For his FW18 Undercover collection , Jun showed that he really reveres the work of director Stanley Kubrick. He had toyed around with looks inspired by the Shining’s Grady sisters in his last women’s show and for his men’s collection at Pitti he showed many pieces based around Kubrick’s 2001: A Space odyssey. The film centers around a near-future where a rogue AI takes over a manned space mission. The feeling of isolation and dystopia is channeled through various prints reflecting scenes from the movie. It also shows up in other unexpected ways like the HAL 9000 LED fanny packs and raincoats screen-printed with “WARNING.HUMAN ERROR. COMPUTER MALFUNCTION”. The rest of the collection offers up familiar re-treads on Undercover’s signatures – mixed fabrics, trim wool coats and military parkas. A real showstopper for me personally were the down jackets , with illumatinated facemarks that resembled the spacesuits from Kubrick’s sci-fi classic. Jun has always embraced the future in many of his collections, but looking to Kubrick for inspiration has also added a feeling of nostalgia to the proceedings.
If I could raise a criticism of the collection, it would be that the collection feels almost too predictable. It covers all the bases you expect from UC with the same type of printing techniques used in the past and in a way that feels very trend friendly. Still a good collection but perhaps next to the transcendent showing by his friend Takahiro , it feels a little more ordinary.
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SSENSE has started a new web series called Tiffany’s Tokyo TV. On the show reporter Tiffany Godoy goes and explores the fashion scene in Tokyo. The debut episode features an interview with none other than Jun Takahashi of Undercover , the two go for a morning run in Yoyogi park and discuss how running helps Jun’s design process.
Check out SSENSE’s selection of Undercover here.
No stranger to sublines, Jun Takahashi is ready to release the first collection of the shepherd. The collection is a more tailored and mature take on what Undercover usually does. The first collection is modeled by none other than Thom Yorke (a close friend of Jun’s).
Click through to get a peek at what the initial collection of grown-up staples entails.
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NOWHERE is a shop that has been at the center of the streetwear world it’s whole existence. While I never had the privilege of visiting the store before it’s closure, I was able to research key moments in it’s history.
Below is an excerpt from the brief history of NOWHERE I wrote, you can read the the rest over on Grailed.
Streetwear through the 1990s was a regional phenomenon. The success of a label was determined through its ability to proliferate amongst a local scene. Brands of the time found an audience through adjacent subcultures like BMX, skateboarding, punk and hip-hop to push their products. The ’90s saw the emergence of Stussy as a mainstream brand and Supreme as a force within New York’s downtown scene. As American streetwear brands built their empire, so did a young generation of streetwear designers from Japan.
Within the greater Japanese fashion industry, a particular area held particular influence: Urahara. The neighborhood was home base for those who ultimately would become the leaders of Japanese streetwear. Brands like A Bathing Ape, Bounty Hunter, Undercover, WTAPS and Neighborhood owe much of their success to Urahara and the community that grew around it. In particular, Jun Takahashi and Nigo started something special by opening NOWHERE in 1993. The original store was the first place to sell both Undercover and BAPE and it’s unique reputation and product mix gives it a legendary status in the streetwear world to this day.
Undercover has relied on graphics as the focal point for many of the label’s designs over the past 25 years. Some of this artwork has been compiled and brought to a hong kong for an exhibition entitle TGRAPHICS. The exhibition features a mix of archival and rare graphics that span the brand’s history. The range of graphics is certainly impressive and includes collaborative art from the likes of Kaws.
If you’re in Hong Kong you still have a chance to see it in person until April 30th
Anita Chan Lai-Ling Gallery
2 Lower Alberta Road, Central
More after the jump
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Seditionaries was the name of an iconic clothing like between collaborators Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.
Its admirers and adherents were often moved to design punk garb of their own, and few were moved more than Jun Takahashi, who absorbed the lessons of the line and used them to create his own cult label, Undercover.
Takahashi and his friend and collaborator, Hiroshi Fujiwara, also scoured Tokyo for vintage Seditionaries pieces, eventually amassing a collection impressive enough that they published it as a limited-edition book
In an interview with Style.com’s Matthew Schneier, Jun touches on his punk roots and reflects on how the mentality of ‘punk’ has stayed with him throughout his career.
