Fashion Architecture Travel Ideas Sport Design
ÂŁFree Issue nine Summer 2013 www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Umbrella Manifesto he UK’s transport philosophy is undergoing a change, as we attempt to move from a primarily car-focused society to one that encompasses rail, cycling and limited vehicle use. The problems with this can be seen on our roads and online forums, as cyclists and drivers castigate each other as they fight for supremacy. We find this self defeating – we shouldn’t define ourselves by how we get to work. In this issue of Umbrella, we look at the positive impact transport can have on our lives, from a manifesto on how northern cities can get the best out of HS2 to a profile of an inspiring bike show. Add great fashion and superb journalism, and it all adds up to a very pleasant ride indeed. And we won’t be jumping any red lights.
Anthony Teasdale and Matt Reynolds, London, summer 2013
printed Printed copies copies Beautiful printed copies of Umbrella are now available to order online here Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Issue nine contents 9 Editions 10 Taste the difference The golden age of American menus 12 News Max Roberts, the man who makes circular maps of the world’s metros; unofficial logos; Lego does modernism; amazing bicycles 16 Column: A northern revolution by Michael Taylor 17 Column: Sound advice by Elliott Lewis-George 19 The simple pleasures of Ibérico ham 20 Ceviche’s Peruvian recipes 24 Cocktail recipes by 5cc, London 26 Q&A on the philosophy behind Cities are Good for You, by Leo Hollis 28 Our favourite things Eames chair
31 Field trip 32 How to build a ghetto – and invent hiphop in the process The story of Robert Moses, the all-powerful planner who decimated the Bronx, yet sowed the seeds for the world’s most popular music genre 36 Rolling news Umbrella visits the Bristol Handmade bike show 40 Young and beautiful Why Ghent is Belgium’s most vibrant city
45 Stories 46 Leave homes From American hospitals to Japanese theme parks, we preview the third edition of Abandoned Places 56 The birth of the cool How mod started in late ’50s London
61 Fashion 62 Umbrella loves Gymphlex cagoule 64 Classic Adidas Handball Spezial 68 Jackets, shirts and outfits 80 Shoes 82 Bags/sunglasses
84 Obsessions Chillis
80 Shoes www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Issue nine’s contributors Modernists, explorers and thinkers all come together to create an unrivalled breadth of knowledge and insight for this edition of Umbrella
Henk Van Rensbergen A pilot by day, Henk Van Rensbergen is also a photographer, best known for his Abandoned Places books. In this issue, Henk documents the empty airports and closed theme parks of the USA and Japan. More at abandoned-places.com
Currently living in Finsbury Park, London, Jake’s great passion – apart from the Tube – is the cultivation of chilli plants, perhaps the only way he can feed his love of extremely spicy food. You can read about the endless varieties and strengths of this most notorious plant on page 84.
After a career in journalism, Michael Taylor now runs his own events company and hosts a series of monthly debates called DISCUSS. He’s also the chairman of lobbying group Downtown Manchester. In 2012, he published Northern Monkeys with William Routledge.
The writer of MOD: A Very British Style, Richard is an established author. On page 58, we run an excerpt from MOD, which details the early beginnings of the cult in late-’50s London. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Boston and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Liverpool-born John now lives in Chester, so pines for the frenetic, traffic-choked buzz of the big city; hence his fetish for maps through which he can live an avatar metropolitan existence. In this issue of Umbrella, he writes about American menu design and a London mapmaker.
Umbrella Magazine is published by Wool Media Ltd, © 2013 Editor Anthony Teasdale (email@example.com) Creative Director Matt Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org) Staff Writer Elliott Lewis-George (email@example.com) Technological Development Dan Nicolson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Advertising Manager Jon Clements (email@example.com) Picture Researcher John Ritchie Other contributors Ben Broomfield, Justin Clack, Simon Cunningham, Don G. Cornelius, Leo Parker UMB022
on the cover This issue’s cover was shot on location by Creative Director Matt on the road between Jaipur and Delhi in Rajasthan, northern India
Editions Photography, ideas, technology, food, amusement
10: The menus that made America 16: Why northern cities have to step up 24: Old school cocktails
picture: ÂŠ CEVICHE
Londonâ€™s Ceviche brings citrusy Peruvian cuisine to the UK. Recipes, page 20.
Taste the difference A beautiful volume of American menu design mirrors the USA’s greatest period of change amously, in the 1990s, Terence Conran’s Quaglino’s restaurant in Soho was losing up to 1000 ashtrays a month. Over the following decade the iconic aluminium ‘Q’ ornaments became London’s hottest restaurant souvenir. By 2000, over 25,000 had made their way home in the pockets of customers. After dropping £150 on dinner one might think people had some justification in pocketing the odd teaspoon, coffee cup or embroidered napkin. Well, that’s certainly one excuse… Our forefathers had more innocent appetites when it came to mementos of a good night out. Menus have always been popular as a physical souvenir of a meal as they can trigger such vivid memories. So people used to take them home and keep them safe. It’s therefore no surprise that there’s now a booming market in vintage restaurant memorabilia. These safely stored, personal mementoes are treasured as social artefacts and examples of the styles and tastes – quite literally – of times past. Some are simply just beautiful at look at. Even in their day, these illustrations of an individual’s experiences were lovingly hoarded, to be later shown off to friends like passport stamps. The great era of American menu collecting (1850-1985) has been beautifully catalogued in a lavish volume by publishers Taschen. This stretches from the golden period of mid-19th Century America (‘gilded age’ establishments like Delmonico’s feature heavily in the book), via the Art Moderne and Deco beauty of pre-Depression, ‘jazz age’ clubs, to the eventual decline in the post-war years and the diners, coffee shops and cocktail bars of California and Las Vegas. It is the tale of the country itself. In between, there are fabulous customdesigned examples, from the railroad dining cars that helped knit together a burgeoning nation to ocean-going liners, and even menus from airships like the Hindenburg. There are also some uncomfortable reminders of social history (the 1930s fried chicken chain ‘Coon Chicken Inn’ is an example of the wayward racial attitudes of earlier times) and more naked women on show than on an average newsagent’s top-shelf. A wonderful book.
Details The menus of this period reflected a rapidly changing world. As car use exploded, the use of automobile motifs increased, as seen above.
Covered: Design, America, food
Details As well as using concepts from home, artists looked further afield for inspiration, as illustrated in these Gauginesque, Hawaiian figures.
Menu Design In America is published by Taschen www.taschen.com
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
U-feed What Umbrella likes this issue… German Rail company Deutsche Bahn has now been given a licence to run services from London to cities such as Cologne, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. The routes should be up and running by 2016… Commuters in Melbourne are being asked to vote on their favourite designs for the new Finders Street station. The public in Victoria have six radical reworks to choose from. See the contestants at vote.majorprojects.vic. gov.au… Following advice from the Thai national bank, Bitcoin, the internet-only alternative currency, has ceased trading in the country. The Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department has said, because there are no applicable laws that can govern Bitcoin use, it is illegal… Microsoft has taken $100 off the price of the Surface Pro, this after the company had taken 30 per cent off the Surface RT – though shares have risen with Steve Balmer’s departure…
Blade runner Radical new Adidas shoe is latest salvo in sports shoe war Adidas’ ongoing battle with Nike for supremacy continues with the launch of the Springblade, a new running shoe that uses blades “to propel the runner forward”. The new trainer, alongside the brand’s Bounce technology, is the latest sign that the German manufacturer is determined to grab a bigger share of the US running shoe market – at present it’s got only 7.4 per cent of customers compared to Nike’s 43 per cent. The shoe’s designer James Carnes told Fast Company: “This project comes out of looking at what happens to the energy a race car uses when it has to go around a corner. Some of our brainy engineers started to think about how to harness the energy you push into a shoe when you land, and not only re-use it, but give it a specific direction.” The Springblade goes on sale in the US on August 1, priced $180.
Covered: Fashion, design, architecture
Oh logo! French art pranksters target major brands with unofficial logo redesigns The world’s biggest companies think a lot about their logos, tweaking them every few years in order to make them more relevant – as well as enabling advertising creatives to become increasingly wealthy in the process. Parisian art collective Maentis is all too aware of this, as can be seen by its redesigns of a number of global companies’ logos; household names like Apple, McDonald’s, Gillette and Windows. The new logos reflect what Maentis believes are the real philosophies behind these brands – and it isn’t exactly complimentary.
White town Lego releases modernist architecture set Danish toy manufacturer Lego has launched a kit aimed specifically at adults looking to hone their architectural skills. The Architecture Studio set contains 1210 white and transparent bricks created especially for constructing modern structures. Endorsed by architecture firms like REX and Sou Fujimoto, a 272-page guidebook included in the package, acts as a reader in modern architecture. www.lego.com
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
max roberts Q&A
Circle of influence Urban rail maps are reinvented and re-shaped by one ingenious British designer Psychologist by day, cartographer by night – or whenever the urge takes him – Max Roberts’ reworks of urban transport maps have gained him fans all over the world. After his concentric circle-based map of the London Underground caused a stir online, the Essex University lecturer has now completed the monumental task of re-imagining the New York Subway – based on spokes darting out from a central point. Umbrella spoke to him about his latest work and obsession with producing alternatives to regular maps.
Ride on time Beautiful bikes come together in one inspiring book Cycling is an increasingly significant part of the transport experience in our cities, whether you’re a rider or not. While we get a little tired of the red lightignoring smugness so many of our co-riders display, we can’t deny we’re absolutely in love with both the actual concept of cycling and the design of bikes themselves. Velo 2: Bicycle Style & Culture is a celebration of all things bike in the modern world, detailing beautiful cycles and cool twowheel scenes from around the
Hi Max. We first noticed your work with your circular map on the London Underground Someone else had a go with one and I wasn’t very impressed with it. It’s all about the new London Overground connection – people were saying that we had a new orbital link and needed a map to reflect that. The map I saw on the Londonist website had made the Circle Line a pure circle in central London, but the whole map goes wrong if you do that.
globe. It also looks at the positive impact that the activity has on our existence, giving freedom and independence to people who don’t think a car in the city is practical (though ferrying the ankle-biters to school on a Danish Christianabike may be a little too strenuous for Umbrella staffers – especially once the kids are in their teens). The book is available to buy now from here.
Covered: Cycles, maps Why? The Circle is much longer than it is tall, so when you start crushing to a circle you mess with the geography. Also, the British love horizontal type – other countries have it in any direction – but in Britain it has to be horizontal. You’re not just crushing geography, your bashing all the station names into each other, too.
Max redesigns the Merseyrail map
You’re a psychologist by trade, how do maps fit in? There’s a lot of psychology here. I started collecting maps when I was four or five years old. It was a hobby alongside my psychology for years, then in the mid-2000s I merged them. Your most recent work is of the New York CIty Subway. That must have presented some difficult challenges… It’s got a big block of coast for a start – London’s not a coastal city. Also New York has this ‘invisible’ state of New Jersey next to it which doesn’t exist as far as the map is concerned.
