Sleep deprivation means I can’t think of anything worth mentioning here beyond this video. I remember reading about the Q&A taking place at NYC’s Parsons school of design last year on the Facebook page launched for the release of Ideas From Massimo Osti, but I never realised that it was on YouTube. With Esquire/Arena‘s Nick Sullivan, Daniela Facchinato Osti and some good archive footage of the god himself at the start, it’s worth using 52 minutes of your life up watching this. I hope there’s a feature-length Osti documentary one day, but this is a good start and a solid supplement to last year’s double headshot of big books. As big jacket season truly arriving on these shores, this is a good incitement to put down a grand on something with a fancy dye process.
Happy Halloween. I just realized that I shot my bolt on that theme in a few posts over the last few weeks that had a horror theme, so all I can offer is this, my dream Halloween outfit — occasionally forgotten R&B boy band Hi-Five (with whom Mobb Deep’s Prodigy spat his first recorded verse on the ‘Boyz N the Hood’ soundtrack as Lord T) from the cover of February 1992’s ‘Black Beat’ in the purple blazer, luridly patterned tie, tailored shorts, White Sox hat, white socks and Persian Air Max Big Windows. Of course, the outfit would require four matching cohorts (I’m sure Nick Schonberger would be down with the look) for full effect, but this was the most spectacular colour match I ever saw, creating its own sports-formality style in the process. 20 years on, I still marvel at the stylist’s handiwork.
It’s a good time to be down with the moc-toes. Firstly, Padmore & Barnes officially relaunched, with a tremendous gallery in the history section, with a Wallee’d out Jim Dale enjoying a cigarette while in Ireland for the filming of 1969’s ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’. As I understand, the shoes are being hand stitched by some skilled folk in Portugal from their homes. Secondly, Al Fingers’ ‘Clarks in Jamaica’ book is released in a couple of weeks. This book’s been given plenty of coverage elsewhere, but the images up on the One Love Books website at the moment are pretty spectacular. Old ads and a genuine historical analysis of how Clarks hit the island with a vengeance makes this an essential. Closer to home, there’s a second Clarks book dropping next year — Mark Palmer’s ‘Made to Last: the Story of Britain’s Best-Known Shoe Firm’ is an official history of Clarks that covers the birth of the company as a rug-makers in 1825, how slippers from rug offcuts became a shoe business, the rise of overseas manufacture in the 1980s and the shareholder and family split of the 1990s. From Quaker values to a Jamaican must-have, the Clarks tale is a curious one. Hopefully Palmer’s book will have a foreword by Dennis Coles himself when it drops in April 2013.
If you still need an excuse to buy the ‘Ideas From Massimo Osti’ book (even if supplies seemed to get depleted fast), I think the inserts with Osti’s soundbites and the multicolored Tela Stella ‘Linea Uomo Sport’ image are worth the RRP alone. The galleries of gloves, hats, bags and shoes are equally ridiculous. I may deliberately break one of my legs so I can take the time out to read the book in its entirety.
On the Halloween subject, film buff and the man who made Pazuzu haunt my psyche to the present day, William Friedkin (whose sole dud in my opinion, is ‘The Guardian’ — I can even tolerate ‘Jade’ with David Caruso), just dropped a top 10 Criterion films list that’s worth reading. I also noticed that somebody uploaded 1984’s ‘Terror in the Aisles’ documentary onto YouTube — it’s just a ton of horror film clips with Nancy Allen and Donald Pleasance hamming it up in a cinema, but this film was my childhood checklist for what I needed to see. For well over a decade I hunted the film where a cockroach sets a woman’s hair alight (‘Bugs’ from 1975) and when I found it, it was atrocious. It sold ‘the Exorcist’ and, oddly, ‘Ms. 45 (where Zoë Tamerlis completely ruins a Halloween party by dressing as a sexy nun, then shooting all the men there) to me in a major way though and contributed to my warped mind. Worst. Halloween party. Ever.
In the UK we’re all feeling pretty bloody patriotic at the moment because we haven’t made a fool of ourselves on a global platform for once. Zipwire publicity stunts by men masquerading as buffoons, Ocean Colour Scene fans becoming sporting heroes…this summer’s been eventful, but last night’s proceedings even had me hopping aboard the athletics bandwagon. I’m unlikely to start wearing wild Colin Jackson-esque contrast seam suits any time soon, but you’d have to be pretty bandwagon resistant to not get swept up in it all. You can thank multicultural Britain for that sense of self-pride — Muslims with spectacular distance skills and ginger chaps that can jump made you feel good about yourself for once. A vast curry feast was the only way to commemorate the victory. And to wander to the takeaway, why not throw on a jacket that’s made in Italy? CP, Stone Island and a curry are practically British anyway.
‘Stone Island Archives 982-012’ is on Amazon as a pre-order for £109.99 (a 1p saving on RRP) and supposedly set for an early September release, but if 654 pages of SI wasn’t enough, the Massimo Osti Facebook account has been dropping gems (Dennis Hopper in CP? Alain Delon in Stone Island?) and it’s now clear that the mooted Osti book is officially happening via Damiani books — ‘Ideas from Massimo Osti’ by Daniela Facchinato is happening and it’s up for order on Amazon now. Like the Stone Island book, with its special edition slipcase and tee for the early birds, there’s a special edition of the Osti book for order here for €290 that’s packaged in archive Osti fabric (which could mean you get camouflage ice fabric around your copy) plus 150 extra loose leaf pages on top of the existing 412 pages. As special editions go, that’s not bad and the book’s website is pretty special too. If you’re prone to throwing “iconic”, “innovation” and “genius” around like a hot spud, you need this to get a little perspective.
Considering we’ve long cherished the handful of English-language articles on the brand that shed light on Osti’s processes and only the lucky few have the original books and magazines the Massimo-affiliated brands put out, we’re about to get blessed.
Julien Temple’s ‘London: the Modern Babylon’ looks fun and I’m looking forward to the BBC it screening next saturday. Let loose on the archives, Temple seems to be throwing everything at the screen to see if it sticks in capturing the brilliant mess of different cultures and movements that makes the city great. I still find Temple’s ‘Absolute Beginners’ difficult, but at least it has some ambition. Whatever your opinion, you’ve got to concede that the lengthy retro Soho tracking shot at the beginning is still pretty staggering. Missing working in Soho and loving Colin MacInness’s book may also contribute to my lenience toward this notorious flop. Nobody payrolls this kind of madness any more and it’s a damned shame, because Julien is far more than just a documentary maker (he also directed 2Pac in his final film role as Tank in the forgettable ‘Bullet’).
Watching the incredibly grim ‘The London Nobody Knows’ again (discussed here a while back), we Brits should also be proud that our street drinkers were pioneers of the purple drank movement by swigging meths back in 1967 — long before slurring southern rappers lay claim to coloured beverages.