Today marked the return of WTaps for Fall/Winter ’14 with the release of the brand’s seasonal preview and lookbook over at their website. Though WTaps typically keeps its cards to its chest on specifics, the preview is a chance for head designer Tetsu Nishiyama to outline the fundamental concepts of the collection and to paint the broad strokes – something which has certainly become more central to collections since the birth of his child and the reflective introversion this has brought to his creative process.
The chosen theme for this season is ‘Youthful Dayz’, exploring ‘the profoundness of the time called “now”’ through Nishiyama’s eyes. The lookbook revolves around Nishiyama and a group of friends taking a trip into the forest to go kayaking and fishing, previewing appropriate pieces from the season along the way.
The collection continues to take clear leads from military culture, blending it into a broader outdoors theme; functional pieces like the utility vest are combined with mainstays like the woodland camo parka, bringing a familiar flavour from the brand, but one with increasing maturity.
With the lookbook having set the tone, a selection of styles is presented to give a broader picture of the collection. Alongside the rugged outdoor style already seen, the brand has continued to develop its staple menswear pieces as well as its own takes on classic American clothing – most exciting from this collection is the announcement of a collaboration with Ebbetts Field Flannels, who have created a shirt, fitted cap and coaches jacket for the season, all of it looking stinking rich. Alongside we can also see references to other Stateside trends including prep, punk and casual athletic.
Once more, the presented styles draw clear lines and boundaries throughout the collection that ties each piece to a distinctive form. With the central themes cemented, side pieces then give light to other sources of inspiration and stimuli; a perfect fishing trip companion in the Barbour-esque waxed cotton jacket; references to early 20th century frontiers in the boa liner jacket and sheepskin boots; a nostalgic but contemporary hardcore vibe in the all-black MA-1 outfit.
Overall it’s a familiar hit of WTaps, presenting another of TET’s personal explorations into functional fashion. On the one hand, the creation of a WTaps Ebbetts piece was long overdue, but in a broader picture it constitutes another puzzle piece in the identity that Nishiyama is constructing through WTaps.
Gradually maturing, with a family of his own to worry about, you can pick up these signals that he’s taking more time to inject his personal desires into each design, and the continued use of lookbooks revolving around this makes it even more interesting.
As outlined in the ‘Lifist’ collection and in FPAR, his philosophy is becoming more and more focused on self-enlightenment and fulfilment. The authenticity of such an objective only gets stronger with each collection. Clearly the time spent with his child has reignited memories from the days of his youth and with it a passion for the present moment, something which this latest collection seizes through its designer’s immersion in the new life forming around him.
WTaps’ Fall/Winter 2014 will be available worldwide over the coming weeks from stockists such as Haven, End Clothing and Union Los Angeles. Enjoy the lookbook and Style shots below, or check out the WTaps website for more information. Safe!