Tag Archives: north face



A few things have caught my attention over the last few days. All eyes should be on Paris right now, but the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City is where the innovation really lies. This year it’s all about North Face’s evolution of their existing avalanche tech — the Modulator ABS attachment for your rucksack that deploys an air bag — and strange hybrid Meta-Rocker boots from HOKA ONE ONE that would probably generate excited paragraphs if they hit the catwalk. Everybody’s grasping at decidedly non-retro wearable technologies these days, but NuDown’s use of air as insulation, with a handheld, stowable pump to increase or decrease the garments padding to determine your personal warmth has resulted in a collection of pump-up climate controlled outerwear. I had no idea that inflation insulation was even a thing, but reviews on serious equipment sites have been positive. The current Squaw Peak jacket looks a bit fashion in its utilitarian eccentricity, but the 2015 offerings like
the Mt. Tallac Jacket and Mt. Whitney Vest look a little more accessible in their line art — heat-sealed shells that bulk up when the going gets tough? Very interesting. The fact these come equipped with RECCO’s electronic communication system is proof that they’re not made for a Starbucks outing. It isn’t the first air coat I’ve seen (didn’t Final Home create something similar and, as Matt Kyte pointed out to me, Acronym did something similar with GORE-TEX Airvantage thermal adaption), but it’s a joy to see such defiantly progressive things being put to work in some extreme conditions.


I have no idea what Future Artifacts is, but it launches soon, is based in London, will probably involve printed matter, exhibitions and a physical store. Plus it’s a REAL GOLD and Ditto Press collaborations. Their pleasantly vague website has excellent 8-bit looking A’s and R’s too, which helps.

While we’re talking type, the prospect of a project that investigates the origins and cultural status of that mysterious b-boy typeface that’s not quite old English, not quite gothic, just iconic and always appealing on a shirt or sweat, is an appealing prospect. Heated Words is all about finally answering some questions that everyone who ever paused a VHS or stared at that Biz twelve for a long time as a reaction to the olde world, yet strangely right for the time lettering on display. The site to support Heated Words is in its infant stages, but that Charlie Ahearn Doin’ Time in Times Square film is an absolutely essential watch.


Alex Olson’s Bianca Chandon line revels in a certain gloss meets grime, near-mythical old-NYC house and disco aesthetic — as was anticipated after the talk of Fire Island photo books during a Transworld interview — and I’ve been impressed by the quality of the gear. Of course, wearing some of this iconography could earn you a G-check if you get caught slipping with these logos and names on your back so it’s well worth doing your homework (not least because the topics are fascinating moments in underground culture). At the moment, everything is getting a collaborative capsule collection created to cash-in on the Supreme wave, but Bianca Chandon’s Larry Levan pieces are smartly done — air brush art captures the era of his decade-long reign at the club and the legend’s own choice of garments, another shirt lists some Paradise Garage classic remixed by him and theres even a Larry Levan pro-model too. It’s a throwback to an influential amyl-scented, Peech Boys and T-Connection soundtracked world. Two other Paradise Garage veterans, David DePino, and Joey Llanos, were involved to consult on graphics and the charity where a portion of proceeds would go (Gay Men’s Health Crisis). Nicely played on Bianca Chandon’s part, rather than simply re-appropriating without renumeration — a depressing aspect of the current appetite for parodies and homages.






Twitter is swarming with links to Robin Williams tributes, and with good reason — the handful of people I know who met him found him to be a class act and it’s a testament to his versatility that while I never found his standup particularly side-splitting, he was one of the ultimate actors when the script was right, as was the case with Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King and Bobcat Goldthwait’s World’s Greatest Dad. Williams was a man with an inclination toward some of the brands and cultures discussed here — FTC (his local spot), Slam City and Supreme were all apparently regular haunts and the BAPE and Viotech combo has become a message board staple.

Some ill-informed characters would jeer at that gaudy combo a few years back and discuss it as if it was the death knell for those brands, but the fact is, Williams was most likely on it before it hit the radar of a new breed of cynics. Williams was even up on Acronym, picking up pieces from San Fran’s Darkside Initiative store. He was up on Raf Simons shoes back in 2009 too. Now, if a semi celebrity wears some easy-to-find Jordan IIIs, the internet starts quaking — back in the mid 2000s, this was unique. Between that , the video game obsession and Questlove’s tale of an encounter that indicates that he might have been a hip-hop fanatic too. There’s too many layers and degrees of separation to even begin to dissect here, but his loss is a tragedy.

