Thursday 21st June

| BY Richard Gray

Undercover: Menswear Spring/ Summer 2019

Any acolyte of Undercover who has visited the punk-fused, plugged-in Tokyo brand’s flagship store, will have noticed the rare and super-collectible album covers that line the staircase of the store. It’s a place of pilgrimage and worship for fanatics of the Jun Takahashi-designed brand; he’s a huge fan of music. The brand pitches street against somber in an arc of hyper-cool essential pieces. And tonight’s show celebrated another favourite narrative of Takahashi: tribes. One after the other, eight boy-gangs walked out, each with their own agenda. Each gang had its own uniform and aesthetic, sometimes liberally borrowed from fictional gangs on film. Gang 1. Something like ‘The Warriors’: The film, set in an imagined late ‘70s New York, tells a tale of pitch battles over turf and credibility. The outfits: much of the same seen in the film: plenty of tight camel trousers and sleeveless tops. Gang 2. As if the Bauhaus singer had his own devoted cult, models dressed as Peter Murphy lookalikes with pan-stick-faces in tight black jeans with white bleached-out figures on black leather jackets. Gang 3. Mishmash tartans and letterman jackets. Kilts and bikers in bright colours. Gang 4. Holding hammers and wearing glasses, this was an intimidating group of tech-city nerds with manga-style prints on the back of sweatshirts and they wore normcore trousers. Gang 5. Motorcycle helmet wearing wrong ‘uns with brightly coloured ice hockey tops that could have been from the world of BMX. Gang 6. A tartan clan of zipped-up punks with backpacks. Gang 7. A line out of reprobates with sticks and chains, shiny jackets and painted faces. Gang 8. A weirdo cult of monster worshippers with monster printed jackets representing cities of the world. It was, all of it, quite incredible. Quite incredible.