Junya Watanabe’s new women’s collection may appear to be pure fantasy. But within it, can you find pure logic?
More and more, I think about logic in clothing.
If what we wear can be reduced to logic.
Or if indeed the illogical is the attraction.
Junya Watanabe’s collection this morning was one of those that got me going.
His garments featured folded-out constructions, like paper lanterns, or 3D mathematical landscapes.
Each garment had the precision to allow the folds to sit with levity.
The logic of construction.
But in many of the best looks, there was a logic of dressing too.
I’ve been considering a successful formula for dressing: two parts sober, one part decorative.
Wierdly, it came to me when I was reviewing the Burberry men’s show for the FT back in January, and I was trying to explain a look that balanced sober shearlings and cords with pretty florals in the same garment.
The sobriety of the first two allowed for the decoration of the latter.
This happened today at Junya, albeit in a different way.
Underpinning the collection were some excellent crisp white shirts and black trousers.
They were worn with almost half of the looks.
And allowed the collection to be two parts sober (white shirt, black trouser) and one part decorative (garment of elaborate folds).
Here’s the look at its most simple, with just w decorative scarf of repeat mini-pyramids.
!!!!!UPSIDE DOWN PHOTO ALERT!!!!
***AS WITH ALL CATWALK PHOTOS, I TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN***
^^^SO YOU CAN LOOK THROUGH THE RECOGNISABLE IMAGE TO SEE THE CLOTHES BENEATH^^^
(Pics nicked from the wondrous style.com)
The decorative element became more extreme – here’s a long cape of pulled apart cuts.
But still, black trouser, white shirt.
The same effect on the sleeves of a grey biker.
A red cape top.
And yes technically there’s now a decorative headpiece too, but I don’t count this as a garment.
I think the two parts/one part logic still stands.
A coat with an unfolded open front.
View the whole collection, and there are of course many looks which defy this logic.
The importance of the illogical.
But I think one of the reasons the work was so successful were these precise and sober garments at its heart, balancing out the invention.
Most in the audience had to run straigh after, but I’m here in Paris on a busman’s holiday, only attending a handful of shows for my own pleasure.
It meant I could hang around the Palais de Tokyo.
It’s current exhibitions made the setting of Junya’s show there apt.
Much there was about balance, levity and construction.
A canvas by Takis that holds metallic cones in place, as if suspended in air, by magnets.
The balanced rock sculptures of Bridget Polk.
The extraordinary Strandbeests created by Theo Jansen, which each summer walk on a Dutch beach powered by wind.
A Strandbeest on film.
In real life.
Some of its component parts.
A mist catcher created by Carlos Espinosa, which capture humidity in arid mineral areas to allow organic materials to grow.
And then some illogic.
The Chindogu of Kenji Kawakami.
Almost useful objects.
Like this Housework Sleeping Suit.
Or this toothpick cover.
Swiss Army knife gloves.
Blinds for face.
The Ten Commandments of Chindogu.
Gloriously, importantly illogical.
Such are the things that are seen on a Saturday in Paris.