Sunday, February 28, 2010

Name Change/Game Change

As I mentioned recently, I am looking to make a few changes to the blog. My first is officially re-naming it Across The Province. I think it's a catchy name with nice abbreviation possibilities (ATP) and it's how most people refer to it anyways. But it's plain. I don't know what I want the blog description to say yet, and I know I want a banner for the title, but again I don't know what it will/should look like. If anyone has ideas/suggestions, please let me know.

Skate & Destroy

Haroshi recently put together a crazy exhibit for PLSMIS gallery in Japan. The artist-slash-skater took a bunch of his old skate decks and repurposed them to create the pieces you see in this post. Instead of talking about his methods or intentions, I'll let him tell you.

“Skate decks eventually see its life shortened by snapping, cracking and/or wearing out. Purchasing new decks is a never ending cycle and this was evident by the tower of old decks that were reaching to the ceiling of my room. We can’t throw away these decks because they hold sentimental meanings to us. I looked at these unusable decks every day and thought there must be something I can make with these.

I decided to make some accessories with the old decks and this was the birth of Harvest. The works of Harvest are through the perspectives of a skater and as an artist. As a skater, I want to take responsibility of reusing skateboards when they were no longer useable. Also, as an artist I want to explore the possibilities of what can be done with skateboards.

We see the care and effort that a skater can have for his/her deck and we also acknowledge the origins of a skateboard. We believe that if the small things we do can connect to sustainability then we’re doing something right. We’d be satisfied in our effort when people look at products and start thinking of ways to recycle.”

Info via St. Alfred; pictures from Brandon Shigeta

Good Morning: The Sandpit

Sam O'Hare's describes himself as "a director, photographer and visual effects artist" on his Vimeo profile, but with "The Sandpit", he's all three of those and more. This short video looks at New York City in a way most people (myself included) have never seen before: everything is completely miniature. This video is a complete play on the senses and no lie, it took me a few seconds to realize he didn't build these sets. Find out his tricks here.

Engineered Garments S/S 2010

Daiki Suzuki continues to excel as lead designer for American brand Engineered Garments. The latest collection is heavy on the strips and plaids, and the worn-in look of the clothing makes it all work and appear so natural.

A few of my favourite pieces are the vest in the third picture, the blue jacket in the fifth picture and the striped sweater in the last picture.

Via SlamxHype

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child Trailer

This past week, Tamra Davis released a documentary entitiled "The Radiant Child" about the life of late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. If you aren't familiar with Basquiat, as I wasn't until recently, this trailer is a good starting point. The documentary features never-seen-before footage shot by Davis two years before Basquiat overdosed on heroin. I don't know where the documentary is showing or how to watch it but hopefully it becomes available soon.

Via Hypebeast

Paul Smith Moped Helmet

If I needed a helmet for the Vespa I don't have (or really want), it'd be this one. Designed by British men's wear powerhouse Paul Smith, this moped-only helmet features a tweaked out graphic of the Union Jack wrapped around the shell. It's also surprisngly reasonable at only $220.

Via Acquire Mag

Thursday, February 25, 2010

UNDFTD Spring 10 Collection

UNDFTD dropped the lookbook for their new collection today and it's looking nice for the spring. The collection features everything from trucker hats and fitteds to button-ups to tees to hoodies to a dope variety of bags. Check out the whole collection at High Snobiety.

And as a little bonus, here's a short commercial UNDFTD released yesterday featuring DJ Muggs throwing down some tricks on the 1's and 2s.

Shoe Drop

I have a few new ones for today. First up is the Air Jordan 2010 Silver Anniversary. The silver sneaker features a mesh siding and a shiny toe and some sort of side perforated button thing whose function I can't quite figure out. According to Hypebeast, this shoe will be worn three times this week by various schools.
Look for the University of North Carolina (February 24th vs. Florida State), Cal (February 25th vs. Arizona) and Georgetown (February 27th vs. Notre Dame) to each wear both the Silver Anniversary Air Jordan 2010 and a commemorative jersey later this month.

Next up is the Nike 2010 Spring All-Court. This canvas sneaker comes in a blue-purple/white colourway. What I like about this shoe is its classic feel with interesting touches like the half-white toe and the pattern on the side of the sole.

This is the Nike Lunar Woven Chukka. I haven't decided if I like these yet but I think they're interesting. What do you think? Wicked or wack?

I have one more pair of shoes but I'll save those for a later post as they are part of something bigger. Soccer fans, check back soon.

