Almost two weeks have passed since I returned from my adventures of the Far East and I've barely dented my blog worthy finds. I can't quite decide if this is an indication of a wonderful trip or that I'm a terribly lazy blogger. Either way, there's plenty more to come over the coming weeks (you have been warned). In previous posts I've hinted that I enthusiastically bounced from store to store, drunk on pure consumerism but I've failed to go in to much detail about my purchases. One of the buys and finds of Tokyo was Comme des Garçons Ganryu. With the ever expanding lineup of sub brands under the Comme umbrella it is easy for a simpleton like myself to be a tad confused. Up until the moment I clapped eyes on an inviting rail of relaxed tailoring, all that the name Ganryu meant to me was that of the banned sumo character and all round useless fighter from Tekken. Somehow this member of Rei Kawakubo's gang had passed me by. Thanks to the well stocked 10 Corso Como store in Aoyama I was able to introduce myself to the latest member.
The great Kawakubo has been making clothes for over forty years, always under the label Comme des Garçons. In 1992, she decided to branch out and gave a young patternmaker, Junya Watanabe, his own label. By the end of the '90s, 'multibrands' had taken over the industry but it was Kawakubo that was one of the true innovators. Soon after, she added Tao by Tao Kurihara and, most recently (2007) a youth oriented label called Ganryu. Quite the gang.
A former patternmaker for fellow gang member Junya Watanabe, Fumito Ganryu strives to shape a new identity and over the last few seasons has presented intriguing silhouettes that transcend gender. I was particularly taken with the interestingly cut tailoring and walked away from the store with a full suit...
Suit by Comme des Garçons Ganryu worn with...
Comme des Garçons Homme shirts (in both instances, more Tokyo buys) and Worry worry trainers by Tim Little.
Since I summoned up the courage to buy this special suit I've rarely worn anything else. It is just so practical and is the very definition of comfort. For me, it is the ideal everyday suit. Over the years Rei Kawakubo has incorporated textiles thought to be cheap, vulgar or kitsch and repositioned them in the aesthetic hierarchy. Here, with a full polyester two piece complete with swim short lining, Ganryu continues this tradition.
The detail shots that help show that this is not your average suit.
A number of labels attempt to combine a street and sport aesthetic with formal tailoring but very few truly pull it off. Ganryu is leading the few who have done just that.