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Rock chic


Two door cinema club.

Two door cinema club.

Two door cinema club.

Take a cool band, add a record label/design house and various international influences and what do you get? Sweet harmony, says Paul Galvin

Okay, so here's the thing. What do you get when you cross Japanese culture, French fashion and Irish indie pop? Two Door Cinema Club playing in Paris wearing Maison Kitsune, that's what.

Allow me to enlighten. Ireland's coolest kids, according to me, and the biggest new band in the world, according to 'NME', are demanding attention. And by the holy, they're going to get some.

Who saw Alex the lead singer perform at the Olympic opening ceremony? They're also about to play the iconic Paris music venue Le Zenith. They even speak French between songs for their French gigs. How very impressive. Not to mention mannerly.

First, some housekeeping. Call it wordplay. Call it semantics, if you must. I'm talking about what they're called.

'Two Door Cinema Club' is a play on Tudor Cinema Club, which is in the boys' hometown of Bangor. Two Door/Tudor -- see?

They are now signed to Kitsune Music, the music arm of the Paris-based Maison Kitsune label. This fashion and music label makes clothes and it dresses its signed acts in them where possible.

As we're clearing up the whole name confusion thing, Maison Kitsune is a meeting of the French and Japanese languages.

Maison, as anyone who did Leaving Cert French should know, is the French for house. Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox, and is significant as a symbol of intelligence in their culture.

The label founders are Gildas Loaec and Masaya Kuroki. The two got inspiration for a combined fashion and music label while travelling Japan.

I've always admired Japanese style. Maybe because it's so different, but also because it's so cutting edge, avant garde even, if I can use such a term without sounding like a pr*ck.

It's deconstructed and androgynous following no particular rules. But that's just my own take on it.

Commes des Garcons is an iconic fashion label. You'll notice the French association once more, though it's a Japanese label.

I have two H&M tops that I bought in Dubai that look as if they're part of the Rei Kawakubo x H&M collection. I say this for two reasons.

First, the tops are very Japanese in style. Deconstructed, utilitarian almost. They're oversized, too, and made from tough cotton.

Second, all of the tags' instructions are in Japanese. I found them in the men's section, but they could be worn by girls just as easily. Androgyny comes naturally to Japanese designers.

Anyway, back to TDCC. Now, if you look at any pictures of the Two Door lads, you'll notice some of their clothes carry the fox symbol. Sometimes a little black fox walking, sometimes just a fox head or fox ears.

In fact, if you watch the video for their hit single 'I Can Talk' you'll notice the lads storming about a big house changing clothes as they go. It is almost a fashion video rather than a music one.

Maison Kitsune kitsch is apparent. They do the classics really well, from white shirts to checks to tees and polos. My favourite piece from their autumn/winter 2012 collection is a jacquard crew-neck sweater in lambswool.

The suiting is similar to Thom Browne. Shorter trouser and sleeve lengths, socks visible, and the proportions are well defined.

The online store has lots to offer outside of clothes. Reading journals and listening to new electro-pop music from great bands such as London boys, Citizens, make for an interesting browse. You could even call it high-brow browsing.

So check it out, for fox sake.

Weekend Magazine