Cultural confluences have formed a significant part of human artistic endeavour for hundreds and hundreds of years now. Throughout history, diverse and disparate cultures have come into contact with each other and have taken inspiration and been fundamentally changed by ideas, influences and artefacts from one another.
Similarly, ‘intertextuality’ is a concept that states that almost every idea, text, design or creation borrows aspects of or builds on the structure of another, either obviously or subtly. Very few artists or creators learn and hone their craft in a vacuum and almost every single one of their styles has been fundamentally shaped by a combination of styles, works and creations.
This was the fundamental tenet for us at Homegrown when we conceptualised and brought yet another serendipitous intertextual confluence of two cultures to life – the Scottish brand Dewar's and the vibrancy of Japan for its limited edition drop ‘Japanese Smooth’.
An Exclusive Streetwear Drop with Walking Vertical And An Art Project & Capsul T-Shirt With Santanu Hazarika
This inspired and shaped two collaborations:
A Dewar's Japanese Smooth x Walking Vertical - a homegrown streetwear brand haori jackets with Scottish imprints and a T-Shirt Drop x Art Project with Santanu Hazarika.
Each haori is unique in the way that it brings together aspects of the Japanese culture that the garment originates from and imbibes it with iconic motifs and aesthetic features from the highlands of Scotland. Santanu’s t-shirt and artwork thematically intersects two awe-inspiring cultures through fables and other artefacts. The imagery is set in a background depicting various elements synonymous with this theme including The Great Wave off Kanagawa crashing into the cliffs of the highlands, all under an aged torri gate. The Scottish plead and broken ageing barrels are other notable elements.
The very essence of Dewar’s Japanese Smooth is inextricably linked to the coming together of the very same two cultures; combining the elegant, refined & silky smooth flavour of Scotch with the sophisticated harmony of Japanese ingenuity. Walking Vertical as a label has been at the forefront of shaping and channelling multifaceted cultural confluences since its inception. It was for this reason that their Japanese Smooth collection felt like a natural way to extend the intertextual interplay that was already in motion.
Walking Vertical's Inspiration For The Collaboration
Akash Patwal, the founder and sole designer at the label was a no-brainer of a choice, having always been inspired by Japanese silhouettes. He was enamoured with the idea of bringing together two cultures using his own creative aesthetic and immersed himself in the vision of Dewar's Japanese Smooth; transposing their ethos into a collection that was wholly unique but still represented an amalgamation of two proud, distinct cultures.
He took the silhouette of a traditional haori, taking into account both its look and feel and integrated the quintessentially plaid aesthetic and colours made famous by Scottish garments such as kilts. Akash’s groundwork was nothing short of meticulous; making sure he went out into the world every day to source only the finest materials in order to represent and pay tribute to both cultures as authentically as possible. He also attempted to incorporate recognizable features from the world of streetwear, in order to allow his creation to find resonance with individuals across generations.
Santanu’s Hazarika Inspiration For The Art Project and The Capsul T-Shirt Drop
Hailing from the state of Assam, Santanu Hazarika is a multidisciplinary autodidact visual artist based in Mumbai. He dropped out of engineering to become the first-ever Redbull World Doodle Art Champion in 2014. The artwork and t-shirt were inspired by the cultural confluences between the highlands of Scotland and the eastern terrains of Japan.
It was all of this that came together in the form of a limited edition drop at a recent Dewar's x Homegrown event in Mumbai; encapsulating the unbridled creative potential that cultural confluences have across the spectrum of art, fashion, design and beyond.
The synchronicity of cultural confluence is something that has found a place in other realms of human endeavour throughout history. In the grand scheme of things, a collaboration between two brands may seem fairly minor but the fact that it can happen in such a myriad of forms provides some sense of solace that we can find unity, togetherness, purpose, life and beauty together despite all that arbitrarily divides us.
Creative producer: Swati Nair @swaa.t
Art director: Nidhi Iyer @nidhhe
Creative & Styling: Yashwi Arora @yashwiarora
Photographed by: Aayushi Bansal @aayushi_bansal_
Styling: Utkarsha Mishra @utkarshamishra_
HMU: Vibhuti Singh @badgyalvv
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