The gang of artists and designers that call the crumbling Kitakore Building in Koenji their home are in a very different environment over in Parco Part 1 in Shibuya this month. For those unfamiliar with them, it is a group broadly compromised of ilil, Garter, Dog, Southpaw by Cathy, Hayatochiri and a couple of other irregular contributors including Banzai, King and so on. Together they are responsible for a staggering amount of the remade fashion that fills up the Street snap sections of the coolest sites and magazines, and have the honor of being the first to stock and support young designers like Giza by Mademoiselle Yulia, runurunu and Veveropparuuu amongst others. They can usually be found at the aforementioned Kitakore Building, which is a ramshackle building built / repaired in the various designers own image to great effect.
Precisely because the Kitakore building is such an obvious extension of the groups own aesthetic I was a little dubious about how they would be represented over in the clinical calm of Parco. Obviously I was happy that they are clearly going to get a vast amount of well deserved attention from a very different clientele out of it, but on the other hand I was concerned that it just wouldn’t be the same as walking over Dog’s handmade floor and seeing Garter’s work on a mannequin that too had been made by the designer himself.
Well, I will say right at the start that I was very pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out in store. It may have lost the atmosphere of Kitakore, but seeing the work under proper shop lighting and in such isolation gave me a new found respect for how clear the vision it and also just how sturdy the construction is. It is one of my personal peeves with so much underground fashion outside Japan (and some in it) where someone has come up with a really cool concept and ruined it with basic attention to detail that renders it delicate, when it is exactly the kind of thing you want to stagger around a club in (and yes I am aware that it is not all that cool to worry about stuff like that – but there you go!).
Anyway, it was as good a chance as any to grab some pictures of the work by designers that we know and love, and hopefully we can tempt you to head on over to Parco while the limited shop is still open and if not, The Kitakore building itself.
Dog of Harajuku and Lady Gaga fame doing what he does best with his hand-painted, hand-stitched Misfits vest.
Giza’s gorgeous gold.
ilil with a perspective on life I can get right behind!
Everything you see has been totally hand-made and customized – you are really buying into the work of one person when you pick up something from these guys.
And as if this wasn’t enough there is also an exhibition by the wonderful headwear designer Tomihiro Kono for the rest of this month in the Kitakore building (opening party tomorrow!).
Well there you have it, a hundred good reason why you should go to Parco Part 1 Shibuya B1F right now and if you are resentfully reading this from outside Japan then leave it to us to give you a taste of the action as it happens.