Tuesday 25th September

| BY Richard Gray

Junya Watanabe: Ready-To-Wear SS19

After Westwood there’s?… Nothing? There’s Junya! There’s the whole Comme family but there is especially Junya. This morning in Paris, the 57-year-old Watanabe took shears to a worker’s uniform and restitched what remained. He passed denim through his studio and meditated long and hard – it’s what he does – on how he could bin all previous work with denim: why accept normal he asks. You can do more than make jeans with denim he says.

So what *would* happen, then, if you were to apply new and dynamic atelier techniques to plain old blue cotton? And trim it and patch it with lace and sew on shiny bits? And then degrade it with pipes of finely applied bleach and draw whirls and florals, like those on English country curtains? And what happens when Junya “junyafies” denim clothing you’ll find in the workroom? Bib-and-brace dungarees, in denim, came fused to a full pleated skirt in white tulle. Yes, this did just happen. Remember, what’s not normal elsewhere is, well… elsewhere.

This is Junya’s world and it’s never been normal. It’s odd. And heroic, and packed with new ideas where something everyday (denim) is passed through many hands and many techniques. The wellspring for ideas at Junya comes from, amongst other things, the marriage of differents. Couture technique applied to denim to create a kind new denim glamour. Denim evening. Denim red carpet?

This discordant coupling continued when blown-out florals printed on satin and fused at the end with lace were joined to more denim or overlaid. And then dungarees again, this time with a cream corrugated duchesse satin skirt bolted on to the front and side. We know this because of the staging: models turn 180. Stop. Turn 180 again. Stop. All was fed through with bright green rave wigs and the odd sex club dog collar. Plus Buffalo boots in white vinyl leather as tall as a house. Complete madness the lot of it. We loved it.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd Evans.