From the spoken words of Savages singer Jehnny Beth at the beginning of the Undercover show, it was clear that Jun Takahashi would not limit his runway statement to clothes. “You want flattery. Always looking to where it’s at. You want to take part in everything and everything to be a part of you,” Beth intoned in a clip lifted from the video of the song “Shut Up.”
Takahashi followed the band’s manifesto about sensory overload with one of his own, placing words and their anagrams in bold varsity lettering on the fronts and backs of tops. A red-and-black sweatshirt bore the message “Snug” while coming and “Guns” while going. A black bomber jacket with patent balloon sleeves alternated “Silent” and “Listen.”
These kicked off a parade of looks as over-the-top as anything seen on a Saturday afternoon in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Pants and jackets with bondage straps and cutouts alternated with dresses and blouses assembled from black satin ribbons and festooned with bows.
Takahashi brought the manga-inspired lineup to a crescendo with a series of black outfits featuring harnesses and oversize belts that encased the torso, but it turned out this was something of a bait and switch: For his sober finale, the designer plunged the venue in darkness and sent out models wearing tops flashing luminous words such as “Silence Yourself” — leaving the audience wondering, among other things, where he stood on the noise versus silence debate.