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.




(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.

Shoe umbrellas.

The Ten Commandments of Chindogu.

Gloriously, importantly illogical.

Such are the things that are seen on a Saturday in Paris.

At the Undercover show in Paris just now, Jun Takahashi slashed, warped, draped and slashed again

Jun Takahashi just showed his autumn/winter 2015 Undercover show in Paris.

It was extraordinary, a proper show rather than a parade of product, as so many are nowadays.

Here are some images.

A trench, extended.

All the models had those face masks, by the way.

Can you see the knife on the left chest of this draped entrail coat?

More than a hint of the overriding theme.

BTW don’t the cut off jeans beneath look great?

A biker, warped at the back.

That back.

A warped baseball jacket.

I mean amazing.

A warped bomber.

Slashing sometimes leads to joining – a little jacket, jewelled collar and adjoining trench tails.

Not sure how what joins on to what exactly.

Similarly, a cardigan/shirt/slashed trouser/lining combo.

Kind of extraordinary.

Time for some real slashing.

Slashed plastic jacket, which walked out to a Hitchcock soundtrack.

(Those of greater Hitchcock knowledge would be able to say which film)

(I mean it’s obvious which one I want to guess but still)

A longer plastic coat.

The last looks came out to Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt.

A shard coat.

A shard pantsuit.

Last look.

An unsettling, jolting, absolute pleasure.

And in creepy hand news, a couple of the looks had prints of that creepy hand I wrote about during menswear.

End of creepy hand update!

And, um, end of whatever this is!

Not a review.

Just me gabbling on really.




The menswear students at the Central Saint Martins MA show were exceptionally strong. Some pics

The menswear students in this year’s Central Saint Martins MA show were exceptionally strong.

It featured the work of the last students to have been selected for the course by Professor Louise Wilson, who died last year.

Each of the students showing menswear were unique and with their own voice, yet each were interested in showing garments, as opposed to an imposition of fantasy.

Their work instead was fantasy reality.

A suit by James Theseus Buck, with an added dildo from out of the fly.


I posted a different pic of this look on Instagram last night, and @kikokostadinov said that the dildo was “resin casted with flowers in between”

Whether this is fact or conjecture I can’t tell.

More from James, whose course was actually Textiles For Fashion.


A blur, but this look was feathered.


An apron look.




I loved the rigour in functionality of the work of Ben Rice.


A keen control of proportion.


Maximilian Riedlberger showed work that was super slick and assured.


These wide trousers were excellent.


He was playful too.


Eric Litzén had great sense of colour and proportion.


Crop and shine.




Do you see what I mean about garments?

Even when they entered into experimentation, it was always grounded in an idea of actual clothing.

Which wasn’t the case in the womenswear students at all.

I found the men’s students so super exciting.

Their work felt alive with future possibilities of what menswear could be.

And the effect they can have on what men wear. In real life.

Ever since the men’s shows I’ve been thinking about gender. But what about gender neutrality?

The European menswear shows for AW15 finished three weeks ago now.

Ever since, I’ve been thinking about gender.

Many of the shows put men in women’s clothing or cloth – most pointedly Gucci.

In my reviews for the FT, it was something of which I was mostly dismissive.

Was I too curmudgeonly?

I normally fall hard for catwalk experimentation.

Maybe it’s to do with the individual hand – it’s something I find convincing when it comes from independents, like Meadham Kirchhoff’s exceptional and much-missed menswear presentations, or the new work of Grace Wales Bonner.

From independents, it has the sense of an individual confronting, challenging and indulging his own gender beliefs.

From a billion dollar conglomerate, it feels more like a styling imposition.

It also seems separate from the way people are wearing clothes today, which is moving towards gender neutrality.

I was in Mexico City the other week, and I overheard an American woman say how, since she’d moved there, she’d stopped wearing heels.

It was 26 degrees there during the day, but cold at night. Most men and women were wearing the same – some sort of jacket, then a vivid coloured top and jeans, with sneakers.


Back in London, I’d been avoiding looking at people’s clothes, because it didn’t seem fair: hot there, cold here, yaboo sucks etcetc.

But then yesterday morning at Columbia Road flower market, I became aware of this same neutrality.

