Juvenile Hall Rollcall held his exhibition along with his pal Hiro (report here if you missed it) at the Abydos gallery in Cannabis on Harajuku’s Cat Street this week.  It was a particularly high priority for us here at Tokyo Telephone, because not only have we loved this brand since we first saw it in Root magazine, but also because we had to miss out on covering the last collection because the designer insisted on presenting it in VHS format (a player of which we haven’t possessed for a solid decade).  Regrettably, we also had to debate whether we could cover this collection as well, given that it makes use of some pretty controversial imagery, but have decided that seeing as you are on this site you are hopefully going to take it as the designer intended rather than explode with outrage.

Along with the A/W 2012-13 from Hiro, drug related imagery and in particular LSD are a big visual theme for Juvenile Hall Rollcall this season, on a literal level you have burgers coming alive and swastikas made out of fingers in reference to bad trips, and on a conceptual level the structure of conventional menswear is given a subversive twist.  It is no surprise to learn that the designer Tai Irie cut his teeth at Comme Des Garcons and Undercover (he actually worked on the latter’s most iconic collections) before founding this brand which has always been a celebration of blasting a hole clean through convention and actually trying to say something with his work.

This will also be one of his cleanest collections to date with far less of his saturated graphics than we have seen in the past.  Instead you have clean fabrics, perfect duffle coats and classic leather biker trousers, but with cunning twists to the construction that makes entire sections removable and open to adaption.  In particular you have optional skirted sections, unzippable arms on the jackets and even the entire lower half of the coats can be removed if you so desire.  Compared to the re-make feel of his previous collections, it seems a little bit smarter but no less subversive, and if that is the way Tokyo street fashion is going, then I think we have got a lot to look forward too later this year.

I loved how these smart scarfs looked like they were coming alive, and a brilliant example of the “bad trip” theme.

There were some classic Juvenile Hall Rollcall printed items including this bag covered with satanic imagery,

and the designer could not resist referencing Marx (which Undercover has does this season as well).

A really cool collection, and I can’t wait to see the finished lookbook soon.

But wait, there is more!  I am happy to report that Juvenile Hall Rollcall and Hiro will soon have their very own shop – Honey’s Dead, which will be opening in Ura-Harajuku later this month.  Don’t worry we will be at the opening party, and you can expect a full report then.

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2 Responses to Juvenile Hall Rollcall AW 2012-13 Clean Controversy

  1. brad-t says:

    Japan is pretty infamously insensitive to WW2 references — how many rock acts have worn Nazi uniforms on stage over there?

  2. Samuel says:

    @ brad-t

    Very true, it never ceases to shock either. I see a lot of it in the silver jewelry world as well, and it is always just used as an edgy symbol rather than a reference to WW2.

    A certain Tokyo vintage shop that is very popular abroad also stocks a lot of German jewelry from the era that I think would probably shock a lot of people. I guess it comes down to being culturally distanced from the origin – which modern Japan is.

    S

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