After months in quarantine and so many digital fashion shows, we might be wondering when it'll be time to get dressed again. But for many people, the idea of clothing that pulls double duty has shifted to gear that can be worn indoors on virtual meetings and outside for errands or socially-distanced catch-ups. Menswear in particular has gotten more casual over the years, and Covid-19 has only pushed the coziness revolution into overdrive.
“When there was a different world view at the start of the year, I set out to create this collection to feature a mix of various global textiles that were inspired by folk culture,” says Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki about his Spring/Summer 2021 collection in a release. “Incorporating those fabrics that embody tradition and identity with Engineered Garments’ design was something that I was looking forward to creating.”
Elements of that OG inspiration remain in the final collection, as seen in African print cotton sheeting, Ikat madrases, and tropical florals from India. But it also reflects a French term Suzuki couldn't get out of his head: décontracté, a decidedly fancy way to say clothing that is simultaneously comfortable and elegant.
“The world was faced with multiple hardships domestically and internationally. These events changed my outlook on the collection,” continues Suzuki in his personal statement. “Instead of exploring so much outwards, I looked more thoroughly at what the core of what Engineered Garments is today.”
Part of the continued charm of EG is its ability to be different things to different people. Unlike a prescriptive approach to dressing, it's a discredit to call it a “something for everyone” label, since its dedicated consumers and growing converts each have an individual reason for falling in love with the clothing, whether its their hardy knits and T-shirts, unstructured tailoring ideal for a more casual world, and forward-thinking items like the FA Pants, whose multitude of cargo pockets takes utility to an extreme level.
EG's partnerships also continue, seeing new iterations of Baracuta outerwear and hardy footwear from Sebago, while breezy rainwear from KWAY gets a patterned update. Lensed by Katsu Naito, the accompanying lookbook features the eclectic appeal of Engineered Garments, turning traditional American style on its head and in a way demonstrating why it's no surprise that storied retailers like Brooks Brothers are going bankrupt. Clearly Suzuki's work hasn't simply carried the torch for classic American sportswear — it raised the bar entirely.