Junya Watanabe Presents Destruction for the Public Eye in Spring 2020 Collection

Written by Taraneh Azar, Runway Correspondent

Junya Watanabe presented an artfully playful Spring 2020 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Elements of his classic avant garde reconstructions were coupled with commissioned prints from artists Demsky J. and Bicicleta Sem Freio, modern muralists who create for public consumption. 

Watanabe referenced no specific theme for the collection other than the maximization of his stylistic process for the pure sake of creation. Thus Watanabe’s traditional techniques of destruction and reconstructing classic garments defined yet another collection. 

The presentation opened with a structured tan trench coat, sleeves flopping well past the hands, proportions intentionally rejected. This was followed with a dress fashioned from a completely deconstructed trench coat layered over a full-length, neon green mesh skirt, showing the movement and progression of fabric and utility. 

It turns out that a cut up trench coat can actually produce many garments. Maxi dresses made of patchwork trench were followed by smock dresses, raincoats, full skirts, vests and even a pantsuit, all constructed with the sliced elements of the traditional trench.

Watanabe continued to reflect his core punk anti-establishment streak throughout the collection, while incorporating an interesting new element of sneakers and athletic wear.  Many nontraditional and patchwork garments were layered over an athletileisure base, and many pairs of leggings sported the bright, funky patterns of J. and Freio. 

The collection was light and dynamic as models sporting stark black, choppy fringes were nearly all looks featuring neon elements in some capacity, be it shoes, leggings or undergarments. 

The lighthearted tans, whites, and bright neons were followed by more traditional Watanabe looks; a black-and-white pinstripe smock layered over black undergarments and paired with a black spiked collar gave way to a structured blazer and extended skirt, all black and fashioned will bell-sleeves and a collar. Black was layered over pink and green neon elements as fluted black dresses — all garments constructed from destroyed trench coats — paired with funky beaded necklaces. Structured tan bodices were paired artfully with neon and patterned leggings and pointed neon shoes. 

In addition to color, Watanabe also played with fabrics, splicing canvas trench material with flowing lace and pleats to create floor-sweeping haltered dresses.

The presentation ended with some traditional Watanabe black and white compositions and structured yet deconstructed cuts. The last look was a tan trailing trench paired with graphic-printed leggings and bright neon sneakers. The closing look presented a resolve of sorts to the collection as punk elements such as a black spiked choker juxtaposed with athletic sneakers brought full circle the concept of garments for the public realm, existing as a statement to the creation in destruction.  

Watanabe presented a playful yet intricate Spring 2020 collection, his quintessential style — anti-establishment and avant garde — present, interspersed with light and novel elements of athletic wear and neon patterns by Demsky and Bicicleta Sem Freio. 

The collection embodied what Watanabe is known for — creation, destruction, and the space in between.

Looks from the Runway

The Avenue Magazine