This week has been a bit post-apocalyptic here at Tokyo Telephone, it started with me getting all nostalgic for customising my own clothes, moved into something all the more fun and ended with Julius showing us how beautiful the disheveled look can be. I suppose with this odd little pocked of fashion is that you pretty much have to poles of influences to contend with, the crude studded masculinity of Mad Max (Dog Harajuku and the self-studded biker) or the futuristic interzone cult (Julius).
Now I like the uni-sex, monk-like robes of Julius that obsesses with sinister cowls and strong drapes , but on the other hand I ultimately always find myself drawn to something a bit rougher. This is where I find myself in the realm of the perfect compromise – Yasuyuki Ishii.
Continue reading for a closer look at this most influential of designers including pretty much every jacket he has ever made – have you guessed I am a massive fan yet?
Now Yasuyuki Ishii is an interesting character, he has worked alongside Rick Owens on his leather work and he has been single handedly responsible for starting an inordinate number of trends in 109-2 fashion. However despite his position in fashion, he rarely appears in magazines, has only just got a dedicated shop in Tokyo and it is a complete farce trying to find any good pictures of his work. (The ones that follow in this article are all ones that I have saved from all over the place whenever he happens to turn up.)
Now, if I had to choose one picture to sum up his work it would be this:
Check out his trademark disheveled edges, overlapping panels and tight fit. You have probably seen a lot of this before, well Yasuyuki Ishii has been doing it for the last decade and doing it damn well at that. It is one thing to rough up edges, but to integrate them in a sturdy, long lasting jacket takes real skill, although ironically kinda going against the Mad Max falling-to-bits spirit!
Likewise this kind of styling has been really big in 109-2 this season, but once more, this is a classic Yasuyuki Ishii look. I really love the bag in the picture above with optional braces if you want to put something heavy in it.
This would be my other classic Ishii syling, he has been rocking skirt / apron structures for years. These trousers above have a long panel at the front that can be switched to the back for a cool cape-like effect if you are uncomfortable with the skirt look! Many have tried to make masculine skirts (bear with me) but only this from Ishii comes close. It reminds me of a blacksmiths apron in some ways and screams rough work-wear instead of Fashionista.
Now for a closer look of some of my favorite items from over the years, look out for exotic leathers, printed leather, studs and more natural edges than a man could ever need. See you on the other side.
Phew! Now you probably clocked a couple of street fashion trends in there, but the thing about Ishii, is not only did he probably do it first, but he also does it best. His pieces have an amazing earthy organic quality to them, which effectively makes each piece one of a kind. But the true tragedy is that most of his most amazing work I have not got any pictures of, one of the few things that I really regret not picking up when I had a chance was a one of kind feather jacket. Yes that is right, it was covered in beautiful black feathers and unbelievably sleek despite what you might expect.
In essence this is one designer whose work chimes closest with my aesthetic values – an appreciation of nature and organic textures, combined with utility and masculine forms. One thing is for sure, that this vision of the apocalyse is one I can really buy into.