Junya Watanabe, often partial to outdoorsy looks reminiscent of hunting and fishing, is now seriously digging BMX biking and motocross, yielding a mostly black collection that creatively melded classic menswear archetypes with high-tech performance gear.
The designer opened his display with slim, three-button suits with drainpipe trousers, ergonomic seaming at the elbows and knees foreshadowing his latest fixation.
He went on to adroitly merge elements of highly technical motosports costumes with varsity jackets, hoodies, parkas, toggle coats and utility vests, in addition to classically tailored suits and topcoats.
Good luck if anyone dressed in one of these multifunction coats boards a plane before you: Gosh knows how long it will take for the guy to fish out his phone, book, water bottle and pen from the multiple leather cages, backpacks and zippered pouches incorporated into Watanabe’s jackets.
According to the brand, the designer was most interested this season in Innerraum, a Berlin maker of accessories incorporating elements of protective gear, adding up to something alien and sci-fi.
The show lacked Watanabe’s usual charm, replaced by something a little colder and gloomier. He’s reading the room correctly, though.
A pioneer doing multiple collaborations with specialist brands, Watanabe concluded his show with an array of looks done in collaboration with Levi’s, Carhartt, North Face, Champion, Alpha Industries and New Balance. There were some that intrigued and will lead you to Google, among them Haglöfs, Karrimor and Stepney Workers Club.