Balmung (pronounced like “BALLOON” but with an “M”) has come a long way from making oversized puffed-up space-suit fashion jams to making…..BETTER puffy spacey fashion jams. All for earth-people, of course. He is quite adept at stitching together odd materials to create large silhouettes in cartoonish balance. I think about a post-apocalyptic anti-gravity Karaoke box where you wear Balmung, singing “Talking Heads” and bouncing off the walls.
Actually, Balmung designer “Hachi” may have had something like that in mind, like a pop-laced post-apocalyptic Tokyo for his new collection, “Tokyo Trash”. It is carefully constructed with clear trash bag plastic, like the big “Tokyo Ward” ones seen lining the streets on trash pickup day. He pleats and ruffles the plastic on jacket sleeves and the body of tops over sweatshirt material, like an overlay. He then pieces it together with stiff metallic vinyl and grey mesh fabric.
He used pastel pink, purple and blue fur as piping accents, so that it stood up like some exotic prehistoric crazy animal…or troll doll.
And while it seems chaotic, the video produced for ir is somber and dark (below). A very pretty “hikikomori” boy in his “trash” balmung jacket curled up like a cocoon in a bedroom piled with garbage and lit only by low neon pink lights. It’s very androgynous, a style that Hachi really excels at since his clothes are often genderless and his customers come from both sexes.
I got a piece, and I would have picked out more but the “swish swish swish” sound the trash bag material makes would have made it difficult for me to scare someone from behind, or enter and leave a room without being the center of attention. But as a new arena of fashion, I can’t pass it up when it’s in front of me, ready for the taking.