Date 02.02.2014

JUNYA WATANABE SS2014, faceless and on route to aviaries

Though it might be odd yet attractive, Junya Watanabe’s signature does not strictly imply a designer’s facial association. His work does not depend on first person instead is about the radical plurality drawn on by his products. Within the Comme des Garçons’s conglomerate, he shyly and perfectly performs from an invisible distance.

Pleasantly unpredictable each season Watanabe’s parade on the runway is a new finger pointing a challenge and destination for the daring ones, referring to the non-timid fashion female. Since his starting days and as Mrs.Kawakubo’s first protégé, his earlier 90’s work up to now all remains loyally intrinsic and simultaneously attractive. Very similar to his pattern techniques that border physics (for this SS2014 based on “fringes and slashes”). While belonging to a certain territory or tribe his women initially walk fully tuned into the hybrid references the Japanese designer dictates, but she always has a target destination. A note of rarity that even when seen is extremely creative and endlessly charming to wear. It might look like a monologue, but grammatically seen he is always in conversation and harmony when on a women’s body. You might imagine there’s tension in between fabrics and those corps behaving “la liberte” (freed), but no, his proficient hands around their bodies are smooth. The use of fabrics, colours, cuts and finishing’s (macramé, home crafts, didgeridoos) guarantees the strong statement women are thirsty for, looking like hippies, crusty ravers, or a touch of a fringed cowgirl. Suede and loose jerseys mix while ideas of folklore are shown through singing the values of an American native wardrobe with black dresses clashing with leather, one of Watanabe’s preferred noble materials. If someone has been treating leather for almost a decade beyond heritage, he deserves the applauses. We might all remember his FW2007 in collaboration with Vanson Leathers, a leading American manufacturer of motorcycle jackets. Real bikers before the customary ones arrived. A long-term chapeau!

Headpieces decorated with pheasant feathers give a message of respect to those indigenous who are now brought into fashion’s metropolitan style. Coincidentally pheasants are characterized by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails; Watanabe’s women own a similar strong spirit.

To culminate whom Junya Watanabe is in the end, the mysterious-charming storyteller was born in 1961 in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, women who are fully aware of his specialties and with each season want to be able to join his road, follow him.