DEEP DIVE - D SUM JACKET
Welcome back to “DEEP DIVE.” In this series, we go behind the scenes to trace the genesis of our favorite Engineered Garments items. This installation examines the D Sum Jacket, a double-breasted style that debuts in the Engineered Garments Spring Summer 2023 season.
Engineered Garments is best known for its takes on classic American style, collecting elements from the military, workwear, American Traditional, western wear, and outdoors companies to sculpt its seasonal offerings. While the parent company, Nepenthes, and designer, Daiki Suzuki, hail from Japan, the brand has veered away from creating styles with distinctly non-American inspiration (with a handful of exceptions like the Fisherman Pant, taken from Thailand). The personal style of Issa Samb, the late Senegalese artist known for his colorful and inventive garb, serves as the spark of the Engineered Garments Spring Summer 2023 aesthetic.
This point of focus opened the door for various styles outside American orthodoxy.
The D Sum Jacket introduces a seldom-found Japanese design to the Engineered Garments repertoire. The name stands for Double-breasted Samue Jacket, drawing inspiration from the “samue,” a Japanese work jacket which Zen Buddhist monks originally donned while completing their “samu” (作務), a form of menial labor necessary to maintain the monastery, like weeding, chopping firewood, or cleaning dishes. The “samu” is a daily act that serves as a form of meditation, reminding the practitioners to practice mindfulness at all times, even when working. Over time, the garb entered the general Japanese society, worn for the same daily work, though necessarily performed by meditating monks.
Growing up in Japan, Daiki was familiar with the samue. Looking beyond its use in mundane chores, he saw value in the garment’s lightness, sturdiness, and comfortable fit and considered blending elements of classic tailoring into the garment. Daiki created a prototype version for the RandT SS21 collection to see how these two divergent styles could fuse. RandT (Rough and Tumble) was established in 2000 under the Nepenthes label as an avenue for Daiki’s more imaginative designs and has since evolved into a creative outlet and proving ground for future Engineered Garments ideas. The RandT “Comfy Jacket” kept the samue’s double-breasted construction and drawstring closure, adding qualities from classic sportcoats like a notched lapel and three-pocket front.
Satisfied with the results, Daiki spied an opportunity to introduce the design into the Engineered Garments collection within the Spring Summer 23’s framework of universalism. To integrate it into the collection Daiki tuned up the jacket again, adding more signature Engineered Garments touches like the two-piece sleeve, complete with cuff buttons and darts on the back that allows for a bi-swing range of motion. Nonetheless, elements of the item’s roots endure, including the cropped length of the hem and sleeves, minimized facing to reduce weight, and punched-out proportions in the body.
A sustained dynamism lends longevity to the Engineered Garments brand. While the brand’s offerings revolve around a more or less defined aesthetic, a helping of unexpected styles allows for compelling collections which can avert any sense of stagnation. With the D Sum Jacket, Daiki paired his enthusiasm for American fashion with a fragment of his past, taking advantage of the season’s theme to shape it within the brand’s identity. The result is a pure manifestation of style, use, and authenticity.
The D Sum Jacket is available in the following fabrics:
Navy Seersucker Stripe
Navy Linen Twill
Navy / Grey LC Stripe
Natural Linen Cotton
Natural / Black LC Stripe
Multi Cotton Oxford Plaid
Gold Geometric Jacquard
Available in-store and online at nepenthesny.com