Junya Watanabe gave the topcoat and the tweed jacket, two of the most ubiquitous styles of the men’s fall 2024 season in Europe, some of his inimitable funk, merging these two classic garments with pants and bits of trench coat.
“Reconstructed suiting” was the theme, with the designer expressing a wish for men of different generations to wear his newfangled tailoring.
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With David Sylvian emoting about late-night shopping and relationship problems on the loudspeakers, and the models sporting round sunglasses and choppy hairstyles, a romantic, vaguely ’80s mood came to the fore. One model so closely resembled Japanese composer and pianist Ryūichi Sakamoto, who perished last year, it was eerie, and also touching.
Renowned for his patchworks, Watanabe here combined entire garments, splayed 501s or pinstriped trousers repurposed as the bottom half of his long, slender coats. The show lighting was dim and patchy, so it wasn’t always obvious that the outerwear had split personalities.
Sometimes the two-speed coats felt gimmicky, but mostly they telegraphed an in-the-know cool. Underneath came striped knits or cotton shirts, and occasionally a chenille sweater. As always, Watanabe’s pants were pitch-perfect: classic, yet current.
Watanabe’s reconstruction techniques also were worked on garments from Levi’s, Carhartt and Palace, among the brands discernible in the near-dark. The others were Brooks Brothers, Innerraum and Heinrich Dinkelacker and New Balance for shoes.
One section of the show was dedicated to the trench coat, left largely intact, but given cutaway fronts or converted into capes with the sleeves sewn to the sides. The latter styles approximated the gesture of a coat propped on the shoulders — perhaps to wander forlornly around a mall after dark.
Launch Gallery: Junya Watanabe Men's Fall 2024
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