Recently I have rediscovered my affection for slightly more formal wear by virtue of having to wear a suit regularly for the first time in many years, and the journey back to obsessing about every little detail that it is possible to alter in the suit templete has been a whole lot of fun. It strikes me that once you set yourself the task of adhering to an established norm, every little change to that formular is exaggerated tenfold, something that always plays into Japanese designers’ ability with the detailing. GalaabenD’s latest collection does just that, but not with the deconstruction of Comme des Garcons, or the fun of John Laurence Sullivan, but with outright dandyism.
Their collection is clean and polished beyond belief which makes the elements of casual clothing that they throw into the mix all the more obvious. The foppish decadence of untucking your dress shirt and loosening your tie while you wear your best military jacket is neatly encapsulated next to cravats, bolo ties and symbols of the gentry, and even the most extreme menswear snob would have to admit that these guys look pretty damn sharp. It might not be anything all that new, unlike their gender-defying S/S 2012, but they keep it fresh with nice details and small twists, and ensure that it is wearable. From the young guys who buy it in Kawano in Shinjuku and wear it with Buffalo Bobs, to the real Tokyo playboys who keep obscure clubs in Aoyama open, GalabeenD can afford to take a lot of the credit for keeping Tokyo looking chic.
Key trending items that I am seeing a lot of at the moment are definitely bolo ties (they are everywhere), but also the military strap across the body – it is a great military reference for street style, and also undeniably dashing in a formal ensemble.
The nostalgic menswear is a nice continuation of what we saw coming out of Paris last fashion week, but channeled through the quintessentially Japanese tailoring which sees waists tight and very slim arms.
I don’t always want to bang on about international appeal, but GalaabenD is one brand that I always think would do well abroad (they might have to change their name though).
GalabeenD always put out a variety of embroidered military jackets each season, and it is no surprise that they are always the first items to sell.
All in all, a relatively refined collection from GalabeenD this season that perhaps shows a brand sticking to what they do best rather than pushing things like they did last season. Either way, while I may like a few risks in my fashion, you absolutely can’t go wrong with this classic menswear uniform.