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Show Report

Show Report: Junya Watanabe Man A/W 15

by Lou Stoppard on 24 January 2015

Lou Stoppard reports on the Junya Watanabe Man A/W 15 show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Junya Watanabe Man A/W 15 show.

There's been a lot of thought about well-worn and cherished fashion this season. It seems new is out and old is in. It's the idea of what makes something a meaningful garment, a loved, trusty prop or ally, and what makes something just, well, clothes. That's what informed Tomas Maier at Bottega Veneta and, to an extent, Raf Simons just a few days ago.

It's fitting then that Junya Watanabe was exploring party clothes - the sartorial equivalent of our dancing shoes or lucky pants. This was about the things we put on to feel our best. The spirit and sense of empowerment clothes can give us was suggested in the way the models, all street-cast and of varying ages, sashayed around the runway, using it as their own personal dancefloor. Some smiled at the audience, others spent time posing, some gestured to the photographers, others let the rhythm get them and simply boogied round the Palais de Toyko as the disco ball span above. Aesthetically, this was a shout out to the Rudeboy - harking back to a time when dressing up was everything. The suit, an item that's fallen from favour elsewhere trumped by the statement coat and ushered out by changing, more casual dressing patterns, was the central talking point. You may think that's a big departure from the Junya we know and love right now (where were the denims, the great anoraks?) but he'd been sure to subvert the formality just enough to keep things intriguing; see those signature sewn-on patches.

As the models did their finale walk around the runaway, swaggering, swaying and bopping as they went, a jazzy rendition of Too Good To Be True came booming out the speakers. How apt. In the face of an increasingly sanitised fashion show landscape, where unsmiling models, devoid of visible emotion or personality serve as mere clothes hangers, this celebration of the interplay between clothing and confidence, style and swag felt too fresh and exciting to be real. How lucky we were to be there.

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