When Evangelion first came out all those years ago it was as maligned by the mainstream of Japanese society as much as any robot anime, however it quickly became apparent that there was something different about this anime that placed it in a very odd pocket of Japanese culture. It was not enjoyed by the mainstream in an ironic way like some of the retro robot anime nor as an extension of kawaii culture, it appealed to both sexes and crucially it felt new. It was iconic, plain and simple – iconic motifs, sounds, quotes and dealt with not only the human condition, but the unique post-apocalyptic quandaries that modern Japan faced.
If you want a good read on this subject you should probably start with Little Boy curated by Superflat king Takeshi Murakami. In short, this is not a discussion I need to have – Evangelion is not just an anime, it became a representation of culture and whether you can get past Shinji’s whining, crude (but not that crude) fan-service or the “highlight” episodes or not, you should probably force yourself to watch the thing in its entirety to see why everyone else has.
With that said, want to see what happens when the pioneers of Japanese leather produce their S/S 2011 collection around the theme of Evangelion?
On the sixth day of Christmas Tokyo Telephone sent to me: Fashionate appreciation of a pop-culture icon.
I first saw this collection from the geniuses at No, No, Yes! at Japan Fashion Week’s roomsLINK, and coupled with the greatest of guys that are the designers I was completely astounded by the quality of their work on this project. This is proper high-fashion stuff, not some printed geek-chic t-shirt.
Given that this is No, No, Yes! we are talking about, it should come as no surprise that most of the pieces are entirely leather or a combination of leather and cotton. Add to that a healthy mix of organic dying, ink-jet printing and high quality Japanese pig leathers and you have one of the coolest unisex collections of the year.
The Evangelion motifs themselves are very restrained and rarely use the actual characters from the anime. Instead they rely on patterns and details that are quintessentially Evangelion – which serves the duel purpose of not being too obviously as anime tie-in and being a perfect homage to the subject.
My personal favorite print is the Lilith on cross. This has to be one of the most iconic images of the anime that has lost none of its edge in the passage of time.
I think these sandals just go to show how even the very colour combinations of Eva are ironic. Not that they are just recognisable, this is a combination that is beautiful and works well with a strong black palate.
The rest of the looks don’t disappoint either, and for me they mark a new age in anime collaborations and a standard that probably won’t be reached again for quite some time.
Well all this just leaves me wanting more iconic pop-culture collaborations. What would you want to see?