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Izreel - JFW '09 SS

Men's/Women's Collection Lines
08 September 2008
Introduction
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Keywords:
Japan Fashion Week
IZREEL
"Hi-POP"
September 3, 2008

Kazuhiro Takakura derived the brand name IZREEL from the English "is real," proclaiming a fundamental desire to seek "the real" in his products. Thankfully, however, this mission for verisimilitude does not involve straight literalism. His newest collection's starting inspiration was New York hip-hop, but Takakura's wild imagination and idiosyncrasies twisted over-done urban motifs into a bold new set of street wear items.

As a "luxury street fashion" brand, IZREEL was not going to forget to bring the bling, but Takakura showed restraint compared to the P. Diddy set: mostly metallic materials like intertwined golden thread and big silver lightning patterns. While the collection provided street dressers with weather-ready hoodies in nylons and other strong synthetics, the designer also catered to a more adult audience with squared-shoulder, square-cut double-breasted suits and clean pencil stripe jackets.

Besides the luxurious golds and silvers, Takakura doubled-down on nuclear-bright madras plaid. One pattern rarely stood on its own, however, with madras clamdiggers boasting a different colored check on front and back. Other shorts had patches of one color pattern upon another.

Although nominally a men's brand, IZREEL's ladies pieces were exceptional — adding a kick of unambiguous sexuality to the week's otherwise androgynous material glut. Unlike layer-heavy Japanese women's styling, Takakura went for a simplified American look, with a single top and bottom, bold stripes and patterns. The designer also succeeded in finding both strong masculinity and femininity in usually-frumpy ponchos. And as seen above, the super-short-cropped motorcycle top in sea green was hot stuff.

— W. David Marx

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view original photography by Sean Wood.)