March 05, 2010 Paris
Takahashi wears a leather watch printed with the words "Less but better," and that continues to be his mantra. Coats, for example, are made from as few separate pieces of fabric as possible, while jackets are reversible, with fleece, that everyman fabric, on one side and silk on the other. He hasn't abandoned luxury entirely: Another jacket that looks like fleece is in fact sheared sheepskin, and his olive-drab fatigue shirt comes in washed silk. Still, the wittiest elements of the collection poke not so subtle fun at the trappings of wealth: a Globe-Trotter trolley suitcase whipped up in nylon, a Birkin made from colorful, outdoorsy backpack material.
It can seem a bit disingenuous, or at the least like he's jeopardizing his own livelihood, when a designer starts preaching an antimaterialist message as Takahashi has—his nylon eco bags read, "Not buy unnecessary things." In this case, though, there's a certain logic at work. With his focus on T-shirts, jeans, and sporty outerwear, the Undercover operator is simply pushing this season's emphasis on practical chic to the limit.