Archive for July, 2012

A casual buy no. 44

July 25, 2012

I’ve owned a few CP Company ‘Mille Miglia’ (pronounced ‘Meal-ay Meal-yah’) goggle jackets over the years, but before this only held onto a full leather one from Autumn/Winter 2007, because it is too nice to sell on. CP Company started life in 1975 as ‘Chester Perry’ and was designed by Massimo Osti, the late Italian fashion designer. In 1988, Osti was asked to design a driver’s jacket for the revamped Mille Miglia race, with inspiration being the original race which was contested annually from 1927-1957 (excluding the WWII years). The result was the famous 1988 Race Mille Miglia, which of course is now much sought after by collectors and other assorted Osti fanatics.

In 1994, Osti left CP Company to design other ranges, but the goggle jacket was so popular among, as well as other groups, the UK’s football match-going lads that the ‘Mille Miglia’ has continued to be redesigned and released in both summer and winter season guises ever since. The range was produced under the SPW umbrella, who also of course owned the Stone Island label. Finally, in 2010, SPW sold ‘CP Company’ to FGF Industry, and some said the quality went, well, shit.

Now, I’m not saying I agree completely that something seemed to be lost when that last connection to Massimo Osti was severed in 2010, but there suddenly seemed to be tinted goggles on everything from ski hats to shitty cotton hoodies. Many said the label was ‘dead’ to them. But I disagree up to a point, I’ve kept and eye on everything that has come out of the FGF CP range, and while some of it raises my eyebrows, the odd bit here and there makes me sit up and take note.

This summer’s goggle jacket had three things that made me want one. First, the maroon dyed jacket was a great colour. Second, the watch viewer on the sleeve was again added, with nice ‘CP Company’ branding on it. And, thirdly, I liked the little cotton collar flap, again with ‘CP Company’ stitched on it in white lettering. Small little details you might think, but along with a nice snug tailored-effect fit, it all came together to make a very nice edition of the famous jacket, and I wanted one, badly.

I waited until I could pick one up in my size in the summer sales, and viola – I got this last month for around half price. I’m very pleased with it, and my goggle jacket quota is up to one winter and one summer one – that’s plenty I think. The little ‘Acid Casual’ badge depicting a little fella in his Mille with the hood up is from Casual Connoisseur, who do these little accessories better than anyone, but they are limited edition – i.e. like rocking horse shit to find.

Hastings United 3 – 2 Albion

July 23, 2012

It won’t be much of a match report this post, as I only watched 30 odd minutes of it. That was due to it being a lovely day and wanting to have a good drink. I never even saw a goal go in. To be fair a lot of the reason for this total lack of commitment to football spectating was down to the daft interpretation of Football League Rule “Thou shalt not be able to see a football being kicked whilst thou hast a pint of ale in one’s mitt”. I don’t know whether Hastings themselves or some shady representative from the professional game decided to enforce this rule – but the whole point of non-league football is that you get treated like an adult and can have a beer while watching the game, without hi-vis bellends and the Polis breathing down your neck.

The bar at The Pilot Field looks out over the pitch, it has three windows, but only two roller blinds. I decided to roll up the two as the teams came out and the hapless stewards were on me in a flash. A small mob of similarly thirsty fans gathered around the one remaining outlook only to have the biggest steward literally stand in front of it and extend his arms in case the sight of a footballer doing his job might send us all into a drunken, rampaging mob.  So you had the spectacle of beer-drinking fans, young and old, trying to peer over a big bloke in hi-vis to see glimpses of the game outside, while he ducked about like Bruce Grobbelaar in a penalty shootout trying to block their view. A farce. So, after downing my lager I went outside to watch the remaining first half in the sunshine.

At half-time the bar filled again, and the three of us made the decision to bin the football, Vicente and all, and head down to the Old Town and “get on it properly”. And that’s how my first match of the 2012-13 season ended – in a haze of quaint old pubs and, after a train journey back to Brighton, another flurry of ale. Game over. I’m still suffering this morning.

To Hastings, and making a STAND Against Modern Football

July 19, 2012

A Morris Dancer free zone

I’m itching to get over to the east of East Sussex for this one, it’s been ages since I’ve seen the old pig’s bladder being kicked about. I have quite a few in-laws from around the Hastings area, but they’ve no interest in football; odd lot over there, but great place for a bevvie, especially the Old Town.

I’ll take the old Panasonic with me, so I can capture a few daguerreotypes to put up here, and a Hovian trademarked BHAFC match report – if I can stay sober enough to shoot phots that is.

In other news – the peasants are revolting. There’s a new paper football fanzine, unlike anything you’ve read before, being stuck together for publishing as we speak. It’s called “Stand – Against Modern Football” and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Even better, yours truly has an article in there, all about…..well, you’ll just have to buy it and see. The co-editors are (drinking) pals of mine, who are already in the business of magazines and fanzines, so it’s not some bodge job. You can check it all out on their Twitter @standamf, Facebook, and their blog. Sabotage Times have done a good write up here as well.

The boys at Stand have got 1200+ followers already on the old Twitter, so there is momentum behind this venture – after all, it’s our game and they are fucking us over, enough is enough – time to make a STAND.

The fanzine will be available to buy online only at this stage, stay tuned here or at @TheHovian to find out more.

NO AL CALCIO MODERNO

A casual buy no. 43

July 8, 2012

Probably the best bargain I’ve ever picked up this one, definitely best ever buy from the Bay of shame. A mint condition Left Hand jacket from about 1999. It retailed for about £400 back then, I got this for £51 all in, to say I’m dead chuffed would be an understatement.

Left Hand was a short-lived, almost mythical brand from the genius that was Massimo Osti. The great man left Sportswear Company (AKA ‘SPW’ – which housed both CP Company and Stone Island back then) in 1993 and immediately set about designing a more grown-up, subdued, and, in my opinion classier range of clothing than a lot of his old SPW range.

Left Hand eschewed the iconic branding of SI and CP Company, opting instead for muted and minimal – the brand logo was literally ‘branded’ onto the left arm of most jackets, same place as the Stone Island compass rose, but you’d be hard pushed to make it out even from close up. Somehow for me that’s a bit of a bonus, don’t ask me why, but it gives the brand and their clothes a bit more exclusivity than the ubiquitous Stone Island and other Osti productions. If I see someone wearing a jacket I think might be Left Hand I have to make an effort to confirm or deny my suspicions. All very cloak and dagger for a clobber freak, but there you go.

Left Hand’s most iconic piece was the Thermojoint jacket – marketed as between 80-100% nuclear radiation proof. That’s just great, typically outside of the box innovation from Osti; but when your head and legs disappear in a thermonuclear detonation why give a fuck that your jacket is still steezing it? A bit like ‘bullet-proof’ sunglasses. Anyway, I have a Thermojoint at home, but it’s seen better days, I also have a Left Hand short double-breasted summer jacket that gets worn regularly – because it’s still smart and hasn’t aged a day. But this jacket above was a steal, looks fantastic, but is rather toasty with the quilted inner, so I’ll have to wait until the sun is low in the sky again before I can get it on. I can hardly wait.