Sure, we did visit Mr. Suzuki at the New York Nepenthes offices, but this time Stan Parish of GQ made the trip. The report offers some insight into Daiki's day and his long hours in the studio. Designing your own collection as extensive as Engineered Garments is harder than any job I can imagine, but Mr. Suzuki does two which is well beyond normal. He speaks on his recently found passion for surfing and it's effect and inspiration on Woolrich Woolen Mills SS10 collection specifically. It's one of my favorite collections from the upcoming season and unsurprisingly Daiki Suzuki is one of my favorite designers. It's always interesting to get another peek into the office and to hear about the little things that shape and form the products we love in the end. — A Day with Daiki — How he starts his day: I get a cup of coffee on the corner, first thing in the morning. I check emails at my desk, maybe do some paperwork. And when I’m ready, I just come here. This round table is where all the planning and designing happens. Where he got it: I got the table off the street about 10 years ago in Tribeca. I was drunk, and I was walking after midnight, and I saw this table. It was so heavy, we needed three people, so I got two friends of mine, and the three of us loaded it up. Ever since, it’s been the planning table. What he does there: I draw most of the time. Before the process I have so many ideas, but the hard part is how you pick things, and put them together to make them look like what you want. In the beginning it’s really busy inside the brain, but you’re not actually moving anything; it’s working, but it doesn’t really look like working. Working tunes: Today it’s classical, but sometimes it’s ’70s American rock. I love music from England; I was really into New Wave. I still go see Echo and the Bunnymen. Those guys are still doing great. How he gets is all done: I come here very early in the morning, when no one is around. There’s a good two hours with maybe one other person here. After 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., everybody leaves, so I get two or three hours that I can be here alone. I actually come here every weekend, too. I go surfing in the morning and then I come back in the city around 12 or 1 o’clock. I shower, get dressed, and come up here. I stay all night—sometimes I fall asleep here, if I’ve used too much energy in the water. Where he surfs: Long Beach, NY. Me and my friends get together at 5:00 in the morning, get out there at 6:30, watch the sun come up, and jump in the water. Why he surfs: It’s becoming a bigger and bigger thing for me. When you work like this, you need a break. Just to go out there, and be in the ocean, is really great for me. I can’t live without it now. I work so hard on the weekdays, but I’m always thinking about the weekend, and how the waves are going to be. I never surfed until last summer, but I love the culture, the fashion. I grew up in Japan in the 1970s and at that time we got so much inspiration from the states. Everything was new to us. One of the first things that came from the states was a west coast lifestyle like skateboard and surfing—the pocket tee shirts, the Ocean Pacific corduroy shorts, and windbreakers. All those kind of things. What I did for Woolrich for next spring was based on what I remember from my teenage years.
Entries in Engineered Garments (186)
Fresh of their collaboration shoes with Engineered Garments, the brand that focuses heavily on their made in the USA garments jets over to the UK for another round of brogues. This time they've teamed up with Tricker's on two different models; the multi-tone wing tip and a cap toe brogue. I'm actually not really much of a cap toe fan myself, but the multi-tone and material wing tips definitely look appealing. The use of the pebbled leather, suede and a black and brown actually come together rather well to make a shoe that I can't imagine selling in North America. I suppose that's why they aren't available here and why Japan is the only place that could figure out how to wear them (for the most part) and pay the price to do so. That said, if you like them enough, you can always contact Tricker's and do your own personal collaboration. —
The Baker jacket was on the top of my list coming into this fall. After seeing the full collection back in January, it felt like an easy wear and the variety of fabrics meant I could easily have taken three or four home with me. I decided to go with the navy serge wool early on and have enjoyed the decision all season long. I was actually surprised that so few shops had bought the jacket as I had to go overseas to The Bureau to track it down. Now, I'm even more surprised to see that Odin is the only shop where I've seen this version of the Baker. Not only does the cotton twill look really great, it comes in at a much nicer price of $350. It's still not cheap, but for a jacket that looks, feels and fits like this – it's well worth the purchase in my opinion. I find the Baker to fit a little on the big side, so although there is only a small left in stock, it could be somebody's new favorite jacket quite easily. So somebody pick it up asap and wear it all the time, thanks. —