So it was a big challenge? I’ve mapped New York before and I know where the difficult bits are. At the bottom of Manhattan there’s lots of stations, but I’d rather slit my throat than have a station name cross a line. There’s a difficult part in Brooklyn, too – directly east from the bottom of Manhattan you get to a whole tangle of red, green, yellow and orange lines. That bit’s horrible. Once you’ve got those two areas right, the rest of the map falls into place. Your brought Staten Island into your circle, too – and it just fits… Yes, you can’t break your own design rules,
it ruins the coherence of the map. Its position is actually not bad geographically, St George is pretty level with 59th St in Brooklyn, though the Staten Islanders might be upset as it’s about the same size as Manhattan in real life. Have you had interest from the official transport authorities? London’s very defensive about their diagrams, they wish I didn’t exist, but the MTA in New York contacted me and asked about licensing the map for T-shirts and tourist souvenirs. Why do people seem to love these urban maps so much ? There’s a childhood thing – you can travel on public transport, these maps stand for liberation. And then a good map is a thing of beauty. The Brits love their maps. There’s probably as many maps hanging on the walls being beautiful as there are in people’s pockets doing work. The structure of the lines and the way they interact – lots of abstract shapes. There’s something about these that draws people in. You’ve dedicated much of your life to maps. What are your favourites? The early New York Subway maps were dramatic. Henry Beck’s [designer of the Tube diagram] send me forward. The old Paris Metro map from the 1950s and ’60s was one of the best maps ever designed. The Moscow Metro map from the ’70s, where they just had a circle with straight lines, broke every Beck rule in the universe but worked extremely well. See more of Max’s work at Tube Map Central
Pictures: © max roberts
That’s odd, as areas like Hoboken are nearer to Manhattan than much of Brooklyn and Queens, aren’t they? Yes, it’s because in the USA the states are very fragmented – completely separate in the way that, say, the Netherlands and Belgium are. The structure of the network is different, too, there’s no real orbital route. When I started, I didn’t think it would work at all.
A short conversation about underground systems outside London led to Max redesign the map of Liverpool’s Merseyrail system. Suffice to say, the results are impressive. Max says: “I wanted to restore some dignity to the map, a lot of people are very unhappy with the official version. If a city has a famous loop, then the map should show a loop. There’s only one choice of centre here, the main concern was keeping the map compact. Blackpool to Flint gives a nice outer circle that frames the design, but it can also throw the dimensions into orbit. This is why the Southport line is bent (although it is a bit like this in reality). I’m pleased that there’s a horizontal and a vertical axis, this helps to bed it. For fonts, Gill Sans is the classic British Railways one. I usually use Futura for circlular maps, a geometric font for a geometric map, but that seemed wrong for Liverpool.”
A northern revolution Michael Taylor argues that HS2 has to be the catalyst for greater autonomy in the cities of the north
magine a scenario when High Speed Rail gets built. That the cities of the north have still lagged behind. That Scotland has a generous corporation tax regime that draws in ambitious technology businesses to Glasgow and Silicon Glen. And that London continues its inexorable rise as a global powerhouse. A new train line that can take people from Manchester to the centre of London, to a newly built Euston station, in just over an hour, does just that. It draws people in. Just that. There is no reason for the traffic to be two ways – few other meaningful businesses have followed the BBC to MediaCity and the public sector is still the biggest employer in large swathes of the north. It simply can’t happen. It simply can’t be allowed to happen. And if we needed any further impetus to get political leaders in the cities of the north to dig in for greater autonomy and power to have serious control over government budgets in an
effective way for our urban economies, then this is it. Let me be clear. This is not an argument against HS2. This is an argument for greater power for the north, in readiness for the real opportunities that HS2 will provide. HS2 provides four main risks: One, it’s going to take too long to get built.
‘The short journey time could shrink the talent pool’ Two, it’s being built the wrong way round. If the aim is to help the north, then the first phase should be to redevelop Manchester Piccadilly station, build the tunnel under south Manchester and provide further connectivity to Manchester Airport, making it accessible from all points south.
Three, something very serious needs to be done to address how the country is crossed from east to west. The expansion of Liverpool docks by mysterious property group Peel deserves fulsome support for how goods are then distributed to the rest of the north. But by throwing so much capital infrastructure into HS2, it risks kicking this urgent need into the long grass. This has to be addressed. Four, the shorter journey time to London starts to shrink the reach of the talent pool. As Manchester and Leeds are two hours from the capital then it makes sense to have a physical presence in the North. Cutting journey times to an hour undermines the case for that. The prize is double edged – just relying on it and becoming a far flung suburb of London would be a disaster. It has to be more than that. And that’s the challenge of all of us. London clearly has it. But London’s success is also built on the structural imbalances of institutions that are weighted
Sound advice Radio might have come a long way since Radio Caroline, but Elliott Lewis-George argues that it’s still a sonic force to be reckoned with s a youth, I couldn’t see the appeal of hanging out in front of the local Co Op on a Saturday night: necking cheap cider, flirting with trackiebottomed girls and giving the local copper lip just wasn’t my scene. Instead, I preferred to stay in and do my homework. No, really, I did. Even my old man thought it was weird that I wasn’t sneaking out to smoke a spliff down the park. He’d encourage me to give the textbooks a rest for a night and knock around with my mates instead. I had to convince him that I wasn’t some nerdy recluse and that the textbooks were just something to stare at whilst I tuned my full attention into Tim Westwood’s Radio 1 Rap Show. The only key dates you’d find in my exercise books were release dates for the hottest forthcoming records. My musical tastes might have come along way since the Westwood days but my passion for radio hasn’t died a bit. In his memoirs, Bob Dylan described how radio was an essential part of his life “just like trains and bells”. Well, like Dylan and myself, it seems like it’s still an ever-present medium to most, with 90 per cent of the UK listening to the radio each week. Part of radio’s timeless appeal is its essential role in discovering new music. Even in this digital-does-everything era of Spotify playlists, cluttered iTunes libraries and poor quality YouTube rips, allowing
your chosen selector to inform and mold your musical tastes is one of life’s effortless pleasure. Like most music collectors, I’m not privy to advanced promos from my favourite artists and producers. But tuning into one of my trusted specialist shows allows me to arm myself with a shopping list of must-have records before scurrying over to my local shop to face one of the ever-so intimidating vinyl vendors. Granted, technology helps a bit: kids would happy-slap you if you tried to tell them you had to keep the wireless quiet and your head under the duvet to sneak a listen to Radio Caroline afterhours on a ’60s school night. Nowadays, you can tune into your favourite show at anytime and on any device for weeks after the first broadcast. You don’t need to be some kind of audiophile with fancy kit to appreciate the simple pleasure of radio. Television will always be a medium that renders you useless. And we all know that computers have been a constant distraction ever since Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia appeared. But radio isn’t intrusive. It’s there to inform, to keep you company and to make light of whatever mundane task you find yourself doing. “I know I can’t live without my radio,” LL Cool J once rapped. And he’s still right.
Pictures: © Umbrella
in one place: government, media, finance, legal system, the civil service and corporate headquarters. This imbalance has provided the impetus for Scottish nationalism, and the development of their new institutions. Scotland is making a better job of creating the kind of economy that it needs, whether as a devolved part of the United Kingdom, or a small independent member of the European Union. If there’s to be a confident new north, it needs a positive confident narrative. The north isn’t a problem to be solved for the future of the whole of the British economy, it is the key ingredient of the future solution. Politicians in London are starting to argue for greater powers over the revenue they raise and a direct say over transport strategy. How soon before they want to set their own policies in immigration and skills? In this context we can curl up with Paul Morley’s new book The North, And Almost Everything In It and satisfy ourselves that, our chips on our shoulders are justified, or we can join those who are thinking of a new future for the north. Forget the doomed call for regional assemblies and parliaments, the real totems of a rebalanced and successful Britain with a revitalized north will be all about cities. Any successful city has to create its own magnetism – a reason to draw people in, retain the talented and mobile, and provide a living and a quality of life for its people. It needs to be constantly argued that the BBC relocation to Greater Manchester, please stop saying Salford, is a positive move for the country. In Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool there is a confidence and a determination to take more power and responsibility. This “civic entrepreneurship” is what Manchester has become very good at. But it’s usually led by unelected chief executives like Howard Bernstein and Tom Riordan in Leeds – not by a powerful elected Mayor for a metro city region. That would be a powerful job worth having. And all of that starts to underpin the most compelling case yet for HS2 – that the scheme brings Leeds, Manchester, and its airport, into greater connection to Europe, not just London. It will and can be an important part of a wider strategy to make our cities better connected, from east to west, to Europe, to China. And beyond. michaeltaylordowntown.tumblr.com
Covered: The north, radio
Covered: Food, Spain
The simple pleasures of…
Ibérico ham In Spain, the ultimate snack food is a physical embodiment of the country’s agriculture or the British, ham is one of the basic foodstuffs – pink squares of protein that provide the filling to countless packed lunches and picnics, usually encased in squidgy white bread and wrapped in foil. This is convenience food in the truest sense – a product made in sterile factories by men in white coats and nylon weave hats. Now there’s little inherently wrong with this – many a late night hunger pang has been banished with a midnight raid on the fridge and a delve into the plastic packet, but let’s not kids ourselves that this ham is anything more than just fuel. Certainly, when compared to the dark, marbled glory of Spain’s peerless ibérico, it looks exactly what it is: a mass produced stomach-filler. Ibérico is something very different. If you’ve travelled to Spain or eaten in a tapas restaurant in Britain, you’ll have seen legs of it – or at least its less souped-up cousin, serrano – hanging above bar. Unlike British ham – which the Spanish buy under the name ‘Jámon de York’ – when you eat ibérico you know it hasn’t been picked off the mythical ‘meat tree’ – the hoof at one end tends to give it away. So what makes it so special? First, there’s the colour. serrano is pink, but ibérico is often darker, a result of its longer maturing time – up to 48 months – and the different coloured flesh of the black Iberian pigs whose legs it’s made from. When it’s been carved off the leg by your taberna’s barman with his impossibly thin, impossibly sharp knife and served to you on a plain, white plate, the contrast between
‘The initial taste is savoury – then a sweet muskiness surfaces’
the ham and the ceramic is dramatic. This is food to be savoured by the eyes, too. Of course, the really important bit is the taste. Not only are the legs of ham matured for longer than conventional serrano, but the pigs allowed to feed on acorns and herbs in the arid provinces of places like Badajoz, Seville and Ciudad Real, giving the meat a sweet, deep flavour that tramples over any other pretenders to the ham throne. This is meat production as art. When put in the mouth, the initial taste will be savoury, but as the meat slowly dissolves on the tongue, other flavours – notably a sweet, fragrant muskiness – surface. And when you combine the lean meat with the silky, cool ribbons of fat that marble it, you see why ibérico is so much more expensive than other hams. The fact that you can also get chorizo ibérico can send those of us who love this sort of thing over the edge. In the second decade of the 21st Century we’re realising that the mass produced, cheap products of the last 100 years haven’t done us any good, whether that’s in clothing (still buying dresses made by Bangladeshi kids, eh ladies?) or food production. Items like ibérico ham show us a different way – one which acknowledges that quality costs money, and that food which is made without care or love is no food at all. No matter how hungry you are.
