>> When I talked about the rise and fall and rise again of logo-mania, I forgot to mention my own slightly reckless and ever-so-obsessive fetish with the logos that hailed from Japan. Hysteric Glamour and Super Lovers were a duo of brands that crept into the wardrobe of my later teen years, due to shops like Pippa Brook's legendary Shop in Soho, which was one of the few stockists of Hysteric Glamour (there was also a Hysteric Glamour store in London which opened back in 1991) as well as the now-defunct but ever-famed Super Lovers store in Covent Garden.
Particularly with Super Lovers, it was pretty easy to walk in, get a gift for a friend and know what you had played your gifting trump card – there is no way that your friend wasn't going to be mighty impressed when she sees that famous Superman diamond and heart logo even if the shirt/skirt/sweater was ill-fitting, which it often was due to the Japanese sizing. Hysteric Glamour was a little bit more of a mystery. I'm thinking the UK didn't get all the cool stuff that they did in Japan (it was law that between the ages of 14 and 17, I thought EVERYTHING was cooler in Japan). I certainly never saw anything like this 80s Hysteric Glamour baseball jacket, which I have just bought from the lovely gals at Vagabond NYC (one of my fave online spots for off-kilter designer vintage pieces). Then again I do believe I may have caught on to Hysteric Glamour in the latter, vaguely "naff" stages of the brand's timeline, a far cry from founder Nobu Kitamura's original vision of hyper-cartoonish and exaggerated 1960s/70s American popular culture. Still back then, nothing Japanese could be bad in my eyes. I remember laughing at the boys who queued around the block for Bathing Ape tees in Soho but I look back and can honestly chuckle at my equally blinkered self.
Particularly when you go on to Hysteric Glamour's website at present and you're thinking you've stumbled upon a Japanese version of Ed Hardy. Searching for specimens of Hysteric Glamour that are similar in vibe and attitude to this early HG varsity jacket proves to be fruitless. Therefore, I'm ever grateful to the folks at Vagabond (who are redoing their website) for a) reminding me of a time when I was indeed a fool for the logo, albeit one that felt cultish and individual to me and b) having the eye to recognise that Hysteric Glamour did contribute something significant to Japanese street style culture at one point, even if its later offerings fell short of its original agenda.
(Worn with Michael Angel dress, KTZ sweater, Corgi x A Minute Silence socks, Underground creepers)