Musings on Junya Watanabe’s FW24 Men’s Show
As is his wont, Junya Watanabe combined everyday pieces with conceptual tailoring
The invitation: a translucent blue sheet, like that which comes attached to Junya Watanabe’s garments. The venue: the former Bergère telephone exchange building, which today projects a raw, abandoned, unkempt atmosphere. Guests took their seats in near darkness. The front row: heavy on industry players, and all the more interesting for it.
The show combined everyday pieces with conceptual tailoring. A consistent silhouette ran throughout – a blazer or jacket altered to run long, sometimes to the hem. Within this mode emerged glimpses of individuality: a hoodie or a Palace cap, worn almost as if they belonged to the models themselves. The casting mixed middle-aged models with younger men, punks walking alongside gentlemen, the type of men you’d pass on any street in Paris. It placed Watanabe’s vision of masculinity in the ordinary everyday. They walked under low lighting to David Sylvian’s ambient, experimental “Blemish,” which paired well with the starkness of the venue.
Mid-way through the final model’s walk, the lights went out – the show was over. There was no finale, no designer’s bow (not that Watanabe would do so anyway). It reinforced the sensation of this show being a window through which we were watching these men go about their everyday lives, wearing clothing that caught our eye but, before we had time to take another look, they were already gone.