So yes, the capsule collaboration between Nigel Cabourn and Japanese retail mountain Journal Standard is no new news but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because our buddy Nigel himself is taking you on a tour through ‘The Drawing Room’ and all the tiny details that make it so great. Setting the scene, it’s the middle of winter in Tokyo, and the warm glow of the Journal Standard Omotesando store radiates elegance from far. The sun has set and the light has a blueish hue, but the store is a contrasting yellow tone, furnished in industrial brick and metal piping that frames every garment the same way a trophy wall shows off great achievement with pride.
We are always welcomed into the store with a huge grin, especially because people surrounding menswear have such high regard for Nigel and his body of work spanning over 40 years – but also because everyone is just plain nice. I never feel too daggy to walk into the store, and I am never met with any kind of fashion-judgement at the door. They all have a wonderfully individual sense of style, and healthy knowledge of their wares. Not only is there a high regard for professionalism, but you can’t help but notice their passion for the age old art of dressing.
On a side note, Nigel Cabourn is definitely what you would call a pillar in the menswear industry, a figure designers strive towards, and lets not forget that his clothing lines are of a superior quality that consumers aspire to own – at the end of the day the garment industry is tough to start out in, and tough to exist in. So when someone has a lifetime career in it, it’s more than respect we need to give.
Onwards, we move downstairs to the Drawing Room, rendered in classic mosaic tiles, solid timber, and more industrial vintage furniture, curated by the J.S Homestead team in collaboration with the Cabourn team in Japan. Immediately I feel a sense of familiarity with the great vintage globes and circular cast-iron clothing racks; the same pieces you will find in Nigel Cabourn’s Army Gym store in Nakameguro. Somehow, the space blends in effortlessly with the rest of the retail space, rather than being a heavily themed island in the middle of merchandising mishmash. This space has been considered with much care and attention, so I put it to that wonderful Japanese thought that has built exceptional experiences in the world. After spending much time in the country, I have realised that it comes from a rich sense of culture, and pride in heritage.
So let’s begin the tour…
Down a flight of stairs and you’ve landed. Nigel pulls me into the space and starts picking out pieces from left to right, explaining how he curated pieces from his own collection with “only the best Japanese fabrics” to put together the capsule collection. I notice classics from his Army Gym range (his line of classic sportswear pieces, designed with the Cabourn thinking cap, and much reference to history.) If you pick up a pair of sweatpants, you’ll immediately notice the impressive weight and slow-made cotton jersey that can almost only be found in Japan nowadays. Making clothes in Japan makes sense right now because he has access to mills dedicated to making the best possible fabrics. We move along each shelf, passing by monkey pants, duffle sacks, army sneakers, and stopping at shirting. I see his Cabourn-a-fied USMC two toned denim shirt in different colour ways, and a softer wash that makes it much more wearable. The fabric panelling also gives a sense of casualness about the shirt, but tell you what, it makes a killer suit if you pair it with some denim bottoms and a work jacket.
Everything here has been carefully researched, story boarded, colours planned, and made with the best Japanese fabrics on shore. It’s a beautiful nod to classic style and greatness all around. The Drawing Room.
Shot in the Journal Standard Omotesando Store, Tokyo, Japan.