Japanese brand WACKO MARIA is less of a curator of cultural aesthetics and more of a “we like this stuff so we’re gonna put it on T-shirts” brand. The difference between WACKO MARIA and so many nameless streetwear labels is that WACKO MARIA has taste, parceled out through a discernable aesthetic.
The WACKO MARIA vibe is skeezy, masculine, and surprisingly classic. It has a deep-seated appreciation for menswear of the classic sort and blends tailored refinement with graphic slouchewear at a hat’s drop.
Easy clothing is the name of WACKO MARIA’s game, anchored by venerable staples like printed shirts, fuzzy cardigans, trim blazers, camp-collar short-sleeves, work pants, and refined slacks. Nothing crazy, nothing trendy, just the basics.
For Fall/Winter 2022 — named “天国東京” (“Paradise Tokyo”) in honor of WACKO MARIA’s Tokyo flagship — WACKO MARIA keeps this familiar pace. It rejoins outdoor brand Nanga for co-branded puffer jackets which are then layered over blurred check shirts, satin souvenir jackets, tapestry cardigans, and satin harringtons for insulation and an air of sleaze.
A few items represent a hint of stylistic adventurousness, like the leather patch-pocket blazer and reversible fleece work shirt but, really, this is the same ol’ WACKO MARIA you know and love/loathe/tolerate.
As usual, the most notable pieces from this WACKO MARIA collection are the bits that came from collaborations with the artists whom the WACKO MARIA team enjoys.
Previous seasons have seen a wide array of team-ups, from Superbad to Leatherface, but Fall/Winter 2022 is relatively pared back.
More Basquiat-branded goods are on hand — the aforementioned intarsia cardigan is a standout — and there are a couple Bob Marley-printed pieces also available.
The latter look a little too much like headshop merch to me, but you can’t go wrong with WACKO MARIA’s takes on Jean-Michel.