2022.02.19 Sat

Reinterpretation of military wear by Naohiro Fujisaki – what is DELTA-SLX, a hybrid material using SOLOTEX® selected for the new release from meanswhile?

Meanswhile is a brand that pursues clothing as a tool that is the closest to the body based on the concept that “As long as clothes are for everyday use, they are tools, not dress.”

Having won the Tokyo Fashion Award 2020 in 2019, meanswhile is an up-and-coming brand receiving international attention.

After having used SOLOTEX® for previous seasons, meanswhile selected a hybrid material called DELTA-SLX” for the spring-summer season of 2022.

What is the appeal that the brand, which continues to pursue functionality, has found in DELTA-SLX? We asked designer Naohiro Fujisaki.


Please let us know the brand concept of meanswhile.

Meanswhile is a brand based on the concept of creating clothes dedicated to functionality by eliminating all decorative details. Established in the fall-winter season 2014, the brand is in its eighth year.


When you make clothes, do you usually start it after deciding on the situation and purpose of use?

We often determine the purpose, that is, “what is the cloth for” first of all, and then decide on the path to realize it. However, we do not decide on what cloth we make specifically as in making clothes for climbing mountains, but we often design clothes for a broader purpose because we just make everyday clothing.


What kinds of materials do you often select for meanswhile?

Since we focus on functionality, we often select synthetic fabric. However, we know the advantage of natural fabric, so we select materials in consideration of natural fabrics as variations each season.

In some cases, we use chemical fabrics that look natural, and in other cases, we can add functionality to a natural fabric by devising looming or weaving methods. We always consider both natural and synthetic fabrics, we do not focus only on one aspect.

We then sometimes get inspiration from materials, which sometimes leads to thinking that we will create something like that item.


How did you begin adopting SOLOTEX®?

First, we were attracted to the lightweight, highly sweat-absorbent, quick-drying textile with a heat retention capability called Octa®, and then we became interested in Teijin Frontier, followed by finding SOLOTEX®. We have used it as the material in our items for two years.

Among those items, the coat and pants made of SOLOTEX® SYNEX®, which looks like a natural material, had a good reputation. Since this finely woven fabric has a firm texture with a matte look, we can tailor the items with a premium look and a specific form. Moreover, while maintaining the stability of the silhouettes, the items are comfortable to wear without impeding the wearer’s movement. In fact, meanswhile was a brand that was poor at making pants in the past, but after offering those items, our pants attracted attention, as well.

In designing the collection for the spring-summer season of 2021 presented this time, did you have any concepts or what did you keep in mind?

I know the phrase “Form follows function,” which explains one of the fundamentals of design. In the fashion industry, however, there are few people there who practice the concept. Therefore, meanswhile promoted this concept as one of our policies since the establishment of the brand.

However, there is an opposite concept that “Function follows form”, that is, functionality is found in original forms. If there were a stone on the ground, for example, maybe you could pick up a sharp stone for use as a knife or a heavier stone as a hammer.

Tools were originally created in such a way, so I have designed items for this season, considering the balance between “Form follows function” and “Function follows form” to successfully design “a cloth as a tool.”

I can say that this collection was created balancing a variety of different factors, including how to design it in terms of fashion and as a tool.


Now, from the items for the spring-summer season of 2022, please introduce this fright jacket using the waffle-woven DELTA-SLX to us.

This design is based on the flight jacket of the Royal Air Force, the United Kingdom’s air and space force. The details of the neck offer functionality, which are the primary features, and are designed as ones with a different functionality from the original jacket.

Specifically, the details of the neck were originally for an oxygen mask hose. This jacket is designed so that the hood can be tucked into the collar, and at the same time, a unique silhouette can be made with the collar turned up. That is, we give this jacket another function by taking a fashion-oriented approach.

We see the waffle-woven parts used for the sleeves and others are made of DELTA-SLX. DELTA-SLX is a hybrid material with the properties of shape retention and stretchiness as well as a little roughness, waterproofness, and ultraviolet protection. Why did you select this material?

The Royal Air Force flight jacket used as the original model has meshed sleeves, but we wanted to change the material of the parts with another fabric, when we found waffle-woven DELTA-SLX. We selected it because we thought it would fit the jacket in a contemporary sense.

Maybe tapes were originally applied to the mesh parts to prevent them from stretching, but these tapes match the waffle-woven material very well. When I saw a sample of the jacket that we created, I felt confident that we could successfully match the material with the design. Since this jacket has a larger silhouette, you will enjoy a beautiful coordinate with slimmer bottoms.


Here is a coordinate made of the same waffle-woven DELTA-SLX.

Since this coordinate was created from the one-mile-wear concept, the body width is wider for a relaxed feel.

Inspired by swimwear, we detailed the pants with hems like compression shorts made of another material. I think it is good to enjoy this coordinate as a layered look by wearing a long T-shirt or tights under it, as well as wearing it as it is.


What do you feel after you used this waffle-woven DELTA-SLX?

This textile is good because it is not only resilient but also probably more durable than waffle-woven cotton. It is a great textile that is useful as a material that touches the skin and as a material for outerwear.

We know you have used SOLOTEX®. Please let us know about functions you would like to add to SOLOTEX®.

I sometimes go camping, and in outdoor situations like that, it is standard to wear waterproof clothes as a topcoat. However, many waterproof clothes are made of a chemical fabric, so when sparks from a bonfire touch the clothes, the clothes easily get burnt and develop holes. I often want fibers with both flame resistance and waterproofness.

Apart from that, a chemical fabric that looks natural is available in the world, but I hope there would be a fabric with a more distinctive texture or feel, such as a little rougher one that may be loved by fashion-conscious people.