Never heard of Japanese brand Bal? Never heard of Japanese painter Masashi Ozawa? Doesn’t matter. At the very least you’ll be familiar with the new-wave art-pop stylings of Grace Jones. For it is she we find rendered beautifully and repeatedly by Mr Ozawa all over this Bal shirt. Does it look a bit too much like something you might find on a Camden Market stall for 15 quid? Perhaps. But the truth is you’ll need to add a zero to that number to cop. Watch as the line between disposable tosh and a piece for life becomes ever finer.
That said, I do actually lean towards the piece for life side. It’s a simple boxy shape, it’s in rayon, which means the print won’t fade like cotton, and it’s manufactured in Japan, which means it’s almost certainly well constructed. It might be something of a novelty, but over time I can see this being deployed at the type of social occasions that justify some individual pizazz. Not, I should point out a Grace Jones concert. Wearing this to any kind of Grace Jones themed event will make you look the entire tool. I’m thinking more that this is something to chuck on for a park picnic, or a friend’s barbecue – day events basically. Wear this out at night and people will assume you’re a ‘wacky’ middle manager with a taste for disco bars.
Whether you have listened, want to listen, or never want to listen to Grace Jones is not really the point. We’re in the realms of wearable art here. Jones’ 80s manifestation is iconic. So this shows you’re on point with your pop culture history. Although whether the casual observer will appreciate that it costs ten times more than they would ever pay is questionable.