The philosophy of ts(s) and designer Takuji Suzuki is… in between. Does he make military influenced sportswear? Sportswear influenced militaria? The answer is in between. For the 2012 collection, no piece is wholly in one world or another. A military jacket can flip down its collar and become a seemingly straightforward tailored sportcoat. A weighty navy wool fabric used in a fireman’s toggle coat is knit rather than woven, and has a surprising amount of give. A windowpane pattern has been “broken” to make it ts(s)’s own.
Shades of navy and khaki dominate ts(s) fall 2012, with flashes of blaze orange and pink (in shirts and accessories) to set it off. Many fabrics are exclusive or ts(s)-designed, while others have been treated by ts(s) in unusual ways–an Italian gray flannel, for example, is deceptively printed with a snow-like pattern that brings out either blue or olive drab tones.
At Pitti, we looked at a reversible down vest in a mottled olive herringbone wool/linen blend (phew) from Donegal, Ireland (reverse is olive polyester). The fabric is hairy but soft. A raglan jacket incorporates the same fabric and down in the torso–the sleeves are not quilt lined. Another outerwear piece uses knotty-textured Austrian loden fabric in a staticky mottled green and blue. Brogue boots in two-tone fabric (lined in leather) drew a lot of attention–Suzuki wanted color in his shoes and chose a durable poly felt. The boots are storm welted and vibram soled, with a natural welt for contrast (and made in Japan).
Many of ts(s)’s pieces are normal, wearable cuts. But some are less traditional–a poncho in a tech fabric has a lot of volume, and the fireman’s jacket can be matched with aggressively cropped trousers in the same fabric, and caps that play on military shapes but look vaguely Galactic Empire-era. Nearly 10 years in, Suzuki’s well-balanced work has certainly stepped out of the long shadow cast by his brother, Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki.