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Junya Watanabe

(image  from fortyfiveten.com):

is known for his anti-fashion design perspective

which he developed under the mentorship of

Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons.

He is innovative with materials used, technology applied,

silhouettes formed and attitudes challenged.

His has had a long and illustrious career.

After completing his design studies in 1984

at Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo,

(Yohji Yamamoto is also an alumnus.)

Mr. Watanabe began work  at Comme des Garcons.

In 1990 he launched his eponymous label

under the Comme des Garcons umbrella –

continuing to create within his design family.

Like his compatriots Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto

Mr. Watanabe shows in Paris, defies conventions

and ruffles a few sensibilities along the way.

His are the eyes of a visionary –

one who images an ideal:

otherworldly,  abstract,  fanciful

His collection for  PFW,   s/s   2014

seems bound to things of land, of sea, of mystery.

The models’ hairstyles were reminiscent of

the mythological Medusa who –  it is written

had live snakes, instead of hair, growing from her head.

The Watanabe models sported a hair-do,

which almost seemed to have a life of its own –

some adorned with elaborate feather headpieces.

In addition to this element of myth and mystery,

there is a sense of a nautical presence.

Not nautical as in sailing on calm seas during a sunlight day

but rather that of something dark, which lurks

thousands of leagues under the sea, creatures

tentacled, patient, expectant.

The opposite is also expressed –

of existence on dry land.

In this context, there seems reference

to the fearless, adventurous

 settlers to the rugged Ole West

and of the proud indigenous communities.

There is also a combining of these elements;

as in a tale summarised by outline

of the relevant points.

The colour palette is subdued, mostly restricted to 3b :

black, blue, brown.

The appeal of Mr. Watanabe’s  s/s 2014 collection is its

inventiveness which inspires

thought,  reflection and story:

at once a  juxtaposition and

a blending of contrast.


(images from fashionising):


Junya Watanabe,  s/s 2014

The Collection



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