In Blackmeans Hender Scheme Leather Japan Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York Fashion Week NYFW Sasquatchfabrix

Beneath The Skin: Leather Japan 2014 Showcase

 Kosuke Tsumura Deer Cell sculpture in Deerskin, deer bone and plastic 2014

A new jingle for a popular fast food chain's familiar sandwich.  Something lagging in sales reintroduced as the renewed 'It" thing.  Redoing a classic movie for a new crop of movie-viewers.  Sometimes to really see something in a new light you have to take it out of the familiar element in which you're used to seeing it.

I've always said that the Japanese have a very interesting way of infusing their Eastern aesthetic into reinterpreting Western perspectives.  In the case of Leather Japan, not only is there a wonderful level of craftsmanship lent to a Western perspective but to a reinvigorated traditional Eastern one as well.

 Clockwise from Top Left: Siga-chan Cow Leather biker jacket from Biyou-Jyan 1991, Takahiromiyahita The Soloist Deer, Horse and Kangaroo Leather Rain jacket 2012, vintage deer leather fireman's hood ca. 1751-1853, Shin Murayama Head Hunters mask 2014

Leather Japan is a collective of sorts that showcases a group of selected works from the fields of fashion, art and craftwork.  Leather Japan pulls influence from everything like highlighting traditional vintage Japanese artifacts to contemporary interpretations of everyday goods.  The result is a celebration  of old and new perspectives with leather as a medium in the eyes of Japanese artists, designers, craftsmen and visionaries.

 Clockwise from Top Left: Hender Scheme Cow Leather Manual Industrial Products 2011, Ed Robert Judson Helix Card Case 2009, Hooke Coin Case 2009 & Money clip 2011, Blackmeans Firefighting Hanten in Deer Leather 2014 & Chest Style Datebook 2010 and Blackmeans Rice Ball Case 2010 and Banana Case 2013

During Fashion Week a couple weeks ago Leather Japan showcased its latest installation of the reinterpreted and reborn leather offered by its talented and insightful participants.  Check out the range of artistry and tradition and rediscover a familiar skin again.

 Clockwise from Top Left: Vintage Deer Leather Half length Kimono coat ca. 1751-1853 & Leather Mat with Family Crest 1603-1868, Blackmeans Butsu-Jyan Deerskin Leather jacket 2013, Hender Scheme Deerskin 'Mock' 2014 and Sasquatchfabrix Deer Leather Strait Jacket 2013

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In Mens Spring/Summer 2014 Review Pantone Pantone Colorwear

Colorfully Cutting Out The Middle Man, Of Sorts: Pantone Colorwear Pop-Up Shop NYC


So there's this movement that's been going strong for a few seasons now.  I call it the New Goth Movement.  It's Goth since it revolves around mostly black clothing and accessories from head to foot.  It's New since it's not as macabre as the original Goth.  You'll find punk & hip-hop references, sporty influences and avant garde derivations all washed in black with a lighter less grave air.  

Now while I'm always up for an influential movement, there's a part of me that has an undeniable yen for color.  Call me crazy, but if any season calls for color, it's the spring.  However, I don't just stop at seasons.  Colors affect our moods, cajole memories and mimic the hues that are parts of our everyday hustle.  With an infinite amount of color choices, we are constantly relieved to see our favorites brightened, darkened, shaded and tinted in new and exciting ways.  Nine times out of ten (or maybe its ten out of ten) those ways are brought to us via Pantone.


Pantone, the veritable color monolith that forecasts to the fashion industry that this particular numbered shade of melon is what will be seeped into a potential customer's psyche come next season, is the color go-to.  Several industries including packaging, toy, photography, interiors, make-up and of course fashion rely on Pantone's predictions and offerings to sync die lots, photos and textile mills alike.  With such a reliance on proposing how color can be made fresh and new each season, it seemed only natural before long to provide something for those seeking to just attain color without the label or logo.  Enter Pantone Colorwear.  



The company has started a fashion collection of simple, clean and, of course, colorful Men's clothing and accessories for Spring that's made in Europe and executed in the U.S. under the collective Empire and Branch.  To sweeten the pot they've opened up a pop-up shop right beside Scoop in the Meat Packing District in Manhattan until the end of this month.  Swing on by and check out this season's adopted "it" colors in tees, tanks, pants, shorts, sweaters, belts, cellphone cases and iPad covers and slowly start to get the images of grey slush and white ice out of your minds.  

Pantone Colorwear Pop-Up Shop @ 875 Washington Street, NYC  thru February 



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In Bosideng Mens Fall/Winter 2014 Review Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York Fashion Week

The Tasteful Spectacle: Bosideng Fall/Winter 2014 Mens Collection Review


Cheeky spectacles tend to get the most attention nowadays.  Well what's to be said of the adage that 'a well-dressed man is a thing of beauty'.  Truth be told, we are enamored with things that draw a crowd nowadays but tasteful well-executed resolved beauty can be just as resounding as hyped theatrics.  What I most often find is that the visuals of the hyped may be vivid but often times it takes a heightened intrinsic value to leave an impact that draws in more senses than just the visuals.  


Every now and then a collection and/or line comes up that speaks to the senses.  Visually, tactilely and mentally is how the Bosideng Mens Fall 2014 Collection is looking to attract its customers.  The collection showed during fashion week was clean.  However, not in an overly minimal sort of way.  Its clean in the execution of shapes, symmetry and geometry.  Then these precursors were colored in with perfect windowpanes on trim and cropped double-breasted suits, sumptuous colors and plush textures on outerwear like a crisp varsity jacket, an über-cozy shearling and those handsome windowpanes on sporty-inspired outerwear.  Hardly minimal but in no way loud.  The expressive, yet not garish, use of bold color was exciting and handsome and evocative of how modern men approach and envision color.  


The collection was full of pieces that appealed to a younger and older customer alike.  Overall the sense of the offering was young at heart rooted in classic mens revelry, which is essentially the way a modern man moves and hustles.

Photo credit:  Marko Kalfa

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