Izreel - JFW '09 SS

Men's/Women's Collection Lines
08 September 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Japan Fashion Week
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.)