Porter Classic

As a treat for our online readers, we've published an exclusive excerpt from the new issue of Selvedge; 81, the Japan issue. In this article, our contributor Sarah Braddock-Clarke explores the tradition to be found in contemporary Japanese brand Porter Classic...

Increasingly, designers are turning to traditional materials and artisanal skills to perpetuate craft that could so easily be lost. Japan is particularly relevant with its rich textile heritage and contemporary textile designers who are reinterpreting age-old crafts. The results are beautiful, meaningful and timeless textiles that speak of the past, yet have a distinct relevance in today’s society where we yearn for simpler times (see issue 80 for the rising demand of slow crafts in the contemporary world)…

Well-known bag designer Katsuyuki Yoshida and his son Leo Yoshida join the ranks of designers calling on tradition. Both men are the creators of Porter Classic. This brand was founded in 2007 with the aim of promoting Japanese culture and craft while also reaching a global appeal. Their work is traditional and experimental, where artisanal techniques are honoured and new technologies explored. Their focus is menswear (that women also frequently borrow from) with dedicated womenswear and accessories.

Porter Classic materials only improve with age and cuts of clothing are kept simple and timeless to last generations. Cotton is favoured, and an extra-long staple length is selected for a supreme quality that is then typically indigo-dyed for a deep blue. As well as its wonderful colour, indigo dyeing is known to repel bugs, insects and even snakes and was used by many workers in the countryside. The fading of the blue indigo dye over time creates an attractive appearance, as uneven shades and irregular textures are constantly revealed. Today, indigo-dyed cotton has a relaxed, crumpled quality that works well with Porter Classic’s rugged, worn-in looks...

To read this article in full, order a copy of Selvedge issue 81 here.

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