Of all the staples in a man's wardrobe, utility clothing remains a constant source of inspiration for our work hard, play hard lifestyle. In Japan they take this sort of thing very seriously and Kobayashi Setsumasa's clothing line - previously known as General Research - is a case in point.
In W* 117 we took a look at Mountain Research but this is just a fragment of Setsumasa's project. Each season, Setsumasa and two close friends take to the hills and decide the focus of their next collection; hence the blank dots of the label. ... Research is deliberately left open for inspiration.
To date, this has arrived in the form of collections based upon prisoner uniforms (September 06), riding equipment (December 06), newspaper boy gear (April 07 - including some nifty messenger bags) plus two perennial favourites, Naval and Mountaineering garments.
This winter, Mountain Research has slogans such as 'Only Anarchists Live With Mountains' embroidered on their sweat-shirting. Thick jersey trackpants are fleece-lined and feature kneepads. Hooded anoraks mix traditional US Woolrich plaid with technical fabrics for warmth and durability.
When ... Research have sold out of clothes, Setsumasa and associates simply disappear back up to their cabin in Mpunt Fuji. This is one set-up that is not out to prove anything other than continue developing their love for original utility garments. As we were saying - Work hard, Play hard.