Fashion Architecture Travel Ideas Sport Design
ÂŁFree Issue Eight Spring 2013 www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Umbrella Manifesto here was more than a little anger in the air when we began work on this issue. The cause? The refusal of what passes for fashion journalism in this country to cover the creative explosion in menswear that we’ve seen over the last few years. If it isn’t happening in central London then it’s ignored – a state of mind that caused the style press of old to get bypassed by casual and later on, ‘Madchester’. They’ve still not learnt their lesson, as Editor Tony discusses on page 16. Away from this, you’ll find a city report on Bradford, a study on the nature of celebrity and a history of the relationship between art and Polaroid cameras. Oh, and a fashion section very much in tune with the UK menswear scene. Enjoy the issue.
Anthony Teasdale and Matt Reynolds, London, late winter 2013
printed Printed copies copies Beautifully bound, printed copies of Umbrella now available to order online here Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Issue eight contents 9 Editions 10 He built this city The amazing world of Chris Ware’s graphic novel, Building Stories 12 News Venice Biennale, London’s shrinking music quarter, Cabourn v Cerruti, new map for the Boston T, the 3D-printed house 16 Column: Short-changed by Anthony Teasdale 17 Column: A knockdown price by Elliott Lewis-George 19 The simple pleasures of Beef stew 20 Wishbone’s favourite recipes 22 Cocktail recipes by Tigerlily, Edinburgh 24 Q&A on the creation of ideas in Everything is a Remix, by Kirby Ferguson 26 Our favourite things Brompton bicycle
29 Field trip 30 Cross words A new quarter for London opens at King’s Cross 34 Off the rails How Rome let its tram system die olling news 38 R 40 Basking in Bradford’s new-found warmth How the West Yorkshire city’s rejuvenation is now on track
45 Stories 46 Prints charming How artists embraced the Polaroid SX-70 50 Dirty business The dark side of celebrity 54 Frame academy Fantastic Sonic Editions photos 58 The American dream The story of the ’50s Cunard Yanks – Britain goes Technicolor
63 Fashion 64 U mbrella loves Henri Lloyd vs Olmes Carretti jacket 66 Coats 70 Shirts 72 Outfits 78 Shoes 82 Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Grand Reverso 986 Duodate watch
84 Obsessions Tractors
Issue eight’s contributors Bringing the worlds of illustration, photography and journalism together, this issue’s contributors reflect the diversity of the magazine
Christopher Bonanos The writer of our feature on Polaroid cameras, Christopher is an editor at New York magazine, and writes for The New York Times and Slate, as well as running his own site at polaroidland.net. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.
Currently based in London, Yorkshireborn writer and editor Cunningham is Features Editor at Nuts magazine. In this issue he discovers how his home city of Bradford is trying to use its recent sporting successes as a catalyst for wider regeneration. See it on page 40.
The Indian artist and designer is the illustrator of our celebrity feature on page 50. As chief of the Guruji Art Studio in Mumbai, Devashish works on everything from traditional banner painting to production design. See more at www.devashishguruji.com
A practicing architect that last contributed to the magazine in 2011, Matt’s returned to write a short review on 2012’s Architecture Biennale held in Venice, a city he’s been obsessed with since his first visit as a student six years ago. See more of Matthew’s work at barrgazetas.com
Justin Quirk is the Editor of house magazine and Editorial Director of Victor, Hasselblad’s biannual photo book. He’s also a features writer for The Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine, and author of the graphic novel Yellowman. He writes on the dark side of celebrity for this issue.
One half of the duo behind terrace label 80s Casuals, Dave is the writer of this issue’s feature on the ‘Cunard Yanks’, the Liverpudlian seamen who brought Americana to the UK in the 1950s. He also runs record label Eighties Vinyl – more at: www.eightiesvinylrecords.co.uk
Umbrella Magazine is published by Wool Media Ltd, © 2013 Editor Anthony Teasdale (firstname.lastname@example.org) Creative Director Matt Reynolds (email@example.com) Staff Writer Elliott Lewis-George (firstname.lastname@example.org) Technological Development Dan Nicolson (email@example.com) Advertising Manager Jon Clements (firstname.lastname@example.org) Picture Researcher John Ritchie Other contributors Don G. Cornelius, Alex Crane, Terry Daley, Leo Parker Contact us email@example.com UMB021
on the cover This issue’s cover was shot on location at Salford’s Media City. The picture was captured on an iPhone 5 and edited in Photoshop and Camera+.
Editions Photography, ideas, technology, food, amusement
10: Graphic novels go epic with Building Stories 22: Cocktails from Edinburgh’s super-chic Tigerlily hotel 26: Brompton bikes
Hot stuff pictures: © Umbrella
Fried chicken gets a spicy rework at Wishbone – try the recipes on page 20.
He built this city Comic storytelling is taken to its most ambitious level yet with a new work about a Chicago apartment block by the brilliant Chris Ware he graphic novel really has come of age. From being dismissed as a children’s medium in its early days, works by the likes of Alan Moore (From Hell, Watchmen), Joe Sacco (Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde) and Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) have moved the medium into the realms of ‘serious’ literature, complete with nominations on book prize shortlists. One other title that heralded this era of respect was Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth, the tale of an ordinary man’s life told through flashbacks to both his and his grandfather’s childhood. Beautifully drawn and heartbreakingly poignant, the Chicago-set book showed that comic art could tell stories every bit as moving as conventional literature. Ware returns with Building Stories, which, like Corrigan, is heavily influenced in both look and tone by graphic art of the early 20th Century, particularly advertising. To call it just a book would be do it a disservice as the whole package includes 14 separate parts, including newspapers, cloth books and even a board game – all of which tell the story of one particular Chicago apartment building and its inhabitants. The novel’s main protagonist is an unnamed woman who inherits the third floor of the building, sharing the block with a constantlyarguing couple on the second floor and an elderly lady on the first. The 14 stories aren’t meant to be read in any particular order, though there are some instructions on how best to enjoy Building Stories on the lid of the box the work comes in. The woman is not the only character. One story concerns a bee with an unshakable belief in God, while another features people from the future looking down into the lives of the couple on the second floor. And, like Jimmy Corrigan, each tale is infused with a feeling of melancholia, disappointment and (very) fleeting happiness. Every frame of Building Stories is beautifully realised, every sentence thoughtfully written, every separate piece able to be judged in its own right, yet stronger when viewed as part of the greater whole. Thanks to Ware, the graphic novel has never felt more grown up. A stunning work.
Covered: Graphic novels
Neat work Wareâ€™s output is characterised by precise shapes and subtle shading.
Building Stories is published by Jonathan Cape, priced ÂŁ30, www.randomhouse.co.uk
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
U-feed What Umbrella likes this issue… Want to keep in touch with loved ones around the world in a more physical, even cosy way? Buy a USB-powered Goodnight lamp set (one big one, one little), give the larger lamp to a loved one, and when they turn it on, your little one will come on too. More at goodnightlamp.com … According to Time magazine, Mexican drug cartels will lose up to $1.4bn in revenue thanks to cannabis legalisation in the US states of Colorado and Washington State… Figures show that 23m iPads were sold between October and December of 2012, up 48 per cent on the same time the year before. However, Apple’s share of the tablet market went down 44 per cent as Samsung’s Galaxy range boasted figures of 7.9m, 15 per cent of the market share… It had to happen; as developers continue to market apartments to rent in Brooklyn, NY, the borough is fast running out of places available to buy. Figures show that the average price of a dwelling is now $613,000, a year-on-year rise of 15.9 per cent. Meanwhile an average family townhouse clocks in at $1.425m… Staying in New York, The Atlantic magazine reports that clocks in New York’s Grand Central station are deliberately set a minute fast, so conductors leave a full minute after the set time of departure. This means people rush less and aren’t as susceptible to accidents. It’s worked – GC has less slips and falls than any other main station in the USA, and it’s still the most beautiful, too boot…
Third place 3D printing stretches what we understand as construction with new housing project Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars has produced plans for the first ‘printed’ building. The ultra-modern home will be constructed in Ireland with the help of printing pioneer Enrico Dini, whose D-Shape printer makes components using sand and a binding agent, which is “stronger than cement”. The printer will produce 6ftx9ft strips which will be used to construct the house. Ruijssenaars plans to construct copies of the building, based around the one-sided Möbius strip all over the world, each costing $6m.
He told the BBC: “3D printing is amazing. For me as an architect it’s been a nice way to construct this specific design – it has no beginning and no end, and with the 3D printer we can make it look like that. “In traditional construction you have to make a mould of wood and you fill it with concrete and then you take out the wood – it’s a waste of time and energy. “[With 3D printing] You can print what you want – it’s a more direct way of constructing.” www.universearchitecture.com
Covered: Architecture, Venice
Held from August to November, 2012’s Venice Biennale international architecture exhibition boasted 69 projects and 119 participants, filling 10,000sq m of exhibition space around the city and its islands. Umbrella sent Matthew Wang along to report on it Every two years, the world’s top architects descend on Venice to showcase their work. This year’s exhibition, subtitled Common Ground, aimed – according to Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale – “to help architects emerge from the crisis of identity they’re going through, and at the same time offer the public a chance to look inside architecture, make it familiar and discover that something can be asked of it”. Curator David Chipperfield agreed, saying that the exhibition was trying “to address the apparent lack of understanding that exists between the profession and society”. Delivery of this task was somewhat questionable however, as despite most of the exhibits fulfilling the brief by focusing on issues or projects that have a direct connection to the
Innovation was at the fore from the likes of Zaha Hadid, Kazuyu Zeijima, Atelier Jean Nouvel, SPAINLab and Peter Zumthor
average person, much of the written and visual language was at times difficult to unravel, even for those with an architectural background. One of the ways that its sister exhibition, the Art Biennale captivates visitors is through the use of large scale installations, and this year the architects were at it, too. Zaha Hadid’s Arum, a “habitable bloom” of pleated metal on display in the Arsenal’s ropewalk, allowed visitors to step inside its stem to see its construction. But without a keen interest and understanding of architectural history it’s difficult to see how the concept, derived from the work of German pioneer Frei Otto and his experiments with the material-structural form finding process, fulfilled the common ground theme.
Peter Zumthor’s short film started with the narrator proclaiming that Zumthor has become “the architect’s architect”. If this statement is true, and that the purpose of the film was to introduce his ideology and approach to those unfamiliar with his work, then it may have fallen a bit short. Opening the doors to the Zumthor studio and its beautifully crafted ateliers and models was both intriguing and insightful, but his jokes about gutter detailing were surely aimed at architectural viewers. Overall however, the event was far from disappointing. Pasticcio, Caruso St John’s sensitive exploratory collection of photography and models, focused on contemporary projects from around Europe that have tried to establish a continuity with pre-modernist architecture. It was excellent. In summary, Common Ground may not have bridged the gap between architects and public in the way it set out to, but it did to demonstrate the profession’s ongoing creativity and innovation. www.labiennale.org
Pictures: © Shutterstock / matthew wang
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living music
h y de park
Sony Music Entertainment
9 Derry Street, W8 5HY BMG (Bertelsmann Group) moved from 69-70 Fulham High Street – near to Putney Bridge – to Sony’s offices at 9 Derry Street, Kensington in 2008 once the Japanese giant bought it out. Notable artists: Paloma Faith, Michael Jackson, Labrinth, Paul Simon
An area of west London has become the last refuge for the shrinking UK record industry, as Justin Clack reveals Much attention has been focused recently on ‘Silicon Roundabout’, the area around Old Street in east London, in which technology companies of various sizes have started to Warner Music cluster. What’s not as well known is how Group 28 Kensington Britain’s record industry has congregated Church Street, W8 4EP several miles to the west in Kensington war n er Based in Kensington – less a product of an industry so n y Church Street for diversifying but of one eating itself. years, its collection Following Universal Music Group’s of labels includes Atlantic, Elektra and relocation of its subsidiary labels like Warner Chappell. The Polygram and Decca, all the ‘majors’ original Chapell & high s t ree t are now around Kensington High St. ke n si n g t o n Company dates from In 2008, following mergers and 1811 when it was acquisitions, the six major record a music publishing and instrument shop labels of the 1980s and ’90s (Universal, emi on Bond Street in Polygram, EMI, Sony, BMG, Warner Music) London’s West End, were reduced to four as Universal bought Notable artists: Burt Polygram and Sony acquired BMG. After Bacharach, Jonelle EMI EMI’s purchase by Universal Music at the Monae, Bruno Mars, 27 Wrights Lane, W8 5SW Led Zeppelin end of last September, there’s now just From 1960 to 1995, EMI House was three. Once a byword for diversity, the holla n d based at 20 Manchester Square, W1, park British recording industry looks like it’s on location of the stairwell where the an inescapable spiral toward monopoly. Beatles were pictured on the cover of Please, Please Me. Before Record labels have always been based moving to Kensington, EMI around west London. In recent years, as was at Brook Green, W6. major labels purchased independents, Notable artists: Coldplay, based mostly in scruffier parts of The Beatles, Blur, Kraftwerk Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Chiswick, they’ve moved into larger office buildings in Kensington High Street. The most affluent part of the Universal Music UK, no doubt record execs are pleased 364 Kensington High Street, W14 8NS Subsidiary labels that have moved with their choice of upmarket enclave, its into Universal’s offices in Kensington cosy pubs and restaurants a world away from are Polygram, Island Records and Polydor, all from grimy Old Street. But what it says about the Hammersmith. More recently, Decca moved from Chiswick. u n i v ersal range of music the industry will produce in Notable artists: Florence and The Machine, Lana Del Rey, Bob Marley, Paul McCartney years to come is another matter.