The lime sleeps tonight hen – or realistically, if – we ever think of South American food, it’s more than likely we picture a vague mish-mash of Mexican, Argentinean and Brazilian – all chilli, rice and hunks of red meat. Peruvian cuisine, though, is a mystery, which is why the food at Peruvian eating house Ceviche in London’s Soho is such an eye opener, with flavours influenced, not just by neighbouring states, but by the country’s Chinese, Italian and Japanese immigrant populations. Owned by Anglo-Peruvian Martin Morales (he moved from Lima to Leicester as a teenager), the restaurant is named after the
Soho’s Ceviche restaurant brings a taste of multicultural Peru to Britain, changing perceptions with every fragrant, citrusy mouthful
country’s national dish, a refreshingly but savoury fish concoction, in which the meat is ‘cooked’ in lime juice and chilli. If you like the bacalao (salted cod) of Spain and Portugal, then you’ll love this. While we’d recommend anyone living in, or visiting, the capital make a reservation at Ceviche, that’s not always possible, which is why Martin, who left a career in the music industry to open the restaurant, has donated three of his favourite recipes for the delectation of Umbrella readers. Take it away, Señor Morales…
Covered: Food, recipes
COCA-COLA CHICKEN “This is one of the simplest recipes that my great-aunt Otilia used to make. She claimed it was her own invention although I suspect its origins came from the local chifa restaurants that served versions of sweet and sour chicken. Wherever it originated, she’d improvised it brilliantly.” Serves 4 1 chicken, jointed into pieces, or 8 thigh and/or drumstick portions 250ml Coca-Cola (not the diet variety) 60ml soy sauce 2 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder 1 tsp cumin 1 large onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper
‘It’s one of my auntie’s recipes’ Method – Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6). Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting dish – Mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, basting with the juices after 15 minutes. Remove the foil and baste again. If it looks slightly too dry and in danger of burning, add a tablespoon or so of water to the roasting dish as well. Return to the oven for another 15–20 minutes, until the chicken has a slightly sticky, crispy skin and the sauce has reduced to a syrup – Serve with the sauce spooned over, alongside freshly cooked white rice and some greens or fried cassava
DON CEVICHE “This is our signature dish, so called as it’s really the daddy of all our ceviches and the most popular dish we serve here. We suggest sea bass for this recipe, but use whatever is freshest at market – try sea bream, Dover sole or any other firm-textured white fish.” Serves 4 1 large red onion, very thinly sliced 600g sea bass fillet (or other white fish), skinned and trimmed 1 portion of amarillo chilli tiger’s milk (see next page for details) A few coriander sprigs, leaves finely chopped 1 limo chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 1 sweet potato, cooked and cut into small cubes (see below) Fine sea salt
Method – Wash the sliced red onion and then leave it to soak in iced water for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly, spread out on kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to remove any excess water and then place in the fridge until needed. Cut the fish into strips of around 3x2cm – Place in a large bowl, add a good pinch of salt and mix together gently with a metal spoon. The salt opens the fish’s pores. Leave for 2 minutes and then pour over the tiger’s milk and combine gently with the spoon – Leave the fish to ‘cook’ in this marinade for 2 minutes. Add the onions, coriander, chilli and the cubed sweet potato to the fish. Mix together gently with the spoon and taste to check the balance of salt, sour and chilli is to your liking. Serve immediately
BASIC CHILLI PASTE Method – Pick your choice of chillies – we use amarillos for this recipe but if you can’t find them, just use a medium strength red chilli. Put 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat then add 100g deseeded chillies and half a finely chopped small onion – Sauté over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and sauté for 5 minutes until soft, being careful to make sure it doesn’t take on any colour. Blend and blitz until smooth. Makes about 190g
MACARONI WITH HUANCAINA & CHEESE SAUCE
Method – Put a 5mm piece of fresh root ginger, 1 small garlic clove, 4 roughly chopped coriander sprigs and the juice of 8 limes in a bowl. Stir and then leave for 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve. Add ½ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons Chilli Paste and mix well
HUANCAINA SAUCE Method – Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté 1 chopped small white onion and 1 garlic clove until translucent. Blend, add 4 tablespoons Chilli Paste, 100ml vegetable oil, 50g fresh cheese or feta and 350ml evaporated milk – blitz until smooth. Add 50g crushed cream crackers and blitz again. Add more oil, salt, crackers or a squeeze of lime if needed. Makes about 500ml
Serves 4 500g dried macaroni ½ portion of Huancaina sauce (see below)
50ml single cream 100g mature Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated 1 tbsp olive oil Salt
Method – Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add some salt. Pour in the macaroni and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, preheat your grill to its highest setting – Put the Huancaina sauce in a saucepan with the cream. Heat very gently and do not let it boil as you don’t want it to separate – Drain the macaroni and tip it into the warm Huancaina sauce. Mix well and then pour into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle over the cheese and then drizzle with the olive oil. Place under the hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling
‘Pasta was brought over to Peru by Italian immigrants’ These recipes are taken from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback at £25, or on eBook and iBook on iTunes at £12.99. More information on the restaurant and its pop-up tours of the UK can be found at cevicheuk.com
PICTURES: © ceviche
AMARILLO CHILLI TIGER’S MILK
“Pasta has become a staple in Peru, thanks to its introduction at the hands of Italian immigrants. This version of the classic macaroni cheese is given a spicy Peruvian hit by the inclusion of Huancaina sauce.”
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24 Editions the umbrella bar
High 5! When it comes to cocktails, London’s 5cc bar really is made to measure ome places just feel like cocktail bars. Even in the day they’re shadowy and gloomy – suspended in animation until the night begins and they come to life. London’s 5cc is just such a place. Located above the excellent Exmouth Arms pub in Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market, the venue – and its other branch in the East End – specialises in what they call “forgotten” cocktails, using bespoke mixers aged over weeks in bottles to give their drinks a deeper flavour. Manager Peersh Chabada, originally from Gujarat in India, fell in love with the concept of cocktails when he was a student. Now he presides over a bar that lets him showcase his creative skills to the full – a place that’s cosy, seductive and covered with fascinating objects and artworks. It even sells that most traditional of London bar snacks – oysters. Here, Peersh takes us through three of his favourite 5cc cocktails – the only difficulty is which one to choose first.
Forgotten Negroni “With the ‘forgotten’ range, once the mixer has been bottled it takes on taste that’s more subtle than if it was just made. We leave this one for about a week.” Ingredients: 25ml Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength gin 25ml Campari 20ml Amaro Ciociaro
5ml Perique tobacco liqueur Glass: Old-fashioned Garnish: Orange zest twist
Method: Stir with ice and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice cubes.
Lavender Fizz “This cocktail’s got a subtle lavender taste from the gin we infuse with the herb. The foamy, meringue-like top comes from the egg white. Add some fresh lavender and lemon as garnish.” Ingredients: 50ml Lavenderinfused gin 20ml Gomme 25ml Fresh lemon juice 5ml Violet liqueur
1 Egg white Soda top Glass: Collins/highball Garnish: Fresh lavender and lemon zest twist
Method: Dry-shake first five ingredients (without ice). Shake again with ice and then strain into an ice- filled glass. Top with a splash of soda.
Rhubarb Daiquiri “The key is the rhubarb jam we add which provides a fruity sweetness to this classic cocktail. It’s both sweet and refreshing.”
The bar’s speakeasy atmosphere is set by neon lights and retro artwork.
Ingredients: 50ml White rum 25ml Fresh lime juice Dash Rhubarb bitters
2 Bar spoons of homemade rhubarb jam Glass: Martini/coupette Garnish: None
Method: Shake all the ingredients with ice and then finestrain into a chilled glass. For more information on both the Clerkenwell and Bethnal Green branches of 5cc go to: www.5cc-london.com
pictures: © umbrella
Raw hide Todayâ€™s Eamesâ€™ chair is covered in contract-grade leather as it fades less than the aniline hide that the designer used in the original.
Our favourite thingsâ€Ś
The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman It may have been designed in the 1950s, but this pairing remains an absolute essential for modernist furniture buffs looking to rest their legs, as Leo Parker describes
Covered: Furniture, modernism
or any aspiring Don Draper looking to add the finishing touch to his centrally located apartment, the Charles Eames lounge chair (and matching ottoman) is a natural choice. Originally designed by Eames for the 50th birthday of his friend, the movie director, Billy Wilder, Eames wanted to create a modernist chair with the “warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt” ie, a one that not only looked great but was comfortable, too. In continual production by the Herman Miller Company since it was released in 1956, it’s a testament to how far ahead Eames was as a thinker and designer that this luxurious piece of statement furniture is equally as popular today as when it was over half a century ago. This is borne out by the fact that it’s on display in museums all over the world, most
notably the MoMA in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Eames lounge chair (and ottoman) was designed after a simple comment of “Why don’t we build an update of the old English club chair?” And with that, one of the most iconic pieces of 20th Century furniture was conceived. Eames crafted this devilishly attractive piece from three curved plywood shells and seven thin layers of wood veneer. Herman Miller, which is responsible for producing originals of the chair, endeavour to make them to the same standard that Eames demanded. The only noticeable change between the originals and today’s piece is the fact they now use contract-grade leather in the seating as opposed to the aniline leather that Eames originally preferred. Eames, alongside his wife Ray, crafted some of the most iconic pieces of
furniture of the 20th Century, including the DSW and RAR rocking chairs, plus multiple different types of office pieces. If you’ve been in any sort of design agency over the last 30 years, it’s a fair bet you’ve sat in one. Alongside his contemporaries such as Arne Jacobsen, the man behind the legendary Egg Chair, Harry Bertoia (Diamond Chair) and Hans Wegner, who created the Harp Chair, Charles Eames advanced modernist thought with his outside-the-box approach to interior design by making designers think differently about how they approached furniture. And that’s something we can all sit back and admire. Find the best of Charles Eames’ furniture online at www.swiveluk.com
good good hollis are good hollis LEO Q A are good hollis & LEO Q A are good hollis & LEO why are A Q good hollis & LEO why A are good hollis & LEO whycities are A good hollis & LEO whycities are A good hollis & LEO whycities are A good hollis & LEO whycities are A good hollis & LEO whycities are A good hollis & LEO whycities are A good hollis & cities LEO question
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mbrella: What inspired you to write Cities Are Good For You? Leo Hollis: We’re now an urban species. In the developed world, we’re aware of this reality but elsewhere, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, these quakes are being felt for the first time. The year 2007 was the first time 50 per cent of the world’s population lived in cities, and this percentage will only increase. I wanted to look at this growth positively by taking a slightly utopian view to understand what makes our cities so special.
