“Hyper Construction Dress” was the simple, accurate description Junya Watanabe provided for his fall collection of brilliant shapes and colors and dazzling pattern work. To the masses, the clothes will appear alien, the show a bunch of wackadoos wearing giant paper fortune-teller games as dresses and hats. But it was really quite straightforward.
Watanabe’s collection notes, circulated via e-mail post-show, put the concept plainly: “The geometric shapes are rendered in polyurethane that has been bonded with nylon tricot. It is fabric that is ordinarily reserved for industrial purposes — like lining the interior of a car.” The majority of the looks featured a single statement garment worn over basic skinny black pants and long-sleeve shirts. The show opened with black skirts folded into puckers or a cage of links. Then color came in a red poncholike shirt cut from an accordionlike net. There was a fluorescent pink dress made from stiff square-ish pieces. A moto jacket was piled up with big circular pieces. Some of the garments featured round geometry, others offered the sharp and angular, likewise the headgear that ranged from a cone mask with a small hole cut over the model’s eye to a Darth Vader-esque helmet to orbs that surrounded the head.
The models came out two at a time at the center of the runway and walked in opposite directions, like particles pinging through space. The soundtrack, which cut bluntly between church organs and intense industrial whirring sounds triggered associations — the laws of orthodoxy and the laws of physics — but it was best to take the collection at face value. Enjoy the colors, shapes and sounds.