UNDERCOVER designer Jun Takahashi sure does like films. Having already riffed on Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood and anime franchise Evangelion, the designer turns toward American cinema for Fall/Winter 2022.
Drawing from the estate of legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, Takahashi's latest menswear collection is a mix of film nods and era-appropriate Americana.
The former plays out through screengrabs, logos, and some amusing Hitchcock branding: pretty funny to picture UNDERCOVER's edgy, young aficionados flexing the name of a relatively uncool filmmaker. Hey, don't get me wrong, I love Hitchcock's work — grasping the complexity of Hitchcock and Welles' cinematography was a seminal moment in my personal understanding of filmmaking technique — but he doesn't have the youth culture clout of a Larry Clark or Scorsese.
Perhaps that's even better, though: the majority of the collection borrows imagery from Hitchcock's inimitable Psycho, which feels as fresh today as it did over 60 years ago.
If UNDERCOVER gets more kids to witness Janet Leigh's unforgettable shower scene — memorialized here in a giant print — and Anthony Perkins's terrifying turn as Norman Bates, so much the better.
Besides the Hitchcock stuff, UNDERCOVER is also playing with Americana aesthetics, dolling up its male models in reworked hunting gear — puffer jackets are fitted with fleece, Bean Boots become sneakers, and waders turn into fluffy cargo pants — and subverted collegiate gear.
Above pleated skirts and striped socks, Takahashi styles logo-laden sweaters fitted with goofy slogans like "I HAVE A THIRD EYE BUT IT IS BLIND" (love that band!) and "LIFE HAS ITS PEAKS, VALLEYS, AND WATER STATION."
More conventional tailoring also appears, refreshed with zippered trousers. But perhaps the FW22 collection's real stars are UNDERCOVER's new Nike sneakers, which appear to be laceless ISPA runners printed with the Japanese brand's usual "CHAOS BALANCE" jargon.