Good Morning: My Brothers Bound

Leon Robinson of Crown A Thornz released his first short video the other day, and it's really funny. For all those who have younger siblings, this or something like this has probably happened to you.

Feel free to leave any personal tales. We can always use a good laugh.

Via ThinkContra

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wayback Wednesdays: Kanye West - Two Words (Feat. Mos Def, Freeway & The Harlem Boys Choir)

So I don't really think that Wayback Wednesdays will become a thing on this blog but while I was watching a dope Kanye West interview, they played a little bit of the "Two Words" video in the background. This was one of my favourites, off Kanye's debut album The College Dropout; but I'd never actually seen the video, nor really knew there was one. So as an ode to Kanye era 2003 - and in stark contrast to the crappy video he put out two days ago - here's "Two Words":

I want to go back to Chicago after watching this...

WK Interact x "Nightmares Never Sleep"

The piece you see above is a billboard in Manhattan done by graf artist WK Interact and his interpretation of the athletic monster that is Dwyane Wade. The inspiration for the work came from the "Nightmares Never Sleep" commercial with Wade that I posted a little while back.

The video below is a quick peak into WK's creative process, but I have to admit that I'm completely stumped by what the final piece inside what looks like an apartment space is. Whatever it is, it's way better than the silly commercial turned out.

Via SlamxHype

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kanye West - Coldest Winter (Video)

I originally hesitated to post this (this being Kanye's latest video) when I watched it at an obscene hour last night, because I really thought it was awful. However, over the course of the day, I've read extremely positive reviews. So for the sake of debate, here it is. Please leave your thoughts. Directed by Nabil Elderkin.

Originally came to me through Nah Right but the Vimeo version goes to Discobelle (Sweden hollaback!)

HALO Screen Shots

For all you gamers (and those who haven't picked up a controller since you got your laptop), check out these stills from Halo. Some great AI, eh?

The Lion King

Fire Penis

Inappropriate Touching 1

Inappropriate Touching 2

And my favourite, the Soulja Boy

Via COED Mag through Complex Mag

It's Finally Here!!!!!

So this is something I've been working on for a little while and it's finally ready. To expand on what I've been doing lately writing-wise, I decided to get involved with an online magazine, THINK CONTRA. I worked with a cool guy by the name of Trung on Contra's 7th issue, the Men's Issue. Here's how it all went down.

I got onto Contra via clicking on a random link on 1LoveTO's site and it took me to this online magazine/blog. I started flipping through the 6th issue and saw the name and picture of this girl I know from camp under the title "intern". I got super jealous that she was doing this while I was sitting on my butt watched the Tennessee Titans get stomped by the Indianapolis Colts (I have a clear memory sometimes). I started following Contra on Twitter and one day, I saw this:

I figured what the hell so I tweeted back and after a little persuasion, I snagged myself an interview at this cool loft downtown. I looked like such a fool walking around that place, having no idea what these creative types do with their time and just waiting patiently while Trung f-ed around with the coffee machine and ended up offering vodka instead (everyone declined).

When he got back to his desk, we started chatting a bit and exchanged ideas about what we were hoping this partnership would provide for each other. It was the best one question interview I've ever had as all of a sudden I had my first project. To my surprise and relief, I was asked to write a short bio on A-Trak, a DJ I really like and a profile that required little research; or so I thought. I ended up spending a good amount of time reading every article and interview I could find about A-Trak and actually wrote three versions of his profile because I had no idea what style Trung was looking for. He ended up choosing the last one I wrote (and the one my Mom didn't like - sorry Mom!). Over the course of the next month, I'd write three more profiles and edit a few other documents, including the Editor's Note, "10: A Decade in the Making".

And then, last night (Monday), it was all worth it when the issue dropped. So far the response I've received has been incredibly positive, but I'm open to anything so please share your thoughts. For now though, I'm riding this crazy high and only the fact that I have to hand in my 10-page essay tomorrow can bring me down. Thankfully, it's already printed.

So check out ThinkContra #007: The Men's Issue at

Thanks to my "editors", Birnberg, Lyne and Mom, for keeping me on track, and to my real editor, Trung, for giving me this crazy opportunity! And thanks to all of you who read this, to those who have come up to me in the halls or sent me messages telling me they like what I'm doing, and to those who comment (although I wish you'd leave your names; please don't be shy). It's because of this positive feedback that I continue to find stuff that interests me and I think will interest others. So 2010=so far so good :)

P.S. I have another crazy project on the way so stay tuned...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Music Monday: Ian Kamau

Last week, proud Torontonian Ian Kamau released his latest mixtape, Love & Other Struggles Vol. 3, wrapping up his trilogy. The mixtape is filled with raw emotions and while Kamau isn't distraught with his existence or questioning its meaning, he's definitely experiencing some uncomfortableness in different aspects of his life. In combination with his own beats, Kamau samples legendary artists like Nina Simone and Fleetwood Mac, and contemporary ones like City & Colour, Radiohead and Drake, and lets it all go with a deep grovelly voice that is halfway between singing and slam poetry. You can download the mixtape here.

