a Nike man. This entire episode feels like a bittersweet ‘Seinfeld’ epilogue – more so than the ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ arc that was a be-careful-what-you-wish-for for the show’s nostalgic fans. It’s a moment of catharsis and a one-man intervention for Richards that’s a long way from Richie Appel’s fictional one back in 1992. It’s worth giving the wire-haired eccentric points for at least conceding he fucked up, unlike Enoch-backing pseudo bluesman Eric Clapton.
Mr Nick Schonberger hooked me up with a copy of ‘Forever: The New Tattoo’ and it’s excellent. There seems to be a movement that doesn’t want to consider itself a movement within the trade of tattooing and this book does a great job of documenting some key practitioners who are vandalizing bodies with a skilled brutality that’s mesmerizing to look at. Tradition and free thinking, plus a certain unwillingness to participate in those TV shows and webisodes where a woman comes in to get a dolphin on her back to represent conquering some terrible malady makes pinning down some of these masters of the needle difficult, but Nick seems to be in that inner circle, asks some insightful questions and writes extremely well. Geometry, homemade styles, French cartoons and big, cool snakes and daggers for the fuck of it in the most visible places are all on display and the book’s design is beautiful. It’s not an encyclopedia, nor one of those ‘1001 Tattoos’ £6 from Fopp tomes — it’s an elegantly gnarly cross-section of the current mood. Guy Le Tatooer, Fergadelic, Duke Riley, Alex Binnie, Duncan X and Curly’s work is remarkable and in this format, paper does it justice. Go buy this and pick up the new ‘Sang Bleu’ while you’re at it – yeah, the new issue is £75, but you’re only going to spend twice that on a bad shirt that you forget to eBay and end up shifting for £60, so compared to that sartorial misfortune, ‘Sang Bleu’s a bit of a bargain.
I sneaked a look at an unfinished copy of the new ‘Hurt You Bad’ magazine and stole this picture from Sofarok’s Instagram too. If the notion of a graffiti magazine without graffiti in it seems absurd, you can get your fix of train and wall damage from a swift Google search these days. You don’t need to pay £12 for 24 pages of scanned photos and excitable German text to get your fix and the HYB team’s output is strong. Crucially, you won’t notice the dearth of drippy tags or throw ups until after you finish reading it – that’s quite an achievement. Where a lot of publications lose their footing — despite some bold press release proclamations — is the lack of an editorial agenda, leading to a cluttered, scrappy pulped tree equivalent of (insert blog name here) that defeats the point. I don’t know when it’s coming out though, but you need to pick up #1 — it’s the best graffiti magazine (the new breed of beautifully designed books don’t count) I’ve browsed since ‘Life Sucks Die.’ And I really liked ‘Life Sucks Die.’
Y’OH Streetwear has made some serious moves this year by creating gear with just enough nostalgia for the older heads who long for the Iceberg and Moschino era that got kids dressing back in the day and plenty of prints to ride today’s wave for the youth who couldn’t care less what we think. It’s a potent mix and Kara keeps creating it. If you ever longed for one of those tees from a diffusion line that was just expensive enough to get peer props and distract from your cheap denim — maybe you lusted after a Guess Jeans design with the embroidered letters — Y’OH’s embroidered take on the excellent Y’OH Sport design drops next week. Everything looks better when it’s embroidered. Shit, even NAFF CO.54 and any other knockoff on cotton or nylon coach jacket fabric used embroidery as a distraction from their fugazi nature. Great stuff.