30 September 2009

I love the smell of Goretex in the morning

I recently picked up this vintage anorak by Recreational Equipment Inc, to me this piece is pretty much comparable to the likes of Berghaus or other old school UK hiking gear from the same era. One thing that really struck me was the logo on the sleeve, it's really familiar, I'm pretty certain something bearing this logo can be spotted somewhere in 80s cinema.
I can't think what though, it'll probably be something like Ernest Goes to Camp as opposed to something pretty cool. The lovely Erin (that's a woman's name, innit?) from REI couldn't name a film, but could tell me it's the Goretex Stormfront parka circa 1985. Most production companies did acquire their products in the 80s though, so who knows. If you are a Yankee based browser and have as daft a recollection for geeky cinematic details as myself then stick a comment up.

29 September 2009

Fac 51

A nice little retrospective here, Fact Magazine take a look at some of the Hacienda's ground-breaking flyer designs, for the most part the work of a young Peter Saville.

24 September 2009

The Casual Connoisseur

Our pals over at The Casual Connoisseur have released two cracking new tees, coinciding with this years must see films - Awaydays and The Firm in which they are loosely based. In the true style of CC both tees are completely different, capturing in graphic form the changing shapes and styles of the respective Casual era. Pictured above are the 80's sportswear retrospective Sub '84 and the Peter Storm and drainpipe jean clad Pack Lads.


I first saw these on some Scandinavian web shop or blog a couple of years back and wanted one.
If I remember rightly they were well expensive.
Well, thanks to some bored googling I found one direct from the USofA, perfect for the coming months when you're out in the frost and want to look like a big Nordic bastard from the past, I love it.
Whaddaya mean I look like a f*cking idiot?

23 September 2009

Rock Dreams

The book everyone bought in the seventies, ask yer dad.
Rock Dreams by Guy Peellaert and Nik Cohn, released in 1973. Peellaert's illustrations were an exaggerated and almost tacky (in a good way), yet visually brilliant and a tongue in cheek tribute on the modern Rock and Roll stars of the time. He was also famous for his album covers not least Bowie's Diamond Dogs, and of course the very cool Taxi Driver poster.
Most of the original paintings from the book were allegedly bought by Jack Nicholson too.

18 September 2009

The Firm, then...

So, I'm big into my films and enjoy the odd guilty pleasure, so it was always inevitable I'd give the new Nick Love version of the 'classic' Firm a viewing. Note: if you're off to watch this and don't want it spoiling, then do be careful there are a few spoilers, if you are also put off by comparisons to the original, then don't read this.

I was a bit *pull's Joey Deacon face* when I first heard this was being re-made, didn't think it was necessary really, I like the original, it's a bit of a cult now, yeah the crews are all about eight or nine handed and there's not much in the way of any known labels on show, but look at that era through old snaps and footage, it's not too far away, chinos and blazers were being worn, remember this was way past dressing up and label fascination - a world away from the colourful sportswear era of the new version. Anyway, the two vital ingredients of the original were it's Director - the late Alan Clarke and Gary Oldman, Clarke one of our best Director's, responsible for Rita, Sue and Bob Too, the thought provoking Made in Britain and of course Scum. Gary Oldman who was about to embark on an illustrious Hollywood career by the time he'd leathered his pillow at his Mam's gaff. Loads out there slate the original, but for it's tame violence and corny action, there's some memorable one liners and stand out moments. I'd imagine most younger film goers would hate this and prefer their hooligans with a touch of the Danny Dyer about them.

Fast forward 21 years and it's time for a re-telling of this story, quite appropriate in the current climate, Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa are on the way too. This time we go back four years, it's the heyday of the sportswear era, and Bex and his crew are a little younger, Under Fives in fact.
The central character in this story is Dom, also seen in the original. This is his rites of passage, an intrigued trip into the unknown, with thrills and spills eventually wanting to get out as quickly as he got in, a similar story, most who've ever got a bit grub under their nails at the football could probably relate to. In fact more or less the same tale as the Awaydays film some of us saw this summer, but with a lot less laa's and a lot more 'dry lunches'.
The main story plays out very similarly to the original, oops here we go again with the comparisons.

