I don’t remember how I found out about it, but I do remember my reaction. I had a mini-panic attack and I found myself scrambling online, looking for pictures of the collections. I was out of breath, my mind was going in circles, and I asked friends if they’ve been to the stores recently. It was, in a way, an attack of the Stendhal Syndrome.
I’m talking about the Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat collections at Uniqlo. I’ve been a fan of the two for quite some time, their colorful and sometimes manic approach to art hypnotizing me. Both artists flourished in the 80’s and had a unique visual style. Haring’s works were a series of graffiti that explored socio-political themes such as AIDS-awareness, drug addiction, and racism. His bold lines, bright colors, and sense of movement has made him one of the most recognizable artists of our time.
Basquiat’s pieces were more intense, featuring doodles of human figures in abstract shapes. He isn’t quite as popular in mainstream art as Haring, but his works speak of a seriousness amid the playful lines. His sketches can be terrifying, but the details work beautifully together.
Like I said, I panicked and asked my friends if any of them have been to Uniqlo recently to check if the collections are up. The Philippines isn’t exactly one of the countries to get first dibs on collections, so I wasn’t surprised when Melvin told me it wasn’t available yet. But being the sweetheart that he is, he got me a shirt from the Madonna collection to tide me over. It’s a gorgeous watercolor design from the True Blue album cover, and it was chosen by the Queen of Pop herself from a recent design contest Uniqlo had. One of the finalists was made by a Filipino student from Asia Pacific College (also selected by Madge herself).
It’s a wonderful shirt, and I wore it to the party my mother threw for some kids at the St. Rita orphanage in Paranaque. Very festive.
Being the fan that I am, I felt like I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Haring and Basquiat collections. So I quickly texted my mother, who was in Japan, to bring some home for me. I was worried she wouldn’t be able to accommodate my request since she was coming home in a few days, but voila, never underestimate a mother who used to model when it comes to fashion requests.
Here’s my Basquiat and Haring stash. It’s all so lovely. And to add to the Uniqlo fever, I bought two polo shirts at the opening day of SM Aura. I was late so I wasn’t able to catch Sarah Jessica Parker, but I was impressed with the two-storey Uniqlo flagship and the accommodating staff. The best part is, there weren’t that many people! It doesn’t compare to the 12-storey behemoth in Ginza, but this is way better than the branch in SM Mall of Asia.
I’m planning to complete the collections. Talk about dedication.