Originally starting his career as a boxer, designer Arashi Yanagawa’s quest into fashion is not the typical path. His love and creativity for designing apparel guided him to become a fashion designer in 2003. It was then that Arashi founded the label John Lawrence Sullivan. Why is the brand entitled this? Paying homage to a man that embodies traits of strength, personality, dignity and never shies away from a challenge, JLS was born.
Examining the concept of ‘psychopath’ and ‘psycho killer,’ moody undertones from films such as Twin Peaks and Taxi Driver are felt through the mentality that a natural born killer has multiple personalities. Egocentrism and the need for power and control of a psychopath are the perfect character traits for a lifetime of antisocial, deviant or criminal activity.
Sartorial tailoring combined with western elements encompass the collection. A play on cowboy components are seen in the accessories: belts and cowboy boots adapted with a vibram tracking sole are noted. Core accessories such as wired gloves and glasses shaped for a true deviant allows for Sullivan’s charming and cunning ‘bad guy’ to go unrecognized and blend in within the cold, dark world that we live in. Materials such as wool, velvet, corduroy, leather and patent reinforces these elements. A standout leopard print (and a favorite) is also noted.
A key element for the season is traced back to Sullivan’s original roots as a boxer: crouching style. A provocative fighting silhouette, words such as ‘dexter and sinister’ are shown, and reinforce the left and right, the ominous and auspicious dual-sided personality, further embodying the theme of the psycho killer. Denim trousers are two-toned: with one side denim and the opposite being black denim, leather or suede, this shows the two-sided mind of our cold and calculating character. Modernizing and amending generic tailoring, accentuated silhouettes provide an edge that incorporates traditional elements of suiting. While we can see JLS’ man’s light, we certainly love his dark and twisted mind. JENNIFER STEVENS