To celebrate three decades in fashion, Junya Watanabe shares the inspirations behind a few of his all-time favorite looks, beginning with the above camouflage cape from Watanabe’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection: “This is an homage to curious forms of nature,” says Watanabe. “It started with searching for a way to transform mysterious organic shapes into garments; we then rendered them in everyday prints and motifs. As usual, the clothes are infused with a punk spirit.” Below, the world-renowned Japanese designer revisits his most memorable collections.
“I was most interested in expressing construction and exploring silhouettes in leather. The garments were either heavily structured or extremely fluid. The fluid styles—mostly the dresses—featured an emphasis on draping.”
“I have never traveled to Africa, but this season started out with crafting accessories for a fictional tribe. I love geometric shapes and patterns. Many interesting materials were used, including aluminum processed at a traditional Japanese factory that does not specialize in making jewelry; special bonded textiles created through silk screening; and paper and faux patent leather that transformed into abstract objects that can be worn.”
“We reimagined conventional military wear for women. Special attention was paid to seam detailing, functionality, and draping.”
“This is purely about function and practicality in response to the rain. We utilized water-repellent technology in a dramatic way—that was not so common in fashion back in those days. I am compelled to transform the mundane into the unexpected, a creative challenge that imbues the garment with a different purpose and meaning.”
Model: Emma Harll. Casting by Sarah Small at New School Represents.
Produced by Farago Projects; photo assistant: Cecilia Byrne; retouching: Simon Thistle; black and white images printed by Peter at the Image; fashion assistant: Emma Simmonds.