In these situations, I clocked a few of the social media voices of unreason complaining that we mourn celebrities more than we do victims en masse in a war zone — that’s because it’s tough to fully grieve when there’s no face to put to the deceased and, given his admirable work ethic, Williams’ mug was a familiar sight. The sad reality for the complainers is that some poor kid thousands of miles away that strayed onto a landmine wasn’t in Fast & Furious 6 or Jumanji. It’s human nature. Are the going to start picketing our uncles’ funerals next because we’re not getting angry enough about Syria? Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt We’ve been given the emotional depth to be upset about both things.

But anyway, forget all the sentiment — the image above from 1990 (jacked from Getty and the LIFE archives), around the Cadillac Man era in Williams’ career, wearing the GORE-TEX North Face TransAntarctica coat indicates that, long before he got himself an Acronym, he understood the power of great outerwear. Robin Williams was unique on every level and he was doing the brands long before the blogs too.

If you never got a copy of the Nike Genealogy of Innovation book from the project I worked on and your browser is too weedy to look at the website, here’s a video that the good people of Golden Wolf put together that animates 200 Nike shoes from 1972 to 2014 in chronological order. Crazy that the lists I was writing in iPhone Notes during a train journey ended up looking like this — it looks like the inside of my mind.



Recycle of an old piece — I wrote this for my friend Frank Rivera a couple of years ago for the old BTC site. It misses out on a ton of important stuff, but it was only ever intended as an overview.

1. EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE (1800s—1960s)

There’s an intrinsic joy in owning something that could perform. It’s that potential that amplifies appeal — nobody wants something that’s made to get by. from the apartment to the workplace and back again, perhaps created to withstand the rigours of public transport. We want product that’s built to last — should, god forbid, we end up on a mountain or in extreme wet weather (we’re talking a Noah’s Ark situation here), we want that thing that allows us to smirk in the face of adversity. Can’t have that super car? At least a bag or coat that performs at a peak is almost within our means.

After all, who isn’t drawn in by the notion of a lifetime guarantee? The appeal of the day-to-day baggage that was built to last is founded on multiple movements and technical breakthroughs, but ultimately it’s fueled by the love of the very best. Witness Eastpak’s pledge for eternal life for a rucksack or Filson’s “Might As Well Have the Best” tagline and testimonies. The holy trinity of working, fighting and climbing has taken product on a voyage from life-saving necessity to a must-have accessory. Three different routes based on occupation, but a final destination on the backs and shoulders of a casual wearer. Before records began — we’re talking B.C. era — baggage and functional apparel was being developed out of necessity and the back as a key spot for load-bearing had been noted and experiments in insulation had taken place using natural materials.

Centuries later, outerwear began its true development on the back of wealthy adventurers during the mid to late 1800s — some had already begun to experiment, often using inspiration from Inuit methods of survival. Those traditions even extended to include early experiments in taped seams, an application generally believed to be a quintessentially late 20th century outerwear breakthrough. Sheer existence in Nordic regions (with oils and skins providing natural solutions) fired imaginations too and when a preoccupation with polar exploration occurred among the wealthy by the end of the century, the seeds were well and truly sown.

In the early 1800s, the knapsack was part of the soldier’s uniform during the Napoleonic War. The French wore animal skin variations, and single strap haversacks were worn around this era to carry rations. Trotters of London made an uncomfortable wood and canvas backpack for British troops, but Napoleon is generally considered to be a godfather of the two-shoulder design as we know it, extolling its virtues as the perfect vessel to survive a week. John Merriam’s 1886 patent on a frame pack is significant, with that design’s inspiration reportedly harking back to Native American basket creations.

With the accessibility of the train and later, the plane. uncharted areas became a challenge for explorers and mountaineers. Today’s problem of breathable waterproofing was still posed back in the Victorian period, where Thomas Burberry’s (the man behind Burberry) Gaberdine, a tightly woven worsted/cotton offered a more comfortable wear that uncomfortable rubberized fabrics like Macintosh’s patented material. A combination of wealth and necessity continued to push forward the development of baggage with an emphasis on light weight. Alpine excursions became increasingly popular for pleasure and for the purpose of recognition as the first to conquer a perilous peak or region. The outcome? Business built on providing Alpine apparel and accessories.

