Last week was a full-on week! But so much inspiration, so much denim talent and tons of great people to hang out with. On Tuesday I attended the Kingpins trade show, taking part in a great discussion about the relationship between denim and trend and how the business is changing (why on earth didn't I record it, I'm an idiot) Then I spent some time over at Capsule and Liberty, visiting some old faves and scouting for new names. Wednesday I teamed up with Loren for our Denim Dudes NY party, but more on that soon!
I've shot some footage at Liberty Fair with a buddy so stay tuned for that video in a week or so. For now, I've got a few pics and preferences from Liberty to share. These are the dudes I visited and what you can expect from them for SS16:
Fullcount x A Two Pipe Problem
The Japanese aficionados at Fullcount teamed up with Stephen Kenny from A Two Pipe Problem (letterpress master from my hometown of London) to create some limited edition printed jackets, shirts and aprons.
The brand also put out their usual top quality selvedge raw pieces as well as a stunning dirty denim Japanese laundered jacket and jean for SS16, but its the Two Pipe stuff that really caught my eye. I'm looking forward to seeing those pieces in store and on the streets!
I was really inspired by the Traveller Denim Dudes. I know we hear of so many 'Vintage sewing machine/ All Cone Denim/ Premium construction/ One man brand' spiels these days but occasionally a brand comes along that I actually believe in and admire. These super chilled guys work out of East Austin and use locally sourced beeswax to wax their superb jackets, 12oz heavyweight duck cotton pocket linings, triple stitched seams (a personal fave of mine) and serial numbered back leather beltloops, pictured above. All pretty legit.
They have pretty talented buddies too: they've worked with amazing chain stitch set-up Fort Lonesome to create this blanket lined, heavy-duty jacket above. Tasty!
I met Eric (pictured above) at the stand but there are a bunch of guys behind the brand who all pull together to create top-quality garments. Go check them out, they are worth caring about!
I'd not seen this product before but I certainly know Alessandro Squarzi's face and dashing dress sense from all those Piti shots out there! Based out of Italy, the brand utilise amazing sourced vintage fabrics alongside top quality Japanese selvedge to create a range of tailored menswear that has the vintage sartorial gentleman's look perfectly fine-tuned. Stand out items included their range of tailored vests using military tent canvas or overdyed vintage cravat silks but I was also pretty drawn to their tailored denim pants and refined peasant shirts.
I loved the brand's subtle branding too, pictured below.
Itten were a new discovery for me, they’ve only been going for a few seasons but their product really caught my attention. They used traditional Japanese shapes, dye techniques and attitude but the product was infused with a contemporary cool attitude, making it super fresh and exciting. I loved their shibori bleach dyed stripe as it gave a whole new edge to traditional wabash or railroad stripes and the fabric and cut of the pant is perfection. They also played with classic workwear pieces such as engineer jackets, again, giving them a fresh spin to appeal to a modern audience.
I’m definitely going to be doing some more digging on this brand, loved their attitude!
Blue Blue Japan
The brand that can do no wrong in my opinion! I always look forward to seeing what this indigo artisan brand have to offer and SS16 looks off the hook! I’m in love with everything. The prize of the collection for me was the indigo satin souvenir jacket with yarn dyed indigo embroidery. Simply beautiful. They are launching one in a nylon/ satin mix and another in silk. Other highlights included a stunning indigo on indigo spot suit as well as a fabulous spread collar 50’s shirt with back placement discharge print as seen above: stunner!
The whole look really resonated with me as it cemented the mid-century, 50’s greaser look with the strong Japanese element, a lot of which could be seen on the SS16 mens runways. Its a look I just love and the indigo on indigo element somehow worked perfectly. My favourite label from the show!
I love FDMTL, or Fundamental Agreement Luxury as they were first known as (quite a mouthful, right?!) I think designer Gaku seems to tap an existing look with confidence but really manage to push the product forwards using his own unique handwriting. The FDMTL x Vans bro collaboration is a perfect example. It was great to see these pieces up close and personal and they totally kick ass. Simplified and modernised patch and repair for a contemporary consumer: he totally smashes it!
Other pieces that stood out for me for SS16 was this stunning quilted bomber, below. It looks like a Toyoshima fabric but Gaku tells me it was a bespoke weave for FDMTL. Its a nylon blend with an incredible, almost reflective aspect. Gorgeous. Gaku’s new range of tees also caught my eye with their boro pocket and hummingbird embroidery.
All in all it was a fantastic show and I'm heading back to London full of inspiration. We'll be editing my video this week and I'll pos that in a few days so look out for that soon! Only two days until Jacket Required! Eeekkkk.