It’s funny how I look forward to the months wherein Japanese brands begin teasing their new seasonal collections, considering how deeply I loathe summer (it’s 80°F and 98% humid as I write this please god save me). I suppose it’s partially because the new lookbooks keep my mind occupied as I sit inside for days on end and partially because I simply love seeing the dope stuff concocted by the brands I’ve followed for years.
Having already perused the latest from GRAPHPAPER and Sasquatchfabrix., we’re moving on to the menu’s next fashion treat, courtesy of underrated technical label MEANSWHILE.
MEANSWHILE has enjoyed a bit of crossover success here in the West, with a few daring American and European stores willing to take a chance on its progressive high-spec vision.
I briefly spoke with founder Naohiro Fujisaki in the latest issue of Highsnobiety Magazine and it brings me no less joy to keep spreading the good word, especially when it looks this, well, good.
“Overprotection,” MEANSWHILE’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection, is a riff on a typical criticism levied at any functional clothing brand: “Do you really need that much gear just to make a Starbucks run?”
Or some variation thereof. But you get the idea. Do us regular folks really benefit from wearing clothing designed with high-tech textiles, futuristic closures, and modular patterning?
MEANSWHILE is both ironically commenting on this phenomenon and leaning hard into it with its FW22 collection, wherein seemingly conventional garments hide excessively engineered details.
Witness knit sweaters fitted with fisherman cargo pockets, militaristic pants fitted with built-in Dyneema leg shields, and shower sandals set atop a beefy sole and secured with an adjustable heel strap. MEANSWHILE ain’t doing things the easy way.
But, at the same time, everything is imminently wearable, as usual.
MEANSWHILE doesn’t do technicality for technicality’s sake and even as it dips deeper into pure function, its clothes remain approachable for even us folks prefer to wear less technical duds. Overprotection? More like just the right level of protection.