Tag Archives: youth culture
What is ISYS? An archive, a gallery, a blog, a body of work about people, what they look like, how they move and what moves them. That’s the explanation you’ll find on this addictive site, but I wanted more so I quizzed one of the founders, Nina Mandandhar… Continue reading
Just arrived for my stamp collection, the new stamps designed by Paul Smith to commemorate the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. A collaboration with the Isle of Man Post Office, they come in a single miniature sheet for £3 or a hardback collector’s book for £50. Paul Smith’s racing cycling ambitions were thwarted by a road accident at the age of 17 that kept him hospitalised for three months. Continue reading
When I went to the opening of Blitz London back in September, they asked me if I’d like to work on an in-store installation. So last week I assembled a giant size version of one of my scrapbooks on their wall, along with some choice pieces of their vintage stock. I had Italy on the brain, hence the Paninaro-ish denim and bright sweatshirting along with Versace-esque scarf prints, downplayed with a bit of army surplus. Continue reading
My new blog obsession is ISYSArchive.TV, a picture-heavy site that came to my attention via the lovely Karen Savage. Karen had a successful T-shirt design business in the 90s and we moved in the same clubbing circles but never actually spoke until fairly recently. She contributed this post to the What We Wore series which is one of the strongest features of the blog. Continue reading
Heritage is the watchword of the moment, so how timely that Dr Martens should invite me on a trip to their super-dooper factory last week. The British workwear boot company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and has, ooh, millions of projects on the go to celebrate. On arrival at the HQ in Northamptonshire, our first stop was the showroom where the AW10 collection was unveiled. Ta da! There are polka dots, suede brogues, kiddy colours and a whole family of metallics in store for next season…
I was quite taken with the velvets. Although they may look a bit ‘Dr & The Medics‘, they’re made with very posh Italian velvet. I was urged to stroke them and yes, they did indeed feel lovely and luxe. These made me think of early 90s Nick Knight shoots, Sonia Rykiel, Ann Demeulemeester and dandyish blouses with floppy bows.
I was also drawn to this Redwing-like silhouette. Fact: 75% of the Dr Martens range is available in both mens and womens sizes and this is one of them.
Typically, my favourite style was the most fancy offering, the pebbled leather 1460s which are so super-precious they were secured behind a glass cabinet. Dr Martens are only selling 1460 pairs in each colour as a special celebratory collector’s item and they went on sale last Thursday (I know, I know) so may well be sold out.
There is also an attempt at enticing the Ugg customer with a £200 shearling bootie. Note, it’s made from real shearling, hence the price, none of this cheap stuff.
Also in attendance were creative directors Andrew Bunney and his wife Tommy who have been working with Dr Martens to get the right balance of fashion and function in the collections. These guys have really nailed it and looking at the number of failed rebrands I’ve seen over the years, this is no easy feat.
Dr Martens’ heritage is workwear but from the 1970s onwards, it was adopted by one youth culture after another. Punks, skinheads and indie grunge kids all adopted the boots as their own reactionist uniform, giving it a reverance that few other brands command. Part of the celebrations this year include ten bands recording ten cover versions of cult classics. We were given a sneak preview of three, of which I loved If The Kids Are United by The Duke Spirit (the Jamie Morgan-directed video is a beaut too).
*In the early 90s, the factory produced a million pairs of Docs a month. The factory was in use 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.
*There is a machine just for making the grooves in the side of the soles. Who knew?