U: How do most people view cities? LH: Throughout history, critics have warned against the city’s destructive power. UK city dwellers, in particular, have this impression that cities are unsafe, polluted, ghastly places but the fact of the matter is that they’ve changed. U: If the perception of cities remains negative, why do so many people migrate to them? LH: Every single day, 180,000 people turn up to a city somewhere in the world and want to make a home. A city is vast enough to offer its own image for every user: it’s a place that attracts the super-rich who want to consume the finest things the metropolis can offer, and to the poor it offers a hope of getting a foot on the ladder of life. U: Is this unprecedented urban migration a strain on our cities? LH: No, it’s an opportunity. It’s happening whether we like it or not, therefore we need to deal with it as a reality rather than something we can push into the long grass until a crisis occurs. U: So why are cities so great? LH: The people. We’re absolutely key. The city is a place where strangers come together. We have to start looking at cities generating their power from the bottom up, in the sense that it’s actually the people who are important and not the architecture. U: Cities always seem to divided into quarters or districts. Can cities really be organised or do they just grow ‘organically’? LH: The way that we try to organise our cities is the single biggest problem we have. As we’ve decided that cities are bad, we’ve tried to look at ways to control the space and, as a result, control the people. This completely misunderstands the real power of the way cities work. This misreading of the city has informed the way we’ve designed, planned and policed it.
U: How do they work then? And in truth, do any of them really ‘work’ at all? LH: Despite the fact that they’re built by humans, cities don’t work like them – they’re complex systems that have many things in common with beehives. If one actually looks at the city as a complex place, one then starts to see certain laws, powers and characteristics that could overturn the normal way that we think about how a society is structured. We have to reassess the city as an environment, and as a creative place. As the city becomes more complex it becomes more creative. U: Does the creativity of a metropolis flourish as a reaction to its growth and sprawl? LH: Not necessarily, it’s to do with the fact that you can make connections in the city. Think about the fact that the city is made out of people, so the closer we interact and rub together, the more creative and forwardthinking we’ll become.
‘people are the key to the city’ U: Was there one city that stood out during your research as being truly great? LH: No, everyone’s got it wrong. But each city has got something going for it, and every city seems to be working on improving itself in certain ways. If there’s one particular area I’m most excited about, it’s Latin America. That’s where the big ideas are going to come from. U: Are you completely utopian in your view of cities? Is there nothing wrong with them? LH: The book looks at some of the problems and difficulties one faces in the city; inequality for example. I’m not a blind utopian. We must acknowledge that the city is a place of extremes, inequality and injustice. But cities don’t have to be places of disparity, they’re places that could be incredibly equal and shared. U: How do you think we can achieve this? LH: We have to change our behaviour; we have to start caring about our fellow man. Currently we don’t. As soon as we realise that the city is the people walking down the street rather than the buildings either side of them, I think we’ll start to see the welfare of the city flourish. Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of The Metropolis by Leo Hollis is published by Bloomsbury and out now in hardback and eBook. Follow Leo Hollis on twitter @LeoHollis
illustration: © john ritchie
This magazine makes no secret of its devotion to the concept of the city. Elliott LewisGeorge sits down with writer and historian, Leo Hollis, author of Cities are Good for You: The Genius of The Metropolis to try and understand why we love them so much
Field trip Architecture, travel and transport
32: New York: cars ghettos and the birth of hip-hop 40: Ghent: Belgiumâ€™s most liveable city?
Cool bars Read about Bespoked Bristol and the UKâ€™s hand-made bike scene, page 36.
32 Field trip
How to build a ghetto*!
*and help invent hip-hop in the process What connects the neardestruction of America’s greatest city with its most pervasive musical genre of the last 40 years? The answer is Robert Moses, the megalomaniac urban planner whose obsession with the motor car destroyed vast swathes of New York City and left one of its boroughs a virtual no-man’s land. Justin Clack investigates…
Covered: New York, planning, music
“The Bronx is Burning” t’s October 1977, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York. Television network ABC has a TV audience of 60 million for the grudge baseball match between the LA Dodgers (recently relocated from Brooklyn) and the New York Yankees. Dusk falls. During a lull in the game, ABC’s helicopter camera pans out. A few blocks from Yankee Stadium, the deep orange and billowing black smoke of an out-of-control fire engulfs a neighbourhood. The famous sports presenter, Howard Cosell, says, “There it is, ladies and gentlemen – the Bronx is burning.” From the mid-1970s, fires had routinely erupted in the South Bronx, mainly because landlords attempted to collect insurance money from their blocks which were rapidly decreasing in value. One of these infamous infernos was now beamed live on TV for all America to witness. The richest country in the world had levels of deprivation that could be expected in the third world. Much of the blame for the creation of the South Bronx ghetto, the dereliction and fires can be attributed to New York’s master builder, feted from the 1920s to 1960s, Robert Moses. His obsession with destroying existing housing to make way for motorways and bridges to enable affluent New Yorkers to drive to the suburbs dominated construction policy. Moses’ urban renewal featured no public transport whatsoever – despite the fact that most families did not own cars until the ’60s. Neighbourhood feelings, urban planning considerations, cost, aesthetics, common humanity and common sense seemed to be irrelevant. The environmental scars and social upheaval caused by Moses seems to have been deliberate, not just a side effect of a failed policy. Yet an unintended consequence of this urban planning failure was that it gave birth to both a city conservation movement and a new music genre: hip-hop.
Parkways Most of Brooklyn, The Bronx and Queens (separate from Manhattan island) were woods, meadow and parkland before Ford’s mass produced car, the Model T, was invented in 1908. In the decade following, land was quickly developed for housing by private developers, so by the 1920s a growing group of reformers clamoured for parks. In 1924, Robert Moses was made President of the Long Island State Parks Commission and constructed a huge new public space, the Jones Beach State Park. This was met with universal acclaim in the local, national and international press but as it was in Long Island, it was only accessible by car. To reach it, Moses had the idea of ‘parkways’. These were motorways made more picturesque by having trees planted on either side and deliberately routed through the most beautiful parts of the island which afforded the best views, abutting the Atlantic coast where possible. He also vetoed the proposed construction of a train line spur to Jones Beach. Moses came from an upper-middle class background and seems to have only considered that minority. The masses in New York did not have cars in the 1920s and bizarrely he constructed the bridges over the parkways too low to prevent buses being able to use them. When poor black people had the temerity to attempt to get to Jones Beach by bus on the long and arduous local route, Moses denied buses permits to
Hip-hop: born in the Bronx Perversely, given his racism, another unexpected Moses positive is that the South Bronx ghetto he created was the birthplace of perhaps most important new music genre of the late 20th century; hip-hop. In 1971, Afrika Bambaataa moved to a ground floor flat at Bronx River. His flat was next to the central oval of land within the project and its community centre, and he put his speakers outside the window and began impromptu block parties.
Together with DJ Kool Herc, whose parties started out in Sedgwick Avenue and Cedar Park, and Grandmaster Flash who lived on Fox and 163rd Street, the people of the ghetto formulated this now 40-year old international musical phenomena. The 1982 hit single The Message by Flash poignantly describes the Bronx experience of the time, “I can’t take the smell, I can’t take the noise, got no money to move out, I guess I’ve got no choice.”
‘His obsession with creating motorways dominated city policy’ park in the car-parking areas. He even employed underhand tactics – such as keeping water temperature low – to discourage blacks, not just from using the pool at Jones Beach, but the Thomas Jefferson pool in Harlem, too. Unlike politicians who have to face an electorate every four years, Moses was never elected to office. He managed to develop his public authority in New York with political skill for an incredible 44 years, from 1924 to 1968. Moses retained his power through powerful associates in the press, building contractors, labour unions and banks. He was getting things built and a mayor being photographed at a Moses road or bridge opening meant votes.
More motorways The parkways encouraged the development of sprawling suburbs, only accessible by car and flooding the city with the car-driving workers who lived in them. The connection between worsening congestion and the construction of more roads and bridges into the city had not yet been made so Moses was able to build more motorways crossing and orbiting the city. He began with The Triboro Bridge – actually a complex of three bridges that connects a trio of boroughs, Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens. Using landfill, he joined and extended two islands, Randall’s and Ward, which held a flying ‘spaghetti junction’ high above Moses’ new office
34 Field trip
building underneath. Other bridges followed – the Throg’s Neck, Bronx-Whitestone, Henry Hudson and Verrazano Narrows. Bridges are usually popular but Chris Miele, New Yorker and urban planning expert, says that iconic status is reserved for those not built by Moses. “That epithet belongs to the George Washington and Brooklyn bridges, though Triboro has a certain earthiness that appeals.” The biggest problem was that Moses didn’t like competition for his roads and bridges. In 1936, he closed the Rockaway ferry that operated every 20 minutes between Manhattan and Queens so that drivers would have to pay for the his new toll bridge. Moses, not a man to waste time, demolished the dock at 92nd Street whilst it was still in use. As hundreds of rush-hour commuters arrived at York Avenue in Manhattan to cross, they watched the ferry port being demolished and a surprised captain from Queens having to redirect a returning boat to a downtown fireboat landing. Later, Moses would treat the Bronx with a similar disdain.
Cross Bronx Expressway The Cross Bronx Expressway was only one of 13 city motorways but it was the most expensive road ever built, mainly because of the scale of destruction wrought. Seven miles had to be gouged out across the hills of the Bronx, while in the way was a wall of apartment blocks across over 100 streets, the Bronx River (that had to be relocated 500 feet) and Bronx’s Park Avenue with a triple track subway underneath. It required 31 access roads linked with ramps and viaducts. By 1955, those immediately in its path had been evicted but as the road was costing five times the amount Moses had originally predicted, this slowed down the works. It took eight years to build the main section so everyone nearby, mostly the working poor; Jewish, black and Puerto Rican families, had to contend with the noise of jack-hammers, and dust and substrata rock being dynamited, sometimes shifting underground rivers and often causing gaping fissures in their housing. The sheer scale of windowless and derelict housing around the construction area encouraged homeless drug addicts to move in with their dealers swiftly following. Vandalism and crime soared. Up to 115,000 people were officially evicted and many more moved out during the years of construction and dereliction. Most of the working class Jews of East Tremont left. Desperate black people moved in, fleeing unemployment and racism in the rural slums of the Deep South.
