japanese psych rockers bo ningen front mcq's fall/winter 16 campaign
Harley Weir shoots a collection inspired by the rebels of the 70s Shinjuku club scene. Meet the band and take an exclusive look at the full campaign here.
Following up the bright lights and late nights of spring/summer 16 and Nan Goldin's London club shots, McQ Alexander McQueen has turned to the soft warmth of Harley Weir for fall/winter. The campaign stars Japanese music gods Bo Ningen — all signature long hair and androgynous looks — dressed in looks from both the men's and women's collections. Seeing as the collections were partly inspired by the hippy kids of the 70s Shunjuku club scene, the band seems an obvious and brilliant choice. We caught up with them to chat Shinjuku futens, gender-fluid dressing, and great hair.
The McQ collection is partly inspired by those great Shinjuku futens. How much, as Japanese musicians, do you feel the impact of that scene?
To be honest, we don't feel any affinity to futens culture. The only similarity we share is the fact we have long hair, but we're not into so-called psychedelic culture or anything the term evokes, like clothes and drugs. It was such a big thing though at the time, I'm sure.
Your music seems to owe so much to experimentalism and the avant-garde. Is it important that this extends to your aesthetic and clothing, too?
Definitely. We reconstruct experimentalism and what we've been influenced by and deconstruct it with different form.
For the McQ campaign, you're dressed in looks from both the men's and women's collection. Are we seeing a greater blurring of boundaries between gendered clothing? Is this something you'd like to see more of?
Yes, I've never even thought about gendered clothing and started to wear women's clothes because menswear was too big for me. Wearing skirts and dresses has never been special thing; when you know what's good on you, then it's the best whatever you wear.
You're all from Japan but didn't actually meet until living in London. Do you feel more like a London band or a Japanese band these days?
I think we are a London band — it feels more natural to say that. We all met in the city and started jamming in the studio in Hackney.
Finally, you are all the epitome of Yoshio Hayakawa long-haired cool. How on earth do you get your hair looking so good?
He's probably the godfather of this Japanese hair tradition. As far as I know, he was the first one to have double fringe long hair. The key to look our hair good is simple — shaking it big and loose all the time.
Text Francesca Dunn