What was your reaction to the Met’s announcement that Punk will be the theme of this year’s Costume Institute exhibition? Does punk belong in a museum? Or is such an exhibition a confirmation of what many old punks are fond of saying—that punk is dead?
I didn’t have a particular feeling about the announcement. I think the element of punk has a significant meaning for human beings as one of their means of expression, so I believe punk can proudly belong in a museum as a work of art. I think most people who say that punk is dead have moved into the next step while keeping a punk spirit at their base. The spirit will live on in me until I die.
Looks from Takahashi’ and Fujiwara’s Seditionaries book
In related news, the exhibition ‘From Punk to Chaos’ PUNK: Chaos to Couture is running at the Museum of Metropolitian Art from and open to the public from May 9 – August 14. It explores the roots of the punk subculture through original punk garments from the mid-1970s and recent, directional fashion collections by some of the world’s most renowned designers.
The idea of hunting for grails or something you covet has been mentioned on this site before. However, my own take on it is that instead of a hunt, I do not have a precise target for what I want as I just have a design element which I look for and I wait patiently until appears before me that matches all those requisites. I would compare it to fishing where you’re never quite sure what will turn up.
In this case, this Undercover jacket has never really appeared in any photoshoots or runways and I was actually looking out for an Undercover down jacket with leather sleeves instead. The one detail which caught my eye straight away was the distressed leather on the sleeves which is amazingly soft in reality. When I received this jacket I was astounded by the construction as the leather sleeves are attached to the lining and the blazer body is actually deconstructed from a whole jacket as you can see the shoulder seams are not sealed.
The details on this jacket speaks to me of Jun Takahashi’s fondness for deconstructing and reconstructing clothing as the front blazer pockets have been modified with zips to reference motorcycle jackets.
As this jacket illustrates, the reward of a patience and an open mind-set, is a treasure that exceeds all expectations.
Photos and words by Jacob Hui. For many more grail pieces be sure to check out his blog Indiana Jawnz.
Photo Adrian Crispin
David Hellqvist of PORT Magazine visited Jun Takahashi at the Gyakusou Showroom in Paris and spoke to him about the evolution of Gyakusou. Jun Takahashi has dedicated to the runners lifestyle and in his person life is taking more time to train and compete in marathons. His preference is to run in cold weather,but Jun says “regardless of the distance it’s always hard to run – it’s such a mental sport as you’re always faced with yourself.”
The below quote by David Hellqvist defines how Gyakusou has re-focused on the function aspect of designing sportswear.
“Three years in, and Takahashi is finding his feet. Gyakusou was pretty spot on from the start, but the last few seasons has seen him scale down the design element, focusing on the task ahead; running. As Takahashi evolves as a runner, so does the collection: “Design-wise, it’s getting simpler. I wanted to focus more on the functions and for the functions to work the design doesn’t need so much space. The first season had more of a sharp design to it and that was a design that was not necessary for running – now it’s a lot more functional!”
See the entire feature on PORT MAGAZINE.
Gyakusou is back with another solid spring/summer collection. As per usual Jun Takahashi and co deliver technical running garments that feature clean lines and a fresh color palette. I’m sure Knicks fans will also appreciate the nod with the blue/orange pieces for him and her.
If hot weather is something that discorages you from running you’ll be happy to know that Ttis collection was inspired by the tropical climate of Brazil. The collection thus employs ‘unlined, breathable, and lightweight materials’ which help runners keep going in even the most sweltering locales.
In this editorial for Honeyee, Jun Takahashi recruits his friends in the industry. Japanese fashion heavyweights including TK (Silly Thing), Takahiro Miyashita (the Soloist) and Shun Watanabe don garments from the Fall/Winter 2012 collection displaying their personal style through their selections. It seems that Jun Takahashi has really been pushing this idea of everyday people wearing Undercover since he modeled the Fall/Winter 2010 himself. This is something I believe the fashion industry needs to move towards . To me the style of ‘real people’ is so much more relatable than clothes on perfectly airbrushed models .
More images after the jump
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