14 May 2018

Pokemon Trainer: Sunnei AW18

Autumn/Winter 2018

What does a Pokemon trainer's wardrobe look like?

I know that is a weird question, but what can I say, I think about these things. I have a habit when watching a film or playing a game to try and guess what the rest of a character's wardrobe looks like. It is something I tend to do in real life as well. When I am watching people on the street I try to imagine what it would feel like to wear their clothes, but also what other clothes they might own. Can I guess a wardrobe based on one outfit? How did that person feel buying those clothes and how do they feel wearing them? I am fascinated by the choices we make on a daily basis when it comes to our style and dress. This extends to fictional characters too. I know that quite a few film actors say they start with a pair of shoes they think that their character would wear and take it from there. When you know how the character walks, then other things tend to fall into place I suppose. Even as a child I remember watching cartoons and imagining what the rest of each character's wardrobe would look like (pour one out for The Weekenders, one of the few cartoons in which characters actually changed their clothes).

Like most people my age I was absolutely obsessed with Pokemon when it first burst onto the scene here in the UK. I remember watching the cartoon, playing and collecting the cards, and clocking in a hefty amount of hours (as well as working my way through a ton of batteries) on my Gameboy Pocket playing Pokemon Red. As with many others I was filled with nostalgia when Pokemon Go came out, because it was all the original Pokemon. I never quite caught up with all the new generations of Pokemon, but I still remember lovingly levelling up the waste of space that was flailing Magikarp to get a Gyrados, and how much time I spent reading each and every sign, and talking to each and every NPC in the game. I miss that level dedication to games if I am honest, I have never really gotten into any game in my adult life the way I did as a child.

Anyhow, a Pokemon obsession also meant that I naturally thought about what Pokemon trainers would wear. We saw what Ash, Misty and Brock wore in the cartoons, but that was usually only ever one standard outfit. Things were however somewhat expanded with the artwork on Pokemon cards, and the artwork that came with the Gameboy games. Nowadays it would seem that they wear very sleek sportswear, looking like bike messengers more than anything else. Although given how expensive bikes were in the games, perhaps it is a status symbol akin to wearing head-to-toe Gucci or something. Trainers are competitive by nature, after all the opening line to the theme tune was "I wanna be the very best", so some manner of impression management through clothing would be hardly surprising. But if we take a sportswear uniform for granted when it comes to attending Pokemon gyms and battling it out, then what would the rest of their wardrobe look like?

I have always assumed that Pokemon trainers would hardly be the type to shy away from bold colours, but then, they also would not be able to get away with wearing a bright red tracksuit for all occasions. And if we assume that most trainers are relatively young, then how would their wardrobe evolve over time? Say they retire from being a trainer and want to settle down, or else they head up their own gym and are no longer roaming the wilds for new Pokemon. The wardrobe would no doubt mature along with those changes in life, and so I have always assumed that there would have to be a relatively formal section to their wardrobes. When looking at a character, or indeed a person on the street in real life, I often find myself imagining two extremes - what their most formal outfit looks like, and what their most relaxed outfit looks like.

Thus we come to this Autumn/Winter 2018 collection by Sunnei, which was one that made me think of the Pokemon trainer's wardrobe away from the gym or dark cave in search of Zubats. The hats made me think of Jamiroquai doing a music video about Dr Seuss, and so they were quite a fun stylistic element for me. I enjoyed the bold colours and laid back ease of the looks I have posted here, although there were other looks with fringing and other overworked details that I have left out because they did not convince me. It almost seemed at little gimmicky at times. My favourite look is actually the pyjama blue suit, which actually made me imagine the model walking down the catwalk holding a Pokeball (if for no other reason than I wanted to see a pop of red somewhere on that look). Overall I think that the jackets and outerwear were my personal highlight from the collection, and so I am looking forward to hopefully being able to check those out in stores next season.


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