Here’s a perfect example of flip-side-wrongness. Observed from the front, the subject, in this case a pair of denim trousers, appears interesting, charming, positively debonair. You’ve got the shadowy ghosts of pockets past up top. And below we have some, arguably pointless, but nevertheless eye-catching, pockets on the knee and calf. They look a little slim, but you could size-up and belt these bad boys in. Everything looks like we’re in business. Until you check out the flip.
Nepenthes lands in London and straight away their brands pop up on other local retailers. Not sure why or how that works? Nevertheless, Mr Porter has apparently woken up to Needles. And outside of the Nepenthes store itself, Garbstore has become the first London retailer to carry South2 West8 clothing. They’ve only got one pair of trousers, a couple of shirt jackets and some scarves, but it’s enough to get a sense of the brand’s whole ‘contemporary take on fishing’ thing; as well as reinforcing the fact that, broadly speaking, South2 West8 is much cheaper than the other Nepenthes lines.
At first glance this looks like something you’d see squashed amongst other vintage treasures on a rail in Camden Market. So defiantly is it drawing from the past, with its oversized collar and key-party colour scheme, it’s difficult to imagine it originating beyond the 70s. But look closer. It’s made of cotton for one, there are no synthetics ready to combust near a misplaced fondue. But more crucially look at that jagged, irregular patchworking. It’s a technical feat that brings things right up to date. Kind of ugly, but also massively beautiful. This piece is by Japanese makers Haversack. For many wardrobes it’d be a game changer.
So, last year Fumito Ganryu left his Comme des Garçons label Ganryu to start his own, independent brand called Fumito Ganryu. This here shirt (amongst the rest of the edit over at LA’s Union) is the result. It seems to be coming from the same place as Ganryu’s Comme work, which is no bad thing, or even much of a surprise. But I suppose it’s telling that I was drawn to this piece, rather than the new brand’s fresher expressions – the variations on coach jackets, the (arguably) hideous royal blue waterproof hoodie, or the triple pocketed long sleeved tee with what looks like a yawning Pac-Man on the front (seriously go and have a look).
A very serious looking vest here. It’s from the imperious and frankly intimidating brand Nemen. Nemen’s a bit like Stone Island – but for grown-ups who don’t need a logo to feel like the big man. And it’s technical. All “high tenacity nylon tape details” and “acid dyes”. I’m not sure if a gentleman needs, “high tenacity nylon tape” on what is, let’s face it, a vanity piece. But therein lies the irony with so much of this kind of high-specification garb. It might be built for scaling a cliff-face, but if the highest you get is a bar stool, do you really need it?
In case you hadn’t heard, looking like an Amish buggy driver, who hides from iPhones in case they capture his soul, is all the rage in South East London right now. This guy’s rocking the look. He’s even got the stern expression down. Approach him with a selfie-stick and he’ll have your legs out from under you.
Of course, it’s also about the hat. And what a fucking hat this is.