Designer Focus

Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe carries on the balance between geometry and traditional materials from his own perspective.

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About the designer


After graduating Japan's renowned Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo in 1984, Junya Watanabe started his apprenticeship at conceptual brand Comme des Garçons and became Rei Kawakubo's student. There he developed his talent for pattern making which led to Watanabe becoming head designer of the Comme des Garçons menswear line. Heading into the same conceptual direction, Junya Watanabe however did feel like he had a distinctive creative perspective on fashion. In 1993 he was able to establish his namesake label under the Comme des Garçons brand and had the opportunity to show the first collection at Paris fashion week the same year. His love for mathematical logic results in a clash between advanced techniques and traditional materials.

Collection autumn/winter 2017


Riffing further on his lifelong Anglophilic obsession, Japanese cult designer Junya Watanabe took another spin on punk to create his autumn/winter 17 collection. Silhouettes were all about 3D structure, implementing geometrical shapes on signature punk staples such as the tartan pattern. Deconstructed looks featured leopard prints and leather patches mixed with fishnets and checks, and were cut into circle shapes and angular geometrical forms. Watanabe made use of furnishing fabrics to create interesting constructions on garment sleeves. Through his eyes, leather jackets and tartan dresses become experimental pieces that are closer to contemporary art than to fashion. Outlandish hair and makeup - reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust -, black chokers, creeper shoes and grunge boots completed the punk theme.