We Honor the PALACE Universe, and Their Wool Cap That Keeps Us Warm

palace-skateboards-palace-finger-up-fold-up-beanie-black-p14077-31689_zoomLondon skate crew PALACE makes boards, hyped apparel, VHS skate vids, and parody broadcast journalism. Its aesthetic is a nonchalant hijinks reminiscent of 1990s skateboarding and against recent trends in slow-motion HD. Founded in 2006 as the Palace Wayward Boys Choir—a group of guys who lived in the same shit-hole apartment in Waterloo, South Bank, which they ironically called the Palace—the team is perhaps the chicest rebuttal against the commercialization of skateboarding. “It started because there was a lack of interesting things in skateboarding,” says Lev Tanju, who founded the company. “I thought there was something more that could be done—that was a bit fresher and right for the times, and not run by some corporate people.”

Known for fucking with high fashion—having produced Tees with an inverted Chanel logo or a parody of Versace’s Medusa—Palace’s own graphic identity has by now become similarly iconic: the Penrose triangle, an impossible object made from three straight beams of a square that meet pairwise at right angles at the vertices of a triangle. Palace brand collaborations include Reebok and Umbro, and last December Tanju worked with Tate on a series of new decks designed after the English Romantic-era painter John Martin’s The Great Day of His Wrath (1851–53). For the project Tanju projected images of the painting onto a series of classical busts, using the resulting photographs as graphics. But Tanju isn’t worried about contaminating the brand with big exposure. “It would be kind of dumb to have a business but not want people to dig it,” he says. On one of Palace’s recurring graphics is the outline of a middle finger flipping the bird, a tongue-in-cheek punctuation to team’s success.

 

Deeper

  • “I live a hope despite my knowing better”: James Baldwin in Conversation With Fritz J. Raddatz (1978)

    Born in Berlin in 1931, editor and writer Fritz J. Raddatz relied on food delivered by African American GIs after the death of his parents. To Baldwin he was an “anti-Nazi German who has the scars to prove it.” Debating his return to the USA after 25 years, Baldwin explores the political climate in America at the end of the 1970s in a conversation at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.More
  • House as Archive: James Baldwin’s Provençal Home

    For her new book, Magdalena J. Zaborowska visited the house Baldwin occupied from 1971 to 1987 “to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity”. Here, she narrates her early journeys to Baldwin’s home and proposes a salve for its recent loss: a virtual presentation of Baldwin’s home and effects.More
  • Where are the real investments? Theaster Gates on James Baldwin

    The Chicago-based artist talks to Victoria Camblin about materializing the past, the house as museum, and preserving black legacies. Social and artistic engagement, Gates suggests, may allow the contents and spirit of Baldwin’s home, and others like it, to settle in lived experience.More
  • SECOND ACID WINTER: The Roots of Fashion’s Rave Revival

    References to late nights and chemically-induced collectivism are woven throughout recent fashion history with London's Sports Banger, Gucci, and adidas's Spezial unveiling acid-tinged collections and campaigns. It's not unusual for brands to mine the counterculture seeking inspiration, but the parallels between early 90s rave and the present are not purely aesthetic, but political too.More