6 March 2012


"Errrm, on second thought I can probably just walk"

Junya Watanabe MAN
Fall/Winter 2006

Junya Watanabe is one of those designers whose womenswear I enjoy far more than their menswear.  Admittedly this is something that happens to me rather frequently - Gareth Pugh's womenswear is exciting, his menswear is trashy; Raf Simons' womenswear at Jil Sander was superb, the menswear was dull; Riccardo Tisci's womenwear is usually ok, his menswear is down right hideous.  Junya's menswear collections tend to leave me rather disappointed because they seem a mere afterthought these days, which is unfortunate because I really enjoyed his older collections.  His recent collections seem to be a continuous rehash of the same theme.  His fascination with heritage and Americana seems to have reached the point of urban woodsman...and stayed there.  I still really like the occasional piece I see on the rail (the blazers in particular), however the majority falls into the dangerous category of 'nice enough'.  I want clothes that excite me, that intrigue me, and without trying to sound overly dramatic, that make me feel something. 

Indeed the issue I have with the recent collections is that they just feel a bit lacking.  His aesthetic is admittedly not something I personally wear, but it is one that really interests me.  I am massive the fan of the Japanese interpretation of Americana and heritage (for want of a better label) clothing.  The attention to fabrics and craft, as well as the meticulous historical research, that goes into some of the reproductions and classic designs is outstanding.  Junya's interpretation certainly adds to this field, but to be honest, were I to pursue this particular stylistic avenue I would probably shop elsewhere for the majority.  Some simpler Sophnet pieces, some patterned White Mountaineering pieces, some older N. Hoolywood pieces, some Samurai jeans, and a pair of Visvim Virgils or Tricker's brogues (although admittedly the latter would be from the Junya collaborations).  I enjoy his witty detailing and technical execution, but lately there just has not been the same level of interest that his earlier collections had.

I recently saw someone wearing a patchworked M65 jacket that made me stop in my tracks.  The M65 these days seems as ubiquitous as the biker jacket, to the point that it now has an almost clichéd outfit of its own (a girl with a messy bun, oversize M65 with rolled sleeves, blouse, faded denim shorts, ripped tights, black military boots), however when done right it still has the same impact for me it always has done.  The M65 in question was a Junya Watanabe piece from his Taxi Driver inspired Fall/Winter 2006 collection.  The collection took the iconic anti-hero Travis Bickle as its starting point, but in classic Watanabe fashion he found the positive in Scorcese's self-defeating psychopath.  Jackets sewn with patches proclaiming 'Love', camouflage prints used in clean shirt and blazer combinations, deconstructed mohair knits, and his elegant recycling of military elements all created a rather more inviting affair.  Whereas many would take military and inverse the symbolism of its uniformity to make something thoroughly casual (indeed the fashion in which so many military garments are worn today), Watanabe made something undeniably smart and chic.



  1. Thank you!! I really thought I was the only one that is not impressed with Givenchy's menswear, and sadly (aside from the couture) the womenswear aesthetic seems to be going downhill too.

  2. Hey, maybe we are only a few years behind out here in the heartland. Cameoflage prints are still very in where I live.

  3. Oh, I see that army jacket look everyday. So I think the style caught on and is still hanging around.

  4. Taxi Driver..such cool inspiration!

  5. I like men wear these kind of fashion .Looks like regular clothing but notice very hip clothing when you look closely(I think these clothing you post never out of date.)I like khaki color jacket and blue shirt contrast .His name is so familiar.But may be this is first time to take a look his clothing.Now I love Junya Watanabe!

  6. Oh the army, utilitarian jackets look pretty awesome. Especially the 4th one from the bottom with the turned up lapels.

  7. Gosh, I love, love, love the deconstructed mohair knits... too bad it's so long ago it'd be impossible to find them anywhere.