Entering Junya Watanabe’s spring venue, at Paris’ natural history museum, guests had to pass under a giant dinosaur skeleton suspended from the ceiling. There were no Jurassic expeditions for Watanabe, though — instead, he jumped millions of years ahead with a trip to Native Americana, spun in his own impressive way. It was beautiful.
The designer approached the theme via fringe, which he worked with ravishing variety. It appeared to be made from draped blankets on cool black dresses, and came as unexpected details elsewhere — on the hem of a chic reworked trenchcoat, the cuffs of a tailored jacket, dangling from poncholike tops.
Watanabe interpreted the stringy look more subtly, with fine fraying on a caped beige top paired with a draped brown skirt. This was Pocahontas at her most stylish, the models’ braided hair tousled to add a rastafarian-meets-punk edge.
Watanabe’s strength is in taking a singular idea and riffing on it in surprising new ways without feeling repetitive or boring. The collection demonstrated this perfectly, down to the mesmerizing feather headpieces that graced the last few exits — true creatures of the wild.