The last time I saw SASQUATCHfabrix (the second most ridiculous name in Japanese fashion) it was at Versus Tokyo when they had a selection of their S/S 2012 paraded around the Tokyo Midtown area by a team of performing guerrilla clowns (the second most ridiculous show of JFW) as part of Versus Tokyo. I will confess it was all a bit distracting, and I didn’t really take the chance to look at the clothes, which as it turns out from looking at the 2012 collection about to hit retail, was entirely my loss.
The concept is neat, succinct, and a direct hit on one of the biggest issues facing Japanese menswear at the moment. Namely, of balancing the “Japanese” with the western, for in the aftermath of the quake last March there has been a resurgence of “Japonism”, of clothing with national pride that many thought was long tucked away in the Sukajyan and Japanese denim shops over in East Tokyo. But whereas Amekaji and the style typified by magazines such as Japonica Blood tended to employ the Japanese elements in their fabrics and embroidery on top of a fundamentally American casual/work wear core, no-one has really built the structures and form of traditional clothes into Japanese streetwear. That is until now.
Sasquatchfabrix, who I should add is available to buy at LN-CC (links to your right), have taken hakama, haori and the like from pre-Meiji common dress, and quite literally spliced them with conventional Western streetwear. Not only that, but they have topped it off with Kamon detailing, woven fabrics and of course quintessentially Japanese fabrics and strong angular seams. The result feels fresher than I expected, and while I am fully aware that this line has been blurred before, I don’t think it has been done quite so well and quite so thoroughly.
The lookbook below draws stark attention to this with two models who in turn allow their own race to blur through shifts in the styling, highlighting that this is not a collection built on drawing a sharp contrast, but rather celebrating a soft melding of cultures, to the point where it does not seem to matter. On the other hand, the fact that this stands out is probably evidence that it does still matter, because as I have always said, the form and structure of traditional Japanese clothes remains something as yet truly unexplored in Japanese fashion – but this is as good a place to start as any:
If you are after clothes from this band of self-styled Wonder Worker Guerrilla Band, then you can head on over to LN-CC or if you are in Tokyo then The Contemporary Fix will do the job nicely.