I’m vulnerable to embroidery. A real sucker for it. So much more luxe than a print. Almost anything rendered in embroidery looks cool. For example: I’ve got no particular affection for flowers, yet this new collection of floral sweats from Japanese brand Niche is owning me.
Petals, leaves, stalks; in real life I can take ’em or leave ’em. I canceled my girl’s weekly Freddie’s Flowers drop when Covid began to bite. But embroidered flowers, on a sweatshirt? That’s my kind of arrangement. Sensitive, considerate, friendly: wear one of these and people will assume you’re all those things.
Niche kicked off in 2007, founded by ex-Nepenthes designer Takumi Oomura. There’s a strong Argentinian influence in the collections and pieces frequently combine work by South America crafts people, US deadstock fabrics and Japanese manufacture. You can’t find it in the UK (Alpha Shadows was the only champion on these shores) although it’s sometimes spotted over at No Man Walks Alone, although Japan’s Alta Gracia is the destination if you want to get your bouquet on.
There are four different styles, all offered in white and navy variations. You’ve got sunflowers, daisies, some disembodied somethings and a multi-coloured job. Monty Don I am not.
I think I’d go for either the multi-coloured, or the navy one directly above. They’re actually not insanely priced either at just over or under £100 depending on style. I’ll be honest, what with the all the embroidery and flowers, it’s possible people will think you’ve started buying your gear on Etsy. No question, there’s something of the craft market about these things. But I reckon tucked beneath an EG blazer, with a well thumbed copy of Walt Whitman under my arm I could pass for a well-balanced human being.