I don't smoke. I tried it once when I was 14 and it felt like my lungs were going to clam up. I often wish I could though because I like the idea of a stress reliever. I envy those that can go outside into a puff of smoke after storming off in a huff from a work colleague, partner or friend. Actually, it's just those selfishly quiet moments to yourself that I'm envious of. You could of course lock yourself in the toilet for a bit or nip out for a walk but I'm not sure it's quite the same thing.
In any case, my alternative is a bit tame in comparison. I run. Not proper "I'm changing into a different outfit and strapping on a water bottle" type routine running. If I'm walking on an empty street and I fancy it, then I ramp up my iPod to maximum volume and just run, whether I'm wearing the appropriate footwear or whether I'm actually in a rush. It's probably less than five minutes of running every now and again but it's a great tension reliever. When you're sitting on your arse all day long, sometimes you don't feel like walking alone is doing you any good. It's like a knee-jerk reaction to my own sloth-like behaviour. In my head, it feels all dramatic and exhilarating, like I'm unleashing some weird ball of stress. Think Michael Fassbender in Shame. Except err… without the sexual tension.
The health and safety head honchos at Nike won't be happy that I'm not wearing the appropriate attire or footwear for running given that they have a million different options that will benefit my running bug. One of them being the debut Nike Gyakusou womenswear S/S 12 collection by Undercover's Jun Takahashi. Undercover has been spotlit by their recent sprawling collaboration with Uniqlo. On a more focused level, Takahashi and Nike's collaboration on the Gyakusou range is now into its fourth collection. Takahashi being an avid runner (like a proper one, unlike my crazed sprinting spasms) wanted clothing to compliment what he calls "medidation with adrenaline". Therefore Gyakusou was born, with 'Gyaku' meaning wrong or reverse and 'sou' meaning run or running. This is a collection that fuses utterly compelling design with functional features that means every zipper, toggle, trim, panel and button has rhyme and reason as to why it's there. The womenswear and menswear are contrasted in with a beautiful campaign shot in the black desert of Oshima and the white desert of Nakatajima in Japan. I didn't even know there were deserts in Japan but there you go. The stilliness of these images and the video do remind me of the build-up in the Foals track Spanish Sahara, a perfect track to have in the background of my random runs.
It would somewhat ruin my own bizarre patterns of impromptu running if I was to simply go running in this Gyakusou gear, since none of my running is actually pre-meditated. A better way to get more bang for your buck out of what is quite expensive Nike running attire by exploiting the design aspects of the collection. I'm loathe to read off of autocue about how this year is all about sportswear because of the Olympics blah blah blah but of course it's hard not to attribute the event for sportswear infiltrating fashion again. There's got to be some other inexplicable reason why I'm finding myself smacking my licks at a pair of new trainers, getting excited over hoodie, drawstring and mesh detailing and generally finding joy in clashing sportswear with more recognisably fashion-centric clothes. I probably put it down to my being more comfortable with my own innate "dress-and-trainers" attitude. Nothing should feel too precious or stuck in one genre or the other. Incidentally, the icy mint green colour that dominates this Gyakusou collection falls perfectly in line with a lot of my existing spring summer clothing making it an easier task to collide clothing fit for accomodating sweat and movement with its less agile counterparts.