Elsewhere, functional workwear was being developed for railroad workers, builders and miners, with the development of denim during the California gold rush around the 1850s, as well as duck canvas. Patented a couple of decades later, resilience took precedence over the performance that climbers required, but affordable pants, bibs and jackets built to last would inform later outerwear. In 1894 J. Barbour & Sons, located in the north of England set up shop, with their branded oilskins proving particularly popular. The later introduction of a poacher’s pocket across the rear of a field jacket offered a solution to carrying a separate bag altogether for those looking to stay grounded.

The quest to conquer Everest between the 1920s and 1950s would fuel global imaginations, with the high mortality rate necessitating some of the most advanced materials to date. here, experiments in moisture wicking, vapour barrier linings and stretch fabrics would birth the next wave of outdoors gear. Casual climbers and hikers with disposable income could treat themselves to a top-of-the-line Bergen rucksack from the Norwegian brand (those designs would ultimately inspire the contemporary Bergen British SAS Paratrooper rucksack), resulting in an early example of coveted baggage of this kind. Sir Wilfred Grenfell’s commission of Grenfell cloth — a material that debuted in 1923 — from a Burnley manufacturer, offered waterproof and breathable properties through a tightly woven Egyptian cotton to supersede Gaberdine.

On the American side, LL Bean’s 1921 patent of the duck boot design and Eddie Bauer’s 1940 patent of the down coat were key developments. Lloyd F. “Trapper” Nelson’s 1920s reinforced packboard creation was a notable patent too, inspired by a Native American sealskin and willow stick design emphasised ventilation for the back and was manufactured by George Trager. During the Everest preoccupation, two world wars (and subsequent conflicts) played their part too. The model 42 WW2 rectangular Swiss infantry haversack made from pony fur and calfskin set a precedent for natural materials and their performance benefits that evolved the style of militaristic creations from over a century earlier.

The U.S. Army’s 1941 Specification File No. 2971 was the first of their rucksacks, made from duck canvas, the J.Q.D. 88 design from 1942, made in line with arctic storage breakthroughs. U.S. manufacturers like Baker-Lockwood Manufacturing and Morrow & Douglass had the contracts to create these classic-looking designs. Duck canvas would be the regular material for these bags, until the introduction of lighter nylon takes on the canvas M-1956 Load Carrying Equipment (or which the field pack was just a component) in 1962. After further iterations, that led to the ALICE (All-Purpose Individual Carrying Equipment) system’s introduction in 1973 during the Vietnam War, a system only phased out fairly recently.

DuPont’s development of nylon in 1935 was significant, with the material adopted early as a replacement for hemp or silk in parachutes as WWII commenced. By twisting two threads together at quarter-inch intervals, a fabric was made that could take the blows without tearing and distribute stress over a large area while remaining relatively light — ripstop nylon. That developed, with the thicker Ballistic nylon made with a basket weave that minimized debris penetration, making it perfect for WWII flak jackets. It was never a bulletproof fabric — that was the job of unwieldy fiberglass laminated creations, but the development of Kevlar into clothing in the mid 1970s (though the compound was discovered a decade earlier) was a life-saving introduction.

The Shirley Institute in Manchester’s development of Ventile in the 1940s for pilot’s suits that kept out water and wind via a woven cotton method offered something quiet and hard-to-tear too, ensuring that it’s still a fan favourite to the present day, kitting out generations of explorers and saving the lives of countless servicemen unlucky enough to be downed at sea.

Cordura appeared in a silkier rayon form to aid pilots and soldiers during WWII. Though it was developed in 1929, it wasn’t until 1966 that the nylon version superseded that fabrication. After developing dying techniques for the soft-sided version of Cordura in 1977, it became a favourite of Eastpak and Jansport for daypack use, with higher denier variations still the protective fabric of choice elsewhere. Cordura’s texturized yarns offered a fuzzier, more natural feel than the smoother ballistic nylon yarn, making it a tougher cousin to canvas in terms of look and feel. Ballistic nylon doesn’t take to dyeing like Cordura, so it’s frequently only offered in black.

