If acknowledging emotional vulnerability is truly the last frontier of masculinity, perhaps Takahiro Miyashita is on to something. His latest collection for TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. is introspective in a multilayered way.
This wasn’t just evidenced by how he reimagines the menswear uniforms of bygone eras, but also by how he chose to show undergarments so prominently in his looks and his choice of a soundtrack primarily by Spiritualized, the seminal ’90s psychedelic rock band known for its eerily heartbreaking lyrics.
The union suits and thermals succeeded in drawing attention to Miyashita’s more romantic pieces, naval and riding blazers shrunk and redone in the Japanese designer’s trademark aesthetic, somewhere between metropolitan vampire and grown-up, somewhat well-adjusted emo kid. That is to say, there’s still a strong element of brooding romanticism to Miyashita’s clothing, something that’s been part of his appeal since day one.
Miyashita’s connection to music is a career-long thing. There are many designers who might have been rock stars in a different life, and it isn’t far-fetched to imagine Miyashita in this milieu. Backstage, he greeted guests and press with aplomb, dressed in a sharp blazer, T-shirt, and rose-colored glasses befitting a rock legend.
In some ways, his collections are great because they’re like fully formed albums; the cult of TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. is obsessed with finding hidden meanings in the liner notes. Meanwhile, collaborations with brands such as Converse are like one-off hit singles, touching the mainstream without wholly becoming part of it.
This season, Miyashita revisited the high-top Converse ERX, debuting a cream colorway to complement the black ones released earlier this year. He also showed a new Chuck Taylor-esque model, a silhouette that’s been in the Converse archive so long it doesn’t have a proper name yet. Leave it to Miyashita to be the one who remasters a long-forgotten B-side.