‘Black people moved in, fleeing unemployment and racism in the South’ Once built, the construction noise was replaced with the roar of the six-lane expressway, while the 3,000 apartment windows that overlooked it were flooded with fumes and carbon monoxide that rose up from its high banked concrete walls like a giant, smoking echo chamber. As apartments immediately overlooking the expressway declined in value, so did the blocks all around. The road could be heard several blocks away and the area was rapidly abandoned and carpeted with broken glass, rubbish and mattresses. The streets leading up to the expressway were now dead-
ends littered with burnt-out stolen cars and the stench of urine. Spreading from the Cross Bronx Expressway, South Bronx property values inevitably plummeted and a vicious cycle began where large numbers of tenements and multi-family apartment buildings were left vacant by ‘white flight’, sitting abandoned and unsalable for long periods of time. This, coupled with the 1973-1975 recession, and climbing unemployment, meant that jobless youths formed street gangs, supporting themselves with large-scale drug dealing in the area. Abandoned property also attracted large numbers
Covered: New York, planning, music
How to build a ghetto Spotify playlist
Building in the ghetto In 1949, President Truman introduced a housing act, Title I, that was to introduce federal financing for slum clearance and urban renewal projects in American cities. This led to the construction of vast amount of public housing. Unfortunately, in New York City, this involved Moses and it went horribly wrong. Tens of thousands of people were relocated from existing housing projects under Title I that were often sold to unscrupulous developers who increased the rents of those remaining or received income from temporary car parks on the land once the ‘slum’ had been cleared. Even if a new property was actually developed, the rents were now three times higher, pricing out the original residents who had already lost their homes. Title I became the biggest displacement in New York’s history. Seventy-five per cent of those moved were under average income, and 37 per cent were either black or Puerto Rican at a time when they made up just 12 per cent of the overall population. Whilst much of the white middle class moved to suburbs in Bronx County and Westchester via the new expressways, from 1945 to 1965 Moses constructed cost-efficient “towers in the parks” – huge apartment blocks inspired by modernist architect Le Corbusier’s concept for residential towers built
Sport Lightnin’ Rod (1973) Street-slang poem over a funk soundtrack about life as a hustler in the ghetto
South Bronx Boogie Down Productions (1986) Hip-hop anthem celebrating the area where it all began
Ghetto Part 1 Donny Hathaway (1969) Classic, ‘message’ soul track about the black urban experience
Cross Bronx Expressway Cross Bronx Expressway (1974) Funk tribute to Moses’ destructive motorway, complete with car horns
on ‘pilotis’ (reinforced concrete stilts). There were no high streets, little public transport and the parks the towers were situated in were crime-ridden. Yet, out of all of this destruction, there were some positive aspects. Chris Miele says some New Yorkers recognise Moses’ parks, parkways and bridges as a positive legacy, though “for some on the urban conservation front he’s a villain because of his proposals to build an expressway from east to west across Lower Manhattan, cutting up Canal Street and Soho, which eventually lead to the conservation movement.” This movement saved Greenwich Village by preventing both the Lower and Mid-Manhattan Expressways. Today, New York has the lowest car use of all US cities and as Miele points out, “New Yorkers cover huge distances walking without thinking much about it.” Robert Moses must be turning in his grave.
of squatters. Soon, apartment buildings had fallen into the hands of so-called ‘slumlords’ who could make money by not providing the tenants with heat and water and then destroying the blocks with fire to claim the insurance money. The ghetto had arrived.
The Message Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (1982) The Message is often referred to as the greatest rap record of all time. This was the first prominent hip-hop song to provide a lyrical social commentary on life in the ghetto. South Bronx residents performed on the track
36 Field trip
Frame academy Don G Cornelius travels to Bristol’s Handmade Bicycle Show to meet the cream of the UK’s artisan bike makers sambard Kingdom Brunel’s Grade couple of months (waiting list-dependent). 1-listied train station building may And it all starts with a conversation. have been built for one mode And conversations by the hundred are of transport, but Umbrella arrives for the engaged in, from searching questions fired apex in design of another: the bicycle. off to praise offered shyly. Sometimes Today, we’re surrounded by the young, it’s difficult trying to talk to your heroes, the good and the established of the UK’s about the work you’ve admired from frame builders at Bespoked Bristol afar, but each frame builder, no matter – AKA the UK Handmade Bicycle Show. their fame or expertise, stands patiently Walking into the high ceilinged hall, and connects. Because it is with that we’re met by a torrent of sound, the discussion, that communication, that constant rumble of voices, as people dreams are given solid steel form. Beards engage in conversation and discussion and sandals are as abundant as piercings with the men (as they invariably all are) and tattoos. Cycling’s different tribes building some of the prettiest frames mingle and giggle, pointing out details around right now. and rubbing shoulders. The hall is a hive of human interaction, The cross-pollination of cycling drawing looking, peeking, touching, pondering, different riding tribes together. From old and photographing. Lots and lots school frame builders such as Rourke of photographing. No detail is left or Chas Roberts, through the new wave unrecorded: lugwork; of bespoke builders such brazing; bottom bracket as Ricky Feather and The frames and shells; dropouts; paintwork; Tom Donohue, to new cycles that caught hubs and wheelsets, cranks thrusting creators like Umbrella’s eye and saddles. Each part Ryan McCaig of Oak Cycles consumed by the eye, and Matthew Sowter of Sven Cycles gorged on by the hand. Swallow Frameworks – all Copper track bike A more tactile show you’re are enthusiastic, intelligent, unlikely to find. Hands earnest, passionate about Oak Cycles extended, fingers brushed the work they’re engaged 29er touring bike along cool metal, palms in, not just because it’s wrapped around tubing as their livelihood. Saffron Frameworks bikes are lifted and weight, With more than 60 Curved, top tube or lack of it, is appreciated. exhibitors including belt drive In the space of three component manufacturers years, Bespoked Bristol Royce UK, Middleburn Ted James Designs has become the show to and Paul Components; Curved titanium find that precious custom, bike shops Condor Cycles, mountain bike handbuilt bicycle. And Brick Lane Bikes, Tokyo what’s so special about a Fixed (now Kinoko) and Faggin custom, handbuilt bicycle? Mosquito; clothing brands Leather-wrapped Well, unlike any other bike Miltag, Vulpine, Pedaled; track frame you’ll buy, it’s designed and there really is no corner left built just for you. From the unturned for the cycling Paulus Quiros geometry to the tubesets to aficionado. Town bike the paintwork and finishing Bristol Bespoked harks kit, if your pocket can back to the history of British Ricky Feather take the weight, then the bike building, when every Stainless road bike frame you’ve been thinking town had a bike shop and about can be yours within a a frame builder in the back,
+ + + + + + +
38 Field trip
repairing broken bikes and building new ones for riders. This is being revisited by these young, and not so young men in sheds and industrial units around the UK. Brazing tubing together to make frames of exquisite detail and beauty. All built to service the growing market of cyclists who want something a bit more personal for the cost of an entry-level, carbon race frame. Steel is real, goes the idiom, and it’s also the material of choice for these new framebuilders on the block. Endlessly reliable and malleable, steel
‘If you only go to one bicycle show, make it this one’ allows a freedom of expression for these frame builders as well as a strong link to their forebears who used it in the past. If you only go to one bike show, make it this one as the love of all things bicycle shines through, not just from the location and the organisers but to the brands, shops and frame builders who set up, stand up and talk to you all show long about the frames they have built and why they were built the way they were. I’m saving up for my custom frame now, and I suggest you start, too. So the next time the show rolls around, you’ll be at the front of the queue to speak to the man who will build you the bike of your dreams. www.bespokedbristol.co.uk
Hestra gloves There are two types of glove-wearer. Those that like padding on the palms of their gloves and those that don’t. I fall into the former group for the long, artist fingers which are right this minute typing out this review. Luckily for both groups, Hestra, a Swedish manufacturer that’s been making gloves since 1936, has gloves which will make every hand happy. Summer is generally a time for my hands to run free. But in the warm-ish temperatures we’ve been having, I’ve been getting much use out of the Hestra Bike Leather glove (padded, full finger) and the Hestra Bike Rider (unpadded, full finger). Neither of these gloves is going to get you through winter, but in anything above freezing, they’ll do a damn fine job.
The Bike Leather scrunch and weather nicely after a few rides, and are just as good as the Rapha Town Gloves I own at half the price. The nappa goat leather and silk lining make a supremely positive impression and the padding takes just enough of the harshness off London’s streets to make sure my hands are ache-free. The Bike Rider on the other hand, even though they’re unpadded, and are constructed out of a synthetic material, feel lighter and more 21st Century. With a zip on the top of the wrist, these gloves are like catnip for other cyclists. Both gloves fit well. I don’t even notice I’ve got them on, but if I could have the padding from the Bike Leather on the palms of the Bike Rider I’d be a happy glove-wearer. hestragloves.com/en
pictures: ben broomfield www.benbroomfield.com
DZR H2O shoes I’m a big fan of DZR and the whole ‘SPD shoes that look like normal trainers’, rather than a child’s drawing of what futuristic footwear should look like – yes I’m looking at you, SIDI. So I jumped at the chance to get my foot into the new winter/wet weather/ waterproof shoe that DZR has produced, the H2O. The H2Os are reassuringly well made, chunky with a thick sole and an all-black aspect. The deep sole and resulting spacious enclosure for your cleat makes it easy to connect with the pedal as you ride, so you know that the power you’re applying is going nowhere but into the pedal, pushing the crank and spinning that rear wheel.
Using the DZRs last winter, amidst the rain and snow, I was impressed. The shoe’s flexible tongue created a water resistant seal, and the sealed waterproof membrane interior kept the rain and snow at bay. And their rugged construction and stiff footbed meant riding in them didn’t cause any aches or pains. Plus they look good; understated and without a hint of their double nature. The cleat so deeply recessed that to get any clicks of a metallic nature, you’d have to be jumping around on gravel. If you want to keep rocking the non-cyclist SPD without looking like you’ve got a club foot during the bad weather, check these. www.dzrshoes.com
40 Field trip
Young and beautiful Emerging from the shadow of its pretty neighbour, Bruges, Ghent is shaping up be the very definition of the modern European metropolis, as Simon Cunningham finds out ipster’ is a word that’s always been riddled with toxic connotations. An unkind definition of a hipster lifestyle might conjure up images of a Nathan Barleyesque hell – all overpriced fixie bikes and ironic moustaches. Yet, as a subculture, and in its purest, most innocent form, to be a hipster is to be non-mainstream, to err on the side of alternative and to be unashamedly urbane. It’s this definition which brings us to the super-smart Belgian city of Ghent (called “Gent” by locals) – loved by its own youthful citizens, but quietly becoming one of Europe’s most appealing city break destinations. It’s to be expected that a city lauded as a seat of learning on an international scale is going to present itself as a fine place to live. Indeed, Ghent University is regularly ranked among the top institutions in the world, and is one of the city’s main employers. The city’s combined student population is around 70,000, so it’s easy to understand why – in a town of only 250,000 souls – the place fizzes with excitement. And, yes, booze also. But now the major push is on Ghent’s burgeoning tourism industry. The annual Ghent Festival dates back to 1843 but in recent years visitor numbers for the nine-day summer extravaganza have topped two million – making it one of the biggest in Europe. The city fathers are understandably keen to capitalise on this and galvanize Ghent’s reputation as the cooler answer to Bruges.
