The inherent duality of human nature is at the heart of Jun Takahashi’s reflections, and in turn he peers into the chasm to find the elements that build his season. But don’t expect the notions that he brings together to be on opposing sides of a coin. Rather, they come together in his mind as water and oil. Fear was most definitely the driving component, as red contact lenses and unnaturally pale faces gave a startling overtone to the proceedings under rococo chandeliers. Warmth was the other, but royalty cropped up too in his explanations.
Scarves weaved in and out of carefully placed slits, creating an almost Saint-Sebastien like depiction of flesh wounds. It felt like an offhand comment on being stuck in the remains of former glory. Even the porcelain outfits, become fluid in fabric to drape on the back as a circle cape, were in the inventory of past glory and opulence that was broken and put together again. Paired with the strangeness of the make-up and delicate filigreed crows, it played well into notions of a vampire’s court – Britain, the Carpathian reaches perhaps? –, savagery and beauty all weaved neatly together with an Undercover logo scarf. It might have been some ancestral monarchy for the most part, but the sunglasses and turban sporting trio in red, white and blue were most definitely queens of style.
True fashion is rumored to have died, but at Undercover, it’s having an awe-inspiring unlife. But to limit Takahashi’s work to the weird and spectacular world of the runway, would be doing him a disservice. After all, underneath the braided crowns and the artificial snow, there were trench coats and lounge pants, motorcycle jackets and tailored separates that could be just zipped up to de-punk them for consumption. Takahashi is himself something of a study in duality: you can take his talent at face value, but that may well bite you in the neck.