There's hints of a European crusade on the horizon, not sure which factually if you want to be a bit pedantic. Maybe it was France 84, but we failed to make it to that one. The Brum mob have been replaced with Pompey who make up this super firm à trois. But it's the main rivalry between Bex, portrayed by Paul Anderson (TV mainly Casualty but not the Bill) and The Yeti played by the usually good value Daniel Mays (All or Nothing, Shifty) all centering around Dom (Calum McNab) and his foray into Firm life. The film is a nostalgic look back at the heyday of sports casual, I personally always preferred the dress down look, but most out there will reminisce about the trainers and tracksuits with a bit of a chub on no doubt, I think the influence of the labels involved has probably helped get this film into production, Fila almost certainly.

Now I was only in primary school in 1984 and had more interest in the Return of The Jedi than I did Fila and Tacchini, but I dare say I doubt many went out on a Saturday in full tracksuits?

The film looked good, very authentic at times, perhaps too much gear on show, in fact not perhaps, there was, for every tracky top and deerstalker hat (not a good look) there would have been loads of no brand jumpers and shit Lord Anthony leftovers, not everyone was that dressed up in real life, that's a given but this is film world. The violence was more on the thin side than expected, the large scale rows of the Football Factory with the crash, bang wallops had been replaced with more authentic looking long shaky shots, more true to life. The main cast were all pretty watchable too, especially the new Bex in his first major role, and Dom's father (Eddie Webber) who's normally a bit of a rent-a-cockney but to be fair was good value.

The story followed a similar trail to the original, there were parts taken directly, so I was kind of knowing what was coming next even though it actually didn't in the end, which threw me a little.

I've always though Nick Love's films were a little cliched, this was probably the most polished work to date, unlike The Football Factories' over the top violence and slight glamorisation, this was certainly more provoking, whilst the hooliganism can be 'fun', there's a dark underside to it, and shady characters do often occur, some asking too much of you when it all goes a bit tit's up, whilst the majority see it all as a bit of fun, or a bubble perhaps, there's those that want to take it too far, right to the very end in fact, the odd patois was still there, a northerner like myself has to imagine what they're saying half the time, I'm still none the wiser about sloshbots and canisters. Never mind dry lunches and melts, people just call each other knobs and bellends up here.

My only real gripe with this was the lingo at times not so that I didn't get it, more it was too overused, I think the derogatory term 'melt' was used about one hundred and twenty seven times in the first five minutes! Then the gag about a red full Terrinda tracksuit looking like a post box was wearing thin the second time it was used, so to end the film on that note, that gag for the third time was a little tiresome in my humble.

All in all this is what I expected, probably the biggest production on the whole scene anyway, and it was alright on the whole, the sportswear fans will no doubt love it, and there'll be young trying to act all 'firm' and old trying to relive their youth at a football ground near you soon no doubt.

Three stars from five.

15 September 2009

Griff Rhys Jones Interview, Proper Magazine.

First of all, how are you Griff?

I'm very well thank you for asking.

We've approached you because we've noticed for some time now you share similar sartorial tastes to us, not only have we spied you in numerous reputable clothes shops up and down the country but we've also seen you sporting some fine Italian garments on screen.
It's clear you haven't just had these items hastily handed to you by a stylist, so when did you first become aware of Stone Island and C.P. Company Clothing?

I'm afraid I do have a lot of stuff from C.P. when I'm going on my travels in the wet and cold, I tend to find that the stuff they have is a bit better than others, but not necessarily as waterproof as the stuff you can buy in a mountain shop.

Do you have a large collection? what are your favourite pieces?

