Life and Style
 

Sneakerheads rejoice - Adidas Originals’ much-loved Stan Smith trainers have been reissued, says Rebecca Gonsalves

POP / A great big yes: Ryan Gilbey on the headline acts at the Reading Festival

Rain-clouds filled the sky at last weekend's Reading Festival, but had the decency not to burst until Friday's headliners Cypress Hill had stomped off stage. The Lemonheads were first, though. Singer Evan Dando, growing out a Jean Seberg crop, flirted with his famously adoring fans. 'Anyone fancy a shag?', he asked, that distinctly British colloquialism sounding clumsy on his American tongue. The feverish response left him in no doubt that he could have unzipped any tent-flap on site and found an accomodating sleeping-bag. The band whizzed through bite-sized pop nuggets like 'The Great Big No' and 'Confetti', omitting 'Mrs Robinson' (in everyone's best interest).

Counterfeiting: Britain rises in fakers league: Leading sportswear makers join the companies that are losing millions to the rip-off merchants

AS THE Ireland fans cheered their heroes through the World Cup, many of those sporting the distinctive green and white strip were probably unaware that they were wearing counterfeits.

Marriage of convenience: Will these strange celebrity couplings never end?

First Adam and Naomi. Then Lyle and Julia. Now Adidas and Nintendo: the sporty young thing is bedding down with the sofa spud, the two of them brought together by a common ability to sell large quantities of consumer goods to teenagers.

In Thing: Ultimate football

Used by pro footballers and an object of desire for schoolboy wannabes are top-of-the-line Mitre Premier League Pro-Max footballs. So prized are they that when Ian Wright kicked one into the crowd recently at an England v Norway game, a small boy thought he'd just copped the ultimate gift from his hero. Mitre has been making footballs since the 1880s, virtually when football first started in this country. They have leading credibilty with regard to development and design, and a deal with the FA and Scottish FA to supply most of the major clubs. Retailing at pounds 49.99, a Mitre Pro-Max Premier League football is a pricey but perfect present for football freaks. Also on fanatics' birthday lists are the latest Adidas Predator football boots. These feature a special rubber vamp over the toes to give more swerve and kicking accuracy. At a mere pounds 119.99, so they should.

Bunhill: Sublime for soccer

BUNHILL'S first (and, with luck, only) story about the World Cup: the footballs you will be watching over the next few weeks will carry the name of Adidas, official suppliers to FIFA, but they will have been made in Sialkot, Pakistan. Sialkot? I hear you cry. Yes, a city 40 miles north-east of Lahore on the Great Trunk Road to the Khyber Pass - phrases that have a ring of Kipling's Indian Empire about them.

Fashion: Old street style

CALLING people who have great clothes up in the attic: the 20th-century dress curators of the Victoria & Albert Museum would like to hear from you.

FASHION / Holiday Snaps

Nobody ever goes on holiday in this country without a foul-weather companion wardrobe: for every bikini, sun-dress or pair of shorts, there's a cardigan, an anorak or a Pakamac to keep it dry. This summer, in an uncharacteristically sensible move, the cover-ups have become as much a part of fashion as the itsy-bitsy things underneath.

REVIEW / These football boots are made for talking

THE CABLE channel I'm waiting for is the Factory Channel. All it would consist of would be film of things being made - biscuits, television sets, armchairs, toothpaste tubes, nail-clippers, bicycle chains, biros. Anything, in fact, because the fascination of what you see has nothing to do with the glamour or desirability of the finished product. I still have fond memories of an Open University programme about the development of plastic mesh netting, a film which combined ingenuity and nerdish technical detail in almost perfect proportions. It may be that I'm peculiarly susceptible here to the enchantment of processes (I think I could probably even watch paint dry, if it was handled properly) but I doubt if I'm alone - the ratings success of How Do They Do That? is built on just such an appetite for explanation.

Fashion: A step-by-step guide to trainers: An old pair of jeans? Chuck them out, says John Windsor. The Japanese will not buy them any more. But trainers . . . now, they're another matter. Seventies sneakers are in demand, says Tamsin Blanchard. At least until Christmas

While Nike and Reebok continue pumping hype and gimmicks into their trainers, the sneakers most in demand are free of tricks. The 'Old School' variety has taken over from the hi-tech trainers. And Old School they are: these are the trainers of the football-crazy schoolkids of the mid- to late-Seventies, of the 11-year-old boys in their flared-trouser school uniforms, plastic Adidas sports bags (another rediscovery and selling fast) and matching Stan Smith striped trainers. Today, a pair of vintage gold-stamped Stan Smiths will change hands for pounds 100 at VKS (Vintage King Sneakers) in sneaker-mad Japan.

Style: Back street chic for the Soho smart set: For original, one-off designs, try the small shops and rooms just off the beaten track

IN THE pre-war years, Soho in London was full of shops with workrooms upstairs where tailors and seamstresses produced the garments. These days you need to hunt hard around the back streets. Mark Powell, for instance, operates from a top- floor room in D'Arblay Street, dressing club people and pop stars; John Pearse, the laconic veteran of Meard Street, designs for media types and old rockers.

Pentland poised for US deal

PENTLAND, which backed out of buying Adidas from Bernard Tapie last year, is close to spending some of its pounds 430m cash pile on a US sports goods company.

Consortium to pay Tapie 240m pounds for Adidas

A consortium of French institutions and private investors is poised to take control of Adidas, the troubled German sports goods company, from the controversial French entrepreneur Bernard Tapie for about pounds 240m, writes Neil Thapar.

BOOK REVIEW / First-class trip down memory lane: 'The Orient Express' - Gregor von Rezzori: Chatto & Windus, 13.99 pounds

GREGOR VON REZZORI, the central European novelist born in Ukraine in 1914, is best known for his fierce dissection of wartime culture, Memoirs of an Anti-Semite. In that novel, he wrote about a time in which bourgeois values and Gentile supremacism seemed eternal and immutable. Those mummies have come to life again and are cavorting around the Habsburg and Balkan regions he knew, but they are well beyond von Rezzori's present horizon.

Stripped of their dignity: King cotton gives way to nipple-rubbing polyester, and designs are ever more garish. Roger Tredre mourns the passing of the classic soccer shirt

May 1971: Arsenal versus Liverpool in a sweltering FA Cup Final. The game is in extra time and Liverpool, worn down by the heat, are perspiring uncontrollably in their long-sleeved nylon shirts. But Arsenal are wearing short-sleeved Umbro cotton jersey shirts which absorb the moisture more effectively. Striker Charlie George blasts the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards. Arsenal win the Cup, and a historic double. A triumph for Arsenal - or for cotton?

Pentland sells Adidas holding back to Tapie

PENTLAND has finally walked away from Adidas, reaping a 100 per cent return of pounds 47m on the failed takeover attempt of one of the world's leading sports goods companies.
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