Mastermind Japan has exhibited for the final time as part of Paris Fashion Week, and for their last ever collections they will be returning to Tokyo for the recently renamed Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo (previously JFW). When Masaaki Homma announced that the brand would be closing its doors, it seemed ever so far away, but now that it is so tangibly close it has really sunk in with more gravitas then I was expecting. I am sure like most people I have done my fair share of scoffing at odd collaborations and sobering price tags, but you can’t deny that the brand has been an iconic feature of Tokyo with a status beyond even Roar, Roen and their ilk.
This latest collection does not stray far from the luxury streetwear remit that Mastermind rose to fame with although it does add a little more military into the mix than you might expect.
Mastermind has continued their use of the best materials possible in their work, even if the feeling of the moment is towards the artisanal and experimental in fabrics and materials, it is nice to see a bit of traditional luxury on the market. It is a nod towards the nostalgic days when everything had to be rhinestoned to high heaven and indeed my own days swaggering around Tokyo like a human glitter-ball.
Although having said that there are a couple of nods to the future like cutting edge Japanese fabrics being used in some of the basics.
But by and large, this is a comfortably re-assured greatest hits of Mastermind Japan and doubtlessly the fans will be delighted.
I just love the massive hand-stitched skulls for a bit of timeless Mastermind Japan, they are instantly recognizable when you catch one on the street and they are a nice nod-back to the Sukajyan as a staple of casual Japanese street fashion.
But it does not end there, as usual (again) Mastermind has collaborated with a number of key brands to reinforce their core collection.
First up, Timberland:
Undeniable quality all round (but can I have them in black please?)
And secondly, Globe Trotter luggage:
And just while I am on a roll, I thought I would have a look at the incoming A/W 2011-12 collection that will be hitting Japan (and international boutiques) later this year – Mindblow.
I like how similar the look-books that accompany the exhibition are. It fits their low key exit from PFW, but I am holding out for a bacchanalian sending off when they do return to Tokyo next year.
The infamous fur jacket (POR) and yes it has a humungous skull on the back.
A fitting start to the final send-off for this iconic brand. It will be sad to see it go, but doubtlessly the internet auctions and vintage shops of Tokyo will be buzzing around this brand for quite some time. I guess the reason it has struck a coord with me, is because this was the aspirational brand when I was growing up in Japanese street fashion. Good times…
But this is not the end, I am assured that there will be a couple of surprises from Mastermind Japan over the next couple of months and the big question hanging over us all is just what the designer will lend his hand to next. I for one am looking forward to it already.