Junya Watanabe Womenswear A/W12

Tailoring turned upside down

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Office and corporate attire suddenly feels like something to poke fun of, distort and break down. Put that down to the Occupy movement – it might seem like a lazy link but there’s no denying that the state of the world is impacting on this season’s overriding theme of protection and self-empowerment. For Junya Watanabe, reconfigured tailoring isn’t new territory and in his latest collection, without an overall theme as such, he decided to hone in on that familiar territory.

Jacket tails were elongated, trouser cuffs came attached to coats, pockets were repositioned and the fundamentals of a trouser suit or a skirt suit were broken down and subtly realigned

Therefore we began with Prince of Wales checks, pinstripes and all the appearances of conventional tailoring – all subjected to a rigorous reworking through pattern cutting. Jacket tails were elongated, trouser cuffs came attached to coats, pockets were repositioned and the fundamentals of a trouser suit or a skirt suit were broken down and subtly realigned. This cut and paste attitude towards office wear didn’t feel like an aggressive mood if we’re looking at Occupy links and instead, Watanabe seemed to be proposing a suit alternative. Flashes of crushed velvet would appear here and there as an irreverent touch.

Fans of Watanabe’s trench cape hybrids will be well served with this collection of seemingly endless options of outerwear that’s about to take flight. Then out of nowhere, a series of vibrant velvet devore dresses come crashing through, breaking free from their tailored jacket/coat/cape cage and bursting forward. Read into the electric colours of mustard, rose pink and midnight blue however way you want, but at the very least, they prevented the collection from simply being a riff on corporate attire.

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