2/F / 1-8-6 Higashiyama / Meguro-ku / +81 3 6303 0284 / eel-co.jp
It’s the quintessential fashion paradox – all too often, that deconstructed, effortless, ‘thrown together’ look has, in fact, taken an enormous amount of time and effort. So it seems fitting that for under-the-radar Japanese casual brand EEL (standing for Easy Earl Life... don’t ask), their newest outlet in Meguro-ku’s Higashiyama district may look like a just-built concrete shell awaiting some tender care and attention, but look again – every facet of the ‘unfinished’ design has been created specifically by Jo Nagasaka of so hip-it-hurts architecture firm Schemata.
Located in a former office space, Nagaska’s vision for the brand was one of ‘uncompleteness’ where the fashion itself fulfilled the role of completing the design. Thus the 123 sq m space’s brutalist, grey, stripped concrete walls and highly polished raw cement floors are soothed by the lines of soft-construction garments like the navy Bon jacket and creased, mustard-coloured Hataraku shirts. With more fashion suspended on tensile wires and anti-corrode steel pipes as well as raw Lauan wood boxes, the effect is at once spare and visually stimulating, the perfect backdrop to this infinitely wearable line. And don’t think it’s all monochromes and restrained hues – check out the butterfly-patterned Minimal shirts and classic Argyle knit cardigans. Cool, calm and collected.