N. Hoolywood’s Daisuke Obana is a master at combining “functionality and fashionability,” a term he used to describe a particular style, but which also applies to his overall work. He specializes in vintage American workwear and military gear, with a specific focus on the brand’s Test Product Exchange line.
The concept here involves incorporating elements of utility clothing into civilian garments, with an emphasis on technical fabrics. This spring collection features materials such as water-repellent coated ripstop and high-density fleece. To add a pop of color to the otherwise neutral palette, Obana drew inspiration from Britain’s military bomb disposal kit, incorporating largish red tab adjusters. The drawcords attached to these adjusters can be traced back to cargo pants worn by German forces. These cords allow the wearer to customize proportions, dimensions, fit, and prevent heat from escaping. Other fashion designers are now catching up to N. Hoolywood’s appreciation for adjustability, as evidenced by the experimentation with multi-wear garments during the resort season.
Functionality is a practical aspect of Obana’s aesthetic. His work demonstrates precision and attention to detail. In previous seasons, he meticulously arranged a model in poses that seamlessly blended with vintage postcard images (pre-fall 2022), and he worked to recreate the video aesthetics of the ’80s (spring 2023). This dedication could be seen as a manifestation of the belief that solutions can be found. If design can actually make things work, then there are methods that can be employed to enhance life on Earth.
In any case, Obana’s ambition and commitment were evident this season. He and his team spent a week digging a 40-meter-long and three-meter-deep trench in a friend’s field in Niigata prefecture. As Obana wrote, “This action expresses our desire for a world where such activities are unnecessary.” Amen to that.