In keeping with my bi-annual tradition of taking a couple street style photos and writing far too much on them, after this latest crop of shots from Paris Fashion Week I’ve decided to finally call Takahiro Kinoshita’s number. If there’s anyone whose style I try to emulate, it’s Popeye Magazine’s editor-in-chief, who I consider to be a true Miyuki-Zoku in 2013. Case, in point these photos from two (consecutive?) days at Paris Fashion Week – the first (above) taken by Tommy Ton for GQ depicts Kinoshita in a rare casual fit, while the second (below) from Youngjun Koo’s series for High Snobiety, captures Kinoshita in his more common “neo-trad” look. It’s this dichotomy – relaxed one day, tailored the next, that positions Kinoshita alongside Yasuto Kamoshita, Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi (Dennis Rodman jersey and all), and Yoshimasa Hoshiba, as one of the most influential men in American style today, because let’s face it, the Japanese are simply doing it better right now.
What really resonates with me is that, Kinoshita appears perfectly at ease in both photos, never seeming the least bit uncomfortable despite the disparities between the two looks. The casual fit reminds me of the sort of shoot that Popeye might actually do on a younger East Coast look, with wider legged khakis, woodland camo, and the slightest hint of a tennis sweater, volleying between Take Ivy and New England heritage. There’s also some interesting things going on with proportions between the top buttoned jacket that fans out, and a shorter sweater with the slightest hint of an oxford peeking out.
As for the more tailored look, I am fascinated by how Kinoshita takes a very traditional palette – mainly grey and navy with touches of white and black, and makes it modern primarily though fit. With tapered trousers (capped off by a perfectly proportioned cuff), a slimmer jacket, a higher inseam (the common thread between both shots), and details like a club collared shirt, a knit tie, a higher gorge, and beltless trousers (interestingly with the belt loops still intact) it’s sixties trad through a post-millennial lens. Some might call it sacrilege, I for one just wish the stores on Madison Ave. could at least try to keep up with our brethren from the Land of the Rising Sun.