As a first-time visitor to Ghent, the feeling you get as you wander – lost, lonely and in awe of the breathtaking medieval cityscape – is like that knowingly warm sensation you when you happen upon your new favourite backstreet pub or discover a good curry house that no-one else knows about. It’s then that you know you’re onto something special. Ghent is spot-on for time-poor British explorers: European motorways being what they are, you could easily leave a city like Manchester at lunchtime, and be supping on a nine per cent trappist beer in Ghent’s glorious Vrijdagmarkt by half ten at night. Train users have it even sweeter, with regular Eurostar services to Bruges
‘Despite the history, it remains a fully fuctioning port’ and decent connections to Ghent – although what you make up for in time you may well lose in spending money. The recent tourism boom has also brought with it an explosion in quirky accommodation – antidotes to the ‘McHotel’ chains that blight European cities. If Belgium is hiding Ghent as its big secret, then one of the city’s own unassuming delights is the utterly charming Chambreplus
B&B. A few steps from the magnificent City Hall, this city-lover’s paradise finds itself in an elegant townhouse, discreetly shouldering up to shops and restaurants as Ghent quietly hums past. There are only three rooms here, but everyone is made to feel special. Proprietors Mia and Henrik are the perfect hosts, and are as charming as the building they’ve so lovingly renovated – and (somewhat dangerously for those with a sweet tooth) both are accomplished chocolatiers and pastry chefs. And then there are the bars and restaurants. Hundreds of them. For good food, locals (the ones who look like they wear expensive glasses, so you trust them) recommend the Multatuli restaurant which is a short canal walk
out of the city centre and occupies a handsome old warehouse. And if it’s a good Belgian beer you’re thirsty for, head to the Vrijdagmarkt and its surrounding streets. Most of Ghent’s pleasure palaces (the bars, the restaurants, the chocolate and chip shops) find themselves situated in a district referred to in town maps as the historic quarter – although it feels like every area of the city deserves this name. The place is dripping in history. Ghent – still an important and fully-functioning Belgian port – found wealth as a result of the grain that passed through the town in medieval times, while the wool trade flourished, strengthening links to both England and Scotland. Its churches and municipal structures are monuments to that
significance – steeped in legend, and with another castle or church or medieval square at the end of every street – it could so easily be another relic, a place for tourists to come and drink silly-strength beers and eat chips. Yet it remains a functional, aspirational town of industry, education and social responsibility (There’s even been the adoption of a citywide ‘meat-free Thursday’ in an attempt to take a responsible stance on greenhouse gas emissions – the first city in the world to do so). It may well be a well-kept secret, and even a haven for hipsters, but there’s nothing snobby or exclusive about Ghent. It’s a city for all.
wealth. In the very heart of the town – around the impressive Korenmarkt civic precinct – you’ll find some of its finest buildings. The various neo-gothic masterpieces are all are watched over by the jewel in Ghent’s crown – the legendary Belfort tower. No legend is complete without a dragon, and the Belfort – built as the city’s watch command – has a seven-foot cast iron one that takes pride of place on the spire. Apparently, back in the 1300s, the city fathers used to make the dragon breathe flames of fire at important civic events and celebrations. Today, the dragon of Ghent may have lost its ability to combust, but it’s still a fine guardian that’s overseen the city’s transformation from a strategic medieval stronghold to a fine 21st Century city and a shining example of effective modern town planning. Back at ground level, the city’s smart trams gingerly share the streets and precincts with thousands of students, shoppers and citizens (Ghent has more pedestrianised streets than any other city in Belgium). There are currently 30km of tramlines in Ghent, but their popularity means that rapid expansion is underway, and by 2025 it’ll be over 80km. Perhaps this is one of the best things about Ghent. For a city of such enormous historical
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Journalism from the front line of the modern world
46: Discover the places that the world left behind 58: From Coltrane to Croydon: how jazz gave birth to mod
Now what? What happens to buildings when the humans leave? Turn over for our Abandoned Places special
Picture: ÂŠ Henk van Rensbergen
leaving homes The Abandoned Places photo book series documents the places of work, entertainment, habitation and welfare humans leave behind. To mark its third volume, the series’ author, Belgian pilot-cum-photographer Henk van Rensbergen tells Umbrella what he’s seen on his latest travels, why he does what he does and what his work tell us about our species’ place on Earth
mbrella: Your latest book, Abandoned Places 3 is out. Where did you go this time? Any highlights? Henk Van Rensbergen: The book is even more international, covering Poland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Iceland, the USA, Caribbean and Japan. Obviously, Japan is a highlight: because it hasn’t been documented this way before by westerners. It’s a closed society, very hard to communicate with and understand. Also, the places I visited were very different: there it’s the small things that matter, it’s all in the details and the culture of these people. There’s very little vandalism in Japan, everything is preserved exactly as it was left behind – it’s very special.
U: In the places you go to, do you ever get the feeling that people didn’t mean to leave these places permanently – and that they were just popping out? HVR: I think when people leave a place, they always hope, or think, that somehow they’ll return. I have the feeling that people can’t grasp the idea that they’re closing the door for the place to go into irreversible decay. Very often
you find a lot of personal stuff, tools, photos, paperwork… just left behind and then forgotten. All this makes it so intriguing to ‘read’ and ‘reconstruct’ the past by using your imagination and emotions. U: You often seem to end up at hospitals, but we notice there’s a special melancholy attached to places that were originally built for leisure, like the Western Village or the Nara Dreamland amusement park in Japan. Do these places seem especially sad? HVR: It’s not so much the sadness that attracts me, but rather the mystery of these places and the absence of humans. My photos may show empty buildings, but it’s actually about the people that no longer live there (and the stuff they left behind). In amusement parks, the silence is even more obvious: the cheering of kids in rollercoasters has been replaced by absolute silence. We can all relate to amusement parks, we’ve all been there as children. When we wander around one now, we recognise the attractions but at the same time they’re overgrown by nature, they’re rusting and they make grinding noises in the
Covered: Urban exploration
wind. That’s very eerie, sometimes hilarious, emotional, funny or moving, but in my opinion not exclusively sad! U: How does the process work? Do just arrive in a place and go for a look about? Or is it planned beforehand? HVR: I usually know the location and coordinates – of a specific place, but how to get in, without braking of forcing anything, and preferably unnoticed, is always a challenge. U: Have you ever been hurt in your many explorations? HVR: There have been many occasions where I could have hurt myself badly, but fortunately I’ve always noticed the danger before it could get me. That being said, you never know when a ceiling will collapse or where the toxins are. It’s a matter of common sense – and washing your hands before snacking.
‘when people leaVe a place, they always hope to return’ U: Have you had any ‘interesting’ meetings with security guards? HVR: I’ve avoided a lot, but not all of them. It’s the reason why I never break my way in, and I never take anything and obviously never vandalise stuff. That makes it more credible to explain what I’m doing there. Knowing that I operate in some sort of grey zone, I try to be professional and honest in what I do. U: What equipment do you use? HVR: A Canon digital reflex camera with a set of professional lenses. A good tripod for long exposures. I normally always use natural light, even if that means minute-long exposure times. Only if there is no light at all I will ‘light paint’ with a flash. U: What are the positive effects of documenting abandoned buildings? HVR: As you say, “documenting” means just that. The benefit of it is that a visual memory of the place will remain. When Eugène Atget documented Paris in his time, he probably never thought his photos would have such a
success (decades later). That obviously has a lot to do with his qualities as photographer, but also with the fact that what may seem normal today, will look exotic in a couple of decades. Apart from documenting, I try to capture the soul of these places. U: Have any of the buildings you’ve covered been restored later on? HVR: Yes, some places have been cleaned up, reconverted or restored. They’re just not the same any more after this… they’ll serve a new purpose, and that’s a good thing, but I’ve lost interest. U: What do you think our abandonment of buildings and places tells us about the human species and our morality? HVR: It’s typical of a rich society without demographic pressure: we can afford to leave buildings empty, and build new ones next to them, and we don’t desperately need the empty space to house people. You won’t find the abandoned places that I photograph in overpopulated and/or third world countries. The question of morals pops up when beautiful, valuable places are purposely left rotting by owners who speculate. Even protected buildings collapse due lack of care and money, and are then demolished and replaced by profitable, but ugly, new apartments. U: How does it make you feel that the places you inhabit may one day become abandoned, too? HVR: It’s something that’s hard to imagine up front. It’s like trying to explain to a kid that one day he will die of old age. But these are not the questions that haunt me. Abandoned places don’t evoke a feeling of sadness and unavoidable destiny. It’s the thrill of mystery and what I may (re)discover, like an archaeologist finding an ancient civilisation. Abandoned Places 3 is published by Lannoo, www.accdistribution.com
Covered: Urban exploration
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Covered: Urban exploration
No need Abandoned buildings occur in rich societies without pressures on population
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Covered: Urban exploration
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Pictures: ÂŠ Henk van Rensbergen
Covered: Urban exploration
How did the mod movement really start? In this excerpt from his book Mod: A Very British Style, Richard Weight argues that British modernists of the late 1950s merged the looks, sounds and philosophies of America and western Europe to create something both uniquely British, yet totally international. Its legacy continues to define the look of this country to this day www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Covered: Mod, fashion
