Posts Tagged ‘pants’

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?

As Above, So Below — Tyshawn Jones And The Power Of The ‘Event Trick’

October 9, 2022

In an increasingly fractitious USA, the dark turn brought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had the somewhat bittersweet side effect of being that rare event that found Americans of nearly all political stripes and persuasions in agreement — a rarer and rarer occurrence in a land wherein the populace seems intent on sorting itself into ever-more specific subgroups of their own choosing. Timelines are tweaked to reflect favoured realities, the hit radio single or must-see TV event now relics of simpler and perhaps more naive times, replaced by self-targeted streaming series and machine-learned DJ programs that fine tune algorithms to dial up personalization, and tune out the rest of the world. The local sports franchise may briefly unite a riven city, and culture-capturing beguilers including ‘Olde Towne Road’ may still prove themselfs occasionally impossible to avoid, but these more and more seem exceptions to a deepening rule of fragmentation that shows little sign of reversing.

The seven-ply hard rock maple contingent has long satisified itself with the idea that it blazes trails and sets agendas for fashion conglomerates, artistes and less-evolved species such as scooter handlers; sometimes this proves true, like when Gilbert Crockett’s fixation on Depression-era paper bag pants eventually trickles into the fashion pages of the Wall-Street Journal, and sometimes less so, like paying women pros in line with what men make. The same entropic forces have been at work for years, though, with the street-vert dichotomy splintering into subdisciplines and microgenres that now range from SoCal handrail persisters to Love Park ledge religionists, beverage manufacturer-bankrolled mega ramp athletes, hyper-urban night skating in Japan, and Bobby Puleo carrying his torch for Texas’ 1980s backyard ramp scene. On the contest circuit, there are efforts to harness the political polarization that the much of the US seems to have adopted as its national pasttime.

This week within the span of a few minutes Thrasher, Tyshawn Jones and Atiba Jefferson digitally threw down a photo of the reigning king of New York kickflipping over the tracks at the 145th street subway station, fresh off the presses as the cover of the magazine’s December issue. IG stories proliferated and forceful emojis deployed as people raced to estimate the distance and speculate on the gnar factor of blind bumps or the science of electricity transference; a snippet of an apparent video “will” that Tyshawn Jones recorded before squaring up to the platform gap and an Atiba Jefferson selfie at track level upped the how’d-they-do-it drama that would easily make a mini-doc, like Thrasher did with Jaws’ Lyon 25 jump.

The danger factor, instantly interpretable trick and beautifully simple composition of the photo — plus the footage not yet out — added up to a seldom-encountered ‘event trick’ and immediately catapulted it into the ranks of all-time classic Thrasher covers, Jeremy Wray’s water tower ollie the most direct translation for the still-flummoxed masses. Over the near-eternity represented by a 24-hour period or so on IG, the trick consumed the entire skateboard sphere, bowl barneys and manual pad savants united in shock, praise, thrill and wonder. For Tyshawn Jones, it’s the best yet among a four-year run of four Thrasher covers, which at 23 years old places him alongside Andrew Reynolds, Lance Mountain, Marc Johnson and Jamie Thomas in terms of the number of times he’s been on the magazine’s front.

Since Tyshawn Jones and Atiba Jefferson were sporting masks on the way to the spot, how long has this trick been in the can, and was the Supreme IG video clip, featuring Tyshawn Jones in a different outfit throwing down his board in a subway station, indicative of another trick like a backside kickflip or switch ollie? How seriously do you think were any discussions around timing attempts to include in the photo subway train lights down the tunnel? By how much does this photo up the risk of harm or even death for less-able contenders looking for a shot at glory, like Jamie Thomas’ Leap of Faith? Will the perhaps-near discovery of alien life bring together the earth’s people in a new way, or only drive them deeper into alien-appeasing and alien-opposing camps? For the Thrasher mini-doc, did Thrasher bring along Mike from the Bronx like Jaws did with Ali for the Lyon 25 melon grab?

1. Brett Weinstein – ‘Realm’

December 31, 2017


For a while now Brett Weinstein has been cutting ‘Trilogy’ ledge lines through Chicago’s little-heralded plazas, and cracking through its industrial craters and dark alleys, but the increasingly well-crafted ‘Deep Dish’ flicks have packaged up his nighttime prowling with a doom and gloom well matched to one of skating’s most-avoided cities. In ‘Realm,’ their best one so far, Brett Weinstein guns through tricks with the spry urgency of ‘Wonderful, Horrible’ era PJ Ladd, like on the line with the 50-50 backside 180, and generally busts out in all directions — up stairs, down them, fakie manualing around corners and rattling up loading docks. And when the confounding prospect of launching out of a concave fountain to grind a round planter isn’t enough, he incorporates Zubaz. The dude does not slow down; check for him in Theories’ Chicago clip and Deep Dish’s joint vid with Snack.

