Probably the coolest Japanese menswear brand you have never heard of, Rynshu has exhibited for more that 15 years in Paris under the name Masatomo and prior to that at the Tokyo Collections under Ma-Ji. As of 2010 he has gone by the name of Rynshu and this year he started his own ladies line as well, faintly confusing stuff amplified by the fact that only about 2 shops in the world actually sell his stuff. As you can probably guess, this is pretty exclusive, very high-end stuff which you would have to go to enormous (financial) effort to acquire. But I think it deserves a wider audience outside of the elite who actually buy it as it strikes me as a shame that Rynshu is not credited nearly enough for the influence that he exerts over the Japanese fashion world. This is after-all the kind of stuff that gets worn by the celebrity elite at film premieres and is localised for street fashion with astonishing speed.
Continue reading for the Rynshu A/W 2011 for both men and women and a couple of familiar faces from the Julius presentation.
A lot to enjoy there, the theme was “Shabby Rock n’ Roll” which was realised in a very luxurious street style – meaning that Rynshu got to apply his hand to a couple of casual classics. Showing the men’s and women’s side by side is a somewhat rare decision but placed all his work in a singular cohesive context, although you can’t help but think that his women’s doesn’t quite have the identity yet that his edgy playboy men’s does.
Personally, his fish scale leather is the stand out element from the collection and while I have seen it done before, I have never seen it done so well. I think the sense of volume and scale (ahem…) is what makes it work and it almost reminds me of traditional Japanese armor. His concise capes also resonate with me at the moment and makes the usually bulky shearling coats and leathers all the more wearable and street ready. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how the mainstream reacts to the high-collars that Rynshu, Rick Owens, Julius and many more have been playing with for their A/W 2011. Oddly enough Rynshu’s take on this is actually really practical as some kind of middle-ground between cape and collar that you could probably rock with pretty much anything – maybe I could be tempted to open my wallet afterall… Leather trousers (not just combats) were also in abundance as they were everywhere else in Paris and I am glad to see them making their way back into credibility, me having apparently been their sole supporter for the last decade or so and while I dread to think how much the scale effect ones are going to come in at, I can but dream.
As for a Rynshu specific touch, his iconic spiked tailored sleeves were back again this year and looked really sharp next to the rough and ruffled pieces. On that latter point I should note that I am going to put up my hand as not being such a fan of the ruffles on the men although I support them right to the hilt on the women… Overall, the thing that alway gets me about Rynshu is the absolute attention to detail in his work, every little thing has to be a feature from the buttons to the lining. Indeed, if you look at this broad patterns above, they are actually made of smaller patterns that themselves lead to even more detailed patterns. Impressive stuff that ought to be appreciated.
All in all, I hope I have persuaded you at the very least to check out the rest of the collection and add him to your list of Japanese designers to watch, he really should be.