I have been writing about the menswear shows of Tokyo Fashion Week for another publication at the moment and it has really got me thinking what a completely different beast men’s is from women’s fashion. While there are a couple of brands in the men’s world who sneak on in of a season and fire a revolution of a silhouette at the unsuspecting men of the world (I am looking at you Rick Owens!). The vast majority of men’s, and in particular Japanese men’s is governed by the simple process of refinement and perfecting existing ideas over revolution. In that way seasons run into each other, popular items are re-released with only slight alteration and by the large the designer gets to cater towards the fans providing them quite literally with what they want.
KiryuyriK, whose designer Masakatsu Takayanagi polished his art at Bunka and under the might of Yohji Yamamoto is resolutely of the refinement over revolution camp dedicating himself to sharp comfortable fashion that is undeniably cool and well within the vast majority of men’s comfort zone. That is not to say there is nothing to get your heart racing, since last season he has been experimenting with kilts / skirts, pushing a new form onto what seems to be a willing Japanese market.
KiryuyriK’s clientele is clearly ravenous for his work with seasons selling out on launch and rarely making it to sale. Thanks to the evident Japanese popularity KiryuyriK has started turning up in a good number of foreign boutiques including Luisa Via Roma and H.Lorenzo catering towards male fans of credible fashion who want something a bit more casual without ending up in pure streetwear and at the same time strong and aggressive without arriving in the dark industrial wastelands of Julius and the gang.
As a whole there is a faultless level of detail in the work. It is actually pretty dense to rival even the likes of the brands in Mens 109, but where this differs is that the quality is quite simply “there”, nothing looks cheap and I can assure you that in person the materials do live up to the highest of expectations. In short this is the brand that most casual street brands wish they were, they have the strength of a ravenous fan base behind them willing to spend the money to allow them to create with quality and the dedication to allow the designer to just get on with it and design exactly as he would like (seeing pictures of the chap, I would say he basically designs for himself – and no bad thing).
Definitely check out and like KiryuyriK’s Facebook page here which has plenty of English content and if you look very hard amongst their very stylish client photos you might even spot a certain someone from our friends at Harajuju…