As the sizzling summer air enveloped Paris, a vivid tableau of punk energy and DIY ethos took center stage at the Junya Watanabe MAN Spring/Summer 2024 collection show. Amid the captivated audience was none other than the multi-talented Pharrell Williams, his eyes encased in glinting diamond-rimmed sunglasses, focused intently on the parade of audacious reinvention.
The buzz surrounding Junya Watanabe’s latest men’s collection was palpable, echoing the creator’s dedication to sartorial deconstruction, workwear amalgamations, and a unique interplay between his own labels. The show was a testament to the tireless pursuit of pushing boundaries while paying homage to the long-respected giants of the industry.
The Spring/Summer 2024 collection show, bathed in the glow of high anticipation, was an incandescent display of Watanabe’s innovative craftsmanship. A visual feast was set forth as models sporting unconventional hairstyles and carrying an arresting aura took to the stage. They commanded the attention of all present with outfits that swung like pendulums between 18th-century court dress and modern manga aesthetics.
One could hardly miss the emphasis on statement outerwear. Biker and jeans jackets, with their traditional expectations, were unpicked, remodelled and presented anew as grand and flaring great coats. These transformed pieces echoed designs from Watanabe’s women’s runway, referred to as his “main collaboration” this season. This narrative of femininity, however, was subtly balanced with the grit of large, sewage-worker inspired pants, boots, and the defiant gazes of the models.
Watanabe mused in the press notes, “The idea and the way of my approach in creation of Junya Watanabe is completely different to Man, so they are different brands to me. I wanted to incorporate clothes like Junya Watanabe into Man.”
These elements were testament to Watanabe’s continued devotion to his beloved workwear and utility brands, such as Levi’s, Carhartt and Filson. This season, the designer also brought C.P Company and Lousy Livin into his orbit, thus, broadening his ever-evolving lexicon of fashion.
At the close of the show, as the pulsing energy began to dim, it was clear that Junya Watanabe MAN Spring/Summer 2024 collection was more than a fashion statement. It was a masterclass in reinventing the familiar, while elevating the conversation between masculine and feminine aesthetics. A fitting testament to the phrase, “same vocabulary, different language”. The echo of applause reverberating around the room was not merely for the collection, but for the audacity of Watanabe’s creative spirit and relentless innovation.
© Photos: Junya Watanabe MAN
Click on this link to read this article in French version