Daisuke Obana’s brand N.Hoolywood continues its tradition of calling on a specific period of vintage fashion in his latest collection – Vandalegal -which he presented as part of New York Fashion Week. Those who were brought into his world of perfectionist casual and streetwear from his current A/W collection themed on the life and times of Ernest Hemingway are likely to be surprised by the shift in subject matter, if not overall concept, towards early 90s street culture, graffiti, grunge and all. I think it presents a challenge mainly because when we think of vintage or vintage inspired fashion, it is often harking back to a time you admire that has long since passed, however, in this case the overall look of sweat pants and a hoody are still very much part of the lexicon of modern fashion and one that dominates the lowest possible level of fashion worldwide. On the other hand the values and culture that the fashion was secondary too is worth remembering and there were certainly flashes of nostalgia in the show thanks to the soundtrack and the white board the models walked on with paint covered shoes that built to a very effective visual climax.
Elsewhere there were touches of progression on the early 90s image, with some very nice fabrics and cuts adding a bit of quality to a very casual look, but a collaboration with Lee on the denim ensured that the overall theme was authenticity rather than reinterpretation. The look once dissected is built of a decent amount of strong basics that fans of the brand ought to gravitate to while potentially picking up a seasonal item with his current motto “The Faith of Graffiti” printed upon.
Given how close this veers to vintage popular in Tokyo you do have to wonder if he has done enough as a designer to ensure that his designs are preferable to real vintage. In the above picture the t-shirt might well be plucked from a Harajuku vintage boutique, but the nylon trousers are probably more readily identifiable.
Ultimately I am sure that this collection is a dream come true for fans of this particular aesthetic, I just wonder if those sold on his previous image will still be along for the ride or whether they will stick to the basics and wait to see what the designer decides to explore next season.