Julius pushes the boundaries of avant-garde fashion and plays by his own set of rules, avoiding the chiseled and hieratic forms which characterized his past collections, and creating a more direct and socially-critical type of collection. Tatsuro Horikawa brings his street warriors onto the runway, an army whose only objective is to subvert every certainty regarding the brand. The connections to his past, if subtle, are there: the waterproof-boots, the colour pallet defined by the stark contrast of black and white and mitigated by shades of gray. The rest, however, opens many broad new horizons available for the brand, before our very eyes. It’s a closer look into streetwear, clearly inspired by the 80’s and 90’s street and hip hop culture: stocking hats, sleeveless hoodies, legwarmers and baggy pants: “We were tired of limits and we wanted to expand our comfort zone.” – Tatsuro told me, during a conversation we had in Paris.

The prints which decorate hoodies, belts, leggings and bandanas are an homage to the artist which inspired the collection, Karl O’Connor, aka Regis. “The idea of paying homage to the British Murder Boys, Karl’s group, and the recent happenings in England, was a bizarre coincidence; many have wondered if I had done it on purpose, but the collection had been ready weeks before Brexit happened.” – He continued.

The news outlets, while paying tribute to Regis and his legendary British band, perceive a subversive criticism towards materialism and consumerism, and see this reflected on the collection. The uniformity and coherence of the presented designs, which effectively brings to mind a group of rebels from the suburbs of Brooklyn, is all thanks to the new stylist hired by the brand, who has managed to further streamline the visual language of the collection. “We wanted the show to be something new and, in a certain sense, experimental, and being able to have models walk off-schedule for the first time has given us the freedom necessary to express ourselves and dare to the best of our abilities” – Horikawa concluded.

Even the show was part of the surprise, having recreated a perfect underground ambiance. The public found itself immersed in very different experience from that of a more canonical fashion show. Everything was aimed at imitating the atmosphere of a back-alley club: the post-industrial location, the setting, the live soundtrack, and most of all the fact that the runway and public were only separated by safety barriers and tape. Everything worked together to make this show unmissable. This event opens a new chapter for the brand, which is definitely a welcome change. The avant-garde scene has suffered greatly in these past few years from stagnation, the absence of creativity and most of all, the unwillingness to break the mold and shake up clichés. This collection breathes new life and introduces new ideas, maybe even opening a new dialogue with upcoming brands like Vetements or Gosha and pushing the closed and self-referencial avant-garde movement into a more dynamic direction.

Could this be the beginning of a new golden age?