2. CHECK DA BACK PACK (1960s—the present day)

The explosion of popularity in backpacking during the 1960s and 1970s, via a certain hippie idealism as well as a baby boomer generation who would fuel the industry for years to come, created some iconic brands and equipment. The UK’s Karrimor and Berghaus (whose Cyclops internal frame rucksack broke new ground) competed in developing baggage for serious climbers. Stateside, Gerry Cunningham’s GERRY brand created a controlled weight distribution backpack in 1968 as well as several pioneering down experiments in the years that followed, Skip Yowell, Murray Pletz and Jan Lewis’s Jansport debuted in 1967, bringing us the external frame D3 rucksack, Greg, Jeff and Mike Lowe’s Lowe Alpine produced the Lowe Alpine Expedition rucksack in 1967 — the first with an internal frame and length-adjustable back, and they changed the game again by debuting plastic buckles the following decade.

The breathable and waterproof 60/40 cotton/nylon mix was popularized by the underrated Holubar (also pioneers in their use of Vibram soles and goose down) with their Everest-type nylon pima around 1961, but more commonly associated with Sierra Designs and their 60/40 parka that first appeared in 1968, offering a new resilient fabric option to rival Ventile. GORE-TEX’s debut on outerwear around 1977 provided a costly take on the breathability conundrum that was immediately adopted by Berghaus (the Mistral is a classic), Sierra Designs and the North Face.

Into the 1980s, sport footwear designs like the adidas SL 72 and the Nike LD-1000 had a significant impact on a lighter approach to rugged footwear — the former was the inspiration for a new kind of boot from Karrimor, and the latter on John Roskelley’s feet on K2 helped birth All Conditions Gear. Long distance running inspired targeted designs for vertical distances. In the GORE-TEX era, colors became more lurid for visibility, but in the era of the yuppie, the boom in skiwear as both the Aspen holiday apparel choice and style statement of the day, it was inevitable that outdoor gear would explode in popularity..

Sierra Designs cameoed in 1978’s The Deer Hunter and the North Face packs in 1984’s Red Dawn were interesting product placement. In Europe, the UK’s casuals fetishised the costly coats, Italy’s young, monied Paninaro broke out the Monclers and in New York, boosting crews like the Lo-Lifes terrorized Paragon Sports and, beyond Ralphy’s world, popularized ultra-tech creations like the North Face’s Steep-Tech ski collection, designed alongside Scott Schmidt. Thus new aesthetics were born and the day pack’s popularity soared too as an everyday essential. The New York, Chicago and Boston winters fueled a certain sartorial, goose-down, GORE-TEX one-upmanship. Jake Burton Carpenter founding Burton in 1977 set a precedent for a new wave of winter sports enthusiast. Helly Hansen and Patagonia‘s breakthroughs with the lightweight fleece created an effective but more affordable wing of performance outerwear that became part of the everyman and woman uniform. Outdoor-wear spilled into every street in the western world.

It would be remiss to omit the wave of “everyday performance” lines, designed for city living but made with absolute function in mind — the Mandarina Duck Utility line from 1977, Stone Island’s 1982 debut and Kosuke Tsumara’s Final Home collection that commenced in 1992. All three took that pure spirit of innovation to the streets and catwalks. In terms of real mountain performance, Arc’teryx’s seven-bag collection in 1995 was a serious statement of intent.

While we took the vintage 1970s creations for granted at this point, Japanese collectors — monied and hungry for Americana — were snapping up iconic pieces. The eventuality was their own lines with the North Face, Gregory and Sierra Designs. Hip-hop’s early 1990s camo-clad notions of urban warfare blended with Hardy Blechman’s maharishi and his dedication to army aesthetics and DPM, Japanese takes on east coast streetwear styles evolved far beyond cotton to bring back the archive outdoor wear looks with Otaku-style lines like Setsumasa Kobayashi’s General Research and Mountain Research, Tetsu Nishiyama’s miltaristic WTAPS and Hiroki Nakamara’s visvim. Were these costly pieces ever going to ascend a steeper gradient than slight angle in an urban environment? Unlikely.

The rucksack’s use for nefarious reasons — be it weapons, stashed ill-gotten gains or paint and markers — made it an unobtrusive carrier that entered hip-hop lore. Black Moon’s Buckshot might have had one strapped to his back to accompany the talk of being strapped, but in interviews he insisted his back pack wielding was all in the name of goonery. Key rap folk who watched what they wore like Grand Puba, Erick Sermon and MC Serch (watch the Yo! MTV Raps finale freestyle cypher for proof) rocked them too. A rise in camo-clad MCs in the early 1990s wearing fatigues as well as workwear brands like Carhartt meant the neutral coloured army issue bags became a common sight — Roughhouse Survivors released Check Da Backpack in 1992, with the titular bags depicted as rhyme receptacles.

