October 6, 2022

Hualienrainbow

We Bring Good Things to Life

N.Hoolywood Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection

At first glance, N. Hoolywood Compile’s spring collection might read as “basic” because the materials (denim, flannel, waffle, and rib knits) and pieces (jeans, shirts, windbreakers) seem so familiar. But as with everything Daisuke Obana does, nothing is as simple as it seems. Did you notice, for example, that the receding figure in the look book images is not the model wearing the preceding look, but the back view of the same model?

For some time now, Obana’s focus has been on “borderless design,” which he defines in an email as “being unconstrained by body fit, preconceived notions of design, gender, environment, etc. It can be worn in any era, any generation, without feeling out of place. In conclusion, this is an outfit that you can wear without thinking about anything and one that also makes you feel good and comfortable.” Some of these qualities have been traditionally associated with American workwear, which was, in fact, the starting point for the collection, as Obana, who once worked as a vintage dealer, has an impressive collection of American fashion. During the pandemic, Obana explains, he had more time to spend studying his treasures, searching for new finds at auction and in Tokyo’s vintage shops. In so doing, the designer became focused on the materials used in mass fashion in the past and how he could use technology to make similar-looking materials with modern functionality in small runs. For example, he explains that the team was able to retain the look of heavy material in lighter fabrics in order to “keep the feeling of the past, while creating the original fabric with modern technology.”

The intersection of old and new has long been central to Obana’s work; this collection throws us a curve, literally—see the shape of the pant seams, which is inspired by womenswear patterns. One way to interpret the apple print, influenced by an old Hawaiian shirt, is in terms of temptation as in the biblical story of Eden, which is also, in a way, about new beginnings. It seems that with this collection, Obana, never one to just go through the motions, is taking steps in a new direction. “I’ve recently become interested in something different, like sculpture or tracing the lines [patterning] of a three-dimensional object to be worn,” he writes. “I think in this season’s collection there is a particularly high level of awareness of the drape pattern that works in conjunction with body movements.” What sweet harmony.