John Lawrence Sullivan SS21 Channels Mapplethorpe's Leather Fetishism

Sophisticated menswear informed by sensual subcultures.

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John Lawrence Sullivan‘s seasonal offerings draw influence from a disparate array of sources, channeling punk heritage one year and elegant tailoring the next. For Spring/Summer 2021, founder Arashi Yanagawa again observes a mainstream-averse movement, looking to Robert Mapplethorpe‘s intimate portraits of the leather fetish subculture as inspiration for a selection of elegant menswear.

Challenging widely-held beliefs about “classical beauty,” Yanagawa opts to blend Mapplethorpe’s adventurous, independent zeal with conventional — albeit slouchy — menswear garments. Suits with hidden body harnesses, peak lapel blazers and denim jeans with detachable knee panels anchor gently updated staples, like leather jackets, turtleneck pullovers and sleeveless shirts, which are penetrated by looping silver jewelry in an ode to body piercings.

Leather blazers, slacks and shoes occasionally feature Yanagawa’s preferred snakeskin pattern, interrupting the collection’s mostly monochrome palette. Timely necessities manifest by way of leather and nylon face masks, strapped with weighted metal chains or delicate pearl, while a two-way leather garment bag makes for a more lavish leather tribute.

Most recently, HYPEBEAST explored the nature of virtual shows, which informed many of the Spring/Summer 2021 presentations.

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