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Time was when clubs, music and fashion formed a holy trinity. You went out to show off your finest, possibly DIY-enhanced outfit, danced all night to the DJ’s latest discoveries and went home full of ideas about what to wear and listen to next, fashion designers included. These days, the spheres of fashion and club music seem to overlap less, spinning in slightly separate orbits with fashion seemingly more propelled by social media and constant access to imagery. Which makes this post about the hats designed by Jerry Bouthier and Bernstock Speirs for Mason Kitsuné a rare pleasure, having something to say about all three worlds.
Bouthier is renowned for being the DJ at London’s Boombox, possibly the last club to have a real impact on fashion, while retaining at its core the genuine experience of nightclubbing, and importantly, actual dancing. He’s also lent his musical ear providing music direction for catwalk shows including Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williamson, Sibling, Peter Jensen and Kokon to Zai.
A noted hat wearer himself, here Bouthier has teamed up with milliners Bernstock Speirs (a duo with their own legacy of London nightlife experience to their credit) to create the ‘Highbury Eden’ trilby.
The trilby is inspired by a 1937 design popularised by the then British Prime Minister, Antony Eden. The hat with its exaggerated crown is perfectly attuned to our post-Pharrell-Westwood-stovepipe eyes and is available in a range of gorgeous colours including pink, baby blue, vivid green and navy.
In true pan-media style, the hat release is timed to coincide with the release of Kitsuné Trip Mode, a DJ mix by Bouthier. It has to be said that Kitsuné are one of the few brands to keep alive the legacy of the cross-pollination of clubs, music and fashion, bridging physical fashion stores in Paris and New York (right by the Manhattan Ace Hotel natch) with a record label.
The hats are available exclusively at the Maison Kitsuné store in Paris and online at maisonkitsune.fr.
The mix meanwhile, is available from iTunes here.
And in true contemporary democratic style a mini-mix is available from Soundcloud here.
I’d love to be declaring this as evidence of a return to a closer link between clubs, music and fashion, but I suspect that these spheres will continue to spin in a slightly-less aligned way than in previous eras with Bouthier being a rare example of the overlap. Fashion-led clubs like Ponystep still exist, and late night culture continues to influence what people wear in terms of street style, but there is no longer an essential club to attend, the one night that fuses the best sounds, people and visual spectacle into a single cultural entity. Fashion and music exist side by side now, projected, fed and regurgitated via social media and rarely forming around a movement. Perhaps the best thing you can do is download the mix and have your own party at home, fancy hats optional.