Establishing one of the world’s most prestigious fashion labels, and redefining standards of high fashion and luxury in the process would be enough of a legacy for most people, but not for Rei Kawakubo. The Comme Des Garcons founder/designer also took on a protégé, Junya Watanabe, who would become one of the elite names in global fashion in his own right. Watanabe steadily rose through the Comme Des Garcons ranks before establishing his own offshoot CDG label in 1993. Like his mentor, Junya Watanabe is renowned for his avant garde expressions of technical excellence, innovative tailoring and forward thinking sensibility. The incorporation of cutting-edge, synthetic textiles into complex and distinctive designs is a particular hallmark of Watanabe’s output.
Watanabe’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection puts his own, distinctive stamp, on those perpetual menswear staples, military and utilitarian garments, which are examined through the lens of childhood obsession with heroes and the notion of “playing” at war. A runway show featuring flourishes like the theme song from the 1960s marionette action/sci-fi seriesThunderbirdsand models emerging from M*A*S*H* style tents set a playful tone, borne out in the collection with the prominent use of bold, bright colors alongside various camouflage patterns and staid fixtures like pinstripes and plaids.
If the collection’s inspiration comes from childhood imaginations, the execution is very much the real thing. In conjunction with Ark Air, who produce high performance textiles and apparel used by genuine military outfits in actual combat zones.
D-ring hardware at adjustable webbing belt-style strap with press-release fastening.