Nostalgic garments from the past revisited for the present
For Fall/Winter 2021, BEAUGAN continues to champion workwear, military and vintage-inspired utilitarian clothing for everyday life with its rendition of “nostalgic garments”. When it comes to their vision; everyday life & functionality play a big role in their designs. They produce garments that are not only functional and minimal, but also fashionable.
From French ‘50s inspired motorcycle jackets to Canadian MKII combat uniforms to oversized coats. The FW21 collection is full of nostalgic garments that were brought back to life in mud canvas, washi paper, wool and linen rendered in muted indigo and mud tones.
One of the things that we like about BEAUGAN, is that there’s always more than what meets the eye. Their artisanal weaving pays homage to traditional Japanese craftsmanship, this translates itself to the century old techniques and the fabrics that they use in their design process.
Traditional handcrafting techniques
Some garments are hand-dyed using Japanese mud-dyeing techniques (‘dorozome’ in Japanese) that originated from the Amami Island. It is a process that has over 1,300-year-old history, it involves fermenting simmered wood extract of the native “techigi” tree to produce a brownish-pink pre-dye which is used to soak the textiles. Afterwards the textiles are rinsed and immersed in a mud pit.
The fermented pre-dye chemically reacts with the textiles during this stage, which turns them into a brown colour. To achieve a deep shade of “black”, the brown dye is further dyed with the indigo plant which adds layers of blue. This process between mud and indigo dye achieves a level of intense rich chromatic indigo black, that is incomparable and inimitable by the modern methods. The hue will fade gradually over the time, giving it that beautiful antique look.
Reiteration of Joseph Beuys Iconic Felt suit
The grey felt suit is inspired by the Iconic Felt Series by German artist, Joseph Beuys. In the 1970s, the artist — who mostly wore clothing made from felt throughout his career — created 100 identical suits made from the fabric. The 1970's Felt suit by Beuysʼ wasn’t meant to be worn, as it was mainly an art project. BEAUGAN recreated the suit in an exclusive felt material that was created specifically for them. They kept the image and construction similar whilst becoming for the first time, a real garment to be worn for everyday wearing.
BEAUGAN FW21 shows their unique take on reiterating vintage garments, in biotic materials, for daily usage in the present.
At BEAUGAN, the brand’s identity is influenced by three ethos that are near and dear to the founders’ hearts. Like the charm of utilitarian workwear and military garments, they want their designs to last through the years while ageing beautifully, increasing in value and beauty over the time, which leads us to the next point.
BEAUGAN pays an immense amount of attention on natural materials not only as an ode to nature, but also because the quality is incomparable. Not only that, focusing on nature also ties in with both the founders’ cultural backgrounds (Japanese and Australian), and it’s “something to protect as much as it is something to respect”.
Lastly, as one half of its co-founder Christopher hails from Australia, the brand isn’t complete without the touch of laid back attitude that the Australians are known for. At the end of the day, as Christopher says, “Clothing doesn’t make people cool, people make clothing cool”, the pieces are made to be worn for any activity. After all, it’s all about the mindset and mentality.
From championing centuries old, artisanal weaving to create original fabrics, to incorporating century old natural dye techniques, BEAUGAN is a slow fashion artisanal label in their own right, and they let their pieces tell the story.
BEAUGAN is helmed by Christopher and Mike Okamura Hancy. Previously studying pattern cutting under Mr Yukio Kakita, a bespoke tailor and former couturier at Christian Dior, he was in the midst of developing his first BEAUGAN collection when he met Miko Okamura Hancy who enrolled herself in a master’s course in London in preparation to start her own slow fashion brand. The rest is history.