Number (N)ine’s Takahiro Miyashita Returns-------
When Number (N)ine designer Takahiro Miyashita suddenly shuttered his critically beloved, occasionally gonzo line after Fall 2009, fans of his avant-garde menswear were bereft. Good news for them, then: After a little time off the radar, Miyashita is back with a new line, The Soloist, which he debuted in Tokyo’s tony Azabu district last week.
He’s emerged playing a more serene song than before. While his former label offered collections often inspired by rock ‘n’ roll, The Soloist is quieter, in cut and color. Eschewing concepts and themes, Miyashita describes this unisex range as clothes he wants to wear—right down to the sizing, which is based on his own ultra-slim figure. (That’s him in the new collection, pictured.)
The first collection, “Symphony 0001″ for Fall ’10, began with a jacket, constructed with more than five sewing machines and as many different fabrics. There’s almost a couture feel to the ragged edges, which are created by hand-ripping the fabrics after they’re sewn. The pieces get only more complex from there: There are shirts with removable vest overlays and hand-sewn snaps, hybrid jodhpur trousers with fake plackets, customizable tees and tanks trailing ribbon details.
“It’s really about me…My lifestyle and my spirit are the key elements,” the designer explained simply. (He’s a man of few words.) But his iconoclastic spirit is evident in the unisex styling and his timing—he’s showing Fall ’10 now, while most of his fellow designers are showing Spring ’11. That spirit will also dictate the form of the collections to come: He hopes to refresh them 12 times a year rather than on the usual Fall/Spring schedule. But there will be no more radical changes from season to season, just tweaks and evolutions of the essentials: “Designing a piece and then abandoning it makes me feel sorry for it; it’s a waste.”