Last Friday, Jun Takahashi’s Undercover show rolled out of the fashion corner on the internet to become the Twitter anime and Pitchfork homepage. The collection features a collaboration with the team behind the cult series Neon Genesis Evangelion. The women’s clothing was recorded by an original remix of Radiohead’s “Creep” by none other than Thom Yorke himself. The Japanese designer has always woven pop culture into his work, but this collection has reached new heights of creep and cool. Takahashi rightly calls the collection “Creep Very”.
If you don’t know Neon Genesis Evangelion is an iconic anime from 1995. As GQ reported in the past, this will fuck you up. The franchise continues to be a hit in Japan, where the latest film—Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 once upon a time– topped the box office when it was released earlier this month. The show is far too absurd to sum up, but: Earth is regularly attacked by giant aliens / cosmic beings called “Angels”, so humanity turns to giant and monstrous bio-machines (“Evangelions”), piloted by children, to defend themselves. Fans praise the series’ incorporation of various religious and philosophical themes. (Creator Hideaki Anno was going through well-documented mental health issues and struggling with Kierkegaard as he went.)
The Evangelion the notes of this collaboration are self-explanatory. A series of puffers are available in colors to match the central robots in the series. Several models wore hardcore headgear inspired by the heads of the series’ robot monsters, with neon lighting. Takahashi told Vogue’s Steff Yotka that the theme of the show is “of a person who is fragile and weak but has a truly pure heart,” which is essentially a description of Evangelion protagonist Shinji, a young man. who really doesn’t want to get into his giant robot. Like the show, the clothes are a little spooky, a little dark, and a little sick (in every sense of the word).
The clothes test the boundaries between fashion and cosplay in an interesting way. While a few clothes just slap the characters and the show’s branding across the front, others are almost costumes. It’s almost like a challenge for the fans: Sure, you like the show enough to represent the t-shirt, but WILL YOU WEAR A ROBOT HEAD LIKE A HAT?
If mecha-inspired jackets and hats aren’t enough for you, stay tuned for the back half of the show, Thom Yorke soundtrack. Yorke is a documented Undercover fan (he has collaborated with them before). It was only for Takahashi that he would remix “Creep”, a song he hates on the record. A bit of that hate seems to seep into this version, which spans 10 spooky minutes. It’s “Creep” – but very scary.
The Depression robots and Radiohead remixes make for a worthy show, but these Evangelion clothes are intense. For those who want to advertise themselves to the world as a fashion-loving otaku, however, they might be right.
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