What are your expectations for an iconic brand collaboration? In the case of Barbour x Engineered Garments, I’m looking for more of a Shackleton crackup, corduroy collar meets crazy pocketing. These jackets are a little subdued for my tastes, a too polite exchange of zippers, snaps & fabric.
Posts Tagged ‘shopping from Japan’
Office style, by Beams Boy
A spot check on the Beams Boy Instastory redirected me to this curious “office style fair” capsule collection. I’m still trying to put my finger on the persona or segment archetype represented by this clothing.
My guess: Jules and Jim meets Tokyo librarian.
Each refresh of the Japanese cycling outfitter Rin Project site reveals a new product obsession: wool cycling sweaters, retro hairnets, knicker hose, mod coats, leather cycling shoes and Brompton compatible shoulder satchels.
My top Rin Project product pick is this cycling pullover with retro-inspired front carrying pockets and wool sourced from the UK. It reminds me of the derby tweed sweaters that Rivendell Bicycle Works used to make in the 1990s.
This is the sweater to wear during your recreation of the Tyneside endurance test.
It’s always fun to match a fave brand to its foreign, brick and mortar store. During my recent trip to Japan, I visited Cycles Grand Bois, a venerable bicycle company known for its elegant handlebars, polished bike parts, custom frames, and 650b tires. Thanks to a rando pal who knows how to navigate Google maps in Japanese, we found GB in a suburb of Kyoto. Trading shoes for slippers, we explored the main shop area and talked to the manager. The showroom space is cramped, with bikes packed in tight bunches on the main floor and auxiliary frames stacked in window display pyramids or hung from the rafters. I’m including a few snaps from my visit. Follow Grand Bois on Instagram for a more immersive view of the shop.
Many of my Archival blog posts are intended to remind me, in a few years, of random and extraordinary web finds. As my attention diminishes and the web redoubles, I frequently find and than drop the thread of a super fruitful search string (typically ending in Japan). Here’s one I never want to forget: a South2 West8 tie dye bug net parka (and matching landing net).
I started stalking Japanese web shops in 2006 and the experience never gets old. Even cursory check ins with fave web shops turn up exciting new finds. While heritage as a codified style may be petering out in the US, Japan keeps churning out unique variations on workwear staples like the button front chore coat. Case and point is this jacket from Kapital available via Takanna (a web shop that ships to the US). The jacket is made from 12 ounce denim from Okayama. What I love about it is the shape and distribution of front and rear pocketing. I’m a big fan of hunting jackets with their rear facing game pockets. This may be the first time I’ve seen this feature incorporated into a more casual, denim jacket. While Kapital sizing goes down to a Japanese 2, I’m leaving this item as a catch and release given that there is no scaled down version for women.
While I like to think that I am relatively current with heritage clothing brands in the states and abroad, I was pleased to discover Danton during my PDC trip to Tokyo last Spring. Danton is a french workwear brand sold in Japan. I’m not quite sure whether there really is any more Danton sold in France (readers?!) although web retail reports indicate that the company was indeed founded in France in 1931. I came back from Japan with a few different Danton garments including round collar shirts in short and long sleeves. I love that this style combines my favorite shirting elements: round collar, popover design, short cut, and on seam pockets. The garment is unisex; I’ve seen it on offer on several Japanese web shop for women and gents including B-Shop and Woody Company. Depending on the season, you can order this shirt in light chambray or a heavier weight oxford cloth. Now that Rakuten is opening up space to more second hand clothing shops, you can most likely purchase Danton plus shipping to the states for less than $100 (pretty good for an item that you will most likely wear for years to come).
I know that we live in a state of denim elysium but if you are looking for new fabrics and fits,, give this Danton a try.
Thanks to Archival readers who suggested Shoes Like Pottery as an alt to my obsession over Wakouwa Deck Shoes. As was noted in my original post, the Wakouwas are not sized for women, cost over three hundred dollars and are difficult to find in the US. In contrast, SLPs are unisex, comparably stylish, and easily sourced in the US via favorite shops like Hickorees and Mohawk General Store. The shoes are made from best quality canvas duck and rubber. And like a nice pair of Aldens, they are hand sewn and hand assembled. The SLP moniker refers to the vulcanizing process in which the shoe rubber is fired in a kiln for 70 minutes to make it more soft, durable and flexible. I still haven’t purchased a pair of canvas shoes but I’m wishfully hoping to find these on sale upon my return from London.
I’m heading to London in a week for London Edinburgh London, a 1400k randonnee. I’ve just assembled all my bike gear (which includes many non archival, ziploc packed servings of powdered nutrition). Sadly, I’m going to have very little space in my luggage for non cycling garb. At the moment I’m boiling my travel garb down into a single outfit I can wear on the plane and than for five days in London. What I’m missing is the perfect pair of comfortable canvas sneakers. Many of my pals prefer Superga, Tretorn or Chuck Taylors. What I want is a pair of made in Japan, Wakouwa deck shoes. I’ve been wishfully shopping for Wakouwas since I spotted them in the window at Anatomica in Paris. You can buy them through a few US stockists but alas, most don’t sell them in smaller sizes for women. At Mohawk General Store, you can even buy them in Yves Klein blue. If you have a secret Wakouwa source, or could suggest a stylistic alternative, let me know.
It was great to see this article in the New York Times about the emerging trend of tailored, masculine clothing for women. I’ve been championing the production of heritage style menswear sized for women since the earliest days of the Archival blog. Of course, Japan, per usual, is ahead of the curve in this area. Beams Boys regularly features snaps of of female customers sporting menswear inspired ensembles. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the Beams flickr feed: