We are heading into potentially choppy waters with Mean’s A/W confederate army themed collection. Then again, as an English person, it is not a period of history that holds that much cultural baggage for me, so I don’t see why it would in Japan either. Combined with the obvious intent to find the fashion in this military and I don’t find it problematic in the slightest, but apologies if you do. With that said, let’s get started on the fashion, the romance and how dashing the streets of Tokyo are going to look when this arrives later this year.
For those unfamiliar with Mean, they are a relatively young brand founded in 2005 who moved into a Shibuya flagship near Trove and Neighborhood last year. They make beautifully simple casual and workwear with the aim that all their clothes “mean” something. Because of that, each and every season takes its cues from a historical event, music or film and tries to convey it through fashion. As far as pricing goes they are right in the middle of the market at OIOI levels that keeps everything pretty accesible, but makes sure that the quality is still there.
This collection as a whole does feel almost like a costume, but I think like the master of modern clothing with historical elements – Paul Harnden – also does, and it has just enough restraint to keep it credible.
The best items for me are ones that meld military references into workwear, rather than being obvious military. But then again, as someone with slightly extravagant taste, I might find it hard to resist donning a full uniform as on the right and stride through the streets of Tokyo – although I might have to march under a different flag.
The Japanese obsession with American workwear is definitely not going anywhere, and when it is done with the finasse as above, who is complaining?
The head to toe military is obviously going to have difficult connotations in places, yet no-one bats an eyelid when Share Spirit makes Indian colonial uniforms, so I personally don’t see why the above is anything but dashing.
There are also a couple of native American elements worked in as well, and are particularly strong in the silver accessories.
There is also something of a restrained Number (n)ine or The Soloist in places – especially the earthy palette.
And some final mood shots to set the scene:
If you want to see more from this brand, or pay them a visit, then their official site is here, and feel free to let me know what you think.