Designer Arashi Yanagawa’s vision for John Lawrence Sullivan has always been to project the strong, modern, assertive male. Naming the brand after the 19th century American boxer who exuded those ideals and his own background in boxing, The SS 2013 Collection is bold, angular and fit well into this overall aesthetic.
While the focus of Yanagawa’s other brand The Sullivan’s is the fusion of art, fashion with a more whimsical tone, John Lawrence Sullivan has a heavier emphasis on mod/grunge influences. As the models came down the runway you noticed the sharp and angular shoulders (much like his FW 2012 collection) sleeveless biker jackets, translucent raincoats, and the use of the leather goods (backpacks, rectangular weekenders, that melded with the outfits) giving you the sense of navigating your way through a future urban metropolis.
There were nods to British tailoring and his own Japanese heritage where you could detect the designer’s subtle hand. All of Lawrence Sullivan’s suits are created with English materials, from English houses and factories. Yet he still stays true to a minimal mindset. One of my favorites was beautiful light khaki suit with color blocking along the underside of the sleeves. There were some softer cuts as well, like a one buttoned double-breasted vermilion jacket with relaxed shoulders and raw piping (one of the about 3 pieces that had this silhouette) both were paired with boots. The season is all about pairing shorts with jackets to give a dressy appeal and several options to an otherwise casual outfit. Mr. Yanagawa’s designs mixed this style fluidly combining perfecto jackets with pleated shorts and pants. Yanagawa’s use of patterns and color stayed true with the SS 2013 trend: mustard, vermilion and blue while adding his familiar stripes from last season.
When asked how his past boxing experience influences his design process Mr.Yanagawa’s response was: “because I practiced boxing for so many years. The most important and biggest influence is the spirit to keep challenging myself….I think it’s a kind of consequence of always keeping in mind to challenge spirits. It appears in my designs.” The Lawrence Sullivan SS 2013 Collection stays true to that masculine spirit.