Friday, January 30, 2009

junya watanabe - autumn/winter 2009

what is it with this theme of exploring the wilderness that has been rampant throughout the collections. this sense of rugged masculinity that has become a metaphor designers have used to reflect the fighting human spirit to prevail in difficult times. hunting and gathering are innate human instincts that we owe our very existence to and watanabe explored this cornerstone of human evolution without any typical prehistoric references. there was an adventurer spirit of frontiersmen, men that symbolizes a masculine americana and one that unsurprisingly is regurgitated by watanabe into his own melting pot of cultural references. meanings that can be interpreted as the human instinct to move and find greener pastures to braving the elements. as complex as these ideas are, they never come across as pretentiously intellectual or overtly referential. its simply what watanabe does season after season. subverting western icons with a japanese sensibility that carries no signs of confrontation. his work is understandable, obviously deliberate, and has the ability to merge its avant garde philosophies but executed in a thoroughly commercial way. as he matures as a designer, his influences become less extirpated but never losing its directional momentum. his work is becoming more about a shrinking world where fashion in the east is amalgamating with fashion from the west. and that is the legacy and contribution of the great japanese designers that paved the way for him. making watanabe the heir apparent to the japanese torch that has become one of the most influential force in almost three decades.


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