Covered: Music, metros, maps, photography mapping metros
Boston T party New maps add an extra dimension to using the Massachusetts capital’s transport system While nothing can ever match the quantum leap in design that was Harry Beck’s map of the London Underground, designer Pete Dunn has done something pretty revolutionary for his work on both Boston’s metro, the ‘T’, and the city’s suburban rail network. Unlike conventional metro maps, Dunn’s Boston diagrams space stations according to how long a train takes – in theory at least – to get their destinations. On the more recent commuter rail map, he also uses width of line to denote the frequency of trains. He explains: “Since commuters probably already know
their schedules, the diagram is potentially more useful to new riders. Newcomers looking for a place to move can compare how much of their day they’d spend commuting from various stations.” Dunn, modestly, doesn’t believe that his maps should replace the ones currently in use. “This map doesn’t even show connections to the subway or other modes, which is a must for any good transit diagram. Showing scheduled travel time ultimately just isn’t the most important job for a transit map to do.” Seeing his maps, we’d have to disagree. stonebrowndesign.com
Nigel: meet Nino Cabourn and Cerruti collide for peerless A/W 13/14 collection
As Britain shudders under its yearly cold(ish) spell, it’s tempting to look forward to spring. And while we’d happily spend the colder months in a modernist apartment block in Seville or Naples, there is one consolation about the cold – a collaboration between Italian brand Cerruti and heritage godfather Nigel Cabourn – though sadly it’s for next winter. Unsurprisingly for a Cabourn collection, there are strong references to mountaineering, this
time to the Everest expedition of 1952, on which Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquered the world’s highest mountain. Nino Cerruti, meanwhile, adds an Italian interpretation of classic British luxury. He says: “The collection is inspired by the hunting and fishing estates held by the British aristocracy.” From duffel coats to tailored tweed jackets, this collection is one the standouts from the recent menswear shows in London, Berlin and Florence.
Instant film pioneer opens new stores Polaroid, the originators of the instant camera are continuing their resurgence with a plan to open 12 photo print shops around the USA this year. Unlike regular printing stores, the ‘Fotobars’ will specialise in transferring images from digital devices and websites onto a range of materials like metal, bamboo and canvas. Customers will be able retouch and add affects to their pictures with the help of trained ‘Phototenders’. www.polaroidfotobar.com
Pictures: © Umbrella / cerruti
Polaroid in print
From End Clothing in Newcastle to Eleven in Sunderland, Oi Polloi in Manchester and Weavers Door in Liverpool – British menswear has undergone a revolution in the last few years with a look coalescing around workwear, preppy, mod, casual and extreme weatherwear. And it’s been ignored in favour of fawning pieces on designers whose clothes we’ll never wear and whose reference points mean nothing to us. Great Britain is not a big country – a trip to Manchester or Liverpool takes two hours from London, while another 30-60 mins will get you to Leeds or Newcastle. But if you’re writing
‘The anger comes from the laziness of lifestyle journalists’
Short-changed Umbrella Editor Anthony Teasdale’s got a bee in his bonnet about fashion writers’ complete removal from anything outside London
t started with beanie hats. Or rather, it started with a column in the fashion section of The Times about beanie hats late last year. A column that typified everything that’s wrong about style journalism in the UK. The gist of the story was that the writer had noticed with the onslaught of the cold weather, men had started to wear beanie hats. This was backed up by pictures of young chaps in said hats mugging for the camera in a satisfyingly urban location in London. A nothing piece. But the story infuriated me – not because I particularly dislike beanies – but because it completely ignored that the real winter hat of the moment was not the beanie, but the bobble,
worn by ‘Himalayan scallies’ and ‘heritage’ types the country over for the last two years. Anyone with an interest in men’s fashion would have noticed this. It may only have been a small piece but it symbolised how uninformed mainstream fashion scribes are – and always have been – about street style outside London. They simply don’t get it – or us. If this writer, the paper’s Fashion Editor no less, had even bothered to leave the chummy, mwah-mwah capsule of the capital then she’d have witnessed disparate men’s fashion scenes flourishing all over the country. And, probably, the odd bobble hat in the process, too.
about men’s fashion it might as well be the size of Brazil, such is the coverage these cities receive. It’s no coincidence that the London press completely missed the advent of what would become ‘casual’ in the late 1970s and Madchester ten years later. If it wasn’t in Soho, it wasn’t happening. A couple of years back, The Sunday Times Style magazine devoted a whole issue to “the new style tribes”, a mish-mash of imagined whoppers and whopperettes living some privileged Performance-like existence in Westbourne Grove where beautiful rastas share their weed with Jemima and her oh-so-bohemian pals. And they got away with it. They got away with it when British menswear blogs like Oneupmanship were charting the rise of heritage and the frenetic trading in brands like Façonnable on ebay. They got away with it as young men in their late teens and early-20s tried to relive the casual era of their fathers by buying T-shirts that referenced the period in their tens of thousands. They got away with it, because those who knew what was really happening had no way of contradicting those who didn’t. This isn’t a rant about or against London. The magazine is based in the city, and we consider it to be one of the greatest places on earth. The anger comes the laziness of the capital’s lifestyle journalists and the fact that actually finding stories comes a poor second to getting free clothes and going to parties we’re not invited to. As journalism becomes increasingly badly paid and jobs only open up to those who can afford to work for free, the gap between the style press and regular men who have a real interest in fashion will just get wider and wider. They’re not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes.
Covered: Fashion, Britain, sport opinions
A knockdown price In his memoirs of the Spanish Civil War, writer George Orwell described how it felt to be shot in the throat. Seventy-five years on, Elliott Lewis-George remembers a bolt from the blue that still hurt long after the physical pain had gone
hope that one would stick to his jaw. I’d drop my left hand and dangle my chin out in front of his windmilling arms, trying to draw him closer to me so I could land one of my selfproclaimed, ‘signature’ body hooks squarely into his floating rib. Then it was lights out. He’d caught me. His sloppy right hand had done what I was convinced one of my polished jabs would achieve in the early stages of the first round. The terrible boxer had satisfied the lairy crowd’s desire to see a decent scrap and hopefully someone get hurt. My brain had
‘From the second the glove hits you you’re as good as dead’ get your head around the numbing pain of being exposed as the weaker person. Only someone who has dared to step through the ropes into the squared circle, only to fall victim to their opponent’s fist can understand why, after their legs are reduced to jelly, behemoth warriors weep like vulnerable babies. It’s not the pain of the punch that hurts – it’s the pain of the defeat. And that’s the true feeling of being knocked out.
Pictures: © Umbrella
is fists were sloppy and abandoned, that was obvious every time he attempted a punch. His footwork was tangled and unruly, he didn’t switch to southpaw to throw his opponent off balance; he did it because he lacked any real control. His guard splayed so wildly in front of him it was a surprise he didn’t plant an uppercut on his own chin. In short, he was a terrible boxer. I, however, was intent on skipping around the ring like I was Stockport’s answer to Muhammad Ali. An ostentatious showboater, I’d flick off jabs in quick succession with the
been dealt a shuddering blow, causing it to bash around my skull. The nerves floating around in the cerebral fluid cushioning my brain had shortcircuited. The terrible boxer had knocked me out cold. He’d beaten me. From the second that glove hits the side of your head to the moment you wake up again, you’re as good as dead – everything is silence and blackness. I can’t really remember how it felt to be knocked out. But the sensation when you wake up is similar to the one you get when you awake disorientated from a deep sleep. But after time, when you dig deep into your unconsciousness, you start to build up an understanding of what being floored feels like. And, albeit a less gory and arguably less hazardous act of violence, I’d suggest that my first time hitting the canvas felt something like Orwell’s description of being shot in the neck by a sniper during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. “There seemed to be a loud bang and a blinding flash of light all around me,” wrote Orwell. “And I felt a tremendous shock – no pain, only a violent shock, such as you get from an electric terminal; with it a sense of utter weakness, a feeling of being stricken and shrivelled up to nothing.” Orwell’s account might be an accurate comparison to my first feeling of being knocked out. But like a trippy, drug hallucination I suspect everyone’s experience is different. However, whether you’re some cocky lad on the receiving end of a hook in a school hall, or Ricky Hatton being dealt a devastating second-round slobberknocker by Manny Pacquiáo, there is a repercussion all fighters share after they’re dealt a debilitating blow. A psychological consequence that lasts longer than the ten-count and only surfaces once you’ve regained consciousness, overcome the embarrassment of wetting yourself and convinced the inexperienced St John’s Ambulance cadet that you’re alive. You need to
Covered: Food, beef
The simple pleasures of…
Beef stew Umbrella examines the very personal relationship the British have with this most traditional of slow-cooked meals here’s a lot to be said for one-pot cookery. We men, especially those who own Gary Rhodes or Gordon Ramsay cookbooks, are proud of our modernday culinary prowess, comfortable with using four or more pans at the same time to create something that will impress guests or families – just as long as we don’t have to wash up. And it’s ‘impress’ that’s the key word here. Yet, like the ‘was-it-worth-it?’ feeling you get after a particularly pricey meal out (“No, the pumpkin and gingerbread amuse bouche really did make it for me”) when you compare the military-like operation involved in your
Beef stew is perhaps the dish that best symbolises this. Its mix of root vegetables, grains and stewing steak could all conceivably come from the same farm. If dumplings are added, and they should be, then you have something that reflects every aspect of our agriculture. Of course, like its French equivalent, boeuf bourguignon, the cuts of meat are cheap, scrawny, knotty bits of muscle too tough for
‘The cow, not the bulldog, is the true beast of England’ the grill, but whose flavours can be unlocked with slow, gentle cooking. These dishes came about because those who worked on the land couldn’t afford the fillets and sirloins, so processes evolved that made them a little more palatable. The British, particularly the English, have a very deep relationship with the cow and the produce that it gives us. It’s why roast beef symbolises our national character: unfussy, free of embellishments, truthful, protestant even. It’s not for nothing that steak restaurant Hawksmoor’s motto is ‘Beef and Liberty’. The cow, not the bulldog is the true beast of England. On a winter’s night then, a beef stew, slowly bubbling on the stove is the ultimate welcome-home present, food for the soul as well as the stomach. Its combination of thick gravy, unctuous meat and disintegrating vegetables acts like chicken soup in Jewish culture: as medicine. And when those chunks of meat dissolve into the gravy that’s been poured over them, you can be sure you won’t need a spoonful of sugar to help it go down – just some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Picture: © Umbrella
latest complex creation with the ten minutes it takes to eat, it can all feel a little bit over-thetop. One-pot cooking, however, whether it’s a bowl of Irish stew, a pan of pasta ragout or some udon noodles in broth, never does. LIke all – ahem – peasant cooking, stews reflect the land of their invention. In the British Isles, meals like Lancashire hot pot and mince ’n’ tatties are a true agglomeration of local produce. The French use the term terroir to describe the earth and the special relationship people have with it. In Britain, our favourite foods have that same dependency on the soil.
Golden wonders Southern fried chicken goes upmarket with these indulgent recipes from London’s Wishbone restaurant t’s funny how things change. Ten years ago, in the wake of the Fast Food Nation book and growing anti-American sentiment among metropolitan liberals, the chances of seeing your average Guardian reader shoving a burger in his or her mouth was as likely as them endorsing George Bush for London mayor. Today, things are very different. The last couple of years has seen an explosion in restaurants that serve what has become known – rather patronisingly – as ‘dirty’ food. We’re talking juicy burgers dripping with fat or racks of ribs covered in authentic dry rubs – anything, in fact, that carries a serving of guilt along with the usual fries and slaw. Of course, being aimed at young urbanites, the food isn’t really dirty – these places put great store in the provenance of their meat – but healthy in the weave-your-own-muesli way of old it is not. It’s like Americana compared to modern day country ’n’ western, a symbol of the United States when, to our eyes at least, it was a simpler, fairer, more likeable place. While barbecue and burger places have multiplied in London (and to a lesser extent, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool), fried
chicken, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure in the American larder, has had to wait until 2012 for its place under the pass lights. Until now that is – because Wishbone, in south London’s Brixton has just upped the ante to a serious level. The brainchild of food writer William Leigh and Meat Liquor founder Scott Collins, Wishbone does to fried chicken what Hawksmoor does for steak – it makes it as good as it can be. Using its own personal rubs and free-range chicken, the unit in food-lover’s paradise Brixton Market brings hungry punters in with traditional and Korean-flavoured fried chicken. The fact that the grub is served alongside outstanding craft beers just makes a trip even more essential. For those not residing in the capital, there’s no need to feel left out. After much persuasion, Wishbone has given Umbrella two of its favourite recipes – one for fried chicken, the other for their spicy Korean-style nuggets. They’re so good, if you’re not sweating over a pan of hot oil this weekend and calling yourself ‘Dug’ then there’s something wrong with you. Time to tuck in.
