John Lawrence Sullivan’s AW20 Women’s Collection Makes Pearls Look Dangerous
When he launched his brand in 2003, Tokyo-based Arashi Yanagawa was adamant at projecting his experience as a professional boxer into design. Instead of a fashion background came an attitude of strength, dignity and powerful personalities, wrapped up into a vision of modern menswear. He even named his label after one of the most legendary champions in the sport of all times. And that’s how John Lawrence Sullivan was born. 17 years later and the brand mission has evolved, establishing a signature silhouette (extremely wide-shouldered tailoring with an accentuated waist) and featuring a plethora of complex artistic inspirations that change seasonally. For AW20, Yanagawa looked at the works of German filmmaker Wim Wenders and the subject of one of his documentaries, dance pioneer Pina Bausch. Seen through his own lens – or rather the lens of John Lawrence Sullivan – these poetic references softened the harsh, masculine silhouettes that made the brand as the focus shifted on flow and movement of the human body.
The menswear collection, originally shown during London Fashion Week in January, echoed the feminine notions with pearls, which covered every inch and appeared on shoes, as buttons on the jackets as well as part of the jewellery. Exclusively for Ten, Yanagawa shared the lookbook for the women’s collection which aesthetically follows the lead from the men’s but adds new layers to the story, particularly in the accessories department. “Industrial-Punk music and dark subcultures are a foundation in all my collections. This season, I featured a quote from Japanese Rakugo actor, Danshi Tatekawa who said ‘Drinking doesn’t make humans bad, it shows how useless humans are.’ I added this to a cap with a bottle opener on its peak,” explains Arashi Yanagawa. Other highlights from the collection include stellar oversized outerwear and cinched-in leather jackets which will make your waist look as tiny as ever, especially when paired with some exaggerated wide-legged trousers. “I love it because to me, it’s about the attitude and I want people to wear this attitude,” adds Yanagawa. Badass babe dripping in pearls on the way to kick some ass? It’s a character we’d embrace any time of the day.