01 December 2007
Avant-savant, experimental-casual.
Date of Establishment: AW2007
Parent Company: (independent)
Designers: Akira Takeuchi / Tayuka Nakanishi"Fashion creates a theatre wherever it goes."

So states the official manifesto for the Japanese experimental-casual brand THEATRE PRODUCTS. With such lofty ideals and conceptual goals, the brand's designers — Akira Takeuchi and Tayuka Nakanishi — have been able to break out of the pack and find a place on the short list of up-and-coming local talent.

Takeuchi originally worked at Comme des Garçons as a pattern-cutter, while Nakanishi did design at apparel giant Sanei International. Although neither betray an antagonistic sentiment towards their former employers, Takeuchi admitted inspiration gave them the strength to make the risky plunge into starting an independent brand: "We believed we must start our own brand." Despite the strong character of their previous employers, the two have taken THEATRE PRODUCTS into a totally new direction. There may be a pinch of CdG's avant-garde aesthetics, but TP do not seem to be abstractly challenging nor difficult for difficult's sake. The result, however, is incredibly idiosyncratic: slightly-nerdy, effetely-colored and often light-hearted collections of imaginative clothes that are highly inimitable. A men's suit from AW06 features a down winter jacket for the top with normal suit slacks at the bottom — all in a blue plaid. The collection gives the impression of designers raiding New England attics for inspiration — while on the last few hours of psychedelic mushrooms.

THEATRE PRODUCTS debuted its first women's spring/summer collection in late 2001 and added a men's line - Kingly THEATRE PRODUCTS — in 2005. The designers also intermitantly create a basic line called THEATRE PRODUCTS chic and a formal line called THEATRE PRODUCTS Formal. The theme for S/S 2008 ladies was "Honeymoon" — featuring dainty pieces oddly covered in copius lace and loose over-shirts made from wide-holed nylon fishnets. The men's line, on the other hand, undertook the concrete concept of "Vietnam Airlines," actually going as far as to partner with the actual airline. "We heard they liked to do interesting things, so we contacted them," explains Takeuchi. After visiting Vietnam with the airline's help, the designers returned to Japan, heads buzzing with design ideas and holding bolts of unique silk cloth. The resulting collecting is a blue-hued mix of casual cotton blazers, mesh shirts, tank tops, and sloppy denim work-suits all executed with a light touch. The use of materials is innovative while staying within a third-world theme: netted bags are made from a knotted orange plastic while men's carry-alls are made from vinyl material reminiscent of swimming pool material flooring.
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