Recent Posts

The Top 5 Mo’Wax L.P’s

The Top 5 Mo’Wax L.P’s

Back in 1992 an ambitious young man named James Lavelle made a decision that would go on to change his life. He made a decision that would change how we consume music, the lifestyle that goes with music and most importantly he would create a […]

An Interview With: Florence Blanchard

An Interview With: Florence Blanchard

Here at Kolekto, we’ve got our eyes firmly fixed on the blossoming creative scene in Sheffield. So it seemed only natural to chat with one of the city’s most brightly shining stars, painter and muralist Florence Blanchard. We caught up with the French artist to […]

Christmas Songs…With A Difference

Christmas Songs…With A Difference

Ahh Christmas, a time to put your feet up, roast some chestnuts on an open fire and sing carols with the family, at least that’s what people seem to think happens during this festive season, but does it really? Maybe in old 50’s movies, but here at Kolekto we’re almost certain it doesn’t.

So, to stray away from the usual stereotypes, I’m going to give you a comprehensive guide into a selection of Christmas songs that are shall I say, a little different from the norm. If you’re bored of the usual, have a look below to get ready for your alternative Christmas.

Blink 182 – ‘Happy Holidays, You Bas*ard

Full to the brim with explicit lyrics and references to masturbation, this is an old school Blink song with a reference to what most of us always forget to do – wrap presents in time for Christmas. Who’d have thought you could relate to a song such as this? It’s certainly a change from ‘Jingle Bells’, and your parents wouldn’t appreciate if it popped up during the Christmas playlist, however it’s an absolute cracker! (sorry…)

The Ramones – ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)

One of the more humbling songs on this list, The Ramones manage to fuse their fast punk rock melodies into a song with a warm message which is to let all those arguments slide and to not fight during Christmas. Awww… But seriously, a really catchy song with an awesome music video. This needs to be on your iPod and blasted out at Christmas parties.

Run DMC – ‘Christmas In Hollis

Who doesn’t love Run DMC? If not, I’ll silently judge you. Either way, they made one of their own Christmas-themed songs and better yet, it appears in Die Hard. Run DMC’s take on the festive season is somewhat unique and if you listen to the lyrics properly, you should have a good laugh, for example “When I seen a man chilling with his dog at the park. I approached them very slowly with my heart full of fear
.Looked at his dog, oh my God, a illin’ reindeer.” The video is an absolute must-watch too, especially for the elf at the beginning…

Fountains of Wayne – ‘I Want An Alien For Christmas

Why settle for an ugly pair of Christmas socks or a present you never wanted in the first place when you could have an Alien sat under your tree. Well, you can at least ask and see what happens. It appears Fountains of Wayne want an Alien to share the holidays with and who can blame them? It would be absolutely amazing…

Bad Religion – ‘White Christmas

Released on a compilation of Christmas covers, Bad Religion’s version of ‘White Christmas’ is definitely as far away from the original as it should be. It sounds like The Ramones stepped into the studio as well, especially during the opening guitar riff. Now, Bad Religion aren’t known for their strong belief in the true meaning of Christmas, and it shows in this song as it feels like one big parody. If you want alternative, this is it.

The Arrogant Worms – “Dad Threw Up On Christmas Day

Initially, the overall sound of this song sounds like a feel-good Christmas tune, but when you really listen to the lyrics, you’ll soon realise it’s about something a bit more sinister. Vomit, disease and infection – this song has it all, just the sort of thing you’d associate with Christmas, right? It’s all good fun and is worth listening to whilst reading the lyrics as they’re both funny and a bit disturbing. Perfect.

 

The Vandals – ‘My First Xmas As A Woman

If Christmas songs with a difference has a definition, it should be this song here. The Vandals, best known for their strange yet hilarious lyrics, took on holiday season themselves with a very unique song about someone who seemingly turns into a woman for Christmas.

 

 The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Christmastime

This actually sounds like a traditional Christmas song, what with the jingle bells and piano melodies, it’s not until the ghostly vocals of Billy Corgan kick in that you realise this isn’t just a Christmas song, it’s a Smashing Pumpkins Christmas song, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s different, mellow, slow and calming – perfect for the winding down moments during those festive parties.

 

The Ravers – ‘It’s Gonna Be A Punk Rock Christmas This Year

Whilst many believe this song was done by The Sex Pistols, it was a song by The Ravers, who just want Christmas to be filled with punk rock, and why not? References to Johnny Ramone, The Damned, Mick Jagger, and of course safety pins, this is one of those songs that’s intended to be fun and upbeat, giving you the perfect alternative listening this year.