And as a nice bonus, here's the video - which is really more like a photo essay - for the first track of the mixtape, "Love It Here". Try and catch all the places you've been to.

Holla at Bryan from 1LoveTO for putting me onto this.

Good Morning: Vampire Weekend - Giving Up the Gun (Video)

Everyone's favourite indie band, Vampire Weekend, puts together a video for one of the better tracks off their latest album, Contra. The tennis match setting is completely random but the cameos (RZA is the judge!) more than make up for it.

Seen at Wine and Bowties

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Visvim Le Mans Cardigan

Japanese brand Visvim does a nice job with this cardigan which is a new piece from their S/S 10 collection. It's modelled after the jacket worn by Steve McQueen in "Le Mans". It's simple, masculine and I want it.

Via SlamxHype

Illustrated Celebrity Tweets

I found this sweet site, Tweet Museum, by way of a great blog that I don't check often enough, The World's Best Ever. The Tweet Museum focuses on one thing and one thing only: illustrated celebrity tweets. The designer, Odessa Begay, is hoping to put out a new illustration every Tuesday so be sure to check the website every once in a while and see what garbage your favourite celebs have to say.

Good Morning: Noteput

The Noteput is an interactive music tablet developed by Jürgen Graef and Jonas Heuer and as cool as this, it's completely impractical. I definitely wish one of my friends had it though...

Via BBC Blog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ransom Holding Co. F/W 10 Preview

So I know there has been a lot about Ransom these past few weeks but I checked out the preview for their Fall/Winter 2010 collection and rather than wait for the whole lookbook to drop, I wanted you guys to have a very early look at what's to come. True to its Northern heritage, the collection is made up of flannel, down, denim, and wool pieces and features a sweet chukka boot that confirms Ransom has once again hooked up with adidas to create some dope footwear. I'm excited to see what the rest of the collection looks like and I'll have it for you as soon as it comes out.

Via High Snobiety

BBC/Ice Cream S/S 10 "Classic Americana"

Skateboard P comes through and models for his own brand in this sweet collection known as "Classic Americana". Unlike some companies who sell ridiculously expensive merchandise, I don't think BBC is suffering and Pharrell modelling is definitely not a move to cut costs. This is by far my favourite collection from BBC/Ice Cream and the progression between collections shows off Pharrell's creative outlets in a way we don't often see.

This collection is lighter on patterns and graphics than usual, but mixes fabrics like denim, cotton, khaki, some nylon and whatever the heck those suit pants are made of. What it really comes down to is that this collection is sensible, something that I don't often associate with BBC. I hope this is just the start of the brand becoming a little more classy than it has been in the past. I have faith that Mustache P, as he has been so gracefully labelled by Fire Boosh, will not let me down. Now if only I could get him back behind the mixer...

Via High Snobiety

Friday, February 19, 2010

Alexander McQueen Final McQ Collection

This is the late Alexander McQueen's last McQ collection, and it bangs. The patterns in this collection are crazy, especially on the jacket and vest in the picture below, and everything is so well-cut. Two of my favourite elements of the collection are the contrasting sleeves and body portions of the clothing (sometimes it's one piece, sometimes two), and the fact that the pants don't fall properly; they're either rolled up or show a little bit of sock.

As for the line itself, Robert Polet of the Gucci Group (the McQueen fashion house's majority owner since 2000) announced this past week that the Alexander McQueen clothing line would carry on, at least until "the founder's pre-designed collections run out". As such, the show set for March 9th during Paris Fashion Week is also a go. These decisions have sparked major controversy in the fashion world as critics wonder who is capable to run what has turned into a huge brand by an iconic designer. The answer is still unknown, but Polet and the Gucci Group - which also has a stake in Gucci (naturally), Yves Saint Lauren, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney - seems poised to keep it going. This will be interesting to say the least. I guess in the meantime we should enjoy what we have available to us.

With files from the Toronto Star and SlamxHype; photos from SlamxHype