The day after Valentine’s.

Men and women basically dressed the same, especially on the lower half of their bodies.

I started taking photos.


So many women were wearing jeans or leggings and sneakers, I started looking for women dressed like the past.

These two were a juxtaposition. One moment this:


And then:


She was the only woman I saw, after an hour of looking, dressed according to old codes of prettification or whatever.

I took a seat outside of Printers & Stationers on Ezra Street – that cobbled courtyard.

More and more neutrality.




Of course there were differences.

Some women were in Uggs or similar.

Others had a slight stack heel on their shoe or boot.

But I was sat there in Cuban heels, so more neutrality.

Mostly, there was balance.


Look at these two.


Don’t you wish I’d moved that blue chair?

I found it fascinating, particularly with women’s shows starting this weekend, and the new glut of very non-neutral street style photos from outside the venues.

Though obviously 99.9% of those actually in the shows will be in sneakers and jeans.

I found the Public School show fascinating for its neutrality.




A women’s look.


(Pics nicked from the glorious style.com)

A men’s look.


Pretty much neutrality.

There was a similar story at Telfar.

Among other craziness.

A women’s look.


A men’s look.



The mass movement in gender, separate from individual experimentation.

!!!HANDBAG WATCH!!! A highly scientific study of the handbags carried at the opening of Zona Maco, Mexico City




For the first time in Handbag Watch history, Handbag Watch is reporting live (ish) from the preview day of Zona Maco in Mexico City which um actually happened yesterday.


I needs me a margarita so let’s keep this brief.

Starting time: 17.48

And…. STOP. At 18.09

No shade but man there’s a lot of um bags with heavy um inspiration.

I mean seriously – look at the one sharing a table with my frozen margarita.


Of the handbags that are bona fide, here are the scores on the doors:

1st: CELINE – five bags

Mostly those ones with the flappy side bits.

You know the ones I mean.

Look I’ve started my margarita OK?

Boy it’s strong.


1st EQUAL: CHANEL – five bags!!!

A last minute sighting of one just as Handbag Watch was drawing a veil – it was one of of those squishy ones that Lilly Allen advertised – brought Chanel into 1st equal position.

Bonus point for one of the Chanels being from that Lego collection.

3rd: BOTTEGA VENETA – four bags


4th EQUAL: HERMÈS – three bags

Including one lime green Birkin.

Do they do Birkins in line green?

OMG look at the man who was with the lime green Birkin lady!

Full look McQueen suit!!!


The full look McQueen is hiding the lime green Birkin.

OK let’s continue.

4th EQUAL: GUCCI – three bags

Two old school canvas print.

The other a squishy leather one embossed with some big Gs.

6th EQUAL: BALENCIAGA – two bags

Both Lairets.

You know, Ghesquière’s era.

6th EQUAL: LOUIS VUITTON – two bags

Neither Ghesquière’s era.



And, to make it even more chic, the women carrying the MK Michael Kors bags were walking round together.

Different styles, same brand.


9th EQUAL: DIOR – one bag

Princess Di-appropriate black Lady Dior.

9th EQUAL: PRADA – one bag

A demure thing on a chain with a leather covered clasp from a few seasons ago.

9th EQUAL: GOYARD – one bag

8th EQUAL: TORY BURCH – one bag

Ohgod shall we stop?


1st EQUAL: LOUIS VUITTON – one bag

A cross-body courier.

1st EQUAL: GOYARD – one bag

It was like a Goyard bag, you know? Like they all are.



1st: HERMÈS – one belt.

A big old H buckle affair worn slightly skewiff.


Aaah, margaritas.

Eddie Peake. Laura Owens. Petrit Halilaj. A quick squint at the at the aceness on show at Zona Maco, Mexico City

Hey so the Zona Maco art fair opened here in Mexico City.

It’s super compact but super good.

Here’s some of what’s what.

Eddie Peake on Lorcan O’Neill.


Later in the day a woman used it as a mirror to reapply her lipgloss.


One of Eddie’s shelves.



Over on Gavin Brown Enterprise and Mission 356’s joint stand, some amazing spinning clock thingies by Laura Owens.

A spinning clock thingy.






