Ne-net is one of those landmarks of Japanese fashion that I have an enormous amount of time for, despite the fact that the actual clothes sit at almost the polar opposite of my personal stylistic tendencies. However, I do have many good friends who clad themselves head to toe in the stuff and I do find that the infectious joie de vivre does occasionally rub off onto me (even through my heavy black drapes), but more than that, there is also something undeniably disconcerting about designer Kazuaki Takashima’s vision – case in point, Ne-net’s catwalk show for S/S 2011. Likewise, the current collection may seem at first glance to be whimsical countryside themed affair, but above the catwalk were leering paper faces gazing down at the attendees, the stuffed dogs that the animals dragged down the runway were just slightly “off” and close inspection of the fabrics revealed more awkward animal faces that were neither cute nor creepy. It is a particularly odd balance that was most evident in the previously mentioned S/S 2011, but it is that which is the crucial element that keeps Ne-net ahead of the game and pushes beyond Kawaii culture into art.
This S/S 2012 Ne-net’s theme was “Rugged Girl” which saw an almost entirely unisex collection where exact looks were replicated on concurrent models on the catwalk. Often the only element that would fluctuate was the accessories, but outside of that this was a collection where almost every item had been made, sized and cut for both men and women. It was very interesting watching subtle changes in items between genders, but actually what was most rewarding was seeing how simular the men and women could look in the same cuts without either looking particularly gendered. This effect was obviously greatly enhanced by the loose fits, slouchy hips and preppy tailoring. As you would expect the staples of Ne-net were out in force including their cartoony broad borders on the school blazers, whimsical patchwork and some over-sizing that verged on the comic (this time in the form of vast ties).
I thought I would post this collection in male form as the men’s Ne-Net line doesn’t get half the attention it deserves, but rest assured all these exact coordinates were also worn by female models as well:
For blogs, stockists and a look at the female half of this collection then head on over to the official homepage and if you are in the mood to buy online then Humor is going to be your first stop. Let me know what you think and don’t have any nightmares about those creepy elephants.