Bodysong’s electronic tribal vision for the future of Japanese fashion has been progressing for some time now at both the street level and gradually in the mainstream media courtesy of the various pop stars now wearing the brand. Last season it felt like the silhouette and materials were pretty much cast articulated, the overall tone alluding to an abstract new Tokyo tribe, but this time Bodysong has decided to take the risk of being altogether more literal and infused his work with the artwork and the imagery that originally inspired the fashion. It is a risky move as there is always the chance that you lay down your concepts too openly, but when your inspirations are Japanese glitch art, disturbing imagery plucked from the darker corners of the online community and pioneers of fabric production adept at introducing random elements into textiles at production, it is still progressive enough that even when you can see what he is doing, he is clearly still ahead of the game.
In referencing the art and culture that is behind the Bodysong universe there are also a huge number of collaborations in the collection, including artist MOZZZ (above), KOU (who we have long championed) and Common Sleeve. As ever outside the core line-up there are a good number of one of a kind pieces, and given the work this time that has gone into the unique textiles, including printing metres of fabric at once and glitchy embroidery, it is no surprise that some pieces are made in numbers less than 20. But aside from these admirable experimentations on the whole this season we find a slightly more refined Bodysong, although ironically, packing more and more detail into his already chaotic work.
The frantic mix of imagery always stikes me as being of Tokyo in a way few other creators can define – it is the busy saturation of the city incarnate.
There is also a distinct return to gendered items in this season over the past completely unisex seasons – this dress is all one item.
Bodysong’s urban tent designs remain a highlight as ever.
The glitch embroidery looks fantastic whenever it turns up and for the amount of work is very reasonable. I must also say that a lot of Tokyo designers, street artists, etc are using the Star of David as a motif lately, hence why you are going to see it a lot this coming season (Hiro is even using it as his signature print this season).
Outside of internet culture, Kawaii culture has also made a clear mark on Bodysong’s recent work turning up in cute eyes scattered randomly across darker prints,
and the aforementioned collaboration with MOZZZ which is thoroughly disturbing, right down to the uneven sleeves.
Elsewhere the reworked and hammered together vibe is still present – I love how this piece is printed on after it has been sewn together.
Abstract military patches, all unique and all of really impressive quality.
KOU returns to his favorite topic of twisted cartoon imagery.
The cute meets grimy aesthetic may strike some as something of a departure, especially for those who only know Bodysong online, but a trip to Hayatochiri or Gokai really places this guy’s work in the pop-culture context you need to see the bigger picture and for me at least I am glad to see him referencing it openly, especially now that he has the Japanese fashion media on his side.