When I was writing about Share Spirit the other day it did get me thinking about the roots of modern “cool” in fashion. There are clearly certain aesthetics that crop up repeatedly throughout history that fall into that elusive category of “timeless cool” and while it is true to say that a good portion of those are naturally occurring in organic structures there are a handful that have definitely only been developed through fashion. Yasuyuki Ishii is one designer who lives in those timeless aesthetics – distressing, shine, visceral textures and powerful silhouettes all come together in his magnificent work. One emergent trend that has rapidly become a core element of modern men’s fashion is the drape and you can trace that right back to Tibetan monk’s robes and beyond (as demonstrated by the sublime Julius). Never one to be left out of the avant garde in fashion, Yasayuki Ishii has taken the opportunity in his A/W 11-12 collection to evolve those draping elements without moving too far from his structured street wear roots. The result is a blaring orchestra of classic cool taking in those drapes, alongside organics, studs, distressed and exotic leathers with a nod to the kind of apocalyptic fashion he made his name with all those years ago.
Continue reading for his latest apocalyptic industrial creations, some are classic Yasuyuki Ishii, but I promise you there will be a couple of surprises as well. And if you haven’t seen it already he also made a rare catwalk contribution for Bunka Fashion College’s Runway for Japan, which is also definitely worth a good look.
His recent exhibition as a JFW designer took place in a subdued bunker that succinctly matched his increasingly somber collection:
Yasuyuki Ishii is clearly establishing a core collection that can be easily stocked internationally (hence his attendance at a number of international buyers events). But rest assured his distressed biker one-off excess pieces are still being painstakingly handmade alongside the mass produced items.
Note the use of layers of fabric to create smaller drapes over the broad drapes we saw last A/W:
The collection is clearly cleaner and a little more precise than we have been used to in the past, and if anything his work is easier to appreciate for it. Without the heavy distressing you can see the complex panels and structuring in each and everyone of his pieces – although having said that I will always lust after his magnificent Mad Max masterpieces.
And now some of my favorite items in isolation:
A shoe – if you can believe it!
The feel is overall significantly cleaner and thus slightly more futurist than in the past. But even if you miss the distressing and rough edges we have got used to previously, you just know that these are going to age beautifully.
And just to finish up with, I thought I would post some of the current season just to you can see how big a departure this new work is for Yasuyuku Ishii:
Love the zip construction on this.
Whenever I write about Yasuyuki Ishii I am duty bound to post this riders.
Stunning drape work on this one.
I think we can all agree that when it comes to leather Yasuyuki Ishii really is setting the pace, but it is really interesting to see him branch out into other fabrics with simular flair. You really do have to see his work in the flesh to appreciate it (and only when you wear it do you understand it), so head on into Parco in Shibuya and check it out if you have anything verging on a chance to do so. Aside from that there are a good number of stockists throughout Japan, but unfortunately due to most things being one-offs it is hard to ever get a handle on everything that is out there.
You can see more of his work at his official homepage and one day, oh one glorious day, I will get my hands on one of his jackets…