There are certain brands that I am always a bit cautious about writing about here on Tokyo Telephone, not because the brand itself can be touchy (in this case a nicer group of people you are unlikely to meet), but because the fans can be. Takahiro Miyashita’s The SoloIst has to be one of the best examples in Japanese menswear of fashion that creates fanatics, in this case appealing to those who want to take casual streetwear to its logical conclusion. There may never be an obvious standout point in a given collection or amongst the tiny Aoyama flagship that is packed with one-offs and remakes, but rather it is the absolute attention to detail in each and every piece that brings in the streetwear crowd who probably spent their youth picking over the Harajuku vintage shops down the road, but have grown hungry for progression.
The progression in this collection actually harks back to traditional artisanal techniques such as hand-dying using The SoloIst’s patented “eARTh dye” which is used for the key 5 colours in the collection and the splatters of paint you can see are all done by the designer himself (who is the one modeling the lookbook as well). Along with the remake items and the messy styling, it all builds to a collection that feels naively personal and doubtless has that unique charm that will keep the devout coming back for more. With that said, I would not like you to go away with the impression that this is all unfinished hems and messy paint, rest assured that there are also perfect jackets made with leather details from kangaroo, horse and deer, finished with precision inkjet prints that are testaments to the best in Japanese craftsmanship.
I should also point out that there are a dizzying amount of collaborators involved in this collection including: Authentic Shoe and Co on the footwear, Couer for the hats, Cody Sanderson on the silver jewelry and Oliver Peoples has once again worked on the glasses. It is a case of a designer bringing in the best people for the job at hand, knowing full well that that is exactly the standard that the audience demands (and that they are willing to pay for it).
Anyway, on with the lookbook that seems to be keen to cram as much as possible into as few outfits as possible, but is surprisingly representative of the layering and clutter of accessories you see everyday on the streets of Harajuku.
Well there you go, classic Tokyo street style given an artisanal flourish and just a hint of progression. Fans are sure to be on board already, and if you want to join their number then there is an official website here and if you are in Tokyo then a visit to the tiny Aoyama shop is a must.