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Kempes a new British/Japanese brand launched last week, and has already taken over the coveted window display at East London landmark store, Present.
Small but perfectly formed, the Kempes capsule collection consists of three T-shirts, two crew-neck sweats and two denim washes, expertly cut by British specialist craftsmen, using impeccably-sourced Japanese fabrics.
What makes these simple pieces unique is an unmistakable sewn-on patch inspired by the ‘hippy trail’ of the late ’60s and early 70s, which took London’s bohemian set on a psychedelically enhanced Grand Tour, from then hippy haven, Ibiza to Goa and Bali in east Asia, via Istanbul’s Pudding Shop.
Each patch’s psychedelic sunburst design comes in an entirely different colourway, designed to set off the fabric tone of the T shirt it embellishes: the two crew-neck sweats in slate grey and tangerine, the three T-shirts in ivory, turquoise and sunlight yellow.
In terms of the jeans, the denim is the finest quality 15-ounce Japanese denim and comes in a stiff raw version and a stone wash, both featuring the emblematic sunburst patch on the back of the jean.
Such a simple, casual collection wouldn’t always attract my eye but something about the colourways, the attention to detail and that psychedelic patch feels right for Summer 2015, – not feeling much like a Summer of Love currently, given the recent election result, but definitely like a time to escape into the sunset.