Japanese Fashion designer Yosuke Aizawa, the mastermind behind White Mountaineering, has recently presented a new collection that reflects his lifestyle change during the pandemic. The designer, who is based in Tokyo, decided to build himself a cabin in the mountains near Nagano, Japan. The cabin, which is a blend of raw concrete and polished wood, with double-height glass windows and a huge roaring fire, became his refuge from the fast-paced city life.
As a result of this change, Aizawa’s designs have become more versatile, able to adapt to both urban and rural environments. The designer was also inspired by his friend Naoki Ishikawa, a Japanese climber, writer, and photographer. Ishikawa’s photographs of his successful summit of the eighth-highest mountain in the world, Manaslu in Nepal, in 2012 and again in 2022, were used as the basis of inspiration for Aizawa’s fall collection.
The collection, which was showcased in Faculté de Pharmacie, reflects the dichotomy between an urban wardrobe and cold-weather gear, as Aizawa dubs it “a double life” between his Tokyo studio and Nagano cabin. However, Aizawa was keen to stress that “we aren’t just an outdoor brand so I wanted to include more of a fashion element, an elegance.” To achieve this, Aizawa used traditional sartorial fabrics, cutting them into more relaxed options or buffering them with more technical ones, making them suitable for cold weather. The cuts also included “more mobility,” with ease of movement incorporated into the shape of an arm or adding openings.
Highlights of the collection included textured trousers that hit the sweet spot between joggers and slacks, an attractive vest, and most of the coats. The show opened with a charcoal gray unlined duffle coat and closed with a shawl-collared puffer coat, which were both smashing. The collection was seen on a particularly chilly afternoon, and Aizawa’s vision of being insulated from the elements yet pulled together felt highly compelling.
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