Covered: Food, recipes
Fried chicken Serves 2 40g Blend of spices and dried herbs – chilli, paprika, black pepper, oregano – use whichever you like and experiment to find your perfect blend 400g Flour 100g Dried white breadcrumbs 40g Fine salt 1 Chicken, cut into 8 portions, marinated in buttermilk (optional) 1 Litre flavourless oil such as groundnut To Serve Hot sauce, pickles or chilli vinegar (see the recipe below)
‘This is the guiltiest pleasure in the American larder’ Chilli Vinegar Method – Chop some chillies, add them to 100ml of vinegar and pop into a squeezy bottle. How hot you have it is down to two things: The number of chillies you use How long you leave it
Fried chicken nuggets Serves 2 15g Togarashi (a zesty spice blend from Japan, available in larger supermarkets and Asian stores) 100g Plain flour Pinch of salt and pepper 2 large eggs 75ml milk 200g Japanese panko or regular breadcrumbs 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts 1 litre of vegetable oil for frying For the sauce 60g Soy sauce 60g Rice wine vinegar or white vinegar 15g Sugar 1tbsp Togarashi 15g Liquid from a jar of pickled ginger 1 inch ginger grated 1 inch chilli, finely sliced Garnish 3 Spring onions, sliced 5 Shiso leaves of bunch of mint 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds Method – For the sauce, whisk together the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. – Mix the togarashi with the flour, salt and pepper, place in a bowl. Crack the eggs into another bowl, add the milk and whisk until smooth. Place the panko in a third bowl. – Cut the thighs into 1in chucks. Dip them into the seasoned flour. Tap off the excess, and dip them into the egg. Then finally drop them into the panko until they are coated. Set aside on greaseproof paper. Repeat for each piece. – Heat the oil in a high-sided pan until it’s reached 180c. Fry the chicken in batches until cooked through. Drain kitchen paper. – Add the spring onion, the shiso or mint leaves and sesame seeds to the sauce. Then add the chicken, turning each piece over to coat. – Pop on a dish and garnish with togarashi.
www.wishbonebrixton.co.uk Pictures: © Umbrella
Method – Grind the spices and herbs until they are uniform. Mix with the flour, breadcrumbs and salt. Place in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs into another bowl and mix in the milk. – Using one hand for wet, one for dry, take a piece of chicken, toss it in the seasoned flour, take it out, tap off any excess flour, dip it in egg and pop it back into your seasoned flour. Take it out again, tapping off any excess flour again, then pop it on a rack. – Repeat this process with all the chicken portions. – Heat the oil on a high side pan until it reaches 170c. Keep an eye on the temperature – too high and the chicken will brown on the outside before it is cooked in the middle; too low and it won’t seal on the outside and will absorb lots of fat. - Cook the wings for 6 to 8 minutes, the breast for 8 to 10 minutes and legs for 10 to 12 minutes. – Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature of the chicken has reached 73c. – Fry in batches so the oil temperature does not drop too much. – Once cooked, drain on some kitchen paper then pop on a cooling rack for 8 minutes before eating. – Serve with hot sauce to dunk and hamisha or other salt pickles, or with a good squirt of chilli vinegar.
Wee Dram! The Spiced Winter Cup relies on Drambuie to create its signature spicy warmth.
â€˜The bar blends contemporary design with revelryâ€™
Covered: Cocktails the umbrella bar
hile Glasgow has, with a few exceptions, always been seen as Scotland’s top nightlife destination, Edinburgh’s afterhours denizens have sometimes struggled to be heard against the noisier rival on the Clyde. But for sheer sophistication without pretension, there’s little in Glasgow that can compete with the capital’s Tigerlily hotel, and its rather splendid bar. Set on George Street at the centre of the New Town – the 18th Century ‘planned’ neighbourhood that defined enlightened living in Scotland – Tigerlily blends absolutely contemporary design with a reputation for late-night revelry. An excellent combination. Here, talented Tigerlily mixologist Kevin Griffin puts together four winter cocktail recipes especially for Umbrella readers to try out in the not-especially-fun time between late winter and spring. If you can master them before the clocks go forward, your evenings may just turn out to be a lot more exciting than you’d hoped. And if you’re doing this in April then they’re perfect for kickstarting a chilly spring soirée.
SPICED WINTER CUP
“My version of the classic Mint Julep. It stays true to the original ingredients but has hints of winter spices to create a homeliness that we all appreciate around this time of year.”
“The Xanadu Fancy was created by Nick Reed, a former bartender at Tigerlily. This drink is a great example of the style and sophistication of the drinks available at Tigerlily. It’s light and refreshing, so a great alternative to heavier winter cocktails made with rum or port.”
Ingredients: 35ml Woodford Reserve 15ml Drambuie Original 25ml Homemade spiced, sweetened lemon juice 12 Mint leaves
1 Bar spoon pimento dram Top with Fever Tree ginger beer Glass: Large julep tin Garnish: Large mint bunch, metal straw, vanilla sugar dusting
Method: Build ingredients in tin except the ginger beer. Add crushed ice, top with the ginger beer, then dust
Ingredients: 20ml 42 Below passion fruit vodka 20ml Lime juice 20ml Aperol 10ml Orgeat syrup
25ml Egg white Dash Peychaud Bitters Glass: Coupette glass Garnish: 4 dashes Peychaud Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake without ice. Add ice, shake again. Double-strain into glass, garnish.
SPICED RUM FLIP
SLOE GIN CUP
“A really rich drink, with plenty of winter spice and depth. I created this to compliment the winter desserts served in Tigerlily at this time of year. A drink to be served after dinner, but also when you need a bit of decadence in your life.”
“Winter drinks don’t always need to be hot and heavy. Try this delicate gin warmer instead.”
Ingredients: 25ml Bacardi 8 25ml Drambuie Original 1 Whole egg 25ml Milk 2 Lemon twists
Dash Lemon Bitters 1 Bar-spoon of demerara sugar Glass: Whisky glass Garnish: Toasted almond flakes
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake then double strain and garnish.
Ingredients: 25ml Sloe gin 25ml Blended whisky 25ml Hendricks gin 100ml Cranberry juice 10ml Lemon juice
15ml House seasonal berry syrup Glass: Tea cup Garnish: Red currants and lemon wedge
Method: Combine all ingredients, heat, then serve. For more on the stunning Tigerlily hotel just go to www.tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk
pictures: © tigerlily
In Edinburgh’s beautiful New Town, the Tigerlily hotel serves up decadent cocktails with a dash of luxury and a generous twist of informality
Umbrella a Q&A kirby fergu everything is a
Covered: Ideas, copyright
How do we generate ideas? Do those eureka lightbulb moments truly exist? As his brilliant short films illustrate, video essayist Kirby Ferguson believes that “everything is a remix”. Confused? Elliott Lewis-George asked Ferguson to elaborate on just what he means
U: What inspired you to kick-start the creative process behind Everything is a Remix? Was there one particular event that sparked it off ? KF: It started brewing back around 2007 when a lot of crazy lawsuits were happening. For example, there was a lawsuit against Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, by the authors of a book called The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail. Brown seems to have used this book as his primary reference for the The Da Vinci Code. He copied the core conspiracy theory from that book. The Holy Blood is a product of research. In other words, they selectively – very selectively – copied from historical works in order to make their case. They essentially did the same thing as Brown. But this hypocrisy didn’t seem to occur to the authors of The Holy Blood, probably because they wanted a piece of The Da Vinci Code’s massive royalties. Anyway, that was just one case among many, and it got me wondering why people don’t acknowledge the ways that their work is indebted to others. U: If every idea is a copy of something else, is there any such thing as originality? KF: Well, I don’t think every idea is a copy. I think every idea is built out of old ideas, so strictly speaking there is no such thing as originality, but there are still new and exciting things, they just happen to have less romantic origins than some of us might think. U: Can the copying of ideas be put down to coincidence? Is it really that simple? KF: For sure, we’re all building with the same materials, so sometimes people are going to put things together in similar ways. That’s referred to as ‘multiple discovery’, which I briefly discuss in the series. U: Would you say your idea behind the Everything is A Remix is a copy of something that has influenced you? KF: Sure. I borrowed liberally from Steven Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From. The writer Malcolm Gladwell has talked about similar ideas in the past. Scott Berkun, Jonathan Lethem, James Boyle, and Andrew Hargadon have written about many of these things. And of course, Lawrence Lessig was the major voice in the copyright realm. But again, the idea isn’t a ‘copy’. I still brought the elements together in my own way. You’re getting hung up on the copy part, my friend.
U: So, what’s the core message you’re trying to get across? KF: That ideas contain ideas. That’s how we create new ideas – out of old ones. We are always borrowing from those who came before us, and our surrounding environment. And that the basic process of creativity is easy. It’s just copying, transforming and combining. It’s easy to begin creating, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to come up with something novel. I’d like people to understand that it’s easy to start and after that, it’s about work, persistence and some luck. U: Has anyone disagreed with the views you raise in the films? KF: Of course, this is the internet. Somebody will freak out about anything you put out there. I have my fair share of haters, though there were less and less as the series progressed and I elaborated on my claims. U: Who are the most famous copiers of ideas? KF: Historically, the most famous remixer has to be William Shakespeare. He copied pretty much all his plots, but of course, what he turned them into was far beyond his source materials. More recently, Lady Gaga is pretty prolific.
“I don’t think every idea is a copy, but every idea is built from old ideas” U: Is there such thing as intellectual property? KF: I don’t like the word ‘property’ when it comes to this stuff. It implies that ideas are material – that they can be stolen from you. I prefer to think of it in terms of rights. If somebody puts the labour into making something, they deserve to have exclusive publication rights for some duration of time. Without IP, nobody would have any incentive to creative anything because it would be immediately copied and redistributed. U: Did the remix series influence your new project, This is Not a Conspiracy Theory? KF: I’m afraid that one’s still top secret, but your readers can join this mailing list to be notified when the series launches – http://thisisnotaconspiracytheory.com There will also be three new Everything is a Remix videos coming out in the next year or so. Watch the Everything is a Remix series at www.everythingisaremix.info Follow Kirby on twitter @remixeverything
illustration: john ritchie
mbrella: How would you describe your Everything is a Remix project? Kirby Ferguson: Everything is a Remix is a four-part video series about how the creative process is similar to the process of remixing. So copying things, transforming them and combining them, that’s the basic creative process behind any kind of work.
Small profit Bromptonâ€™s profits for 2012 went up to 50 per cent to ÂŁ1.6m off the back of 36,000 units sold, 75 per cent of which were bought outside the UK.
Covered: Cycling, Brompton Our favourite things…
the Brompton folding bicycle For commuters with little time and cramped apartments, one bike has become both an indispensable mode of transport and an icon of British design t seems fitting that one of the TV programmes of the last year featured prominently one of the defining objects of our time, too. The show was the brilliant Twenty Twelve, the so-true-it-hurts BBC comedy that satirised the actions of the team working on the delivery of the Olympic Games, a group led by the long suffering Ian Fletcher, who turned up for work on a bike that sums up perfectly the modern urban experience: the Brompton. The Brompton folding bicycle, built in a nondescript factory in Brentford, west London, is a beautifully designed riding machine – a bike that goes from nippy road runner to hand luggage in less time than it takes to say, “Actually, it’s not as heavy as you think.” With cycle theft at epidemic levels (533,000 offences in 2010) this piece of fiendishly clever British engineering can be carried from meeting to coffee shop to office desk without having to give UK bike snarers the chance to prove their skills. Sure, if you drop it in the canal it’s not going to float, but the Brompton offers a freedom that no other bike can match.
‘Folding bikes have been with us since the 1880s’
Brompton began life in 1975, when engineer Andrew Ritchie began designing folding bikes in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory in west London. In 1980, after several prototypes had been produced and tested, Ritchie manufactured his first 30 machines for sale. When large scale investment arrived in 1986, the new bike company was ready to enter the mainstream market. By 1987, the Brompton was in full production and ready to take on the world. Our possessions say a great deal about us, and this is particularly true of the Brompton. Riding to work on one is like shopping at Waitrose – it shows that you’re willing pay more money than is necessary for an experience that chimes with
It also, once you get over the shock of its small 16-in wheels and curved crossbar, looks fantastic – taking it from utilitarian mode of transport to object of desire in just a few moments. See a Brompton, want a Brompton. Folding bikes have been with us since the late 1880s, but the Brompton takes the idea and reduces it down to its most beautifully basic level. On a Brompton, nothing, from the tiny wheel on top of the mud guard (for ease of portability) to the folding pedal on the left side, is superfluous. There are other folding bikes around, but they look clunky and ungainly – especially in their folded state – compared to the Brompton.
your values. It also says that you either live in a tiny flat where’s there’s no room to store a bike or so far out of town that riding all the way in is an impossibility – but you’re happy to have a quick pedal to the station. In short, there are few more succinct definitions of how modern urbanites live. And with the Brompton Dock cycle hire scheme starting next year at 17 UK train and Tube stations, its visibility can only grow. Whether you choose the lightweight S1E-X model, or customise your M3L with touring bars and front-loading bag, owning a Brompton immediately makes you part of a bigger, and pleasingly sophisticated, group. Like wearing a jacket from bicycle lifestyle brand Rapha, owning a Brompton is merely the first step toward a more rounded existence, or so its owners like to think. Us? We just feel that like every classic object, it combines form and function perfectly to make something greater than the sum of its parts. Whether you work at the Olympics or not.
pictures: © umbrella
Field trip Architecture, travel and transport
High ideals A brand new district is emerging at Londonâ€™s Kingâ€™s Cross. Find out more, page 30
34: Rome: the tram that failed 38: A manifesto for cycling in 2013
30 Field trip
Covered: London, architecture
Clockwise from top left: The Goods Yard; a new office building emerges; nightlife by Granary Square; dining at Caravan
Cross words The rejuvenation of London’s King’s Cross will be topped off by the construction of brilliantly conceived new quarter t is one of London’s best known neighbourhoods, yet one that many would struggle to identify on sight. An area that was once a byword for everything that terrifies the casual visitor to the capital – drugs, prostitution, crime, otherness – and yet also the place of arrival for people coming by rail from the north. King’s Cross: a destination, but one you didn’t want to hang about in. Over the last ten years, however, the area has changed dramatically. First there was the rejuvenation of St Pancras station (now home to Eurostar), then the growth of the Regent’s Quarter, that warren of little passages at the bottom of Pentonville Road, and finally the beautiful reworking of King’s Cross station itself and emergence of a new quarter behind it.
