Catalogue essay for Masquerade exhibition at the London Printworks Trust 1998 and “Crime and Ornament” published by YYZ Books, Toronto 2002 and “Frozen Tears”, 2003

The Great Retro Rainwear and Flares Revival of 1985.

You can get these Lois Jumbo Cords which are tight as fuck on the arse and thighs but then seem to flare out slightly from the knee. I’ve got them in light light grey. Kenny’s got the classic chocolate brown, with his pin badge attached just above trainer level. Plus we’ve all had a crack at some rudimentary needlework recently. Option A; Cut Ups. Step 1: Purchase jeans or cords with a generous inside leg. Step 2: Carefully cut away the stitching where the side seams meet the hem. Step 3: Cut up the seam for three or four inches. Step 4: Put in a few stitches to stop them splitting any further. Step 5: Pull them on and carefully position flaps of denim over trainers. Option B; Flares. Repeat steps 1 to 4 (as above) then sew in a triangle of material, thus constructing a rudimentary flare. Materials of choice this month are; Liberty paisley patterns, dark denim and corduroy. Once constructed, why not try to play off your new flares against a chunky pair of Puma Blockas and a powder blue V neck with optional ski jacket. Or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, wishing to intrigue friends and neighbours, then why not experiment with desert boots from Clarks of the Arndale Centre and cagoul by Peter Storm (stockists nationwide). This season the possibilities are simply endless, as you may contrast texture, pattern and material with care free abandon. The retro rainwear revival is underway! Dig out your Peter Storms!

Lyle and Scott versus Pringle.

It’s a battle of the lambswool V necks in early ’84. Shopping – Mission: Gold Diadora Borgs. Kenny said they’d be in this week or if not, well, maybe next. Sorry mate, ordering systems buggered, don’t know what’s going on. Yeah yeah. Come back next Tuesday maybe, or if not, then Friday definitely. Shut down. Time passes. Tuesday arrives. Scanning shelves for target…..Puma…..Sambas…..Gazelles! Shocking display. Ou sont est les trainers de Borg? More Puma…..evil….. More Gazelles! What is this, 1980? Eyes move up and down and up again – still nothing. Targeting system is engaged. Target located! Oh yes indeed, These are the ones, White Diadora Bjorn Borg trainers with gold logo and signature on the heel. Extend analysis probe. Beautiful soft leather, Tip top craftsmanship, Made in Italy I believe. Question sales assistant, Retail value? £59.99. No way? How much for the Pat Cash’s? ……£35.99


So QPR come up to our place expecting a result in every sense. We strain and search the away end for tell tale signs, A tight knot of lads standing away from their embarrassing scarfhead colleagues, That’s them but confusion reigns supreme. What is that gear? Tachini? Nah. Fila? Nope. Oh no, you’ve got to be kidding Cerrutti! It can’t be. But it is……Cerrutti 1881. Unbelievable scenes of shock and disgust follow, with huge peals of laughter erupting from our end, and soon the garbled strains of a new melody are aired for the first time, (To the tune of Que Sera Sera) When I was young and so naive, I asked my mother what should it be. Should it be Cerrutti, or Burberry, Here’s what she said to me. Are you stupid lad? You know that Cerrutti’s sad, You’d better not try that fad, It would kill your dad. It would kiiill yooour daaaaad.

Broaden your horizons.

We’ve all had to broaden our horizons recently and dip our collective toes into uncharted waters. Nowadays, there’s no shame in watching the golf or Wimbledon on TV, just to keep in touch with the latest developments. Looks like Borg has signed a deal with Fila (nice tracky top pal) and Diadora (a tad overpriced?). McEnroe’s all Tachinied up (fair enough) but Nastase’s still with Adidas (clueless).

Shopping – Mission: Fat Tony.

Kenny and Macca had stuff off of him before, and told us where to locate the big man. Fat Tony could be found in Sheffield city centre’s busiest pedestrian shopping street, on any given Saturday morning, selling quality knock offs to the discerning connoisseur. There he is, you can’t miss him. Must be nineteen stone this youth, with a pink Pringle taking the strain. No doubt Sovereign rings will be in evidence. Up we stroll to peruse his wares. Alright lads? Alright. What you after? What you got? Lacoste imports son. How much? £15 or £25 the pair, he says, as a meaty be-Sovereigned hand flourishes enticement. I’ll have that yellow and blue one. Wise decision. Anything else? Got any Ellesse? Come back next week.

Towards a Psychogeography of Sportswear Retail Spaces, New Urban Derives and the Logic of Entrepreneurial Interventionalism Within Late Capital.

