Suddenly, Junya Watanabe is the go-to resource for alternative formalwear. His fall collection was a hoot, disco balls spinning as a troupe of cool cats trod a red-carpet runway, occasionally busting some moves to the funky R&B soundtrack.
Nodding to dapper American vocal groups from the Sixties and Seventies such as The Floaters and The Temptations, Watanabe stuck to a template of tuxedo and dinner jackets in snazzy bouclés, fuzzy knits or speckled tweeds. Plain black ones in lustrous wools or cotton were jazzed up with the Japanese designer’s treasured hobo patches, climaxing with intricate patchwork smokings that mingled denim, pinstripes, satin and tweeds.
Raw denim or pitch-black jeans with big turn-up cuffs or satin side stripes added a funky touch, as did jean jackets occasionally layered underneath crombies. Two-tone shoes, heavy silver jewelry and pork pie hats polished off the retro look.
For the finale, models doffed their jackets to show off gleaming cummerbunds and a host of innovative formal shirts, one with yellowed buttons demarcating the bib front. In a word: Smooth.