A district so substantial it’s been given a whole new postcode: N1C. This is no small achievement for a once notorious neighbourhood. King’s Cross has been settled since London’s earliest beginnings, and is thought to have been the site of a battle between the Iceni tribe, led by fearsome Queen Boudicca, and the more civilised Romans from nearby Londinium, hence its original name of Battle Bridge. Up until the early 19th Century, the area was farmland, dotted with houses and inns which grew around the roads from London to the country villages of Highgate and Hampstead. The area started to change after the building of the New (now Euston/Pentonville) Road in 18th Century and by the time the Regent’s Canal was completed in 1820 it was a place of small
32 Field trip
workshops and low-rise terraced housing. In order to elevate the area’s reputation a statue of King George IV was erected at Battle Bridge crossroads in 1830, and though, after much ridicule, it was demolished in 1842, it gave the district a new name. With the purchase of land by the Great Northern Railway in 1846 and the construction of both King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations, the area’s character changed from one of industry to that of transience – a common feature of many areas around termini. Local communities did thrive on the goods yards and depots that supported the railways, but by the later part of the 20th Century, many of the original families had moved out, replaced by temporary residents, some involved with professions on the wrong side of the law. Today, though, King’s Cross is a very different place. St Pancras station is a jewel, an international hub to inspire visitors from continental Europe, while the removal of the ugly ’70s verandah on the front of King’s Cross station has returned the terminus to its original, proto-modernist glory. But it’s the mixed use development behind the stations that seal the area’s new found importance, and the resulting extension northward of London’s city centre.
To say that this development is going to completely change the district’s character is a real understatement. Using the area’s industrial buildings and spaces as a starting point, the new quarter will be home to 2,000 new houses, 20 new streets, 10 public squares and 50 brand new buildings. Eventually,
‘The area’s iconic gasometers will be used for housing’ the 67-acre site will be a base for the 45,000 people who work, live or study in the area. So far, the Guardian Media Group and Central St Martin’s college have relocated here, and soon they’ll be followed by Google and French financial giant, BNP Paribas, plus countless other businesses of varying sizes. The developers stress that sustainability is at the heart of the area’s energy needs with buildings using techniques like orientation, solar shading and passive ventilation systems. In the past, King’s Cross was one of the most filmed parts of Britain, thanks to its iconic 19th Century gasometers (three of which will
be used for housing in the new development) – it also provided the location for the classic Ladykillers film. With live performances regularly taking place in the area around Granary Square and a whole slew of creative young people attending Central St Martin’s, that link with the arts is maintained. Something Umbrella is particularly pleased about is the slew of independent shops that are coming to the area, plus small cafes, boutiques and street food stalls. Though some high street names will have premises here, an out-of-town mega-mall it most certainly is not. While Londoners will get great value from this new development, the area’s position by St Pancras, King’s Cross and Euston stations means it can also be used by people from more northern climes. To get the best out of this new quarter, some marketing spend should be targeted at media outlets in the likes of Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Sheffield. This though, is only a small concern. There can be no doubt that the transformation of King’s Cross is vital if London is to keep its place at the world’s top table. Judging by the progress so far, that’s not a worry. www.kingscross.co.uk
words: anthony teasdale
Clockwise from top: Cool food at The Filling Station; Central St Martin’s’ new campus; a barge on the tranquil Regent’s Canal
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Key to the map Tram/train/metro interchanges Existing route
Off the rails
Rome’s tram system should have been the flagship of its public transport network but its demise is typical of the city’s short-sighted attitude to urban planning, as Terry Daley reports aking a tram journey across the centre of an unfamiliar city is so much more atmospheric than scuttling around underground, surfacing to look at a tourist site without any idea of where you are or where you fit in the grand scheme of the city. Tubes or metros, call them what you want, they can be useful, functional – even beautiful, but there’s little in the way of romance. In a tram you can see where you’re going, get a feel for the city, put an architectural face to the name. You get to watch the a town go about its business, without being stuck in traffic with your nose buried in a fellow commuter’s armpit. No wonder so many of us love them. So why did Rome – a relatively small, densely populated capital city with so much subterranean archaeological wonder that an underground network is an almost impossible dream – build a beautiful tram network, then systematically destroy it, just as the city started to eat through the countryside? Idiocy, basically.
Cornelia San Pietro Circo Massimo
Revolutionary beginnings The Roman tram as a genuinely public transport network was created by the brilliantly-named Ernesto Nathan, a hugely important figure in the history of the city and friend of the Italian unification movement. Nathan was born in London in 1845 to an Italian mother and a naturalised Anglo-German father, both Jewish, and after moving to Italy at the age of 14 he went into politics, before eventually becoming the first Jewish mayor of Rome.
‘Why build a tram, then systematically destroy it? More significantly, Nathan was also the first mayor of Rome not to come from the landowning classes – he was a secularist and anticleric, and took the matter of ethical government very seriously. He was elected in 1907 as head of a group of radicals, socialists and republicans
called the Unione Liberale Popolare (Popular Liberal Union) as Rome went through a period of rapid expansion. Speculators had been throwing up buildings pretty much where they wanted ever since Rome had become capital city of the new Italian state, and Nathan set about putting the brakes on the cowboys as much as possible. He upset people, chiefly the hugely powerful Catholic Church hierarchy and Jesuits, who used their official organ Civiltà Cattolica to slate the troublesome foreigner. “He’s the first non-Roman mayor for 37 years… and in fact isn’t even Italian, because he has English origins, a native of London. In any case he’s a republican, Jewish and Mason. His presence as head of Rome City Council is a measure of how far we have fallen.” In 1910, he irritated off Pope Pius X when on the 40th Anniversary of the Capture of Porta Pia (the battle which finally killed off the Papal States and saw Italy unified under the royal House of Savoy) he launched into an anti-Church diatribe in which he called the Pope, “the opposite of the son of God made man on earth; this is son of man declaring himself God on earth”.
Covered: Transport, Rome
His speech kicked up such a stink that the Pope wrote a livid response on the front page of the Vatican’s daily paper L’Osservatore Romano, after which anti-Nathan – and anti-semitic – protests kicked off around the Catholic world. While his egalitarian spirit and pig-headedness saw the wrath of world’s Catholics on his head, his operational savvy meant he got results: it was his office that in 1909 founded
Ponte Mammolo Policlinico
Rome transport in numbers One fifth of Rome’s surface area is occupied by cars – parked or in motion Twenty-eight per cent of all motorised transport is public, compared to 48 per cent in London, 64 per cent in Paris and 68 per cent in Barcelona €115m has been paid in interest on bank loans for the building of the Metro C
If completed on time, the total cost of the Metro C is expected to be at least €6bn
‘The car became the status symbol for those with money’ transport company AATM, which looked to bring everything under the control of the local authorities, and was the forerunner to today’s transport authority ATAC. It had its first tram line up and running two years later, and by 1912 was already managing five lines. Over the course of the next 40 years, the network blossomed, and at its peak covered almost the entire city. In 1936, the tram went as far as Piazza di Santa Maria della Pietà to the north west, Due Ponti in the north and Corso Sempione in the north east, all three areas that today are still considered the outskirts, and surrounded by countryside. Even if by that point the tram had been removed from the heart of the historic centre, it stretched out in all directions to cover the new neighbourhoods that were springing up on the outskirts of the old city. A friend of mine’s grandmother used to get the tram to the military airfield in Ciampino to “walk in the woods” with her air force fancy man before he was killed in the war.
The Olympics and decline As the ’50s went on and the ’60s approached, the “economic miracle” saw Italy transformed from a poor agricultural nation to an industrial powerhouse. People flooded into the cities from the countryside in the search for work, and the standard of living for the average family rose to previously unimagined levels of comfort. GDP rose by nearly six per cent between 1951 to 1963. As we’re now seeing in India and China, when a new middle class is created it wants to spend, and it wants comfort. The car – and in particular, the Fiat – was the status symbol for those with new money, and they soon began to choke the streets of cities that were expanding even faster than they were in Nathan’s day. In Rome, this coincided with the dismantling of the tram network, as lines were converted into roads, and trams into buses as part of the preparation for the 1960 Olympics. Pollution increased, and smog became a huge problem, with cars and buses stuck in line after line
36 Field trip
of traffic belching all over the historic centre of town. The Colosseum is utterly filthy, due to it being used as a glorified roundabout for over half a century. This, combined with a cultural glorification of the car (it’s worth bearing in mind how close Fiat have been to the government since the war) meant that the tram was turned into a ramshackle service that like the rest of the network is overcrowded and antiquated, and covers a tiny proportion of much larger city. In 2013 there are five tram lines – the same as a century ago – and between 1926 and 2010 the length of track shrank from 140 kilometres to 38.
Back to the future In January this year, centre-left mayoral candidate Paolo Gentiloni said that to improve the creaking infrastructure, “The two main things to do to improve transport are trams and the transformation of local rail into something as close as possible to a metro.” That was the clearest sign yet that things will change if he replaces the current junta in May’s elections.
‘By 2020 there should be 73km of tram in Rome’ Last October, Rome city council released a report on the future of the network. In it they talk about doing exactly that: expand transport in the east of town, upgrade the existing rail lines to make an overground metro service and – yes – build more tram lines. This includes making achingly trendy Pigneto a hub for the tram, train and metro, (ensuring addicts and alcoholics will stay in the area) and using the tram to make an inner circle line around the middle of town to accompany the outer circle rail line that will finally connect north Rome with south. That will include a stretch from Castel Sant’Angelo in the north, down the River Tiber to Trastevere – a truly beautiful stretch of the city. The total projected cost of the new tram is £352m, a fraction of the billions disappearing down the pit of the Metro Line C. There will also be a tram link to connect the famous Cinecittà film studios in the south-east to the Metro B and B1 in the north-east, going through a series of populous, working class areas in the east, and a tram link to Tiburtina station, connecting it to the national rail network. By 2020, there should be 73km of tram, and it should be an integrated part of a broader system which covers the city and province. About four million people are crossing their fingers.
Power, corruption and lines: the Rome Metro Romans look at the other major capital cities of Europe and they wince. Everywhere they go on their weekend breaks – London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and even Athens – has a more sophisticated public transport system than the Eternal City’s. The plans to expand a network bursting at the seams have been dogged with claims of dodgy dealing and plain old incompetence right from the get-go. Part of the problem is the wealth of historical artefacts buried below the surface: dig anywhere around the old city centre and you’re likely to stumble on one of Hadrian’s old cooking pots, or, as happened at Piazza Venezia over Christmas, his 900-seat auditorium. While this magnificent site might well be “the biggest find in Rome since the Forum was uncovered in the 1920s”, it and treasures of its kind present unceasing problems for planners. Two of the three historic city centre stations for the new C Line – Chiesa Nuova and Largo Argentina – have already been scrapped, and now there are fears that the Piazza Venezia stop will also go, even if the archaeologists say that won’t be necessary. However, it’s not news that the centre of Rome has the ancient city below it, so why build there? Then there’s the familiar whiff of corruption and plain old incompetence: the four-stop B1 branch of the B Line in the north of town started in 2005 and while running, is neither finished or running particularly well. For one thing, only three stops are working, and even they’ve been plagued with problems, from breakdowns on the track, long delays to station lifts trapping commuters. It got so bad that mayor Gianni Alemanno took
a clandestine trip to test it out after the transport authority lied about waiting times for trains – frankly an Italian politician using public transport was shocking enough in itself. The line, as it stands, has cost €513m and the final one-stop stretch (which should have been finished at the end of last year) has an estimated cost of €220m. Meanwhile the C Line project was begun way, way back in 1990 and was supposed to be finished by the turn of the millennium. When it’s finally finished – supposedly 2015, although no-one believes that date – it will connect the mostly working class neighbourhoods in the east and south east of the city and the ritzy north to the centre, passing by the Colosseum*, Piazza Venezia and the Vatican. Consultants and big wigs have been pulling in hefty six figure salaries, while on some sites illegal immigrants have been found working 12-hour days for €600 a month. This isn’t an image Italy wants to convey. In February last year it was called “the slowest and most expensive public works project anywhere in Europe, and probably the world” in a report from the Court of Auditors, which estimated the total cost at that point to be around €3.3bn. The court noted that enormous sums of money “not being used” were found “lying in the State Treasury”. So far, so predictable. *The Colosseum doesn’t count as one of the historic city centre stations. The area around it used to be countryside when Rome was at its heights 2,000 years ago All numbers official Audit Court numbers as of March 2012.
Covered: Transport, Rome
Ernesto Nathan: a Londoner in Rome
Once in Italy, Nathan joined the Extreme Left party in 1879, whose philosophy had roots in the ideas of Mazzini and Garibaldi, and once he became mayor of Rome, began enacting the role of public official as most modern Europeans would define it, and as we’ve already seen, worked to take power away from the traditional decision-makers among the land-owning classes and the Catholic Church. He was a keen supporter of secular education, and his administration built 150 infant pre-schools (there are less than 300 today, in a city four times the size with five times the population). His reign also coincided with the building of the Vittoriano at Piazza Venezia, the Palace of Justice and the Flaminio Stadium; then called the National Stadium, and Rome’s first modern sports ground.
pictures: © shutterstock
Above: Utilitarian design at Garbatella. Below left: Rome’s muddled transport system in 2013
Ernesto Nathan might have been born and raised in England’s capital, but his story is an entirely Italian one. The revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini, who was a key figure in the unification of Italy, was a family friend, and Nathan took on much of Mazzini’s ideas about patriotism, republicanism, freedom and democracy. His mother, Sara supported Mazzini’s unification cause financially and took part in diplomatic missions and meetings between pro-unification organisations. She was also having it off with her political idol, a tradition that Silvio Berlusconi is keeping alive today.
