Turn in, tune out, drop on
First things first, it smells lovely. That fresh clean trace of recently-dried printer’s ink, it’s like the store cupboard in the art department of your old school has been raided and crammed into a tidy a5 package. Magic marker, pva glue, spray mount, designers gouache (the choice of the northern working class comprehensive). Same as when you used to buy vinyl records, that kind of smell, same kind of feeling. Reassuring and modern, full of expectation and slightly chemically. Beautiful.
Secondly, beards. There’s a beard on almost every page, what’s the fuck with all the beards? I thought we’d moved on from the hipster thing into nu-lad territory? Housing estate chic, trackie bottoms for the masses, i’m outclassed ‘ere. To be fair the le coq sportif photoshoot, sparse and delinquent, wet and windy, is pure nu-lad but they still manage to smuggle in a stealth beard to up the hipster-count. Even stuck a beard on the front cover.
So what do you get for your money? A 100 page breezeblock of fashion, football and fucking around with interesting people.
• Two big name interviews, one with American photographer (who also graces the cover) Roger Steffens. To say he’s led a rich and textured life is an understatement – drafted into the army during the Vietnam War, where his love affair with the camera began, he became a countercultural drop-out, actor, radio host, author, probably best known for being a leading reggae archivist and lecturer on Bob Marley. There’s some fabulous photos of his included as part of the Family Acid archives.
• The other is with Steve Sanderson talking about Oi Polloi’s decision to create a bit of northern class down south by opening a shop bang in the centre of London. Total Manc. Plus Neal Heard, who gave us all a chance to look at Trainers in a completely new way, gives us his favourite five.
• A Manastash photo love story which is a bit bizarre but nicely conceived. The stand out feature is a colour rich Manastash jacket which is part Haight-Ashbury 70s hippie patchwork and part 1988 acid house Liverpool kop. If that doesn’t prick your curiosity then you have no soul. Actually the more I look at it the more I can see myself having a go on one. It’s that summer feeling.
• A nifty little article about sportswear in films which’ll have you rifling through youtube to find the relevant clips. And guaranteed you’ll start going through your own back catalogue of movie greats to see what you can dig out. I only got as far as Steve McQueen’s Baracuta G9 jacket. Ok not technically sportswear but if they’re having Dustin Hoffman’s dirty old hoodie in Marathon Man then i’m having this.
• A Proper version of sole searching in South America, except with sweatshirts. In south London. Gives a backtrack on how the sweatshirt came into being and goes for the (slightly battered) lost American classics. Something to do with TSPTR whose ss15 collection ‘focuses on American counter culture in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, specifically the war in Vietnam and the cultural revolution that surrounded it’. (hey i reckon there’s a theme building here).
• A glimpse at some very neat blue flowered trainers, a collaboration between Sperry Top-Sider and Sweden’s Velour by Nostalgi. Neil Summers reviews the trainers by taking a few photos and telling us how good the beer is in Gothenburg. Fuckin freebies.
• An opportunity to win the exclusive Nomoi x proper magazine 586 jacket with some nice black and white shots of the jacket in creation.
• Lots of pages of photographs of sportsgear. Lots of references to New Order. Lots of beards, lots of fucking beards.
• Okay not so much football, i lied about that one.
This cover is probably all sold out now, i’m putting mine on ebay in 2 months time for £25. If there is any left you can buy it from here: http://shop.propermag.com/product/proper-magazine-issue-17