Noteworthy

Here are a few interesting and noteworthy things that I have stumbled across in the last few weeks while kicking around lovely old Vancouver, BC. Although it gets dark at 4:30PM now, there are far more opportunities for layering and having absolutely nothing better to do on a Saturday then shop.

Kamuy Vintage

I heard about a vintage workwear shop that was located in a basement in Gastown, and it was a no-brainer that I would be checking it out the following day. Underneath Out and About boutique on West Cordova (a great store for design-focused gifts and trinkets), sits Kamuy Vintage. From the moment I walked in, I knew it was unlike anything else in town. Racks of well-curated finds are stuffed into their basement space, and I managed to find a vintage Japanese army jacket after only a few minutes (I didn’t pull the trigger yet though, maybe next time).

The “pop-up” says on its website that it was supposed to end July 31st, but I snuck in this visit in early November. Let’s hope they stick around.

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Wearing vintage Japanese army jacket

Garuda

I noticed a friend of mine wearing a pair of off-white (not the brand) techwear-inspired pants while I was at his house for a pizza party. While we listened to the COLORS SHOW channel on YouTube and talked about Arc’teryx, he mentioned that they were a custom order from a clothing designer friend – and this is how I discovered GARUDA.

Initially founded in Auckland, NZ, the company was moved to Panchkula, India after only a few years of operation. Now the brand runs its own private workshop to manage every step of their process from design to manufacturing and beyond.

Their collections are wide ranging, and are organized into 4 “kits” for different use in a day in the city, and many items are made to order.

Photo from https://garuda-ss.com

DEVOA

This month saw the release of the November/December edition of FOLIO.YVR, where I interviewed Daisuke Nishida of the menswear brand DEVOA from suburban Tokyo.

I could speak at length about the clothes he makes, but for me what is more interesting is the man behind the brand. Nishida started out as a wrestling/MMA athlete and then instructor, where he started to think about how the human body moved efficiently while in motion.

He then began a career as an anatomy teacher, where he became inspired by the works of Andreas Vesalius, a figure who is seen as the grandfather of modern anatomy. Vesalius created drawings that showed the muscular structure of the human body, while elongating and affecting certain features for reasons no one knows.

Now, Nishida makes trousers that make the wearer appear taller and slimmer, and designs the seams of his jacket sleeves to, I’m not even embellishing here, caress the wearer’s arm ergonomically and minimize contact with the nerve.

Nishida does all this and practices visual art too; he is currently touring the world with his collection of visual art, featuring handmade figures and clothing that depict a futuristic human race wher everyone wears black techwear.

He worked with traditional washi paper to make this art, confirming my hypothesis that anything he wants to do, he will figure out. Keep an eye on Daisuke Nishida and the DEVOA brand in the future.

DEVOA brand
Photo from https://devoa.jp/collection

Veilance releases S/S 2020

In recent news about things that I can’t begin to afford, Veilance (no longer Arc’teryx Veilance) released their Spring/Summer 2020 collection at Paris Fashion Week, which will drop in January of 2020. In the age of “hype” and limited run releases, it’s nice to see a company focus on growing excitement for a collection over an extended period of time. Veilance shows no sign of deviating from Arc’teryx’s brand values of longevity and purposeful quality, and this will likely never change as long as they are keeping it real on Vancover’s North Shore.

This collection is inspired by French photographer Vincent Fournier, with Veilance Creative Director Taka Kasuga stating:

“Vincent’s photographs, specifically his SPACE UTOPIA series, which was shot at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, show what is possible when limitations are shred…the pieces in this collection are designed to empower the wearer in a similar way. To offer total freedom through their ability to adapt and protect in all climates.”

Fournier’s SPACE UTOPIA project was the result of touring space centres for an entire decade, in Utah, Bangalore, and Russia among other locations. This was a product of his obsession with sci-fi novels, films and comics, and harkens back to an era that is re-entering the spotlight as we approach the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The space race of the 1950’s onward was the ultimate test of mankind, an adventure where people were thrust into the most inhospitable environments imaginable. Fournier is trying to capture feelings of isolation and smallness, but also the excitement of exploring new frontiers and the technological constraints that made this difficult.

Mars Research Station #4, Mars Society, San Rafael Swell, Utah, 2008. (Vincent Fournier)

As a child, Fournier remembers visiting the Palais de la Découverte science museum in Paris, when the year 2000 was seemingly an eternity away. Now, we are caught somewhere awkward between an abandonment of the Moon’s exploration and Elon Musk’s ambitions on Mars. Surely I can’t be the only one wondering why we don’t go to the Moon more, and maybe someone with an education not in business marketing can explain this. However it is in this time that Veilance decided to take inspiration from interstellar ambition.

This collection is marketed as “expanding into territories new and old”, which seems like a copywriter’s way of describing, well, any new collection in fashion ever. Chirps aside, they are making a push into performance denim with the Cambre pant and jacket, developed from Japanese 3D ergonomic patterning and laminated construction.

Cambre Jacket & Pant

Although little information could be found about the idea behind this, the idea of a slim-fitting, performance-focused denim jacket its appealing as hell. It looks sleek and undeniably different, and also begs the question of whether it could be alterable to achieve a truer fit. As an example, the Blazer LT, a wind and water resistant offering looks distinctive, and is practical for Vancouver’s dark, wet winters. However it suffers from the trickiest part about menswear, this being everyone is nowhere near as symmetrical as they hope, and long arms, square shoulders and everything but a model’s fit wreaks havoc on the fit of a blazer. Perhaps if this denim can be fiddled with, it can make the high price point a bit easier to swallow.

Aside from a strong returning roster, some new luggage offerings promote airport hopping in true minimalist style, and to top it all off the “featherweight” pieces are super lightweight.

In related news, clumsy use of my hands resulted in a toonie-sized hole in my Frame LS shirt. I am recovering from this loss slowly, but not without the knowledge that I purchased it on ProDeal and should just retire it to a life as the lightest, most technically-sound pyjama shirt in existence.

The wait until these products actually releases begins…until then, it may be best to relax to some music without words and enjoy the Vancouver summer until wildfire smoke robs us of all joy.