Local fashion collective, Chota House Collective recently launched 3 new designs in collaboration with Singapore’s critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer, Charlie Lim. Two of which are classic Noragi jackets, and the third being a versatile Ragi Tie Shorts.
What is a noragi jacket? It is a traditional Japanese garment which farmers used to wear to work. “Nora” means farm and “gi” means clothing or uniform in Japanese. Noragis are usually open-banded in the front, with button or string closures. They are usually made in a loose and oversized structure for comfort and mobility.
The Charlie Lim x Chota House Black Linen Noragi is crafted using a silk cotton linen blend. Linen is said to be the “coolest fiber” among natural fibers, making it the best suited for Singapore’s hot and humid weather. It features a contrasting grey placket, as well as two side pockets and a single button fastening. The silk cotton linen fabric is lightweight, breathable and extremely soft to the touch. The fabric becomes softer and glossier after every wash, making you cherish the garment even more.
The Charlie Lim x Chota House Sashiko Denim Noragi is crafted using an 11 ounce cotton denim fabric. It features contrasting Indigo-dyed Sashiko fabric at its collar, placket, pockets and sleeves. Sashiko is a distinctive hand-sewing technique that originated in ancient Japan. Its name means “little stabs” in Japanese – a reference to the plain running stitch that makes up Sashiko’s geometric, all over patterns. This stylish noragi has two inner pockets and a neat internal tie closure. Consider it a more interesting alternative to a coat or suit jacket.
The Charlie Lim x Chota House Sashiko Ragi Tie Shorts is crafted using Indigo-dyed Sashiko fabric. It is inspired by the traditional Japanese Hakama pants, which were worn by Japanese field workers and martial art practitioners. The Ragi Tie shorts pays homage to these historical wide leg trousers – switched up with a more modern bermuda style cut. It features two back pockets and a contrasting simple black belt and belt loops.
Japanese fabric dealers generally don’t produce in bulk and mainly focus on producing naturally-sourced fibers like cotton, silk and linen rather than man-made synthetic fibers like polyester. Their ancient making and mending methods still allow them to remain figureheads of the sustainability leader board. These techniques originated from times of poverty, and were designed to sustain items for as long as possible. One of these techniques is known as sashiko stitching, which have been incorporated into this collection. The fabrics and sewing techniques used for this collection are natural and handmade, enhancing their durability. Furthermore, limited pieces and limited quantities for each design are produced – to preserve resources and avoid waste.
“I’ve been a big fan of Andrew’s designs and Chota’s ethos for a long time,” says Charlie. “I remember chancing upon his store 10 years ago when I was in university, and bought a pair of pants from him which I wore to the ground. I’ve been supporting him ever since, and getting to work on these pieces with him was quite special. Everything Andrew does is with so much care and detail, and he pays a lot of respect to the fabric. More importantly, he isn’t afraid to go against trends and just stick to his vision, which I love.”
“Charlie has been a close friend and long-time supporter of the brand since Chota’s early years,” says Andrew. “He’s been fond of our noragis, which led to this home-grown collaboration. We went through several design iterations while sourcing for suitable materials for about a year or so before finding something that would reflect his style and quiet-but-cool demeanor. I hope people will appreciate what we have curated for them.”
The Charlie Lim x Chota House collection is now available for purchase in store and also online. Chota House is located at The Cathay, 2 Handy Road #03-03, Singapore 229233. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram