[ pushing the envelope with Junya Watanabe ]

When I was in California a month ago, I bought this interesting asymmetrical jacket with bright gingham checks the designer of which I knew nothing about. The jacket itself was sewn in a way that I had never seen before – deliberately chaotic and almost paradoxical in ways. On the one hand, the gingham checks seem safe and wholesome enough, but the design, texture, and silhouette of the piece are anything but. After looking though his collections I noticed that this is characteristic of Junya Watanabe aesthetic – conflicting, inaccessible, uncommercial, and challenging. But it’s like they say…there is no growth without  challenge.

Watanabe is renowned for designing innovative and distinctive clothing and is considered to be a ‘techno couture’ designer – creating unusually structured clothes out of modern, technical materials. In putting together the pieces that speak to me from his spring collections, I found his stuff up to 2007 virtually useless. They were probably his developmental years.

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