38 Field trip
o t r e w Po ! l a d e the p rolling news
Umbrella’s cycling correspondent Don G Cornelius lays out his manifesto for getting the nation into the saddle and onto the roads
t’s a few weeks into the new year and I want to start it off right by writing a manifesto – a flag-waving, shout-it-from-the-windows, signed-in-blood, I’ll-stand-for-this-’til-I-stop-pedalling kind of manifesto. But before I get to it, I want to set the scene. Cycling is big news right now, even as the winter months glower greyly over us. We had a cycling summer to remember: the first British winner of the Tour de France,
a feat 99 years in the making; we had two British riders on the podium, another first; Bradley Wiggins, sorry, Sir Bradley Wiggins, became the third cyclist to win the BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year in the last five years, after Sir Chris Hoy, and probably-going-to-be-a-knight-before-his-career-isover, Mark Cavendish. Team GB’s success on the road and in the velodrome was one of the highlights of London’s Olympics, there was so much to cheer about for our heroes on two wheels, and so much to look forward to after the second wettest year on record, with a total UK rainfall of 52.4 inches, yet when I came to send evidence through to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, whose stated aim is to “Get Britain Cycling”, all I could talk about was Fear. Now, I love cycling, and at times feel more comfortable on two wheels than I do on my own two legs, but when those conversations come up about cycling, they focus on how dangerous traffic is, why I don’t wear a helmet, the need to sport fluorescent clothing at all times, the scourge of red light-jumping and riding on pavements. Christ, I hate those conversations! Despite my best intentions, trying to overturn the fear is very difficult – it is deep-seated and all-pervasive, and it portrays cyclists as an ‘other’ group, of weirdos, eccentrics, lawbreakers and general societal nuisances, whilst framing the cycling story in terms of “safety”. Fear distorts the discussion away from the joys of riding a bike, the freedom it promotes, the benefits of the health-by-stealth nature of pedalling every day, and masks the realisation that my town of London, falsely perceived as a really big city whilst exploring it by foot and public transport, becomes a small village when on a bike. Someone once wrote, driving’s too fast, walking’s too slow, but cycling’s just right. Slow enough so you can take in what’s around you, to engage with the movement and inhabitants of whatever metropolis you call home, but fast enough to halve journey times on foot or public transport, giving a sense of freedom and mobility that no other method of movement can. No, instead we talk about how traffic is dangerous, how cycling can be made safer and what cyclists can do to make sure they’re not at risk. Yes I’m looking at you The Times’ Cities Fit For Cycling campaign. Nowhere in this discussion is the elephant on the roads spoken about. What can motorists do? ROSPA (the Royal Society for The Prevention of Accidents) in a 2011 document, found that the two most common type of accidents between cyclists and motorists were when i) the latter emerged into the path of cyclists or ii) turned across the path of cyclists. In a 2009 DfT (Department for Transport) study it was found that in 60-75 per cent of road accidents involving adult cyclists, the motorist was solely responsible. “Sorry, mate, I didn’t see you” (SMIDSY) is used far too often to excuse drivers not paying attention as they pilot their vehicles. It is a fact that there is a mass of people who do not cycle because they are afraid of traffic – its speed and proximity, of injury whether from falling off their bike, or being involved in an accident with traffic, that car drivers see them as nothing more than an impediment to the smooth course of their own journey. But the majority of ‘bad’ cycling comes from cyclists who fear interacting with traffic, and don’t see themselves as traffic, so do everything they can to avoid it, which includes the aforementioned red light-jumping and pavement cycling. Some organisations like the LCC (London Cycling Campaign) see the solution as a separation of cyclists and motorists, (see their Let’s Go Dutch campaign) with separate lanes for each, believing that it will significantly raise the numbers of cyclists in the city. It’s a not a point of view I agree with. As long as the irrational fear of cycling exists and the false safety debate about cycling continues, people will still not get on their bikes, segregation or not. Because, despite the rise
in cycling injuries (over 19,000 with 107 deaths in 2011 in the UK), cycling is still overwhelmingly much, much, much safer than it is perceived, and the health benefits of riding a bike, outweigh pretty much everything else. To put the figures into perspective, the number of deaths from heart disease in the UK currently stands at over 70,000 per year. If we as cyclists are to change the climate of fear that surrounds us, we need to focus our attention on addressing and changing it, as well as driver’s attitudes to, and interaction with, cyclists. So to help in this quest, my Manifesto for Cycling Change is this… Don’t ride in fear. Love riding in traffic, because you are traffic. Don’t let anyone tell you cycling is dangerous – not the news, not your colleagues, not your family. If you want to wear a helmet, wear one, but never feel you have to wear one. It’s time to campaign for a European-style ‘strict liability’ law, in which, if you are involved in an accident, the assumption of responsibility rests with the less vulnerable road user. So if a car driver knocks me off or hits a pedestrian they’re automatically at fault until they prove otherwise. This is not part of a war on motorists, it is a rebalancing of how we use our cities, to allow other users, cyclists and pedestrians, to enjoy them without being placed at risk, and to place the onus back on those who pilot vehicles which can do damage to the vulnerable Own more than one bike. I believe in the Rule of Five, that no-one should possess more than five bikes, but let’s not run before we can walk – owning more than one is a start. Make sure that those bikes are different, town bike and racer, fixed-gear and mountain bike, tandem and hybrid. It will enhance your cycling enjoyment no end If you don’t feel like cycling, don’t. Cycling should never be a chore, or like eating vegetables when you’re young, something that we have to do whether we want to or not. Most importantly, days off the bike make you realise how much you enjoy being on it. Spend some time getting colleagues, friends, and family out on the bike. Your cycling has raised questions with them, demonstrate to them the benefits of cycling, by answering them as best you can, and going one better, showing them on the bike how pleasurable cycling can be Do some long rides. Long rides are fun, long rides in the company of others are even more fun. And after finishing a 60-miler to somewhere new, the sense of achievement, and the jokes on the train back are all you need to make you want to do it again Learn how to maintain your bike. Even if it’s as little as putting oil on your chain and knowing how to replace a burst inner tube after a puncture. Those clicks, squeaks and crunches are the noises of something needing attending to, don’t ignore them, give your bike some tender, loving maintenance and it’ll serve you well for many a year. Never let a motorist tell you that you shouldn’t be on the road, because you don’t pay for it. ‘Road Tax’ doesn’t exist and hasn’t done since 1937. Everyone pays through their taxes for the upkeep of our nation’s highways. Motor vehicles pay Vehicle Excise Duty, to keep their cars on, and use the roads, on a sliding scale tied to the theoretical carbon emissions of their vehicle. As cyclists, we don’t pay VED since we don’t create any emissions, unless you’re counting the tortured breath of those pushing too big a gear, and don’t need to apologise to uninformed motorists for using the roads that we pay for Take your bike abroad. Even better than long rides at home, are rides abroad. Just like music festivals overseas leave an indelible mark on your memory, and bring a smile in their reminiscence. So cycling abroad, whether in a foreign city during a weekend break, touring through warmer climes or heading out on a training session in the mountains, makes your bike more than just a daily commuting machine. Just Ride It. A bike’s for life, not just for Christmas.
‘In 60-75 per cent of cycle/car crashes the motorist was to blame’
40 Field trip
Basking in Bradford’s new-found warmth As Bradford rides on an unprecedented wave of goodwill, could 2013 be the year that Britain rediscovers this almost-lost city? Native Bradfordian Simon Cunningham thinks so he resilient folk of Yorkshire’s third city are wise to the mass media rounding on Bradford by now. The place is urban catnip for documentary makers and journalists wanting to wallow in the social ills of a town seen by many as being in terminal decline. But in the desolate middle part of January this year, the
world was giving Bradford a collective pat on the back, as its lowly second division football team – Bradford City – secured a place in the League Cup final, sticking it to a few Premier League giants along the way. Whether you cared about football or not, it was hard not to be moved by the outpouring of
Covered: Cities, Bradford
goodwill that came pouring into the city from around the world. On Twitter, Bradford was trending for all the right reasons; local pubs reported a boom in business; even the Daily Mail – often the first to use Bradford as a byword for urban decay – was championing the image of an enthusiastic hijab-wearing Bradford City fan as a symbol of hope for modern multicultural Britain. The challenge now is to see if this benevolence for Bradford can be channeled into something more, and make people think twice about exploring the city on its own cultural merits. For those unfamiliar with Bradford’s history, it was once the wool capital of the world and one of the wealthiest cities in the UK. ‘Worstedopolis’ (as the city became known due to the fine quality of its wool produce) boomed and its beating industrial heart was blessed with beautiful civic buildings and cultural amenities to envy the world’s metropolises. Fortuitously, many of these buildings remain today, meaning that a wander around the city centre with your head positioned
‘Its industrial heart was blessed with beautiful buildings’ upward at a 45-degree angle provides some magnificent architectural eye-candy. The neogothic City Hall takes pride of place in town, but is just part of a peppering of unrivalled Victorian splendour. Bradford also boasts Little Germany – an amazing network of central streets made up exclusively of palatial sandstone warehouses that were built by German merchants in the 19th Century. For decades, the local council have wanted the area to flourish as a cultural quarter, although it remains eerily quiet and relatively undiscovered for now. Unfortunately the finery of Bradford’s urban fabric was not enough to weather the severe
economic decline that began to mercilessly beat the city in the 1970s. Gone was the industry that made Bradford thrive, and with it the district’s wealth and civic pride. And since then, Bradford has found itself soldiering on as the UK’s answer to Detroit – a shadow of its former self, desperately trying to seek a new identity for the 21st Century. While other industrial British cities have had regeneration success stories, Bradford remains the ugly duckling of the bunch. Nearby neighbour and big brother Leeds has swallowed up much of the employment and investment, and is the unrivalled cultural heart of West Yorkshire. But the city is home to a surprising amount of cultural institutions, and many argue that 2013 will be one of its most significant years. The author Bill Bryson visited Bradford in the early ’90s as part of his critically-acclaimed book Notes On A Small Island. It’s fair to say he wasn’t a fan. His exact words were, “Bradford’s role in life is to make every place else in the world look better in comparison, and it does this very well.” His primary reason for visiting was to take in the then-new National Museum of Film, Photography and Television (thankfully the clunky name was changed to the easier-on-the-tongue National Media Museum some years ago) but Bryson bemoaned that, after visiting the museum, there was little else to do in Bradford. Would he form the same opinion in 2013? Today, the Media Museum is still a great place for any visitor to explore, and indeed is a big enough attraction in its own right to draw in tourists from far afield. The city fathers used to band about a statistic that it was, at one point, the most visited UK museum outside of London. A recent decline in visitor numbers, cuts to the museum’s funding, and redundancies suggest that this may no longer be the case, but it remains a truly awesome day out and hosts some incredible exhibitions. More recent additions to Bradford’s cultural offering include the Impressions photographic and BD1 galleries which, despite both being housed in a flagship new building opposite City Hall, are still sorely lacking in patronage. During Bradford City’s derailing of numerous Premier League juggernauts, Valley Parade played host to Arsenal, and anecdotal evidence suggested that the city’s backstreet boozers – undiscovered institutions in their own right – were all packed to capacity. As the chain bars and high street names have flocked to stick their booze-peddling flags in Leeds soil, the Bradford night out remains an underrated treat for the uninitiated. Bradford’s best pubs have eschewed the razzmatazz you might find in other British cities, and instead have become champions of good beer. One of the more recent success stories is a cosy beer café that sits snugly on North Parade – a quiet, historic street at the top end of town. The Sparrow, opened in 2011, offers
a glorious selection of local ales, as well as a smorgasbord of bottled world beers and local grub. When its windows are steamed up and the night draws in, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Brooklyn dive bar – albeit one chock-a-block with friendly, chatty Bradfordians. One thing you will hear residents chatting a lot about is the debacle surrounding the city’s long-awaited Westfield shopping centre, which remains a vast fenced-off hole in the heart of the city centre. Plans were first mooted for a flagship regeneration scheme in 1998 – the intention to demolish a vast swathe of unloved 1960s buildings around historic Forster Square and replace them with department stores and posh shops. Bradford has always had a history of pie-in-the-sky schemes failing to get off the town planner’s drawing board. Marketing material from 1989 boasted that Bradford was to become the “billion dollar city” and Britain’s “first 21st Century supercity” complete with its own “electric zoo” – so it’s easy to see why grandiose regeneration projects have always been treated with cynicism by the locals. But the Westfield was supposed to be different. By 2006 the site had been cleared of the ’60s concrete dystopia and had revealed Bradford’s hidden Victorian buildings. The seven-acre site was a hive of activity and gave Bradfordians something to look forward to. And then the recession kicked in, and almost overnight as the diggers left town, so did a great deal of hope. Fast-forward seven years and the site remains a blot on the cityscape, with Westfield refusing to commit to any firm start date. The rot has spread to surrounding streets, and the once thriving Broadway is now an eerily deserted high street where just a handful of retailers remain.
Many argue that the previous buildings should not have been allowed to be razed without firm commitments on any new centre, and it’s that rhetoric that has perhaps played a massive part in the fate of another contentious regeneration project – the Odeon building Standing robustly with its two redbrick towers, the art deco former Odeon cinema looms over the civic precinct alongside the aforementioned National Media Museum and the breathtaking Alhambra Theatre. Plans to demolish it and build offices in its place came to a halt last year after fierce local opposition, and now proposals have been launched to create a new music venue within the Odeon’s restored frame. Given that the building was a favourite touring venue for The Beatles when it was originally a concert hall, it would seem like a fitting fate.