he origins of Mod lay in two countries whose political revolutions in the 18th Century the British had violently rejected: America and France. And the midwife that slapped it into life was not rock ’n’ roll but jazz. The movement got its name from a nucleus of around two hundred founding ‘faces’ who emerged in Soho around the summer of 1958, calling themselves ‘Modernists’ after their love of modern jazz, or bebop. Led by saxophonist Charlie Parker, bebop fizzed in New York just after the war then exploded at the same time that Elvis Presley took to the stage, with the release of Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool in 1957. The term ‘cool’, now so often a lazy expression of approval, originally meant a taught state of mind in which you harnessed your anger against injustice. It sprang from the earlier Jazz Age – coined, it is thought, by the Harlem Renaissance author Langston Hughes in the 1930s. “I play it cool,” Hughes wrote, “and dig all jive / That’s the reason / I stay alive.” Modern jazz was not just a musical reaction to the easier, more tuneful, sounds of traditional (‘trad’) jazz that had originated in New Orleans; it was also a political reaction to a segregated America in which black musicians were harassed by the police, exploited by the music industry and seen as entertainers rather than artists. “Beboppers refused to accept racism, poverty or economic exploitation,” explained drummer Kenny Clarke. “If America wouldn’t honour its constitution and respect us as men, we couldn’t give a shit about the American way.” Beboppers embraced Europe, performing and sojourning in continental cities where they were feted and found sanctuary from segregation. Paris was a favoured destination, as it had been for Americans in the 1920s and ’30s. But whereas performers of that era like Josephine Baker had often perpetuated stereotypes of black people in shows like the Revue Nègre, the stars of modern jazz rejected caricature in favour of a creative dialogue with Europe. The French Existentialist movement influenced some. Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous dictum that “one must act to be free” appealed to the more educated and politicised generation of black musicians that emerged after the Second World War – a generation personified by Miles Davis, who met Sartre when he and Charlie Parker played the Paris Jazz Festival in 1949. At that time, Davis also fell in love with the singer Juliette Greco, beginning a passionate three-year relationship that has been called “the marriage of bebop and existentialism”. Greco was the epitome of Left Bank cool: tall, with straight black hair, she wore a black beret and raincoat with the collar turned up, singing the songs of her husband, the poet Boris Vian, in Paris jazz clubs with studied ennui. Bebop stars soon adopted elements of Left Bank style. Pianist Thelonious Monk and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie took to wearing berets, goatee beards, horn-rimmed glasses and plenty of black, while Davis made sharp Italian suits one of his early trademarks. His favoured make, adopted by jazz fans on both continents, was Brioni, founded in Rome in 1945 then launched in Britain and America in 1954. The first retailer to import Brioni to the UK was Cecil Gee’s shop in Charing Cross Road, which became an early Mod haunt. Modernists fused this look with American style, especially the so-called Ivy League look, which was popular with middle- and upper class American youth from the mid-1950s
to the mid-1960s, and which later enjoyed a revival thanks to the TV drama Mad Men about the advertising world in that period. The style is epitomised by the suits and shirts of the Brooks Brothers clothing company. Founded in New York in 1896, it had invented the button-down collar on dress shirts, after its owner had noticed English polo players using buttons to stop collars flapping in their faces. Brooks Brothers’ controversial use of colours like turquoise and mauve had livened up the urban American man’s wardrobe. To these were added Bass Weejun loafers, introduced by the Bass company of Maine in 1934 and based on moccasins worn by Norwegian farmers (hence the name ‘weejun’). A more casual version of the Ivy look included Sta-Prest trousers and desert boots, introduced by Clarks in 1949 and based on the comfortable suede boot worn by off-duty British army officers in the Second World War. This was complemented by the Baracuta G9 jacket with its distinctive tartan lining, popularly known as the ‘Harrington’ after the clothes retailer John Simons (the main importer of Ivy clothes in Britain) noticed the character Rodney Harrington wearing it in the TV series Peyton Place. The look was completed by the neatly cropped ‘college boy’ hairstyle made famous by John F. Kennedy. It all became known as ‘Jivy Ivy’ when jazz artists adapted the style, notably Miles Davis on the cover of Milestones and his 1959 release Kind of Blue, still the best-selling jazz album of all time. Like a number of black figureheads of the time, Miles Davis came from a middle-class background – he was a dentist’s son educated at the elite Juilliard School of Music – but that didn’t stop him getting almost beaten to death by police outside New York’s Birdland jazz club just after the release of Kind of Blue. At that time, fashion was not just a form of conspicuous consumption driven by vanity and a desire to conform; it could be a subtle political statement, designed to unnerve the powerful, and sometimes it succeeded with violent effect. The author and lifelong Mod, Paolo Hewitt believes that Davis’s “use of the Ivy League look remains one of the great fashion statements of all time. By dressing in the clothing of those who fiercely resent their culture, their music, the colour of their skin, Miles and his peers are playing the enemy beautifully, walking amongst them whilst changing the landscape forever. You think he’s a bank manager, in fact Miles is a revolutionary in silk and mohair.” Before the mass media and high street retailers noticed their style, Mods had to be devoted enough to seek out the small independent shops that sold their favourite clothes or records. Former Mod Nick Logan, who founded the influential British style magazines The Face and Arena in the 1980s, remembered how much harder it was in the early ’60s: “There were no style sections in newspapers to help you, just the obscure corners of the weekly music press at a time when the music editors were clueless as to what was really going on.” One of the ways that ‘Jivy Ivy’ was transmitted was by studying the album covers of bebop stars, especially those for the record company Blue Note. A pioneering independent jazz label, Blue Note was set up in 1939 by two Jewish refugees to the United States from Nazi Germany, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. Committed to bebop even when it wasn’t making them much money, Blue Note did more to promote modern jazz than any other label; it also had a huge influence on fashion.
In 1956, Lion and Wolff employed a young Californian called Reid Miles to design their covers and over the next decade his artworks were a style template for fans on both sides of the Atlantic. As well as crisp black and white photographs of artists like Sonny Clark, Lee Morgan and Herbie Hancock, Miles’s work employed the graphic principles of the Bauhaus. It was that fusion of American and European fashion and design, married to the musical and political dynamism of modern jazz, that captivated young Modernists wanting to escape the cloying traditions of British working-class culture without becoming ersatz Americans. Some studied at Central St Martin’s Art College and others worked in the media in Soho, but whatever their occupation, they gathered there from all over inner London. Other Mods came from suburbs and satellite towns around the city, like Croydon and Woking, where in the early 1960s bars and dance halls began to cater for them. Still hardly known outside the south of England, Modernism gestated for approximately three years in the capital and its outskirts, where it spread organically from district to district. During this gestation period, its style codes were haphazardly developed through random encounters on streets or in bars and clubs, with no clear figureheads in the world of music or fashion, still less a manifesto, until a national magazine took notice of it in 1962. It should also be remembered that in this period the followers of trad jazz far outnumbered the Modernists. At its most commercial, the British trad revival of 1945–65 rivalled rock ’n’ roll for mass appeal. It was epitomised by the Bill Haley of jazz: clarinettist Acker Bilk who, though younger than Miles Davis, appeared to be from another age with his chubby figure, beard, bowler hat and his sanitised version of the Dixieland sound. In 1962, Bilk had a No. 1 hit in the United States with Stranger on the Shore, and that same year he appeared in the film It’s Trad, Dad!, directed by the American Dick Lester, who would later work with The Beatles. More purist than bebop, trad was popular among middle-class youths, especially Left-leaning bohemian types, who the media
called beatniks. Many were at the same time followers of the AngloAmerican folk revival, and the bastard child it conceived with jazz and blues, skiffle. None of that appealed to the Modernists. They regarded parentfriendly trad as merely retrograde; and folk music was beyond the pale, since it tended to romanticise rural, pre-industrial society and therefore held little attraction for these self-consciously urban, cosmopolitan teenagers. Those Mods who grew up in the suburbs looked beyond their parents’ privet hedges to the fast, neon-lit world of the city for their kicks and not to the peripheral fields on which their homes had been built. The British folk revival of the1950s and 60s – led by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger – was more politically radical than previous incarnations of the genre, but if it engaged more with urban life it usually did so by celebrating the struggles of the shipbuilder or the miner – traditional working-class worlds that Mods were desperate to escape from. The other reason why the Modernists of Soho disliked trad and folk music was their followers’ apparent indifference to style. As Graham Hughes, one of the first Mods and a student at St Martin’s, remembered: “We looked different because modern jazz we felt was always a bit more stylish and we responded to that. We would go to the allnighter dressed in these box jackets that Cecil Gee imported… It was to look different from the others in the jazz crowd, which was all very studenty, scruffy. We simply didn’t want to wear long woolly jumpers and jeans covered in paint.” Terry Rawlings concluded that Mods were “teenage dandies reacting against all that had come before – the ’50s yobbos and, even worse, the scruffy, cider-drinking ex-students who grew beards, wore loose sweaters and liked watered down trad jazz.” Richard Weight’s Mod: A Very British Style is published by the Bodley Head, available as in both hardback and ebook form. www.bodleyhead.co.uk
illustrations: john ritchie
‘mods looked to the neon-lit world of the city for kicks’
Fashion Clothing for the modern metropolitan from around the world
62: Our piece of the month 64: The adidas Handball Spezial: a profile 68: Coats, shirts, shoes
All fashion pictures: ÂŠ Umbrella
This tough rucksack comes courtesy of Swedish brand Sandqvist. The companyâ€™s first bags were made on an old sewing machine.
62 Fashion umbrella loves…
Gymphlex training jacket Price £140, from www.gymphlex.co.uk
Well tailored Sometimes, wet-weather wear is practical but a bit ugly. Not here. Gymphlex ensures keeping the rain at bay doesn’t mean compromising fit. Make no mistake, the shape here is tailored, which means that even if the late summer gets a bit ‘British’, the wearer will stay cool. And dry.
Head-through cagoules like this can sometimes be a little tricky to put on. The white side zip here makes that process a little easier.
Where to put the house keys/buss pass when you don’t want to ruin your silhouette? This roomy chest pocket does the job nicely.
If the weather gets a little too severe, the wearer can face the elements with confidence by tightening up these leather/rope toggles.
Prefect day Gymphlex is known for supplying clothing to public schools â€“ the design reflects this.
fashion classic Q&A
Adidas Handball Spezial A tribute to what could well be adidas’ finest ever trainer
ometimes, it doesn’t pay to get everything you want – certainly when it comes to trainers. Over the last 15 or so years, models which had mythical status have been reissued in often bizarre – and rather inauthentic colourways – leading to dilution of what made them so desired in the first place. One trainer has managed to escape this fate – adidas’ Handball Spezial, a shoe which looks as streamlined and modern as it did when it was released back in the 1980s. Curator of the recent Spezial adidas exhibition in London, and perhaps the world’s leading authority on British trainer culture, Gary Aspden, shares some of his thoughts on this most underrated of sports shoes.
Umbrella: Where do you put the Spezial in adidas’ Hall of Fame? Gary Aspden: The beauty of this shoe is that it isn’t one of adidas’ most famous shoes but it’s without doubt one of their most consistent. The design of the shoe is utterly timeless. U: What do you like about it? GA: The fact it’s so subtle and understated. When I see anyone wearing Handball Spezials it’s a pretty good indicator that they know their onions when it comes to trainers. I’m glad that it’s never been a ‘hype’ shoe. It bears no relation to American culture or hip-hop so sits outside of the frame of reference of many people
‘The design of the shoe is timeless’ (especially outside of northern Europe). It’s a trainer that has a distinct association with British youth culture, particularly working class, football fashion. U: Can you expand on that? GA: I love the fact that it was designed for a sport that has absolutely no relevance in the north of England (do you know many people from Lancashire who play handball?) and yet was immediately and unquestioningly adopted by hoards of young northern scallywags. The shoe, its name, the sport it was designed for are as Germanic as it gets for me. I’ve always loved the fact that adidas was a German brand. Whether by accident or design the shoe has never been picked up the hipsters and can’t really be worn ‘ironically’ – it’s like it’s been given an exemption
V i ntag e
certificate from all that nonsense and yet its popularity with a certain section of people never seems to wane. U: Do you own a pair? GA: Years ago I had a one-off pair made in brown nubuck for Noel Gallagher by the factory in Scheinfeld (near Herzogenaurach) although my personal favourites are a pair that I picked up in Japan in 2001. All-white leather upper with the brown sole and gold ‘SPEZIAL’ stamped on the side. I’ve never worn them!
