Maharishi was founded in 1994 by Hardy Blechman and has been favoured for its great vision to create environmentally sound and fair-trade manufactured, long-lasting, high-quality fashion clothing. Blechman moved into the fashion industry after spending time working in the army surplus trade and quickly became a cult name in the London streetwear scene at the time. To this day, Maharishi remains a privately owned company and stands by its strong ethos of respect for nature whilst remaining innovative and utilising the latest technology and designs.
With the overwhelming return of street fashion to the runway in recent years, Maharishi seems set to regain the limelight with its street warrior style once again. The bold use of Japanese influences and delicate touches like the beautiful hand-embroidery that can be seen across numerous pieces have become extremely sought after wardrobe must-have’s.
DPM: British Bonsai
Summer 16 sees the return of DPM: British Bonsai, a disruptive pattern that encompasses the elements of the long standing (until recently) UK military pattern combined with maharishi’s house pattern Bonsai Forest. The print incorporates Bonsai tree shapes growing from heavenly clouds, intended to remind us that camouflage has its roots firmly planted in nature. The Woodland colourway replaces the traditional black with purple, whilst the other colourways are inspired by a 2 colour version that the British issued frantically in 1991, due to the fact that they sold uniforms and firearms to Iraq in 1989, then declared war on them in 1991. The MOD refused to send troops to war dressed identically to their enemies, so created a simpler and sparser 2 colour version.
Maharishi x Travis Scott Capsule Collection
To further reinforce the resurgence Maharishi have encountered, they recently unveiled the “Year of the Cowboy” capsule collection in collaboration with rapper/fashion icon Travis Scott, the collection draws inspiration from Scott’s hugely successful studio album Rodeo and also his Texas roots. Not so dissimilar of maharishi’s “Year of the Monkey” collection that was released back in February, this one is also available in both black and olive colourways, with a custom “Year of the Cowboy” motif that sees La Flame himself taming a bucking bronco.
1999: maharishi x War Child
Maharishi has long had a conscious attitude towards their environmental and social responsibilities and have undertaken numerous campaigns and projects to use their influence in a positive and proactive manner. Maharishi teamed up with War Child to produce a run of limited edition t-shirts, featuring the War Child logo on a 100% organic cotton snow coloured DPM: Bonsai Forest Pattern t-shirt. 100% of the proceeds went to charity. For more information on War Child please visit www.warchild.org.uk
Recycled military surplus has always been a permanent feature of maharishi’s mainline collection, and it’s not surprising considering Blechman’s previous experience in the trade. Some of the upcycling seen across collections include vintage surplus items that are recut and updated with accessory and cord systems.
All of these processes are carried out in India, where the clothing is smudged with herbal incense, blessed, and washed in saffron water to symbolically cleanse it of its military associations.
“THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOUGHSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNING-HOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE” – ISIAH (2:4)
Maharishi Upcycled collection is available now at www.maharishistore.com
Maharishi Men and Women SS 2016 Collection
This collection draws on inspiration taken from the cross pollination of global fashion and its resultant impacts upon fashion-culture on the streets.
Take Japan’s sampling culture for example – since the end of World War II, it has been predominantly focussed on the imitation of the Western trends and traditions. However, one identifiable sub-culture that pursues a truly authentic Japanese aesthetic are the Bosozoku, and although they are widely renowned as a troublesome youth biker gang, their ability to design apparel with an individual yet traditional approach and high quality of execution and workmanship is a rekindling of traditional culture. Influences have clearly been drawn from the bosozoku in this collection, with gang-style emblems and embroidery executed to the highest standards.
However, the Western world has predominantly been experiencing a very different shift in youth culture, with an ever-increasing desire for the arts and a work-life balance, bridging a professional and social self, which in turn is mirrored in a more individual and casual style. Loose sportswear silhouettes have become increasingly popular, supporting the ensuing lifestyle, and overall aesthetic.
Taking its inspiration from the aforementioned complexities in social culture of the Far East and West – this collection demonstrates bold traditional Japanese design elements with a relaxed Americana sportswear fusion. The collection also takes a lot of traditional Japanese art influences such as Sukajan inspired jackets with traditional cranes and roses embroidered onto souvenir tour jackets and silk kimonos.
The 90’s streetwear favourite, Maharishi has picked its moment to return to the forefront of streetwear fashion wisely. The urban image that Blechman pioneered over two decades ago still seems to be hitting all the right notes with veteran fans and having that familiar love affair with the new generation of street warriors.
Take a trip to Maharishi’s London store and don’t forget your pocket money. Stay tuned for more Street Style Stores.
2 – 3 Great Pulteney Street
Monday to Saturday – 11am to 7pm
Sunday – 12pm to 5pm
Images courtesy of Maharishi