Posts Tagged ‘Legs’

Over 15 Years Hence, Are The Notorious Red-And-Black Legged Pants At Risk Of Becoming Passé?

October 23, 2022

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” These are the now-famous lyrics of Batman’s 1989 hit single ‘Batdance,’ and eerily prescient ones at that — from topping the charts amidst the George Bush Sr presidency, Batman his own self would soon succumb to those ill-fated familiars that dragged down many of his ’80s pop contemporaries — drink, drugging and crushing self-doubt, costing him collaborators, his major-label deal and nearly his life, until mounting a comeback on the mixtape circuit several years later. 

It is a horrific parable knowed all to well to Batpersons. But what about the rest of us? There can be many applications of Batman’s particular flavour of bumper sticker-ready, vigilantistic sloganeering, but the one that demands immediate action relates, like so many things, to pants. It has been scientifically established that fit, material and the incorporation of extra pockets follows a fairly rigorous 8-12 year time cycle, with denims, chinos and corduroys rising and like the oceanic tides. Other, more exotic approaches, such as the Muska-bunch or the graphical sweatpant, surface more sporadically, and then there are the periodic transgressions, when things are deemed to have gotten ‘out of hand’ and appear to require course-correcting or some kind of cultural gut-check. 

So it was back in the mid-00s, when yung Garrett Hill donned a pair of customized jeans with one red leg and one black prior to 360 flip 50-50 grinding a round handrail for an Osiris Shoe Co ad and subsequent Zero promo. The trick rated among the era’s gnarliest and rarest filmed, at least for those not named Forrest Edwards, but it was the pants selection that would go on to live in infamy. As Garrett Hill himself related to Thrasher’s Michael Burnett in 2014:

The immediate reaction was obviously, “What the fuck?” Some people were hilariously offended. It was so funny to read the comments. Some people reacted like I had legitimately offended their mother!

It was true. Though skateboarding’s broader acceptance of its proximity to the fashion sphere would be several more years and several shiploads of digital clout still in the coming, pants for years had ranked just behind shoes as objects of both performance demands and stylistic scrutiny, particularly among the pack-hunting skateboard consumer. The knives were out for Garrett Hill’s red and black pants, and their like would not be seen again for well over a decade. 

Does a point arrive when a long-derided misstep can be reconsidered as a work of ahead-of-the-curve daring, or even overlooked genius? It was Tyshawn Jones, 2018 Skater of the Year and recently of the FuckingAwesome imprint, who in Supreme’s ‘Blessed’ initiated a reconsideration of Garrett Hill’s pants decision, wearing some eerily similar black/red legged track pants in which to nollie backside kickflip the Blubba; thereafter, Vincent Nava plumbed similar depths before departing sadly way too soon.

This year pants with two different coloured legs have threatened to push into the mainstream, with cut-and-sew pop shove-iter John Shanahan’s Pangea Jeans label offering multiple styles for $150 each; whereas asymmetrical pants have yet to rise to the ubiquity required for CCS and Active to market their own pricepoint versions, here and there, kids like Juan Pablo Velez are chipping away at the symmetrical pants standard. 

In the Thrasher interview, Garrett Hill suggested that he foresaw all of this:
Any chance of bringing these pants onto the Zero soft goods roster?
You know what? When do bands do big reunion tours? After ten years? I’m going to wait until the 10th anniversary and then bring them back. Take them on a reunion tour! Black and yellow? Might be fuckin’ orange and green? I don’t know. I’m gonna blow some minds with these pants!

Where there once was seen a stylistic tar pit, do pants with two different coloured legs now represent a potential goldmine, or is this all only a case of the sun occasionally shining on the dog’s proverbial rear? Are these type of unorthodox pants not much of a leap after various dudes for several years have experimented with bifurcated shirts and two different coloured shoes? Having challenged nearly every fashion convention available, are the 10C41 dudes now turning their attentions toward aggressive scootering?

Meat Puppets

August 29, 2021

Life’s tough in cyberspace. To make it as matrix-savvy muscle for hire in the year 2035, William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’ teaches that it takes more than skin-tight black leather and quarts of hair gel. ‘Neuromancer’ anti-heroine Molly Millions sports a rewired nervous system for faster reflexes as well as retractable razorblades tucked beneath her fingertips, courtesy of black-market surgeons. Vision-enhancing mirrored lenses are implanted over her eyes, and on the rare occasion she cries, rerouted ducts send tears to her mouth, where her sorrows are spat upon the ground.

Skaters long have dabbled in ‘the net,’ all the way back to Plan B’s cyberpunk-themed sophomore release ‘Virtual Reality,’ through Ty Evans’ digital psych-trips ‘Tha Skatrix’ and ‘Tha Flat Earth,’ as well as early and furtive efforts to construct entirely digital communes, from alt.skate-board to Salman Agah’s ‘Ice Lounge,’ envisioned as a safe space for skaters to discuss diamond jewelry and certain shared interests. While other sports have forged ahead with high-tech body modifications, virtual crowds and remote sensing capabilities, the skateboarding sphere generally remains stuck in first gear with tattoos and piercings, all respect due adaptive pioneers Og De Souza, Sheldon Melshinski and John Comer.

Perhaps the answer ties back, as ever, to the relative lack of profit margins to be wrung from hardgoods sales, contest circuits and related television ads; so far, the investments pumped into into life extension and fusing computers with human brains have been driven by the rich and technological. Inevitably, conflicts arise over those possessing means to augment and those without, setting up a gilded class of attractive cyborgs and a trod-upon lower caste forced to get by with only two arms, no built-in spellchecker and eyes that cannot see through walls.

Enter skateboarding’s own Daddy Warbucks, Tony Hawk, already colloquially known as a human-avian hybrid (bird-man). In between ‘barging’ the Olympic course and several ventures, Tony Hawk has found time in recent months to casually push the ‘technological envelope’ beyond his hoverboard dalliances. Just in time for a richly deserved pro deck for the incredible double set-charging, handrail-handling ATV Felipe Nunes, Tony Hawk flexed his connections to score his Brazilian vert doubles partner a pair of prosthetic legs. More recently, Tony Hawk has dribbled his own blood into a biopaint mixture for a line of premium skateboards — which rapidly sold out — while ‘joking’ about the potential for creating CASL-dominating clones and/or replicants.

After a poor U.S. showing at the ‘2020’ Olympic Games, is high-tech body modification the Americans’ best hope for capturing medallions in future contests? In a few years, when the ‘every kid can do every trick’ skatepark-ready Moore’s law inevitably becomes literal truth, will prehensile tails and biologically linked boards be required to map out a new universe of tricks to learn? Following Andy Roy’s promotional tooth-pulling that led to the infected canine being packaged with some Spitfires, will the first pro clone matchup see a replicant Tony Hawk face off against a replicant Andy Roy?