The Handball Spezial has been in constant production since launch.
U: Anything else we should know? GA: The name ‘Spezial’ was used on various Adidas shoes in the late-’70s/early’80s but the Handball Spezial outlived them all. The shoe and its name in many ways encapsulates everything I love about adidas – essential in the truest sense of the word. U: When did you first see the shoe? GA: I saw a blue and white pair in the window of Gibson’s Sports in Blackburn on my way home from school around 1983. They were sat alongside the white/ black adidas Universal and complimented each other as they both had those brown soles which I immediately picked up on. Gibson’s was great for adidas trainers, the guy who ran the place used to get the catalogues out and would sometimes buy shoes from some of the local lads who had “parallel imported” them so he had some good bits. An ex-girlfriend of mine worked there in the late-1980s and lost her job for giving shoes away to her mates. She’d got into acid house and embraced its ideals wholeheartedly. Times were a bit different then, I guess.
V i ntage
U: Are the re-releases different to the original models? GA: They’ve never needed to be rereleased as adidas have always continued to manufacture them. There may have been some tiny fluctuations but unlike some other styles, the silhouette of that shoe is pretty much exactly as I remember from when I first saw them. That purity is a big reason why I suggested we use the Handball Spezial as the foundation for the adidas Manchester shoe back in 2002. U: What would you wear them with? GA: Socks… they’re always good with a nice, soft pair of Burlington socks.
Jigsaw cotton coat, £275, Albam jeans, £85, Napapijri check shirt, £122 hat to wear for that gettogether with the lads from the Norwegian forestry commission? Well, we think this combo will keep everyone happy. The Jigsaw coat can fight off the worst of the Scandinavian weather, while the shirt will ensure you look pucker when the jackets come off. These slimfit jeans from Albam will not just make you look leggy and slim, but hide any marks from the Reindeer curry you’ve cooked for the team. www.jigsaw-online.com buy www.albamclothing.com buy www.napapijri.com buy
East/West Albam buy denim weaved in Japan, which is then made into jeans in England.
Covered: Coats, jeans, shirts
Private White VC ventile overcoat, £495, Gymphlex shirt, £80 rivate White deliver once again with a super-smooth ’60s-style overcoat. Manufactured in Ventile, there’s absolutely no chance of any late summer showers soaking through to this rather fetching Madras check shirt from Gymphlex we’ve layered underneath. A winning combination. privatewhitevc.com buy gymphlex.co.uk buy
Umbrella outfit one ou might have been banned from the local yacht club for that “misunderstanding” with the president’s wife, but that just means that the park lake now gets to witness your timeless seafaring style. Key here is the beautifully cut CP Company wool blazer, which we’re coupling with a striped Breton shirt, Henri Lloyd canvas trousers and some nifty deck shoes from rainwear specialists, Swims. Ideal for when you’re evading the parkie for going over your allotted time.
CP Company blazer (£435 buy), Henri Lloyd chinos (£75 buy), Jigsaw Breton stripe top (£35 buy), Swims lace loafer (£105 buy)
SONY DSC www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Covered: Blazers, knitwear, shirts, shoes
Umbrella outfit two he end of summer means the start of the new student term, but that’s no excuse for scholars with taste to start dressing like a revolutionary communist – what else are loans for? We think the ideal undergraduate could do worse than follow our casual/skinhead crossover courtesy of standout pieces from CP Company, Ben Sherman and those purveyors of quality denim, Edwin. The whole ensemble is finished off with Loake Royal brogues in oxblood and a square-faced Rotary watch – complete with burgundy-coloured strap.
CP Company cardigan (£578 buy), Ben Sherman mod-fit shirt (£75 buy), Edwin ED 80 jeans (£95 buy), Loake Royal brogues (£155 buy), Rotary watch (£109 buy)
Penfield ÂŁ75 shirt, MA Strum buttonup overshirt, ÂŁ295 alfway between a jacket and shirt come these smart overshirts from two of our favourite brands. Both are sturdy enough to withstand early autumn breezes, but light enough to keep you nice and ventilated when the sun comes out. penfield.com/uk buy mastrum.com buy
Covered: Shirts, blazers
Universal Works shirt, £89 and blazer, £259 eliable as ever, UW return here with a lovely shirt fashioned in cotton that’s got something of the Old West about it. Over the tops sits an unstructured blazer with a surprisingly close fit. Smart and casual? This is it. universalworks.co.uk buy
Button up! Universal Works do the casual blazer well here, with a look we call ‘eco mod’.
Stone Island puffa jacket, ÂŁ495 f the wind is your enemy then this coat is your best friend. Coated with resin to keep out those chilly westerlies, the ultra-light down has been injected directly into the coat for a more uniform distribution of the filling. Nice, short fit, too. stoneisland.com buy
Covered: Coats, knitwear
Blauer zip-up cardigan, £383 ylon and wool shouldn’t be natural bedfellows but on this zip-up cardie from US brand Blauer, the contrast couldn’t work better. We love the density of the wool – ideal for keeping the chill out – and the shiny waterproof front panels. www.blauer.it buy
Zip code Despite being made in the US, this cardie’s part of a more tailored Euro collection.
Harry Steadman jacket, ÂŁ395 Alan Paine Aldwark polo, ÂŁ99 ixties utility vibe in effect here with this boxy jacket in army khaki from the smartsounding Harry Steadman. Underneath sits a longsleeved woolen polo from Alan Paine, delivering some mod smartness to the combination. thegreat-divide.com buy alanpaine.co.uk buy
Hard look The material of the jacket is quite stiff, giving a rigidity that shows its quality.
Covered: Jackets, knitwear
Realm & Empire Peacoat, ÂŁ225 onstructed in thick, pure wool and finished off with nicely branded wooden buttons, this peacoat is built to withstand the harshest of autumn weather. Short in length and with lots of useful pockets, itâ€™s a proper bit of good, old fashioned kit. realmandempire.com buy
Nike Fuel Band, £129 ooking like a futuristic watch, the Nike Fuel Band is the perfect synthesis of technology and motivational device. Designed to motivate the user into becoming more active, the band converts everyday activities and exercise into Nike Fuel, which is a “universal measure of activity”. Your task is to burn that up during your day to see how active – or not – you are. Track how you’re doing via computer or phone, and see whether buying a £200 pair of jeans is as strenuous and two hours on the treadmill (it’s not). As well as being devilishly clever, the band couples as a satisfyingly minimal digital watch. Subtle, ingenious and smart, it’s the perfect marriage of tech and style. nike.com buy
Covered: Technology, blazers
H2-Oh! The key to this blazer is the mix of traditional fit with waterproof materials.
Stone Island waterproof blazer, ÂŁ550, Jigsaw scarf, ÂŁ50 ombining the cut of Italian tailoring with the weatherrepelling qualities of serious outerwear, this blazer is ideal for those who want to combine a lunchtime business meeting with clients in Milan, with an evening watching the rossoneri. Something we can lend our support to. stoneisland.co.uk buy
Loake Hal, £195, Sanders for Jigsaw brogues, £230 ugust shoemakers Loake deliver a modern twist on the brogue, introducing a lightweight white sole to the equation. Meanwhile, Jigsaw keep it traditional with some chunky shoes that defy any silly “brown in town?” conventions. They rule. loake.co.uk buy jigsaw-online.com buy
Got sole? The sole on the Jigsaw brogues is made from crepe – hence its minimal weight.
Covered: Shoes, trainers
Diadora Pro Hand trainers, ÂŁ55 ightweight and smart, these leather wheels have more than a touch the Italian brandâ€™s Borg Elite trainer of old. We love the chunky, neat shape and the way the shoes perfectly complement a pair of worn-in jeans. size.co.uk buy
Sandqvist Stig backpacks, â‚Ź119 hile we regard anything that involves camping and the great outdoors as utterly reprehensible, these bags from Stockholmâ€™s Sandqvist could make even us consider a weekend away in a tent. As long as it was made from bricks. sandqvist.net buy
Covered: Bags, glasses
Sunday Somewhere Marshall and Alita Matte sunglasses, £150 and £170 mericana via Australia is the order of the day with these cracking shades from Sydney-based Sunday Somewhere. We’re especially fond of the round lenses on the Alita Matte, which give off that MickeyRourke-in-Angel Heart vibe. sundaysomewhere.com buy
84 And finally…
Chilli Writer Jake Tombs’ taste for the rush of spice has become one of the defining aspects of his life
dried chillies or, failing that, chilli sauces. In recent years I’ve brought back hauls from Thailand, India, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt , Nepal, Sri Lanka and Italy. When planning a holiday, one of the first things I consider is whether it’s a chilli- and spice-friendly country, and whether I’ll be able to top up my collection of sauces, dried chillies or seeds to grow from. As my obsession took hold and I wanted to try more obscure and hotter varieties, I started growing my own chillies. I now have chilli plants covering every window sill inside the house and available spot in the garden. It’s a continuous cycle – seed germination starts in January and the last plants are harvested in December. The weird and wonderful varieties I grow include Numex Twilight, Ring of Fire, Etna, F1, Apache, Demon Red, Habanero and Scotch Bonnet. Last year’s crop was so abundant, I produced and bottled over 50 bottles of my own chilli sauces to give to friends as Christmas presents. I tweaked the recipe between each batch and came up with varieties including Scotch Bonnet Bad Boy, Tropical Heatwave, Inferno and Green Eyed Monster. The response from friends was amazing, and if I thought I could really make a business out of it I’d give up work today. Get your order in now for Christmas 2013 and I might just do that.
words: jake tombs Pictures: © umbrella
have a confession: I’m addicted to chilli – not a day passes without it in my life one way or another. But why do I love it? And why has it become such an obsession? It started after a couple of weeks in Thailand in 1992 and quickly escalated when I started university later that year in Leicester. I began to eat more and more spicy food, trying hotter dishes and experimenting in the kitchen with chillies from local Indian shops. I was quickly sucked in. And for good reason, as it turns out, chillies are addictive. They contain an oil called capsaicin, which sends a burning sensation from the nerve endings in the mouth to the brain. In response, the body releases natural endorphins which cause a physical rush – much like morphine. It feels good and you keep coming back for more. You’re hooked. Nowadays, chilli is an automatic addition at mealtimes, either fresh or dried or via one of my vast collection of chilli sauces as an accompaniment. Not just in curries or other typically spicy food – plain staples like cheese on toast or sandwiches get the chilli touch, too. And as I’m the cook in my house, my other half has had to become accustomed to the chilli burn, too – in the seven years we’ve been together her tolerance has rocketed up. Souvenir shopping on holidays and trips abroad generally involves searching out locally grown, fresh or
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