A mate of mine is travelling around various small towns and turning over the dozy local sports shops with a cut and run technique. What he does is go in, pick out two or three tasty items, retire to gentlemen’s changing room, then cut off the logos with a craft knife. Then he comes back out, cool as you like, and hangs them back on the display. When he gets home his Granny sews them on some cheapo jumper or t shirt and he flogs them for £15 or £20 a shot to school kids. He’s doing a roaring trade, Queen’s Award for Industry and all that. Granny’s happy too, she takes a cut. Scouser’s do a lot of this apparently. They call it “sniding” or something. Plus they reckon they invented the whole casual thing after looting sports shops on their late Seventies Continental away days. Macca says they’re full of shit. Mouthy Scousers reckon they’ve got the copyright on everyfuckinthing. He says that Chelsea were the first because they had flashy sport shops well before anyone else – Lillywhites in Piccadilly Circus for one, oh yeah, and Nik Nak as well.

Gabbicci and Gola.

Why do the Haywood brothers always turn up in garish acrylic Gabbicci V necks and black Gola trainers? Derek’s Lacoste.


Some kid from Armthorpe comes up to Derek, whips out a school craft knife and demands his Lacoste jacket.

Shopping – Mission: Nik Nak.

So he said when you get to Kings Cross take the Piccadilly line down to Leicester Square and then cut up through Soho and it’s just there on the corner and it’s called Nik Nak shite name I know but good gear you know and remember you have to be on your toes when you come out cos he reckons that there’s always a couple of dodgy fuckers waiting to turn over fresh faced youths like you with a bag full of Ellesse so heed my words and travel safe to that mythical shrine watched close by the Hammer Hounds of Upton.

In The Deep Midwinter.

Doncaster Rovers V Rotherham United – it’s the glamour fixture of the year, with a hefty chunk of local rivalry thrown in for good measure. Got to make a special effort for this one, even if it is December and the monsoon season is upon us once more. You give everyone the eye, up and down, whilst inwardly nodding your approval or vociferously announcing your disdain. I’m in my new Fila ski coat, with the lemon yellow Pringle underneath, light grey Lee cords and the Diadora Pat Cash’s. Macca has gone for the classic timeless elegance of the Berghaus Puffa jacket, with dark brown Lois cords and his all too familiar thick soled Pumas. Derek, meanwhile, strikes a note of individuality, not only through his dramatically silouhetted Wedge hair cut but also by carefully juxtaposing his US college style Lacoste jacket with dark blue Levis and these New Balance jogging shoes. The All American Kid himself. Kenny provides the complimentary subdued note of Autumnal tones through his innovative, yet playful, use of cream Aquascutum jacket, diamond Pringle V neck and beige Clark’s desert boots. And so, like bright metal upon sullen ground, we stand out in sharp relief when set against the latest style crimes perpetrated by the Haywood brothers and others of their ilk. Meanwhile, Kenny moans on about how everyone’s getting into it now…they’re all fuckin’ clones…too easy to get good gear now…got to get into something else….. Grouse Shooting Begins. It turns out that the little old dear’s shop on the High Street has finally shut down. Bankrupt. Or bankrupted more like, by continual raiding of the stock by eager young style warriors. It’s been a mad few months, with everyone getting out of the sports stuff into this weird new style. Since just after Christmas, all these characters started parading through the local housing estates dressed in full country gent gear. It started off with Burberry scarves and sweaters. Then Aquascutum jackets and shirts. Next thing you know, we’re all kitted out in Deerstalkers, Barbour waxed jackets and green cords, plus the essential accessories – golfing umbrellas and stout Churchill Brogues. I’m putting good money on the appearance of green wellies in the next fortnight – Macca’s giving me 4 – 1.

This Season’s New Looks. Who’s wearing what in ’85.

Kappa Cagouls – Leeds.
Kickers – Liverpool.
Tachini tracksuit tops – Leicester.
Semi flares – Manchester.
Lace and lingerie – Madonna.
Scarves and bobble hats – Watford.
Lois – Everybody.
Lacoste ski sweaters – Spurs.
Donkey Jackets – Barnsley.

Old School Revivals in1984 – 85. (Success rating in brackets: 1 = Disaster 5 = Smiler Grinner He’s a Winner!)
Peter Storm Cagouls (3)
Farah slacks (2)
Fred Perry three button shirts (2)
Flares (1)
Cut-Ups (5)
Pierre Cardin round neck sweaters (3)
Polyveldts (1)
Marks and Spencers summer jackets (4)
Black or navy blue Slazenger golf sweaters (5)