I’ve been sitting on the photos from the Blue Blue Japan F/W 2016 presentation since back in January, when we saw the collection in Paris. It is, in short, beautiful; showcasing the same brilliant tones of indigo we’ve come to expect, but introducing some new fabrics and silhouettes. Happily, we’re finally allowed to share what’s new.
We saw Blue Blue Japan at the Marziano Bello showroom, alongside brands such as Camo and Simon Miller (itself doing some very nice things with indigo and sashiko fabrics this fall). We were their first appointment, which meant that everyone was barely awake – especially me, but including Sunjin, the bubbly woman who was our contact and the self-described “Korean Hostess” of the showroom, with whom I am 100% in love.
Although there are familiar items – quilted vests, sashiko chore coats and jackets, thick cotton knits – there are also some new shapes that are a bit more elegant than the workwear that tends to make it to domestic stockists. Knit blazers and quilted vests verge into the realm of what is offered by modern workwear brands such as ts(s), but retain the playfulness and ease-of-wear that defines Blue Blue Japan. Shirts continue to be excellent, and act as showcases for the masterful dye variations the company can achieve.
My favorite offering from the showroom is a new, softer-weight sashiko fabric, which Sunjin showed off in the form of a shawl-collared robe/coat hybrid. Weight-wise, it falls between the heavy work fabric used for BBJ’s chore coats and the very light fabric used in the women’s quilted pieces. As opposed to the stiff, hard wearing sashiko we’re used to in the men’s jackets, this fabric is thick but supple, and the robe doesn’t feature a heavy canvas backing. She told us the fabric was chosen specifically with women’s pieces in mind, but I hope that the robe-coat makes an appearance in a size big enough for me to wear.
Blue Blue Japan is interesting in that it offers such a wide range of clothing, which I assume comes from Seilin Co.’s manufacturing reach. The flagship store in Tokyo, Okura (which I’ve written about before), shows the full range of products, but hidden within the azure racks on display in Paris were the occasional pieces made from duck canvas; hunting-style jackets and some other shirts and pants. Admittedly, much of the clothing is overpowered by the indigo theme of the collection, especially when you’re not looking at it with the intent to stock a store. It’s hard to get excited about beige when the indigo is so exceptional. Nevertheless, there is variation in both color and tone, and the collection is, as usual, very wearable from head to toe even if just about everything is bright blue.
Lovely depth of color on the new sashiko fabric, which Sunjin models below.
The soft sashiko robe, my favorite piece from the collection. Behind Sunjin you can see the stunning range of blues, quilts, and sashiko fabrics on display for F/W 2016.
Here, Sunjin shows off a plaid coat featuring faded indigo overstitching, which is how the embroidered blazer on the table will eventually appear. The cotton threads fade at a different rate to the rest of the fabric, resulting in contrasting shades of blue.
A men’s sashiko coat, made of a slightly stiffer – but still soft – fabric than the women’s shawl-collar version I loved so much.
Denim has long been a standby of the Seilin brands
Definitely want this piece – a heavy sashiko hunting jacket.
While the collection is comprised of many well-done earth tones, it’s the indigo pieces that steal the show.
Shades of blue – shirts, sweatshirts, and a jacket.
Shirts and sweaters on display alongside the outerwear.