There you have it – your very own Kolekto Christmas playlist, containing songs that you wouldn’t normally hear around the holiday season, making for an exciting set of tunes that are sure to shock most, so maybe keep some of these to yourself, as opposed to blasting them at the annual family Christmas party. Unless you wanna spice things up a little…

Films You Really Should Have Seen: Leon

Films You Really Should Have Seen: Leon

In the year of the film’s 20th anniversary it wasn’t a difficult decision to put Leon forward for my Films You Should Have Seen. It was the first film I owned on DVD and it was the first film I owned on Blu Ray. It really is a […]

An Interview With: David Hieatt of Hiut Denim

An Interview With: David Hieatt of Hiut Denim

Hiut Denim are currently taking the world by storm, in this product driven society that we live in brands are always searching for the next step, the next idea, the next big tool to give themselves more exposure. Hiut Denim however have a different tactic; […]

Winter Must Haves: Norse Store, Copenhagen

Winter Must Haves: Norse Store, Copenhagen

Norse Store has been providing the residents of Copenhagen with the finest men’s garments since 2004. It is the home of their own label, Norse Projects and has a beautiful little store in the heart of the city. Norse have a passion for functionality, quality, the classic and of course the ultra modern. All of this is present in their winter essentials, and with Norse Projects being one the hottest brands around Europe at the moment, this is what they can provide for the upcoming months.

Norse Projects – Birk Winter Wool peacoat

The peacoat is an essential item to any winter wardrobe and Norse have absolutely nailed it with this camo or navy edition. If you’re worried about warmth, the coat has a quilted nylon inner with a layer of Primaloft wadding inside to keep you snug and cosy.
http://www.norsestore.com/commodity/15780-norse-projects-birk-winter-wool

Montbell – Versalite Jacket

The raincoat is also essential to your winter expeditions, this Montbell jacket is waterproof and breathable, and it features an adjustable hood, hem and cuffs. So if you’re worried about rain later in the day, pop this gem in your bag and you’ll be dry whatever happens.
http://www.norsestore.com/commodity/16459-montbell-versalite-jacket

Diemme – Firenze

What can we say about these? Except handmade in Italy, using Desert Oasis, which is a super soft, heavyweight 2.0-2.2mm suede. Diemme only provide footwear of the absolute highest quality, and these boots are no exception.
http://www.norsestore.com/commodity/16466-diemme-firenze

March Lab – Am1 Automatic – 40mm

How can winter essentials be essential with no accessories, although the word accessory seems rather unfair to this March LA.B beauty. One glance at this and its near impossible not to fall in love, and with the custom ETA 2892-A movement applied to the watch, your instant love is justified. The perpetual engine is considered by specialists to be the most precise and reliable movement on the market.
http://www.norsestore.com/commodity/16376-march-lab-am1-automatic-40mm

Norse Projects – Norse x Hestra Svante Glove

Our final item from Norse Store is the Norse x Hestra collaboration on these beautifully crafted gloves. A ribbed lambswool backhand with a deerskin leather palm oozes quality and warmth. These are absolutely crucial for snow days in the darker weeks.
http://www.norsestore.com/commodity/15832-norse-projects-norse-x-hestra-svante-glove

You can view more products available at Norse Store on their website. www.norsestore.com

Winter Must Haves: Streetmachine, Copenhagen

Winter Must Haves: Streetmachine, Copenhagen

Streetmachine first opened its doors in Paris in 1989, the shop soon became the core of the French skate scene for the following years. After this French success the team opened a new store in the skate haven that is San Diego. Wanting to bring […]

The Changing Face of Performance and it’s Next Act

The Changing Face of Performance and it’s Next Act

Following the Secret Cinema’s successful rebirth of Back to the Future last month in Hackney, I got thinking to myself, what could be done with music and the format of a gig to make it more of an immersive experience? A quick bit of research […]

Films You Really Should Have Seen: Children of Men

Films You Really Should Have Seen: Children of Men

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine, Children of Men is a dreary…

Japanese Streetwear’s Influence on Music

Japanese Streetwear’s Influence on Music

Streetwear is the ‘it’ thing. Because lets be honest nowadays you can’t help but notice cool kids dressed in t-shirts, hoodies, and beanies that riff on high fashion labels. Although logo apparel have always been a big part of the streetwear aesthetic, recently they seem […]


