As Who What Wear's shopping editor, it's fair to say I have an embarrassingly in-depth knowledge of the current collections of both high street and designer brands—yup, I can't remember anything from my degree, but I can tell you where to find the perfect white tee (it's Arket, if you're wondering). Useful for a pub quiz? Not so much. Helpful for my job? Absolutely! With this in mind, it's not often that I see something that genuinely stops me in my tracks, and even more unusual for it to be an item from the high street. But this season something came along that blew everything else out the water. The piece in question? A jacket from John Lewis & Partners.
For summer 2020 this Great British high street institution harnessed its minimalist-cool in-house brand Kin to join forces with Japanese artist Rie Takeda. Using the term 'Neo-Japonism' to describe her art, Takeda's work combines traditional Japanese artisanship with contemporary elements, something that is beautifully displayed in her fashion designs.
‘In Neo-Japonism, rich layers of technical and aesthetic understanding are interlaced,’ explains Rie of the DNA that runs through her art and subsequently, the designs in this collection. ‘It’s a way of achieving a fresh unity of traditional and contemporary art forms. The continuity of time and spiritual existence is always a key inspiration within my work, where I depict and convey a sense of Japanese aesthetics.’
With its clean lines and sculptural silhouette design, the collection's wrap jacket won me over the moment I spotted it online. Made from a cotton and linen-mix fabric, it's perfect as both a light layer over the warmer months and worn on its own as a blouse. I've been experimenting with various outfit combinations and can confirm that it's also so versatile and makes all my wardrobe staples (trousers, shorts, jeans etc) looks super high-end. Scroll down to see how I've styled it and shop the jacket itself. Get it before it goes—it's too good to miss!