Tokyo Game Show came and went over the last couple of days in Tokyo drawing into sharp contrast as ever the dividing line between the Japanese and Western studios (as well as the foolhardy ones chasing the West). It reminded me as ever of the importance of the inventor of the Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi’s design philosophy of “Lateral Thinking with Seasoned Technology” that places importance on perfecting and enjoying core concepts over pursuing the new at any cost.
It is a principle that unites Japanese game centers where people pump yen into decade old hardware and a video game culture that survives on refinement of the understood rather than skyrocketing polygon counts, with a fashion world where its basics are arguable the most progressive in the world. It results in a culture where fashion is not restricted to the society elite who can commission couture, but for all, which in turn creates the highest overall average level of fashion you are ever likely to see. On a personal level I am given to a balance where I will happily wear heat-tech with Gareth Pugh, but I have sat in on enough student fashion shows of ever more experimental showmanship to know that more people should concentrate on getting the basics right before they learn to subvert or develop it.
Sharing this philosophy is Tsuyoshi Morita, the masked designer behind the fantastic brand Thunderbox whose subtle exploration of ideas fundamental to basic items of fashion has won him the support of Harajuku’s design aficionados, as well as the new wave of progressive geek chic wearers. In the past he has experimented with the ideas of Neo Tokyo as seen from an 80s perspective which has led him to make literal references to Tetsuo of Akira fame’s arm in shirts with mutated sleeves, along with the broader ideas of retro futurism that now define the aesthetic of the era. This time he is going back to his fundamental design principles courtesy of Gunpei Yokoi by exploring the design potential of his defining invention – the Game Boy.
This manifests iteself in a collection packed with 8bit inspired patterns and colour schemes on his shirts and shorts, as well as a more literal Game Boy skull print that is splashed across all the shirts. In the way of accessories you have Game Boy holders to be worn across the chest as well as a new mask to mark the new season. The full collection will be shown in November, but for now, enjoy this preview and get ready to dust off your Game Boy and wear it with pride.
Needless to say we will have the news as it happens on this brand and if you want to shop online you will want to go here.