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Streetwear is the ‘it’ thing. Because lets be honest nowadays you can’t help but notice cool kids dressed in t-shirts, hoodies, and beanies that riff on high fashion labels. Although logo apparel have always been a big part of the streetwear aesthetic, recently they seem to have reached a new peak. For those of you who are not too familiar with streetwear it is commonly reconciled with the concept of graffiti and is defined as a distinctive style of fashion (and the accompanying lifestyle) with roots in skateboarding and skate fashion, while also carrying influence from hip-hop music culture. Urban wear and streetwear is still a rising movement in the grand scheme of things, and since the nineties it has become an increasingly popular avenue for musicians and artists. This month I am looking towards sartorial finesse that rejuvenates personal style and boasts originality. Yes that’s right. Konnichiwa Japan! Japan has always been in the style eye’s forefront with fashion as their main strength. With conceptual and almost obsessive attention to design in streetwear, the Japanese absolutely kill it when it comes to menswear. Music has influenced the product heavyweight brands produce and the way that Japanese consume these products, inspiration is one of the biggest thing for the changing of trends. Hip-hop has endured a turbulent love affair with fashion, positive originality and success from Billionaire Boys Club has made Pharrell Williams the most popular rapper and fashion label runner to rock streetwear. He personifies the organic relationship between music and fashion. I opt for the word ‘organic’ because I do not detect the trace of a stylist in Pharrell’s outfits; he truly owns his effortless panache. After all he said himself said “I wanted clothing I couldn’t find, so I decide to make it”. Pharrell’s style credentials are synonymous with his musical talents: original, polished and contemporary. I like to think of Pharrell as Peter Pan because not only does he NEVER seem to age (seriously though??) but he still retains and pulls off elements of youth culture in his style such as skate boarding, BMXing and early nineties hip-hop.

Behold the archetypal ‘Skateboard P’ look. A basic t-shirt, wayfarer sunglasses and a baseball cap are Pharrell’s onstage staple pieces (before this ridiculous hat got surgically attached to his head). Pharrell openly admits that he thinks of himself as a big kid and his onstage style reflects how youth culture has influenced (and still influences) how he portrays himself both sonically and visually. However, I’m guessing there was nothing childish regarding the price point of the Chanel rosary beads around his neck. I’m not usually in favour of branding, but in this instance the Chanel logo is less ostentatious than normal and supplies a subtle maturity to the outfit. Pharrell often utilises Chanel in this manner; using smaller accessories in order to inject status into more humble outfits. Clever. A gentle reminder that you are looking at a wildly talented and successful man perhaps? He is not just that cute faced guy in various hip-hop videos! His style has evolved from typical basic skateboard/streetwear into what I think could be called the modern gentlemen. In streetwear, personal influences from creative’s and designers are of extreme importance because apparel is very bit about selling a story, their story. Japan loves to imitate the style of their favourite musician. It isn’t an over the top statement, it’s a lifestyle.

Where did Billionaire Boys Club start though? Well we first got to sneak a look at Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club line in the video for “Frontin’”. Pharrell paraded his new brand throughout the video so fans could see what his new venture with BAPE creator Nigo was looking like. He generously dispersed the BBC t-shirts to his close friends, which allowed the brand to reach new destinations, and only a year later we saw the delectable ice cream sneaker. Slowly but surely Billionaire Boys Club is becoming a staple of hip-hop fashion. The storied brand has become a big status symbol in hip-hop. The N.E.R.D front-man’s success with everything from t-shirts, suits and shirts, to outerwear, to leather and to what I think is the highlight of the brand, the prolific accessories line. All of the pieces are produced in very limited quantities of the highest materials making them even more desired in Japan and worldwide. Artists in the music industry take note and follow the fashion fella Pharrell with his love of incorporating bright colours and innovative all over patterns. He is well known and appreciated for his unique style just by hearing his brands names dropped in hip-hop videos all over the globe. For you older guys out there, or even the younger ones with a keen interest you’ll know that Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club Story sounds quite familiar. That’s because it is familiar, it’s been done before in the 90’s by none other than Nigo himself. Nigo simply understands what people want and how to provide that service, he would release information of the days that BAPE stores would receive a delivery but only half of his batch of stock would make it to that delivery. Why? Well a couple of reasons, the first being he gave half away to his friends across the globe (more on that later!) and secondly so that the demand always stayed higher than supply. He wanted people to go without getting their hands on these t’s purely so they would be in the same spot queueing again the following month. It’s because of this that I’m such a long-standing BAPE fan. The camo, the trainers, the imagery I get and love it! The t’s are the labels bread and butter they are premium quality pieces that pack a tiny statement punch which have maintained brand authenticity. A Bathing Ape quickly became one of the worlds most sought after premium streetwear labels after it’s initial introduction in the ’90s. And from smashing the Japanese Market we saw Nigo, founder and owner, branch out after the 2000s with perhaps the most sensationalised and hype-fused brand that catapulted cult streetwear. Showing up on the backs of all the right tastemakers and fashionistas worldwide. The Japanese heavyweight truly is a streetwear icon who has influenced the music lifestyle industry for over a decade. Not only has Nigo made the exclusivity of his label difficult to obtain, that’s the nature of his clothing, but also he has never advertised making sure that the exclusivity factor is ever-present. Word of mouth, social networking and Nigo’s successful creative career as a music producer has recently brought him together with hip-hop giants, Jay-Z, Kanye, Snoop Dog (you can’t pay for advertising like that), that have given the brand and artists a one-upmanship. The creative superstar has had a wave of exposure in Japan; his household name is renowned for it’s impeccable aesthetics. His acute eye for detail has clearly inspired the Japanese fashion industry. Since ancient history streetwear means baggy jeans, loud hoodies and even louder sneakers. The patent-leather BAPE sneakers have become the footwear choice of rappers and style-conscious musicians and a sought-after status symbol for the millions of fans worldwide that watch music videos. And in the UK we have one man to thank for raising the awareness of our beloved Japanese designer.

