Shepherd Boy

Shepherd Boy

The opening line to this article on Business of Fashion about the coming of a "new aesthetic" made me chuckle.  "Instagram, Barbour, vinyl records, artisanal butchers, moustaches, and the biography of your potatoes lovingly detailed on chalkboard signs at Whole Foods. What is wrong with this picture?", going on to quote London-based writer and entrepreneur Russell M Davies, who says ‚Äúmost of Shoreditch (London) would be wandering around in a leather apron if it could. With pipe and beard and rickets." Yes, the renaissance of yesteryear nostalgia is still very much happening in every hipster hole across the world.  It's not even decade/period specific in most cases where the yearning for a hybrid of dandified Victoriana, country living in Edwardian times, whisky-glass clinking machoisms of the 1950s and other retro delights comes together in a mish mash of an invented past. 

I'm not really one to besmerch any of this as I've frequently been charmed by this ritual of retrogazing.  That said, it's worth taking a bit of distance to stand back and look upon what's happening and ask why it is that we want our JPGs sepia tinted and blurred, our menus written in chalk, not digitally printed or our furniture creased and worn in. 

Japanese label ASEEDONCLOUD takes this timewarp mindset to a new level.  I spoke of The Good Life aesthetic that the label and other style and food movements in Japan contribute towards.  It's this fantasy of fresh bread coming out of Aga's, blue and white checkered aprons, bouquet garnis in Le Creuset pots, broderie anglaise pretty clothes hanging on string (not nylon!) washing lines and so on and so forth.  That's all fair enough but ASEEDONCLOUD for A/W 12-3 looks to an even more far-reaching extreme, one that perhaps isn't in our minds when we think of "the good old days".  This entirely unisex collection is themed around "BOKUDOUGI" which means young shepherd's wear.  The story is about a young shepherd who leaves his village to travels alone and quickly grows up along the jouney,  He/she goes through stages of dishevelled attire, so that in the end when he/she returns, he has a cleaner and neatened up appearance. 

Designer Kentaro Tamai wanted to focus on the comfort of clothing, using soft fabrics like light weight melton and cashmere.  It's a shame that I didn't get to see this collection in person in Tokyo as ever, with quiet clothing that treads as softly as ASEEDONCLOUD's, it's much better to go and touch and feel the stuff.  Still, this set of lookbook images struck me as a extreme point of view of the sort of nostalgia-seeking as described in the beginning of this post.  Tamai of course isn't proposing a shepherd's lifestyle to be re-enacted but the fact that he's even going to this realm where vocations of yesteryear are being resurrected, is interesting.  I had to marvel when I picked up a magazine in Tokyo, which was purely dedicated to Japanese dudes wearing American workwear on the streets but in an extreme and heightened manner.  It doesn't get more specific than that and it's a demonstration that Tokyo fashion's continued fascination with a storybook version of the past has interesting repercussions and results.  ASEEDONCLOUD's collection definitely falls into that category. 

P.S. Yes, I've been absent but as my next post will show, I've been consumed by a cocoon of extreme sticky heat, high sugar levels and a copious amount of coconut action.  Bangkok has treated me well.  Too well really. 
















Leave a comment
  1. Sean

    2012-05-20 at 6:15 AM

    I’m glad you’re one of the few bloggers who focus not just on the photogenic aspects of fashion, but the quiet, yet somehow more obssessive aspects of japanese brands. I’ve always been enraptured by the quality of Japanese men’s workwear, and how amazing it is that they’re the ones now owning original denim looms from America and reviving the dying art of producing garments with quality that will outlast the season. Thanks for another great post!

  2. Serdane

    2012-05-20 at 6:36 AM

    I live the skirt. It’s very what I live in votes designed by original designer. This a awesome looks that shepherds would wear and fashion lovers too. Great post !

  3. jean cave

    2012-05-20 at 9:34 AM

    I live in Cornwall, we all love this look. Truly.
    The ever-present Fashion Retro-gaze cycle has been really heated up by the likes of YouTube, The Rehash channel on TV, magazine archives online and especially Music Videos. I am waiting to see how Men in Black3 does The Sixties especially.? . .
    The costume designer of “Meek’s Crossing” got the cast and crew to hand-stitch and make all the hats and frocks. Awesome. The Japanese art directors especially seem to go epic in a desire for ‘authenticity’. Wonderful stuff.

  4. Elisa Eymery

    2012-05-20 at 11:02 AM

    Love some of the very amish pieces, like the long white dress, reminds me of the prom dresses in Virgin Suicides, I’ve always wanted one.

  5. Sumo

    2012-05-20 at 11:18 AM

    i have recently taken interest in menswear and i love these
    i really love big and loose silhouettes in menswear

  6. Dave

    2012-05-20 at 11:36 AM

    I Like the blend of fashion and the countryside in your photo’s


    2012-05-20 at 12:08 PM

    its kinda Amish style !! I like it !!

  8. Trendstop

    2012-05-20 at 1:20 PM

    Quite a Damir Doma-esque aesthetic. The setting makes it beautiful, it tells a much bigger story around the designer’s & collection’s mindset.

  9. PAVI

    2012-05-20 at 2:11 PM

    review something in thailand plsssssssssss 🙂
    i wanna read it.

  10. Nathan Niche

    2012-05-20 at 6:22 PM

    this is very CSM, the whole nomadic/tribal/village inspiration but not overly literal which is good, nice looks, lots of wearable separates! marketable yet fashionable! yay!!
    xx nathan.niche
    check out my Victorian picnic pictures!

  11. Alice

    2012-05-20 at 9:56 PM

    Great shoes!
    Take a look at my fashion illustrations and art:

  12. Omara - juegos gratis

    2012-05-21 at 2:52 AM

    Fashion, chic, Cool. It´s true

  13. aaroh

    2012-05-22 at 8:34 AM

    This is not about shepherd boys only, I can see some girls also :)! Look normal fashion with elegance.

  14. VVires

    2012-05-22 at 8:16 PM

    So is this homeless/nomad chic? It’s solid as a styling exercise, layering finds at your back of your closet but I’m not sure it makes sense to build a entirely new collections on the look.

  15. Peter

    2012-05-22 at 10:02 PM

    This is what I want to look like today, and maybe everyday: a long, lost, rather unintelligent – but beautiful – anglo-farmer lad.
    x Peter @ http://low–

  16. Heidi

    2012-05-23 at 8:55 AM


  17. Lyn E.

    2012-05-23 at 8:46 PM

    I like the last look myself, I agree there is this new age Victorian thing going
    on which I’m observing, curiously. so far it seems interesting.

  18. fashioninfor

    2012-05-24 at 8:17 AM

    so interesting!

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