Tag Archives: supreme

REPRINTING THE T-SHIRT

You could be away from the internet for a long, long time these days and miss nothing. Just the echo of pop cultural references past as the global regression continues unabated. That’s why something different hits a little harder when it saunters onto the screen without blog hyperbole surrounding it. The majority of us could tell a cotton-based life story through print tees – those discarded, those lost – those that required a garment-disposal ‘Sophie’s Choice’ decision to euthanise because of yellowed ‘pits or a stretched off-the-shoulder neck. While on the west coast, the print shirt still seems to shift to kids who elsewhere, are button-downed up that makes sense – that’s the print tee’s spiritual home.

Elsewhere, the blank took over, from 5-packs to deadstock US-made Hanes to painstaking replicas of vintage, glorious crew-necked plainness. Bar the token collaborative offering on a tee, Supreme-heads seem to be bypassing the extensive screen printed offerings, going straight for the Ventile parkas instead – things done changed. Once the tees would’ve been the first to vamoose – the affordable, entry-level into a lifestyle brand, feeling infinitely less tokenistic than a similar shirt as a diffusion line from a brand – with Supreme or Stussy…even Vision, the shirt was the iconic piece from the brand. But over the last year, to quote Coppola in ‘Hearts of Darkness’, with regards to the hype-fueled tee-influx of ’06/’07 “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane.”

Now only makers of street-level shitcoms like HBO’s ‘How to Make it in America’ think that print tees are edgy. But the truth is, when they’re tough to track down, well executed, and steeped in that same mystique that got you stacking paper round dough to own a little piece of cutural capital, there’ll be an exodus back to ink and cotton. Those camo Rejuven8s are a hugely technical throwback to co.jp glories and if that aesthetic quietly slips back into the party, print tees will rise again. Palace dropped a few beauties these last few seasons, but T-Shirt Party is bringing it. Really fucking bringing it.

Serif fonts, well-chosen imagery, reference points that don’t feel played, and all straight out of London. Shirts are white, available as a subscription or purchased individually and the website’s aesthetic matches the garms – each one has an accompanying video. The Lisa Bonet (word to ‘Angel Heart’) design is strong but the ‘They Danced the Dance’ DEFII ‘Dance Energy’ stills collage is a classic. That’s a good use of a Fruit Of The Loom. (The tribute to Brother Malcolm is a great one too – anyone else re-watched the once hard-to-find unseasonal oddity that is ‘The Ghosts of Oxford Street’ on YouTube or 4OD?) With a certain mystique, it all feels like the kind of thing that would have you sending an SAE to an address published in The Face for more information. And getting no reply whatsoever. Those were the days.

www.t-shirt-party.co.uk

20 REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL IN 2010

This blog is, in a convoluted way, a hype blog of sorts. Except it’s the stuff that gets me hyped, which means it’s always going to dip into dark realms of self-indulgence that should alienate more than a few people. That’s just how I like it. Forget retrospectives for the moment too. The lead into 2010 is going to be underwhelming, but as the year unravels and you get used to writing ‘2010’ on cheques or paying-in slips (both fairly old-fashioned habits to carry a date that seems so futuristic, but, hey, for the most part, we’re a regressive people) there’s some good things on the horizon. It won’t be all-wack-everything in the near future. Why? Because here’s twenty reasons to be cheerful over the next twelve months –

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CAMBER: NO NONSENSE

It’s apparent that Camber don’t do funny business. There’s an enduring mystery to this sports/workwear brand that’s nicely at odds with every other brand letting the blogsphere see every inch of their inner workings down to the guts – they make great product, so hard wearing that it nearly falls into the current workwear boom that’s got your local hipster hotspot looking like dress rehearsals for ‘The Grapes Of Wrath’ with added GORE-TEX. This has been the year of the heritage range. Marketing guy spots local urchins in denim and workboots, discovers the hype blogs and realises that all they need is their old logo on a patch, Vibram on the sole and voila! They’re in the running.

In the tumble to show just how goddamn old and authentic they are, old brands are acting less like the bemused Farnklin Davis who expressed concern for Ben Davis fan Snoop Dogg around the time he was aquitted of murder charges,I heard something about that Snoop Dogg guy getting in trouble…or a crotchety old man chasing a young man in cropped chinos wielding a DMC-GF1 off his factory property. Nope. Now it’s all blogger tours and storytelling.

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COLLABORTIONS

Bad

I never wanted to be pigeonholed as a ‘sneaker dude’ – that’s why this blog has mercifully evaded the subject, unless it’s dealt with in a manner that’s a little stranger than a straightforward history. Back in mid-2006, I experienced a little buzz among marketing/design types onine when I hastily wrote something for Sneaker Freaker to promote the Crooked Tongues adicolor shoe. The baffling thing was, I thought ’10 Sneaker Collaboration Commandments’ was pretty crap…one of the weakest things I ever compiled for Woody and the crew. It didn’t help that I had started full-time at Crooked after the shoe had actually been designed. Plus I was a writer, not a designer.

Still, I was briefly feted for my insights into where designers were going wrong despite no experience in design. I felt like a charlatan – all I’d wanted to do was evade a boring interview by trying to parody Frank Blizzard’s masterpiece. One of the prominent Joshs whose made a name for himself online (apologies for forgetting the surname) praised my brutal mutilation of the English language when I “hilariously” removed an ‘a’ to make the word ‘”collaboration” to describe the sort of tat that was being pumped out at the time. That kind of thing was considered funny in 2006. I think.

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THE MICKEY MOUSE T-SHIRT

I’m not the biggest Disney fan – never was. I always was more of a Tex Avery kid. I hold the Disney corporations precious approach to their films for this. I wasn’t going to buy ’em or squander a rental on a ‘U’ when I could be watching a ‘PG’ at the very least. Got ‘The Jungle Book’ as a book and tape and saw ‘Dumbo’ as an end-of-term school screening, but bar Donald flipping out after chipmunk troubles, the unexpectedly terrifying ‘Sleepy Hollow’ short and the glimpse of the black and white efforts on a Bank Holiday, I was never a Disney Club candidate. As I grew up as a tinpot socialist in my late teens, I treated Disney output with contempt.

I was a fool.

I’m no fan of Mr.Disney’s politics, but every time I see an atrocious ‘street artist’ use an appropriation (D*Face for example) of Disney logos or characters, my allegiance to the evil empire grows. The reason? Because these legal wall painting, fly postering, money-grabbing, A-level politicking, culture commodifying, watered-down wastes of Stolen Space don’t have a fraction of the talent that Mickey Mouse’s originator and animation legend Ube Iwerks or the cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson carried. In fact, anyone who painted a single cell for Disney’s key motion pictures of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s deserves a magazine cover over these clowns. And the Lichtenstein bites four decades too late? ‘Satirical’ reapproriations of Jack Kirby? Don’t get me fucking started. These frauds are Mickey Mouse in the most negative way.

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