K.Z.O. By Fok. Pictures by Albert The News Showroom is always busy. It's located a behind a completely anonymous, utilitarian door in a building right on Broadway in Soho, and it's all business. Unlike some other showrooms, no one offers you champagne, or truffles, or little pitas with hummus. There are no decorations to speak of. It's concrete floors with white walls partitioning a large room. When you walk in, there is a little antechamber, and if you are too timid to walk in yourself, no one is going to say "Please, come in, see our loot." Everyone is working, working, working. There is John the Woolrich Woolen Mills rep, his hair tied back in a long ponytail like some lumberjacket ninja, with his sleeves rolled up. The agent in charge of Common Projects does not look at all amused when I show Pete the Common Projects bags for FW10, and sniff the nappa leather shoes, not even when I compliment them profusely. The rep for Robert Geller's 2nd line shows us a very "goth ninja combination of drapey tee, slouchy hoodie, and leggings, then asks what store we come from, (none, we are "press"), precipitating a hasty, awkward moment. I feel like I should have a store, maybe a chain of stores. Can you spot the homage to Conan O'Brien? Joel Koernschild is an anomaly here. Maybe it's because I've known him and followed his line for a few years now, but I think it's because 1)he is from LA, where business is conducted at a more leisurely pace, and 2) he has been listening to a lot of music that suits the Pacific Northwest Kick of his FW09 collection. In his very earliest collections, Joel Koerneschild said that he wanted to offer clothes with a Japanese sensibility that fit an American customer, and the clothes were made in China, but since then, everything has shifted a little. Now his clothes reflect the US West Coast (including one of the coolest drug rug hoodies I've seen,) and are made in Japan. Every collection comes with a soundtrack. Because I am a Philistine, the significance of the soundtrack to the "Drifters" collection is lost to me, but I've always liked the idea of everything having a soundtrack. Joel is much cooler than I am though, so I'm pretty sure that there's a lot less classic rock in his IPod than in my... tapedeck. K.Z.O. F/W 2010 could easily be in the closet of a guy who liked to hike in the Sierras in 60s and into the 70s, and who ... also still wears a tweed tuxedo occasionally. There are vividly red, yellow, orange, black and turquoise striped flannel shirts to match striped backpack - a collaboration with Japanese maker Masterpiece. There are chambrays and heathered pullovers and tweedy jackets, a grey cardigan with Native American motifs, from the southwest (I think,) buffalo plaid jackets, and a hooded red anorak that wouldn't have looked out of place with an external frame backpack. Collaboration backpacks with Japanese brand Masterpiece There is more than just one houndstooth jacket Pete ponders from what decade his Americana look will come from next Fall/Winter For Sierra Club (Joel's been inspired by Sierra Club founder John Muir) presentations, there were also tweed, sacky, suit separates and that tweedy tuxedo. A washed brown leather cafÃ racer was a standout piece. Joel, take this as fair warning that I am going to steal the sample after buying season has ended. The black hip length leather jacket with biking details was for someone with less vivid memories of the 90s. Luke (the K.Z.O. rep) didn't say anything when I told me that it looked slightly Donnie Brasco. On your far left, please see the jacket I am going to steal A peacoat with metal saucer buttons was one of the more urban outerwear pieces "Please, take off shoes." "What are you kidding me? Take off your pants. What the fuck's that?" "Is Japanese tradition." "Is that right? Well, fuggedaboutit. I ain't doing it." There were of course, the typical great basics. A thermal Henley had a contrasting, long, twill placket, and could we worn as a light sweater and a long sleeve pullover had a split collar and flatlock stitching. Great basics This is the work of a designer with a much more coherent vision and surer hand than the early "Kazuo" collections. When Karen and Brett (of the now defunct "Dresscodes" in Atlanta) first introduced me to the line, I have to admit that I didn't see the appeal. However, if they'd shown me this collection, I would have been an immediate fan.