What terrace fashion’s got in store for 2016 (probably)
Know fuck all about how the fashion industry works to be honest, but we imagine mens clothing retail, much the same as womens, is planned out well in advance, with labels/brands pushing next season’s gear onto the media in the hope it will catch the public’s imagination and translate into a new trend by the time it hits the shops.
With that in mind and based on nothing but a bit of gut instinct, absolutely no research and no gossip from the fashion laderati, we’re going to put forward stuff what we reckon will be popular on the terraces in the coming year (or at least stuff we’d like to see out and about).
1. The look for 2016: Dexys Mk1
The big thing will be traditional workwear and old-skool working-class clobber. To some extent this has been happening already with the nu-lad monstrosity that was invented last year by the fashion world to cover their post-hipster style wars. (*)
This year will be a move away from leisure/sportswear to workwear, but workwear from three generations ago when industries existed around proper hard physical labour and clothes were designed for practicality and built to last. It goes back to this almost pathological need for mens fashion to replicate ‘authenticity’ especially in times of economic uncertainty, trading on working class culture as a benchmark of that authenticity. Put it down to the crisis of masculinity and male identity (and middle class neurosis) that we commented on last year.
So following on from the beards and check shirts and tattoos, and after the trackie bottoms and Chav-lite cheap imitations (sold at a premium) comes a variation on the dress code of traditional manual workers – dockers, trawlermen, steel workers, miners, who were driven to extinction during the 1980s. Not so much a revival then as a recompositioning (whatever the fuck that is). The outdoorsman look will suffer because of its association with the middle class hipster but maybe a japanese multi-colour multi-fabric outerwear twist will be its revitalisation.
Main inspiration will have it roots in Dexys Midnight Runners Mk1 – an old post-punk, post-ska pop outfit (big horns, sweat, northern soul backbeat) who took their look very seriously, borrowing heavily from On the Waterfront, a film set and shot on location around the docks of New Jersey. (The story goes that the film’s costume designer Anna Hill Johnstone having picked up a load of old discarded work clothes from the Salvation Army threw them on the floor and had the actors come in and pick what fitted them. Brando suitably kitted out went for a walk around Hoboken in complete anonymity). In 1980 when they emerged Dexys were a gang as much as they were a band, and dressed themselves accordingly, almost everything about them was at odds with the fashion of the day, and as such they looked fucking brilliant.
The woolly hats worn high on the head (look familiar?!), the donkey jackets, woollen overcoats collars up and leather holdalls are all going to be conspicuous this year. It’s also reminiscent of the Manchester scuttlers and original navvies (who were the first hooligan firm and had their own distinctive dress code), so there’s a massive cross over with historical northern working class culture and regional heritage branding.
2. Trainers: time to get chunky
We reckon the plimsoll line of the Adidas Originals has hit high tide what with the Island series onslaught and the endless minor variations of the classic lightweight ‘suede pumps’, so the terraces will begin to heave under the weight of chunkier trainers. Adidas-wise Gary Aspden (always ahead of the game) started the ball rolling with the New York and the Kirkdale, but we reckon people are ready to bulk up and max-out on the extra material so expect New Balance to get a look in and of course Norman Walsh. Talking of which…
3. Hitting the ground running: Norman Walsh
Reckon this year Norman Walsh trainers will go mental amongst the next generation of football casuals who’ve had enough of their dad’s ebay Adidas deadstock. About time they got the recognition they deserve. Last year’s Invade selection was monumental, simply the best looking trainers released in 2015. Unquestionably. Plus if we’re right about the chunky trainer trend taking off then the natural choice would be any of the existing Walsh line’s – Pennine Adder (with some serious sole action), Seoul 88 or even the LA 84’s. Anything Walsh put out this year should flood out the stadiums. The perfect blend of quality and styling and designed for runners. Pure class.