By 1997’s indie rap boom, stern-faced kids of all races with a Jansport full of markers, blackbooks soon-to-be-deceased ‘zines and vinyl filled Mike Zoot shows, fixating on Guesswyld, Fondle ‘Em and Rawkus. As the bigger-budget rap took hold as 2000 approached, “backpacker” became a dirty word. Rappers themselves were keen to publicly distance themselves of the nerdish limitations the expression evoked. But using Kanye’s post-2002 ascent as an example, his initial PR dwelled on a backpacker-with-a-Benz everyman appeal, rocking a Louis Vuitton backpack with a Polo rugby, helping to create a hip-hop atmosphere of total consumerism with a nod to the forefathers who raised artists sonically.

By the time Lupe Fiasco broke out the maharishi gear and ballistic nylon visvim baggage with elk skin (harking back to the design’s origins) trims in 2006 a convergence was even more visible. 2007’s Duffel Bag Boy by Playaz Circle proved that even the waviest individuals can benefit from a durable holdall.

Beyond the boom-bap pensioners, a boom in all things digital created a new middle class who took to the bikes and the hills that surrounded their liberal stronghold cities, making those brands built on ideals and innovation into powerhouses held under vast corporations. Even onetime rivals sit beneath the same hefty organizations. Things done changed, but that quest to own the absolute best in its field remains, whether you’re heading up a mountain or not.









The notion of a world’s best jacket is subjective and prone to change every few days, but some Stone Island efforts, the legendary Double Goose V-panel bomber and the North Face’s Steep Tech Work Jacket don’t quite match the power of the tasselled number that a self-esteem free Homer Simpson drooled over, but ran pretty close in their day. Anybody who had $440 to drop on an extreme ski jacket co-designed by Scott Schmidt (a real life version of that Polo suicide ski silhouette) in 1991 was definitely in a powerful financial position. The purple, black and yellow is a trinity of high visibility wrong that turns out right and that five-zipper ventilation is ludicrous but a key element of a jacket that needed some guidance to fully feel the benefits long before the days of Acronym Vimeos. Cordura reinforcement and the Sunspark III Ultrex fabric seemed to mean serious business.

The Smear Jacket, Apogee Jacket, gloves, full suits and the later Access Jacket all fired my imagination, but that Worker in those colours is the one (though there’s some sample teals that are nearly as bananas) with the Michael Jackson levels of zipper. But I’m no TNF connoisseur (those dudes know the lines that preceded Scott’s signature pieces). Then like that, Steep Tech was gone and a decade of extra yuppification occurred. I last saw a Steep Tech on sale after they reissued them a few years back; a sad-looking Apogee hanging on the shelves of a store on Broadway with two markdowns on the label already. I tried it on after spending minutes working out the straitjacket-like fastenings, I tried it on and looked like a dickhead — I was over a decade too late to the party and I wasn’t a skier or NYC-based shoplifter. Some things are better left in the past with their rose-tinted glow added to already gaudy colourways. Stone Island’s more experimental efforts aged a lot better.

Just as I ran out of topics to cover, along comes via friend of this blog and the man behind the excellent Smoking Section, Mr. John Gotty, with news of a Dapper Dan interview on the Life+Times site — Alpo’s Louis Vuitton snorkel might join the aforementioned roll call of all-time outerwear. Go to Gotty’s site right now and watch it, because I’m damned if I’ll cockblock his traffic by just posting it here. It’s an amazing story of a man finding a niche, working the angles against a racist fashion infrastructure. I never knew the Tyson/Mitch Green tussle’s publicity was a spotlight that led to lawsuits either. Even better, there’s an official Dan site with pictures like this on it as well as the changing face of that iconic (and I feel that overused term is relevant here) spot’s shopfront.

Shouts to Porkys1982 on YouTube for uploading a high quality version of “sensational rap crew” Beastie Boys’ appearance on Soul Train back in 1990. R.I.P. Ad-Rock and Don Cornelius. There’s over 40 hours of Beastie Boys footage on his Vimeo including some 1987 tour rehearsals, interviews, ladies in cages and plenty more.


