The first appearance of the 'Earmuff Maniac' design language emerged in Autumn/Winter 2007 and marked a stylistic turning point in Undercover’s timeline. Departing from his usual DIY punk aesthetic, Jun Takahashi turned towards the functional and thematic use of technical fabrics in a collection with no official name but referred to as “Knit and High Tech." Long fishtail coats were cut from membrane-backed waterproof synthetics such as Diaplex, yet strangely and almost counterintuitively featured anything-but-waterproof knit panels at the shoulders and crooks of elbows. The technical sheen of nylon and heat sealed clear plastic watch windows were juxtaposed against traditional winter knitwear and luxurious mink fur to create an irreverent punk amalgam of contrasting materials. It was a compelling fusion of past and future, technical and traditional.
Skip ahead two years and 'Earmuff Maniac' returns in full force, with Jun Takahashi employing (literal) space-age materials that were on the cutting edge of textile innovation. Fall/Winter 2009 saw the inclusion of fabrics like gore-tex, Schoeller PCM (a phase-changing membrane/lining that dynamically adapts to body heat and surrounding climates), and all-over digitally printed graphics to create armor-like garments cut to protect the wearer from the harsh elements of an imagined near-future. Statement gradient knits were used as a defining texture on knit cloaks with articulated hoods, layered, long sweaters, and knit kilts while shells and the sling bag shown here featuring bold trompe-l'oeil prints of it. The knits and prints gave the collection both a simulated and real softness to offset the hard, protective, and technical. The mix of materials demonstrates Jun Takahashi's design prowess and ability to create a wholely unique and off-kilter vision of the future.
About the product: Sling bag with three front pockets and one cavernous back pocket. Features clear plastic window at the phone pocket with earphone wire exit. Statement gradient-knit printed face fabric with mesh backside.
Made in Japan 9/10 Condition, with no rips, stains, or tears