Undercover Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2016 Paris
Celebrating 25 years since Undercover started as a minute floor space in Nineties Harajuku, peddling subverted classic American sportswear and goth punk creations, Jun Takahashi considered clowns and musical idols, both belonging to entertainment and being by necessity itinerant performers.
Tailoring, particularly of the English persuasion, informed many of the shapes. The Japanese designer is a whiz in this field, and the stovepipe trousers he turned out were devilishly good. Takahashi's mind certainly moves like Jagger; the fact that Tommy Nutter, Saville Row's first trendy tailor, was favored not only by the Rolling Stones’ front man but also designed the suit Bianca so famously wore to her wedding, no doubt played a part. Add to that Nutter also created the Joker's suit in Tim Burton's Batman, and you had the right idea.
Woven into this train of thought, the integrated backpacks welded into – and sometimes the entirety of – garments, reminded of the peripatetic nature of the entertainer, not only moving in search of new audiences but also fleeing the unhappiness of wealthy patrons, irked at scathing critique posing as laughing matter. Adding a high mobility element to the silhouette, they telegraphed cool nomadism.
Yet for all this, the tulle skirts that sprouted throughout didn't mesh beautifully with their silhouettes. The resulting pieces had that "jolie laide" feeling to them, similar to the models' faces, sacrificed by glittery outlines of clown faces. Those also held in a fascinated sway despite perceived deformity.
Other designers would have pulled out the stops to celebrate, but for Takahashi this milestone felt no different than other outings.
"And now" had boomed a voice as the lights dimmed at the start of the show. Add an interrogative to this and you had the season's sentiment down pat.