The exclusive collection of Takahiro Miyashita’s The SoloIst at New York’s IF boutique is an homage to wandering. “Keep Walking,” a phrase repeated on The SoloIst site and on Miyashita’s blog, neatly distills the essence of the pieces at IF. Jackets and shirts seem patched from whatever fabric happened to be on hand, and nearly every item is distressed, suggesting the wear of hard travel. On a few pieces, the outer layer of fabric is cut to reveal lining underneath, adding depth to the garment’s surface. Edges are left ragged to give the piece a deceptively unfinished quality. Slashed dramatically with exposed white cotton, a pair of navy linen pants exemplifies the technique.
The abundant detailing in Miyashita’s garments may imply a free and careless attitude, but the materials and craftsmanship leave no doubt that every aspect has been thoughtfully considered. If the clothes evoke a vagabond image, it is an urban vision with a preference for Japanese streetwear and luxe fabrics. An Edwardian brocade jacket of wool, tencel, rayon, alpaca, and cotton (priced at over $2,000), would be more at home in NY or Tokyo, where it can be seen and admired, than in the wilderness it plays on. Another standout, and one of the more accessible pieces, is an incredibly soft jacket in a rich, mocha-toned sheepskin suede (at about $3,000).
The SoloIst work represents a progression from what Miyashita created at the late, lamented Number (N)ine. Number (N)ine was heavy on rock ’n’roll and rebellion. The SoloIst finds Miyashita designing pieces that feel more relaxed; even mature. Long-time fans of Miyashita’s work will still find his signatures in these latest creations, however, and if they’ve mellowed a bit over the years and just want some clothes to wander the city in, they know where to look.
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