Check Out New Junya Watanabe At MatchesFashion UKBy Rachel Tooley | March 17, 2020
After his studies at the world renowned Bunkya Fashion Institute in Tokyo, the Japanese fashion designer, Junya Watanabe, began his creative career in the industry working as an apprentice pattern cutter at Comme des Garcons. His signature design aesthetic pushed the boundaries of innovative garment design, with the use of constructive conceptual design and use of synthetic fabrics, which quickly gained him recognition within the industry. In 1987, Watanabe was named the design director of the C’D’G’ Tricot knitwear line, until 1992.
1992 saw the launch of the eponymous Junya Watanabe label, and just one year later the designer showcased his first collection in Paris. Nearly a decade later, the industry saw Watanabe extend the brand into menswear, debuting a new line ready to join the seasonal Spring/Summer 2001 collections. The designer landed himself his first ‘mainstream’ collaboration in 2007, when he collaborated with the American footwear brand ‘Converse’. The collaboration between the two brands saw Watanabe design a whole series of the classic Chuck Taylor Converse silhouette, which included six limited edition designs featuring bold check/checkerboard prints. Just a few years later, the designer went on to collaborate with leading sportswear brand Puma. The Junya Watanabe eYe Comme des Garcons x Puma collaboration, which released in 2011, was a collection which was inspired by 1950’s comical illustrations. The illustrations were printed of a variety of minimal t-shirts and long sleeve polo shirts, where you could clearly see the design influences by old school design elements and archive Puma catalogues from the same era. Two years following, the brands joined forces again to produce Watanabe’s own Spring Summer 2013 collection.
The designer is renowned for his unsual interpretations of menswear, with inspiration taken from traditional workwear garments and a mixture of fabric setting the foundations for his eccentric styles. Sartorial influences feature heavily in the new SS20 collection from Junya Watanabe. The label’s SS20 collection depicts the modern day ‘hunter gatherer’ with a variety of outside influences. Classic shirts and blazers have been redesigned using Watanabe’s signature design strategy, mixing unusual and boldly patterned fabrics to create dynamic reiterations of classic tailoring pieces. A neutral colour palette is merged with a variety of vivid prints and colours to compliment the muted nature of these tones. Patchwork is a staple design element in the collection, creating an interesting and versatile dynamic to both casual and formal fashion. The collection features a selection of clothing, footwear and accessories, including the Junya Watanabe ‘Patchwork Panel Short Sleeved Cotton Blend Shirt’ which is available at MatchesFashion UK for £505, and the Junya Watanabe ‘Patchwork Wool Blend Blazer’ at MatchesFashion UK for £1,395.
Also featuring in the collection is the new ‘MAN Print Canvas Roll Up Tote’. The design elements of this bag are inspired by classic British military styles. Constructed with a durable cotton canvas material, with silver hardware details, the bag features a silver zip fastening, which is secured with an overlapping strap fastened with a button that attaches to a reinforced ripstop panel. Accents of blue feature on the front face of the bag, with the word ‘MAN’ printed upon the fabric in a simple sans-serif font. The bag also comes with elongated shoulder straps for comfort and ease during wear, all finished in a camel brown shade. You can purchase the bag now at MatchesFashion UK for a retail price of £180.
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