It must be nearly impossible to pry Junya Watanabe out of a specialist camping or trekking store. His fascination with functional garments and detailing was as obvious on his fall runway as a moose in the middle of a hiking path.
Reflective stripes, rugged patches, zippers and pockets galore were the features of this outdoors-y collection, which was heavy on meaty outerwear and the types of pants and sweaters a very stylish longshoreman might wear.
The show had an easy confidence and the clothes were masculine, handsome and approachable. The gadgetry was impressive: Some jackets converted to bags and vice versa, while some coats were worn as backpacks, or boasted built-in backpacks.
A pioneer in inviting specialist manufacturers to realize his designs, Watanabe rolled out a collaboration with Canada Goose on a range of technical outerwear inspired by archival models. The dark and generously sized parka, duffle coat and coach’s jacket that helped open the show were particularly striking. Other collaborations included Karrimor, Filson, Gloverall, Carhartt, Levi’s, New Balance and Heinrich Dinkelacker.
Unfortunately, the bounty of other labels and logos on display sometimes made it seem like Au Vieux Campeur or Paragon Sports put on a highfalutin’ fashion show with a bouncy techno soundtrack.
It would be great to see Watanabe — who possesses one of the most creative and versatile minds in the business — pack away his partners and show what he’s capable of doing alone on the trail.