Civarise is a brand that has really struggled to find its place in the world of Japanese street fashion. I remember well when it used to be accessories only and just opposite OZ Abstract in Harajuku. They had a great shop with a really laid back atmosphere befitting of the crumbling civilization that used to be the pivotal theme of the brand. Regrettably it clearly didn’t work out (I did well in their closing sale though!) and they started selling through Fuga and other Rhydeal stockists which saw them catapulting around 109-2 without a dedicated shop or fixed abode. It was a real shame as they did a lot of fun stuff that no-one else did at the time – ethnic chokers, leather bicep bands and gladiator sandals – before they were big! It was pretty out there at the time – I remember ace photographer and all round good guy Ryan Bruss saying that my Civarise gear was the most controversial of all my clothes – and that is saying something!
They still do break out some nice shoes and accessories, but they are not quite the masters they used to be these days, but on the plus side they started a clothing line has really come on year on year and it is no surprise that given they share a designer with Fuga that I am going to be a big fan!
The look is now more futuristic then their original fallen civilization concept, the latter being built on ripped layers, ethnic prints and a lot of cape-like structures. Now you can expect slightly cyber touches such as vent-like panels and gas-mask-esque hoods. Oh, and it is tight, really tight. The extra tight fit is one reason for my love of the brand, I do struggle to find clothes that fit my frame in Japan given that I am a taller, but also slimmer than the Japanese average.
This season they are breaking out some significantly asymmetric suit jackets that play into the hands of the drape loving crowd. Add to that some waxed finishes, skeletal prints and a ton of unnecessary zips and pockets and you have a really refreshing look. For me, the cargo pants look is one that I am yet to master, but this year, this is my time to give it a shot! (Rebecca looks dubious…)
One of the other reasons that I am always keen to give Civarise a go is that it is not that popular (yet) and their prices clearly reflect that. Also thanks to their accessory background they actually understand the importance of materials so unlike a lot of 109-2 brands they actually use leathers and brass for their conchos and detailing. For example, the trousers above actually have a nice amount of leather accents on the pockets and leg which is something I for one think brings the Civarise look back to its earthy origins.
So I hope they keep up the good work and eventually get their own shop back again!