During the fashion weeks that seem to crop up once a month, I usually tend to stay away from the fashion blogs and just aimlessly roam the internet until I’m arguing with random juveniles on youtube about the authenticity of a video. The reason being is I, and you the readers, aren’t really interested in what Louis Vuitton, Gucci or whoever are showcasing, and for few reasons; most of us can’t even afford a pair of draws from these brands let alone something with more material, the runway shows are usually a bit excessive and display clothing that is utterly outrageous and can’t even be worn on our streets and the “I can’t afford it” factor should be mentioned one-mo-gin.
These runway shows however do play an integral role in the fashion realm. Designers that are looked upon as the kingpins of fashion showcase their latest collections for the world to see, giving us insight on upcoming trends. These trends can be something as little as a fabric that will end up being used by many different brands during a specific season or as big as a color scheme that will be seen on the shelves of most brands, kingpins and small time dealers alike. So I bent the truth a little baby bit. I don’t stay completely away from the blogs during fashion week, I try to breeze through, seeing if I can spot an emerging trend that can potentially trickle down to us, the common folk. In doing so, I sometimes stumble across a designer that I dig and I begin to follow their work, even if I can’t afford a keychain from them. This was most definitely the case when I peeped Junya Watanabe’s fall/winter 2009 collection.
Now I knew a little bit about Junya Watanabe before I seen they’re fall/winter collection, but it was just in passing as I was trying to find the release date for a pair of Jordan’s on another website that shall remain nameless. Before I explain my appreciation for this brand, I’ll drop some background knowledge about the designer; Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer who began as an apprentice during the 1980s for the mack daddy Comme des Garcons, which Junya Watanabe still distributes his brand through. Junya is renowned for using synthetic and technologically advanced textiles and fabrics to create distinctive clothing with a specific direction in mind. I mean this dude has Michelle Obama rocking his shit, and we all know how fly Michelle gets.
Junya Watanabe is kind of a kingpin brand, so I won’t have anything of his in my closet for a little while, but he does deserve mucho respect for his designs. For his fall/winter 2009 collection he drew inspiration from the American “sports” of hunting and fishing, taking traditional clothing worn during the hunt and turning them into blazers or casual jackets or visa versa, taking a tailored suit jacket and adding a hunting twist. I really enjoy when designers devote much of their collection to something particular (see Benjamin Bixby) from the real world, whether it is a time period, color or in this case the attire of a hunter in the United States. It is where fashion transforms to art, much different from the brands today, that just add an artistic graphic to a plain tee-shirt.
Junya Watanabe is a line for the fashion elite, also known as the rich and wealthy, so his upcoming seasons don’t really hold much relevance to us, but his artistic ability does. Anyone that can combine one of a kind, high end textiles, with casual and formal attire, a specific direction drawn from the inspiration of the American sport of hunting and distribute a season of fashion forward clothing is a genius. Junya is far from a rising designer, he’s been in the game since the 80s and Junya Watanabe has been on clothing store shelves since the early 90s. It was just that we had no reason to follow a brand that we couldn’t afford nor see and this may still hold true for some, but I feel the opposite. We should keep an eye open for someone as talented as of Junya Watanabe; trends will start with this designer, and smaller brands will begin to look to Junya for inspiration. Who knows, when we start to get caked up, we may not look for the newest Louis or Gucci piece, Junya Watanabe could be the Nino Brown of the fashion industry by then.
If you’re anything like me and are prone to skipping over or ignoring the pictures from fashion week, you may want to give it another chance. It’s still true, the overwhelming majority of the brands may not be for you, whether it’s affordability or style, but are likely to stumble across emerging trends, fabrics and brands you may like. Next time you’re browsing the web and you see pictures from a fashion week, don’t skip over it and go wikipedia and search randomness, save that for your 9-5, but spend a little time breezing through the pictures, you may find something you dig.