In his latest work Phenomenon designer Takeshi Osumi takes on the duality of the clown in a surprisingly conventionally masculine collection.  Especially surprising when you consider the key colours are pink on black and that the focus of the collection is towards the skirt like constructions on the model’s lower bodies.  But it is in the true Phenomenon spirit that a strictly male orientated street-wear base is given a restrained avant garde push that Osumi tempers crucial accessibility with obvious fashion flair.  Ultimately season on season Phenomenon makes clothes that push the norm enough to maintain their reputation as one of the key innovators in haute street fashion, but not too far as to render the clothes unwearable out of a limited fashionista context.

I think by grounding his collections in the Tokyo underground music scene – this time Dub Step and Witch House – Phenomenon never loses touch with the gritty credibility of street fashion which allows him to the freedom and the audience to push in other areas.  This time Osumi has taken on the Kubrick vision of a Droog gang and by balancing humour and extravagance creates something all the more disconcerting and aggressive then the mainstream gang cliche.

Continue reading for my picks from the stunning look book that has been put together in favor of the planned JFW show.

Props for the collection were the torch and walking stick held like repurposed weapons

These winged beasts made their presence felt as some form of cultish/gang symbol of unity (also note the sheer skirt)

A terrifying gang mask overpowers this look, but definitely don’t let yourself miss out on the rest of the details

Military arm bands are another key feature of the running symbolic aggression

More urban cultish imagery

Their current season blue returns with teeth

Phenomenon hold their reputation for doing the best avant garde male boots in the business

This broad front panel is fantastic paired with the bomber – and don’t miss the triangular detail on the stitching

Love the surprising use of sports jacket numbering here

A more obvious skirt structure here which works nicely with the cut of the jacket and box layer that the shorts create

A more literal take on urban gang imagery but given a twist with the unconventional length of trousers rather than having them tucked into the boots

Really approve of the back flap on this outfit

So many nice textures here – you really can’t take it all in

I think this is a perfect example of the space between credible street and high fashion that Phenomenon exists between

Very strong skirt layer here

Stunning boots on a stunning model

I just love the mix of the conventionally masculine next to the sheer skirt – it is good to see it embraced in a masculine context rather than an androgynous one

Phenomenon really stepped up their game for this look book and while it would have been a pleasure to see this as a performance on a catwalk this means of digital distribution still draws attention to the theme of the collection even in this isolated medium.

So there you go.  What do you think?  I personally see this as one of the most internationally accesible of all Phenomenon collections, and until it is stocked near you it should be noted that Candy and a couple of other stockists do ship internationally if you do want to get involved with the current season or this one later this year.

I am just personally so glad to see this brand becoming increasingly more complete year on year.  They still do offbeat one of a kind items well, but their core line that embodies that vision in a more accesible way is feeling more fleshed out and ready for a larger audience – and I really hope that that will be rewarded in time.  At any rate this collection re-iterates Phenomenon’s position as one of the most important players in Japanese male fashion – next the world!

PS – Check out Kusanagi Motoko from the new 3D Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society film wearing current season Phenomenon on the cover of Eyescream:

Available as a print on a t-shirt if you are so inclined – a percentage will go to the Japanese Red Cross.

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One Response to Phenomenon A/W 2011 – Pink Clown

  1. […] that manages to capture the romance of adventure and beauty in the bleak.  Ultimately, like the Phenomenon A/W Collection, this too addresses the issue of modern masculinity, but in this case by cherishing […]

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