“You talking to me? You talking to me? You talking to me? Well, who the hell else are you talking to? You talking to me? Well, I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? Huh? OK.”
Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer who contributed to the development and revolution of western fashion in the 80s. He started as a pupil for the prestigious Japanese house Comme Des Garçons in 1984, where he specialized in pattern making. He then started getting more recognition, in charge of the Tricot line and some of the Homme collections too. But it wasn’t until 1992 that he founded his own homonymous brand, still under Rei Kawakubo’s ward, which he would debut in Paris for the Winter 1993 collection.
Most of his collections are characterized by the blending of perfection and provocation. However, not like his contemporary colleagues, he has briefly shown his admiration for the North American culture, as it’s the case of the 2006 collections and respective Levi’s collaborations. For this year’s winter collection, he used Travis Bickle as a reference; the main character of Taxi Driver, whose soundtrack was played at all times during the show. Watanabe meant to express his excitement and appreciation for this specific character and also for the whole working-class in general; from janitors to carpenters or kitchen staff. We can see that the collection is full of parkas, blazers and sweaters knitted with military surpluses. On the other hand, models came out with mohawks and other extravagant hairstyles, all of them with serious looking faces and that killer smile that reminds us so much of Robert DeNiro.
Written by Gio Navarre