Three cheers for Junya Watanabe! Once again, the Japanese designer delivers a killer collection inspired by African draping techniques. Some of you might recall that of his previous spring collection, Watanabe said “it all went back to Africa”. Vague? Yes. But did he take this inspiration and infuse it into something representative of his own unique design aesthetic? Absolutely.
With experience as a Comme des Garçons’ knitwear designer under his belt, one can expect nothing but the highest quality of work and innovation from Watanabe. This year his focus on West African textiles showed that he not only understands how to tailor and drape a variety of fabrics (the denim!) but that he also proved that he has an eye for color and pattern mixing.
I’m not going to lie, I have an affinity for West African prints (Tala can certainly attest to this) and so had the drapery been subpar, which it wasn’t, I might still have been won over but this collection was perfection from start to finish. The deliberate styling, particularly the intricate and no doubt time consuming head pieces, helped to bring the collection to life. It spoke of both restraint and excess. The natural and the synthetic. The old and the new- the tried and the true.
I found it comforting. The only thing that would have made this collection more enjoyable would have been to see it worn by more models of color. I believe that out of the 47 looks only 3 were worn by women of color. Otherwise, a brilliant effort.
(Click image to enlarge)