At Junya Watanabe, the concentric head gear that bounced geometrically with every step had a hypnotizing effect. In this iteration, it felt as if the designer continued his voyage through the 20th century and moved on from last summer's Art Deco into Vorticism, blended with African flavors and the necessary lightness of summer.
Ample dresses were discreetly decorated with patterns of plant and animal life, and encased in wide shiny bands, coiling around the neck and shoulders, sliding down like the ornaments of certain African tribes. Woven animal rug shawls were thrown over the shoulder. Although soft fabrics were at play, you could still see Watanabe's ace assembly of fabric, most visibly on the patchworked ensembles of colorful fragments. A few stripes appeared as well, bringing another signature to the mix. Fit may be relaxed but your brain won't be, if you stopped to consider what that ribcage-like harness could mean, or the chains that livened up the neck of several outfits cut from colorful Boubou fabrics. The stiffness from the coils jarred against the lightness of the garments. A cape of giant grommets flashed blinding reflections across the room, while another of tessellated patent leather evoked the repetitive abstractions of the short-lived British movement.
Ultimately, all these considerations amount to window dressing. Whether or not you ascribed to Watanabe's conceptual, highly cerebral fashion, you can't deny the strange pull his creations generate. Any doubt about this is dispelled by the retail numbers, and even the most recalcitrant realist couldn't turn their nose up at this.