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Junya Watanabe

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HAUNTED SHIP

Paris: Leave it to Junya Watanabe to set a mood and wax poetic on a theme as tried and true as nautical. As in his men’s collection, Watanabe explored maritime staples like Breton stripes, trench coats, navy and white, and easy, breezy clothes. Watanabe is not one to follow trends and it showed in the staging of the show: veils and candy-colored wigs masked the identities of models, and the lighting brought an inner glow to the clothes, creating an overall haunting effect. The designer’s hallmarks – plays on proportion and an Edwardian-style layering of long over long, fitted over voluminous – also added to the evocative mood, as if the clothes had been collected over time, from a forgotten place. The timeless silhouettes served as a canvas for stripes ranging from railroad to punk-ish black and whites, nautical symbols, pajama-like knits and pleated sailor girl dresses and skirts. His trench coats were among the strongest of the season, coming with fitted bodices and full skirts, in duster lengths and mixed with airy panels of chiffon. It was a bold move to take on an inspiration that has already been explored ad nauseum, but Watanabe managed to bring his magical, dark-romantic touch to it, showing that the trend still has plenty of legs.

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