Fresh Prints

February 10, 2015
Fresh Prints
A quick scroll through who I follow on Instagram will reveal my penchant for a late 80s/early 90s graphic print. My new-ish blog header also alludes somewhat to my inclination towards anything reminiscent of the Saved By The Bell title sequence, and this post from last year goes some way into discussing my love of this style of print. But a recent drop by indie label In Real Life London has led me to devle into it further…

Yoko Honda, a Tokyo based artist, manages to capture this vibe perfectly through her use of shapes, squiggles, air brush style gradients, palm trees, mirror shades, and a signature palette of bubblegum pinks and sky blues. Creating a list to pinpoint what it exactly is about her work that evokes the Miami Vice theme tune, or makes you yearn for some acid wash, is actually fairly difficult as every single facet has that era of design down to a tee. Honda’s motel and poolside scenes instantly transport you; you are that bronzed Magnum P.I. extra, lounging in a swimsuit with an extraordinarily high leg line; you do owe your toned body to Jane Fonda; you are partial to a neon sign.

Brandon E. Cannon, while perhaps working from a similar point of influence, takes his work in a different direction with a more tactile approach. His collages make creative use of every day objects such as dishcloths, pegs and scourers, and are combined with bold brush strokes, paint squeezed straight from the tube, and textured paper that you want to run your fingers across. While colours and prints do clash and over lap, Cannon’s work is work is minimal in that each element has the space to breathe. 


So naturally, I want to translate this all over to my wardrobe and to be able to look like I’ve just stepped out of the Eye on Springfield opening credits. Luckily for me, In Real Life London exists. Founded by Cornelia Van Rijswijk in 2012, the independent label is run exclusively online and ‘speaks to those who identify with online subcultures; who shop and socialise mainly online’. This set up means Van Rijswijk can communicate with, and sell directly to, her followers on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr without any need for negotiating cuts with stockists or shelling out for PR. It’s a big part of what IRL LDN are all about and is, increasingly, a way for independents to retain complete control over their labels.

Very much a continuation of their ‘Unique’ 2014 collection, IRL LDN’s current collection features bold, abstract placement prints and is part of Van Rijswijk’s ‘Memphis’ theme which has spanned three collections so far, and which she continues to develop. The Memphis theme is inspired, I would imagine, by The Memphis Group, renowned for their post-modern design throughout the 1980s. (It wouldn’t surprise me if their work also featured on the inspiration boards of Honda and Cannon, such is the reach of their influence. See also; Christian Dior Haute Couture AW11.)

So as to allow the prints to speak for themselves, cuts are kept simple – halter, classic tee, leggings, tube skirt, and sweater are the shapes available for this season. Manufactured from fabric printed in London, each item is made to order as IRL LDN put emphasis on the unique quality of their garments. I’m already the proud owner of a piece from the Unique collection, and I can’t wait to get my hands on something from this one (currently torn between the ‘Armchair’ and ‘Geometric’ halternecks!). 


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