‘City Park boasts the UK’s largest water fountain’
Elsewhere in the district, the regeneration game has produced mixed results. Stage left of the glorious City Hall sits the newly-opened City Park, which cost around £23m. The park features a shallow pool that fills up and drains throughout the day, and boasts the largest water fountain of any UK city. Spending so much money has ruffled a few feathers, but it’s a magnificent public space that really comes into its own at night when the six-acre pool reflects the illuminated City Hall clock tower in all its gothic glory. Although many locals long for a grand central station worthy of a city of Bradford’s size, it’s currently served by two terminals that look more like suburban London stations. That said, the proximity to Leeds (20 minutes) and frequency of services make Bradford relatively well-connected to the national network, and there are also four daily direct trains to London – with plans for more in future. It’s been the long-standing ambition of one local group to connect Bradford’s two central stations and create a through rail link, but that would involve slicing up the Westfield site, so is about as likely as Bradford having the country’s first electric zoo. Forster Square station is the city’s gateway to the surrounding countryside – a fact often overlooked by those who still see Bradford as an area of urban sprawl. One of her most famous sons – the writer JB Priestly – once said that no matter how poor you were in Bradford you were never far from the freedom of the countryside. And, yes, it would be remiss to write about Bradford’s assets without once mentioning how good (and cheap) the curry is. Whether you’re in the gleaming grandeur of the Mumtaz or the more modest surroundings of a converted basement in an inner city terrace house (that’ll be the Karachi or the Kashmir) you’re guaranteed a good feed. More recent arrivals to the city have offered up new experiences – like the Russian restaurant tucked away in a warehouse on Manor Row. Despite the oft-unwanted attention heaped on Bradford, there is always an under-riding feeling of warmth towards the city and its people. Perhaps because Bradfordians themselves are traditionally warm, welcoming and urbane by nature. During Bradford’s ill-fated bid to be crowned European Capital of Culture for 2008 the council coined a somewhat odd promotional slogan that Bradford was, “loved by thousands, but misunderstood by millions” – probably not a bad way of putting it. Many hope that the city’s recent flirtation with fortune will lead to it being discovered and loved by thousands more – not least by her own citizens.
pictures: bradford city council, alex crane www.alexcranephoto.tumblr.com
42 Field trip
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Flag day In the late ’70s, Brighton become a magnet for mods as it had 15 years before.
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â€˜a print from a polaroid camera looks so analogueâ€™
From Talking Heads to David Hockney, the Polaroid SX-70 camera (right) brought instant photography into the heart of 1970s contemporary culture, in a way that its inventor Edwin Land could never have dreamed of. Here, Christopher Bonanos, the author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid, tells the tale of the camera that defined an era of expression and experimentation ometimes, Land’s perfectionism worked to everyone’s advantage. For example, he demanded that the camera be able to focus from an infinite distance all the way down to 10 inches, because so many photographers fail to get close enough to their subjects. Millions of Polaroid photos looked better as a result. Certain requirements – like the thinness of the camera when folded – also occasioned new technologies. You probably own a few consumer products that were assembled with micron-thick double-sided tape, which didn’t exist until the SX-70’s compactness made it necessary. Other times, his insistence on purity overshot everyone’s needs, both charming and maddening his executives and engineers. For example, Land wanted the view through the lens to be absolutely natural – no lines etched on the viewfinder, no sense of anything between photographer and subject. It was to merely frame your own view. Others at Polaroid argued for one of those little split-circle devices that allow you to adjust your focus finely. Nonsense, Land said: One should see one’s subject as if just gazing at it, seamlessly. One should not have the experience of looking through a machine. For most people, an unmarked viewfinder was not freeing but merely frustrating. Eventually, an engineer named Phil Baker said aloud what a lot of Polaroid’s people were muttering – that the camera was just too hard to focus – and Land, after threatening to fire him, gave in and collaborated on a redesign. “I still don’t like it. I understand we had to do it – thank you very much,” he gracefully told Baker, as they finished up. “But I’m going to come up with something better.” He did, too. A couple of years later, Polaroid brought it to market: the first widely available autofocus camera, one that measured the distance to the subject using a sonar ping. The sonar module had been awkwardly grafted onto the neat SX-70 body, and it looked a little clumsy perched atop the lens, but it worked extremely well, and the autofocus cameras probably are the ones that come closest to Land’s “absolute one-step photography” dream of the 1940s: point, shoot, see. Land also insisted that the panels of the camera body be covered in real leather. Its glass fibre-reinforced plastic frame was heavily chrome-plated, giving it the appearance of brushed stainless steel while remaining warm to the touch. Never mind that the cowhide added several dollars to the production costs, and that natural leather’s irregularities vastly increased the number of factory rejects. Land refused to budge, making pronouncements like “the camera deserves leather”. In the 1960s and ’70s, this all cost a fortune, although nobody admitted in public how much. Estimates from outside Polaroid ranged from $250 million to $750 million. A lot of sources settle on $600 million. Al Bellows says he once
heard, in-house, that Polaroid spent a billion dollars on the camera and another billion on the film. Much of that money went toward several immense factories nobody had initially budgeted for. A plant to make the negative layer of the film, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, was one of the great industrial palaces of its time, pulled together by McCune and an engineer named Israel MacAllister Booth, whose reputation within Polaroid soared. “That plant… ” John McCann says today, still sounding a little awed. “I guess Fuji has one like it somewhere, but there was nothing like that anywhere else in the world.” Other components were less technologically demanding but no less of a headache. Take the power source. Polaroid research had discovered that many failed photographs were the result of a camera with dead batteries. So, the engineers thought, why not incorporate a new battery in every film pack? That way, every reload would rejuvenate the system. The resultant six-volt cell had to be flat and thin, and it had to hold its charge long enough to make its way from factory to warehouse to retailer to consumer. Reliably producing it was a solvable problem – or, as the people in Land’s orbit began to say, an “opportunity”– but not an easy one. Polaroid subcontracted it to Ray-O-Vac, but ran into quality-control trouble and ended up bringing the job back in-house. Even afterward, some batteries outgassed fumes that tinted the photos blue. Like the coater problem back in the early 1950s, like the curling problem with Polacolor ten years after that, the battery fiasco was a small mess that got mopped up after the product was in stores. At least batteries were a known technology. The three metalized dyes that produced the colour image were all new. An SX-70 photo contained 13 layers of chemistry, each knitted into the rest of the system. To take one simple example, the thin plastic sheet atop the image, like its corresponding dark cover on the back, needed to be flexible enough to go through the camera’s mechanism but stiff enough to avoid crumpling. That front cover (ultimately made of Mylar) also had to be absolutely clear, because the film was exposed through it. If the pod did not have to be peeled off and discarded, the new format would require a pouch permanently attached at one edge of the photo. Bellows remembers fretting about it, because in the early prototypes, it sat above the image, unattractively. Then, at one point when he and Land were reworking the camera’s geometry, Bellows noticed that the redesign had shifted the pod to the bottom of the photo, where it would look better and provide space for a caption. He went on to suggest that the positive layer inside the film packet be extended to keep the border uniform and flat. This set of benign-seeming decisions created Polaroid’s
definitive look: the white frame, wide at the bottom, that provides a handle if you shake your picture. The border turned out to be not ugly but lovable, and much later became an icon of a different sort—the kind you click on computer screens. Today, it means not just Polaroid but simply photograph. For the SX-70 to work, the picture had to be light-sensitive while inside the camera yet able to develop in daylight. That led to maybe the most extraordinary bit of Polaroid chemistry of all: the opacifier. As a Polaroid camera spits out its photo, rollers spread its cocktail of developer over the negative, including a green-grey chemical that blocked out light. As the dyes migrated through the white background layer, the opacifier protected the picture underneath. Then it turned from opaque to clear, unfogging the image. It was nearly impossible to do. Land kept telling the rest of the engineering teams – those working on the rollers, the plastics, the optics – to just proceed under the assumption that he and a team led by one of his best chemists, Stanley Bloom, would get it there. On November 4, 1969, the opacifier finally passed its test, as a photo developed under two blinding sun lamps while Land, Bloom, and 50 researchers stood watching. As the image blossomed, they cheered. It’s hard to explain the wonderful weirdness of this process, in 1969 or for that matter today. Seeing your own face emerge out of the misty goop has the quality of a sleight-of-hand trick or a striptease: a slow reveal, one that keeps you guessing, then delivers. It all but compels you to stare, as if into a pond, straining to see whatever is swimming below the surface. It’s hard not to watch. It also provided an unexpected new form of artistic expression. The emulsion was based on gelatin, and it remained soft and gooey under its Mylar cover for several hours, and sometimes more. If you pressed on the surface with something hard, like a pencil, you’d distort the image. Before long, a great many people discovered that they liked messing with a photo as it appeared, even more than they had with image transfers and emulsion lifts. The artist Lucas Samaras had been doing odd things with Polaroid film for years, shooting weird self-portraits and tweaking a packfilm camera so that he could “paint” his subject with coloured lights in the dark. Now he began to turn his SX-70 prints into wild things, doing new and unsettling (and completely one-of-a-kind) things to his visage. Most practitioners of SX-70 manipulation took it in less intimidating directions, turning still lifes and pictures of flowers into soft Impressionist paintings. Image manipulation particularly caught on among art students, because it was low risk and potentially high reward. The photographer Storm Thorgerson created an album cover for British art rocker Peter Gabriel by manipulating a photo so half the musician’s face appeared to be sloughing off. Gabriel wasn’t the only musician to start playing with the new medium. To make the cover of the 1978 Talking Heads album More Songs About Buildings and Food, the band’s lead singer, David Byrne, posed the group’s four members, including himself, against a bloodred backdrop and set up an SX-70 camera with a special add-on lens that focused only at full life size. He proceeded to shoot 529 photos that added up to an antic composite portrait on a square grid. “I liked the way distortions and mistakes were inherent in the process – no matter how much any photographer tried to make it perfect.” he said. David Hockney, the English-born painter best known for his brightly coloured renderings of California life, also started making Polaroid collages. His works play even more dramatically with depth and scale than Byrne’s do. Hockney saw the slight changes in perspective among these images as a form of Cubism; one even centres on a Picasso-esque guitar. Another, titled Sun on The Pool, Los Angeles April 13th 1982, uses Polaroid’s saturated colour to invoke the
azure of a SoCal backyard swim, and the rows of tiled photographs do dizzying things with the biomorphic shape of the pool. Older photographers were also drawn to SX-70. One was André Kertész, the Hungarian expat who, after 40 years of on-and-off artistic endeavours, was by the 1970s finally beginning to see his influence recognised. When his wife, Elizabeth, died in 1977, Kertész was shattered, and barely able to work. His friend Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) gave him a Polaroid camera, and he began, slowly, to make small still lifes, often focusing on a pair of glass figurines posed in evocative, intimate settings on his windowsill. He spent six years working with SX-70, up until he died in 1985, aged 91. Walker Evans also closed out his career with a Polaroid flourish. By 1973, the legendary photographer of Depression America was infirm and essentially retired when he got himself an SX-70. Over the next 14 months, he shot thousands of photographs, the last work of his life. “I bought that thing as a toy, and I took it as a kind of challenge,” he explained to the editors of Images of the South: Visits with Eudora Welty and Walker Evans, published in 1977, two years after his death. The pictures he made in this final artistic burst are simple, exquisitely composed Americana: buildings with peeling paint, bits of signage, a crushed beer can submerged in a clear stream. “The damn thing will do anything you point it at,” Evans marvelled. “Nobody should touch a Polaroid until he’s over 60. You should first do all that work… It reduces everything to your brains and taste.” He, fortunately, had both. Integral film does, admittedly, have one technical drawback. The old Polaroid peel-apart product produces a photo that looks like a high gloss print made in a darkroom. SX-70 pictures, because the dyes have to migrate through a thick layer of white pigment, are ever so slightly diffuse. They can look excellent, but they are almost never as razor sharp as their predecessors. They also have a distinctive, heavily saturated colour that is absolutely their own. Especially the blue: Nothing looks like Polaroid blue. In our time, that quality is almost touching. A Polaroid print looks so powerfully analogue. After all, SX-70 and its later refinements were just about the last major technological leap in photography made before the end of film. Something madly complex turns that flat little bag of wet chemistry into a full-colour photo, and it’s physical: The light passing through the lens produces the very image that can be held a moment later. It seems almost possible that, as certain premodern tribesmen reportedly believe, the camera steals a piece of its subject’s soul. Instant The Story of Polaroid By Christopher Bonanos is published by Princeton Architectural Press, priced £15.99 www.papress.com
Dirty business In the light of the Jimmy Savile scandal, Justin Quirk examines how celebrity inevitably facilitates the abuse of power
o, when did you first know about Jimmy Savile? Judging by the current stream of public revelations, I was about the only person who hadn’t always suspected him of being a sex case. I actually quite liked his show when I was a kid – me and my sister used to bellow the theme tune to Jim’ll Fix It at each other, and I once queued up to meet him after a Royal Marines fun day at Lympstone in Devon. I don’t really remember this, but my aunt reckons we waited around for ages, before Jim told everyone to bugger off as he wasn’t signing any autographs. What we now know – as far as we can without a criminal trial – is that Jimmy Savile was, in the words of the NSPCC, “one of the most prolific sex offenders (we have) ever come across”. In short order, a man who lived almost his entire adult life in showbiz has been frantically scrubbed from the public record – plaques removed, buildings renamed and a large, triptych headstone bulldozed by his own family and sent to landfill. And this fall from grace has produced ripples which have moved through an entire strata of light entertainment’s history, with each day bringing fresh revelations and allegations about who might, or might not, have been up to something similar (this morning it was the late Leonard Rossiter’s turn to appear on the front of The Sun). Meanwhile, Savile’s strange position – a role where showbiz met politics, power and the institutions of the state – has seen the stench of sexual abuse seeping through other places, other times, other crimes like some awful chain letter. Children’s homes, reform schools, psychiatric units, hospitals; wardens, police officers, MPs, members of political parties. In late October, Private Eye reheated a series of allegations originally made by an anarchist newspaper in Rochdale relating to obese liberal MP Cyril Smith (another fixture of early ’80s television) and his behaviour during the 1960s at a boys’ hostel he founded in Rochdale. Then Newsnight hinted heavily at the identity of a ‘senior political figure’ involved in the abuse of children at a north Wales children’s home.
