Posts Tagged ‘Football Fashion’

Scouse mags and TK Maxx hunts

December 5, 2011

I just missed the Forest game on Saturday, travelling back home from work as I was. Seems the team have picked up again since I’ve been away. Win games even when you play bad – that just might keep us in with a shout of the play-offs, but I can’t see us thereabouts unless we get the whole squad back competing for places. To be honest we were a bit lucky with injuries last season. Our squad depth has been shown up at this level. Consolidate in the Championship this term, then have a tilt at the promotion slots next season would suit me fine.

I’ve been shopping lately since getting back too, I picked up these Gorilla Boots in TK Maxx for £40, and they beat shoes six times more expensive, very smart & comfortable. That new TK at the Clock Tower will get regular visits from now on. You’ve got to search like a Bombay bin hoker, but the odd quality label is lurking in among the dross.

The other buy is something I’ve always wanted to own, but it has only now been released as a complete issue – The End fanzine. Let me put it like this, when you pick up any fanzine at a match, a lad’s or music mag, you are reading something that was ultimately inspired by this legendary 1980s Liverpool ‘zine. It influenced everything in the new culture of ‘casual’ and went on to influence the mainstream media too. Scallys, Teds, Joe Wag, In’s and Out’s – The End brought them all to the wider music/beer/football crowd’s attention.

I only ever saw one original edition, in London in 1988, when a scouse mate had one in his bag and he flipped it to me to read. I’d never seen anything like it, and I’ve always wanted to get hold of all 20 issues, but it remained elusive, a legend spoke about in hushed tones among fanzine circles. Not anymore. It is a great read, and captured the very essence of ‘casual’ as it was back then, they were the first lot to be really ITK (In The Know). Pick a copy up here.

A casual buy no. 35

June 6, 2011

Another gem from those excellent purveyors of good taste – Peggs & Son of Duke Street, Brighton. I should really be seeking an advertising fee from these guys, but I’m just pleased that nestled in the back alleys of the city there’s at least one place that delivers the goods, and it’s far and away from the free-for-all along Western Road/Churchill Square.

Peggs have just had their mid-season reductions, so I nipped in seeking a waterproof summer jacket at a bargain price. The Danish-born Peter Jensen is a new label for me, I was vaguely aware of him knocking out rather kooky stuff for the Dorises, not as someone who did quality menswear. But this waxed cotton jacket is just what I was after. I’m not sure if it’s indicative of his usual menswear, but I’ll keep an eye on his output anyway.

A casual buy no. 33

February 15, 2011

Engineered Garments took its brand name from a pattern maker hired to draft the first round of patterns. She claimed that the clothes were not designed but engineered due to the vast amount of detailing involved in each garment. The designer of the collection, Daiki Suzuki, agreed. Details from American sportswear, outdoor clothing, and military uniforms are all included in the collection and give Engineered Garments unique and practical detailing missing in much of American sportswear today.”

I picked up my own piece of engineered garment recently, this finely machined denim work shirt. It’s as tough as old boots and looks great with almost everything that’s in my wardrobe, long live the machine.

A casual buy no. 32

January 13, 2011

I owned my first pair of Timberland boots back in 1988, in fact I was the first person to wear them in an army barracks of about 800 soldiers. One of my best mates wanted to borrow them to go with his newly bought semi-flare jeans – I told him to fuck off and buy his own, these Timberlands were mine and mine only.

I’m still that enamoured of Timberlands, 23 years later, and I’ve owned a pair without a break since then. They are simply one of the most iconic items of footwear ever produced, a design classic, the Coca-Cola bottle of the footwear industry. They were also the bootage of choice for the paninari, enough said.

Here’s my latest pair, not that I get through them at any great speed, they wear very hard. Yes, you do see them on the feet of everyone nowadays, but that doesn’t take away from how good a boot they are, a pair of jeans are bare naked without a pair of Timberland hanging out the bottom of them.

A casual buy no. 31

December 22, 2010

Proper Magazine has been going for five years now. It started as a typically amateurish fanzine in Stockport, only amateur in production values mind, as the guys who write for it were/are definitely clued up. Nowadays the mag is a professional periodical that dressers and such shouldn’t really go without. Issue Ten is just out, it’s the fattest, most informative, and best edition so far. You can buy a copy here at Propermag’s excellent website.

I think Peggs & Son stock the mag too, go along to their new shop on Duke Street, Brighton, it’s ace.

A casual buy no. 30

December 20, 2010

I managed to capture this Christmassy scene above while walking though the park near my home in Hove. I stopped to take a shot of my new Penfield Sanford bobble hat, and Bambi’s muckers came out to say hello.

The Sanford hat is a truly iconic piece of headwear, unmistakable. I’m not a great wearer of hats, but with the weather being the way it’s been lately, a good woolly head cosy is the only way forward. Just a word of warning, the Sanford is rather large, if you don’t like to be noticed, buy summat else.

