The last time we saw Yuruko Banzai it was for his exhibition of bags and harnesses over at Aquvii Harajuku (here if you missed it), but this time he is treating us to a full collection at Wut Berlin, giving us for the first time an idea of what the complete Banzai vision looks like. As you would expect from a man who is synonymous with street and club culture his work was nailing the vibe of the moment, but seeing the stream of buyers, fashionistas and celebrities (I was particularly glad to see the impeccably dressed Terry Ito try on a couple of jackets) experiment with the line-up on top of their already current outfits you could really see just how fresh Banzai’s designs look when worn. In his bold colours, perfectionist finishing and stiff ruffles you could really feel that Banzai is on the cusp of nailing a signature style, one that hopefully the streets of Tokyo are ready to embrace.
For this capsule collection Banzai brought in Ben Davis to provide prints for his t-shirts and building on his running theme of equations combined and deconstructed pieces of vintage, his own archived work and new designs, creating in the process familiar items from a street style wardrobe that looked like they were exploding with the Banzai spirit.
The designer who always looks very serious in photos, but I can assure you is the most friendly man you are likely to meet.
Banzai couldn’t resist an obvious reference to his own name with this kamikaze inspired right winger coat, the inherently Japanese embroidery on the coat contrasting sharply with the American culture of the patches on the arms.
Indeed, the West vs Japan theme was very prominent throughout the collection with souvenir jackets (Sukajyan) being the base for a lot of his new ideas.
Elsewhere hip-hop inspired mesh, cowboy fringing and punk bondage straps found their place on Sukajyan, trenches and simple sweaters. It was something of a cocktail, but undeniably one that works and packed with wearable items once you move on from the one-off showpieces.
I love how his signature ruffles just look like they are exploding out from the conventional shapes.
East meets West once again.
Great to see his floral skull (the first design I ever saw from him) turning up again.
The Ben Davis collaboration t-shirts for those looking for something easy to incorporate into any ensemble.
Banzai’s pearl, wood and chain straps were proving popular as ever.
Many thanks must go to Wut Berlin for putting on these great exhibitions so regularly and with magnificent hospitality – look at these cute little Banzai cupcakes!
For more on Banzai you will want to go to his official site here and you can shop the entire collection online on Wut Berlin here. For the record they do ship internationally and since going on sale yesterday many of the pieces in this post above have already sold out – so you better move fast!