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 Woolrich Woolen Mills (56)
While each of these items have probably already been seen on this blog, there is always a new way to mix things together and think about how to pair them. I wouldn't usually think of wearing a bow tie with field pants and ring boots, but I feel like the casual BD shirt in white is perfect for the style of bow tie, yet 'ties' in very well with the cargo pants. The heavy cardigan tops things off with a heavy layer and a dark enough tone to make the rest of the look feel ready for a fall day. I don't think this is a look for everyone, but I think it can be pulled off and it could at least be worth trying at home. Getting dressed is supposed to be a fun event, or at least I like to think it is. Stepping outside of the norm, or at least your own norm is a good idea once in awhile. There are often little things we might not have thought we'd be happily wearing today, but we are, and it's because we gave them a try and it worked – it lead to something else. So be it a bow tie or a pair of ring boots or an unlikely combination, it's all about the calculated risk and fun of it. — The Items Inverallan for Inventory Cardigan Alexander Olch for Inventory Bow Tie Woolrich Woolen Mills Upland Shirt Woolrich Woolen Mills Field Pants Quoddy Ring Boots Wm J Mills Tote Bag
The Woolen Mills collection has seen an exciting growth in popularity and size. And this spring the WWM collection really departs it's more subdued aesthetic and looks entirely different from the Engineered Garments SS10 collection. The Woolen Mills spring collection was one of my favorites from the summer shows. The colour blocking with tans, navy and azure blues all come together very nicely and compliment the surf inspired prints. Daiki Suzuki was inspired by surf books by Leroy Grannis and Ron Church which he'd found well diving head first into his own passion for surfing. The jackets are apparently a bit more tailored this season, which should be interesting to see. While the styled looks we have here aren't particularly riveting, I do feel that the collection was quite strong and we'll have to look to our favorite retailers for their take and hopefully well edited buys in a couple months. —
A couple brands that I like have been producing flannel over shirts with zippers behind the buttons. It's a design that I've seen from Wings+Horns for a few seasons and Woolrich Woolen Mills specifically this fall. I've actually never really liked the feature that much, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. I feel like the nature of these shirts is comfortable and cozy and the cool, razor edges of a big zipper kind of take that away. That said, the contrast in a soft material, nice buttons, placket and zipper can be a nice mix when done well. I've never purchased an over shirt with a zipper, but the Wings+Horns version seems to be doing well at Roden Gray. Would you prefer not to have the zipper? Is it just nice looking, unnecessary detail that separates the shirt from the pack or is there an actual functionality to it?
I'm a big fan of all of the chambray shirting by Engineered Garments and Woolrich Woolen Mills so it's no surprised I've made note of most of them this season. The Cruiser chambray shirt is another simple and easy to wear shirt that looks great. The colour is great and I usually prefer my chambray with white stitching and white buttons. The nice bar tacks and button flap pockets on the chest have small cotton pockets on the inside keep things organized. Another thing Daiki has perfected is the size of the collar on his designs. I think he has just the right ratio across the board on his BD shirts to the work shirts - where many other designers or reproduction pieces just don't feel right on me. The slightly different pockets, curved back yoke and tab button collar are enough to make me want to add it to the chambray collection this fall.
Bordering the lines between sweater and jacket, the Woolen Mills Maine Guide top features all the right details for fall. Grey wool, shawl neck that buttons across, chest pockets and flap lower pockets. This piece is perfect for layering over a shirt and under a parka. Casual enough to be worn as a sport coat, it would still work just fine with a neck tie and BD oxford. This seems like such an easy piece to wear for 7 months of the year, it is hard to say no to right now. I've personally put a stop on buying for the short term future but if I had some money in my pockets, this could easily get traded for that money.
A couple of the best items each season in the Woolen Mills collection come with the Upland name attached - both in shirt and jacket form. This fall's grey wool Upland might be a stand out winner due to it's absolutely classic look and wearable material/color combination. From the pocket placement to the elbow patched, the jacket symbolizes what the brand and collection are all about. Casual and rugged, American sportswear, durable and function - all pretty good features to have in a single item, and they are all included with the Upland. The only possible qualm with actually wearing the piece could be the truncated labels and small collar, but that is how the jacket is meant to be and can easily be avoided by popping the collar - which is also a good move in foul weather.