I’ve long maintained that Australia’s proximity to East Asia is invaluable. International trade and shared cultural experiences aside, our closeness to that part of the world has given us access to excellent (extremely underrated) menswear. While Japan has solidified its status as an industry leader in studied, performance driven clothing South Korea is closing the gap with small designers like Bastong everyday.
That miniature revolution is best encapsulated in Bastong. A South Korean label that is replete with ram’s head logo and a spectacular typeface reminiscent of B-52 pinup art. It would be wrong however to peg the brand is simply a pretty face.
Bastong’s quality is comprehensive to say the least. No one element of the brand falls flat. From the irreverent styling to actual garment construction, it is evident that Bastong is a small operation borne from a labour of love. Each year the company focuses – with almost Dieter Rams-esque linearity – on refining 7 outerwear designs, which they then bill as ‘non seasonal’. Effectively, Bastong cuts out all the bullshit associated with self important retailers, to offer a few key products year round. In 2014 they began to supplement their 7 core models with tees and knitwear, but make no mistake – their coats remains the undisputed MVP.
Like other great South Korean labels (II-SE deserves an honourable mention), Bastong’s build quality is tough as nails. The company have gone to painstaking lengths to master the manufacturing techniques of perennial outerwear giants such as Cabourn & Barbour, manifesting in apparel with a uniquely twisted British influence. The most obvious nod to English outerwear is the use of millerain waxed cotton – the gold standard in performance based outerwear. But cotton aside, the brand utilises beautifully finished materials at every interval, giving their garments the authenticity that so many emerging Asian brands desperately need.
With parkas, peacoats, field jackets, and motos in the rotation Bastong reads like a coveted ‘Best Of’ compilation. And, with only 7 statement pieces to select from, the process of picking your favourite is as simple as collecting all of them. Here but for the grace of a strong Australian dollar right?
(click to enlarge images)
To view the Bastong collection head to their website.