During my time in Tokyo this Spring, I enthusiastically pinballed my away across the sprawling city and discovered a myriad of concept spaces both large and small. One of the real highlights was Yuichi Yoshii's The Contemporary Fix. The two floored space takes a gallery approach, installing limited-time exhibitions that spotlight individual brands. The ground level is an inviting cafe and bar that rewards and rejuvenates customers with a welcome respite from consumerism whilst the second is dedicated to offering a selection of the finest Japanese labels. During my visit I was afforded the opportunity to examine a vast offering from Phenomenon, Visvim, Bedwin and The Heartbreakers, Facetasm and SASQUATCHfabrix to name but a few. However, atleast one label slipped under my radar. Thankfully, Susie was recently dispatched to cover Japan Fashion Week and on the very last day she was wowed by the Yoshii curated series of shows, Versus Tokyo. It was here that she was properly introduced to Whiz Limited.
Hiroaki Shitano launched his label in AW 2000. First as simply “Whiz”, then opting to add “Limited” three years later. His line, originally consisting of handmade printed tees for his closest friends, slowly grew in popularity and encouraged him to expanding his 'individual clothing' concept. Inspired by his native surroundings, Shitano is ever evolving his own Tokyo streetstyle outlook. Whilst being impressed with Whiz Limited's colourful parade for SS12, Susie was inspired to revisit The Contemporary Fix to treat me to a little present from the label's AW11 offering. The collection showcases a heady cocktail of prints and patterns, ranging from plaid to Native American tribal designs, to help breathe new life in to familiar staples.
AW11 look book shots courtesy of Whiz Limited
Even confronted with the well stocked rails of The Contemporary Fix, Susie still managed to keep a clear head and plumped for the item (having had a chance to look at the entire collection) I would have snapped up for myself. A breton reimagined with the simple addition of a tribal knit trim.
For me, the real beauty of menswear is in the details. After all, it is the small details which are so often overlooked and neglected which can transform any mediocre outfit in to something special. I've said this many times and will ever tire of saying it opting instead to celebrate the designers and individuals who take as much pleasure in celebrating and exploring them as I do. With Whiz Limited, Shitano is one such designer.