First things first, I recently got sent my own site as part of a press pack on the assumption that something I’d written was some kind of advertorial for a brand. Fuck that. What’s the point of that stuff? This isn’t “placement.” I don’t play that PR mouthpiece fuckery on this site. If it’s here, it’s because I’m a fan rather than an request to cover something, so please, please stop sending me releases for product placement here on your music, terrible “street art” prints or brand that makes wacky tees to match your hype shoe colourway and make you look like a sex offender. The internet is awash with insincerity. I’d sooner be somebody who (cue Just Blaze beat) really means it. Shouts to Tyler at WorkinNights for getting in touch though — the Jes Aurilius ‘All Skrewed Up’ mix is soundtracking this blog entry’s creation.

Alas, the time has come to get all heritage again, because I don’t think there’s a better pair of boots in my wardrobe than the Danner Mountain Lights. I’ll be damned if I ever wear them to go off road in, and with their flashy Vibram Cristy soles that are devoid of lugs and intended for military, service or work, I’d almost certainly slip and fall to my doom in them. I did a warehouse stock take in them a few years back under the misapprehension that they were steel-toed though, but thankfully I’m not walking with a limp right now. Looking at these boots, in a world of synthesised histories, I think the Mountain Light deserves a little more historical context as a design classic and a breakthrough piece of hiking functionality. That’s a good enough excuse to cobble together an attempt at a narrative here. Gotta love those ‘Backpacker’ archives.

I love GORE-TEX lined gear and if you’ve spotted the gratuitous uploading of early 1990’s winter boot round ups from ‘The Source’ that you can see in this post and this post, it always seems that Danner slipped beneath the radar at street level, despite being a particularly legitimate item. Vasque Hikers and Merrell Wilderness got some shine, and there was a lot of Havana Joe. And with Danner being a Portland-based brand, I even found myself scrutinising Sir Mixalot LP sleeves to spot a pair, given his Seattle proximity to the brand’s headquarters and factory, to no avail. To sate my own personal curiosity I’d also like to know who set off the red lace craze on hiking boots — Pivetta, Lowa, Limmer and Browning all seemed to have them as a focal point all those years ago, but I’ve seen it on ski boots from the 1940’s and 1950’s too, so who started it?

The Danner Mountain Light commenced life as the Danner 6490 (the hardier older brethren of the 7509 Climbing Boot) model back in the early 1970’s. While it didn’t carry the Light name then, it was a shoe famed for its lightweight feel. If you’ve held a pair, you’ll note that they feel pretty weighty, but the 6490’s 3 pound and 14 oz on the scales was low in 1973, when a fair amount of hiking boots clocked in at 5 pounds. The 6490’s supple leather on the one—piece upper and minimal seams to rub on inside made it a boot without a break-in period, the Vibram sole maintained traction, a padded tongue ensured extra comfort while that ski-boot style wrapped tongue cover and bellow detailing made them waterproof too. Leather lined and built to last, Danner’s 6490, advertised in the mid 1970’s as the 6490 Mountain Trail Boot and boasting a glowing ‘Backpacker’ magazine review became a bestseller that, “Needs little or no breaking in.”


Being a fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s filmic output is becoming increasingly like having a weekend dad break your heart fortnightly with grand promises that never manifest. ‘King Shot’ sounded magnificent, but never made it out the gate. Then we were promised an ‘El Topo’ sequel, ‘Abel Cain’ again (after those ‘Sons of El Topo’ press packs in 1996, I was a little skeptical) that seems to have stalled too (though it’s promised after his next movie). Now, Alejandro’s talking about bypassing the industry entirely to make his autobiographical ‘La Danza de la Realidad’ (‘The Dance of Reality’) via a Kickstarter style method of crowd-sourced funding. You can see his plea for dough here, and given the great man’s presumed difficulty to work with and a studio situation where the remake is announced before we ever see the original, it’s probably the last opportunity to see Jodorowsky’s work onscreen. Alas, there aren’t equally volatile rock ‘n’ roll accountants like Allen Klein around to put up the money any more. If you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, I recommend (as I have done here many, many times) picking up the ‘Santa Sangre’ Blu-ray that plays in any region’s machines or watching the excellent ‘La Constellation Jodorowsky’ documentary from 1994 that some kind soul has upped onto YouTube in one piece. Watch and consider contributing. Hopefully our hard-earned cash and the great man’s shamanistic zeal might combine to instigate a miracle.

