LA: Rin Tanaka Inspiration
By Samuel Trotman

Rin Tanaka’s famed Inspiration show, held at the weekend was another huge success.

Feb 12, 2013


Here in LA its been a pretty heavy weekend, denim-wise! We attended the Rin Tanaka Inspiration show kick-off party on Thursday, preview on Friday and then full show between on Saturday. Friday night Levi‘s celebrated 140 years of the 501 jean with an intimate invite only Frank Ocean gig and then on Sunday it was the Rose Bowl and Rising Sun Jeans event at their store in Eagle Rock.
We’ll be giving you all a round-up of the events as the week goes on but today we wanted to share the amazing things we experienced at Rin Tanaka’s show:

For those who are not familiar with Inspiration LA, we’ve attended and blogged about the event for the last two years so check out our previous posts. Inspiration is the work of the infamous Rin Tanaka, author of the My Freedamn! books and is intended as a gathering of like-minded collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world to buy and sell but mainly to gather, chat and share their obsessions.

The show is attended by many top vintage dealers not just from LA but from around the globe. Notable dealers this year included In Retrospect from Long Beach, Hellers Cafe from Seattle, Snappy GabsOrange Crush Exports and Raggedy Threads all from LA and J’Antiques from Tokyo.

The event is also a bit like a miniature trade show as brands show their products for F/W 13 to entice both buyers and fans. Brands included Blue Blanket, LVC, Koromo, Railcar Fine Goods and Real McCoys.

The revered Lightning magazine also had a presence at this 2013 show and editor Atsushi and sidekick Shogu, along with a team of photographers, captured street style and events taking place at the show for both Lightning and their new Clutch magazine. The event is packed with denim-heads and we enjoyed seeing a lot of familiar faces including Rikiya the Wrangler enthusiast we spent time with in Tokyo recently and the dashing Miles Johnson from Levi’s XX.

Sartorial trends from the show included Boro textile patchwork, military and deadstock standard issue garb, collectable souvenir jackets and 50’s varsity references. Railroad and chore jackets moved on from 30’s denim items to more recent retro uniform-driven pieces with color-blocked pockets, similar to the Human Made capsule we blogged just the other day. Another key trend was the suede trucker jacket, as featured back in May of last year in our trend alert.

Previously the show has been held on the Queen Mary boat, permanently docked in Long Beach, but this year the event was moved to the nearby Spruce Goose Dome, a great space all on one level, making it easier to navigate all the stands. Unfortunately the space had been used for an ice event two days previously so it was a little chilly! But it gave attendees an opportunity to layer up with some statement jackets and buy some knitwear pieces to add to their collection… We’ll be bringing you a full report in a week or so including the best of street style, the vendor highlights and denim and graphic trends. Watch this space!

LA: Rin Tanaka Inspiration

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