4. Adidas wildcard: chasing the Dragon
The likelihood of Adidas disappearing from the terraces is nil, but we’re going to throw in a bit of a wildcard with the Dragon becoming popular this year especially if it’s adopted, ironically of course, by the non-league lefty hipster types who want to step away from the Samba associations of the unreconstructed, ignorant, uneducated, unpolitical football fan. The Dragon has been more or less passed up by the Adifreaks, never had the same affection or adoration as either the Samba or the Beckenbauer and despite being part of the Originals stable, and around in the 70s, never had the same level of terrace kudos. On the plus side it looks and feels like a proper training shoe and one you would actually want to play football in.
Casual Connoisseur were first out of the trap with this one with the Villain last summer (actually it was navy, inspired by Corrado Soprano, made from lighter-weight special linen by the ‘Masters of Linen’) followed by Closer Than Most’s limited edition Bengal flat cap (again not quite black but nods all round to the scuttlers again). As we mentioned at the time we saw loads of lads wearing black flat caps down at Fisher in south London one saturday, could’ve been a boxing thing as a local fighter had put in a guest appearance on matchday. Don’t know but something definitely in the air.
6. Talk of the terraces: Closer Than Most & Northern Boys Club
Two of the names to drop this coming year, both labels have been around a while as a kind of North West word-of-mouth in-the-know open secret. Time to move from cult status into the mainstream. There’s something compelling about fashion enthusiasts getting in on the racket and beating the top boys at their own game. Love to see both these develop beyond the one-off’s and t-shirt market and get their hands dirty on some real collections. That said the Northern Boys Club ‘Spread Your Love’ Blue jacket is a timeless summer classic, re-issued it would go down a storm. Like Peaceful Hooligan and Weekend Offender you get the feeling they’re on the side of us.
7. Music for the masses: April
The next Oasis, the next Stone Roses, the next Arctic Monkeys, the next Bluetones, shut the fuck up and let the lads breathe. Predict April will produce this year’s terrace anthem. They’ve got that priceless mix of heady guitarhead indie swagger and boy-next-door natural charm that’ll see ’em through. We’ve only heard two songs by them so far (10 Miles High and Feel – both instant classics) but it’s enough, it’s always enough to know when something this good is this good. Plus they know how to look good.
8. Outstanding contribution award: Nudie Jeans
There’s an article that needs to be written about how the North West of England and Sweden have come to dominate the dress of the football going male. Why those two areas in particular should produce such quality brands who produce such quality products? Wet and cold and miserable climate may have something to do with it, feeding the temperament, anyone’s guess.
Still holding good after all these years and still looking good and still innovating, everything about the Nudie label is inspired. Plus they have a genuine ethical work policy which means amongst other things a) they ensure the workers in India who supply their fabric receive a living wage, b) all their denim is from 100% organic cotton, and they’re part of the Fair Wear Foundation – an independent, non-profit organisation striving to improve working conditions in the textile industry founded by textile organisations, trade unions and NGOs.
Plus their Soho flagship store, the Nudie Jeans Repair Shop, is where you can get your much worn and loved Nudie jeans repaired for free, alternatively they’ll give you 20% discount off your next Nudie jeans if you bring your old pair in to be recycled.
But mostly they continue to produce the most wearable jeans in the world.
9. Collaborations: BAS Antarctic anorak re-issue
Love to see this being made up for 2016. It’s a genuine Antarctic sledging anorak from the 1970s made from ventile – a high quality densely woven cotton fabric making it weatherproof water resistance yet breathable and ‘quiet in use’. And we’d be happy to collaborate with anyone willing to put this out a one-off limited edition short run. As long as it’s re-made exactly the same as the original, same material, maybe different colours – bright acid house colours for the summer, yellow, turquoise, olive, burgundy for the winter. A Nice One x … collaboration.
Don’t know who Pete is though!?
10. Fjallraven pocket
Pure fucking terrace. These beauties are going to be everywhere this year, except worn low like a gun holster with the straps threaded through the belt loops of your jeans.
(*) 18Feb16 update
just got the nod that Peter Werth did a Dexys tribute look last year under the title Working Class Smart. All that’s left of the line on the website is a touching video which, if Kevin Rowland saw it, he would be immediately transported back to that Brummie cafe with his team. Fair play to Peter Werth for that, and credit to them if the terraces begin to resemble an early 80s picket line.