fall '12 VAN DOREN series review & print profile

earlier this year several (micro)blogging sites leaked pictures of the forthcoming van doren series, the conception of which we then proceeded to claim influence upon. we may have gotten ahead of ourselves somewhat, however this is only the beginning remember. we were approached by vans eu though late last year with insight into the timely homage to the van doren prints, with the request of any availability of the original productions. as such, not consulting on any conceptual or design basis (yet), we were happy to oblige with the presentation of all 4 og prints for the fall '12 internal product launch, which of course we had in stock.
there was much hype anticipating this release & it seems not much noise thereafter, however we dont claim to keep our ear to the grindstone of modern retail release by any imagination stretch. twas however hype that we feel was justified with some poignant re-release of some classic prints. you've got to give it to vans because they didn't go for the most obvious prints & they didn't simply produce carbon copies of the og's. of course the shape is all wrong & the vulcanised effects will never be re-captured, but the nuances have arguably been rectified with new answers. the prints are admittedly spot-on & they all feature the pre-washed vintage-style fade which works on some prints but not on others. the use of the 'customade' van doren box is a nice touch albiet from the wrong era & inclusion of the 1st-generation slimmer eye-stay on a sk8-hi for example is a welcome change. the colourways in the most part are pretty fresh we must admit, especially the 3-tone slip on & the 'stripes' sk8-hi.

1st under the microscope is the rare aformentioned native print which goes by the (un)inventive modern name of 'stripes'. we are yet to uncover the original reference for this print however im sure back in the day it was something a bit more creative. ignoring the fact the shape is far from the sexual curves of an original #98, the print is very nice. in our opinion the effect of the print is lost however by mis-matching the grain of the stripes which should have remained as vertical linears of the original. in addition the finish was absolutely butchered on the multi-colourway era but parity was restored with the success of the teal sk8-hi.

next up we have the heavily anticipated return of 1 of the most infamous prints from the vans back catalog in the form of the pirate skulls. silhouette & production method aside, this re-release we can not fault! this time the mis-matching rotation of adjacent panels works well, offerring upright wayfarer pirate action from every angle. to my knowlede this has seen a sk8-hi japan-only release since mid 90's phase out & it is a welcome return, & the 3-tone #98 is hopefully a sign of things to come.

to follow is the 'maroon hawaiian' which unfortunately misses the boat. the print itself is on the mark however the washed maroon looks more like a washed out brown unfit for the shores of hawaii. the royal blue had already been done & should have been left at that, & im sure my own personal og royal blue hawaiian we provided for the vans product launch out-performed its modern appropriation on every level.

last & not least comes another hawaiian print in the form of the modern 'parrot' re-hash of the og 'black jungle' . again the print is almost spot-on apart from the interchange of the traditional parrot with a cockatoo on the modern release. you should however bird-watch past this mild oversight, & the inferiorities of cold cure production, because after all a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.... but both can be killed with 1 stone.

without focusing too much on the future or heaven forbid living in the present moment, we will continue to keep our head firmly buried in the past, unflinchingly grasping that NOStalgic sense that 'they dont make them like they used to'. this series did provide an insight however into the abundant vans timeline & as such inspires us to open up what is the dense black jungle of the endless vans printing press.

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