With the amount of hyped clothing, sneakers, and accessories that drop constantly, it can be hard to give certain pieces the appreciation and time they deserve. Part of the Highsnobiety selects team, Anders Schans is anti-fast fashion, delving deep into the recent product drops he’s mad about to explore the brand, inspiration, and stories behind them, revealing the often-overlooked detail in these special pieces. We’ll let Anders take it from here.
It’s hard to have a conversation about Japanese streetwear culture without mentioning the Ura-Hara movement of the ’90s that saw brands like WTAPS, NEIGHBORHOOD, BAPE, and UNDERCOVER emerge. Sartorially referencing everything from military uniforms and post-punk culture to Americana, these brands have had a massive impact on streetwear today, not only in Japan but globally.
Of course, there are plenty more Japanese streetwear brands than those that were established in the ’90s, and Wacko Maria is one you definitely shouldn’t miss. Keiji Ishizuka and Atsuhiko Mori’s now-classic label was conceived back in 2004, and they’ve been going at it in style ever since. While the ’90s brand’s output is still very much influenced by the themes that gave birth to the brand, Wacko Maria looked beyond the usual influences of military wear and Americana this summer.
This broadening of horizons can be seen in the Hawaiian shirt. While most of Wacko Maria’s output looks to 20th-century culture, here you have a piece that goes way further back. The all-over print features graphic work in the style of Ukiyo-e, a Japanese artistic movement that saw its peak in the 18th century, during the Edo Period. The movement was lead by the likes of Shunshō Katsukawa, focusing on subjects such as beauty, erotica, nature, and love. Here the brand looks back to the country in which it was born, and its rich artistic history, in place of its usual penchant for American culture.
It’s not the first time Wacko Maria has looked to its birthplace, though, having last year dropped a Hawaiian long sleeve that drew inspiration from the Ero Guro genre of the 20th century. The short-sleeve camp collar shirt is really one that caught my eye for the rest of the summer, and it’s always good to see Japanese art culture entering the streetwear conversation. This is a must-buy.
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