When Maharishi came of age, it looked like something clean, tangible again. Because Hardy Blechman, the British designer who spent his childhood collecting military medals and judo belts, had fleshed out an empty phrase in “East meets West”. It was no longer a term lazily applied to all the pan-Asian fashion bastards (and all the “visit Hong Kong” marketing brochures). Maharishi was, and is, a considered merger; one of the first streetwear brands that exploited the currency of the hype by affixing ukiyo-e tigers and Chinese dragons on surplus army materials. We never got to see a lot of East Asian people in Orwell’s nineteen eight four, but it can be assumed that they would probably wear something like Maharishi for a rave commissioned by the respective Big Brother of that state.
This brand could not be further from GH Bass: a shoe to wear everywhere, entirely American. They are known for their solid and classic moccasins. This is the chalk of Maharishi’s Rushan cheese. So when a collaboration was announced, we were confused. What would Neo Shanghai look like in New Hampshire? Very good, in all honesty – and nothing at all as we expected.
Launched seemingly out of nowhere, the shoe brand used Maharishi’s most readable signature: camouflage. But GH Bass is not GI Joe. Rather than packing a penny moccasin with the fluoros that filled London nightclubs before pandemics and tearful residents’ associations forced them to a permanent shutdown, the collaboration embossed the leather instead. Beautiful clean lines. Smooth shapes. A pretty crazy collaboration which, surprisingly, is very easy to wear. And there are two! One in absolute black and the other in a rich alcoholic “wine” color.
“The collaboration was born out of a chance meeting of a mutual friend. Through a series of conversations between the GH Bass & Co design team and Maharishi, we decided that it would be a really interesting project to reinterpret our moccasins. Weejuns, ”said an official spokesperson for the brand. Squire. And it was all part of the Penny Moccasin’s birthday. “This year GH Bass [is] celebrating 85 years since the creation of the iconic penny loafer, an opportune time to hand it over to a modern streetwear brand to add its signature writing. Collaboration with Maharishi allows for a new perspective and a new creative expression. ”
It’s a soak from a shoe that was already starting to relax. The moccasin isn’t as stuffy as it used to be. In 2021, he’s really having fun. The Cool Guys wear them with white socks, jeans and T-shirts; or, for the sleazy summery types who love Positano and ironed shirts, with tailored shorts and shirts, and Italian mogul sunglasses. It is a versatile shoe. And, with the collaboration of GH Bass and Mahirishi, it fully exploits its potential as a joyful handshake between two distant brands.
Because Mahirishi, when riding solo, isn’t exactly the type to hang out. And GH Bass would never introduce (and maybe never should) Apocalypse now camo. But by translating the other’s handwriting into their own native language, here’s something new, but not overwhelming – just like Maharishi did when he came to Go in 1994. This time it’s surprisingly easy to read. carry.
Available now on ghbass-eu.com and maharishi.com, priced at £ 170
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