James Lavelle of Mo’Wax produced his good friend Nigo’s album ‘Ape Sounds’ for the UK hip hop label. And Lavelle was one of lucky few who got his hands on a shed-load of freebies courtesy of our Japanese icon. James Lavelle of UNKLE (signed to his own Mo’Wax) has been the heart of the underground scene for almost two decades. He was heavily kitted out in BAPE alongside DJ Shadow, who makes up the second half of UNKLE, increasing BAPE’s popularity in the UK. Personally I think it is cool how streetwear has evolved from hardcore rap groups like NWA sporting snapbacks and baseball jackets into exactly the same style now digged by people like Lavelle or even more skate oriented fans such as Travis Barker and well, the boarding community in general. Lavelle has worked alongside artists 3D and Futura 2000 bringing together artists from the skate and graffiti world. His labels presence was strongly felt in the worlds of fashion and art, they go hand in hand with James’ love for all kinds of music. ‘Daydreaming With’ is an instinctive experience, which held together some of the most acclaimed creative, working in music, art, film and fashion. It’s crazy to think that what cult trends were influencing the streets of Tokyo managed to find their way to the UK and influence just as many over here! In the ‘90s the baggie look was all about the big jeans and big t-shirts of the hip-hop scene. Acts like the Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses took to the style with ease, but one man, Ian Brown, perhaps more than his contemporaries, chose to add a British edge to the look. He definitely does not fit the rock stereotype with his style, his iconic haircut on the other hand does the genre a bit of fairness. His look is clearly a unique one, it implies his confident and culturally urban routes. Still sporting urban garments today, the singer’s style has become a staple of the British High Street. His wardrobe consists of Adidas, VisVim, Neighborhood and BAPE (and of course that old neon pink tracksuit, who could forget that?!). Lean and lanky, Brown’s memorable features add to the iconic look he helps create. While usually street and sportswear is unshakable from skate and music culture, Neighborhoods approach has been geared towards the small but hardcore motorcycle subculture in Japan. Shinsuke Takizawa founded the Harajuku brand matching with these interests. Heavily washed, overly distressed premium denim and leather jackets have been statements through Neighborhood’s magnificent career. The uber-cool streetwear retains a level of high-end sophistication that is perfect for the man Ian Brown has become. For Ian Brown hasn’t always been so fashion aware, his trips to Japan in the ’90s clearly helped define his tastes and long gone are the loose, baggy money-around-the-neck tees from the ‘Fool’s Gold’ video, now we have a man who is kitted out in only the absolute best Japanese gear. He’s had a stint rocking BAPE head-to-toe but he’s even moved on from that in recent years. As Nigo decided to call it a day on BAPE and venture into other projects, his exclusively priced Human Made also became a favourite for Browny, I imagine walking into his wardrobe and seeing never ending ‘Ian Brown x Adidas Superstars’, rows upon rows of BAPE and Human Made t’s sandwiched by VisVim and Neighborhood jackets. I imagine it’s pretty close to what heaven would look like.

Only last year at the Isle of Wight festival Ian Brown, like a ball of sun, sported his VisVim cagoule, presumably it was the first thing that caught his eye in his ever growing wardrobe. The label itself is known for its distinct aesthetics and amazing craftsmanship. Hiroki Nakamuras designs are developed through outside influences and things he has seen, he often seeks the advice of his wide range of friends, a community of artists, musicians, writers, and designers to create new ideas. Visvim started out as a cultish mens shoe label but has grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Thanks to the likes of Ian Brown, Kanye and John Mayer, awareness of the Japanese brand’s presence has risen in the mainstream consciousness. A lot of the product is made-to-order for the individual, so the show is custom-built for customers and is invite only. How do you say, “cool guy” in Japanese?