7. Daniel Kim – ‘Spirit Quest’

December 25, 2016

‘Spirit Quest’ beat its 1:20:00 clock with moving mirages like Daniel Kim’s mindbending mirror wall-push sequence towards the beginning of this section, which takes a couple watches for slow-witted captains of windbag web blogs to fully comprehend. In a star-crossed year, Daniel Kim indulges a taste for exotic and enigmatic tricks that may never be as huggable as a hardflip or backside smith grind: Switch japan grabs, the pop-shove it nosegrind tailgrab and his barrier-clearing switch kickflip tailgrab mix Daniel Kim’s robust ‘Belly of the Beast’ tech with the type of cosmic syrup Jason Dill maybe was sipping when he conjured a 25-year-old coping trick on the cover of Thrasher in ‘Mindfield’-era Alien’s waning days. Few were those bringing wholly unthought of tricks to the table this year, with or without one white glove.

In The Great Dice Game That Is The Skate Shoe Business, Gravis IVSK8 Wagered, Rolled And Lost

October 24, 2012

Winter arrived early this week for the action-goods provider Burton, as P&L discontent forced tough decisions at the top that abruptly left Nordic sweater Arto Saari, stylistic watchword Dylan Rieder and others shoe deal-less and set adrift on the ice floe that is free agency in the current economy, increasingly resembling a scene from one of the early, J Strickland-helmed Baker videos where a poor dude is rolling on the ground and groaning in super slow-mo. Is what it is and all involved are wished well, though things appear somewhat brighter for pro and am endorsers of Analog brand pants, who according to this press release will enjoy certain hand-holding procedures throughout this difficult period:

Regarding the Analog surf and skate teams, we will be working with each team rider individually on an exit plan to transition them out of the brand.

The gap in sponsorship largesse is expected to be felt most heavily by Southern California thrift-store proprietors, several leasing agents and various weed spots, while the hardgoods industry collectively contorts and careens as it attempts to financially nose manual through a global recession period. As consumers we lose out by way of a thinner selection of goods available for our paycheques and one less competitor to keep honest rival shoe sellers. Yet the untimely demise of Gravis’ “IVSK8” lineup could signal that a deeper and more troubling loss already be lurks elsewhere, buried among footnotes in the great balance sheet of our psyches.

Foisting another footwear choice on an oversaturated population, backed by a big snowboard concern and incorporating a rather on-the-nose identifier amounted to long odds facing the Gravis venture from the jump, but was the company’s true crime being too daring? The much-derided Dylan pro model and later loafer drew wide attention but by all accounts made relatively few sales when stacked against the various iterations of the half-dozen vulcanized templates that have domineered shop walls for what seems now like the better part of the last decade, possibly the longest span of time a shoe trend has held sway over a previously fickle subset of trend-hoppers.

In a time of war abroad and economic upheaval at home, have our shoe choices skewed too far toward the safe, familiar and disposable, virtually ensuring that even the likes of PJ Ladd cannot persuade us to spend freely on a technology-forward, expensive signature model? Did Gravis roam too far off the stylistic reservation without a properly tested avalanche transceiver? Or must we make conscious, tribal decisions to periodically embrace outlandish design silhouettes so as to maintain our group ‘edge’?

Rose-Coloured Glasses, Made In Philadelphia

August 1, 2011

Recently while aboard a luxury locomotive I gazed out the window to take in the urban decay and peacefully zoned out on the loading docks and warehouses, snapping to after realizing that it had been several minutes and probably it looked retarded to whatever secular co-passengers might’ve been paying attention. One of those increasingly seldom times when a person can still feel as though these pursuits might set them apart in some fundamental way from the rest of the whoevers, and coming on the heels of the pretty emotionally heavy Oyola “Later’ds,” casts Ricky/Bobby/Traffic and the rest in a whole different light.

I ask you, who but a truly cockeyed optimist looks for and sees potential for good times in a sea of crumbling concrete foundations and pissy public parks and disused traffic barriers? What sort of a person launches a hardgoods affair, in 2011, out of the east coast without Marc Ecko rhino pants money and with a full-time truck driving job? What sort of a person would professionally endorse this company? What sort of person devotes the last decade-plus to filming this stuff for unprofitable video enterprises? Does spot-seeking and those who live the attached lifestyle require a person to be naturally outfitted with rose-colored goggles, or are they earned like a samurai’s blade or a unicorn’s wish-granting powers?

Elsewhere on the east coast, Du Flocka Rant gives the children a reason to believe. (via quartersnacks)