On the remake front, apparently there’s already a ‘The Raid’ redux on the horizon before the OG hits cinemas. The film’s had a western renaming to ‘The Raid: Redemption’ for its Sony Pictures Classics distribution later this month. The new trailer isn’t as hyperviolent as last year’s taster, but it still makes it look amazing. Collider.com’s lengthy making of sells the film in nicely, rather than spoiling it. Apparently that new title was applied because it’s the first part of a trilogy and for legal reasons. The new poster isn’t the greatest, but it gives you a little idea as to what to expect. It all sounds a little like a zombie—free ‘La Horde’ with some superior fight scenes and no undead….okay, it sounds nothing like ‘La Horde,’ but that double tap to the noggin from the original trailer indicates that there will be blood. Tons of it.

I strongly recommend that you stop by Jason Jules’ Garmsville for a shot of Dexys Midnight Runners looking very sharp indeed. I wasn’t expecting much from ‘Jocks & Nerds’ magazine at all, but the new issue caught me off guard, with a particularly good piece on Rowland and company via Jason. It’s a shame that this portrait never made the cut. While we’re talking sharp-looking musicians, these images of a press mode Bo Diddley taken by Phyllis Juried around 1973 are fantastic too.

The Undercover Uniqlo UU collection still has yet to knock me sideways. Crop trousers and a scattering of cargo pockets on garments is a little “Oi Oi saveloy” pallid Brit in the beer garden and skinny jeans with a zip aren’t my thing, but the UK pricing seems reasonable enough to warrant a closer inspection to change my mind. The latest range of GYAKUSOU seems to be the point where everything comes together, from the branding to the apparel to the footwear and all the innovations that have been developed over the past three seasons, so I was anticipating an extension of Uniqlo’s Heattech via the mind of Jun. The actual offerings seem more in line with the Uniqlo spirit of basics. I’m reliably informed that it doesn’t come up triple extra smedium like the Nike apparel product, but I’m assuming that the sweat/motorbike jacket is a pleather affair for £79.90. The equally priced Hooded Blouson looks pretty appealing though.

Can every brand with the same narcolepsy look books and irksome talk of “shirting” please take a leaf out of Our Legacy‘s book and just be excellent? OL’s got its share of Euro-imitators, but it just goes beyond the call of duty with the prints for spring—summer. Their already well-documented photoshoot by Oliver Helbig is a pitch perfect showcase of what they offer, and the split between the quirky and everyman offerings is a smart move. Saniforized non-shrink tees? Red Melange sweats? Even last year’s ’50’s-styled Arrow shirt pales alongside the Indigo Potplant 1950’s Shirt and Floral Camo and Jungle Pattern First Shirt. And if you can pull off the Ethnic Pattern Sunday Messenger Shirt and matching Reform Trouser together then you’re a thousand times cooler than I am. The white-on-white Snow Leopard print Success Shirt is a nice wildlife print too that’s a conservative compromise. Our Legacy has lapped the dull competitors vying for rack space over the last few years — surely APC levels of success are beckoning?

I won’t pretend I’ve ever paid much attention to North Face footwear — even when Show & AG decided they were going to wear their footwear above Timbs. I was interested by their PUMA Disc style fastening a few years back and their Back to Berkeley boot with the olde hiker design cues, but I’ve never cared too much for their shoes. I like some of their newly released European-made offerings though, like the S4K GORE-TEX design though — Italian factory, Vibram soled, cradle comfort aided, TPU caged future footwear. Its been a while since I associated the brand with any alpine exploration, but these are built to accommodate crampons if you really want to tear up the carpets of your local cool kid hangout. This video’s pretty cool in depicting the development and production of a pair:

1982 is the year I became a non—believer and became preoccupied with movies — my true religion (word to Max B). Few things had an effect on me like ‘The Thing,’ ‘Conan the Barbarian’ or ‘Mad Max 2′ did (incidentally, I had to wait several years to see those ’15’ and ’18’ releases, even after they were released on video the following year), so Texas’s Alamo Drafthouse showing the ‘Summer of 1982’ on the big screen in 35mm with OG trailers on the 30th anniversary of their release dates sounds like a dream come too. This needs to tour the UK. The poster for the project is pure, distilled 1982.