The Blog from Oi Polloi presents:

For this edition of the Antiques Clothes Show, we’ve got a boozy tale of drum, bass and baseball tees courtesy of Proper Magazine editor/Ken Barlow’s right hand man, Neil Summers.

Back in 1996 we didn’t have the Deck-Out/Glenn Kitson to help us decide what to wear. And if, like me, you were living in a pine forest on the Atlantic coast of France back then, you didn’t even have cool stripped pine covered shops to wander round either. All I had was half a bottle of Pineau, a crumpled cartouche of Gitanes rouge, some LTJ Bukem mix-tapes, shoulder length hair and an insane drive to make each night a bigger party than the night before. If I’d have been at university this would have been my gap year but I wasn’t so it was just the year I got drunk for about seven months on a French campsite whilst pretending to be a holiday rep.

I didn’t have a car, and with removing baguettes from mobile home toilets taking up most of my time, trips out of the aniseed flavoured bubble I lived in were something of a rarity that year. In fact I can probably count on one hand the times I got further than five miles away from chez mois (Palmyre Loisirs) during that boozy, balmy year. One of those occasions was the day I escaped to the plus belle city of Bordeaux during their July ‘soldes’ (that sales to you, mon ami), whereupon I spied a most excellent piece of Stüssy wear on offer. I can’t remember how much I paid for it but I do recall it was a bargain and it got worn to death for the rest of the season. That humble long sleeved baseball tee seemed to sum up those times. Drum and bass was pretty big that year (with Adam F’s Circles being on constant rotation) and Stüssy was the DnB label — gravel voiced/faced trip-hopper Tricky even name-checked the label on the most excellent ‘Hell is Round the Corner’.

Stüssy was also a big deal with the local surfers on the Atlantic coast whom I would attempt to hang out with down my local bar, the ‘Golfy’. When I got back home the tee somehow seemed out of place in the suburbs of Stockport and made its way up into the loft where it stayed alongside a Diesel jumper I bought in Florence, until quite recently when in impoverished desperation I tried to sell it on eBay. To my surprise and relief no bugger bought it. Secretly pleased that my summer of ’96 souvenir hadn’t left the bosom of my wardrobe, I tried it on to be even more overjoyed to find that it still fit, now has anyone seen my vinyl copy of ‘Maxinquaye’?

Proper Magazine Issue 13 is available now

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