Over on Chert, work by Petrit Halilaj.


This too.



New to me was Tala Madani on Pilar Corrias.

This one’s called “Rear Projection: Asp”.



John McAllister on James Fuentes.

McAllister used to be a security guard at the Met in New York.

He spent a lot of time in front of its Matisse and Bonnard.

The result.



Ohgod this Wolfgang Tillmans on David Zwirner.


Stephen Willats on Victoria Miro.


There’s an amazing Willats retrospective in the city right now at Museo Tamayo.

Do you want to see some pix from it?

Do you?

Do you?


Every Day And Every Night, from 1984.


A Difficult Boy In A Concrete Block – Tower Block Drawing No3, from 1983.


A piece of self-organising furniture.


The clothing chart of Man From The 21st Century.


Helmets from 1965.



Should you be in Mexico City, Stephen Willats is on until May, Zona Maco shuts this Sunday.

Air freshener suns. A big wall of wool. Radical facial jewellery. Laura Aldridge’s new show at Glasgow Tramway is so major

Laura Aldridge’s new show opened at Tramway in Glasgow last night.

It’s so major.

Her big pink box.


Hanging in front of it is Be A Nose!

(Do you think that:

a: I still have the piece of paper with everything’s title and meaning and stuff,
b: I’ve um lost it)



Another banner.


OMG some Radical Facial Jewellery!

It’s hanging from a gum shield fyi.


A photo of that nice Simon demonstrating said Radical Facial Jewellery.


Another sun.


Oooh let’s have a sit-down.


A big woolly wall.


Brick pic.




One more sun.


So jolly!

Want to spend days in there.

Next door is some super super jolly work by James Rigler.

Jolly as in BENCHES.

I love benches.

Especially benches with feet.

A bench.


Another bench.


Some feet.



Laura’s show is on until 22 March, James’s is on until 8 March, should you need an excuse to visit Glasgow which you shouldn’t since it’s the greatest city in the universe.

AW15 men’s debrief: three million pictures of the geniusness of the new Undercover stuff

More from Paris men’s fashions.

Like you’ve not seen enough already.


It was one of those oh-god-I-want-everything seasons of lovely stuff.

Like this shearling zip-up with a blue collar.


Ohgod this mac with an iPhone screen so you can play stuff on your chest.


That iPhone screen.


What to have playing on your chest?

Sylvania Waters, obvs.

What else?

Images from William Blake!




The name of the collection.


This next one is my favourite piece of the entire season.

Along with the Craig Green sweater with the hole. And Grace Wales Bonner’s jeans. And those super boring Prada grey cotton twill shirts. And that Saint Laurent MA1.

An Undercover spliced MA1 with a creepy hand!

The dream.


That creepy hand.


There wouldn’t be one on the back, would there?



Let’s move over to the T-shirt rail.

Hi, T-shirts!

The End.


Not Waveing.






Don’t be scared.




Bye, Undercover!

AW15 men’s debrief: up close with the Russia/China amazingness of sir Gosha Rubchinskiy

Hey so like there have just been some menswear shows or something.

I’ve got one more report to come in the FT this weekend, and over the next few days I’m going to post some of the 5 million pix I took on my iPhone and then forgot about.

First up:


His was the first show I saw in Paris.

It was one of the best I saw in Paris.

A musing on the competitiveness between Russia and China.

Plus how those two countries are seen from outside.

I went to see the clothes up close the other day (he says trying to pretend what he did 48 hours ago is in any way current)

Do you think:

a) I didn’t bother taking any pix
b) I took 5 million


Those Russia/China flag T’s that look suspiciously like a brand from the United States of America!

(The writing is Gosha’s name in Cyrillic btw)


Those OMG sweaters that read “SPORT”.


I mean like acid washed cuffed denim jeans are obviously the greatest creation in the universe.


It turns out there was another inspiration – the look of the Nazbol movement in Russia.

This totally pricked up my ears, because I’d not long ago read Emmanuel Carrere’s amazing amazing biography of its founder, Eduard Limonov.



The inspiration was in the youthfulness of pieces like this.


OMG the coats.


And another.


And another.



Best collection inspired by Russia and China and Nazbols ever!