Rated 5 out of 5
The first comprehensive book on the work of Jun Takahashi of UNDERCOVER, an icon of Harajuku streetwear and the presumptive heir to the heavy mantle of Japanese deconstruction. Takahashi Jun’s fashion is not born out of an excessively intellectualized agenda. While not quite populist, his generative influences are instead romantic—even gothic. A fixture of the Paris collections for more than ten years—plus seventeen uninterrupted seasons in Tokyo prior to that—Takahashi’s life’s work confirms a maturation from self-conscious artifice and rebel pastiche to a steely, withering elegance all his own. Hailing from Gunma Prefecture like his friend Nigo of A Bathing Ape, Takahashi’s long association with the undisputed king of Ura-Harajuku in the early 1990s is now the stuff of local fashion lore. But Takahashi would blaze an entirely different path to legend and notoriety. The violent rending and hasty reassembly that characterized his early work, its calculated imperfections and sutured seams, have given way to collections that he himself now calls "sexy and feminine." UNDERCOVER is insightfully curated with fashion-filled chapters devoted to Takahashi’s sketches, graphic work, collaborations, and most innovative designs to date. Lavishly illustrated with more than 200 photographs and in-depth essays by fashion writers, curators, and colleagues, this book gives readers first time access into Takahashi’s UNDERCOVER, one of the most desired and multidimensional clothing lines in contemporary fashion.