The Empire Strikes Back: Stone Island Part 2

December 18, 2010

The second episode is dedicated to the experimental dyeing facility, a sophisticated colour workshop, where all the phases of the garment dyeing treatments are fine tuned. This know how is one of the company’s greatest assets and, since the very beginning, has set Stone Island apart on the sportswear scene.

Here’s the second video installment from the Stone Island HQ in Ravarino, Italy. Moving on from Carlo Rivetti’s introduction, this episode focuses on the dyeing process of an individual SI jacket. As those of you who know know, it’s the idiosyncratic treatment of fabrics that sets Stone Island apart from other fashion houses. Always innovative, cutting edge, quirky, Stone Island are still in a league of their own.

A casual buy no. 29

December 12, 2010

This year I’ve been slowly putting weight on, to the point where some of my regular jeans are getting a tad tight around the arse and thigh. It’s even spread to my neck, I tried a couple of shirts on and found it uncomfortable to do the top button up, not good that.

I’ve decided to go on a pre-Xmas starvation diet, and recently I went cyber-hunting for loose and over-sized raw denim, just in case I fall back into bad habits. Seriously though, I was well into the ‘baggy’  look back in 88-90, shaking my big goofy strides to the funky drummer beat, so I really wanted a good pair of proper loose fit jeans, for old time’s sake.

First (and usually last) stop for high quality jeanage is Japanese denim experts Edwin. I did a bit of research, asked a few bods in the know, searched online for photos, then stockists, and went for this pair of Edwin ‘Waynesville’. Taking time sussing out information on a hard-to-find item, from forums, the odd online phot, clothing junkie tips on blogs etc invariably pays off when you’re after clobber that isn’t available on the High Street. You need to have an idea of sizing and fit before you buy, as you can’t try the  stuff on beforehand. So, when the postman dropped these Waynesvilles off a fortnight ago they were perfect. A quick jump into the shower with them on to flush out the excess indigo and on they went.

I love the crisp, rough feeling of raw selvedge denim jeans, especially during their first few wears, you’re taming the material, giving it memory with every crease your body makes in them. These initial creases will stay with them forever, and with repeated wear the indigo will fade uniquely to your body shape – uniqueness, the paramount goal in this casual thing of ours.

A casual buy no. 28

November 30, 2010

I grew up in Clarks, I think I might have mentioned that on here before. At my first school they were seen as rather goofy, in a ‘teacher-wears-em’ kind of naff way. I especially remember the Clarks ‘Nature Trek’ shoe, with that big Cornish Pasty swoosh of lopsided leather and stitching, atop a lush comfy sole. I was torn between wanting to kick them off into the bin, or giving in to their undoubted comfort (they were scientifically measured to protect my growing feet, not that I cared – schoolyards are hard places for kids with teacher’s shoes on).

Through nostalgic eyes, moistened by the onset of (very) early middle age, I realise they were probably the best shoes my parents could have shod my little pinkies in, and they looked good, even though my pre-teen rebellious nature couldn’t see it at the time.

So, I love Clarks nowadays, and along with the Rambler, these Oberon boots are probably the closest thing to the prehistoric Nature Treks. From the first time I took them out of the box and wore them, they were as comfortable as an old pair of bedroom slippers. And therein is the real reason Clarks are the best shoes around, function with universal style, nothing fussy or pretentious, just great footwear that’s more than fit for purpose.

How we were: Nature Treks on the left

Carlo’s Tour: Episode One

November 8, 2010

Carlo Rivetti, chairman of Sportswear Company, which brings together the trademarks C.P. Company and Stone Island. At first glance, it might appear more a chemical company than a traditional fashion house. But design, before artistic creation, concerns materials, not just fabrics of warp and woof, but hybrids born of various laminates, generated by special dying, washing and coating processes. This company, in fact, transforms woven material and presents a model, almost unique in its industry, worthy of analysis, because liberating production from the condition of traditional marketing, permits creative freedom and independent research.

Stone Island have released a video series featuring the Sportswear Company (SPW) head honcho, the very affable Carlo Rivetti. I’ve linked episode one here. It’s an interesting view into the Ravarino nerve centre of a clothing brand that excites and annoys in equal measures. One thing SPW are is durable, just like their fabrics.

The best bit in this episode is a peek into the Stone Island Historical Archive room, all 40,000 pieces of it, that’s an archived example of every single garment they’ve ever produced. I’d hate to be paying their insurance bill.

It all still looks a bit ‘cottage industry’, which was surprising to me, if welcome. Their dye shop looks like a fourth form chemistry class, or as Carlo says himself, “When I have schools visiting I tell the students that this is probably the closest thing to a renaissance painter’s workshop”.

Stay tuned for episodes two and three.


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