DARIO ARGENTO AS A DESIGN INSPIRATION

I grew up obsessed with Dario Argento’s handiwork. Curiously, it wasn’t another video shop fixation…they had ‘Inferno’ and ‘Demons’ (in which Dario had a hand) but much of his works were butchered by the BBFC, meaning I never got to enjoy, say, the joys of a severed arm leaving a glorious technicolour arterial spray on a wall in ‘Tenebrae’ unless I liased with some odd individuals with doubledecker VCRs.

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DONKEY JACKETS

Recently I pondered aloud, via the medium of Twitter – the best outlet for self-important blusterings to noone in particular as to why, we Brits in particular, are so prone to penning lengthy paens to the joys of the chambray shirt. Yes, there’s Gap, there’s Flathead, there’s Workers…but more often that not, I’m seeing paragraph after paragraph of the same point reiterated. At trend level has the chambray superceded plaid to become the new uniform of the post-hypester? It left me pondering as to why we don’t celebrate our own history of working class style enough.

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ROY KUHLMAN COVERS SAMUEL BECKETT

The internet can allow those wanting to electronically paint themselves as experts and consultants on the most esoteric topics (after all…everything is just a Google search away), but occasionally, just occasionally, you’ve got to hold your hands up and concede that you were oblivious to something brilliant.One of the best movie sequences of the year this far (Yeah, last year if you’re an American… documentaries do seem to hang in distribution limbo for the longest. I know I’ve spent at least a third of my lifespan waiting for studies of a number of subjects to appear) comes twenty minutes or so into Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O’Connor’s Barney Rossett portrait ‘Obscene’ where Roy Kuhlman’s Beckett cover art is brought to life via Alex Meillier’s motion graphics and soundtracked by Jim Carroll’s ‘Falling Down Laughing.’

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GERALD KERSH WAS THE FUCKING MAN

Working in the area, with its plethora of designer coffee spots, high-end fast food and concerned looking meeeedja types pacing the streets talking LOUDLY into BlackBerry Bolds, it’s difficult to concieve that London’s Soho was once so seedy. I used to listen to my dad’s tales of being robbed in clip joints by burly characters after being promised a superior striptease experience than Raymond’s Revue Bar, including the crudest sting i ever heard of, with a friend’s old man conned into entering a satin curtain into a piss-smelling alleyway where he and his boys were promptly knocked to the floor and relieved of their wallets.

There’s still an undeniable edge, but the overt seediness seems to have made like Le Corbusier and gone upwards, marked by crude signs and grimy doorbells, operating above those respectable retailers. The sleaze that gives Soho character seems to be in full effect, just 10 feet above your head.

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“DON’T FAKE THE FUNK ON A NASTY DUNK”

Fig. 1 – A fake Jordan release.

Sorry. Couldn’t find one piece of info for a blog on Soho books and literary influence. So I trawled the harddrive in the meantime and found this rambling nonsense. Apologies that it’s based around athletic footwear, and apologies that it makes sweeping generalisations, assumptions and swoops across entire histories incoherently. It was scrapped for that very reason. In fact, reading back through it, I hate this piece.  It does however, fill my OCD for semi-regular blog updates and allows me to sleep tonight.

Even if you’re a blog scribe, hardened by the occasional bone thrown by brands to keep your tail wagging and your site as sycophantic as possible, there’s a sense of righteousness that makes itself known when fakes get discussed. Mainly because regardless of how many decades spent poring over Far Eastern catalogue magazines, store shelves and Runner’s Worlds, the majority, whether they care to admit it, have had their fingers burnt by unscrupulous imitators. It’s a climate of fear.

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THE DEATH OF OPENING TITLES

“Our altered states are as real as our waking ones…”

I’m not too fussed about the impending cease and desist on autotune choruses, but I’m in mourning over the sudden death of opening credits on movies. Too often the film starts as it means to go on…not even a title screen, with the details left until the film’s close prior to the scrolling end credits. To me, the opening credits are an intrinsic part of the film experience. If I wanted to dive straight in, I’d stream a crappy iPhone cam-copy online, where the pirate is too shook to get things rolling ’till after the first minute or so.

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THE PLIMSOLL VIRUS

Old, scrapped piece that seemed too juvenile so it never made the cut a year or so ago. I vowed to keep (sports) footwear to a mimimum on this blog, but with perfectly good shoes dumbing down and going pointlessly ‘vulc’ or ‘autoclave’ or whatever…it’s kind of timely. Too often things are inexplicably halting in progress and going back to wack.

Let’s make this clear. This isn’t another anti-hipster diatribe. That’s like shooting guppies in a barrel. With a bazooka. And anyway, they aren’t listening. They’re too busy perched on the edge of a grimy futon, clad in a fake Goofy sweatshirt they bought in Spain, giving themselves migraines by blaring a slab of doltish Southern snap rap idiocy filed next to a distorted Birthday Party b-side from their tinny MacBook speakers to even contemplate looking at an obscure corner of the internet like this.

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