CIAO with Too Hot Limited
Arrivederchi it’s one-on-one. Two years prior to the kick-off of Italia 90 the rise of MDMA, Acid House and British rave culture saw a sharp decline in football related violence in England. One that saw lads in Stone Island jackets and Lacoste polos switching from beating the shit out of each other in the back streets of Bermondsey, to deliriously hugging each other two miles up the road at Cable Club’s Shoom.
Still cast in the shadows of England’s five-year ban from continental club competition following the Heysel stadium disaster of 1985, the tragedy of Hillsborough in 1989 and the poll tax riots the following spring; four weeks in Italy felt like a holiday for the national game. A sun soaked summer soundtracked by the greatest football record ever released in New Order’s ecstasy drenched Word in Motion. And one made all the more enjoyable by the fact that the best player on planet earth was a heavy set, baby faced genius from Gateshead named Paul John Gascoigne. In 1990 English football started to feel less like a frustrated and violent reconciliation of former glory, the decline of the British empire and Thatcher’s decimation of working class unions; and more like a form of joyous escapism. The football stadium joined the nightclub as one of the very few places in Britain where you could see your own emotions and serotonins reflected in the faces of complete strangers.
Today, Italia 90 is often reduced to a series of canonical images continually reinforced by our media. But for all the dewy eyed nostalgia of Roger Miller’s snake hips, Gazza’s tears, Bobby Robson’s little jig, Jurgen Klinsman’s diving, Frank Rijkaard’s gobbing into Rudi Voller’s mullet, David O'Leary's penalty against Romania and that goal by Roberto Baggio against the Czechs; these vignettes can not do justice to the impact that the tournament had upon English football, or explain the central space that the game now occupies in mainstream English culture. For this project, Lack of Guidance reached out to Too Hot's Ollie Evans. Someone whose deep appreciation of both the stylings of England’s football casuals and the Paninaro social scenes of late 80s Italy, make him the perfect partner in creating this very special line. Shot around the iconic Fiat Panda Italia 90 edition, this collaboration celebrates all the sentimental footnotes listed above, but also the debt England owes to Italia 90 in making football such a unifying and positive force in the country today. In the summer of 1990 love really did put English football, and the world, in motion.
Photography by Eva Roefs
Models: Larry, Noah, Osias
Specials thanks to Ferenc