Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Lad Musician’s latest collection, designed by Yuichi Kuroda, was a gothic horror romp taking in vampires, ghouls and ghosts.

It is impossible to view the collections of the Tokyo based label without seeing some definite influences from very modern high fashion menswear lines; the sharply cut tailoring and thin silhouettes of the pieces instantly evoke the kind of striking minimalist aesthetic of Van Assche's work for Dior Homme, and the presence of very traditional, gothic pieces such as capes, undertaker coats and high collared shirts conjures parallels with much of Ann Demeulemeester's work. Even the models themselves, pale and dripping in boyish youth looked like they had  just stepped off the Dior runway. 

However, I think the label manages to capture and hold the more toned down "streetwear" tenor that a lot of the Japanese fashion industry is renowned for (after all, who doesnt think of all the thousands of Harajuku lurkers in FRUiTS and TUNE magazines at the first chirp of the word "Street fashion"?). LAD MUSICIAN is able to achieve this through mainly their use of colour and the other more casual pieces and shapes that the tailoring is combined with. These include various hues of brown and beige, oversized hoodies and draped elongated cardigans and sweaters, jersey skinny-leg pants and asymmetrically cut T-shirts. The staging itself, far from having the refined and clean appearance of those in couture shows, was scarily theatrical and the smoke filled runway, eerie soundscape, ghostly styling with blood tears and lipstick was perfect for the collection theme.

The brand, which was originally established in 1995, recently opened a store in Shinjuku and a flagship in Nagoya designed by acclaimed Japanese architects "General Design". It has gained an almost cult following in Japan amongst the Tokyo boys for the emaciated tailored/punk/glam kind of aesthetic which had made a huge comeback in the past few years, along with the birth/emergence of labels such as DRESSEDUNDRESSED and Christopher Nemeth (who died of lung cancer just last year unfortunately).

Lad Musician, in addition to its numerous Japanese stores and stockists can be found in Opening Ceremony in LA and NYC and menswear emporium Tangs in Singapore.

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