I very much like a simple brown mackintosh which I have and am greatly enamoured with. I used to wear a lot, a stone coloured rather rustle-y anorak with a hood, and for some reason it used to annoy Rory McGrath. Not quite sure why. I think it might have been a little too cool, and he likes to look like a builders mate. Another thing I do like is a flat fronted sweatshirt thing made of sweatshirt material with a panel at the front, which I wear a lot, which I think is flattering as the panel smooths over the man boobs.

Are we the first people to pick up on this or have you had other people writing in asking why you're at the top of Notre Dame cathedral with goggles in your hood?

People are fascinated not so much by the goggles on the hood but by the window on the side of the sleeve and I've had a lot of questions about that and I've had to explain that I assume it's so you can look at your watch.

I wish the goggle was slightly smaller to be honest as it's a bit too prominent on some of the things I wear.

Are there any other brands/style of clothing you're a big fan of? What do you look for in a garment?

I buy quite a lot from Margaret Howell which is slightly down the other end of the market, but she is still a rather expensive male fashion designer, with a sort of retro look. Nobody has ever assumed that I have any fashion taste at all, in fact I get letters complaining about how scruffy I look on TV.

You've recently done some programmes about cities, where are your favourite places to pick up clothes?

Probably New york, but London is very well equiped. I went to Milan once and went to the sales there. If I had all my time to do nothing but behave like a playboy I would go to Milan to the sales and buy clothes there. Milan is rather extraordinary, but unfortunately I haven't managed to persuade them to do Milan as one of the greatest cities.

To read this interview in full, you'll have to buy Proper Issue 7.

Available from all good stockists and/or here http://www.propermag.com/

Stansfield Outfit Projects

I was disappointed to hear that this years A/W collection from British label Stansfield had hit complications and was going to be shelved, there were some fantastic pieces by the looks of it.
Anyway I heard from the man himself Dominic Stansfield that the label was going to come back with a bang for their next season (2010) with smaller, tighter collections inspired by the high seas, military and classic workwear, and sold as a collection of classic outfits.
Above is a sneak peak at what to expect, from the drawing board

14 September 2009

Garbstore A/W 09-10 Unfamiliar Vintage

A sneaky peak at some of the new apparel from Garbstore for Fall/Winter.
One of the better British labels out there currently if you ask me.

12 September 2009

The Guide on The Firm

I thought this was a very interesting read, Guardian scribe John Patterson questions the new re-make of The Firm, I must admit I was very sceptical when this film surfaced, say what you like about
the original, but the combination of Alan Clarke and Gary Oldman was always a winning team.
Granted, the violence and style of that film was lacking somewhat, but it raised questions and commented on the nature of a hooligan, as cool as Bex Bissell was - outside looking in he was kind of pathetic really, wasn't he?
To the new one, I wonder if the hazy nostalgia of Fila and Ellesse, break dancing and bare knuckle Tom foolery will dilute the very point of the film. Either way, the jury's out on this one, I kind of know what to expect but I'm sort of looking forward to giving it a watch now.

FHM Total Style

The current issue of FHM has a decent spread/shoot on the Autumn 'looks' featuring some nice garments from Cabourn, Folk, Paul Smith, Woolrich and 6876 and interestingly enough the forthcoming re-hashed Berghaus 'Trango' or Alpine as it's known in this house.
There's also some utter shite, but we don't need to go there.

11 September 2009

WWM Upland Jacket

Really like this, Woolrich Woolen Mills Upland jacket.
Very nice hunting jacket that's scruffy-smart without being too dapper.
I can't afford it though, so what's the next best thing?
telling strangers on the internet that you like it, of course.

4 September 2009

Stevsie's Trainers

Recently spotted these on every one's fave auction site, they're a top effort for a custom job.
Available in a full size break too, based around dead stock Italia 74's and not the Rom model
as it appears in the movie.

Ralph Lauren Madras

I recently got hold of the most amazing shirt, Ralph Lauren Madras, a handwoven shirt as colourful as it gets, I might wear it with a yellow tie whilst catching bad guys.