Byronesque.com, the editorially driven e-commerce site and app specializing in contemporary vintage fashion, has taken up residence at Opening Ceremony‘s Shibuya location in Tokyo through Oct. 30, to ply its provocative vintage subculture to Tokyo Fashion Week. “What will you be remembered for,” the name of the Byronesque.com sale, is a nod to a time when creativity was more important than the celebrity and commerce of today.
Byronesque.com, which thrives on its subversive reputation, enlisted the Shichifukujin crew of graffiti artists to “f–k up Opening Ceremony’s windows in a display of cultural disappointment,” said Gill Linton, the web site’s editor in chief and chief executive officer. Shichifukujin tagged store windows with messages about the banality of fashion and what Linton calls “today’s culture of no-culture.” Sprayed statements included, “F–k your Instagram look” and “Beware of cheap imitations.”
“Tagging, by its very nature is an ephemeral marking of territory,” said Byronesque.com creative director, Justin Westover. “By covering the window in layers of changing and overwritten tags, we’re drawing attention to the superficial transience of contemporary culture.”
The collection for Opening Ceremony includes sought-after men’s and women’s pieces from the Nineties through the mid-Aughts by Helmut Lang, Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons and some rare, authenticated Seditionaries pieces. London’s Vexed Generation opened their archive for the first time, exclusively for Byronesque, as will Karlo Steel, the former owner and creative director of Atelier, a now-defunct Manhattan boutique popular with Japanese fashion pilgrims.
Among the pieces sourced from private collectors are Martin Margiela Tabi’s, 1995, and other major items shot by Mark Borthwick, the British photographer who collaborated with Margiela; Yohji Yamamoto’s wedding collection skirt, 1999, from the private collection of Yamamoto creative director Irene Silvagni, and Raf Simons’ hoodie cape, 2004.
“There are never any ‘fillers’ in our collections, but Tokyo is a tough crowd and it challenged us to be extra ruthless with our edit,” Linton said, adding, “We can’t provoke people to make fashion history if we don’t give them the uniforms.”
“For some time, I’ve been a fan of Byronesque.com’s unmatched curatorial eye,” said Humberto Leon, cofounder and creative director of Opening Ceremony. “As a big fan of fashion, it’s great to see designer pieces like these have a second life, and we’re glad Opening Ceremony is the place where many of these garments can find their next owner.”