Takahiro Miyashita's decision to bring his critically beloved avante-garde menswear label, Number (N)ine, to an end in AW09 his followers were left bereft. The label closed on a high with an exquisitely crafted and extravagantly layered range of clothes that delicately flickered between fashion and costume. It was a triumph that is difficult to forget. The unveiling of Miyashita's The Soloist, with its soft layers of faded romanticism, has helped comfort his supporters but they still cling on to the fruits of his previous endeavour. The Dandy Project is just one (an a remarkably good one at that) example. Here he shares his most treasured item...
The Dandy Project and the Number (N)ine monkstrap shoes
"It would render me practically footless if I lost these Number (N)ine monkstrap shoes that I had purchased at the store's closing sale in New York two years ago. The silhouette is of a classic slim monkstrap shoe, but with punk-rock creeper detailing, tough and extremely walkable hard rubber soles by Continental, rendered in ever-wearable dark beige suede. Their era- and style-ambiguity make the shoes as great a base for dark and conceptual Belgian pieces as they would with full-on Americana, and the high vamp provides ample coverage that allows me to wear them even on the deadest day of winter."
"I've worn them so much so that the lines are going squiggly and the weave goes gaping open. There is a faint white stain on the left shoe (toothpaste fell; I was brushing in a hurry) that suggests perhaps a bird might have gone to the bathroom on my shoes, but I think I'll keep it on there."
"Number (N)ine is now defunct, and though the designer Takahiro Miyashita still brings his artisanal romance to his new line The Soloist, nothing would compare to the dark, theatrical exuberance that was Number (N)ine. In honor of the brilliant designer, I've affixed medal of sorts on one of the shoes: a vintage shoe clip from Kings County Salvage in Williamsburg. I could only hope that the intense brilliance of the rhinestones against the battered, seemingly bird-defiled creepers would be something Miyashita-san would find at the very least, agreeable." The Dandy Project