Junya Watanabe, a renowned designer known for his outdoorsy aesthetic, has recently delved into the world of BMX biking and motocross, resulting in a collection that seamlessly blends classic menswear with high-tech performance gear. The collection, which was recently showcased in Paris Fashion Week, opened with slim, three-button suits featuring drainpipe trousers and ergonomic seaming at the elbows and knees, giving audiences a glimpse of the designer’s latest fixation.
Watanabe expertly merged elements of highly technical motosports costumes with varsity jackets, hoodies, parkas, toggle coats, and utility vests, in addition to classically tailored suits and topcoats. One of the standout pieces in the collection were the multifunction coats, featuring multiple leather cages, backpacks, and zippered pouches, making it a challenge for anyone dressed in one of these coats to quickly retrieve their phone, book, water bottle, and pen.
According to the brand, Watanabe was particularly interested in Innerraum, a Berlin-based maker of accessories that incorporate elements of protective gear, creating a futuristic and sci-fi aesthetic. The show as a whole lacked Watanabe’s usual charm, replaced by something colder and gloomier, reflecting the current mood of the world.
Watanabe, who is known for his collaborations with specialist brands, concluded the show with an array of looks done in collaboration with 18 different labels, including Oakley, New Balance, Timberland, and Stepney Workers Club for shoes, and Levi’s, North Face, and Carhartt for clothing. The list also included Brooks Brothers, Bates, Mystery Ranch, Haglofs, PALACE, Karrimor, Nanga, Alpha Industries, and Champion. The starting point for this collaboration of collaborations was the work of Berlin-based Innerraum, a brand working to incorporate the found aesthetic of futuristic protective gear into a luxury context.
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