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The Greatest Show on Earth
In this issue we explore the realm of the show. From a mid-century fair at one of London's premier art schools to a custom swap-meet in Orange County, we peruse a multitude of modernist objects and vehicles that are being resold for the umpteenth time. We congratulate Rin Tanaka on reviving Inspiration LA, probably the greatest vintage show in earth, and look back to the end of last summer and the legendary Beaulieu Auto-jumble. This is consumerist, but not in the way that most people understand it, as it is closer to barter than the free market on steroids that can be seen everywhere around us. We human beings are a contradictory bunch as we talk endlessly about greenhouse gases and fossil fuels and yet SUV ownership continues to rise, and most functioning electronics are made obsolete by a single software update. In response to waste and over-production we hero the collector, who by instinct keeps out of political controversy, but has a natural reflex to recycle, repair and reuse.
Tokyo's Hidden Scenes
Thought by many to be the globe's most directional city in terms of design, architecture, retail and food, Tokyo is the spiritual home of this magazine. Accordingly, we seek only to bring you news of those underground movements that run, like an unseen current, beneath the tranquil and harmonious surface of the metropolis. Traversing from Shonan prefecture in the west to Chiba in the east, issue 28 encounters a plethora of Tokyo scenes that venerate old motorcycles, Edo period textiles or the style of the Taisho and Showa periods as phenomena of subcultural significance.
Back in the 1980s, when revival style was in its infancy, it was clear that interesting things were happening in Japan and Italy. During the pre-war political turmoil and post-war economic boom Italian cars, clothing, furniture, glass, ceramics and styles in modernistic building were the envy of the world. Towards the late 1960s others caught-up, but in the early 1980s, there was a surge in new designers and the paninari look, similar to and probably influential on British casuals, mixed classic American icons in apparel with Italian flare and skills in manufacture. These were the new 'mods' and brands like CP Company put Italy back on the menswear map. Towards the end of the 20th century that faded but now Italy is back with many new and exciting offerings - some of which can be seen here.
Nick Clements (Editor-in-Chief)