MP Tom Watson managed the rare feat of reducing Prime Minister’s Questions to silence when he asked for the evidence file in the case of child porn importer Peter Righton to be re-examined on the suspicion that a politician was involved in his case. A series of crimes, all unique – and all uniquely awful – are now conflated together into one shifting, conspiratorial fog, and the period I grew up in reads increasingly like the first draft of an early David Peace novel. Still, we all knew didn’t we? Well, no. We didn’t really. We might have heard things – and the most repeated rumour about Savile involved the dead, rather than the living –
‘So, when did you first know about Savile? Whatever anyone says now, they didn’t’ but these were no more or less credible than the stories that have always swirled around celebrities, and the transmission of which is greatly facilitated nowadays by the internet. Working in the media you hear what you like to think are more credible, better-sourced stories – in fact, these are generally the same guff that everyone hears, but usually with a few florid details appended to them to add a bit of heft (“My girlfriend knows someone who was doing their styling…” etc). For the last two decades, Savile didn’t even register that high on anyone’s celebrity gossip radar;
not compared to “the footballer whose kids definitely aren’t his” (complete with named details of whose they were, the paternity test, the mobile phone footage etc); which footballers are gay; “the European president who’s a raging cokehead”. Or, going further back – the singer with the stadium-sized American band who was HIV positive (he’s still with us and a picture of rude health); the bloke who had his ribs removed; and whichever one it was had his stomach pumped. For the last 20 years, our culture has run on gossip – so much of it, that it turns out everyone missed the one real story right under our noses. The past is a foreign country. In raking over Savile’s crimes, there’s been some attempt to wonder if he got away with things because the morals of the time were different. Several commentators have pointed to the lyrics of songs, album sleeves and concepts of TV shows to highlight that in the ’70s, the sexualisation of very young teenagers – and their pursuit by much older men – was viewed very differently to how it is now. So, was the past different? Well, yes and no (and not in the way that certain light entertainers are now frantically claiming it was). Then, as now, I’m sure that most people found the idea of chasing a girl less than half your age hugely unsavoury. Then, as now, people with money and influence often behaved appallingly and lived in a consequence-free bubble (anyone want to lay bets on what might come out about current footballers 30 years down the line?).
‘our culture has run on gossip for 20 years, so much so that we missed the real story’ Then, as now, most celebrities were – if looked at in a certain light – deeply strange, often slightly creepy people. What was different back then was the degree of power that a celebrity wielded. Being well-known still brings very real privileges, but Jimmy Savile was domestically famous to a degree that is almost inconceivable nowadays. At a time with a few TV channels which only broadcast for half the day and just one national pop station, a small handful of personalities worked across both, drawing audiences that any controller would now give their right arm for. And this small band existed in a celebrity vacuum – footballers earned no real money in those days; most of the big pop stars had decamped to avoid British tax rates; and the British film industry was the preserve of Robin Askwith and sitcom spin-offs. Meanwhile, the rest of the country was a failing, depopulating, bankrupt hole. From a modern perspective, we can sneer at how acquiescent people seem to have been to the likes of Savile, but if you’re huddling around candles during a power cut in a slum and a bloke suddenly rolls down your street in a silver Rolls Royce, that’s going to make an impact in the way that visible, vulgar displays of power and money always do – even if the bloke driving it is a straw-haired weirdo in a tracksuit (for a real insight into the other-worldly lunacy that surrounded radio DJs back then, Simon Garfield’s The Nation’s Favourite, and Jon Ronson’s long essay on the Jonathan King trial are essential reading). The other main difference was the showbusiness culture that people of Savile’s vintage had come up through. One relatively
neglected aspect of the case is that as much as there may have been a cover up at an institutional level, his free reign was likely as much to do with how frightened people were of him physically. An ex-miner and wrestler, he was clearly at least on nodding terms with violence – as evinced by his recollections in the Louis Theroux documentary. Savile was originally a major player in the north of England’s nightclub scene – and then, as now, you don’t tend to get too far in that business without being familiar with some fairly sharp practises. Nowadays, we’re conditioned to think that everything around ‘pop’ is a happy, legitimate world where you’re ferried around restaurant openings, have your photo in the ES magazine and hang out with other nice people who’ve been trained up for T4 since they were at stage school. But the early ’60s was a cultural and economic land grab where carpetbagging entrepreneurs – often older, tougher men who’d been through the war and kept their hair nice and short – saw a major opportunity opening up in front of them, and grabbed it extremely hard. Think Simon Cowell’s ‘Mr Nasty’? Read up on [Sharon Osborne’s dad] Don Arden. In Rob Fitzpatrick’s excellent interview with Elton John in the late Word magazine last year, he noted how, up close, there’s something strangely physically intimidating about John. Look past the gaudy suits and follicular rug, and it’s all big fists, heavy jewellery and the kind of rhino-like hide you developed during the years slogging round working men’s clubs playing to pissed-up scrappers and haggling with dancehall owners who tried to mug you off at the end of the night. In Private Eye, Victor Lewis-Smith claimed he once bumped into Savile in a chip shop in Scarborough. Suspecting the TV critic’s intentions, Savile casually introduced him to his ‘minder’, who promptly lifted his jacket to show Lewis-Smith the handle of a gun that he was carrying. Old habits die hard, and all that. So, when did you first know about Jimmy Savile? Whatever anyone says now, they didn’t. Because while he was obviously, in some senses, completely out of control, he was also meticulous enough that – at the time of writing at least – he apparently didn’t leave behind a single credible, corroborating witness, or any hard evidence. No emails, no text messages, no photos, no footage (no mean feat given that he was apparently plying his business in one of Europe’s most secure psychiatric facilities, a place where you’d imagine surveillance should be quite a big deal). In some ways Jimmy Savile occupied a different world – the era I grew up in (I’m 36) now looks like some outpost of the Balkans, with awful, malnourished people smoking like chimneys and ‘naughty schoolgirls’ regarded as fair game by creepy old men. But really, this isn’t a story about celebrity or fame or ‘the culture of the time’; like all these cases, when you strip away the window dressing, it’s about an abuse of power. Where that power resides may change over time, but the basic dynamic doesn’t. We shouldn’t kid ourselves that by bulldozing the grave and freezing the estate we can excise what Savile represented, what he did and what he stood for. As long as powerful people aren’t held to account, watched like hawks and treated with a degree of healthy contempt, they’ll behave appallingly. Savile was a uniquely prolific predator; but the culture that enabled him was what enabled all of the other people whose names are now floating around the internet. Thirty years from now, when the focus of public morality has shifted again, and certain powerful people are no longer protected by being good box office, we’ll be wondering why we didn’t see through them sooner either.
picture: © Devashish Guruji www.devashishguruji.com
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FRame academy The Sonic Editions collection brings beautifully shot photographs of pop culture icons to a new, wider audience hat we put on our walls says a lot about our character. It’s an outward sign of what we consider good taste, a visual demonstration that we want people to notice. Which is why there’s nothing more annoying than going around to someone’s house and finding they have exactly the same picture on their living room wall as you do. Ten years ago, when the only people buying Banksy pieces lived within one mile of his stamping ground of London’s Shoreditch, seemingly every other flat was decorated with the same Ikea picture of those pebbles with the white lines across the front – truly, the ’00s equivalent of the Athena print of that bloke holding the baby.
Covered: Music, photography
‘my most-loved pictures define a strong look or a movement’ Today, however, we’re all a little smarter. The limited edition print is, if we can afford it, the goal for any household worth its subscription to Elle Decoration or Wallpaper. However, they’re not cheap – which is why Umbrella is so enthused about Sonic Editions, a series of beautifully printed photographs which bridge the chasm between high-end design and popular art. Put together by former Getty Images employee Russell Blackmore, the collection features stunning photographs of iconic figures from the worlds of music, sport, art and film. The pictures, printed on professional-quality photographic paper, even come ready-framed. Russell, who’s recently come back from digging through the vast Corbis archive situated under a mountain somewhere in America, says that the appeal of the collection is down to the cultural significance of each image. “My most-loved pictures aren’t necessarily of my favourite band or actor,” he says. “It’s more about a strong look or people who define a movement. I don’t listen to Run DMC but I love pictures of early hip-hop because it looks so good.” When it came to selecting shots for this feature, we decided to stick with the movement that this magazine most strongly identifies with: mod. These shots show a scene that never ages and whose leading faces possess a timeless cool that’s almost irresistible to the fashion conscious male. Each one really is an ace face. For more on Sonic Editions just go to its website at soniceditions.com
Smart set The Jam wore suits in their early years, in contrast to other punk bands.
Covered: Music, photography
01 The Whoâ€™s drummer Keith Moon in full psychedelic garb at Monterey, 1967 02 Paul Weller in mac, France, 1983 03 Late-era mods, London, 1967 04 Bruce Foxton and Paul Weller of The Jam, Hammersmith Odeon, 1977 05 Mod revivalist on Brighton Beach, 1980 06 Police arrest mod, Margate, 1964 07 Mods parade on their scooters, Hastings, 1964
Pictures: ÂŠ sonic editions
The American dream The north-west, along with London, has dictated the dominant fashion styles of young men in this country since the end of World War II. A new book, William Routledge’s Northern Monkeys, details the ebb and flow of the region’s style through a series of interviews with its participants, from the Wigan Casino soul fans of the ’70s to the post-casual ravers of Blackburn in the late 1980s. In this excerpt, Dave Hewitson, author of The Liverpool Boys Are in Town, tells the story of the Merchant Navy sailors who brought rock ’n’ roll, blue jeans and even giant fridges back to grey, 1950s Merseyside, changing pop culture history in the process
Covered: Liverpool, America, fashion
iverpool has been a great port since the 17th Century. At that time Liverpool merchants developed a trade with America mainly due to its position on the Mersey which gave it an overwhelming advantage for trading with the new world. By the 1800s, Liverpool was the main European port and was known as the ‘second city of the Empire’. Its close links with the Atlantic slave trade was incontrovertible to the expansion and prosperity of the city. Profits from the trade were used on buildings of a grand scale and Liverpool was even known as the ‘New York of Europe’ due to its wealth and the grandeur of many of these buildings. Outside of London, Liverpool has more Grade I and II listed buildings than any other British city. Throughout the centuries it’s safe to assume that many Scousers would have been employed in the sea trade. Travel was in the blood. My father was a merchant seaman, travelling all over the world on numerous ships in the late ’50s. He would regale me with tales of jumping ship in Australia, being deported from Italy, and bringing back rock ’n’ roll records from the United States. At the age of 15 most school-leavers longed to join ‘the merch’ and set sail into the unknown. He would become one of many, all with tales to tell, but until recently kept mainly to close family and friends. No wonder I wanted to travel when I got older. My chance would arrive with ventures to far-off lands with the mighty Reds of Liverpool FC, because my father’s words are not just a passing tale.
He, and others like him, have their own adventures to tell. Tales that could only be told in Liverpool, similar to my own of following Liverpool FC. In terms of youth culture, his and those like him developed their own inimitable style. The ’50s is famous for teddy boys becoming the first youth movement. But at a similar time and possibly a bit earlier, the ‘Cunard Yanks’ were the forerunners of a teenage explosion yet to come. From the late ’40s through to the early ’60s, 25,000 seamen (mainly Scousers) sailed from Liverpool across the Atlantic working as catering staff, waiters, cooks and stewards. They worked for the Cunard shipping line and became affectionately known as Cunard Yanks due to the ships’ main ports of call being New York, Boston, and further up the north-east coast, Halifax and Montréal. The prime focus of any culture is its fashion, style and music. These guys had all three
pioneers, just like ourselves a generation later. In the early ’50s, Liverpool was scarred from war and the fashions were drab to say the least. A mix of black, brown and greys, fashion was most definitely in a rut. New York, on the other hand, had a magnetic pull, its bright lights inspiring many. In 1851, Bankers magazine described Liverpool as “the New York of Europe” and vice versa, New York being described as the Liverpool of the Americas. How apt that a century later these teenage styles would be described as similar to those New York stars of the big screen Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis. Their parents’ ambitions, dress and attitude was rejected in favour of Americana. Bringing back pieces of America unavailable back home. If it wasn’t available in New York it wasn’t available anywhere, and we’re not just talking clothes here. Consumer goods including washing machines and fridge freezers were loaded onto the ship for the ship’s electrician to convert the current for UK use. Stepping from the ship in New York harbour was like stepping into another world. It was so easy to be sucked into this cultural explosion. One Cunard Yank described Britain as being in black and white while the Big Apple was in Technicolor. It’s an analogy I sometimes use myself to describe our visits to Europe in the late ’70s and early ’80s when the UK was blighted with recession with three million unemployed. To us, Britain
‘Britain was in black and white, america was in technicolor’ ingredients in abundance. Comparisons with the Liverpool fans travelling around Europe collecting exciting European sportswear and designer wear run parallel with the Cunard Yanks’ trips to New York. They became
was still in black and white, the clothing and footwear was drab, yet Europe seemed to be like a glorious Technicolor TV with a hue of vibrant polo shirts, tracksuits and multi-coloured trainers. Suits were the order of the day in the ’50s and the Sinatra-style three button versions were unheard of in the UK. Lightweight materials and lighter in colour than anything back home, the styles were 15 years ahead of their time. It wasn’t only suits though; hats, oxblood moccasins, ties, cufflinks, even aftershave, anything really that made them stand out. When they returned, the girls would say “the ships are in” – their style was so unique. The hairstyle was Tony
But here was the working class youth of Liverpool living the highlife: dressing better, and living a more comfortable lifestyle than many of their elders. The Cunard Yanks would also have you believe they had a hand in the Beatles sound. George Harrison purchased a second hand electric guitar from one seaman. Apparently it was one of only two electric guitars in Liverpool at the time. The guy still has a signed £20 IOU because George didn’t have the full £90 cash on him at the time. John Lennon was also believed to have purchased American records from returning sailors. Music raced through their veins: New sounds first heard in the jazz
‘seaman returned to the city laden with black market goods’ clubs plus local radio stations playing doo-wop, blues and country and western meant the seaman’s musical tastes knew no boundaries. I remember as a kid playing my dad’s old 45s purchased from the US, and even Australia, long before they were released in the UK. He bought a record player in Australia whilst on a sojourn during a 14-month trip. The self-made entertainment on the ships often included nights sitting around a record player. By 1961, the grand ocean liners were giving way to air travel. The quicker way of crossing the Atlantic meant the liners demand diminished, also meaning employment on such vessels became less frequent. My father disembarked one last time to take up a job with Ford, but his tales had planted a seed; the draw and pull of New York would once again have an impact on the youth of this city during the ’90s. The place would again be the centre of attraction for fashionable Liverpudlians of the day. www.northernmonkeysbook.com
02 03 04
Dave’s dad and mate in jeans and loafers, Italy, early 1960s The button-down shirt an Ivy league staple Bass Weejun loafers Real selvedge jeans were near-impossible to buy in the UK William Routledge’s Northern Monkeys tells the story of post-war fashion in north-west England
PICTURES: SHUTERSTOCK, UMBRELLA
Curtis. The look was American. My dad would bring back jeans; Levi’s and Wrangler, another sure-fire way of distinguishing a seaman. A craze for denim was about to begin. Demand for such clothing attire began to grow throughout the ’50s in Liverpool. Seamen returned to the city laden with black market goods to sell to family and friends. American magazines were also brought back so that local tailors could copy the American styles. Entrepreneurism was encouraged, and was to become a tradition within the city. Besides the usual clothes, anything from double-door fridge freezers to record players had a market value. One guy had to leave his fridge freezer in the back yard, plugged in through the window because it was too big to fit through an English-width doorway. The Salvation Army thrift store in Manhattan was often the first port of call on docking to stock up on white goods at a knock-down price. These household goods were something the middle classes of Britain had not even seen as yet.
