The best kind of geek chic is that which subtly references something of such iconic power that a hint alone is enough to saturate you with nostalgia and often make your day. Designers like the brilliant No, No, Yes! did this pretty effortlessly with their Evangelion collaboration in a very literal way, as in they actually used motifs from the anime in their collections, but it is a far more difficult task to tone that subtlety right down and create clothes that recall the very soul of this particular brand of nostalgia.
In the case of Japan, fashionable nerds are usually somewhere between Gyaru-O and V-kei in their fashion, emulating as they are their spiky-haired heroes. That is all very well and good, but it is a very different from of geek chic than that which focuses on the nostalgia of youth, understands why Taro Okamoto still matters and getting why Takeshi Murakami stuck his smily faces all over Louis Vuitton bags. Maybe I am just getting old here, but I am sure I am not alone in my frustration that modern otaku see their media of choice in isolation and don’t locate it in the same Tokyo that the Aum Shinrikyo cult built their anime inspired head-sets in and would go on to attack when their futuristic dreams laid down in the 80s were forgotten.
What I am getting out in a very sideways way is that in Japan there is a wonderful pop culture nostalgia for the days before it all went wrong. A nostalgia for the future promised in the 80s that never quite turned up that usually manifests itself in an unhealthy obsession in the sci-fi and imagery of the era. Needless to say, I am including myself in this group… which is why I was so delighted when out of nowhere I caught wind of Tsuyoshi Morita’s new brand THUNDERBOX that captures this nostalgia perfectly.
Continue reading for a look at his S/S 2011 collection and a close-up of some of my favorite pieces.
Now I bet that was significantly more subtle than you were expecting from the introduction and title image. But I personally like that the pop-culture references are somewhat toned down and you can see this going down very well with the artist set of Harajuku and Naka-Meguro. As you would expect with a collection targeted as this one is, it falls into the “real clothes” category – practical, domestically made where possible and made to last. That is not to say that they are boring at all, I am a big fan of the large stud detailing (as you would expect) and the unusually high boots.
Other nice touches include perfect iphone sized pockets, distressed rubber sleeves inspired by Tetsuo from Akira and of course that Gyro mask – brilliant!
Geek Punk – love it.
Talking of which I was mightily impressed by his collaboration with Loot from his expedition at Design Festa Gallery where this collection debuted.
As you would expect it was infused with 80s nostalgia, but damn edgy at the same time – a difficult balance which is also key to Candy’s styling.
All in all, I can seriously imagine some of these clothes (the black ones) finding their way into my wardrobe – the designer has managed to press my proverbial nostalgia button if you will. If you want to know more then definitely check out his very cool homepage and see how many references to anime from the 80s you can clock…