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Show Report

Show Report: Junya Watanabe A/W 17 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 5 March 2017

Lucy Norris reports on the Junya Watanabe A/W 17 show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Junya Watanabe A/W 17 show.

There must be something in the air. Having played Marc Bolan's Children of the Revolution in my hotel room on a Saturday morning, an hour later I heard it again - as the opening track for the Watanabe show. With the British punk and rock scene - and seventies counter culture in general - being such a huge inspiration for Watanabe, Kawakubo et al, it is no surprise that this most apt of eras is mined in confusing times such as these. 

Post Brexit, Watanabe's last collection was equally angry. This season was more glamourous though. And who said T-Rex were extinct? With a collection title of 'Medley of Forms’, tartan and leopard print panelled circular and hexagonal creations leaped from the frame in stegosaurus angles.

With so many people feeling alienated from the country they currently call home, 'alienation' was communicated via the ultimate alien: Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy-synthetic red haired mullets opened the show. There was also a Bay City Rollers on acid vibe. As 20th Century Boy played out over the cranked up sound system, David Bowie - Marc Bolan's rival in the glam-rock style - was rallied further via gold circle jewellery pieces placed on the models' foreheads. Evoking the many mind-bending hours Bowie would spend backstage on the Aladdin Sane tour applying gold paint to his forehead, the Watanabe models also wore Siouxsie Sioux false eyelashes.

Junya Watanabe created his very first collection from materials found at flea markets in London, stripping away sofas, pulling away curtains and cutting up tweed coats. Show notes explained, 'Using his techniques of the present, Watanabe portrays the same sentiment in this season's collection.'

As well as leopard prints and tartans, historic fabrics like Jacobean crewelwork, furnishing flocking fabrics and Victorian crochet collars were added into the mix. Junya Watanabe also used the print featured on Jimmie Martin's 'Union High Back' chair. As well as the work of Martin, a furniture and interiors brand based in London, Watanabe collaged in fabrics by Jimmie Karlsson and Martin Nihlmar who are known for their commissioned hand painted one-off furniture and interiors pieces. There was also a shoe collaboration with London based company Trickers, marking the first time the house has ever done a footwear collaboration. 

When the drum beats died down, the silence made the energy within this collection all the more palpable. Like the best pep talk ever, this collection told us to all quit moaning about politics - and just create our own world instead.

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