Fashion Great clothes for the new season plus the best men’s classics
64: Piece of The Month: Henri Lloyd Consort coat 69: Stone Island blazer 74: Nike v Esemplare 82: Vintage watch
All fashion pictures: © Umbrella
As part of a mod outfit we’ve used Loake’s Bedale brogue. More, page 73.
64 Fashion umbrella loves…
Henri Lloyd Olmes Carretti jacket Price £275, from www.henrilloyd.com
This is it – coat perfection. Originally designed by Henri Lloyd founder Henri Strzelecki*, the Consort jacket was designed for serious sailors and explorers. It’s breathable, too.
This version is a recreation of the Consort collaboration between HL and Olmes Carretti, popular with the Italian paninari in the 1980s. The group were Italy’s answer to UK casuals.
The exterior, including the hook at the back, is made of close-weave nylon, which will make short of work whatever the oceanic weather systems can throw at it.
Inside story The interior is coloured red for extra visibility. Little wonder then that the Consort was worn by Sir Francis Chichester on his 1967 one-man voyage around the world.
*Henri Strzelecki died on Boxing Day, 2012. Umbrella would like to pay tribute to a man who revolutionised outerwear, merging the worlds of technology and fashion to create timeless pieces like the Consort.
Covered: Henri Lloyd, coats
CP Company rust jacket, ÂŁ375 lassic CP styling in effect with this rust-orange anorak. We love the shape and its crinkled material â€“ ideal for those dusks when you need to be seen on your way home from work. The lack of lining makes it perfect for the British summer, too. cpcompany.co.uk buy
Paul & Shark waterproof jacket, £424 aul & Shark’s palate tends to start and end with navy blue, so it’s nice to see the some brighter colours to the fore here. We love the way the racing green body works with the blue hood and yellow tags. Great. www.harrods.com buy
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Stone Island casual blazer, £425 ecently, we’ve seen Stone Island move into more tailored pieces, and this brilliant ‘baker’s jacket’ demonstrates this perfectly. The cut of the blazer means it’ll look smart, while the cotton construction ensures it can be worn with jeans and pumps. www.stoneisland.co.uk buy
Covered: Blazers, coats
Stone Island David jacket, £575, CP Company jacket, £465 ome coats are for the brave, and this Stone Island waterproof coat is one such item. Like an updated version of the trench coat, the jacket is meant to combat serious spring showers. Black buttons add an extra smart touch. Below, the CP jacket is reminiscent of Stone Island’s famous ‘toffee wrapper’ coat, boasting a crepe-like outer shell which covers a padded layer underneath. Pockets aplenty, including a zip-up one on the inside. www.stoneisland.co.uk buy www.cpcompany.co.uk buy
Tuk Tuk tropical print shirts, £59 he UK’s most underrated shirt brand continue to thrill us with its clobber every season. These two psychedelic shirts continue this proud tradition – and with small collars and a slim fit, they’re ideal for that mod-gone-to-seed look. www.wearetuktuk.com buy
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Napapijri shirt, ÂŁ79 inen is the order of the day with this smart shirt by Napapijri. While we like the smart cut and understated soft collar, weâ€™re really into the contrasting details like the flag logo on the breast and the embroidery on the back of the neck. www.napapijri.com buy
Farrell polo and mac e’re increasingly warming to Farrell and with classic ’60s-style threads like this, it’s easy to see why. Expect a mod-ish slim fit and subtle details on the polo – like the tiny metal badge at the bottom. The mac is just a classic coat, absolutey timeless – but with a lively red lining. www.farrell.com
Farrell riding mac (£350 buy), Farrell knitted polo shirt (£85 buy)
Big mac If you’re a fan of ’60s spy movie The Ipcress File, this is a true Harry Palmer coat.
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Covered: Coats, mods
Umbrella outfit one od will always be at the heart of what Umbrella stands for, so we’ve gone for a classic outfit that will look the business on any revival night. First up is this hefty Ben Sherman parka – just the thing for pretending you go to work on a Vespa – which we’ve put alongside a check shirt from Harry Stedman, Drake’s knitted silk tie and hankie, and a pair of beautiful Bedale boots from Loake. The albums are our own, but for any ‘intellectual modernist’ they’ll provide just the right atmosphere for an all-back-to-mine with the (ace) faces of your choice.
Plectrum by Ben Sherman parka (£295 buy), Harry Stedman shirt (£139 buy), Drake’s knitted tie (£95 buy), Drake’s pocket square (£20 buy), Loake Bedale brogue boots (£210 buy)
Umbrella outfit two he best dressed Italian football fans take on the layering and colour-awareness of their fathers but add some sportswear influences for a contemporary look. In this outfit, which we’d describe as ‘Curva veteran’, we’ve paired a super-smart Esemplare Hudson anorak with a Breton-ish Nike sweatshirt, Nike Lunar Flow trainers (complete with basket weave construction) and a Cruciani Infinity braid bracelet, which we’re reliably informed is quite the latest thing in Milan, Turin and Rome. Now, where’s the CS gas?
Esemplare Hudson jacket (£390 buy), Nike striped sweatshirt (£55 buy), Nike Lunar Flow trainers (£151 buy), Cruciani Infinity Braid bracelet (£10 buy)
Covered: Coats, jumpers, trainers
Umbrella outfit three t’s easy to forget just what a cultural shift the Air Max 95 caused – relegating old school wheels to obscurity for much of the late ’90s. Here, we’re pairing them with a bright orange jumper constructed from a dense woollen weave by Paul & Shark, and a ski version of CP Company’s goggle jacket. And yes, the glasses are prostandard – as you’d expect.
Nike Air Max 95 trainers (£120 buy), CP Company ski goggle jacket (£625 buy), Paul & Shark jumper (£155 buy)
Esemplare Dickinson blazer, £285 Paul & Shark striped T-shirt, £97 K, the warm weather won’t really kick in until April (at the earliest, certainly in the UK), but the simple combination of unlined cotton blazer and brightly-coloured T-shirt will have you ready for a bit of yacht stealing when summer does come around. It’s all about blending in, see. www.esemplare.it buy www.harrods.com buy
Navy blue The Dickinson is the sort of unlined blazer that looks great in a nautical get-up.
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Covered: Blazers, cardiagns
Paul & Shark cardigan £370, Henri Lloyd Bail polo shirt, £60 aul & Shark’s cardigans are some of the best in business. This example, manufactured in dense pure wool with waterproof patches, looks the business with this summery Henri Lloyd polo, which comes in a shade of slightly washedout pink. A great combination. www.harrods.com buy www.henrilloyd.com buy
Loake Dovedale boots, £210 turdy isn’t really enough to describe these beautifully crafted boots from Loake. The uppers are made from burnished calf leather which sits on Goodyear welted rubber soles – meaning they should last as long as you do. And they look great, too. www.loake.co.uk buy
Covered: Shoes, trainers
Diadora B.Original, £55, Cross 70, £52 wo crackers here from Italian trainer kings Diadora. First up is one we all know, the B.Original – here with a natty burgundy stripe. Second up, is the super-light Cross 70, bringing some retro running style to the party. We like them both – and so may you. www.size.co.uk buy
B good The B.Original became a legend among trainer fans after its heydey in the early ’80s.
Chapman Flyfisher satchel, ÂŁ199 deal for the fisherman or photographer in your life (ie, you), this quality satchel is made from super-strong cotton and leather, and is big enough for your SLR and a couple of lenses to boot. Or your selection of killer bait. champmanbags.com buy
Covered: Bags, wallets
Richard James Mayfair iPad wallet, £105, laptop case, £100 and wallet, £65 e all have stuff to carry around. But for gents of taste any old zip-up bag won’t do. This range of wallets and cases by Savile Row’s Richard James points us in the right direction, with leather and canvas to the fore. richardjames.co.uk buy
Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Reverso 986 Duodate watch A watch is, apart from his wedding ring, the only piece of jewellery a man is likely ever to wear. Leo Parker pays tribute to one particularly beautiful timepiece ou can tell a lot about a man by his timepiece and, it’s safe to say, if you’re rocking a refined Jaeger LeCoultre watch, you’re likely to be a good – and quite wealthy – egg. Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre in Le Sentier, Switzerland, the firm first began its operations from a small workshop in the Jura region near the border with France. Right from the outset, it was the aim of M LeCoultre to produce high quality mechanical timepieces – the fact that he not only accomplished, but exceeded, this is shown the esteem in which the brand’s watches are held today. However, it wasn’t until Antoine’s grandson, Jacques-David, was challenged
‘The reversible face protects the watch’s crystals’ by esteemed Parisian designer, Edward Jaeger, 70 years later to create an ultra-thin watch movement that the brand of Jaeger LeCoultre was born. A fortuitous event indeed – without this meeting, we wouldn’t be treated to exemplary timepieces like this, the breathtaking Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Reverso 986 Duodate, originally released in 1931.
There are few watches that boast more visual appeal than Jaeger LeCoultre’s and its Grande Reverso series is simply unparalleled in both style and luxury. Though the watch costs a small fortune – weighing in around the £7,000 mark – the Grande Reverso 986 Duodate is a prime example of getting what you pay for. Its quality speaks for itself. A feat of mechanical engineering, the timepiece has a reversible face (originally designed for polo players so they could swivel it and protect the watch crystals) that makes it stand out in the incredibly competitive high end of the watch market. Some of the stand-out features of this extraordinary men’s watch include a still-contemporary design with striking geometric shapes, a single calibre Jaeger LeCoultre 896 mechanical movement with 28,800 vibrations per hour, 48-hour power reserve, and a silver guilleche and Clou de Paris-patterned watch face. Truly, it is a thing of beauty. Luxurious, refined and effortlessly stylish – these are all adjectives which can be used to describe this (and, indeed, all) Jaeger LeCoultre watches – it’s no surprise that the Swiss watchmaker has risen to the top of the horology industry, courtesy of fantastically designed and painstakingly manufactured timepieces like the Grande Reverso 986 Duodate. It comes close to being the ultimate statement watch. www.thewatchgallery.co.uk
Face off This, the second side of the watch, features an art deco-style day/ night indicator.
V i ntag e
84 And finally…
Vintage tractors The icon of mechanised farming provides one collector with a portal to a very personal past e all like things that remind us of our early days,” beams Richard Mason as he admires a blue Ford Super Major tractor in front of him. “My brother and I did a lot of straw-baling using tractors like this when we were young.” It’s true that certain objects can transport us back in time. For many, it’s simply a battered album of photos (complete with genuine pre-Instagram faded effect) or the ticket stubs from concerts and football matches that remind us of days gone by. Richard, however, takes his memory-jogging collection of boys’ toys to the next level. “This shed is specially constructed to house my tractors,” he says. “There’s a fan to circulate the air and help avoid rust setting in. There’s a lot of old pieces here, and the ones from the ’60s have a lot of tin work on, so deterioration of the bodywork is a real issue.” Standing in the middle of the shed breathing in the smell of engine oil, surrounded by gleaming chrome badges and spotless blue paintwork, it’s hard to resist Richard’s
enthusiasm for these agricultural vehicles. “All of the tractors in my collection are good runners and still able to do a day’s work,” he says. “When I get the chance I like to plough at working events.” So while buying a memento for old time’s sake might explain the presence of one tractor, how does Richard account for the other 39 that have appeared in his shed over the years? “It’s a unique collection,” he says. “I have some very rare and valuable tractors. Take the Matbro Mastiff. Only 20 were ever made and nine survived. This is one of them.” So what’s next? “Well, I want to totally finish my collection,” he says. “I need just two more to complete it – and fill the shed. Then that’ll be the end of it. Done.” He pauses. “Though my wife might say she’s heard that one before.” For more information on vintage tractors go to www.blueforce.uk.com
Details The famous ‘wheatsheaf’ logo was used by Ford up until the late ’60s. Henry Ford’s prototype tractor – the Model B – was launched in August 1915. His company began mass production just two years later.
words: matt reynolds Pictures: © umbrella
next Next issue issue The return of abandoned places, American menu design, a manâ€™s obsession with chilli, and our summer fashion special Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
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