We've had some great weather in Vancouver this week. The sun has peaked out again for the most part and the temperature has been quite pleasant. It's made for a little break from rain coats and umbrellas and it's nice to not worry about what shoes to wear. Saturday was particularly nice as Owen and I rolled around town to a couple vintage furniture shops, checked out the soon-to-open Haven shop and of course spent some time packing magazines. Staying warm and comfortable are usually wardrobe requirements, but even more so on the weekend, so it was turtleneck time for me. I've had the most luck with the high necked knit when layering it over a flannel and letting the collar poke out the top and bottom for a nice bit of pattern and texture. I've been wearing the Workaday cords most days of the week in one colour or another, so that isn't much of a surprise. Since the sun has been missing there has been no time for no socks, but today was just warm enough to slip the peanut grizzly Quoddy's back on, and how good they feel. The red Inverallan cap was thrown on when the sun dipped below the horizon and there you have a handful of clothes I wore on a Saturday.
One of the items that I will definitely remember from Tokyo – partially because I didn't end up purchasing it and partly regret it – were these special edition Bedford jackets from the Engineered Garments store. They jackets themselves are made from a washed-out cotton twill material which was extremely soft and very comfortable from the first time you put it on. I'm not sure, but I think it may have been a treated version of last spring's unlined navy twill Bedford. The patches apparently come from Daiki Suzuki's collection of deadstock goodies. Picked up over the years, there is only one combination of jacket and patch, which means your choice when picking your patch/size gets pretty slim, pretty quick. The patches are from old baseball teams and definitely fit well with the aesthetic of the sport coats. Although you could surely find your own patch and sew it on yourself, there is always something nice about finding a really unique piece and making it yours. —
It's no secret that Engineered Garments is probably my favorite brand these days. I just find that their pieces fit me and my lifestyle perfectly. From the variety of jackets, to the materials offered, to the small details in tags, collars and buttons – nothing feels overdone, out of place or unconsidered. I started throwing this look together and I didn't mean for it to be all Engineered Garments, but just like getting dressed in real life, it seems to be a common theme. I've been dying for a nice down vest to wear over a sport coat and the EG vest and Baker jacket couldn't be a better pair in my opinion. Throw in brown Workaday cords, a broadcloth 19th Century BD and a rare but ideal EG tote bag and you're set. The two other pieces come courtesy of Quoddy for the crepe sole ring boots and Inverallan made the kit cap – which will be available next week in the Stockroom.
The variety of wools in the Engineered Garments fall collection is quite impressive. Each jacket or coat seems to be offered in two or three different forms of the warm winter material, so it's not hard to find the perfect version. The duffle coat by EG has always been on my rader, but I've rarely come across it in person. The navy blue melton wool is perfectly complimented by the white rope and natural wood toggles. The fit is great and it falls on your body very comfortably while keeping you nice and warm. My only change would maybe be to move the top toggle down a little as it feels a bit high to do-up while wearing. I'll let it slide however since the hood detail makes up for it. It can actually flop inside or outside to throw over your head, or actually be worn as a bit of a shawl neck if you play it right. —
While most stockists have bought the wool argyle pattern, the best option in the classic Bedford jacket comes in a great sateen cotton or serge wool. The absolute staple in casual sportswear seems to get better season after season, and this fall's navy option is another favorite. While visiting the Tokyo Engineered Garments flagship, we were lucky enough to see a couple special editions of the coat. The jackets are in a brushed twill and come with a deadstock one-off baseball patch from Daiki's collection on the left pocket. We're still debating picking up one of these rare Bedfords, but you could always get this one and find your own patch.