Thursday, 30 September 2010

Knoxville hits the D Road in a pair of Palladiums

I used to have a pair of Palladium boots, must have been back in the early nineties. A good stout piece of footwear they were too, from what I remember. Can't for the life of me remember what happened to them.

Back then I reckon Detroit must have been a fairly thriving city. In those days people were still making enormous cars with engines that would power aircraft carriers and 'Motor City' would still have been going at full throttle.

These days though, much of the industry and the employment has gone the same way as my old Palladium boots, as in lost. All that is left in some parts is an of industrial wasteland.

As that bloke from Jackass Johnny Knoxville has discovered, this is exactly the kind of environment that is conducive to creativity, in the sense that there really isn't any other direction to take when your city looks like something from a B-movie.

Johnny has found a Detroit full of hope, where the young creative types of the city have started to rebuild the place. You can see what he has discovered in the documentaries above.

And guess what? He did it all in a pair of Palladium boots.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Two nights in Shoreditch; The walls

As you might expect from a gentrified slum, there are some pretty impressive walls around Shoreditch, a lot of them featuring the kind of urban art it takes a bit of thought to put up.

To contrast with that you have examples of totally random scrawl, as well as the odd piece of tribal decoration. Adds a bit of colour.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Two nights in Shoreditch: Brick Lane

There was a music festival down Brick Lane on the Sunday we were there, the highlight of which was a purple robot made of wheelie bins. That's it in the picture.

Away from the throng down Redchurch Street, a furniture shop was reaching new levels of appalling with the attempted sale of possibly the worst pair of garden chairs ever made.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Two nights in Shoreditch

Before they get too out of date, here's a few shots of the hotel we stayed in last weekend on our trip up to the Smoke. My jacket even matched the decor. I can see us visiting again.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Village Green: The festival in our park

You will always find a weird bloke at any given festival.

It doesn't matter what the festival is - it could be a festival of cheese in Cheddar - the weird bloke is a legal requirement.

Take the second annual Village Green up the road from us in Leigh-on-Sea. A gathering of young, upwardly pointing open-minded parents for the most part, all-terrain buggies by the dozen, and probably equally attended in numbers by their pre-school toddler clans.

And yet there he was, happily blowing his horn as the nu-age jazz funk band warbled into the sunset.

And the fact is that he had more staying power than me. As the sun dipped, even the chunkiest cardie ever made couldn't keep the chill out, and by 7.30pm I was out of that gate heading for the curry house.

As I left the weird bloke was limbering up for his next act.
Here's two more weird blokes: Badger and Wilco

Friday, 24 September 2010

London: Albam's big knit

The trip to the West End wasn't a complete waste of time. Managed to bag possibly the heaviest cardie ever knitted from Albam.

The fact that it looked like the kind of thing Steve McQueen might have slung on while he was having a loaf around at home kind of swung the purchase.

And it turns out he might well have worn one of its predecessors. Boris, my rag trade pal of much knowledge, later informed me that Albam were in fact using the same Stevenage wool mill which made some of McQueen's knits. How about that?

London: Randoms

After the non-event that was my experience of the Tour (see below), I wound my way through the blasphemers in the direction of Carnaby Street for bit of retail relief.

Managed a bit of roof gazing outside Liberty.
Blooms aplenty
Had to pick myself up after I saw this Porsche
Found the Honda boys outside their favourite shop.

Tour of Britain: What I didn't see

You meet people who are into cycling everywhere. Jim the ITV cameraman is into his bikes. He's got a Felt, thinking of upgrading it soon.

I bumped into him on a traffic island near Trafalgar Square last Saturday. Not literally. I was walking, he was working. I thought he was there for the Tour of Britain, but it turned out he was waiting for the Pope.

Jim thought the London stage was on the Sunday, had even planned to catch it. There was no way they would allow the Tour and the Pope to travel along the same streets, he said. Imagine the chaos.

We were both wrong. The final leg of the Tour was being held that Saturday, but it wasn't going round the Embankment like last year. In my blind faith at events being repeated in the same location, I had neglected to find out the change of venue to the Docklands. Some five miles to the east.

Seeing as it was halfway through already, I had no chance of making it. I had to settle for the anti-pope demonstration instead. Tens of thousands of clergy haters wielding smart-arse banners. More than a few with condoms on their heads.

Quite a spectacle, although not quite what I had in mind.

If I had been a man of faith, this would have been considered a test.

On the move

Apologies for the lack of any posts over the past few days. We're on the move and the amount of time this involves, even at this early stage, is staggering.

First it was the estate agent visits, as they took their pictures and came up with suitably flowery descriptions of each room of the house.

The estate agents were followed in very short succession by the viewers. I don't think this place has had so many people through the door since the day we moved in. A lovely bunch they were, and out of them we managed to find ourselves a buyer.

We now appear to have progressed to the Next Level and since we accepted the offer yesterday my phone has been welded to my ear as the solicitors and lenders swing into action.

They are all confident we could be in for a swift transaction. Done and dusted within six weeks. It seems feasible given how quickly the place sold, although I've heard that before.

Last time it took us six months.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ralph Lauren goes fixed: Who'd have thunk it

I have never associated Ralph Lauren with cycling, least of all fixed gear or track bikes. All the same, Affinity haven't done too bad a job with this RLX concept.

It does have a bit of a Ralphy vibe about it I suppose with the sludge coloured frame and the single yellow Aerospoke on the back.

But the thing that really gives it that wholesome cosy vintage American feel has to be the saddle. Look at that for a bit of hide.

This is called the Kissena and is going to be on display at the new Ralph Lauren Rhinelander Mansion on 72nd Street in NY.

