— Chris Aylen

KAWS light bulbs

KAWS light bulbs

KAWS light bulbs, made for The Standard hotel chain in the US.

If you find a set, don’t plug them into a UK light fixture or anything using UK voltage – you need a step-down transformer and a US light fixture or you’ll blow ’em in seconds. Keep to 120v and you’re set. Luckily, I researched this before plugging mine in: I’m a prime candidate to have ruined the whole set in under a minute.

Thanks to my man Rich in BK for hooking various elements of this display up for me.

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adidas Randall

nano reef tank

Bedford's largest sneaker dungeon

Syntace CX Base bars

Royal

Rush

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Nike Footscape FreeMotion (Fragment Design)

I’ve loved the Footscape since I saw the ‘exploded’ view ads in copies of Details magazine that I ‘borrowed’ from college. It’s one of those shoes that can look a little bulky from the wearer’s viewpoint, but looks sleek (note: in the true sense of the word, not a referral to a 3-stripe diffusion range) from the side. Comfy and light as hell too. A lot of purists complained when the Flywire versions appeared, but if any shoe was ever going to use this technology, the Footscape is a perfect model in my opinion. If the original was as light as air, then this updated version is helium in comparison: the Flywire panels add a little more support to the sides as well.

Nike Footscape FreeMotion (Fragment Design)

These didn’t really appear that much in the UK – a few shops had the James Jarvis white/red colourway and perhaps the Mr. Cartoon colourway too – but these Fragment-designed purples were a Japanese QuickStrike. I like that they echo the first women’s colourway of the Footscape back in 1995. I was really lucky and found a pair on eBay for less than the Japanese retail. Tip: you might wanna go a half-size down on these, as they’re pretty roomy/thin.

Nike Footscape FreeMotion (Fragment Design)

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Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam

Out of 320-odd pairs of trainers, there are only a handful of Asics in my inventory. There’s no real reason for this, other than they were never really that available when I was growing up. Local shops didn’t have them and this was before the internet existed, so unless I was flicking through a running magazine, Asics didn’t really register that much.

But in the past decade, they’ve shown up a lot more. I bought the Proper GT-IIs a few years back, which I still really like, and I’ve got one pair from the Alife Rivington Club co-lab from a couple of years ago, but my Asics game is weak. I was undecided on the split-tongue business (sometimes it looks a little too much like a… well… you look and see for yourself), but as long as the lacing’s on-point, you don’t really see that bit much and it’s as comfortable as hell.

When these Gel Lyte IIIs came out in September 2010, I liked them straight away. The Slam Jam store in Italy dropped 96 pairs of these, along with a few bonus bits and pieces, and I missed ’em. Five minutes after the release time and they were gone.

Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam

Lucky for me, I managed to pick up a couple of pairs via some trades and other business, so I was pretty pleased. The shoe is the usual comfortable Lyte model, but I really liked the colour scheme. For no reason at all, it reminds me of wanting trainers when I was a little kid.

The spare pair are on ice at the moment, but I have no doubt they’ll either go to a close friend – or I’ll be wearing them myself once this pair are hammered.

Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam

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adidas Questar

Malawi cichlids

Hell?

Fenced off

Block

Skies

Getting there with the reef tank...

Sunset

My future penthouse block...

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adidas A.R.C. ZX 7000

I never paid that much attention to the ZX 7000 to be honest: in my mind, it sat a little awkwardly between the regular runners and other more rugged models, such as the EQT. Well, that was my loss.

adidas A.R.C. ZX 7000

Treis and Kunle from Alife’s Rivington Club came over with us to adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany to work their magic on their part of the aZX project. “They just made it red!”, you might shout, and you’d be right.

But, damn, how good does it look? Exactly.

adidas A.R.C. ZX 7000

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It’s all very well saying, ‘Yeah – I’ve been too busy to do an update because I’ve been going out everywhere‘, but without any proof that sounds like a stinking lie. In place of some lengthy and useful content, here are a couple of snapshots from the past two or so weeks.

Dave White Size? exhibition

First up, was an evening with Nike, Size? and Dave White, over at the Air Gallery, Dover Street on December 2nd called ’10 Years of Obsession’. I had lent my Air Flows and 180s to the show, so I managed to sneak onto the guest list courtesy of Phoebe Lovatt (thanks Phoebe!). It was nice to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen in a while – Mubi, Magdi at We Are HQ, Fats and Dave White himself – and the chopping-up-and-handing-out of Dave’s artwork at the end of the night was pretty cool. Snow had made everything in the UK grind to a halt, but we somehow managed to get there and back without too much trouble thanks to the winning combination of trains, Tubes, buses and trams.

Sneakerpedia launch

Next up was the launch night for the beta version of the Sneakerpedia website. A very swish evening over at the Queen of Hoxton was complimented by the sounds of Bobbito and Clark Kent. Lots of nice drinks and smart agency types running around with laptops made for a pretty unique evening. Wearing a damp sweatshirt was my bad move of the evening – I was frozen solid. Lesson: always check that the tumble dryer has finished its cycle before stepping outside.

DJ Format

It’s always nice to catch up with my friend Matt – that’s DJ Format to you and me – so a quick trip down to the coast to snap a few shots for a forthcoming interview on Diggers With Gratitude was a good way to spend a day. The new single ‘Mr. DJ/Dope Pusher’ featuring good friend and top-class MC Sureshot La Rock is out on the 31st January: an early contender for the release of 2011. Watch this space.

Chris Law AKA C-Law

And, finally for now, I went with my friend Errol up to the wintery wastelands of Bedford to help/hinder the shooting of my buddy C-Law’s massive and unique hoard of sneaks. With a house full of excited kiddies, the day was hectic and good fun. I came back armed with a bag full of one-off samples as well: cheers Mr. Law.

That’ll do for now!

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Ten days without a post, but I’ll look at that as a good thing rather than a show of poor productivity. Working on two new print projects, some client work for Dr. Pepper and Nike US, possibly some copywriting for Vans and yet I’ve still managed to keep on top of the reef aquarium maintenance and go away for a weekend.

There have been downsides – being ill, reef tank lights exploding today and the flat looks like Dresden – but I won’t let it get me down. Proper blog update shortly.

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adidas Torsion SP Low Gore-Tex®

A snow day – again – means that some waterproofing is required. Ditch the moonboots and find yourself a pair of these adidas Torsion Specials. They’re not the tallest model (you’ll get wet socks if you’re hiking through anything deeper than 2 inches), but my feet were still bone dry after an hour trudging through slush around Croydon.

And they look really good too: I voted them my favourite release of 2009 on Sneaker Freaker.

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Ocellaris Clownfish or False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

Using system water and live rock from the local aquatic shop (that’s Heritage Aquatics in Wallington, Surrey in case you’re looking for a professional, reliable and friendly service) meant that we were able to start adding some critters and a couple of clowns to the tank sooner than if we’d had to go through a normal cycle of the aquarium.

Whilst we’ve seen evidence of a rogue crab (a small black arm with a little pincer on waved at us on Friday evening), things look pretty good so far. A couple of peppermint shrimps (Lysmata wurdemanni) have already had a go at a couple of the aiptasia anemones (which is good, because they’re a pest) and the turbo snails (Turbo fluctuosa) and emerald crab (Mithraculus sculptus) are busy with the algae that’s grown over the past few days.

And… to round it off, we picked up two Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). An hour spent deciphering the Maxspect LED timer instructions (I’ll post up something on that subject later on), two carefully placed crab traps and all seems well in the tank so far.

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