Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Discovering Tokyo... Labrat


Discovering Labrat

Now, you might have noticed that the blog has been quiet recently. I landed in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon and I've since spent the last few days drunk on food and shopping. When I've not been stuffing my face with sashimi, gyozas, tonkatsu or yakitori, my mind has been blown by the myriad of retail opportunities and discovering designers at every turn. Alongside my recent trip to Singapore I have amassed enough content to keep the blog busy for weeks to come. Whilst I promised myself (and EJ) that I would use this time to take a little blogging holiday to just enjoy myself, I just couldn't resist sharing a few of my finds with you. First up, Labrat via BerBerJin.

BerBerJin are a chain of vintage shops in that have been at the heart of the thriving men’s vintage scene in Tokyo for well over a decade. They have always stocked museum quality examples of international vintage, but recently they creative minds behind it have collaborated with like minded brands to produce items that compliment their beautiful back catalogue and archive. Under the moniker Labrat, the talented bunch romanticise the hardcore and celebrate the underground. Thanks to the well informed Mai, I was pointed in the direction of an exhibition of their AW11 collection and excitedly jumped at the chance to inspect the pieces up close. I was blown away by the attention to detail, fabrications and sheer diversity of their offering. For this season alone they have collaborated with the likes of Blackmeans, George Cox, Porter, Vision, CA4LA, Black &Blue and Discovered. I think the best way to explore the full AW11 line is to introduce the collaborative lineup whilst taking a closer look at the designs...

With each season, Discovered turn to the streets of Tokyo for inspiration. From Shibuya down through Harajuku, the designer duo Tatsuya Kimura and Sanae Yoshida collate and reinterpret the varied styles to create multi faceted designs. The pair like nothing more than juxtaposing contradictory themes and here they have created stunning Aran knits for oversized shorts and jumpers...





The Aran knitted shorts and jumpers in collaboration with Discovered.


One of the more familiar brands of Tokyo native labels involved with Labrat is Porter. Now, everyone should know this maker of well crafted and elegantly designed accessories so I will fast forward on the introductions. Here, the minds of Labrat and Porter combine to create MA1 jackets, matching shorts and laceup backpacks...



The varied fruits of the collaboration with Porter

Blackmeans is a local leather specialist that started out in 2005 as a leather goods manufacturer but soon evolved and began producing their own lines of leather motorcycle jackets, belts and accessories. Here, they continue their successful partnership with Labrat to create a number of jackets and a leather skirt...



The Lightning Leather Jacket with fringe detail beautifully modelled by a member of the Labrat team.


Having first produced brothel creepers in the 50s and winkle pickers in the 60s, George Cox gained notoriety in the 70s when these looks were resurrected by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren to become the uniform of a generation of punks. Now, one hundred and five years old, the company still continues to grow and develop thanks to their archive of lasts and hunger for product development. Here, the collaboration with Labrat produces the Cross Boot...


The Cross Boots in collaboration with George Cox

Despite my enthused murmurings above, Labrat constitute more than just a number of successful collaborations. In addition to working with some of the finest names in Tokyo, the label have created a number of covetable pieces on their own. Highlights include double cloth basics, kilting and even a Chester coat...







Labrat's own mix of underground classics.


Mat said...

lucky guys, bet the food has been so good. this place is quite the joint, i remember searching through the original fruits street style books when i was at college looking at all the punks over and over again. hollie is meg in love with the leather jacket

Brandon said...

Wow Steve you've outdone youreself. I even am loving those creepers and you know I'm virtually the opposite of punk. The store employee is kind of amazing is that a leather kilt too!? How is Tokyo btw, with the ongoing Fukushima drama?

Syed said...

That MA-1 is insane. Reminds me of those Van Beirendonck jackets with all the pockets. And would be very interested in getting my hands on one of those distressed black sweaters, reminds me of spider webs in an odd way.

Nick Jordan said...

So much dope gear, super come up. I got to get my ass to Tokoyo - STAT! Thanks for the post.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mat:There are just so many joints like this and I can't wait to share them with you!
Brandon: I just love how the Tokyo streetwear scene takes many different subcultures and reworks and restyles them for today. Tokyo is slowly getting back to normal, If it weren't for the lack of tourists, the fund raising or the dimmed evening sky, then I wouldn't be able to tell at all.
Syed: Well remembered, I know what you mean. I did think of you when I saw the distressed pieces. Also, I had the opportunity to examine a few of The Soloist pieces yesterday...just wow.
Nick Jordan: No problem at all! I've seen so much in Tokyo these past few days that my mind is blown.

Hapsical said...

The Porter collab bombers are AMAZING, my first reaction was 'that looks like a Porter bag morphed into jacket' and now I scroll down and find that is exactly what has happened my mind is blown. But will there be any UK stockists (LN-CC, are you reading this?)


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