Friday, 17 September 2010

There's a bit of a dickhead in all of us

Some of the people I know might recognise themselves in elements of this video, and to that I say don't shoot the messenger. I am merely acting as a conduit for the spread of possibly the funniest piece of badly produced filmage so far this year.

And besides, you must know that someone somewhere is laughing at you. That's a pitfall of living so culturally ahead of the rest of the population. They might be laughing now, but give them five years and they'll all have lense-less glasses and lumberjack shirts, eh? By that time you'll be wrapping yourself in silver foil or something.

I have a pair of skinny jeans, my glasses are quite big and I've started rolling up my chinos, so am I indulging in the ultimate irony? Self humiliation? And is it ironic that I'm showing you this on a blog?

My mind is about to explode.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Steve McQueen Persol 714 sunglasses: Shades of glory

Steve McQueen probably picked up a pair of these sunglasses on a whim, something to keep the glare out as he was bombing around the California hills in one of his tasty cars.

If he was anything like the sort of bloke I imagine him to have been, he wouldn't have given a toss for the fact that almost half a century later they would have become the only eyewear he is associated with.

But then he did seem to be a creature of habit. There are plenty of pictures of him on Google, and most of them, if he happens to be wearing shades, have him wearing these Persols.

He liked them so much, it turns out, that he even had favourite colours, and he also liked to wear the bigger 649 version as well.

No doubt he was won over by their collapsible construction and the fact they were made out of one piece of acetate, cut at the hinge points. I know I am.

So intrinsically linked with him have they become that a pair of his original old Persols sold for $70,000 at auction in 2006, simply because they had been on his nose.

Now Persol are to re-release the style, in those favourite colourways of his, including this one with the blue lens. So we can all find out why he liked them so much.

Via Esquire

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Banksy: At it again

At the other end of the art spectrum from the extravagance of Murakami is Banksy.

None of your Palace of Versailles here - instead he chooses pretty average urban walls which need a bit of a perking up with a few observations on the hypocrisy of life.

Seeing as he's in the middle of some sort of multicolour spraypaint comedy battle with another graffiti bloke called King Robbo right now, you can expect these pieces to last about as long as it takes Robbo to find them.

Maybe that's the significance of the egg timer in the one above. Maybe it's something completely different.

Whatever, it's a good job someone took some pictures of them

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Kim Jones: Steering the good ship Dunhill no more

After a couple of years of doing jack all for Dunhill, Kim Jones is leaving.

As I said in a previous post, the sum total of garments I have taken a fancy to during his tenure has been one shirt, with a lined placket. Other than that it's been entirely unremarkable.

I would love to know if this is the reason Jude Law parted company with the brand - after all, you're not going to want to endorse something that looks like it should be on the rails of M&S. Whatever, he's gone too.

Still, out with the old and all that. Now all they've got to do is sort that website out.

That berk they have modelling stuff in their online store couldn't sell lolipops in the Sahara as far as I am concerned.

* Note: This post has been toned down slightly following a comment from a reader who seemed to take quite an exception to it. Seeing as this reader chose to remain anonymous and also to flower his prose with appendage related insults, I will not give him the pleasure of seeing it published. I would also imagine, given the tone of that comment, that he is either Kim Jones himself or someone who works at Dunhill. Which leads me to think that maybe I touched a nerve. Hopefully he will take note.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Murakami at Château de Versailles: Manga goes Baroque

I can kind of understand the controversey Murakami's exhibition at the Château de Versailles is causing. It's hardly as if his art fits in with all the Baroque stuff you would usually find at this French monument of excess.

But when I think about it there is a certain thread. The cultures might be centuries as well as continents apart, but they do share a common theme of shiny oppulence.

All the same I might be a bit put off myself if I turned up to find a 20ft gold cartoon character spoiling the vista.

Not to mention the giant gobstopper in the hallway.

King Louis would turn in his grave.
Via Coolhunting

Storm clouds over the estuary

This was the scene over the estuary towards the end of last week, as the rain rolled in from Kent.

Quite grim in a way.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Rapha new season autumn winter 2010/11: Riding with style

Rapha Rides Monti Pallidi from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Here it is then, the moment we've been waiting for. Rapha's new season is upon us and it's as slick as ever.

The video gives you an idea of what the road collection is about, which is essentially more of the same but in a fresh new palete of colours. But the real innovations for me are in the City Riding department, with a pair of jeans, a new breton sweater and a decent looking pair of jeans, all featuring their own solutions to that dilemma of what to wear on a bike and still look half decent.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Jude Law for Dior Homme: Man up

To be honest I always thought Jude Law was quite fitting as the face of Dunhill.

He's set his stall out as the modern day version of Michael Caine - a bit of an English playboy, a bit whoah, a bit way. With all its Toad of Toad Hall motoring associations, it seemed right that he should fly the flag for Dunhill.

I saw him once at an art exhibition. He's shorter than you'd think. Can't be more than 5'7", which is a bit of a let down really. It seems like he should be taller.

Now I don't know if it's his fondness for rug revealing deep V t-shirts that has persuaded him to make the jump to the camper side of style, but he's suddenly popped up fronting a campaign for Dior.

The brand did need a bit of manning up after years with Hedi Slimane at the helm, when malnourishment was the byword and the skeletal side of pop in the form of the Horrors and Pete Docherty were enrolled as ambassadors of the brand.

But Jude Law? It just doesn't seem right. Even if this gritty little film is directed by Guy Ritchie. Louis from Pineapple Dance Studios would have been a more sensible choice.

Mind you, the right length trousers on Jude would come up short on anyone else, and ankle-length strides are in right now.

Maybe Dior Homme is on the mark after all.

Via Freshness